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article imageOp-Ed: Fact-Checking Al Gore

By Johnny Simpson     Feb 28, 2010 in Environment
Yesterday, Al Gore emerged from a prolonged silence on Global Warming to rebut critics and skeptics in a three-page New York Times oped. Mr. Gore was as passionate as ever on the subject, but just how substantiated and reliable are his facts and sources?
After a prolonged silence following the ClimateGate and IPCC report scandals, former vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore took to the editorial pages of the New York Times yesterday to pen a fierce rebuttal to his critics and skeptics of Global Warming, who have been having a field day in the wake of a string of scandals involving the leading organizations and researchers involved in AGW. Mr. Gore's oped is titled, "We Can't Wish Away Climate Change."
Mr. Gore's "end-of-human-civilization" rhetoric is soaring and dramatic, a combination of Shakespeare, the Old Testament, The Day After Tomorrow and his own AGW poetry. But Mr. Gore's rhetoric is not important here, only the sources he links to support his case. How scientifically sound are they?
First up, Mr. Gore declares the past decade "the hottest since modern records have been kept," and links to a chart at NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies to support his claim. But just how reliable a source is GISS? The agency and its chief, AGW guru and political advocate James Hansen, are now in a bit of hot water themselves over obstructed FOIA requests. Sound familiar? UEA researchers were deemed criminal for doing the same. Mr. Hansen has also been caught committing AGW fraud many times, most notably swapping September 2008's data into October 2008's official GISS report, calling it "the hottest on record."
Sound familiar again? So it all comes down to credibility. GISS has been very secretive and suspect in the past. And other than Al Gore himself, AGW theory has no stauncher political advocate that James Hansen, who also sees AGW as a means to redistribute wealth. So, is the GISS report accurate scientific analysis or fudged AGW echo chamber? Some released GISS reports have already been found to be flawed. And how do you reconcile the GISS conclusion with that of Dr. Phil Jones, who recently claimed there has been no appreciable warming in fifteen years? Both are top recognized AGW authorities. They can't both be right. Who can you believe, if anyone? Where's the "settled science" of temperature trends to prove either case?
Mr. Gore next contends that "almost all of the ice-covered regions of the earth are melting and seas are rising," and links to a report from the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Besides the fact that the second paragraph of the WGMS report calls its findings based on "new still tentative data" which has not yet been confirmed, two key footnotes on the World Glacier Monitoring Service. Based out of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, the WGMS is actually supported by the UN's Environmental Program and reports to the IPCC. It should also be noted here that there are many in the scientific community who believe glacier ice is actually increasing. Again, who do you believe? Yet another AGW science that appears far from settled.
Next up, Mr. Gore states that hurricane predictions are for fewer but much stronger hurricanes this year, and curiously links to a report at St. Louis Today by AP science writer Seth Borenstein, a fierce Global Warming advocate. As examples, Mr. Borenstein said shortly after President Obama's election that "Global warming is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Obama can't avoid," and "Global warming is accelerating, time is close to running out and Obama knows it." Does that sound like an objective science reporter to you? Perhaps we should wait and see if those hurricane predictions turn out to be true for 2010. The 2009 predictions were way off. If they're way off in 2010, can we conclude the science isn't settled?
Regardless, the link is to an outspoken AGW advocate masquerading as an objective AP science reporter, not raw data or an official report. Not what you'd call an unimpeachable scientific source. Amazingly, those are the only three links which Mr. Gore provides to support his case for AGW. All of them are weak or politically suspect. Can one really expect much skepticism emerging from the World Glacier Monitoring Service, run by a UN Environmental Program that wanted to see glacier melting stats to reinforce their now-discredited official conclusions? Can one expect anything but data indicating temperature rises from James Hansen's GISS? Or objective analysis from AGW alarmist/AP reporter Seth Borenstein? Or how about the rich closer in Mr. Gore's oped credits, the most glaring and inconvenient fact of all?
Al Gore, the vice president from 1993 to 2001, is the founder of the Alliance for Climate Protection and the author of “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.” As a businessman, he is an investor in alternative energy companies.
Ask yourself one last question. If an AGW skeptic was allowed to post a passionate rebuttal in the Times to Mr. Gore's oped, and his bio read "As a businessman, he is an investor in fossil fuel energy companies," what would be the predictable response of AGW proponents? That he was a Big Oil stooge? If so, why is it a conflict of interest for a Big Oil skeptic but not a Big Green AGW proponent like Mr. Gore, whose inconvenient carbon credit fortune swelled from $2M in 2000 to $100M today? Is this the man and the science upon whom we are to base trillions in taxes, skyrocketing energy bills and the sacrifice of many liberties, perhaps even national sovereignty? Does the "settled science" in Mr. Gore's piece justify all that?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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