Thursday, May 25, 2006

A truth that's inconvenient

"An Inconvenient Truth" debuts this weekend around the world. It's Al Gore's fabulous political platform to preach about anthro-centric global warming.

In an article written for, Dr. Robert Balling suggests that we keep in mind certain things while watching this paean to environmentalism. For example:
You will certainly not be surprised to see Katrina, other hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, and many types of severe weather events linked by Gore to global warming. However, if one took the time to read the downloadable "Summary for Policymakers" in the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one would learn that "No systematic changes in the frequency of tornadoes, thunder days, or hail events are evident in the limited areas analysed" and that "Changes globally in tropical and extra-tropical storm intensity and frequency are dominated by inter-decadal and multi-decadal variations, with no significant trends evident over the 20th century."

Another of Dr. Balling's points bears highlighting:
Near the beginning of the film, Gore pays respects to his Harvard mentor and inspiration, Dr. Roger Revelle. Gore praises Revelle for his discovery that atmospheric CO2 levels were rising and could potentially contribute to higher temperatures at a global scale. There is no mention of Revelle's article published in the early 1990s concluding that the science is "too uncertain to justify drastic action." (S.F. Singer, C. Starr, and R. Revelle, "What to do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap." Cosmos 1 (1993) 28-33.)

For me the most interesting tidbit came at the end of Dr. Balling's article:
Throughout the film Gore displays his passion for the global warming issue, and it is obvious that he has dedicated a substantial amount of time to learning about climate change and the greenhouse effect. This leads to an obvious question. The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated in December of 1997 giving the Clinton-Gore administration more than three years to present the Protocol to the United States Senate for ratification. Given Gore's position in the senate and his knowledge and passion for global warming, one must wonder why then Vice President Gore did not seize on what appears to have been an opportunity of a lifetime?

I will certainly see "An Inconvenient Truth" and I'll try to remember that it wasn't scripted by Whitley Streiber and Art Bell. I promise.

No comments: