Shortly after Katrina wreaked its havoc along the Gulf coast, climatologists in the U.S. releasesed their forecasts for 2006. Not surprisingly, they foresaw more storms, hurricanes, and devastation. Normally, these news releases go unnoticed by most except those of us who live in the affected zones. That year, however, Al Gore and his global warmists hawked the news as more proof of global warming and man's sin against Earth. This on the heels of what was claimed to be the hottest summer on record in the U.S., and the warmest the Earth had been in 10,000 years.
Usually I don't pay much attention to such alarmists. Like Al, I'm a babyboomer; I've been through the Cold War, M.A.D.(Mutually Assured Destruction), the Domino Theory, Nuclear Winter, and Global 2000. Not to mention Roswell, Conspiracy theories, and what they put in your toothpaste. Unlike Al though, I'm a libertarian, thus prone to distrust politians, authority, experts, and consensus. But that 10,000 years tweaked a neuron. After poring through nearly forty years of memories, I found what I was looking for; Earth Science 101. 10,000 years ago Earth was coming out of an Ice Age. Of course the Earth has been getting warmer. Duh! Did Al miss that class?
Later I heard Al had made a movie, then wrote a book based on the movie,and won an Oscar for the movie. With all the publicity this wannabe was getting I figured maybe it was time I found out what all the noise was about. So I went down to the local library one afternoon and borrowed Al's book, "An Inconvenient Truth"(you didn't seriously think I was going to buy it, did you?).
By suppertime I had finished reading it.
One would expect a tome some 320 odd pages long about "an inconvenient truth " to be a well-reasoned expostion of facts, figures and argument (after all, it's about truth, isn't it?). What one gets is a picture book with sound bites written on an eighth grade reading level, sparse on facts, heavy on misinformation, and full of assertions. There's more pudding than proof in Al's allegations.
In deed, Al tells you more about himself, his family, and his mentor, Prof. Revelle, during his "intermissions" than he does about his "planetary emergency".
I'm sure Al doesn't want to overwhelm his constituents, I mean readers, with a lot of scientific jargon. Nor bore them with the mechanics and complexities of global climate change. After all, his intent is to persuade, not enlighten. And, as any good politician, he knows pictures have more impact than words, and rhetoric more volume than data.
"It's only an island if you look at it from the water." Police Chief Brody, movie, Jaws(1975)
Al begins with images of Earth taken during various space missions and from computer composites. With "voice overs" Al tells how small and fragile our planet is. Compared to what? The Sun? The Universe? No. Compared to us and our ability to survive.
Now, it's important that you believe what he says, or nothing good will come of what he's about to tell you. And, if it sounds strangely familiar it's probably because you're old enough to remember the Club of Rome's "Global 2000", Paul R. Ehrlich's "Population Bomb" or perhaps you may have even heard about Thomas Malthus.
According to Al, we've become so numerous and our technology so powerful that we have "vastly increased" the concentration of CO2 and as a result the Earth is getting "dangerously warmer". To verify his point, on a half page insert, he tells us CO2 makes up 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions(?). That 60% of the methane and 17% of the nitrous oxide are also of our doing; not to mention the gases mother nature supposedly never even heard of . At the end of Al's "What Exactly Are Greenhouse Gases?" insert, almost as a footnote, he tells us water vapor is also a greenhouse gas, but it's natural.
What he doesn't tell: Water vapor makes up about 95% of the total GWP(global warming potential) and is 99.99% natural. When water vapor is factored into the total: CO2 makes up only 3.62%, Methane, 0.36%, N2O, 0.95%, and CFC's, 0.072%. The "huge quantities of human-caused carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases" becomes 1.65% (based on Al's own numbers).
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
As proof that global warming is occurring he shows us pictures of the melting glaciers of Kilimanjaro, Glacier National Park and other places around the world.
What he doesn't tell you: The retreat of the glaciers on Kilamnajaro started around 1880 due to the development of a drier weather pattern and is maintained by solar radiation, not global warming.
The glaciers at Glacier National Park expanded during the Little Ice Age and into the mid 1800's when the climate began to warm (before manmade CO2 levels began to rise).
Similarly, the other glaciers he laments have also gone through fluxes. After all we're still in an interglacial peroid. What does he expect?
The more one researches Al's claims and accusations, the more one realizes "the inconvenient truth" is what Al left out.
From rising CO2 levels to rising global temperatures and melting glaciers, Al and his coharts demonize manmade CO2. Like Frankenstein's monster, it is inherently evil because it's creator is evil, guilty by the Original Sin.
The irony of it all is that "An Invonvenient Truth" is Al's "Mein Kampf"
Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.
A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.