Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Green Truth: Al Gore on the Oprah show

I have talked about the documentary An Inconvenient Truth before. The documentary has done really well. Yesterday, Al Gore was on the Oprah show talking about the topic.

I haven't seen the show yet, but Oprah's website does have a good summary.

In Europe and elsewhere, the discussion is about stopping Global Warming and developing solutions to reduce the adverse impact. Sadly in the United States, the discussion still tends to get stuck. The so called "Think Tanks" funded by vested interests litter the media waves with sound bites aimed at confusing people. Here is a classic example (from Oprah.com)

Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute√É‚—a Washington, D.C., think tank√É‚—specializes in environmental policy and questions Gore's global warming claims. Recently, he wrote A Skeptic's Guide to an Inconvenient Truth to rebut Gore's research.

Marlo says An Inconvenient Truth makes it seem like we can reasonably expect the sea level to rise 20 feet in our lifetime or the lifetime of our children. "This is science fiction," he says.

Americans also shouldn't worry about environmental changes in Greenland or Antarctica, he says. "If you look at the actual loss of ice in Greenland and what it translates into, in sea level rise, it's about one inch over a century," he says. "Several studies show that the entire continent of Antarctica is actually gaining ice mass. That's an inconvenient fact that is nowhere mentioned in the film."

Marlo believes that Gore's film is an attempt to "scare us green." "He wants us to be very frightened of global warming," Marlo says. "The warming that we've seen over the last 30 years is constant and modest, and in all likelihood, will give us a modest amount of warming in the next century. And, therefore, it's nothing to be afraid of
And here is Gore's rebuttal (from Oprah.com)

Many of the organizations that have come out with studies questioning the effects of global warming are funded by the worst polluters, including certain oil and coal companies.

"They crank out so-called studies that are designed to make people think, 'Hey, there's no problem. Just let us keep on putting as much pollution up there as we want. Don't make us be responsible,'" he says.

For the true "expert opinion," Gore says people should take a look at a study conducted by the University of California. In this study, researchers conducted a peer review of experts' journal articles on global warming from the past 10 years.

The result? "None of them disagreed with the main consensus," Gore says. "There are some aspects of this issue where there is a continuing debate around the edges, but the central consensus is as strong as it ever gets in science."

In a special issue of Scientific American magazine, Gore says editors concluded that the debate on global warming is over. "It is real," he says. "It is happening now."


One can only hope that the new Congress will stay true to its word and do something real about the issue.

PS:
Former president Carter when asked(on Charlie Rose show) about 2008 presidential hopefuls, thought Al Gore should run and had this to say about him...."If you want to do something about Global Warming you get elected not just make movies".

Run Gore Run

1 comment:

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