The purpose of this paper is to provide a layman’s critique of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory, and in particular to challenge the fairly widespread notion that the science and projected consequences of AGW currently justify massive spending and government intervention into the world’s economies. This paper will show that despite good evidence that global temperatures are rising and that CO2 can act as a greenhouse gas and help to warm the Earth, we are a long way from attributing all or much of current warming to man-made CO2. We are even further away from being able to accurately project man’s impact on future climate, and it is a very debatable question whether interventions today to reduce CO2 emissions will substantially improve the world 50 or 100 years from now.
Update: If you would like to start with the 60-second version of this long paper, try here first.
Update #2: New! This paper is a couple of years old. I have gotten better (if I may say so myself) in formulating the arguments. My most recent stab at a skeptic’s summary is embodied in this free video. If you don’t have time for the video, the powerpoint presentation with all the slides from the lecture are included in both .ppt and .pdf formats.
Note you may click on any of the chapter links below to see the full chapter in HTML, or see below for links to free pdf versions available for download.
Table of Contents for A Layman’s Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)
Chapter 1: Summary of Global Warming Skeptics Position
Chapter 2: Is It OK to be a Global Warming Skeptic?
- Charges of Bias
- The Climate Trojan Horse
- The Need to Exaggerate
Chapter 3: The Basics of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Theory
Chapter 4: The Historical Evidence for Man-Made Global Warming
- The long view (650,000 years)
- The medium view (1000 years)
- The short view (100 years)
- Sulfates, Aerosols and Dimming
- The troposphere and Urban heat islands
- Using Computer Models to Explain the Past
Chapter 5: The Climate Computer Models and Predicting Future Temperatures
- The Dangers in Modeling Complex Systems
- Do Model Outputs Constitute Scientific Proof?
- Econometrics and CO2 Forecasts
- Climate Sensitivity and the Role of Positive Feedbacks
- Climate Models have to be Aggressively Tweaked to Match History
Chapter 6: Alternate Explanations and Models for Global Warming
Chapter 7: The Effects of Global Warming
- Why only bad stuff?
- Ice melting / Oceans Rising
- Hurricanes & Tornadoes
- Temperature Extremes
- Extinction and Disease
- Collapse of the Gulf Stream and Freezing of Europe
- Non-warming Effects of CO2
Chapter 8: Kyoto and Climate Change Policy Alternatives
- Cost of the Solutions vs. the Benefits: Why Warmer but Richer may be Better than Colder and Pooer
Chapter 9: Rebuttals by Man-Made Global Warming Theory Supporters
UPDATE: A video version of this guide called What is Normal? A Critique of Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Theory is now available for free download.
A Youtube Playlist for the film is here. This is a cool feature I have not used before, but will effectively let you run the parts end to end, making the 50-minute video more or less seamless.
The individual parts are:
Climate Video Part 1: Introduction; how greenhouse gases work; historical climate reconstructions
Climate Video Part 2: Historical reconstructions; problems with proxies
Climate Video part 3: How much warming is due to man; measurement biases; natural cycles in climate
Climate Video Part 4: Role of the sun; aerosols and cooling; climate sensitivity; checking forecasts against history
Climate Video Part 5: Positive and negative feedback; hurricanes.
Climate Video Part 6: Melting ice and rising oceans; costs of CO2 abatement; conclusions.
You may also stream the entire climate film from Google Video here. (the video will stutter between the 12 and 17 second marks, and then should run fine)
You may download a 258MB full resolution Windows Media version of the film by right-clicking here.
You may download a 144MB full resolution Quicktime version of the film by right-clicking here.
A 9-minute version of the climate video can be found here.
For those interested in getting a copy of my A Skeptical Layman’s Guide to Anthropogenic Global Warming, I greatly encourage you to download it for free. However, I do know that some folks have written about a print version. I have a print version of my global warming book available now at LuLu.com. It is $16.98 — that is my cost — and I warn you that LuLu’s shipping options are not very cheap. I will try to find a less expensive print option, but no one beats LuLu for getting a book set up quickly and easily for print-to-order.