Al Gore Strikes Out Again

For someone supposedly focused on "climate reality," it is ironic that little of Al Gore’s advocacy bears any meaningful relationship with the world we actually live in.

This point was brought home forcefully in his 24 Hours of Reality -- The Cost of Carbon, which was broadcast across the world on October 22-23. Whether it was the science of climate change, climate policy, or the best energy sources to promote in the event of climatic disruption, Gore’s approaches were entirely backwards.

On the science, his project is riddled with mistakes. For example, he says that a rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) causes dangerous global warming. But the geologic record shows the exact opposite: CO2 rises after the planet warms, mainly due to the oceans releasing COheld in solution at lower temperatures.

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar, consultant meteorologist and former research scientist with Environment Canada, adds, “The earth’s climate has not warmed in 17 years according to the UK Met Office. We may not see warming of the climate by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius in next 50 to 100 years.”

“What is being ignored by climate science community is that cold weather has increased world wide, an inconvenience fact that is completely at odds with Al Gore's claims,” said Khandekar. “No one knows why cold weather has increased in recent years.”

Gore also spoke about supposed increases in heat waves, droughts, and other extreme weather due to CO2-caused warming. This too is backwards. If the world warms due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures at high latitudes are forecast to rise the most, reducing the difference between arctic and tropical temperatures. Since this differential drives weather, we should see weaker midlatitude cyclones in a warmer world, and so less extremes in weather, not more.

This is one of the few areas of agreement between the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). In 2012, the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. The most recent NIPCC report (see here) states that “in no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) Energy Issues Advisor Bryan Leyland of New Zealand said, “Gore says we must focus on reality. Reality says that the world has not warmed for the last 17 years even as carbon dioxide, the gas Gore blames for climate disruption, has risen 8%. Reality says that we are near a record low for hurricanes, and other extreme weather is not generally increasing in severity or frequency.”