Did he say “my friend, Burt Rutan”? He just went up a notch in my esteem. At the risk of starting a huge debate here, I just want to point out that there are data out there that support AGW, and, like any human endeavor, you have both the serious folks and the wingnuts on the same side. The decline of permafrost in the arctic regions is a strong convincer for me, as are the glacial measurements. These are facts that I can grab hold of. Ambient air temperatures can vary wildly but permafrost 3 feet underground is a pretty good indicator. We also know that CO2 levels have risen dramatically in this century, which is also empirical (not theoretical). When we depart from empirical measurement is where it all falls apart. Einstein’s theories could be proven using atomic clocks, telescopes, etc. AGW can not be proven until it’s too late. One argument they make is that even if we can’t prove a causal relationship between carbon emissions and GW, it is the only thing over which we have control. My own stance on this (for now) is that the uncertain danger from GW is outweighed by the certain disaster that will happen if we suddenly find ourselves without coal, oil, and gas. Yes, I am skeptical about AGW and I despise people like Zwick or Swick or whatever the hell his name is, but I do not completely dismiss the possibility that CO2 levels are the issue. Heck, the sun just may be getting hotter for all we know. I do agree with Whittle that theories must be proven, but in the case of AGW that may not be possible until it’s too late.
Snap-e-Tom, the settled science was significantly unsettled when the connection between solar activity and Earth’s temperature showed a much stronger correlation than the co2 levels. A brief search brings many of these up.
Plus, co2 is something that can be regulated and taxed by governments where water vapor–which has much stronger effect on retaining atmospheric heat and reflecting heat (from the sun) back to space–cannot.