This weekend's Australian featured an article by respected author and science journalist Matt Ridley (Is climate policy doing more harm than good?) and quite coincidentally I came across the Youtube video of his presentation at the Royal Society just a few days ago.
The article in the Australian is appropriately a summary of the more complete video presentation. If you have the time, watch the video.
Ridley's argument is most compelling. He argues for a middle road between the two extremes of the climate change debate. He presents a cogent case for a world that is warming due to man-made emissions, but at a slower rate than models have been predicting and is far from "catastrophic" but potentially heralding a warmer, wetter and greener world.
Nor does he contradict the IPCC. Rather he demonstrates that the IPCC presents a range of outcomes depending on a range of scenarios, assumptions if you will. Therefore his own, more positive prediction is within the range predicted by the IPCC.
I have written at some length on Climate Change, including a statement of my own position (see Credo on climate change). Since that time some 15 months ago I have read extensively on the subject both from the advocates and deniers, but admittedly I have been looking more closely at the deniers. What better way to evaluate one's position than by listening to those who disagree.
There are many , many intelligent scientists who question "the science of climate change" and for good scientific reasons. As a result I have become more skeptical and I am sensing so has the whole world.
Who knows the dire warnings of "catastrophic" climate change may go the way of many other predicted catastrophes of the past. The 1972 predictions by the Club of Rome that the world could only support 5 billion people, or again in the 70's, the prediction that the world was about to enter an Ice Age. Such predictions may garner attention and indeed funding, but are usually exaggerated.
I prefer the middle of the road, and therefore have found Ridley's position compelling.