Roger L. Simon

Does Al Gore ever wonder if he's wrong?

I wonder if I’m wrong all the time, but does Al Gore? In his heart of hearts, doesn’t he occasionally think to himself he might even be a bit off about the anthropogenic global warming thing? When he’s making a speech that is so “upbeat about the climate bill” to a crowd in Madison, WI, does he consider that it’s only 41 degrees outside in early October and that a baseball game has just been snowed-out in Denver?

I know, I know – climate has nothing to do with weather (or so I’ve been told ad nauseum). But what does it have to do with? Somebody’s computer model? According to the BBC, the world has been cooling since 1998, although some claim the warming is only in hiatus. What do we make of that? The issue has been so politicized that it is hard to find rational scientific judgement. For someone like Gore – a non-scientist – to be so adamant about it feels almost off-putting. It makes me want to believe in global warming less. He’s the exact wrong person to be delivering this kind of message, especially since there are scientists who write well (many better than Gore). But his narcissism and greed have placed Al out front.

If the science starts to turn solidly against him, will he admit it? Will he have a breakdown? Will he return his Oscar and Nobel? Do we care? Not really. But it should be a warning that when politicians talk about science, we should beware. But on a more complicated level, this presents a dilemma for our democracy as society becomes more technological. Who will make the judgements?

UPDATE: Since October temperatures in Montana are already down to single digits, maybe Newsweek was right back in 1975.

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