Settled: Carbon Dioxide Causes the Atmosphere to Trap Heat

In testimony to Congress about global warming, Al Gore declared that "the science is settled" and he was right.  The fact that CO₂ heats the atmosphere absolutely is settled science.  The fact that the amount of CO₂ that humans have already emitted is causing warming at an unprecedented rate is also settled, and the longer we continue emitting CO₂ the worse it will get.
The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth's atmosphere.

Gore said that if left unchecked, global warming could lead to a drastic change in the weather, sea levels and other aspects of the environment. And he pointed out that these conclusions are not his, but those of a vast majority of scientists who study the issue.

Members of the committee, Democrats and Republicans alike, listened very carefully to Gore, as they seemed to take to heart his final message: that in a few years this whole debate will look very different.

"This is not a partisan issue, this is a moral issue," Gore said. "And our children are going to be demanding this."
Right again. We are.

This website exists to demand national policies that are based on scientific fact, not corporate lies. That requires examining all three subjects:
  1. The scientific facts of climate science
  2. Corporate lies about climate science
  3. United States and international energy policy and whether national energy policy is being set by:

Regarding scientific facts, climate science deniers like to claim that
 "nothing in science is ever settled" just because there is always more to learn. Incorrect. This is not a new or unique error in pseudo-intellectual "thinking" about how the scientific method works. Master sci-fi author and accomplished scientist Isaac Asimov dealt with this misunderstanding of science in 1989, and revealed the fallacy of this climate denialist meme as well as anybody ever has in his essay The Relativity of Wrong.

The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong...

My answer to him was, "John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."


Now, back to climate science. It's called the Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory with a capital "T" by climatologists because it is a Scientific Theory, not a mere hypothesis, not "just a theory" as the climate deniers like to say. In science, the saying "it works in theory is redundant" because a model only graduates to the status of Theory after it has proven to work. The fact of statistically significant warming since 1975, caused by humans is the consensus of 98% of qualified professionals.  The same peer-reviewed study also shows that the 2% who disagree are the least competent in the field of climate science.

A Scientific Theory is a conceptual framework that explains many facts.

  • Quantum Theory

  • Relativity Theory

  • Gravitational Theory

  • Electromagnetic Theory

  • Atomic Theory

  • Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory

Each of those Theories encompass and explain many facts, and make correct predictions about how physical reality operates.  Kepler's Law, for example, is part of Gravitational Theory dealing with planetary orbits.  It is only one of the many facts which comprise Gravitational Theory.  The factual basis of Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory is the proven fact that increasing carbon dioxide concentration has a warming effect.  Another part of the Theory is the fact that water vapor amplifies the warming effect of CO₂.

So in general, on Internet forums, radio talk shows or any other place you might talk about climate science, anybody is free to question whether something is true just as you're free to demand evidence for anything that they claim, and everybody is free to choose who to believe based on who can provide satisfactory evidence.  

But when anybody claims that scientists can never use the word "fact" or that nothing in science is ever settled, they're wrong.  And if they're on television, a professional spokesperson being interviewed or a member of Congress, they know better.  Professional scientists and "think" tank science analysts know about Gravitational Theory and they know that it's settled and they know that Anthropogenic Climate Change Theory is settled too, so when they claim "nothing in science can ever be settled" they're simply lying.  So are members of Congress, when they pretend to believe the absurd.  They have staffers, and budgets, and the ability to learn as much of the truth as they decide to try to learn.  Most of them just prefer to "know" what their corporate overlords tell them, because it's easier than dealing with the facts.