Is global warming real? Yes. Is global cooling real? Yes. Has human activity in the last 150 years accelerated the rate of warming? Maybe. Has it altered the climate? Probably. Will it mean the end of the Earth? No. Will it mean the end of mankind? Maybe. Has it altered ecological systems with long term damage? Yes. Will the damage be repaired if we stop heating the Earth? Maybe. Are recent receding ice caps and glacier losses due to industrial activity? Probably not. Consider (italics mine):
When Captain George Vancouver sailed the ice-choked water of Icy Strait in 1794, Glacier Bay was little more than a dent in the shoreline. Across the head of the then-minor inlet stood a towering wall of ice, which marked the seaward outlet of an immense glacier that plugged the broad basin of what is today Glacier Bay. In many places the ice mantle was more than 4000 feet thick. John Muir, noted naturalist and explorer, discovered that by the time of his canoe trek into the bay in 1879, the ice front had retreated almost 50 miles, and a tall spruce and hemlock forest had begun to take its place at higher elevations. Tidewaters had invaded the basin and filled the deep, narrow fjords. Nowhere else have glaciers retreated at such a rapid pace.
"The Complete Guide to Cabins & Lodges," Little Brown & Co., G. Zimmermann, 1985, pg. 338.
In the space of 85 years, glaciers nearly a mile thick retreated 50 miles, and this was before any appreciable industrial pollution. Could it be what we witness now is the continuation of that process, a couple of hundred year cycle of glacier growth and decay? Do people, in fact, have the necessary climate facts to make intelligent decisions?
Consider that there's an Ice Age every 13,000 years that lasts for several thousand years. Several thousand years ago the ice sheet spread unbroken from the North Pole to Virginia. We're in the middle of the warm cycle now. Despite what we do, Manhattan will be under 50 feet of ice in a few thousand years.
Does that invalidate any precautionary actions now to maintain the environment? Of course not, but it may not make a whit of difference one way or another. Because we lack facts, prudence is the best option. Will the problem be solved with carbon taxes, enforced consumption reduction, and the like? No. These may lessen the problem, but at what cost? Black Markets? Corrupt governments? Deindustrialization? The only solution to the "environmental crisis" is a reduction of Earth's human population, period. Once that is back in balance, the problem will be nonexistent. Consider this correlation: It took from the beginning of time until 1850 for the world's population to reach 1 billion. That's just the time the West industrializes.......hmmmm I'm guessing we're now living through the top of the population spike, at 6 plus billion, and in our lifetimes we will see it begin to drop as sharply as it increased. Why? How? That's for another post, 'cause I'm nearly out of space to write on this one.