That certainly is a legitimate question. In fact, it\’s a question that a number of climate scientists have answered.
The question is based on the fact that a few recent studies have concluded that the sensitivity of the Earth\’s climate to the increased greenhouse effect may be slightly less than previous best estimates, based on the recent slowed surface warming (for a basic primer on climate sensitivity, see my previous entry here). There are reasons to be skeptical of this conclusion, but it\’s certainly a possibility. If true, would that mean governments should pause or slow down their efforts to decarbonize the economy, as Neil asks?
The authors of these studies (e.g. Myles Allen, Piers Forster, and Alexander Otto) all seem to agree, the answer is no.
I don\’t go to economists to ask about hydrological cycles, the role of soil in carbon capture nor even the measurement of temperatures.
Similarly, I don\’t go to those who measure temperatures, study the soil or the water cycle, for information on matters economic.
Whether there is climate change or not is properly a question for climate scientists. What we do about it if there is is an economic question and one best answered by economists. Tol, Nordhaus, Weizman, even Stern, are the people to inform our actions, not the people with slide rules and pocket protectors.