During the campaign Obama made much of advocating policies based on scientific fact. In regard to the Iraq war Bush clearly fixed the facts to suit the policies by allowing the "facts " to be presented to him by a NeoCon cabal with a set agenda.Unfortunately, with his selection of the top office holders in the EPA and Energy departments the new President has created a cabal of true believers in anthropogenic global warming thus ensuring that his actions in this area will be similarly divorced from reality.
The dangers of AGW warming are as real as Bush's MWD. Consider the following.
1. Measuring global temperature is more an art than a science. There are four main sources of temperature data each with their own particular problems and uncertainties in data collection.
2. Because of the inherent variability in Northern Hemisphere climate and the questionable quality of much of the land based data , most objective observers would likely agree that Britain's Hadley Center Global Sea Surface Temperature data give the most reasonable view of what is really happening. Anyone reading this can google - Hadley Cru - and check the actual data for themselves.
3. The data shows that while temperatures rose about 1 degree during the 20th century Global SSTs have been falling since 2003.
4. The warmest year was 1998 - everyone knows that this was an unusually warm El Nino year.
5. 2008 was cooler than 1997. Eleven years with no net warming and CO2 rising 6%. This is in contradiction to the IPCC and GCM projections.
6. Spencer has convincingly shown that the CO2 forcing and feedback parameters used in the IPCC Model projections of climate sensitivity are simply wrong and seriously overestimate the warming effects of rising CO2.
7. The Sun is entering a quiet phase - possibly a Dalton minimum - and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is now in a negative phase. Both of these facts suggest a possible 20 - 30 year cooling spell during which cooler temperatures could produce shorter growing seasons and a serious drop in food crop production.
8. CO2 is not a pollutant but the essential plant food. If the cool spell actually occurs we will need more atmospheric CO2 not less. 25% of the increase in food production during the 20th century was due to the increase in CO2.
9. Our knowledge of the climate system is very limited. It is empirically clear that the sun is the main climate driver but the realtionship is complex and we are only just beginning to amass the data needed to understand what is going on. Anyone who thinks we know enough to predict temperatures 100 years or even 50 years ahead doesn't understand the problem.
In conclusion - to burden and distort the economy with CO2 emission limitation schemes based on a flawed warming paradigm when the world has been cooling for 5 years and might well continue to cool for another 20 is plainly insane. Obama has built himself a bubble into which reality is unlikely to intrude.