You have misstated the issue, the issue is not if the earth is warming, it is, but what, if any, does mans activities influence this, and in any event, is a warning earth a bad thing.
Again your statement ""I have yet to see a reputable atmospheric scientist outside the pay of conservative think tanks" Then you have not looked too hard, if you looked at all.
First, there is no consensus in the scientific community with respect to either of the issues: does mans activities influence this, and in any event, is a warning earth a bad thing.
Even Gore does not suggest there is a consensus: Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists "don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence" one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists "don't know. . . . They just don't know." http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=1
Just this summer we had the Manhattan Declaration: http://theclimatebet.com/2008/04/22/manha
http://www.petitionproject.org/ (30,000 + American scientists have lent their names to a document that questions the "man caused" conclusions drawn by the IPCC).
The point I am attempting to make here is that there are many credible scientists, not working for conservative think tanks who disagree. Further suggesting that scientists working for conservative think tanks would be any less objective and true to the scientific method than those scientists working for, say, IPCC, can be objective given the source of their research funds, reveals your political prejudice.
Politics, which is at the base of this debate.