The first approached the tiger's head and whacked it with a stick. The tiger ate him!
The second approached the tiger's fore quarters and struck out with a knife. The tiger clawed him to death.
The third approached the rear quarters with the same result.
The last brave young man decided to sneak up on the tiger from behind and he managed to snip a piece out of the tiger's tail and get away.
Of course, nipping the tiger's tail didn't do much to solve the problem. Nevertheless, the villagers celebrated his pluck and luck and everybody felt quite satisfied - until the next tiger attack.
This is the first of five postings about the causes and cures for Global Warming. There is no doubt the Earth has warmed significantly over the past 150 years. The IPCC claims the warming trend is mainly (over 50%) due to rising CO2 levels caused by human burning of formerly sequestered carbon (coal, oil, natural gas). They demand immediate action to reduce carbon emissions by 75% within the coming decades.
I believe they are right about our being in a global warming trend. I believe continued warming will affect our way of life. However, I think the IPCC will be proven to have been wrong about the percentage of global warming due to human activities and, especially, about our ability to stabilize and reduce carbon gas production.
LET'S LOOK AT THE "TIGER" OF GLOBAL WARMING
Let’s imagine Global Warming as that tiger, and let us divide it up into three large sections, leaving 10% for the tiger’s tail. The sections represent the causes of the 0.8 ºC (about 1.4 ºF) apparent temperature rise.
I say apparent because around 30% is due to bias in measurements, due to encroachment of local development and land use on temperature measuring stations. (The second posting is about Data Bias.) An additional 40% is real warming, due to natural cycles, mainly variability in the Sun’s activity and the Earth’s orbit. About 20% is due to "greenhouse" warming effects of the carbon gases that have fizzed out of the oceans due to natural cycle warming, especially over the past fifty years.
The remaining 10% is due to human activity generating greenhouse gasses. I suggest we are attacking the “tiger’s tail” –that last 10%- because we really cannot do much about the other causes and we need to find some satisfaction! I also suggest that efforts to reduce carbon footprints, some of which I support (Carbon Tax), are unlikely to have much practical effect.
After celebrating the successful, but futile, attack against the tiger's tail, the villagers had to face reality. They had to adapt to living with the tiger by fencing their village and being extremely careful when venturing out. They also prayed the tiger would go away.