|photo from Purple Phoenix on flickr|
A friend of mine, in fact, has invoked this same idea to me: that climate change is some sort of natural artifact. This is the equivalent of saying that what is happening is caused by magic.
The problem with this, of course, is that when you ask what this "natural force" is, they cannot name it. Sometimes they will claim it's the sun or, more crazily, cosmic rays or something. But all of the other potential forcings have been dismissed as reasonable scientific explanations for the c. 1.0C rise in temperature that has occurred over the last 100 years or so. In fact, the most plausible explanation--and the only one that stands up to scrutiny--is that the excess greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, combined with land-use changes, is the culprit.
Here's the magic analogy:
Cue climate change. The world is getting warmer and the climate scientists show the people how it is happening. It's not magic, it's the excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causing the atmosphere and the oceans to hold more heat. My friend, who claims "natural forces," is the same as the friend in the tale above. He refuses to believe the plausible explanation and hangs dearly onto the "magic" explanation.
It seems so silly in the story of the magic show. It's just as silly in the climate change debate. When someone claims "natural forces" are changing the climate, just substitute the word "magic."