We all watched An Inconvenient Truth in class a few weeks ago. For me it was the first time I had seen it. I’ve always heard great things about it, but was never really interested in it. Turns out I was right in feeling that way. I disagree with, and question nearly everything stated by Mr. Gore in that movie. Everything is just his word, with little more than “scientists” to back him up. Who are these scientists? We are never given any names or credentials. We never see them. We never hear what they actually have to say. The only thing this movie has convinced me of is that Al Gore has no idea what the scientific process is. This seemed little more than an exercise in fear mongering through sensationalism and a great vehicle for some political campaign.
Let’s start at the beginning. Mr. Gore states that one of his professors started measuring CO2 in 1957 in the middle of the pacific. After just a few years of taking these measurements it was concluded that levels were rising and we were in for some trouble. Hold on now, the Earth is hundreds of millions of years old. You really expect me to believe that with just 10 years of measurements you can tell whether or not this is out of the norm for our planet? 10 years for the Earth is less time than it takes to blink, relatively speaking. He goes on to say that by taking ice cores we can measure atmospheric gases going back 650,000 years. Well that’s better, but it’s still not enough. When looking at that timeline, yes, it would seem CO2 levels have risen. But if you look back 500 million years we’ve practically bottomed out. Currently we’re concerned about CO2 being at 300 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere. In the Cambrian period CO2 levels reached 7000 ppm. That is inconceivably higher than today’s levels. Think about it this way, the Earth’s current average temperature is roughly 60 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on who you ask. How many reptiles do you see running around on a 60 degree day? Not many. And these ones are small, it doesn’t take nearly as much heat and energy to warm them up as it would a two ton reptile. So imagine a planet full of two ton reptiles running around. It would have to be pretty warm right? Well it was. The average temperature 500 – 600 million years ago, and actually throughout most of history, is about 71.6 degrees Fahrenheit. I know that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, but spread across the entire globe, it really is. There’s one more thing I’d like to mention about his graph that showed the last 650,000 years. He said it was the first time anyone outside of a very small group of scientists had ever seen the image. So this image was never put under peer review? To be scrutinized and analyzed by the rest of the scientific community? Well then by definition it’s not yet proven. It’s still only a theory.
It was also stated that at some point recently relative to the development of the movie that many areas in the U.S. “broke all-time records with high temperatures and number of consecutive days with a 100 degree temperature or more.” That’s cute. I like those little bits when I watch the news. Then I can go around and point out to people that I ended up moving across town on the hottest day we’ve had in 15 years. Recorded temperatures only go back to about the early 1900’s. It’s really meaningless. Gore also points out the “drunken trees” of the north tundra. He claims that they lean every which way because the permafrost is melting and the roots are losing their hold. Wrong. That is absolutely, stupidly wrong. Tree roots never stop growing, it’s like hair. And if they happen to hit something hard, they keep pushing until they find a way to go, be it up or down or just straight through. If roots just stopped whenever they hit something hard we’d never have to repair our sidewalks. I guarantee once the permafrost began to soften those roots took off at a million miles an hour. If those trees are tilting, it’s not because of that. It’s also suspicious to me that he only showed the tops of the trees, not the base. Seems like you would want to show the ground and roots in question. Unless of course you know it’s not true.
And through all of this every time Gore is shown working in his car it’s a nice big Mercedes. I guess not even global warming is worth being seen in a Prius.