Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Al Gore and Global Warming

There was an interesting New York Times article about Al Gore and the science of global warming today. Now, I LOVE Al Gore and think that he's contributed a lot to environmental causes and focused a lot of attention on issues that need attention. That said, I think he went too far with some of the "facts" he presented in An Inconvenient Truth, and I've gotten tired of the constant insistence that there is a scientific consensus on global warming. The precious consensus extends about this far: "The earth has been warming up over the past century, and humans have LIKELY caused SOME part of that warming." There is no consensus on what will happen in the future, even though Al Gore presents his doomsday scenarios as fact, and many scientists take serious issue with his predictions about increased malaria and more frequent tropical storms. Now, I know this might sound nitpicky but I think that if *I*, as someone predisposed to believe anything that Al Gore tells me, find some of this stuff hard to swallow, then a bunch of rednecks who hate anything to do with Bill Clinton and love their big ass trucks and SUVs certainly aren't going to keep listening. I think that overselling the science is a very real danger and does no one any good!

Before anybody goes medieval on my ass about this, please note that even if Al Gore's predictions are WILDLY off, I still think that dramatically reducing our dependence on fossil fuels is the right thing to do, for MANY environmental and political reasons. I heart hybrids, CFLs, public transportation, solar panels, forgoing A/C, biking to work, politicians who campaign on environmental issues, etc.

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