The UN thinks the doom-and-gloom crowd may protest too much:
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there can be little doubt that humans are responsible for warming the planet, but the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent.
However, the Big Science Show Me the Money Crowd still continues the Chicken Little strut with its scary flamboyant metaphors:
Prof Rick Battarbee, the director of the Environmental Change Research Centre at University College London, warned these masking effects had helped to delay global warming but would lead to larger changes in the future.
He said: "The oceans have been acting like giant storage heaters by trapping heat and carbon dioxide. They might be bit of a time-bomb as they have been masking the real effects of the carbon dioxide we have been releasing into the atmosphere.
"People are very worried about what will happen in 2030 to 2050, as we think that at that point the oceans will no longer be able to absorb the carbon dioxide being emitted. It will be a tipping point and that is why it is now critical to act to counter any acceleration that will occur when this happens."
Yes, the oceans are masking a "time-bomb," says Rick [a nickname on a scientist always means he's eccentric and a bit loony, as is Jimmy Carter for a politician] and about a generation from now, a veritable environmental Godzilla will emerge from the waters to purge and pillage our industrial emitters. And Malcolm Gladwell is trotted out to seal the argument with his tipping-point yadda yadda.
There are still many sane people out there who are not convinced we must all convert immediately to bicycles and nuclear reactors and hydro just yet:
Julian Morris, executive director of the International Policy Network, urged governments to be cautious. "There needs to be better data before billions of pounds are spent on policy measures that may have little impact," he said.
An ironic point of light, as W. H. Auden would put it.