I've been putting off writing about Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, but this story published by the AP just pushed me over the cliff.
Washington - The nation's top climate scientists are giving "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, five stars for accuracy.
The former vice president's movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press.
The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is in limited release, or read the book.
But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
This is a news story? I'd give it five stars as a pure propaganda piece.
Fortunately the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works issued this scathing rebuttal:
In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the “more than 100 top climate researchers” they attempted to contact to review “An Inconvenient Truth.” AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore “five stars for accuracy.” AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific “skeptics” they claim to have contacted.
They also challenged Gore's over-reliance on the questionable "hockey-stick" climate model as well as several other controversial claims made in the movie.
And those "global warming" skeptics? There is an abundance of them, and they have been quite vocal:
- Gore's Hot Air (New York Post)
- Scientists Respond To Gore's Warnings of Climate Catastrophe (Canada Free Press)
- Chill Out Over Global Warming (Denver Post)
Then there is the excellent JunkScience.com, which has detailed rebuttals of virtually all the claims made in Gore's movie.
Here's the truth: the Earth's climate is a gigantic, complex non-linear system. Our understanding of this system is primitive at best. But what we do understand about non-linear systems seems to tell us that they are in a constant state of flux. Minute changes in initial conditions can propagate through the system and create drastically different final results. Climatologists call this "the butterfly effect": the air displaced by a butterfly flapping its wings in Asia might eventually produce a hurricane in the Atlantic.
This constant state of flux naturally means that the Earth's climate
will change over periods of time, sometimes becoming cooler and
sometimes becoming warmer. I am constantly amazed by scientists and
others who place so much faith in Darwinism and natural selection --
theories that predict ever-changing diversity of life while denying the
necessity of an outside force to influence these changes -- but who
concurrently believe that global climate change can only be caused by an outside force.
Here's the problem: the cause and effect relationship between mankind and global climate change is still a complete mystery. Global climate change -- that is, the natural flux in the climate system -- would occur whether or not there was a single human on planet Earth. Yet people like Al Gore insist on blaming climate change exclusively on mankind, specifically the United States of America, oil companies, and the Republicans.
And in order to support these controversial claims, Gore and Co. make idiotic statements like this:
Gore says that America, alone, is the problem. Taking us to China, he ignores the filth spewed into the air by its coal-fired cities. He does not meet with bronchitic citizens who wear surgical masks outdoors and pause to hawk up brown gunk every few minutes. Instead, he tells us America is lagging behind. "China," he says, "is on the cutting edge" of environmentalism. Nonsense.
Read for yourself what is going on in China, and also in developing countries like Indonesia, India, and Mexico, all of which spew millions of tons of pollutants into their air every year:
- Climate Change and Carbon Emissions (US Department of Energy)
- China: Environmental Issues (US Department of Energy)
"A report released in 1998 by the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that of the ten most polluted cities in the world, seven can be found in China. Sulfur dioxide and soot caused by coal combustion are two major air pollutants, resulting in the formation of acid rain, which now falls on about 30% of China's total land area. Industrial boilers and furnaces consume almost half of China's coal and are the largest single point sources of urban air pollution."
- China's Air Pollution Still Serious (People's Daily)
- China's Air Pollution Won't Improve While Power Cuts Continue (Radio Free Asia)
"Among the many facts highlighting the new role of China, the report says the country now accounts for 27 percent of the world’s steel output, consuming huge amounts of coal and power.
The report also cited a World Bank study showing that more than 80 percent of the Chinese cities surveyed had sulphur dioxide or nitrogen oxide levels above maximum guideline levels set by the World Health Organization.
Nearly half the cities with excessive sulphur emissions registered at more than double the standard, Worldwatch said.
According to World Bank estimates cited by the report, some 590,000 people a year will suffer premature deaths due to urban air pollution in China between 2001 and 2020."
- Air Pollution In China (Greennature.com)
And remember the "Asian Brown Cloud"?
China is making some progress, but its rapid industrial growth is far exceeding efforts to minimize pollution. Pollution control devices are expensive, and developing industrial nations have neither the money to pay for them, the patience to monitor them, nor the will to lessen profits for the benefit of the environment.
Admittedly, pollution is a problem. Pollution does alter the environment. As caretakers of the Earth -- more so as Christians -- we have an obligation to reduce pollution and its impact on our environment to the greatest extent possible. And when we have undeniable evidence that proves mankind's actions are responsible for environmental degradation, we are obligated to fix the problem. I think that almost everyone would agree on that.
But "global warming" does not fit that scenario. Even if the climate is warming, there is little evidence to suggest that mankind was solely responsible for pushing the inevitable climate changes in that direction. Further, we have no idea how to alter a global warming trend. We have no absolute assurance that a large-scale man-made "solution" would not accidentally result in a global environmental catastrophe.
And at the same time, we need to be honest about the truth. No other nation has spent more money developing pollution-controlling technology than the United States. No other nation acted sooner and on such a grand scale to reduce environmental pollution as the United States. No other nation exports more pollution control technology than the United States. And when you compare America's total industrial production to the amount of pollutants we emit, our performance is outstanding.
I am thoroughly convinced that the "global warming" crowd is nothing more than a group of individuals continuing the work of previous generations of socialists: blaming America for the world's problems and then attempting to extort money as a form of penance, perhaps with the effect of crippling America's status as a superpower. It's a political agenda, not a scientific "fact."