If I ran a community newspaper, I would reprint Stephen Wilde's article in it's entirety on the front page. I would then take credit for breaking the “news” followed by trumpeting a commitment to bringing the truth to the public while also advocating good stewardship of the environment.
Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality: The greenhouse effect, as a whole, may smooth out rises and falls in temperature from other causes but is not itself the determining factor for global temperature. If the heat from the sun declines the global temperature will fall with or without any greenhouse effect and if the heat from the sun increases the global temperature will, of course, rise. The greenhouse effect does not create new heat. All it does is increase the residence time of heat in the atmosphere.
It seems so complex but the global heat balance only comes down to three parameters that swamp all others. Heat from the sun. The fact that 70% of the planet is water covered. Heat, radiating out to a very cold Space.
The planet cannot maintain and does not maintain a constant temperature. It is not even possible to identify a specific current temperature for the whole planet and for present purposes there is no need to do so. All I need to assert at this point is that whatever the Earth’s temperature is at any given moment it will always be in the process of warming or cooling and, of course, the rate of that warming or cooling is highly variable.
The fact is that the solar effect is huge and overwhelming. Other influences can only ever delay or bring forward what would have happened anyway because of the time scales involved with solar changes that tend to develop and intensify over centuries. One must also remember that, the warmer the Earth gets, the faster the radiation of heat to Space because of an enhanced temperature differential so it would be false to propose an ever increasing positive differential as a result of adding any warming effect of man made CO2 to the effect of solar changes.
In any event, since cooling is worse than warming for humanity and most life on the planet, our production of CO2, however large in our puny terms, would be wholly beneficial for life on Earth. CO2 is the least of our problems so our attention and resources should be better directed to a more general concept of sustainability.