I imagine that in the not–too–distant future all the hype will have died down, particularly if the climate should decide to cool—as it did during much of the past century; we should take note here that it has not warmed since 1998. Future generations will look back on the current madness and wonder what it was all about. They will have movies like An Inconvenient Truth and documentaries like The Great Global Warming Swindle to remind them.
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth has met its match: a devastating documentary recently shown on British television, which has now been viewed by millions of people on the Internet. Despite its flamboyant title, The Great Global Warming Swindle is based on sound science and interviews with real climate scientists, including me. An Inconvenient Truth, on the other hand, is mostly an emotional presentation from a single politician.
The scientific arguments presented in The Great Global Warming Swindle can be stated quite briefly:
1. There is no proof that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from human activity. Ice core records from the past 650,000 years show that temperature increases have preceded—not resulted from—increases in CO2 by hundreds of years, suggesting that the warming of the oceans is an important source of the rise in atmospheric CO2. As the dominant greenhouse gas, water vapour is far, far more important than CO2. Dire predictions of future warming are based almost entirely on computer climate models, yet these models do not accurately understand the role or water vapor—and, in any case, water vapor is not within our control. Plus, computer models cannot account for the observed cooling of much of the past century (1940–75), nor for the observed patterns of warming—what we call the “fingerprints.” For example, the Antarctic is cooling while models predict warming. And where the models call for the middle atmosphere to warm faster than the surface, the observations show the exact opposite.