Wednesday, June 14, 2006
CONSENSUS NOT EVIDENT
Salon’s Katharine Mieszkowski on Algore’s An Inconvenient Truth:
Climate scientists who have seen Gore’s film say on the whole it presents a scientifically valid view of global warming and does a good job of presenting what’s likely to occur if human-induced greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated.
“Yet,” continues Mieszkowski, “some scientists who are enthusiastic about the film had their own critiques of how the science is presented.” They’re very polite, these scientists. Here’s what they have to say, beginning with Ohio University professor Lonnie Thompson:
To me, it’s an excellent overview for an introductory class at a university.
University of Washington climate scientist John Wallace:
I think that he’s gone to great lengths to make the science comprehensible to the layman.
University of Washington professor of atmospheric sciences David Battisti:
There is only one place in the film I struggled. It makes a powerful theatrical point, but it leaves open the criticism that you’re stretching the truth.
University of Washington (three dudes from the U of W?) isotope geochemist Eric Steig:
Never in the movie does he say: ‘This particular event is caused by global warming.’
NASA climate modeler Dr. Gavin Schmidt:
Gore talked about 2005 and 2004 being very strong [hurricane] seasons, and if you weren’t paying attention, you could be left with the impression that there was a direct cause and effect, but he was very careful to not say there’s a direct correlation.
Gore is on a good bet with the impressionable “not paying attention” community. Tom Harris in the National Post isn’t as friendly:
While the gods must consider An Inconvenient Truth the ultimate comedy, real climate scientists are crying over Al Gore’s new film. This is not just because the ex-vice-president commits numerous basic science mistakes. They are also concerned that many in the media and public will fail to realize that this film amounts to little more than science fiction.
Read the whole thing. Hey, read both.