Deconstructing the “Truth”

“Coral bleaching events worldwide have been attributed to sea surface temperatures (SSTs) rising and staying as little as 1¬∞C higher than the usual average monthly maximum SST during the hottest months of the year (Goreau and Hayes 1994). In Jamaica, significant coral bleaching and death occur when SSTs remain at 29.3¬∞C or higher for one month (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999).” NOAA

“Until the 1980’s, the only coral bleaching event recorded was due to flooding from Hurricane Flora that resulted in a large drop in salinity that bleached and killed many corals in Jamaica (Goreau 1964).” NOAA

“Mass coral bleaching was first recognized on the Pacific coast of Panama following the 1982-83 El Nino event (Glynn 1984). The warm SSTs associated with the El Nino event were identified as the cause of death of over 99% of corals and the complete loss of reef structures in the Galapagos Islands and the death of over 50% of corals in Panama (Glynn and D’Croz 1990; Glynn 1993).” NOAA

“The 1997-98 El Nino event is the strongest on record to date, resulting in unprecedented coral bleaching and death across the globe (Wilkinson et al. 1999).”

“The frequency and scale of bleaching disturbances has increased dramatically since the late 70’s. This is possibly due to more observers and a greater interest in reporting in recent years.” Buscheim,

I also found that bleaching is related to predation by Acanthasters (sea stars). “Like most sea stars Acanthasters are carnivorous. Their feeding mechanism is almost notorious; averting their stomach outside the body over “poor, defenseless” living coral polyps, doing the old extra-cellular digestion right then and there. Oftentimes Crown of Thorns population explosions/”infestations” are attributed to human removal of predators, most notably the Giant Triton Charonia tritonis L. 1758, as well as “Cod” and some large Groupers. There are stop-gap measures in place in several countries restricting the taking of these controlling influences.”

Next, Al talks about the “second canary in the coal mine;” Antarctica. He points to the break up of large ice shelves on West Antarctica. He also warns that if the ice on West Antarctica and Greenland melted there would be sea level rise that would flood many areas of the world. I have already discussed how ice around Greenland is melting near the ocean. This is because of the warm ocean water, but that water evaporates faster and precipitates faster on the center of Greenland and is causing the snow pack in the center of Greenland to increase. But what about West Antarctica? Can you guess why Al only talked about West Antarctica and not East Antarctica? Maybe because West Antarctica is melting and East Antarctica is not. Not only is the larger ice sheet on East Antarctica not melting; it is increasing in mass. This may have something to do with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current that moves water of different temperatures around Antarctica.
Davis, C. H., et al., 2005. Snowfall-driven growth in East Antarctic ice sheet mitigates recent sea-level rise. Science, 308, 1898-1901.

The next segment discusses how China is developing and using more coal to produce energy. I agree. But I think Al missed a chance to show new technologies such as cleaner burning methanol that is made from coal and natural gas. This fuel can run automobiles and power plants and is produced for about 40 cents per gallon., _i_email=y.html

Al talks about overpopulation in the next part of the movie. I strongly agree with him on this subject but I do not agree that it is a problem causing global warming but the other way around. Human population has exploded for many reasons; especially better technology and warming climate. Since the climate began to change over 100 years ago, humans have been able to settle more land. Humans have been able to cultivate more crops in high latitudes than when the climate was cooler.

Many of the problems related to vectors and disease are from over population, not global warming.

Many of the problems he stated such as pressure on water supplies, agriculture and energy are a result of overpopulation. It is important to recognize this point because some day we will experience cold climate, whether it is another little ice age or a major glaciation era. What will happen to all of the people in Canada and Russia who will be pushed from their homes and countries by ice sheets that are a mile high? How many people will starve when another Tambora or Yellowstone erupts causing two to three years without a summer? These are not things that might happen, they are things that will happen, and just like Katrina and New Orleans, it is just a matter of time.

Al Gore is also correct in his next segment about how man can have an impact on the Earth’s surface when we use new technology. Diverting rivers is an easy thing for humans to do, just build a dam and a canal. The results of diverting rivers are controversies all over the world because lakes disappear.  But what is important here is that Al does not identify the problem. You will not stop malaria or other diseases by reducing atmospheric CO2. But if you spend all of your resources on reducing CO2 then all of the other environmental problems created by man will not be resolved.

After a brief explanation of how Al Gore and his family moved away from the tobacco business, he spoke about scientific consensus. He says that of 928 peer reviewed articles, none of the scientists disagreed that most of global warming is man made or a serious problem. This is one of the rhetorical tools that Al and his friends on one side of the debate never cease to use.  This statement is very carefully worded and intended to mislead. To say that scientists disagree is different than saying they agree. Very few scientists will agree that the science is settled and those are usually scientists who have a political bias.

This brings Al to his next point; that opposition to global warming is a fossil fuel industry conspiracy using the same tactics as big tobacco used in the past. He uses the example of Phillip Cooney, a former oil industry lawyer who was changing environmental science documents until exposed by a government scientist. He also used the example of James Hansen, a senior NASA scientist who was urged by his managers not to make alarming public statements. These instances are both true. But what Gore does not talk about are the many senior scientists who are constantly harassed by Al’s very own political allies. Scientists who do not agree with man made global warming constantly complain of everything from funding cuts, calls to decertify them because they disagree and even death threats. The false accusation that they are being paid off by oil companies is the most common form of harassment.

Al closes by discussing the economic benefits of changing over to green power and how it would create many jobs. This is true. But the changes Al says we should make are not going to solve his problem. More efficient appliances and cars will not cut CO2 emissions; they will only reduce the rate of increase. Building more solar stations will only supply future growing populations. Carbon sequestration such as planting trees will only help a little. The only way to reduce atmospheric CO2 would be to have solar panels on the roof of every house and building, windmills in every yard and electric cars in every driveway. It is something we will have to do anyway because someday the fossil fuels will run out. Doing these things will not require the political will that Al says people need to have. People will be more than happy to convert because it will save them the ridiculous amounts of money that people spend on home utilities and gasoline.

It’s easy to see why Al gore’s movie should not be shown in schools. An Inconvenient Truth is a political commercial that misrepresents a whole area of science. He admittedly uses scare tactics to get people to listen then shows them a professional slide show that blames every thing bad on so called man made global warming.

Al did not make and publicize this movie because he cares; something obvious when you consider his own lifestyle. He did not make this movie to run for president. This movie has grossed over 60 million dollars to date and it hasn’t even made it to cable. Al charges over $100, 000 per slide show. But the real money that Al will make is through his new company, Generation Investment Management, a company that seeks to establish the rules and licensing for the new carbon-trading scheme. We have all heard of politicians who lie for money and power; it looks as if Al did not retire after all.  Source

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