It looks mighty confusing out there to me. People I know and trust are on both sides of the issue. It seems pretty clear to me that lots of glaciers in some parts of the world are receding. At the same time there are other parts of the world where there is some ice build-up. And year-to-year fluctuations seriously mask the long-term trends, if there are any.
Apparently measures of global temperature are better now than they were a decade or two ago when they were rising in part because of urban sprawl reaching the weather stations and leading to artificially higher temperatures. And apparently these revised measures are not showing much of an increase over the past decade or so.
I really don't know what to think. Add to this confusion, the possibility that whatever temperature increases we might be experiencing are somehow related to sunspot and solar storm activity. The upshot may well be that temperatures are rising, somewhat, and that some of this might be due to human activity. But I have no idea if or how much any of this is going on. One thing for sure (at least in my mind): it is not "settled science."
And then bring in the economists who point out that there are benefits to some people if there is global warming and that for those harmed by global warming, it might be more efficient to deal with it than to try to prevent it.
Here is more in a recent piece by Matt Ridley in the WSJ:
The scientists at the IPCC next year have to choose whether they will admit—contrary to what complex, unverifiable computer models indicate—that the observational evidence now points toward lukewarm temperature change with no net harm. On behalf of all those poor people whose lives are being ruined by high food and energy prices caused by the diversion of corn to biofuel and the subsidizing of renewable energy driven by carboncrats and their crony-capitalist friends, one can only hope the scientists will do so.
In the article, Ridley does seem to be saying at one point that global temperatures may in fact be rising, but very slowly. Other times he points out that they may not have risen much, if at all, during the past decade or two.
The big take-away from the article is that subsidized alternative and bio fuels are costing the economy a whole lot, are a classic example of rent-seeking and cronyism, and are terribly inefficient for dealing with global warming.