Last Summer I saw Thomas Friedman speak. He was flogging his book, Hot, Flat and Crowded. He has gone around the bend. He seems thoroughly convinced that global warming is the most important topic today, or, at least, that it is the right way to sell books and speaking engagements. He said at one point, "I'll bet anyone in the room that in July 2013 I'll be able to sail through the North Pole without hitting a speck of ice." This change in four years? This beggars reality. I'd really like to take him up on his bet.
Accurate Reality: The world may be warming. The data we base this estimated fact upon is not very complete, fulsome, or well gathered. The models we base the forward forecasts of temperature upon are horribly simplistic and unproven. And if it is true that the world may be warming, and that the data is accurate and useful, and that the models we are using don't contain too much modelling error or bias and that they are useful in predicting which factors, such as Carbon Dioxide, are contributing to their modelled change in temperature, then, there may be disastrous consequences if our imagination of the impact of the temperature change on the earth's systems is accurate. If all of this lines up, then it may be worth wrecking our economy by taking drastic actions. Call me a skeptic.
In any case, no one is going to sail through the North Pole in the absence of ice in three years.