"It’s all a game of odds. We’ve never been here before. We just know two things: one, the CO2 we put into the atmosphere stays there for many years, so it is “irreversible” in real-time (barring some feat of geo-engineering); and two, that CO2 build-up has the potential to unleash “catastrophic” warming.
When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring and is 'irreversible' and potentially 'catastrophic,' I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about." —Thomas L. Friedman
The National Academy of Sciences is the "Supreme Court" for science. Honest Abe created it 150 years ago to summarize "state of the art" scientific knowledge and advise Congress and the White House. It's been doing this every year since, under every administration.
Renewables too expensive? Navy Secy. Mabus: "Every new technology is more expensive. What if we hadn’t started using computers because they were more expensive than typewriters? What if we hadn't started using cell phones because they were more expensive than land lines? Where would we be?"
Mitigation costs too much? This is like saying 'fixing the dodgy brakes on my car costs too much, so I'm going to ignore the problem.' The consequence will likely be a wrecked car, and you in hospital, broke and suffering. Mitigation is expensive, but not doing it will be far more so.
A school bus goes up a hill, then down. The hilltop is the tipping point. Earth is the bus, but with no driver, just quarreling teenagers, called governments. And no brakes.
"The evidence for climate change is not a house of cards, where you take one piece out and the whole theory falls apart. It's more like a mountain. Scrape a handful of pebbles off the top, but the mountain is still there."
Some skeptics view climate science as a house of cards. You pull one card from the bottom and the whole thing collapses. But science is more like a jigsaw puzzle, assembled piece by piece over decades of research. Gradually, the overall picture emerges, until it's unmistakable. Remaining gaps or even a few misplaced pieces don't change the overall picture.
"If 98 doctors say my son is ill and needs medication and two say, 'No, he doesn't, he is fine,' I will go with the ninety-seven. It's common sense - the same with global warming. We go with the majority, the large majority." -- former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
"...History will not judge us by how much economic growth we achieve in the immediate years ahead, nor by how much we expand material consumption, but by the legacy we leave for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. We are consuming what is rightfully theirs by sacrificing long-term progress on the altar of immediate satisfaction and convenience." — HRH The Prince of Wales
"Even small rises in sea level will have very big impact in some places, as storm surges hit coasts. If you raise the floor of a basketball court by just a few inches, you will see many more slam dunks." — Twila Moon, University of Washington
"Just as steroids make the baseball player stronger and increase his chances of hitting home runs, greenhouse gases are the steroids of the climate system, they increase the chances of record breaking heat to occur compared to record breaking cold."—Dr. Gerald Meehl, UCARThis is our future if don't change course, and we're already getting a taste of it....
"Some say, 'Climate is always changing due to natural cycles. So it can't be us doing it.' That's like saying 'People die from natural causes. So there can't be murder!' Any good crime investigator must develop expertise on natural causes of death, so he can distinguish it from foul play. Same with climate scientists." — Dr. Richard Alley
"Over Earth’s history, ocean life has recovered from numerous sudden extinction episodes by adaptation and evolution of new species, but the time scales for extinction and re-population are millions of years, not a few hundred years. Human-driven ocean acidification is affecting the ocean far faster than the Earth’s natural recovery pace can accommodate. Today’s rate of acidification is 10 times faster than anything experienced since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago."
The most credible sources are the "grunts" working on the front lines of research -- drilling the ice cores, taking the measurements, crunching the data, and publishing their findings. Their loudest critics are talking heads, desk jockeys and radio hosts who take "pot shots" at research but have never done it themselves.
The climate system is like a rowboat. It has two stable states. "You can tip and then you’ll just go back. You tip it and just go back. And then you tip it and you get to the other stable state, which is upsihttp://www.climatebites.org/climate-communication-metaphors-and-soundbites/the-consequences-are-bad/abrupt-change/addde down."—Donald Perovich, Army Corps of Engineers.