Sunday, July 01, 2007
There is a must-read column in the Chicago Sun-Times that basically consists in a roll call of claims of impending doom due to global warming by Al Gore -- each of which has been refuted by scientific evidence. You know it'll be good when it opens like this:
In his new book, The Assault on Reason, Al Gore pleads, "We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth." Gore repeatedly asks that science and reason displace cynical political posturing as the central focus of public discourse.And, for a taste of what you'll find on parade:
If Gore really means what he writes, he has an opportunity to make a difference by leading by example on the issue of global warming.
Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.Hmmm. Might global warming, like almost anything else we encounter (or cause) in nature, have benefits as well as drawbacks? Son of a gun!
The end of the article rather charitably asks, "Will [Gore] rise to the occasion? (i.e., of "lead[ing] by example in his call for an end to the distortion of science"). Given that some of the doomsday scenarios he foisted on the American public in An Inconvenient Truth had been shown false before he released the movie, probably not. But that's not the only reason I am confident that Gore will disappoint.
The only thing I would have added to this column is based on something I have noted here before:
... In the misnamed "global warming" debate, both sides agree that the government ought to "do something" about climate change. This fundamental premise is almost never questioned or even named.In other words, there is a debate (i.e., concerning the proper role of government) which should be going on, but isn't -- that is furthermore being concealed from view by a poorly-presented scientific debate. But then, that is one of the major purposes of making such a big deal of the scientific debate.
But laymen all over the place are arguing themselves blue in the face over whether climate change is occurring and, if so, how. Unfortunately, this second debate would remain (properly) confined to scientists if more people understood the proper role of government, namely the protection of individual rights. Not setting the Earth's thermostat.
... [T]he real purpose of the loudest faction in this debate is to extend government controls over the lives of ordinary citizens using any expedient excuse. The excuse du jour happens to be called "global warming".
So what would I have added? This: Given that Al Gore has been unmasked as biased in his scientific views, it might be worth considering whether he is similarly biased in his opinions regarding political philosophy. Generally, when one perpetuates a fraud like this, one hopes to gain something.
Whatever that might be in the case of Al Gore, he clearly sees big government (i.e., the wholesale misuse of government to violate individual rights) as the means towards that end since he consistently calls for government "solutions" to the various doomsday scenarios he pushes.
If Al Gore's science is flawed, his political philosophy is fair game, too. To fail to make note of that is to let one of the greatest charlatans of American politics get away with the greater of his two swindles!
Today: Corrected title.