I’m of a mixed mind, and that’s approaching this as a statistician and an economist.
I’ve always been shaky on global warming because our observation period has always been too short - 100 years is really not sufficient to model the longer-term trends in warming and cooling that do occur on earth. If we applied the same window to the start of the 14th century and used the same mechanics to forecast temperatures in the 15th century, we’d conclude a cooling trend would lead to continued crop failures due to lack of warm summers in the Northern Hemisphere.
A more technical concern is that we tend to over-rely upon linear modeling when we know it’s a poor fit for the purposes of prediction. I see that in all fields, not just climate change.
A better description for climate change needs to be one of looking for increasing volatility in temperatures - air and water, not just one or the other - rather than actual observation of the temperature itself. This is because, if I’m understanding the models correctly, global warming isn’t supposed to just be a simple linear increase in temperatures over time, but rather an increasing volatility due to the higher energy trapped (the “warming” part) playing out effects upon the dynamic climate systems of our planet, so that we’ll not only see increasing water temperatures but also decreases in temperatures (as with the unexpected peak of Antarctic ice currently) that are localized in time and place. To my knowledge, climate researchers do not explore volatility in temperatures nearly as much as they explore linear trends, and volatility of time series tends to remain a topic for financial engineers and analysts, which is where many of the time series analysis techniques were developed.
So I’m not ready to say that global warming is ended because we’re seeing a drop, nor am I ready to say that it’s going to proceed and this year is just an anomaly.
The economist in me realizes that we still should proceed cautiously for a number of reasons and use our resources more conservatively than we currently do. it’s not just for global warming reasons that we should continue to explore green energy - it would also mean less complicated foreign relations and allow for economic growth to be unstalled by oil price shocks, for example. Same with water use and recycling - we dont’ see it in the US where we have sufficient water supplies, but in many parts fo the world water is a key reason for conflicts to develop.
Not to mention our call to stewardship, as Christians and as a generation that hopes to pass along a better world to the next generation.
What we cannot allow global warming to do is give excuse for mandatory population control measures, nor excuse lack of accountability for public investment in green energy (the technology really isn’t ready yet and should not have been a reason to risk tax monies), nor give license for radical solutions that may cause more harm than good. Rather it should be cause to consider more efficient use of resources and re-evaluate production and energy processes.