Al Gore: Snakeoil Salesman Extraordinaire

Al Gore speech from September 2005 speech:

Now, the scientific community is warning us that the average hurricane will continue to get stronger because of global warming. A scientist at MIT has published a study well before this tragedy showing that since the 1970s, hurricanes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific have increased in duration, and in intensity, by about 50%. … The waters in the gulf have been unusually warm. The oceans generally have been getting warmer. And the pattern is exactly consistent with what scientists have predicted for twenty years. Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming. [applause] It is important to learn the lessons of what happens when scientific evidence and clear authoritative warnings are ignored in order to induce our leaders not to do it again and not to ignore the scientists again and not to leave us unprotected in the face of those threats that are facing us right now. [applause]

The President says that he is not sure that global warming is a real threat. … He tells us that he believes the science of global warming is in dispute. … It’s important to establish accountability in order to make our democracy work.

This from a recent Reuters article about the ‘Quiet Hurricane Season:’

“There was for all intents and purposes no hurricane damage in the United States this year,” Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, told Reuters.

Forecasters saw nothing on the horizon on Wednesday.

“El Nino produced an increase in wind shear,” said meteorologist Todd Crawford of private forecaster WSI Corp.

“If you have an increase in the speed of the winds aloft over the Atlantic it acts to basically chop the heads off any kinds of storms,” he said. Wind shear is a technical term for different wind speeds at different altitudes.

Crawford also said sea temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are cooler, by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.12 degrees Celsius) on average, than the blistering seasons of 2004, when four hurricanes hit Florida, and 2005, which produced 28 storms, the highest single-season total in recorded history.

Hurricanes draw energy from warm water, so cooler sea temperatures can mean fewer and less intense storms.

Real accountability should mean that people like Gore — who struck when the moment was ripe [just after Katrina], just like snakeoil salesmen no doubt proliferated after diseases affected a region — owe his audience an explanation. One that apologizes for the hyperbole. One that acknowledges that predictions — even the ‘most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind’ — are still just that, predictions. Which are the result of a particular set of data and a particular type of analysis applied by people trying to advance a particular point of view.

Then again, there is probably a good reason snakeoil salesman keep moving from town to town. Heck, Al’s got himself new stuff in his wagon nowadays. Caveat emptor dude.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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