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Enter Stage Gabbing

Al Gore is wrong

By Steven Martinovich

The Professor(August 27, 2007) Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has been in the news a lot recently, largely due to his continuing campaign on the issue of climate change. Gore's repeated message these days is that the science of climate change has been settled, all responsible scientists believe in the orthodoxy and that the time for debate is long past.

This position has seen Gore say some odd things at times. Earlier this month, for example, he declared that energy companies were orchestrating a $10 million campaign – funding they're providing scientists to dispute climate change orthodoxy – to confuse the public.

The assertion would be worrying if it wasn't so ludicrous. It has been estimated that worldwide funding for scientific research and advertising promoting Gore's view of climate change totals billions annually, much of it taxpayer funded.

The real problem with Gore's declaration, however, is that the science of climate change is in more doubt today than ever before. On a near daily basis new evidence is emerging that scientists clearly understand the Earth and its climate far less than they had supposed or that the evidence they rely on is questionable.

One example of the later is the recent revelation that U.S. temperature data covering the 20th century – data used by scientists and the media to "prove" global warming is increasing – was simply wrong. Instead of 1998 being the warmest year in record, the data showed 1934 earned that distinction. A majority of the warmest years now occur before 1955, something that other studies that do not support the climate change orthodoxy had long put argued.

Just as revealing is new research conducted by Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the University of Alabama in Huntsville's Earth System Science Center. The climate change orthodoxy holds that global warming will accelerate itself by creating more heat-trapping clouds. Spencer, found, however, that warming might actually thin these clouds, allowing more infrared heat to escape into space.

And if you don't keep track of the latest scientific findings you might not have heard that Australian scientists have just discovered a brand new underwater current that connects the planet's oceans. That may sound of interest only to oceanographers but the various currents that move water around the Earth also happen to govern our climate.

The list of recent critiques of the climate change orthodoxy, and Gore's contention that the science has been resolved, could fill pages. Admissions of manipulated data, shoddy data gathering, bizarre theories that ignore scientific principles and new discoveries which greatly alter our understanding of how climate works seem to appear every day.

That some warming is taking place appears to be irrefutable. The extent to which that mankind is exacerbating the natural temperature cycles that have been witnessed for thousands of years, however, is not known. The totality of the evidence seems to suggest though that this is a process that is largely out of our hands – largely due to solar activity as many studies have argued in recent years – and that our understanding how the Earth's climate works is still at an incredibly rudimentary level, despite the claims of scientists and the climate change lobby.

Complicit in this whole process are the media, who seem determined to ignore any dissenting voices regardless of how compelling their message is. If the voices of the thousands of respectable scientists who disagree with Gore's campaign are even reported on, it is only grudgingly, as if to check off the box that denotes both sides have been heard. Meanwhile business as usual as news stories continue to promote the line that unanimity has been reached in the scientific community.

Gore's An Inconvenient Truth won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature only a few short months ago but many of the claims his film made – those that weren't clever falsehoods and omissions – are already outdated. Chief among them is his contention that the science has been resolved and we only need to act to save ourselves. Hindsight will show one day, however, the debate needed to involve all sides for a consensus to be reached.

Thanks for reading,

Steven Martinovich


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