Scientists say that cosmic rays from outer space play a far greater role in changing the Earth's climate than global warming experts previously thought.... Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.Here's the kicker:
This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.
Read it here.
He said: "It was long thought that clouds were caused by climate change, but now we see that climate change is driven by clouds.
"This has not been taken into account in the models used to work out the effect carbon dioxide has had.
"We may see CO2 is responsible for much less warming than we thought and if this is the case the predictions of warming due to human activity will need to be adjusted...."
"Humans are having an effect on climate change, but by not including the cosmic ray effect in models it means the results are inaccurate. The size of man's impact may be much smaller and so the man-made change is happening slower than predicted."
This is serious stuff. The scientists and the organizations conducting this research are real heavyweights, and they must be taken seriously. They are saying that one of the fundamental assumptions underlying the current climate models is wrong, seriously so. This, if borne out by research, could result in discrediting or at least seriously modifying the models upon which current environmental activism is based.
And here we get to the real problem with using scientific opinion, even consensus opinion, to guide public policy. Scientific opinion shifts, frequently and sometimes radially, and when it does policies based on earlier assumptions are invalidated. But policies have consequences, and often those cannot be undone. I'm not saying we should ignore scientific opinion in the crafting of public policy, but it should be balanced by other considerations, political, economic, and even moral.
Don Boudreaux makes the point that even if the scientific consensus is correct, the environmentalists are by no mean qualified to judge what might be an appropriate response. He writes:
[S]omeone with no firm grasp of economic principles can be as right as right can be about global warming and its causes while simultaneously being utterly benighted about what to do about it and even whether or not something should be done about it.Read him here.
AND THIS:From the Times [of London]
Nigel Calder, former editor of the New Scientist, writes:
Read the whole thing here.
When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works.