"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures," Dr Gray said.
I've heard this line of argument before with people that question things like global warming. The earth and atmosphere are so vast, little ole man can hardly impact such a monstrosity. That viewpoint extends to issues like forest management, fisheries, urban sprawl, etc. The tension seems to fall between the idea of a fragile planet and a hearty rock that can be exploited, with minimal impact.
I subscribe to the notion that man has reached the point of critical mass, wherein its presence is so overwhelming that it many ways, its thirst is bigger than the capacity of the planet to absorb. A simple image, demonstrates that it isn't alarmist to believe that we can influence the natural balance:
People like Dr. Gray understate the impact of man, with no acknowledgement of consequence. The days of man, the benign player are over, no matter what the subject, you can see that as a collective, we yield great power to alter. Why are we so ignorant to assume that the earth is able to operate in a unilateral way, outside of our activities? I think people like Dr. Gray give the earth too much credit. In my mind the more we learn, the smaller and more susceptible the earth appears each day.