I find that the evidence is still underwhelming. . . Primarily, what Im looking for is empirical evidence (which excludes computer models) which links human CO2 with catastrophic warming.I started to write a comment in reply, but I found that it raises a number of issues about the relationship of science, skepticism, and political policy, so I decided to make a separate post out of it:
Well, thanks for stopping by. I'm sorry you couldn't find what you were looking for. I'm sure the thousands of scientists who have worked for over a century on this problem are even more disappointed. The simple fact is that the science is what it is, whether or not you or anyone else likes it (or more importantly the policy implications). Like any branch of science, there are always some uncertainties involved. Whether those uncertainties are sufficient to preclude policy action is, however, a political question, not a scientific one. Although there are some legitimate scientific concerns, by and large these have been hijacked and used dishonestly for political purposes. (That was behind the original point of the BCL post.)
I have personally paid country club prices to see Lindzen present his position. FWIW, I'm confident he's sincere, but his "iris" hypothesis is just that, a proposal subject to testing. His theory, however, has been widely found by objective observers to be not supported by the evidence (one recent example here).
The Roger Pielkes (there are 2 of them, Jr. and Sr., although some might argue that there are in fact more), have made careers out of self-referential contrarianism. In the case of Jr., this has frequently taken the form of reckless charges of plagiarism, theft, bias, and fraud, all the while cloaking himself in the presumably infallible role of TheHonestBroker™. Their latest effort is meeting with legitimate skepticism on scientific grounds, but that has certainly not deterred the deniosphere from attempting to make political hay out of it.
As a degreed scientist with a minimal knowledge of physics, I find modern particle physics to be too complicated, confusing and counter-intuitive. However, I'm not wasting my time going around to physics forums denouncing the science and its practitioners as commie-pinko-enviro-nazis. Why is it, then, that climate science does provoke such reactions, even among Meteorologists Who Should Know Better? One of the meanings behind the name of this blog is that climate science, through its policy implications, has been inextricably linked to financial and economic issues. Once money comes into the picture, people get very crazy very quickly, and if large amounts of it are involved, even crazier; just look at the recent financial market insanity for proof.
So, the bottom line here is that anyone is entitled to their own opinion, but that doesn't make it science, even if the proponent has the outward trappings of a scientist. Given the economic and political subtext of the discussion, it's not only fair but necessary to ask, "What are the financial and ideological motivations behind what is being said?"
Global warming theory is based on the CO2 greenhouse effect which was discovered over a century ago. I have a more-than-50-year-old atmospheric physics text on my shelf which describes and quantifies it quite well. The development of the computer models the deniosphere so loves to hate (Not Computer Models) has simply added more support to the underlying principles. These and other subsequent analyses have continued to improve confidence in the theory to the point that many scientists involved in the field have called for policy actions to limit the potential negative effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions. They have done this not only individually in some cases, but also through such organizations as scientific societies (including the AMS and AGU), the IPCC, and various national science academies. That has provoked a strong reaction from some who have a vested interest in inaction. A realistic debate about policy choices is one thing, but fraudulent smearing of the science and its practitioners is something else again. The proper response to those tactics is what BCL was discussing. I would call that true skepticism.