An Inconvenient Truth
Work in Progress: Last updated 11/27/06 7:58PM
Synopsis? One-time self-proclaimed "Next President of the United States" (The ONLY attempt at humor in this graphic lecture) portrays himself as a scientific expert by spewing statements like, "We all know...", "All scientists agree that...", "It is obvious that...", and "No one can argue that we are doing this to ourselves...". He falls short of claiming to have invented Global Warming in his spare time at Harvard, but other than that, there is no solid science, no scientific rebuttal, and an over-abundance of political bravado and blustering posturing. So, how do I really feel? This 'documentary' is actually a 'mockumentary'! I liked Gore till this! I voted for him, for cryin' out loud! TWICE! (Hey, my other brother, Daryl, had to vote, ya know...) However, this is such an anti-science, no evidence diatribe that I find myself wondering why a man who purports to have an IQ above 140 is stuck in such an intellectual black hole... 2008 posturing? Who am I to say? However, I have lots to say about the real SCIENCE involved!
- First, let's take a look at the movie poster.
This is an unmistakable correlation between man-made pollutants and the current cycle of vicious weather we are dealing with; intended or unintended, it's still a blatant attempt to correlate them. It's sorta a satellite image of Katrina, or some other hurricane, swirling from a smokestack! Or is that a Spiral Galaxy? Either way, I'm relatively confident smokestacks have nothing to do with hurricanes or galaxy formations. Well, my truth-seeking friends, there is NO CORRELATION AT ALL! According to a recent (11/29/05 ) NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) report,
"The nation is now wrapping up the 11th year of a new era of heightened Atlantic hurricane activity. This era has been unfolding in the Atlantic since 1995, and is expected to continue for the next decade or perhaps longer. NOAA attributes this increased activity to natural occurring cycles in tropical climate patterns near the equator. These cycles, called the tropical multi-decadal signal, typically last several decades (20 to 30 years or even longer). As a result, the North Atlantic experiences alternating decades long (20 to 30 year periods or even longer) of above normal or below normal hurricane seasons. NOAA research shows that the tropical multi-decadal signal is causing the increased Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995, and is not related to greenhouse warming."
Hmmm. Where does Gore and his mindless followers get this notion? Can you say, "Media Frenzy"? This idea has been fueled by reporters who have no scientific literacy and just keep repeating each other's fallacies. sigh...
- To start a "documentary" with a statement like, "We are killing ourselves...", is not only ludicrous, but silly. This statement, however, does set the scientific tone for the next hour and 45 minutes; there is no science here. Every statement he utters is either wild speculation or a simple repeat of the popular beliefs the media has shoved down the masses throats. A few cases in point.
- Showing the often referenced and photographed Argentinian area of the Upsala Glacier (Image: Gary Braasch ©) where a portion of the glacier has obviously disappeared within the last 70 years, he fails to even mention why this happened or how it happened. He only says, "Here is scientific proof of global warming's devastating affects."
The Upsala Glacier and six other glaciers descend from the South Andean icefield into a lake, surprisingly called Upsala Lake. "I was astounded to discover that while the Upsala glacier had retreated rapidly, the other glaciers [that fed the lake] showed little movement, and one had advanced across the lake into the Magellan peninsula. If in the same area some glaciers advance and others retreat, the cause is clearly not global warming but local micro-conditions." (Dr. Swaminathan Aiyar, U of New Delhi, Global warming or global cooling?; The Times of India.) (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1034077.cms)
- Aside; In science, a proof is an almost impossible venture. The word has meaning in geometry and in civilian everyday life. However, in science, to prove something would take an eternity of 100% tests and no dead rats or monkeys or Freshmen.
- He constantly implies that there are no reputable scientists who dispute anything he says - sorta that people on the 50th floor of the Empire State Building had better learn to swim. However, there is wide disagreement about this AND whether humans are causing global warming (climate change preceded the invention of the Hummer, by the way...) and about whether we should be worried about the trends. Look carefully at Gore's charts and you'll see that the worst horrors take place in the future of his imagination. According to a 2004 Gallop survey of members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Society (You know! The folks responsible for actually DOING the weather?) found that only 17% of them, all with advanced degrees, thought the warming during the 20th Century was the result of an increase in greenhouse emissions.
Meanwhile, a Times/ABC poll of 1000 blind phone calls to American citizens shows that 87% of them DO think we are causing it (Time Special Issue, "Be Afraid; Be Very Afraid"). Well, who ya gonna believe? Joe Sixpack or Dr. Mel and Hurricane Schwartz?
- Gore claims, with a glazed look, that unspecified measures can reduce emissions to pre-1970 levels. He assesses the tradeoff between the economy and the environment by displaying a cartoon, YES A CARTOON, of a scale with Earth on one side and bars of gold on the other. "OK, on one side we have gold bars," he says. "Mmm, mmm, don't they look good!" What they heck kind of mental lapse was he experiencing? I MUST go see this again just to see if I can catch the brain convulsions before he says it... Someone, please, let me know what that scene was all about...
- Gore, as well as the Kyoto proponents, claims that the US, alone, is the problem. Traveling virtually to China, he is oblivious to the amount of uncontrolled soot and dangerous gases being pumped into the air by China's coal-fired infrastructure. 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. WHAT? Not according to every source I've been able to find! China is dumping ALL of it's burn-off (chemical crap by-products of coal burning) directly into the air at a staggering rate. Take a look at this NASA satellite image of Eastern China. ICKY!
Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
Even according to Gore's backers, all those GreenPeas folks, cry about the problems in China. CBS News reported (YINCHAUN, China, March 31, 2000):
(CBS) In this CBS News World WeatherWatch report Correspondent Barry Petersen tells us why when China smokes, you might get a cough.
It is easy to see the pollution problem in an industrial city like Yinchuan in northwestern China but it is hard to realize this is typical across the world's most populated country.
The culprit is sulfur dioxide from coal, which is burned for everything from making electricity to cooking dinner. China produces twice the sulfur dioxide as America does, and by some estimates China may one day generate five times more than what we see today.
That's why just breathing is making Dr. Jiang's patients sick. He knows of only one cure, and it's not medicine.
The best cure is to leave for the countryside, he says. "And these things...are coming from manmade sources in China, and laced in those materials are things like arsenic, lead and zinc," Cahill says. China's far-reaching dust and soot cloud traveling to the West Coast hits Hawaii first...
- I was taken aback a little when he compared himself to Churchill. I knew Churchill. Churchill was a friend of mine. Mr. Gore, you are no Churchill! (Well, I really didn't know Churchill, but the analogy seemed funny to me...) The final scene is of Gore bravely silhouetted against the cosmos, a lone figure tenderly surveying his domain. The job he really wants, no recount can give him.
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
This is just a beginning review. I'll be back soon to complete this initial review after I have time to consult with a few of my science-type colleagues and have time to stop the overwhelming urge to puke. In the meanwhile, you can visit a more detailed PowerPoint presentation I'm preparing on the Global Swarming topic overall at Gore-Bull Warming; Fact, Fiction, & Myth. Or you can view a less interactive PDF version here. Please, keep in mind, the PPT is a work in progress also! If I don't have all the proper references, I WILL! Contact me if you want to argue or can aid in this educational endeavor.