No one denies that the Earth has warmed in the past century. So of course, the past decade must be the warmest - even though there has been no upward trend since the 1998 temperature peak. [Note the important distinction between temperature level (measured in deg C or deg F) and trend (expressed in deg C per year).] The dispute is (and always has been) about the cause of the warming. In fact, the major warming during the first 50 years of the 20th century and the latter part of the 19th century is generally accepted to be natural - a recovery from the Little Ice Age. But there's no credible evidence that identifies the most recent warming as human-caused. On the contrary, while the UN's IPCC claims to be quite certain that it is anthropogenic, the independent NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change) concludes that "Nature - Not Human Activity - Rules the Climate"
In this connection note the obfuscatory language used by the EPA in turning down all of the 'Petitions for Reconsideration' of its Endangerment finding on CO2: "The scientific evidence supporting EPA's finding is robust, voluminous, and compelling. Climate change is happening now, and humans are contributing to it. Multiple lines of evidence show a global warming trend over the past 100 years. Beyond this, melting ice in the Arctic, melting glaciers around the world, increasing ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns, and shifting patterns of ecosystems and wildlife habitats all confirm that our climate is changing.
Yet there is no evidence at all that humans are indeed contributing to warming in a significant way. We'll see you in court, dear EPA, and gladly examine your "compelling" evidence!
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