by Tony Hake
Climate Change Examiner
from Examiner Website
Maybe Al Gore should have stayed home from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
Having been shown to being prone to taking liberty with the facts, Gore once again did so by claiming that a computer model determined that there was a 75 percent chance the Arctic would be ice-free in five years.
A dire prediction indeed – if it were true.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore gestures as he joins cabinet ministers from Nordic countries
for discussion on Greenland's ice sheet at the UN Climate summit in Copenhagen,
Denmark, Monday, Dec. 14, 2009.
conference, Gore severely overstated the potential for Arctic sea
In his speech at the summit today, the
former vice president Nobel Laureate and Danish ice scientist
Dorthe Dahl Jens presented two slideshows to a packed audience
at the Bella Center. The team discussed the loss of sea ice and the
danger it presents from rising sea levels.
Those estimates far exceed even the direst predictions of climate scientists and set the room abuzz.
The most often cited figure and the one used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of a loss of sea ice by 2030.
Not only were the ‘experts in the
science of ice’ astonished, so too was Dr. Maslowski of the
US Naval Postgraduate School, the scientist whose models
supposedly came up with the five to seven year figure.
Other climate scientists and ice experts immediately disavowed Gore’s claims.
Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado told the Associated Press,
Mr. Gore’s office was quick to start damage control.
The Times reported his office said it was a “ballpark figure” that Dr. Maslowski used in a conversation several years ago. As one of the most visible – and divisive – figures in the debate about manmade climate change, the former vice president’s every word is watched closely.
His movie “An
Inconvenient Truth” was
found by a British High Court to contain 11
significant errors and his recently released follow
on book, “Our
errors and impossibilities on the cover.
He was however forced to yank the slide when the assertion was proven false.
Appearing on the Tonight Show
last month, he said the core of the Earth was “several million
degrees”, a temperature warmer than the surface of the sun. When
asked about the
Climategate email scandal last
week, he stated that “the
most recent one is more than 10 years old” when in
fact some of the emails were sent as recently as October.
There is a bit of he said / he said going on with this whole episode.
However, that brochure does not say
anything about the Arctic becoming “completely ice free” as
Gore said. Rather it says it “could become near ice free.”
Certainly it appears Maslowski does not want to be associated with Gore’s claim and the episode highlights the problems that arise when someone tries to issue dire predictions to try to drive home a point.
Scare tactics like this oftentimes backfire and do nothing but cause problems for those who utter them.
Given the former vice president's
track record, he should know that claims such as this are going
to bring a great deal of attention, justified or not.