To summarize the data, virtually anyone who knows anything about climate agrees that global warming is real and that it’s caused by humans. Most of those people also agree that it’s going to be terrible. A large fraction of the human population is going to suffer and die, thanks to our inaction on this issue. Yet, nearly half the population of the United States does not know that this is settled science because our politicians and pundits have been misleading people to think there’s still some controversy over the issue. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.In what became known as ‘Climategate’, the denialists pounced on this and other comments as proof that the scientists were altering their data to make it look like the climate was changing when it wasn’t.
Unfortunately, the public didn't get the memos completely debunking the allegations. For example, ‘trick’ is shorthand for 'mathematical technique' (am I committing fraud if I use the ‘trick’ of adding all the digits in a number to see if it’s divisible by nine?) and in this case ‘decline’ was referring to tree rings not temperature. Remember, these were private emails between colleagues. Like people in any business or community, climatologists use jargon and terminology when talking amongst themselves.
Who are you going to believe? Politicians or your lying eyes?
I’m not saying that the few holdouts from accepting anthropomorphic global warming are lying. I’m sure they’re convinced that they are correct. I am saying that their financial incentive to retain that position is much stronger than any incentives the rest of the scientific community could have for accepting climate change.
2013 CoreLogic Storm Surge report
Here's something else to think about. CO2 levels haven't been this high for several million years. That means that our species has never experienced this type of climate.
If it isn’t already too late, and there’s some debate over this, anything we do from now on to fight the effects of climate change will be far more expensive than they would have been if we hadn’t been obstructed from acting for so many years. In the interim, we can also expect to pay in treasure and grief for the storms, droughts and floods that will become the new normal. Greg Laden provides an interesting approximation of what our planet might look like in 300 years if we do nothing: