Al Gore and His Global Warming Oscar



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Monday, February 26, 2007 - 8:45am

Al Gore and His Global Warming Oscar

Former Vice President Al Gore took home the Academy Award last night for his documentary about global warming called An Inconvenient Truth.  The man who was almost the President of the United States 6+ years ago has transformed himself into one of the most successful ex-politicians ever.  The Hollywood elite gushed over Gore like he was a rock star gracing them with his presence.


 Al Gore has spent much of his career trying to shed a light on the issue of global warming.  When he arrived on stage to accept the award, he took the opportunity to address everyone by saying "People all over the world , we need to solve the climate crisis."


I have yet to see Gore's slideshow documentary, but I must admit to being somewhat skeptical as to the whole "crisis."  When I researched the issue back in college, which was, eh-um, a good dozen years ago, I found that the issue of global warming was completely overblown by scientists.  They had originally forecast rapid rises in temperatures over the next hundred years, but were forced to drastically reduce those predictions down to almost nothing when more information became available.


When Hurricane Katrina and a slew of other tropical storms hit the United States in 2005, everybody pointed to global warming as the cause.  While it was true that an increase in temperatures in the Gulf caused stronger storms that year, it was also true that more moderated temperatures in 2006 resulted in virtually no hurricanes.  Rising water temperatures will create stronger hurricanes, but to say those hurricanes were caused by global warming is, at best, a guess. 


As one of their main arguments, scientists point to increased strength in tropical storms since 1970 and not just the last few years.  However, that argument can also be countered relatively easily.  Hurricanes strength ebbs and flows over the course of history and the last few decades could very well be part of a normal cycle.


This isn't to say global warming doesn't exist in some form.  However, there is not a lot of evidence to prove that it is man-made.  When climatologists were surveyed back in 1997, only 17% of them considered global warming to be man-made, while 44% of them believed it to be a natural phenomenon.  So if it is a natural occurrence, there may not be a whole lot we can do about it.


That survey was ten years ago and, supposedly, a lot has changed in the last decade.  Now, scientists are again saying that temperatures will rise from 3.2 - 7.2 degrees by the end of the century. There are also projections much higher than that.  These are the same types of projections scientists made twenty years ago, only to reduce them to miniscule fractions only a few years later.


In the end, you can't take a hundred years of temperatures on a planet that has existed for billions of years and make an accurate assessment of what will happen in the next hundred.  For a planet, a hundred years is a split second. 


Al Gore's movie paints a frightening tale of what could happen to the earth.  He says the next ten years are critical.  Maybe he is right, but I'm not ready just yet to buy everything he's selling.  He is a politician after all.


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