That's the well-known view of Dr. John Christy, a University of Alabama in Huntsville climate scientist, and Christy spelled out the "whys" and "why nots" of his perspective Tuesday to the Huntsville Rotary Club.
"Consensus is not science," Christy began, quoting the late author Michael Crichton.
Christy, the state climatologist, is well-known in the global warming debate. He has testified before Congress many times and was an unpaid expert witness for the automobile industry in a federal lawsuit against fleet mileage requirements.
Here's Christy's basic argument:
* The data being used to predict catastrophic warming is suspect.
* Models generated from that data "overstate the warming" actually taking place. The earth is warming, but not that much, and it has warmed and cooled for eons.
* The Earth's atmosphere is nowhere near as sensitive to carbon dioxide as some environmentalists believe.
* Any "solution" to perceived global warming must balance the growing worldwide demand for energy against cutting carbon dioxide output.
Fleet mileage requirements now proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency "would reduce global temperatures by about 1/100th of a degree," Christy said.
You would need to replace 1,000 coal-fired power plants with 1,000 nuclear plants to change global climate even .15 of a degree, he said.
"This is the scale (of global climate) we are talking about," Christy said.
* One cost of mandating harsh energy controls is the migration of industry to areas where requirements are less, Christy said.
In his talk, Christy also took aim at several other widely discussed pronouncements.
* Temperatures in the Arctic have increased over the last 100 years, he agreed, but that's only because 100 years ago "was the coldest it's been in a long time."
* Arctic ice has melted, but ice has grown in Antarctica. Between the two, there's about as much ice as always.
* There are more polar bears now, not fewer. Canada issues 800 bear-hunting permits each year, he pointed out.
* Temperatures may be warmer in Greenland, but scientific experiments with ice fields show "that 4,000 years ago, it was warmer in Greenland than it is today.
"Greenland did not melt," Christy said.
Why is the apocalyptic view of climate change so widespread?
"Funding comes if you have an alarming story," Christy said.
He also cited "group think" and said scientists revel in the attention their views about climate brings."It's almost a drug," Christy said.