An inconvenient study
As I perused Al Gore's new book while waiting in line to meet him, one thought that kept coming up was the following:
"This guy is so full of sh-t his eyes are brown."
But I said this to myself with a feeling of admiration. I was not planning to see his movie until someone paid me to do so, just on general principles, but now I'm thinking the entertainment value might just make it worth my while. I grew up entranced by overwrought doomsday melodramas, from the extinction/ loss-of-habitat/ disappearing-way-of-life specials from National Geographic and PBS to prime time beauties like The Day After (shortly after which I suddenly grew up). I read The Population Bomb and all the news stories about the imminent global freeze.
After I learned how a large amount of this stuff was all hokum designed to appeal to certain human emotions like pity and fear, I developed a degree of admiration for the genre.
The dramatic themes are almost archtypal and a skilled director with an appropriate score could make you weep like a baby over the plight of garden worms during planting season.
I will bet money that An Inconvenient Truth utilizes many of the same themes and techniques that had me spellbound back when I was
a liberal much younger.
Most inconvenient for Al Gore and those intrepid revolutionaries determined to read his book with a straight face, is this new study undermining the claim of a link between global warming and hurricane ferocity:
The paper, co-written by Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade, challenges earlier findings that hurricanes have grown more powerful in the last 30 years.
It says those studies failed to account for technological improvements that now produce more accurate -- and often higher -- estimates of a storm's power than were available in the past.
'If you say, 'Hey, the number of Category 4 and 5 storms has doubled since 1970,' you have to ask where is that coming from and can we accept that as true,'' said Landsea, one of the nation's leading hurricane researchers, who now serves as science and operations officer at the hurricane center.
His answer: Probably not, because the databases used for historical studies are so skewed.
But this is only one study, and An Inconvenient Truth makes a lot of claims. We're going to need a lot more studies.
My prediction: A comet will hit the Earth before the negative impact of global warming can be proved or disproved.
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