To be honest, I am sick and tired of this "one side vs. the other side" part of this issue. This should be a scientific enquiry, not a political debate.
To that end, I am on neither "side." But what really sticks in my craw is that the constant misrepresentation, lying, obfuscation, cherry-picking and vitriol from both sides leaves me with little information on which I can rely as facts to evaluate. It leaves me with not knowing what the truth is, which really annoys me.
Here is what I do "know:"
There have been natural cycles of changing weather througout the history of this planet, from hot house to ice age. Geologic studies, ice core evaluations and fossil records all seem to confirm that there have been wide natural swings.
Since the Industrial Revolution, man has been putting increasing amounts of certain chemicals into the air and water. This is simple enough, before factories there was no factory waste. Before automobiles there was no pollution from automobiles. Before man, there was nothing man-made.
There must be a saturation point where these chemicals can actually start to effect climate. If you continue to put salt into a glass of water, it will dissolve to point of saturation, then no longer dissolve. The earth's air, land and water will absorb the pollutants we throw at it, but only to a point.
We may not have sufficient data to determine any trend. While we can look at the historical records, our scientific ability to measure them, and the differences of man-made effects are of such short relative duration that there may not be enough fo a conclusion. We can measure millions of years of this planet's history, yet our significant industrial footprint lasted for only a couple of hundred years.
I believe these to be common-sense observations about our world. Yet, one side or the other will promote of deny one or more of these to continue an argument.
The net result is that we are all uninformed. We cannot separate fact from agenda. And the worst part is that it leads us to believe that all science is "negotiable." For the centuries that man has moved forward with objective observations of the universe, for the advances in scientific method and practical results from Galileo to Einstein, we now risk the value of science itself.
It is time that we, meaning all of us, take a long hard look at what we argue as politics when in fact should be a formal scientific matter. Not liking what the results might be is no excuse for turning science into politics.