‘Al Gore Is a Greenhouse Gasbag’

By February 7, 2007Global Warming

Here’s a link to an extraordinary article by the above title in Philadelphia magazine by John Marchese. It profiles Penn professor of Environmental Science Bob Giegengack, a geologist who’s been studying the topic of climate change for some 50 years. Some excerpts from the article:

  • Giegengack doesn’t consider global warming to be even one of the top 10 environmental problems we face.
  • He has described Al Gore’s documentary as “a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008,” telling his students, “Every single one of you knows more about this than Al Gore.”
  • Gore supporter Giegengack says of Gore’s film, “The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology.”
  • The Earth has been warming, he says, for about 20,000 years. We’ve only been collecting data on that trend for about 200 years. “For most of Earth history,” he says, “the globe has been warmer than it has been for the last 200 years. It has only rarely been cooler.” He notes that in the past 650,000 years, the Earth’s temperature has gone through regular cycles of rise and fall.
  • The core samples from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years. Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. (Has he been reading ShopFloor.org?)
  • Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way. This is precisely the point made by our friend and climate expert Bob Carter.
  • “Sea level is rising,” Giegengack says. But, he explains, it’s been rising ever since warming set in 18,000 years ago. The rate of rise has been pretty slow — only about 400 feet so far. And recently — meaning in the thousands of years — the rate has slowed even more. “At the present rate of sea-level rise,” Giegengack says, “it’s going to take 3,500 years to get up [to the 20 foot level predicted by Gore.]”
  • “The thing [Gore] dozen’t mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China.”
  • “There’s all this stuff about saving the planet,” he says. “The Earth is fine. The Earth was fine before we got here, and it’ll be fine long after we’re gone.”
  • At the end of the day, says Giegengack, “I don’t think we’re going to have a rational discussion of this question in the present environment.” Sadly — and from the looks of things on Capitol Hill these days — the Professor is probably right.

    Join the discussion 5 Comments

    • Joan Cheeseman says:

      What a poorly written article. Where is the scientific fact for all the claims? How about a meta-analysis of the data produced by scientists onthe front line – so to speak. What ever happened to good journalism? Thsi article is just a bunch of cheap shots at Al Gore in an attempt to cover up the effects of global warming. I thought we were the conservators of the earth – guess not! I would never let my students write anything as unsubstantiated as this article. Give me proof, give me scientific studies, give me facts. This issue should be based on the world needs not political mudslinging. Shame on yoou Marchese.

    • David Williams says:

      Al Gore is a politician. He has never done any serious scientific work or held a credible job in any industry.

      Professor Giegengack is a scientist who has done considerable scientific investigation of the earth’s environment.

      Now, who should we, as moderately intelligent persons, consider the expert on the environment the politician or the scientist? Me, I will listen to the scientist. If I want advice on how to lose a presidential political campaign, I will consult Al Gore.

      Liberals are like Lemmings. Whenever a Liberal leader like Al Gore waves a red flag the Liberals run for the nearest cliff screaming doom and gloom.

      Remember that Al Gore supported the bill in Congress that outlawed the most efficient coolant ever produced, FREON. Dupont Chemical had enjoyed a monopoly position producing and marketing FREON for decades. Dupont’s patent protection was running out and all chemical companies would be able to produce and sell FREON. There was no credible scientific evidence showing any harmful effect to the ozone caused by FREON. It would be hard to show any damage caused by FREON in the upper atmosphere simply because FREON is heavier than most gases and tends to cling to the earth’s surface, But some pseudo-scientific organizations receiving “research” money from DuPont published findings that claimed FREON would destroy the ozone.

      Congress outlawed FREON and Al Gore took a large political campaign donation from DuPont as did all the other politicians who voted for the bill.

      And who owned the patent to the slightly altered molecule similar to FREON but was less efficient than and incompatible with FREON? You guessed it, DuPont. And DuPont will be the only refrigerant manufacturer for the next decades with a monopoly on it’s manufacturing and sale.

      Remember, politicans lie. Al Gore is a politician.

      Dave

    • Singh T. Junior says:

      Al Gore is right in bringing awareness of climate change to masses. He has done an excellent job while his opponents have constantly stonewalled the responsibilities and facts. This article is awfully written.