I'd like to thank George for the previous post, highlighting the report, "The Global Warming Review," and would like to post some pertinent excerpts from it, along with its conclusions, which I find both to be highly illuminating.
From the Review:
A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth's weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.
In 1957, Revelle and Seuss (69) estimated that temperature-caused out-gassing of ocean CO2 would increase atmospheric CO2 by about 7% per °C temperature rise. The reported change during the seven interglacials of the 650,000-year ice core record is about 5% per °C (63), which agrees with the out-gassing calculation.
Between 1900 and 2006, Antarctic CO2 increased 30% per 0.1 °C temperature change (72), and world CO2 increased 30% per 0.5 °C. In addition to ocean out-gassing, CO2 from human use of hydrocarbons is a new source. Neither this new source nor the older natural CO2 sources are causing atmospheric temperature to change.
The hypothesis that the CO2 rise during the interglacials caused the temperature to rise requires an increase of about 6 °C per 30% rise in CO2 as seen in the ice core record. If this hypothesis were correct, Earth temperatures would have risen about 6 °C between 1900 and 2006, rather than the rise of between 0.1 °C and 0.5 °C, which actually occurred.
The 650,000-year ice-core record does not, therefore, agree with the hypothesis of "human-caused global warming," and, in fact, provides empirical evidence that invalidates this hypothesis.
There are no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in human hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavorable changes in global temperatures, weather, or landscape. There is no reason to limit human production of CO2, CH4, and other minor greenhouse gases as has been proposed (82,83,97,123).
We also need not worry about environmental calamities even if the current natural warming trend continues. The Earth has been much warmer during the past 3,000 years without catastrophic effects. Warmer weather extends growing seasons and generally improves the habitability of colder regions.
As coal, oil, and natural gas are used to feed and lift from poverty vast numbers of people across the globe, more CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. This will help to maintain and improve the health, longevity, prosperity, and productivity of all people.
The United States and other countries need to produce more energy, not less. The most practical, economical, and environmentally sound methods available are hydrocarbon and nuclear technologies.
Human use of coal, oil, and natural gas has not harmfully warmed the Earth, and the extrapolation of current trends shows that it will not do so in the foreseeable future. The CO2 produced does, however, accelerate the growth rates of plants and also permits plants to grow in drier regions. Animal life, which depends upon plants, also flourishes, and the diversity of plant and animal life is increased.
Human activities are producing part of the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere. Mankind is moving the carbon in coal, oil, and natural gas from below ground to the atmosphere, where it is available for conversion into living things. We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of this CO2 increase. Our children will therefore enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed.