This morning on CBS’s Early Show, host Harry Smith asked Al Gore about “more conservative elements of the press” who say “there is a debate going on” about whether global warming exisits. Gore responded that “in some quarters there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona” and debates about whether global warming exists were “in that category.” Watch it:
Gore is right. There is no debate among credible sceintists about whether global warming exists. Science magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity.
Instead climate skeptics are forced to make arguments like this one by Holman W. Jenkins Jr., that appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal:
In a million years, the time it takes the earth to sneeze, the planet will likely be shorn of any conspicuous sign we were ever here, let alone careless with our CO2, dioxins, etc. Talk about an inconvenient truth.
In other words, we shouldn’t worry about the world we are leaving to our children or grandchildren. A million years from now none of this will matter.
Of course, this kind of argument can be used to justify any disfunctional policy that will harm people, including ignorning the realities of global warming.
SMITH Let’s talk about this movie because I saw it yesterday. I remember when you wrote the book, which is almost twenty years ago already, right?
GORE: Yeah, well fourteen years ago, and I have a new book out now, “An Inconvenient Truth,” same title as the movie, by Rodale. And I’ve been trying to tell this story for thirty years here. And the debate among the scientists is over, there is no more debate. We face a planetary emergency, and the phrase sounds shrill, but it is an accurate description of the climate crisis that we have to confront and solve.
SMITH: But if I look at more elements, the more conservative elements of the press, I would say there is a debate going on because, you know, they say that you’re just trying to create this kind of bogeyman to help slow down the economy and everything else. How do you respond to that?
GORE: Well, I guess in some quarters there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona or whether the earth is flat instead of round. And there may be some media reports that are constructed in a way that says, “On the one hand, on the other hand.” But really and truly, global warming is in that category — there is no more scientific debate among serious people who’ve looked at the evidence.