I have NEVER in my life seen such a divisive issue as climate change! Perfectly sane and normal people go off on wild tangents, and "make their minds up" with fervor normally reserved for religious experiences. I could make an entire post based on this "yes it is, no it isn't" phenomon.
Here is a lecture by James Balog. He is an artist, not some white lab coat with a political agenda. So, because he is an artist, he has a unique approach to the topic. He doesn't sit in his office, and look at computer models. He goes out to glaciers, and looks at them. And watches them collapse. And photographs them with time lapse photography.
Why not take twenty minutes of your life and examine this one. At the very least, you will see some pretty pictures.... http://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss.html
Of course, not all scientists are dweebs, Rachel Pike is really cute. Her talk is only four minutes....and worth a watch if only to watch her boobs bounce. However, it is worth the talk just so we can see just what goes into the scientific conclusions that so many people so blithly throw out.
With that kind of background and work which goes into it, how can you dismiss it as a political football? The problem is that it is so narrowly focused that you can't really argue for or against it, however I think I will listen more closely to the conclusions of the Rachel Pikes of the world than, oh, I don't know...say, Jesse Ventura?
Jesse Ventura. Right...now THERE's a guy that inspires confidence. Get real! Him and Tom Cruise! Millstones around the neck of the truth, both of them! Lord give me strength!
Anyway, I have no intention of changing YOUR mind. No doubt your mind is made up. As were the commenters on James Balog's talk above...I kept asking myself..."did they even listen to the talk or are they just sounding off with their own ideas like trained seals"? Me, I might well be the only person left on the planet who doesn't give a shit about global warming...I would just like to see less smoke in the air, so I think I come down on the side of the scientists. My real concern is Resource Wars resulting from climate change, such as you are finding in Darfur. And I do have to admit to a desire to be a friend to the Earth.
My hero is Stewart Brand. You might remember him, he invented and published the "Whole Earth Catalogue" back in the '60s. He was the original hippie! He has always stepped to a different drummer. Nobody every said he was stupid, but he sometimes seems to be in the business of pissing off as many people as possible.
I even found a talk by him in the TED site.....again, its only 20 minutes. I think you might find him to be breath of fresh air. Whenever I get depressed, I find something that Stewart wrote somewhere, sometime, and realize that I am not powerless to change anything. Treat yourself to a most refreshing lecture, ignore the Al Gores of the world, and watch a talk by a genuine human being....Stewart Brand. This lecture is the one that got him into so much trouble with the environmental movement....so there is more here than meets the eye.
Let me know your thoughts on this.