I am certain that man-made global warming is occurring. It is pretty easy to understand the physics. Carbon dioxide traps heat. Methane traps heat. I don't think necessarily that the world will end immediately because of it, but it's just not forward-thinking policy to poison your own well. Especially since our sort of poison doesn't go away for a really long time (one estimate I read was about 500-1000 years, and perhaps even longer than that).
The climate change debate has never been about whether man-made global warming is occurring; it's been about how much warmer it is getting as a result. It may be less of an immediate problem than was thought; I don't know. But that doesn't make CO2 harmless. With the time scales in question here, it would be easy to do something irreversible (and very bad) and we wouldn't know it for sure for many years. I think it's best to err on the side of caution.
Would being cautious hurt industry? Sure. But I think it's important to note that industry is subject to regulation for a reason: industry is primarily motivated by short-term interests, those being the profits of the company RIGHT NOW. Because of that, it is often incapable of acting responsibly in matters with time scales like this has; the feedback loop is too long. The continued good of pretty much everyone living on the planet is a damn good reason to regulate in my book.
Last edited by Samuel Dravis; 12-05-2009 at 01:25 PM.