Very much in the tradition of Hubert Lamb, he makes a plea for much better understanding of natural variation of climate as a pre-condition for being able to assess our impact on it.
He makes a plausible case that the next 10 to 20 years could be decisive in assessing the strength of human impact (via CO2 in particular) and natural variation on glacier and icecap variation.
Another reason to postpone panic over our CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, we have had panic already, and a great deal of consequent suffering and damage to societies around the world, and indeed to the environment thanks to the headlong rush into bio-fuels and wind-turbines. The damage to children who grew up over the last 20 years or so of intense scaremongering directed at them, and an associated promotion of contempt for industrial progress, may be the biggest harm of all. But who can tell? How could this be measured? How might that damage, however extensive, be repaired?
Jim Steele notes that 'the public remains ill-informed and fearful about the causes of retreating ice'. He presents evidence for solar, and oceanic influences being the dominant sources of variation over the past several thousands of years.
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Jim Steele concludes the substance of his presentation with these words: