George Nathan said,
Politics is the diversion of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the ideas of more trivial men.
Henry Adams said,
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.
Few combined these sentiments better than former Vice President Al Gore and his fellow Nobel Laureates the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as they practiced politics instead of science.
May 24 2011 is the fifth anniversary of release of Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. Shortly after release, Lord Monckton identified
As many as 35 serious scientific errors or exaggerations, all pointing towards invention of a threat that does not exist at all, or exaggerations of phenomena that do exist, do not reflect credit on the presenter of the movie or on those who advised him.
A week before getting the Nobel Prize, a UK court identified nine errors and concluded,
It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research search and opinion – but that it is a political film, albeit of course not party political.
The court also noted that
Channel 4 has produced a film which was referred to during the hearing, although I have not seen it, which presents a counterview, a sceptical approach to the climate change debate called “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. This has not been sent to the schools…
Producer Martin Durkin withheld release of the DVD at great personal cost until a minor error was corrected.
Gore’s movie remains uncorrected. It’s shown by legions of trained acolytes in schools throughout the world, and probably many British schools without warnings of its errors as required by a court order. They promote the discredited science of the IPCC, but they ignore the errors, corruptions, and failures of that agency. They ignore the corruptions disclosed in the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) by scientists who were key IPCC participants. Ironically, they falsely claim that current climate change is unnaturally fast, but ignore how it has changed in just five years as a cooling trend continues.
Science is the ability to predict, and though the IPCC claim they produce scenarios, even their lowest temperature scenarios are well above reality. So the fellow Nobel Prize winners share failure as well. In five short years, claims they knew for certain were going to happen in ten, twenty, and even one hundred years are destroyed, as is the claim that the science is settled. Yes, they both said it: Gore in his presentation to Congress, and a lead-author for three IPCC Reports (1996, 2001 and 2007) wrote that a syndicated national radio host thought a debate would help the public. He declined, saying:
Briefly I pointed out that there is no such debate in the atmospheric or climate scientific community, and that making the public believe that such a debate exists is precisely the goal of the denial industry.
The Laureates disagreed on sea level rise. The IPCC, in its February 2007 report, projected sea level gains of 18-59 centimeters (7-23 inches) by 2100, while Gore in the film and book An Inconvenient Truth, predicts 20 feet (6m) rise by 2100. I am unaware of any IPCC members who openly contradicted Gore, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re both wrong, as Nils Axel Morner notes:
“Contrary to the frantic warnings of Al Gore, Prince Charles, and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as countless news stories over the past decade, sea levels are not rising,” said Professor Morner.
Morner, a world renowned physicist and geologist (and former IPCC member) who has traveled the world for decades measuring sea levels, conducted a recent study employing measurement data from 159 sites around the globe. The real-world data do not support the frightening scenarios of global doom and submerged coastal cities presented by the computer modelers.
They agree on all other issues, but this means they are equally wrong.
Gore told the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver that
You understand that the politics of the past are exhausted, and you’re tired – we are all tired – of appeals based on fear.
What we’re tired of are fatuous statements from the grandmaster of exploiting fear. He also said,
We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of mankind. … Many scientists predict – shockingly – that the entire north polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months during the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising; fires are raging; storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.
Hyperbole heaped on hyperbole based on gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the facts around a nonexistent problem.
Gore’s Denver speech showed the difference between facts and exploitation. Arctic ice is a Gore and IPCC favorite as a remote area people know little about. Imagine a headline stating, “67,000 km2 of arctic ice melted yesterday an area almost the size of West Virginia”. Few know this is the normal average rate of melt. Add the emotional claim that polar bears are dying, and you have exploitation of fear and ignorance at its best. Polar bear numbers are not declining. If all sea ice melts, sea level is unchanged. Gore’s movie uses dramatic computer simulations to show land flooded by rising sea levels. He knows it’s a major fear because a majority of the world’s population lives in low coastal plains. When I ask people, “What’s wrong with warming?” most, after some thought, say, “Sea levels will rise.”
If natural disaster threats don’t work, he appeals to more base instincts. He claims national security “is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world.” It’s fear-mongering of the most contemptible kind, also encapsulated in his comment that “the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions” – but this follows the pattern of the IPCC. Working Group I ‘proves’ human CO2 is causing warming/climate change and Working Group II speculates on the impact. Because the science is wrong, the speculations are wrong, but they’re presented as fact.
But nothing did more to undermine Gore than the hypocrisy of his massive carbon footprint and financial gain. The IPCC is undermined by exposure of the corrupted process, leaked emails, and manipulation of science for political gain. All this in the five short years since the release of perhaps the best piece of propaganda since Lena Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will in 1934.