Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Gore is an inconvenient bore

Though I have read much about Al Gore's Oscar nominated documentary, I refrained from actually subjecting myself to his rantings. Until last night that is. Finally succumbing to Basil's promptings, some of us London Foggers decided to tune in. Basil promptly tuned out and fell asleep, while Mike, Mapmaster and myself ingested nearly an hour of an unbelievably BORING series of disconnected graphs and closeups of Al Gore. Essentially, the film is a prolonged, self-congratulatory political ad for Gore himself.

Patrick J. Michaels sums up Gore's overrated "science fiction" film:

The main point of the movie is that, unless we do something very serious, very soon about carbon dioxide emissions, much of Greenland’s 630,000 cubic miles of ice is going to fall into the ocean, raising sea levels over twenty feet by the year 2100.

Where’s the scientific support for this claim? Certainly not in the recent Policymaker’s Summary from the United Nations’ much anticipated compendium on climate change. Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100. Gore’s film exaggerates the rise by about 2,000 percent.

[..] According to satellite data published in Science in November 2005, Greenland was losing about 25 cubic miles of ice per year. Dividing that by 630,000 yields the annual percentage of ice loss, which, when multiplied by 100, shows that Greenland was shedding ice at 0.4 percent per century.

“Was” is the operative word. In early February, Science published another paper showing that the recent acceleration of Greenland’s ice loss from its huge glaciers has suddenly reversed.

[..] It would be nice if my colleagues would actually level with politicians about various “solutions” for climate change. The Kyoto Protocol, if fulfilled by every signatory, would reduce global warming by 0.07 degrees Celsius per half-century. That’s too small to measure, because the earth’s temperature varies by more than that from year to year.

[..] Mendacity on global warming is bipartisan. President Bush proposes that we replace 20 percent of our current gasoline consumption with ethanol over the next decade. But it’s well-known that even if we turned every kernel of American corn into ethanol, it would displace only 12 percent of our annual gasoline consumption. The effect on global warming, like Kyoto, would be too small to measure, though the U.S. would become the first nation in history to burn up its food supply to please a political mob.


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to hear some of the other claims of Gore that don't fit with fact. I can't be bothered to watch the movie... unless you really recommend it lol

Jake said...

I got a DVD copy of An Inconvenient Truth that you can use. I'm using it as a coaster for my table.

Lisa said...

If you are into propaganda films, I recommend it, though it really is quite boring, so I guess I don't recommend it. On the other hand, it's not a bad idea to check out some of the current attempts to sway the unthinking masses, though I admit I cannot figure out why this Bore has influenced as many people as he has.