What if you took some high-resolution video footage of flooding, a few highly-massaged statistical
graphs, some more video of glacial calving, some demonstrably false climate history, a few before-and-after photos of melting glaciers on Kilimanjaro, yet more video, this time of Hurricane Katrina’s wrath in New Orleans, and ran it all through a world-class PowerPoint presentation, what would you get? If you said, “The death of innocent children in the Third World and continued dominance by the First World,” you get an A+.
For Al Gore, I am sorry to say, well-intentioned or no, has somehow convinced people that weather is a terrifying bogeyman. The film “An Inconvenient Truth,” and the amazingly manipulative PowerPoint presentation it showcases, is riddled with profound inaccuracies and distortions, a few of which I’ll detail below. More than that, Gore’s presentation is a deliberate manipulation of trusting and good people to achieve what I consider to be sinister political ends. It simply could not have been made at the tail end of a 30-year period of cooling such as the one we’re entering — with the switchover of the powerful Pacific Ocean cycle, the PDO.
Just a few falsehoods from the film: 1) Antarctica shows evidence of widespread glacial melt. No, the Antarctic Peninsula has some limited glacial calving, which is the nature of glaciers exposed to sea currents and the relative warmth of the Peninsula jutting up from the Antarctic mainland. Like the North Pole, the whole of Antarctica has been ice free many times in the past. Antarctica was populated by dinosaurs, who were not able to live there because of C02 or human-caused warming.
2) The ice-core record shows causality between elevated C02 and temperature increases. No, the ice core record shows an 800-year lag between temperature increases and the C02 increases that follow them. Cause and effect are inverted in Mr. Gore’s film, and even his fellow alarmists now acknowledge that the past episodes of warming were not initially caused by C02. They argue that the warmings were “continued” by C02. That is disputable, and it is a very different thing from the version sold to the public.
3) The melting of Kilimanjaro’s snow is evidence, in and of itself, of manmade global warming. No, there has been no increases in the number of days above freezing where Kilimanjaro’s glaciers used to be. What HAS happened is that the tropical rainforest encircling the great mountain has been chopped down, lowering humidity in the near atmosphere. The snows of Kilimanjaro have not melted, they have sublimated into exceedingly dry air — as the number of days with snowfall has dwindled due to the same deforestation.
These are but a few of the many, many points requiring correction from Mr. Gore’s “proof” of man’s role in putting the planet in jeopardy. One last correction for today: A variety of studies have been done disproving any connection between global warming and the number or intensity of hurricanes. A quote from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.”
Well, so what, one might respond. So what if Al Gore wants to scare people out of their britches about climate? Unfortunately, Gore’s sales pitch for unmitigated horror does have real-world effects, and the effects are not good. Carbon trading among nations works like this: Signatories of the Kyoto
Protocol honor their commitments not to pollute past a given level by purchasing “pollution credits,” a.k.a. carbon credits from countries in the developing world. Translation: Malawi — with nearly all of its population living in the dark when the sun sets, cooking and heating with charcoal (if they’re lucky enough to get it), and seeing its children die in astronomical numbers for lack of health care and proper nutrition — sells its right to emit carbon dioxide (hey, there’s no national electric grid, so what’s the big deal?) to the United States, or France, or England. One result of this exchange is a worldwide timeout at a stage in the game when the First World has an extraordinary quantity of riches (including abundant energy and clean water) and the Third World is in desperate need of development.
You cannot say you are in favor of international carbon trading and are down with the people. Even if we were in a true climate crisis, which we are not, to restrain development in the Third World, when it means the perpetuation of these kinds of inequities, is no solution. It is chilling self-interest on the part of Western elites.