Unfortunately for Al Gore, but fortunately for the rest of us, much of what we will hear in his 24 Hours of Reality extravaganza starting Wednesday evening is pure fantasy.
Gore is completely wrong when he tells us that the science of climate change is settled. If his “Climate Reality Project” actually did promote climate realism, he would tell us that the science is in a period of negative discovery — the more we learn, the more we realize we do not understand about this, arguably the most complex science ever tackled. Rather than “remove the doubt,” as Gore says, we need to recognize the doubt.
Many of the ideas expressed by climate campaigners such as Gore and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are the consequence of a belief in what Canadian professors Chris Essex (University of Western Ontario) and Ross McKitrick (University of Guelph) call the “Doctrine of Certainty,” “a collection of now familiar assertions about climate that are to be accepted without question” (Taken by Storm, 2007).
Essex and McKitrick write,
But the Doctrine is not true. Each assertion is either manifestly false or the claim to know is false. Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.
Yet, as long ago as 1989, Gore insisted there was “no dispute worthy of recognition” about the dangers of man-made greenhouse gas-driven climate change. Since then his certainty has solidified into dogma.
But that dogma is being contested by more and more reputable scientists who are finally speaking out in an organized fashion. For example, on August 29, a blockbuster science document was published that totally refutes Gore and Ban — the Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). Coauthored by a team of scientists recruited and led by climate experts Dr. Craig Idso, Professor Robert Carter, and Professor Fred Singer, the NIPCC shows that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ignored or misinterpreted much of the research that challenges the need for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas controls. In other words, the science being relied upon by governments worldwide to create multi-billion dollar climate policies is almost certainly wrong.
Consider extreme weather, the main topic of 24 Hours of Reality. Gore promotes the concept that greenhouse gas-induced global warming is leading to increasingly severe weather. But this defies logic. If the world warms due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures at high latitudes are forecast to rise 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.
It is also a mistake to blame human activities for current weather extremes. The NIPCC concluded that “the data reveal there have not been any significant warming-induced increases in extreme weather events.” The report’s authors showed that this was the case whether the phenomenon being studied was precipitation, floods, drought, storms, hurricanes, fire, or other weather-related events.
For example, the NIPCC includes a study published this year in Geophysical Research Letters about the causes of the 2010 Russian heat wave. Researchers deduced that it “was due to internal atmospheric dynamical processes” and “it is unlikely that the warming attributable to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations contributed significantly to the magnitude of the heat wave.”
We will probably find the same when most 2011 weather events are analyzed.
Besides increasing extreme weather that people always notice, it is also important to take note of decreasing trends. For example, we are now near a 30 year low in worldwide “accumulated cyclone energy” (hurricanes in the North Atlantic), something that was not supposed to be happening if the forecasts of climate models were correct. This graph shows the trend in worldwide accumulated cyclone energy.
Climate change and extreme weather have always happened and always will no matter what we do. Therefore, instead of futilely trying to stop them from occurring, we need to harden our societies to these inevitable events by burying electrical cables underground, reinforcing buildings and other infrastructure, and ensuring reliable energy sources so that we have the power to heat and cool our dwellings as needed.
Gore tells us that his program will “reveal the deniers.” If by “deniers” he means those of us who do not support his belief in an impending human-caused climate catastrophe, then we certainly hope he does reveal us. Gore and Ban alone have had many times the mainstream media coverage of all the skeptics combined. It is time to listen to reputable experts who understand that predicting, let alone controlling, climate decades from now will remain science fiction for the foreseeable future.
That may not be a comforting thought to climate crusaders, but that, Mr. Gore, is the true “climate reality.”