The crucial question has always been: what is climate sensitivity?
How much warming do we get for a doubling of greenhouse gases?
Matt Ridley tells that it might be a lot less than currently thought:
In short: We can now estimate, based on observations, how sensitive the temperature is to carbon dioxide. We do not need to rely heavily on unproven models. Comparing the trend in global temperature over the past 100-150 years with the change in “radiative forcing” (heating or cooling power) from carbon dioxide, aerosols and other sources, minus ocean heat uptake, can now give a good estimate of climate sensitivity.
The conclusion—taking the best observational estimates of the change in decadal-average global temperature between 1871-80 and 2002-11, and of the corresponding changes in forcing and ocean heat uptake—is this: A doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C (2.9°-3.1°F).
If true (willing to believe it but it’s an important enough question that I’d need more than just Matt’s word for it) then we can all go back to sleep then. The whole thing just isn’t a problem.
Which would be nice, wouldn’t it?