Please excuse the barrage of further responses coming your way…
The law of conservation of mass does not imply humans are responsible for increased CO2 concentrations. It is just as possible (as I described before), for atmospheric CO2 to be driven by a factor *different* than the sources and sinks within the biosphere.
That doesn’t make sense, not if you’re including the land and ocean as part of the biosphere. We’re putting something like 8GTon of CO2 in the atmosphere and CO2 content in air is rising at something like 4GTon per year. Given the law of conservation of mass, how the heck can you say humans aren’t responsible?
Factory workers place 5 tons of coal in a big pile per day and remove 4 tons per day. After 365 days it is measured that the pile has increased in mass by 315 tons. Therefore, someone or something other than the factory workers removed 50 tons, net. Agreed? So if we find that the farmer next door has 40 tons hidden in a pit under a tarp in his back yard, we get very suspicious, and the farmer’s explanation, “I don’t know how that got there!” is not very persuasive. You’re playing the role of the farmer in this analogy.
The temperature record shows that we know the planet has been warming at a moderate, and fairly constant rate, since the Little Ice Age.
But it hasn’t been a constant rate at all! The record looks like this:
The 15-year mean has been increasing monotonically for 40 years, and the paleoclimate record is even more striking.
You have no doubt seen temperature records before, which makes me suspect that you’ve bought the claim that the temperature record has been fraudulently altered.
Freudian psychobabble can explain all the data.
Since AGW was based on predictions shown to be true, I will simply concede the point rather than try to define words like “explain” in a way that excludes “making stuff up”.
The science game is played not by gathering [..] corroborating evidence
Uh… science isn’t done by gathering evidence?
it’s played by challenging our own ideas vigorously
It is quite clearly impossible for everyone to do all the work themselves, though. That’s why we have millions of scientists to do it for us — and scientists to skeptically check the work of other scientists, not only via peer review but by critical analysis after publishing.
It’s counterproductive to assume scientists are corrupt, incompetent, and/or dishonest. I think you’ll find that you’ll learn much faster and better by assuming scientists have integrity. My mental model — that most scientists, although human, are skilled and have integrity, a small percent are incompetent and/or driven ideologically, and only a tiny percent are corrupt or dishonest — has never steered me wrong before.
A much simpler and less libelous explanation is that oil companies, and conservatives who started out hating the environmental movement