Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An inconvenient truth

No, I am not referring to global warming. Nor am I referring to Al Gore's latest 2 hour powerpoint slideshow, in the form of a movie.

The truth is, sadly, that Al Gore is a green evangelist, with a hysterical religious faith in man made global warming.

Andrew Bolt debunks 10 claims from Al Gore's movie:

1: Gore claims that a survey of 928 scientific articles on global warming showed not one disputed that man's gasses were mostly to blame for rising global temperatures. Only dumb journalists and bad scientists in the pay of Big Oil pretended there was any genuine debate. In fact, as Dr Benny Peiser, from Liverpool John Moores University has demonstrated, Gore relies on a bungled survey reported in Science. Peiser checked again and found just 13 of those 928 papers explicitly endorsed man-made global warming, and 34 rejected or doubted it. The debate is real.

2: Gore says the man who first made him realise we were heating up the earth was his late professor, oceanographer Roger Revelle, who noticed carbon dioxide levels were increasing. In fact, Revelle shortly before his death co-authored a paper warning that "the scientific basis for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time". And some warming might even be good, he added.

3: Gore says ice cores from Antarctica, that go back 650,000 years, show the world got warmer each time there was more carbon dioxide in the air. In fact, as the University of California's Professor Jeff Severinghaus and others note, at least three studies of ice cores show the earth first warmed and only then came more carbon dioxide, many hundreds of years later. So does extra carbon dioxide cause a warming world, or vice versa?

4: Gore shows a series of slides of vanishing lakes (like Lake Chad) and snow fields (like Mt Kilimanjaro's) and blames global warming for it all. In fact, Lake Chad is so shallow it nearly dried out as far back as 1908, and again in 1984. So many more people depend on it now that the water pumped out for irrigation has quadrupled in 25 years. No wonder it's drying. And Mt Kilimanjaro was losing its snows more than a century ago, not because of global warming, but-says a 2004 study in Nature-largely because deforestation has cut the moisture in the air. And that worrying picture Gore shows of vanishing glaciers in the Himalayas? Newcastle University researchers last month said some glaciers there are now getting bigger again.

5: Gore shows scary maps of how New York and Shanghai would drown under 20 feet (600cm) of water if all Greenland's ice melted. In fact, various studies say Greenland's snow cover-and Antarctica's-is increasing or stable. The scientists of even the fiercely pro-warming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict seas will rise (as they have for centuries) not by Gore's 600cm by 2100, but by between 14 and 43cm.

6: Gore claims the seas have already risen so high that New Zealand has had to take in refugees from drowning Pacific islands. In fact, the Australian National Tidal Facility at Tuvalu in 2002 reported: "The historical record from 1978 through 199 indicated a sea level rise of 0.07 mm per year." Or the width of a hair. Says Auckland University climate scientist Chris de Frietas: "I can assure Mr Gore that no one from the South Pacific islands has fled to New Zealand because of rising seas."

7: Gore claims global warming has helped cause coral reefs "all around the world" to bleach. In fact, new research from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows the seas rapidly cooled from 2003 to 2005. And most bleaching is caused by El Nino events.

8: Gore claims hurricanes are getting worse because of global warming, and he shows pictures from Hurricane Katrina. In fact, America has this year had fewer hurricanes than usual. And most hurricane experts agree with Dr Chris Landsea of the US National Hurricane Centre, who says "there has been no change in the number and intensity of (the strongest) hurricanes around the world in the last 15 years".

9: Gore claims warming is causing new diseases and allowing malarial mosquitoes to move to higher altitudes. In fact, says Professor Paul Reiter, head of the Pasteur Institute's unit of insects and infectious diseases: "Gore is completely wrong here." Reiter says "the new altitudes of malaria are lower than those recorded 100 years ago" and "none of the 30 so-called new diseases Gore references are attributable to global warming".

10: Gore never even hints at other possible explanations scientists have given for the warming globe. And here's just one: increased solar activity. That's a theory suggested by leading American scientists such as Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, Fred Singer and Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences. Some even predict we're about to suffer a new bout of global cooling. Says Professor Bill Gray, world hurricane authority from Colorado State University: "My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again." Or as Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of the Russian of Sciences astronomical observatory, warned last week: "On the basis of our (solar emission) research, we developed a scenario of a global cooling of the Earth's climate by the middle of this century."