Kate asked “what it would take to convince me of global warming?” I think I've been frustrating others by appearing stubborn about this issue, when really I'm not willing to accept much of anything as truth.
I take about 10 pills a day... various vitamins and supplements. Do I believe in these pills? No. Would I know the difference if I didn't take one of them? Probably not. Some are those that my doctor or nutritionist recommended. Do I trust them? Not really. I think they read some study or studies that indicated my health and/or longevity would be increased if I took these. I'm aware that these pills are changing fashions. What one decade recommends another condemns. And I take the pills because my best guess is that it might be of benefit.
And so it is with global warming. Right now, the majority of scientists seem to agree that our planet is warming up, and that man (and woman) caused that warming. I'm aware of multiple instances where scientists agreed and then found that the holy grail was false. I'll accept very little, if anything, as “truth.”
At the same time, I see inaction as an action. Staying still is a movement. We must do something, so we make our best guess. We are driving on a road, and we assume that there is not a giant pothole when we go around the bend. Are we sure? No. Do we slow down? Probably not.
We have plenty of indications that we are not living in a sustainable manner. We throw our trash out of our car, and then we notice that the highways are unsightly. So we change our behavior, seeing the effect of our actions.
In a very complex and interrelated planet, we don't know what causes what. Was it a butterfly flapping its wing, or Mrs. O'Leary's cow that started the fire? Is there really a fire?
We make our best guess, and take those pills. Are we right? I'm not sure. Do we act? Yes.