Gore makes a connection

by Bryan Walker on May 9, 2010

If the oil spill is a disaster consider the CO2 spill, writes Al Gore in an article published yesterday in The New Republic.

“Worldwide, the amount of man-made CO2 being spilled every three seconds into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding the planet equals the highest current estimate of the amount of oil spilling from the Macondo well every day. Indeed, the average American coal-fired power generating plant gushes more than three times as much global-warming pollution into the atmosphere each day – and there are over 1,400 of them.”

Global temperatures are rising and the acidity of the sea is increasing as a result. But that’s only a start. These processes have triggered a “cascading set of other impacts.” He lists them:

  • The melting of virtually all the mountain glaciers in the world
  • The prospective disappearance of the North Polar Ice Cap
  • The accelerating melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice masses threatening catastrophic increases in sea level
  • Deeper and longer droughts in mid-continent regions
  • More and larger forest fires
  • The migration of tropical diseases to temperate latitudes
  • An accelerated extinction rate
  • The increased destructive power of tropical storms coming off the ocean
  • Increased large downpours of both rain and snow

He discusses precipitation changes at greater length, noting their effect on subsistence farmers in developing countries in particular.  He draws into the discussion the extraordinary recent report of April rainfall by British scientists working near the North Pole and moves to point to the effects of the rapid warming in the Arctic with its consequences for decrease of albedo and methane release from the thawing of permafrost.

The problems are too easily put out of sight and out of mind.  But inaction means that the truly disastrous consequences become inevitable long before the worst impacts are manifest.

“Our perception of the dangers of the climate crisis therefore relies on our ability to understand and trust the conclusions reached by the most elaborate and impressive scientific assessment in the history of our civilization.

“In other words, rather than relying on visceral responses, we have to draw upon our capacity for reasoning, communicating clearly with one another, forming a global consensus on the basis of science, and making a choice in favor of preventive action on a global scale.”

At this point he launches an attack on the “cynical and lavishly funded disinformation campaign”:

“A number of large carbon polluters, whose business plans rely on their continued ability to freely dump their gaseous waste products into the global atmospheric commons – as if it is an open sewer – have chosen to pursue a determined and highly organized campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the accuracy and integrity of the global scientific community. They have attacked the scientific community by financing pseudo-studies aimed at creating public doubt about peer-reviewed science. They have also manipulated the political and regulatory process with outsized campaign contributions and legions of lobbyists (there are now four anti-climate lobbyists for every single member of the House and Senate).”

This is happening at a time when American democracy has grown sclerotic. (A theme he developed extensively in his book The Assault on Reason, which is well worth reading for a sense of the intellectual depth Gore brings to his analysis.) Money plays a dangerous part in politics.

“Our democratic conversation is now dominated by expensive 30-second television commercials, which consume two-thirds of the campaign budgets of candidates in both political parties. The only reliable source of such large sums of campaign cash is business lobbies.”

Most members of the House and Senate facing competitive election contests have to spend large amounts of time each day asking special interests for money to finance their campaigns. This is the context in which the climate bill is stalled in the Senate.

It’s a dismal picture, but Gore has hopes that the oil spill will give some momentum to the  Senate bill.

“The unpleasant reality now spilling onto the shores of the Gulf Coast is creating public outrage and may also be generating a new opportunity to pass legislation, just as the oil spill 20 years ago from the Exxon Valdez created public momentum sufficient to overcome the anti-environment special interests.”

Let’s hope that is the case, for Gore is fully justified in one of his concluding statements: “Unless we change our present course soon, the future of human civilization will be in dire jeopardy.”

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

rpeo May 9, 2010 at 3:08 am
bill May 9, 2010 at 6:15 am

well, that was succinct!

RW1 May 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Do you have other names, sock puppet?

bill May 9, 2010 at 9:10 am

…and that wasn't! :-)

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:02 am

rpeo
"bunkum"

Yeah, every professional scientific organization in the world and the earth science faculty of every major university in the world, and 99% of climate scientists are fooled by bunkum.

Oh I forgot. There are two such organizations that don't agree with the IPCC.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Canadian Association of Petroleum Geologists (CAPG)

You might want to read "Climate Cover-Up" by James Hoggan to learn what is really going on, who is fooling who, who's paying for it, and how the money trail is hidden to wipe the oil off it.

Or just go to actual climate web sites instead of the denialist sites mostly run by amateurs, like I assume you frequent.
Skeptical Science, Real Climate, Open Mind, Desmogblog etc.
My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:04 am

"Denialists have attempted to call the science into question by writing articles that include fabricated data. They’ve improperly graphed data using tricks to hide evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They chronically misrepresent the careful published work of scientists, distorting all logic and meaning in an organized misinformation campaign. To an uncritical media and gullible non-scientists, this ongoing conflict has had the intended effect: it gives the appearance of a scientific controversy and seems to contradict climate researchers who have stated that the scientific debate over the reality of human-caused climate change is over (statements that have been distorted by denialists to imply the ridiculous claim that in all respects the science is settled)."

That was Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, and a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. you can read the rest of the article here.
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/mann_bites_dog_why_

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:04 am

"Denialists have attempted to call the science into question by writing articles that include fabricated data. They’ve improperly graphed data using tricks to hide evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They chronically misrepresent the careful published work of scientists, distorting all logic and meaning in an organized misinformation campaign. To an uncritical media and gullible non-scientists, this ongoing conflict has had the intended effect: it gives the appearance of a scientific controversy and seems to contradict climate researchers who have stated that the scientific debate over the reality of human-caused climate change is over (statements that have been distorted by denialists to imply the ridiculous claim that in all respects the science is settled)."

That was Mark Boslough, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, and a member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. you can read the rest of the article here.
http://www.csicop.org/si/show/mann_bites_dog_why_

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

"The Global Climate Coalition, an industry-funded group that spent years vehemently contesting any evidence linking anthropogenic activity to climate change, found itself in the uncomfortable position of rejecting its own experts’ recommendations when they reached the inevitable conclusion that the contribution of manmade greenhouse gas emissions to climate change could not be refuted."

"That’s right: even the scientists that these companies had consistently trotted out to discredit the findings of the IPCC could no longer deny the truth when faced with the hard facts. They acknowledged as much in an internal report released in 1995 in which they stated unequivocably that: The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied."

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:06 am

"When confronted with this frank assessment, the leadership of the Global Climate Coalition did the only reasonable thing: drop the offending passages and expunge the report’s existence from the public record."
http://www.desmogblog.com/when-deniers-deny-their
My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

Who do you respect as a source of reliable information? Anthony Watts maybe?
Do you think the following is what someone searching for scientific truth would do?

Watts and D'aleo make it all up with this claim:

"NO WARMING TREND IN THE 351-YEAR CENTRAL ENGLAND TEMPERATURE RECORD"

Open Mind http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/summer-and

and get their heads handed to them by Tamino

Long story short, they left out the 19th century and only used summer data to arrive at their quackery graph.

Go ahead read it. Open Mind blog.
Its not long. I read stuff like this everyday. This is the kind of junk that real science is up against, and what the deniers have half of Americans believing. Tamino is brilliant and debunks this stuff regularly. Unfortunately, the public doesn't see much of that, as it never makes it into the mainstream media. But the junk sure does.
My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:21 am

If you want a running check on whether Watts is saying anything honest and useful to the climate change debate, or whether he is just throwing anything out there to see what sticks, you can go to an alternate universe where the blog, Wotts Up With That, tells it like it is.
http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

Anthony keeps this guy busy, because Watts usually offers up some inanity on a daily basis. Lately he, a layman, is trying to prove that the IPCC, the National Academy of Science, and all the world's polar ice experts are wrong, and the arctic sea ice is actuallu growing. Imagine that. Anthony doesn't seem to understand that ice is three dimensional not two dimensional. Area covered with this iced is not the same as area covered with thick ice. And that is only the beginning of where he goes wrong.
My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:21 am

If you want a running check on whether Watts is saying anything honest and useful to the climate change debate, or whether he is just throwing anything out there to see what sticks, you can go to an alternate universe where the blog, Wotts Up With That, tells it like it is.
http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

Anthony keeps this guy busy, because Watts usually offers up some inanity on a daily basis. Lately he, a layman, is trying to prove that the IPCC, the National Academy of Science, and all the world's polar ice experts are wrong, and the arctic sea ice is actuallu growing. Imagine that. Anthony doesn't seem to understand that ice is three dimensional not two dimensional. Area covered with this iced is not the same as area covered with thick ice. And that is only the beginning of where he goes wrong.
My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:38 am

I can point you to dozens of articles about so called skeptics faking the science to come to invalid conclusions. And when they aren't doing that, they are misrepresenting the work of others, or claiming the IPCC made predictions that they didn't make. As David Archer said "Its dressed up to look like science, but its PR".

On May 25th a new book on this criminal deception concerning climate change will be available.

"Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming" by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway

And for you Aussies, there's Another book by Clive Hamilton of Australia
"Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change"
He outlines the decade-long, coal-industry funded campaign in Australia to deny climate science and its close relationship with then Prime Minister and climate sceptic John Howard.

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:38 am

I can point you to dozens of articles about so called skeptics faking the science to come to invalid conclusions. And when they aren't doing that, they are misrepresenting the work of others, or claiming the IPCC made predictions that they didn't make. As David Archer said "Its dressed up to look like science, but its PR".

On May 25th a new book on this criminal deception concerning climate change will be available.

"Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming" by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway

And for you Aussies, there's Another book by Clive Hamilton of Australia
"Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change"
He outlines the decade-long, coal-industry funded campaign in Australia to deny climate science and its close relationship with then Prime Minister and climate sceptic John Howard.

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:39 am

And there's

"Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate" by Stephan H. Schneider and Tim Flannery

and there's
"The Boiling Point" and "The Heat Is On" by Ross Gelbspan

Yes, the real "scam" is well documented, unlike the fanciful and absurd conspiracy theories of the skeptics, that imagine the entire world scientific community inventing a hoax to create world communism, get more grant money, get rich, sell you green products, take away your SUV,raise your taxes, ruin the economy…..have I covered most of the perceived motives?

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

frflyer May 9, 2010 at 7:39 am

And there's

"Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth's Climate" by Stephan H. Schneider and Tim Flannery

and there's
"The Boiling Point" and "The Heat Is On" by Ross Gelbspan

Yes, the real "scam" is well documented, unlike the fanciful and absurd conspiracy theories of the skeptics, that imagine the entire world scientific community inventing a hoax to create world communism, get more grant money, get rich, sell you green products, take away your SUV,raise your taxes, ruin the economy…..have I covered most of the perceived motives?

My recent post Climate Change and Disinformation

David Cohen May 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Quite an impressive rant from frflyrer.

Does he get the job?

Gareth May 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Outsourcing the debunk is always good… ;)

Doug May 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm

That was like reading a serialised Dickens novel in the 19th C. I just kept looking forward to the next installment.

RW1 May 9, 2010 at 11:47 pm

More please if possible frflyer! Most impressive.

bill May 10, 2010 at 1:40 am

dear frflyer – please understand i was unable to resist the temptation to bookend my 'well, that was succinct' response to rpeo's 'bunkum' (such gravitas!) – i was not intending to discourage you!

David Cohen May 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Of course, it should be mentioned that Gore isn't exactly the kind of guy to let truth get in the way of his argument.

As has been seen by the large number of factual errors in "An Inconvenient Truth" that resulted in a court order in the UK with respect to showing his movie in schools.

But what does Gore care about truth? He has got the carbon market stiched up, just like the ex-Enron cronies that started the scam.

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 1:14 am

You need to consider the factual errors in your comment. Gore's movie was explicitly cleared by the judge for showing in UK schools, with a number of minor clarifications in the teaching notes.

Gore cares a great deal more about the truth than you do, it seems.

bill May 10, 2010 at 1:30 am

Oh, well cut-and-pasted! You're making this very easy…

What Justice Burton actually said about Gore's film was –

"It is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact."

He found that that the major propositions that Gore put forward were overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the world's climate scientists.

On the 'errors' he said –

"Mr. Downes [the denier's lawyer] produced a long schedule of such alleged errors or exaggerations and waxed lyrical in that regard."

Seems like he took them overly seriously, do you think?

The errors he did accept were those that overstated the IPCC 4th Assessment report, which the Judge accepted as the scientific benchmark. Verdict: Gore is mostly right, but gets carried away about the Greenland glaciers and attributing Hurricane Katrina directly to AGW, which no-one can do.

He also compared showing Durkin's 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' to 'balance' Gore's film – as had been suggested by the palintiffs – to showing a movie presenting the hypothesis that the moon was 'made of green cheese' to 'balance' the hypothesis that it isn't!

On the other hand he concluded that Gore's film was appropriate for student viewing, but that the accompanying teacher's notes should be updated to include his IPCC-based criticisms of some of the content.

It is a sad indictment of the continuous triumph of well-funded spin (and its 'empty vessel' echo-chamber) over mere fact that people like you are still running around parading this tired nonsense…

And PS – we already know he's fat!

bill May 10, 2010 at 1:30 am

Oh, well cut-and-pasted! You're making this very easy…

What Justice Burton actually said about Gore's film was –

"It is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact."

He found that that the major propositions that Gore put forward were overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the world's climate scientists.

On the 'errors' he said –

"Mr. Downes [the denier's lawyer] produced a long schedule of such alleged errors or exaggerations and waxed lyrical in that regard."

Seems like he took them overly seriously, do you think?

The errors he did accept were those that overstated the IPCC 4th Assessment report, which the Judge accepted as the scientific benchmark. Verdict: Gore is mostly right, but gets carried away about the Greenland glaciers and attributing Hurricane Katrina directly to AGW, which no-one can do.

He also compared showing Durkin's 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' to 'balance' Gore's film – as had been suggested by the palintiffs – to showing a movie presenting the hypothesis that the moon was 'made of green cheese' to 'balance' the hypothesis that it isn't!

On the other hand he concluded that Gore's film was appropriate for student viewing, but that the accompanying teacher's notes should be updated to include his IPCC-based criticisms of some of the content.

It is a sad indictment of the continuous triumph of well-funded spin (and its 'empty vessel' echo-chamber) over mere fact that people like you are still running around parading this tired nonsense…

And PS – we already know he's fat!

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 1:55 am

Mr Justice Burton identified nine significant errors within the former presidential candidate’s documentary as he assessed whether it should be shown to school children…


In what is a rare judicial ruling on what children can see in the class-room, Mr Justice Barton was at pains to point out that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change..
..
It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film
..
(my emphasis) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/la

Showing political films to schoolchildren is propaganda

Given that Al Gore is already making hundreds of millions out of carbon trading, using propaganda tools against schoolchildren is the probing the absolute depths of immorality.

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 2:15 am

Mr Justice Burton identified nine significant errors

No, he did not. You can read his judgement here. The judge identified nine areas where Gore's presentation departed from the scientific mainstream — which he took to be the IPCC, not the sceptics lined up by those trying to get the film banned from schools. If you can't be bothered reading the whole thing (I did, by the way), Tim Lambert provided an excellent overview at the time. Your Times story is explicitly noted as one report that got it wrong.

What's amazing is the PR spin put on the judgement by the losers — and what's even more amazing is that you are apparently happy to partake in and promote that lie. The propaganda here is not where you seem to think.

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 2:29 am

The errors look pretty clear to me.
The Polar Bear thing, in particular, gets laboured all the time in schools.

It's a great heart-string tugger, because kids love bears and don't like the thought of them drowning.

The fact that there is no evidence of polar bears drowning due to CC and moreover that the population is actually increasing, gets conveniently lost in translation.

So I'll say it again,

Gore is manipulating the minds of children using political propaganda in schools.

He is a two-faced bastard that flies the world in executive jets, owns multiple executives homes and has set up carbon trading where he is set to be the first carbon billionaire.

And all this at the expense of the poor.

This is the essence of immorality

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 2:45 am

Are you condoning propaganda in schools?

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 2:58 am

Gore's film is only "propaganda" if you think that a documentary about a serious problem, firmly based in the science (as the judge found), can be so described. The decision to show the film in British schools was made by the British government, not Gore, so direct your fury at them, not him.

Worth noting that the people who tried to get the film banned from UK schools (and failed in that attempt) wanted to show the "Great Global Warming Swindle" as "balance" — and that film is pure propaganda, packed with deliberate factual inaccuracies.

Do you defend lying to support your argument?

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

Frightening children to support a political view is unacceptable.

Period

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 3:08 am

Do you defend lying to support an argument?

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 3:17 am

I am not defending lying. This is a strawman argument.

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 3:21 am

Then why are you happy to lie about Gore and his film?

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 3:11 am

Political views (of any kind) will not make global warming go away. The politics is in the solution, not the problem.

tomfarmer May 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm

“sclerotic” is pretty good, Bryan. For an instant there I thought it might have been Al’s, but no.. yours, all yours.

And, IYAM, not just American democracy.. these cookies are lard looking for a home.. some being here, too.

So like any surgeon might inquire, any chance of bifurcating them.. prior to warfarin or something.. tho no, preferably not platelet-tacky asparin..

having chosen my metaphors it is possible the DCs and other dotards will assail me with what am I talking about etc.. taken by myself both with a pinch of salt and dose of LOL at their dumbness..

best..

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 5:02 am

And you appear completely unconcerned about lying in public.

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 3:42 am

At what point did I lie about Gore and his film?

Gareth May 10, 2010 at 3:56 am

Asserting (and I quote) \”a large number of factual errors in \”An Inconvenient Truth\”, that he's \”got the carbon market stitched up\”, quoting a Times report containing serious factual innacuracies, stating \” there is no evidence of polar bears drowning due to CC and moreover that the population is actually increasing\” when polar bears are listed as endangered over most of their territory, and only one population is known to be increasing (because of a reduction in hunting), stating \”Gore is manipulating the minds of children using political propaganda in schools\” when UK showings had nothing to do with him. That will do for starters.

The rest of what you have written here is merely intemperate nonsense.

bill May 10, 2010 at 5:13 am

Sorry, David, channeling Lomborg on the Polar Bears won't cut it; the real situation is just as Gareth says.

David Cohen May 10, 2010 at 4:53 am

An intriguing "doublethink" discussion.

Obviously, scaring children with lies about Polar Bears drowning due to CO2 emissions is acceptable to those here.

And that I find quite scary.

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