You’ll probably remember Al Gore’s ‘An inconvenient truth.’ It made an impact back in the day – 2006 according to the DVD I picked up recently in a Second Hand shop. What was presented then appears to be still largely accepted. I hadn’t seen the movie but did accept then, as did most people, that what it said was true and that ‘Global Warming’ was a huge threat, that CO2 emissions along with vehicle emissions were largely to blame. Since that time there’s been revealed the fudging of the figures and dispute about the modelling which puts a question mark over the evidence.
A few minutes into his presentation, Al Gore refers to a quote from Mark Twain … “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know – it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.” This is true but could equally be used by those who are making a case for – not either side of this debate but for the many differing positions taken when it comes to ‘Climate change.’
I don’t dispute that extremes of climate are being felt worldwide and also accept that the pollution of the planet and the complete disregard for mankind’s responsibility to be stewards of the Earth is having undeniable effect.
It’s not a game in which we stand outside and unaffected. It’s of paramount importance that we understand the causes of ‘Climate change’ – which was ‘Global warming’ when this film was made.
It begs the question – why the change of focus from ‘Global warming’ to ‘Climate change.’ Perhaps because CO2, Carbon Dioxide as the primary villain in the piece, isn’t the whole of the story?
We live in an electric Universe in which our climate is directly affected by the changing behaviour of our star, the Sun. This isn’t a fact that is, as yet, well accepted in scientific circles where new discoveries continually baffle academics because the facts don’t agree with accepted theories. This being the case, a rational mind would suggest that perhaps the accepted theories are wrong but, sadly, rational behaviour and the pursuit of truth are no more evident in science than they are elsewhere.
Roger Revelle was Al Gore’s mentor in regard to climate warming and started the CO2 measuring in the 1950’s. Al Gore shows a chart which demonstrates a relationship between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the changes in temperature over many thousands of years. It’s clear, at least on the chart, that as the one rises and falls so does the other but is it necessarily so that the one causes the other? It can be shown that icecream consumption rises and falls with the temperature but the one doesn’t cause the other.
I don’t doubt Al Gore’s sincerity – perhaps I should but I don’t -however sincerity while useful and important isn’t the same as ‘the truth.’ The film presents a clear case regarding ‘Climate change’ being a great deal more than just natural variability. He presents another lucid quote which can, of course, be applied in every scientific direction … “It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
So the issue for me is not to deny the reality of ‘Climate change’ as such but to question that the cause is primarily because of CO2 emissions. The reasons for this are twofold. CO2 makes up less than 1% of atmospheric gasses – water vapour has greater impact on global warming of the atmosphere. Secondly, CO2 is a conveniently taxable villain by which I mean that Carbon trading can then come into effect, that a worldwide effort needs to be employed to counteract the CO2 emissions and very much to the point, who or which international body would have jurisdiction over this effort?
Al Gore states that there is scientific consensus about the issue of CO2 being the primary culprit in global warming but this isn’t true. The consensus aspect wasn’t true in 2006 and it certainly isn’t now. Among those who question his alleged consensus are Nobel Laureates. Ivar Giaever, the 1973 Nobel Prize winner for Physics is one. There are others.
It’s worth noting that Roger Revelle, by 1988, was having second thoughts about CO2 being a significant greenhouse gas and recommending further research. In 1991 he co-authored a paper for Cosmos in which he again expressed his doubts. Al Gore then called him senile and refused to debate Global warming.
As to why Al Gore maintains an untenable position is speculation but both his quotes used in the film come to mind as possibilities.
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know – it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”
“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”