Monday, October 15, 2007

Nobel Turns Novel

So…Al Gore won the Nobel prize for his documentary on "global warming".

A friend of mine commented to me that, although one may not agree with Gore’s politics (as I do), or agree that global warming is a real problem (I’m skeptical), or agree that Gore’s documentary was even even-handed and objective (which it wasn’t), the good thing about Gore’s film was that it sparked much needed discussion about the environment and climate. This is pretty much the same thing that was said about that doomsday enviro-thriller "The Day After Tomorrow" that came out a few years back. Of course, at least that film never claimed to be anything more than science fiction – and bad science fiction at that.

My response was that such an assertion implicitly agrees that there are real issues at hand that need discussion and debate. The fact is, climatology is an infant science, and these doomsday predictions that are regular issued by the environmental crowd are time and time again found to be off the mark, not simply by a slim, but acceptable margin of error, but by vast differentials from the original predictions. Given that, I asked my friend, how many times do these predictions have to be shown to be reliably off-base by rediculous margins before we begin to take these claims with a huge grain of salt? At what point do we recognize the difference between actual, objective, tenable science, and outright speculation and arbitrary guesses which requires a huge leap of faith to accept?

Let’s face it… The ONLY reason why Gore’s film sparked so much "discussion" is because Gore is someone who has been - and may yet again - be active in politics, and able to gain access to the levers of power. In these cases, it is important to deflate junk science where we find it, lest it be used to inform policy makers in a deleterious fashion. If climate change was such a global crisis (as Gore put it), backed up by solid and clear evidence that the scientific community could find consensus on, then there would be no controversy in need of debate in a social or political environment. The environmental movement’s insistence on government action - in light of sketchy scientific evidence - suggests a deeper, more insidious agenda which may have little to do with saving the earth.


Blogger James said...

I've often wondered the same thing.

Folks claim there's no debate amongst scientists over global warming, yet there's still political and social arenas. If it were rock solid amongst scientists, why is there wiggle room to debate anything?

I think it has more to do with control over capitalism than any "save the earth" goal.

2:11 PM  

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