I truly intended to fisk algore’s op-ed at the New York Times, in which he explains why global warming is still so important that the world should continue its task of turning him into the first green-based billionaire. I was foiled, however, by the fact that I couldn’t step giggling as I read his hysterical hyperbole. I mean, really, just look at this opening paragraph (italicized emphasis mine, although I’m sure algore heard that shrill emphasis in his own head as he wrote):
It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.
The hysteria continues unabated in subsequent paragraphs:
Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil.
We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands.
But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.
And so it goes, with one overwrought opining after another. What’s incredibly funny, though, is algore’s attempt to defuse the collapsing science. Taking it like a man, he admits that there are just a few problems:
It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law.
But fear not, fair climate panic maidens — mistakes happen. Fortunately for those whose life’s goal is to line algore’s pockets, consensus still exists notwithstanding these “little” mistakes completely undermining the AGW theory. Read what algore writes carefully. He offers no science to support AGW despite the mistakes. Instead, he simply assures us that there is consensus and, to justify his assurance, reiterates, boot-strap style his existing, and increasingly discredited, theories:
But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged. It is also worth noting that the panel’s scientists — acting in good faith on the best information then available to them — probably underestimated the range of sea-level rise in this century, the speed with which the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and the speed with which some of the large glacial flows in Antarctica and Greenland are melting and racing to the sea.
Here is what scientists have found is happening to our climate: man-made global-warming pollution traps heat from the sun and increases atmospheric temperatures. These pollutants — especially carbon dioxide — have been increasing rapidly with the growth in the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and forests, and temperatures have increased over the same period. Almost all of the ice-covered regions of the Earth are melting — and seas are rising. Hurricanes are predicted to grow stronger and more destructive, though their number is expected to decrease. Droughts are getting longer and deeper in many mid-continent regions, even as the severity of flooding increases. The seasonal predictability of rainfall and temperatures is being disrupted, posing serious threats to agriculture. The rate of species extinction is accelerating to dangerous levels.
I don’t know about you, but it seems tacky that algore ignores the icky little fact that earth’s climate has changed constantly for the past, oh, about 3 billion years. Or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that an incredibly wooden guy has a hard time comprehending a fluid situation. (And yes, that’s a nasty, ad hominem attack on my part, but there’s no getting past the fact that, when you think algore, you don’t think of a flexible mind).
Suspecting that the ordinary American, after the past couple of years of cold winters and cooling global temperatures, might be inclined to discount his ravings, algore assures us that you should definitely discount the information of your own eyes and senses, not to mention all those newspaper articles you’ve been reading:
Because these and other effects of global warming are distributed globally, they are difficult to identify and interpret in any particular location. For example, January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States. Yet from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago.
Algore’s reasoning, which seems to say that actual weather proves nothing, should come as a surprise to everyone who has noticed that, no matter the weather — heat, cold, snow, ice, sun, hurricane, even earthquakes — we are constantly assured that everything results from AGW. So contrary to algore’s statement, one can apparently tell what’s going on just by looking out the window, as long as one always attributes what one sees to anthropogenic global warming.
If you feel the yen to giggle and be dismayed periodically, please take the time to read algore’s hysterical diatribe refuting collapsing science with algore-approved conclusions. As for me, I’m simply grateful that the whole edifice is collapsing. As the earth’s stewards, it is our responsibility, and it works to our benefit, to keep our environment as clean and beautiful as possible. Doing so, however, does not require mass wealth transfer to algore and other Third World Nations (that word “other” is deliberate there), it does not involve upending our economy and lifestyle, and it does not require destroying our national security needs. Instead, it simply requires us to use our American ingenuity to make things better, rather than to use our algore induced paranoia to make things insane.