Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters calls Al Gores alarmist assertion misleading

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Feb 26, 2009, 1:51:11 PM2/26/09
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Don Surber
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Thursday February 26, 2009
A scientist forces Al Gore to back down
Apocalypse is political theater, not good science
For years, Al Gore has predicted that man's sins of carbon dioxide
will bring calamity and apocalypse. He cited an increase in natural
disasters.

Gore quietly dropped the contention that the increase is connected to
manmade global warming this week after being called on it by Roger A.
Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of
Colorado.

"Gore is pulling a dramatic slide from his ever-evolving global
warming presentation," reported Andrew Revkin on a blog for the New
York Times.

"When Mr. Gore addressed a packed, cheering hall at the annual meeting
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago
earlier this month, his climate slide show contained a startling graph
showing a ceiling-high spike in disasters in recent years.

"The data came from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of
Disasters (also called CRED) at the Catholic University of Louvain in
Brussels."

The slide has since disappeared from the show, Revkin wrote.

This was not happenstance. Pielke called Gore on his assertions. The
link between manmade activity and natural disasters has not been
established.

CRED, the source cited by Gore, even said so.

"Indeed, justifying the upward trend in hydro-meteorological disaster
occurrence and impacts essentially through climate change would be
misleading.

"Climate change is probably an actor in this increase but not the
major one - even if its impact on the figures will likely become more
evident in the future," CRED said about its own database.

We don't know what effect human activity is having on the climate.

I do not discount that better record keeping makes it appear as if
conditions are getting worse.

It seems as if every rainstorm in the Atlantic in September gets a
name now.

But Gore has been seizing on anything that moves as proof of his
predictions of pending catastrophe.

I might take Gore seriously if he cut back on his own consumption of
the Earth's resources, but since he consumes far more than I do, I
just assume the guy is after political power. He was born into
politics and will remain there until he dies at a very, very old age.

I interviewed Harold Stassen in 1984. He was running for president.
Again.

As Mo Udall said, only embalming fluid removes the lust for the
presidency from one's blood.

For years, Al Gore has predicted that man's sins of carbon dioxide
will bring calamity and apocalypse. He cited an increase in natural
disasters.

Gore quietly dropped the contention that the increase is connected to
manmade global warming this week after being called on it by Roger A.
Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of
Colorado.

"Gore is pulling a dramatic slide from his ever-evolving global
warming presentation," reported Andrew Revkin on a blog for the New
York Times.

"When Mr. Gore addressed a packed, cheering hall at the annual meeting
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago
earlier this month, his climate slide show contained a startling graph
showing a ceiling-high spike in disasters in recent years.

"The data came from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of
Disasters (also called CRED) at the Catholic University of Louvain in
Brussels."

The slide has since disappeared from the show, Revkin wrote.

This was not happenstance. Pielke called Gore on his assertions. The
link between manmade activity and natural disasters has not been
established.

CRED, the source cited by Gore, even said so.

"Indeed, justifying the upward trend in hydro-meteorological disaster
occurrence and impacts essentially through climate change would be
misleading.

"Climate change is probably an actor in this increase but not the
major one - even if its impact on the figures will likely become more
evident in the future," CRED said about its own database.

We don't know what effect human activity is having on the climate.

I do not discount that better record keeping makes it appear as if
conditions are getting worse.

It seems as if every rainstorm in the Atlantic in September gets a
name now.

But Gore has been seizing on anything that moves as proof of his
predictions of pending catastrophe.

I might take Gore seriously if he cut back on his own consumption of
the Earth's resources, but since he consumes far more than I do, I
just assume the guy is after political power. He was born into
politics and will remain there until he dies at a very, very old age.

I interviewed Harold Stassen in 1984. He was running for president.
Again.

As Mo Udall said, only embalming fluid removes the lust for the
presidency from one's blood.

Pielke has been calling for scientists and those who use scientific
data to tone down their rhetoric.

He is not alone. Vicky Pope is the head of Climate Change at the Met
Office in Britain, which has been following the weather around the
world since 1854.

"News headlines vie for attention and it is easy for scientists to
grab this attention by linking climate change to the latest extreme
weather event or apocalyptic prediction," Pope recently said on her
blog.

"But in doing so, the public perception of climate change can be
distorted.

"The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in
the weather and climate combine with long-term climate change. This
message is more difficult to get heard. Scientists and journalists
need to find ways to help to make this clear without the wider
audience switching off."

Gore's cries of wolf come with ridiculous "proof."

For example, he has blamed mankind for the melting of glaciers. But
scientists say 10,000 years ago, one-third of North America was
covered in ice.

Perhaps the Flintstones emitted too much carbon dioxide as they drove
around Bedrock "courtesy of Fred's two feet."

Some of us have even taken to mocking Gore's constant gloom-and-doom
by pretending each snowflake or cold day disproves global warming.

I won't even go into whether global warming is a good thing or bad. I
like to think a tropical Antarctica is better than what we have now.

Public skepticism over manmade global warming is a good thing.

Public cynicism, though, is a bad thing. If climate science is
distorted by politicians like Gore, the rest of us are misled.

We need to trust in science, not politicians.

In forcing Gore to back down from his preposterous claims, Pielke did
us all a favor by standing up for the integrity of science. He is not
a denier of anything. He just wants to take politics out of science.

On this, we should all agree.

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