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Thursday, May 25, 2006
 
More Hot Air from Gore

Gregg Easterbrook (a global warming believer) has some thoughts on the Gore-o-mentary currently getting a lot of buzz:

As a motion picture, An Inconvenient Truth has a lot to say, but contains little imaginative cinematography that might have made global warming engaging at the suburban cineplex. The picture the movie paints is always worst-case scenario. Considering the multiple times Gore has given his greenhouse slide show (he says "thousands"), it's jarring that the movie was not scrubbed for factual precision. For instance, this 2005 joint statement by the science academies of the Western nations, including the National Academy of Sciences, warns of sea-level rise of four to 35 inches in the 21st century; this amount of possible sea-level rise is current consensus science.

Yet An Inconvenient Truth asserts that a sea-level rise of 20 feet is a realistic short-term prospect. Gore says the entire Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could melt rapidly; the film then jumps to animation of Manhattan flooded. Well, all that ice might melt really fast, and a UFO might land in London, too. The most recent major study of ice in the geologic past found that about 130,000 years ago the seas were "several meters above modern levels" and that polar temperatures sufficient to cause a several-meter sea-level rise may eventually result from artificial global warming. The latest major study of austral land ice detected a thawing rate that would add two to three inches to sea level during this century. Such findings are among the arguments that something serious is going on with Earth's climate. But the science-consensus forecast about sea-level rise is plenty bad enough. Why does An Inconvenient Truth use disaster-movie speculation?


The answer of course is that the lie serves a "higher" truth. Remember that anti-drug ad that was out about 20 years ago, purporting to compare the brainwaves of a normal 16-year-old (bouncing around like a ball), and a 16-year-old on pot (flatlined)? The group that produced the ad didn't care that it was completely bogus; they just hoped it was effective.

I don't buy that logic myself. A lie never serves the truth; in fact, when it is discovered, it may discredit the truth. This is something that I've been blogging on heavily over at Screw Loose Change. Many in the purported 9-11 "Truth" movement have been willing to overlook the obvious lies and errors in Loose Change, in the hopes that this slick, MTV-inspired movie will draw more converts to their beliefs.

Our buddy Gaius has a picture of Gore with some other stuffed shirts.

Howard Fineman also covers the Goron, a bit too lovingly:

For one—to paraphrase a slogan once applied to Barry Goldwater—in his heart, Gore knows he’s right. He’s been ahead of more curves than a NASCAR driver: the concerns about global warming, the implications of the rise of the internet, the need to be wary of deadly friction along the faultline between Islam and the West, his early and deep opposition to the launching a war in Iraq. It’s an impressive record.

“The reason people don’t like Gore is that he has been right so damn many times,” James Carville told me with an appreciate laugh.


Oh please!
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