The problem lies in the difference between what scientists actually publish and what politicians and "interested parties" claim.
Reliable data on worldwide temps has been available from the 1970's on, and that's all satellite data. Prior to that, any data is suspect. Much of the ground based data is highly suspect even now, because many/most of the little data gathering units are improperly placed. There have been audits of the placement and problems with the data units, many are too close to buildings (buildings are warmer in the winter) and many more have problems with insect invasions or dirt on the instruments, etc.
The reliable (satellite) data says we've been in a general warming trend since it was first gathered. That's just a fact. This trend is not some absolute straight line, it varies up and down year over year, the trend is established by least mean square averaging, same as the trends in the stock market or the GDP over time.
Data before 1850 or so is estimated. Accuracy of this data is suspect, however, there is no reason I'm aware of to believe it has a bias established over time that would cause older data to show lower temps than newer data. IOW, yes, it's accurate to within 2% or 5% or what have you, but it's inaccuracy is random, not somehow biased to lower temps the older it is.
And those are the facts. The general warming trend is supported by the increased melting in the Arctic, and in the Antarctic. Nearly 30 years ago, the flat statement was made that several of the Antarctic ice shelves would break up if warming trends did not reverse. The trend did not reverse, and they did indeed break up. It is a basic principle of the scientific method that a theory that makes a successful prediction must be accepted as more valid than theories that did not make this prediction, therefore, I am forced to either abandon the scientific method (for what?) or accept this trend for higher temps in the polar regions as fact.
And those are the facts.
The percentage of this warming due to solar variability, the percentage due to human activity, and the percentage due to unknown causes are all highly disputable. The CO2 causing warming theory has some problems, fairly serious ones in my opinion (though I've not calculated anything to do with atmospherics on any planet for a good 35 years, so that's just an educated opinion, not an expert opinion). That said, some of the alternative stuff is simply off the wall, such as the paper that was published claiming high altitude generation of cosmic ray tracks was causing enough mist at that altitude to cause reflection of heat back to the surface. The total energy input of cosmic rays is about equal to that of starlight. I'm just not going further with that.
And few to none of the published papers give any account of the dark particles human activity put into the low atmosphere. A few have mentioned diesel soot particles, which is good and certainly a contributer to warming trends, but I've seen nothing mentioning the studies on coal micro flaking (a total of about 3-4% of all coal mined is lost in transit between minehead and furnace due to coal flaking off the surface as it dries - these flakes are nano sized particles that are nearly collidal in air and don't even start to settle out for over fifty miles - the study on that was done by one of the agencies involved in mining or transportation and published about 1990 - as you can imagine it was a bone of contention in the coal fields for many years as to where a billion tons of coal per year were going) and hundreds of millions of tons of black particles downwind of every coal mine and rail line HAVE to have an effect, but nobody is adding that into calculations about why the lower atmosphere is warmer. At least I can't find it, and I've looked.
Now, from the above, we get the current panic that "the end is near". As I said earlier, I'm not panicked, because the panic is far larger than anything we could muster to support this kind of reaction. Moreover, again, it's just not that hard to control the incoming sunlight, surely some country would say "enough" and take action to do just that if we started having constant category five hurricanes. Or, as John has pointed out, the machines that control things will do so in thirty years or so (very likely as part of an orbital solar power generation program, IMHO).
So we get interesting things like a scientist confronting Gore immediately after a panicked statement saying "I never made any prediction like that", and similar items. And Gore is identified in the public mind as a "global warming scientist" for heavens sake. He's a (former) politician with an interest in the matter, but he doesn't know even as much as I do about atmospherics, and most of the panickers know even less.
Yeah, the conference was a farce.
But then, the notion that we've got an infinite garbage sink in the atmosphere is pretty obviously farcial as well. And so it goes, on planet Earth.