Whichever way you look at it, you can't win with Global Warming.
Scientists seem to agree right now that human beings are responsible for the current increasing trend in world temperatures. And this scientific consensus has spurred Europe (and to a lesser degree, the US) into action. (Well, not into action, but into talking about action). Now, hypothetically, suppose this green rhetoric does indeed become green action - and we do avert the worst of climate change by the middle of the century. Suppose we do save the planet from the doomsday predictions of current scientists by timely action.
There's this old question that people associate with Erwin Schrodinger. If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody's around, does it make a sound? Is a fact a fact if no one observes it happen?
And similarly, if our actions do stop the planet from warming - but we can't ever prove comprehensively that they did - then was the planet warming in the first place? What's to stop some Rush Limbaugh's grandson from going and pontificating on air that global warming was an evil hoax perpetrated by the jealous developing world on America? After all, any global warming control plan is likely to force stringent caps on the emissions of the developed world, not the developing world (because the poor countries don't emit much per-capita). It is very likely that a successful anti-global warming campaign will get a more skeptical government in place in developed countries. And pollution will start again.
On the other hand, suppose we do what is likely: almost nothing. We talk a lot about reducing emissions, but we don't do anything, because a reduction in standard of living for the west is utterly unacceptable to its democratic voters. We don't stop the planet from warming. Whatever is left of the planet will regret listening to Limbaugh's nonsense. No one wins.
My stand on Climate Change
What do you think scientists would do if they were sure that the planet was warming because of human emissions? They would sit down together and form a huge committee and unanimously agree that is indeed happening. That's what they have done. The IPCC report.
To me, based on our current state of the art knowledge, it seems very probable that human carbon emissions are responsible for climate change.
Not one peer reviewed publication argues that the planet is not warming because of man. How many peer reviewed papers argue that tadpoles are human? None! How many peer reviewed papers argue that heat flows from cool areas to warm areas? None.
If you are skeptical of climate change, you are in essence arguing that the current process of peer review is fatally flawed. You are also arguing that the entire scientific community is governed by agendas of developing nations. A ludicrous notion.
If you have a fundamental reason to have such revolutionary philosophical stands, then you need listening to. Perhaps you're the next Einstein.
But if you have these stands just because you blindly agree with the simple minded incentive system that Rush Limbaugh (or James Inhoffe) are trying to sell, then your opinion is not your own. You're an impediment to progress - just like one of those Popes who imprisoned Galileo.
Faith in science is not blind faith. Faith in science is faith in human skepticism.