Friday, February 02, 2007

Global Warming

In an astonishingly thorough survey of scientists and scientific literature, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that global warming is real and that it is "very likely" caused by human intervention.

According to these scientists, if we don't change our ways now (which we really can do), the problem won't just be higher temperatures and sea levels but all of the consequences of those changes--including harder rains in some places, droughts in others, and more severe storms almost everywhere.

In a political process often driven by a longing for certainty, it's important to understand that "very likely" here is the cautious scientific version of "very nearly beyond doubt." Scientists, unlike certain Presidents, allow that there might be things that they don't know, things that would radically change their understanding of the physical world (hence they have the "theory" of gravity). But it sounds like it would take a revolution in thought almost that big to change their minds at this point.

More on this here, here, here, here, and here.



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