The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say ‘I read a science fiction novel that says it’s not a problem.’ [...] You take action.And that would be fine if we had the same knowledge about global climate as we do about the human body and the same understanding about the dangers of global warming that we do about fevers. But we don't.
Al Gore is like a "doctor" from 150 years ago, when the modern understanding of the causes of disease was first developing. You take your child to Gore and he says, "The fever is a sign your child has 'tired blood'. It's critical that we apply leeches right now." More scientifically-minded doctors hesitate to agree. They caution, "We really don't know that the fever isn't just a normal thing that comes and goes. And, while tired blood may exist, we can't at all be sure that it's really the primary cause of the fever. Finally, while we know for sure that leeches will weaken the child, there is absolutely no evidence that they will work as a cure." So, what do you do?
That's where we are right now. The science is pretty solid that that the temperature has risen over the past century and particularly over the past thirty years. We don't know that it is at any sort of peak for the few thousands of years of human history, much less for the history of life on Earth. But, as weak as that may sound, that's really the best we have right now. We don't know that human activity caused any of it, a little of it, or all of it (despite scientifically ridiculous claims that "scientists are sure 90% of the rise is due to human activity"). Just as important from a policy perspective, there is no scientific backing to the claim that political solutions like the Kyoto Protocol will solve the problem anyway.
No doubt to the chagrin of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmists like Gore, even scientists who worry that AGW will turn out to be real and significant are finally coming forward to say that Gore is exaggerating the science to make AGW look worse than any science concludes it will be. Gore claims that global warming will melt Greenland's ice and cause a twenty foot rise in ocean levels over the next century when even the UN's IPCC only claims a likely rise of half a foot to a foot and a half. Meanwhile, satellite data and newer studies cast doubt that Greenland is even losing its ice at the 0.4% per century rate previously supposed.
That's the problem here. We just don't know enough about whether there is a real problem, what caused it, and what real damage will result from it. To embrace any of the "solutions" being promoted, all of which will definitely be painful, is a step just not justified by the evidence at hand. Sorry Dr. Gore, save the leeches.