‘An Inconvenient Truth’: Does This Look Like Consensus to You?

By May 24, 2006Global Warming

Well, today’s the big day we’ve all been waiting for (not!): the release of Al Gore’s movie on global warming. Well, in truth, the film’s pretty much been seen by all the liberal and Hollywood (redundant, we know) glitterati. Says the film’s trailer, “If you live on this planet, if you love your children, you have to see this film.” Hey — wasn’t that the trailer for “Over the Hedge“? Or was it “RV“? In any event, the film has rolled out to rave reviews by noted climatologists Sharon Stone and Garry Shandling. (Can Barbra be far behind…?) The film is the action version of a slide show that Gore has done some 1,000 times around the country, making us wonder if maybe the heat from the projector bulb isn’t making matters worse. Throughout it all, at every interview, Gore repeats like a mantra that there is now scientific consensus about the so-called problem. And he has lots of friends in the press who lazily repeat the argument. What the hey — it’s a heckuva lot easier than making the case. And — they voted for him, so they trust him, right?

But for those of you not who are content to accept consensus like so much pablum from the Fourth Estate — or from Al Gore, we have done just a little simple checking and present a few dissenting views. While Al schmoozes with the big donors in the globally warm environs of Cannes, let us present some cold, hard facts:


— In a new study from the National Center for Policy Analysis entitled, “Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts“, Dr. David Legates, the Delaware state climatologist, notes, “Global warming alarmists have attributed increases in hurricanes, floods, droughts, tornadoes, hail storms and heat waves to global warming caused by human activities. However, the evidence does not support their claims.” This study was the subject of a great op-ed in the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal yesterday by Former Delaware Governor Pete DuPont. In it, DuPont cites some very strong evidence of improved environmental data and presents some scientifically-based skepticism about the various global warming claims. He also points out that on the first Earth Day in 1970, the New York Times predicted “intolerable deterioration and possible extinction” for humans due to pollution. Indeed, says DuPont, one environmentalist, Paul Ehrlich, predicted that 4 billion people (including 65 million Americans) would die from famine in the 80’s. And yes, he meant the nineteen eighties. Hysteria is nothing new — after all, it sells papers.

— A few days ago, we mentioned the new study by the Business and Media Institute entitled, “Fire and Ice“, which pretty well documented the on-again, off-again claims by various pundits and media about global warming, cooling, and warming over the past 80 years or so.

— The Marshall Institute has done extensive work on the topic as well, publishing a book last year entitled, “Shattered Consensus:The True State of Global Warming,” a collection of ten essays on global warming, that, the Institute says, covers “the earth’s temperature history and disparities between what has been predicted about climate change and what has actually been observed.”

— Our friend Bob Carter, whom we’ve written about and who has commented in this space before, from Down Under, sent us this link and this link to sites that are loaded with articles and research essentially poking holes not in the ozone but in Al Gore’s premise.

— Finally, the Competitive Enterprise Institute website has a section dedicated to global warming, with some papers and articles as well as links to other like-minded groups like the Center for Science and Public Policy, GlobalWarming.org, CO2 Science and World Climate Report, the latter a blog dedicated to this topic.

The fact is we have not made this our life’s work, like Al Gore has apparently done. We don’t have access to Gore’s resources and we’re not running for anything. What we have is a healthy skepticism, a blog and access to Google. It doesn’t take long to find these sites, all of which are filled with information and science that debunks the global warming hysteria.

At the end of the day, we believe that folks are entitled to their opinions. But they ought to be informed. Of late, the public has been subjected to nothing short of a carpet bombing of information from the left on global warming, all in the name of consensus. We just wanted to provide a little balance to this debate. As you watch the Gore-mania unfold these days, and hear all the fantastic claims, we note the many resources cited above and ask the question posed at the outset:

“Does this look like consensus to you?”

[Update] : More links have come in from readers today. Here’s a page from the Association of British Drivers. Here’s a link to a good piece in the National Review noting that Antarctica is actually gaining ice, due to a cooling trend, and Here’s a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Harper– signed by 60 scientists — warning him that climate change is “poorly understood.” Finally, here’s an article from the (UK) Telegraph), blaming it all on a hotter sun.

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • ytba says:

    Bill H. says “When Gore speaks of a scientific consensus he is simply broadcasting the truth.”

    Sorry, Bill.

    Al Gore’s statements are easily debunked.

    Read ’em and weep:

    See section labled “Gore Gored”
    http://antigreen.blogspot.com/2006/11/global-warming-during-day-only-it.html

    And as to the consensus, see…
    “15,000 scientists dispute theory of global warming.” along with the article below it, at…
    http://www.pushback.com/environment/fraudulent-environment.html

    Not your day, is it Bill? Well, cheer up and do your part to reduce CO2 emissions. Hold your breath..

  • ytba says:

    O.K., so some of you don’t like Crichton. That’s fine. You don’t have to read (or enjoy) this WONDERFUL illustration of fear mongering and it’s consequences.
    http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speeches/complexity/complexity.html

    The rest of us can appreciate what could have been titled ‘a natural history of the arrogant shortsighted reactionary’.

    …where Crichton asserts that “Fortunately, studies show that we can learn to manage complex systems. There are people who have investigated complex systems management, and know how to do it. But it demands humility”

    How inconvenient for poor Al.

    Also, for those who think that there’s a consensus on Global Warming, we’ve got you outnumbered, it appears:

    “”Not all scientists agree on global warming —
    You’ve seen mention of a petition signed by 2,000 scientists and several Nobel laureates saying that they believe global warming exists and poses a significant danger. But were you told about the Heidelburg Appeal to Heads of States and Governments , which stated just the opposite, and was signed by more than 4,000 scientists and over 70 Nobel laureates?”
    http://www.pushback.com/environment/fraudulent-environment.html

    What? No “consensus?” Now THAT’S inconvenient!

  • ytba says:

    Matt Butterworth says “Somebody above supports Crichton on the basis that he is ‘smart’.”

    That would probably be me, Matt. And, once AGAIN you fail to understand the point being made. That whole post was to debunk any attempt to dismiss Crichton as merely a “science fiction writer” who couldn’t possibly know anything about real science.

    The fact that Crichton is a scientist doesn’t prove he’s right, but it does establish his credendials as valid and him as credible. I.e., you can’t pretend he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  • ytba says:

    “I read the closing essay in his ‘State of Fear’ and found his debunking of the global warming consensus of today by its comparison with widespread support for eugenics in the 19th C to be preposterous – you can’t compare a scientific theory with a human strategy” — Matt Butterworth – Sep. 21, 06 at 03:02 PM

    Just how weak are you in the upper story, Matt? You want us to believe you read it? Well, maybe you did. But you aren’t going to convince us you understood it!

    “…despite the construction of Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, despite the efforts of universities and the pleadings of lawyers, there was no scientific basis for eugenics …. eugenics movement was really a social program masquerading as a scientific one … most distressing, the scientific establishment in both the United States and Germany did not mount any sustained protest.” – Chrichton

    So much for the “theory” of eugenics. The phoney “science” was just a cover to justify a racist “human strategy” used to justify their attempt to gain and consolidate power.

    Now, as to the current gory climate ideology, it is NOT based on theory, either. If it were, research would be done to test it’s validity, especially since much of the accepted dogma has been shown to be based on faulty, or even faked, data. But, oh no, mustn’t question, must believe, mustn’t question, must believe, mustn’t…..etc.

    And, contrary to Matt’s assertion, Crichton says “I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial.”

    And, what are those similarities? Crichton says, quite correctly, “…Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, vague terms like sustainability and generational justice — terms that have no agreed definition — are employed in the service of a new crisis.”

    And why? So those promoting a phoney crisis can advance their agenda by justifying their attempts to gain and consolidate power.

    (DO YOU SEE THE PATTERN YET, MATT?)

    Do us a favor Matt, before you criticise what you allegedly read, be sure you UNDERSTAND it first!

  • Matt Butterworth says:

    Regarding Michael Crichton – I read the closing essay in his ‘State of Fear’ and found his debunking of the global warming consensus of today by its comparison with widespread support for eugenics in the 19th C to be preposterous – you can’t compare a scientific theory with a human strategy, otherwise, using his logic, you could come to the opposite conclusion by comparing the global warming consensus to that which says that living in houses is a better idea than living in trees.

    Somebody above supports Crichton on the basis that he is ‘smart’. The closing argument in his essay seems to contradict this – he takes a guess at the global warming temperature rise, he quotes something like 0.8725524 (look at the number of decimal places, not the actual figure). Any child who has studied science, never mind a postgraduate, knows that you would never quote something that’s so difficult to predict accurately to this many decimal places.

    It looks like you Americans chose your stance on this topic according to your political leanings. Try thinking for yourselves, like you used to do in the days of the Founding Fathers.

  • Karl Baumgarten says:

    Mr. Gore continues to speak of a scientific consensus that doesn’t exist in nature. Mr. Gore is not a scientist and doesn’t have any scientific training which would enable him to fairly evaluate any data dealing with this issue. The Geoscience faculty at my University state there is no consensus on the human-induced warming hypothesis. They are trained in the science, Mr. Gore isn’t. Who to believe? The choice isn’t even close.

  • Bill H says:

    When Gore speaks of a scientific consensus he is simply broadcasting the truth. You can choose to pretend otherwise, and may fool some of the people reading here, but nature cannot be fooled. Are you willing to take the risk?

  • Kathleen says:

    Hi Pat – e-mail me in 5 years.

    From today’s LA Times:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-072406power,0,4514866.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    A Stage 3 emergency, setting off rolling blackouts across the state, might need to be called for the late afternoon period of peak demand, said Cal-ISO Chief Executive Officer Yakout Mansour at a morning briefing at the state Capitol.

    The heat wave gripping the state, the worst since 1998, is so intense that it’s driven up demand for electricity by 40% since the state’s energy crisis of 2001, Mansour said.

    Conservation, which shaved about 1,400 megawatts of power from total demand last Friday, is needed now more than ever, Mansour said. “It did work, and we need more,” he said.

    Heat is at levels expected only once every 50 years in some parts of the state and once every 100 years in others, said Joseph Desmond, deputy secretary for energy at the California Resources Agency.

  • Kato says:

    It’s really embarassing that an organization like NAM who purport to stand for a strong economy can sit with their heads in the sand about this issue, as well as energy consumption in general. The fact is, regardless of the effects of global warming, moving away from fossil fuels toward a more efficient, less consumptive society is far better for both business and employment in the long run.

    I really hope NAM starts to understand this soon – the Euros and Japanese, and increasingly the Chinese understand it very well.

  • John Bliss says:

    From the Telegraph article about the “hotter sun:”

    “Most scientists agree that greenhouse gases from fossil fuels have contributed to the warming of the planet in the past few decades but have questioned whether a brighter Sun is also responsible for rising temperatures.”

    And this, from the scientist who led the research:

    “Dr Solanki said that the brighter Sun and higher levels of “greenhouse gases”, such as carbon dioxide, both contributed to the change in the Earth’s temperature but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact.”

    Not really a debunking. If natural forces and man made forces have both contributed to global warming, doesn’t it make sense to try to control the one we can affect?

  • ytba says:

    Wadward’s ad hominem attack against Crichton, dismissing him as merely a “science fiction writer,” shows Wad’s ignorance, and or disregard for truth.

    “John Michael Crichton was born on October 23, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to John Henderson Crichton and Zula Miller Crichton, and raised in Roslyn, Long Island, New York.[1]

    He attended HARVARD UNIVERSITY, where he graduated SUMMA CUM LAUDE [= he’s smart] in anthropology. He went on to teach physical anthropology at the UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE in England [= he’s a scientist], later returning to Massachusetts to gain an M.D. degree from HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL. [= he’s smart and a masochist]

    from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton

    In other words, he’s not your average “science fiction writer.” He is also a very intelligent and well rounded scientist of the highest caliber.

    And for those who are interested in more of his thoughts, here’s another link you may enjoy, if you are able to follow intelligent and well reasoned argument, that is.

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16260

  • Wadard says:

    The debunking of “concensus science” by Michael Crichton, in his “Aliens Cause Global Warming”, found here:

    ++++++

    Wow… next time any of us don’t like the outcome of any scientific consensus let’s get a science fiction writer to ‘debunk’ it.

  • ytba says:

    Ahh, yes, here it is….

    from:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3215_volcanoc.html

    “NARRATOR: The satellite identifies the gas as sulfur dioxide, SO2, the primary cause of acid rain. And Nyiragongo is producing more than any place in the world, up to 50,000 tons per day. That’s more than the amount produced by all power plants, factories and cars in the United States.”

    OOPS! What an “inconvenient” emission-admission. Gotta love it! (And even though they didn’t give data on CO2, Nyiragongo puts out a gobs and gobs of that, as well.)

    And remember, that’s just ONE of the MANY active volcanoes worldwide.

    http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/world.html

    Just how do these climate cultists take them selves seriously, anyway?

  • ytba says:

    Poor Al. Was it the drugs he didn’t inhale (or snort) with his boss? Or is he just naturally OTL? And how did such a goof-ball ever get to be VP, anyway?

    The answers to those questions may never be known, but what is becoming increasingly clear is that “global warming” is just the wacky incorrect “concensus” of SOME scientists, and not necessarily the best or most objective, either.

    The debunking of “concensus science” by Michael Crichton, in his “Aliens Cause Global Warming”, found here:

    http://www.crichton-official.com/speeches/speeches_quote04.html

    makes for some very entertaining reading, as he clearly shows how comic it is to dignify this cult by calling it “science.”

    Enjoy.

    (Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying the earth isn’t warming. It may well be,… or not. We just don’t know if it is or isn’t, or why; and to pretend that we do is just plain dishonest.)

    p.s – I just saw a NOVA special on Africa’s Nyiragongo volcano. At one point the announcer said that this single volcano puts out more gaseous emissions “…than all industry and autos in the USA.” So, as a friend of mine humorously suggested when I told him, “maybe we could just plug it up.” Say, I know, let’s use use all the videos with Al’s movie on them. And, if that doesn’t work, at least we’ll be rid of that junk.

  • BigMouth says:

    The experts and the organizations cited above are lawyers and politicians and lobbyists posing as “scientists” or “science policy experts”. They are entirely obvious as industry shills, not actual experts or scientists. How about the real scientists? What do they say? Ha!

  • Pat says:

    The Association of British Drivers, Pat? Are you bloody serious? Buwahahah!

  • caerbannog says:

    You need to find out what real climate scientists who do real climate research are saying about Gore’s movie. Over at realclimate.org, a web-site run by about a dozen Ph.D. climate-scientists (several of whom are internationally recognized experts), there’s a review of “An Inconvenient Truth” — you can find at: http://tinyurl.com/gke7d.

    I strongly suggest that you take the time read it carefully.

  • Jason Smalley says:

    Pat,

    I am taking your advice and posting a response to our exchange earlier…

    let me first off restate my assertion that the CEI and NCPA are infact reciepients of large amounts of money from big business, including ExxonMobile, now right off the bat, when you have groups like this fighting an issue that will obviously hurt the reputation/revenues of oil companies, they should be taken as suspect.

    I will admit I am not a scientist, but I can read the studies issued by 90% of the scientists mentioned, and for instance in the case of the thickening INTERNAL ice-sheets in antartica,this was expected in UN models, the inner sheets are being fed by higher precipitation over the antartic, which was expected due to increased temperatures, the cooler temps in greenland were explained by the main author of the paper as an effect of weather patterns over the southern portion of greenland, when the numbers from northern greenland stats are compared to baseline stats, we see a 2.2x increase in temp, infact the scientist, Curt Davis is quoted as saying, “[conclusions]ignored by CEI in a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public.”

    how about we sit down like adults and face the fact that we are adding to a growing problem, and we can either ignore is and continue business as usual, or step up and figure out exactly what we can do to curb our impact, this will mean that we have to rethink how we interact, and by extension our responsibility for proper terrestrial stewardship…this is an issue if ignored will be handed to our children, and their children…hows that for personal responsibility?

  • Andrew McPherson says:

    Hi Pat,

    >The fact is we have not made this our life’s work, like Al Gore has apparently done.

    Maybe you should educate yourself then before posting. Remember, educate, then write. Educate, then write. Repeat that three times and you won’t come across as ignorant.