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COUNTERING THE MISINFORMATION OF AL GORE’S "DIRTY WEATHER REPORT"

November 14, 2012: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s “24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report” runs from 8 pm EST, Wednesday, November 14, 2012 to 8 pm, Thursday, November 15.

ICSC asked four of its science advisors to comment on the statements that appear on the 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report Website and in Mr. Gore’ video presentation on the same site. Here are the scientists’ remarks. In each case, the site is quoted first and then the ICSC scientists’ responses follow.

Responding to direct quotes from the 24 Hours of Reality project Website:

1 – “Dirty energy has created a world of Dirty Weather. Today, climate disruption affects us all. And it will take all of us together to solve it. Join us for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, when together we will stand up and demand real solutions to the climate crisis.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Ian D. Clark, PhD, Professor (isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology), Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: “Actually, our energy systems have never been cleaner, and continue to improve. The idea that we are responsible for extreme weather, let alone that we can change weather patterns is preposterous. Extreme weather is not new, it is natural. For any extreme event we have now, there is precedence in the recent past or distant past. The only difference between past events and now is our greatly expanded population and development of infrastructure that increases impact of extreme weather.

Bob Carter, PhD, Adjunct Research Fellow at James Cook University, Queensland, Australia, ICSC Chief Science Advisor: “Dirty weather is part and parcel of living on planet Earth.”

Tim Ball, PhD, Environmental consultant and former climatology professor, University of Winnipeg (founded the Rupertsland Research Centre).  Now residing in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: “He [Mr. Gore] is talking about CO2 using public relations not scientific terminology. The target is CO2, the byproduct of burning fossil fuels, but he avoids saying that or using the completely erroneous term “carbon”. President Obama incorrectly talks about "carbon pollution". CO2 is a natural gas essential to plants and thereby to life on Earth. It is at the lowest atmospheric level in at least 300 million years and only causes "warming", "change" and "disruptions" in the manipulated IPCC computers.”

Madhav L. Khandekar, PhD, consultant meteorologist, (former) Research Scientist, Environment Canada, Editor "Climate Research” (03-05), Editorial Board Member "Natural Hazards, IPCC Expert Reviewer 2007, Unionville, Ontario, Canada: “With clean air technology initiatives, we are able to use much cleaner energy today than say 25 years ago. We will need energy always so we must use cheap energy like oil, natural gas and clean coal!”


2 – “Let’s face it: The weather outside is different than it used to be. Record heat waves make it a chore to go outside. Floods and rainstorms damage our homes and cities. Crops wilt under severe droughts. Hot, dry weather sparks widespread fires.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Dr. Tim Ball: “Yes, the weather is different because it changes all the time as anyone who studies weather history knows. It is not more extreme and the changes are well within natural variability.”

Professor Ian D. Clark: “Read any chronicles of past weather, from modern to biblical times. Floods, droughts, heat waves are not new.”

Professor Bob Carter: “The IPCC, NIPCC and scores of independent scientists have investigated whether there is anything unusual about today’s weather. None of the scientists involved has been able to show that the intensity or frequency of modern weather extremes exceeds that of the natural climate events that have occurred throughout geological history.”

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “Weather outside is NO more different than say fifty years ago! It is our perception that has changed. Fifty years ago, we had as many heat waves, floods, droughts as we have today, we just did NOT pay much attention then.”

Editor's note: The NOAA National Climatic Data Center Website shows that virtually all state-wide records for the United States were set decades in the past. Other countries' data center Websites shows similar trends.


3 – “This is the extreme weather you see almost every day on the news — or out your window. This is Dirty Weather. And because of man-made climate change, we can expect it to happen a lot more often.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “My comments above apply. Heat waves were more common in the 1920s and 1930s in North America. Why was no one talking about it then! There were many well-known meteorologists then like J. Bjerknes and Eric Palmen who knew that earth's climate can become warmer or colder, so why worry now?”

Professor Bob Carter: “Of course unusual, or damaging, weather events get mentioned in the news media, for reporting such hazards is one of their most important functions.”

Dr. Tim Ball: “[This is] completely false. It is not "dirty weather' it is weather and perfectly normal.” 


4 – “We’re polluting our atmosphere with Dirty Energy like coal, oil, and gas. The result? The planet heats up. And we expose ourselves to Dirty Weather: Floods, droughts, heat waves, wildfires.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Dr. Tim Ball: “CO2 is not a pollutant. There are pollutants going into the atmosphere but we have reduced those significantly without any credit. A real "dirty energy" is biofuels, because it takes food right off poor people's plates and makes the cost of all their food more expensive.”

Professor Ian D. Clark: “The recent events Gore calls “dirty weather” come at a time when the planet has stopped warming. Only the rhetoric is increasing.”

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “The earth's climate has NOT warmed in 16 years per UK Met Office! We may not see warming of the climate by more than 0.5C in next 50 to 100 years.”


5 – “We’ll always have to live with bad weather sometimes. But we don’t have to live with Dirty Weather. We can make the switch from dirty to clean energy … and together, we can stop the pollution that’s disrupting our climate.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Professor Ian D. Clark: “The new lexicon of “dirty weather” is a clear attempt to link natural weather phenomena to pollution. Yet it is not pollution but clean CO2 which has been taken as the cause for changes to weather patterns. The call for “clean” energy, by contrast, inadvertently promotes some of the more polluting schemes. Even wind, for example, the only significant renewable with any shade of green to it, is burdened with the need for thermal (coal) backup power and it too creates sound and visual pollution such that no one wants them nearby.”

Professor Bob Carter: “The first statement [from The Dirty Weather Project Web site, comment #5 above] is true. The remainder is opinionative nonsense.”

Dr. Tim Ball: “Yes, we always have to live with bad weather but warm is better than cold and the weather has been more damaging and threatening to people in the past. Again he is claiming CO2 is a pollutant. Alternate energies are not sustainable and only exist with government subsidies. Countries, like most European countries have tried and are abandoning alternate energies.” 

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “With lots of natural gas in U.S. we can use cleaner energy over next 25 to 50 years. Wind energy is too expensive and NOT reliable. Solar energy can be improved to become cheaper & reliable, but it may take long time.”


Responding to direct quotes from Al Gore in his video on the 24 Hours of Reality project Website (below). Again each quote below is followed by ICSC scientists’ responses:

1 - “We face a global crisis of unprecedented proportions. We’re dumping 90 million tons of heat trapping carbon pollution [sic] into the atmosphere every 24 hours and it’s altering our climate.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Professor Bob Carter: “We do indeed [“face a global crisis of unprecedented proportions”], and that crisis is the misrepresentation of science by political activists like Mr. Al Gore. As a result, western nations are squandering money on ineffectual anti-carbon dioxide measures, and neglecting their duty to care for their citizens by not tackling the genuine hazards that accompany natural climate events and change.”

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “We DO NOT face a global crisis! This is an exaggeration! Look at India and China, two countries have total population of over 2.5 billion, yet they are doing well, grain yields have increased and people [the] world-over are living longer and healthier today than they were, say, fifty years ago!“

Dr. Tim Ball: “90 million tons is a very crude estimate produced by the IPCC and within the error of the estimate of CO2 from at least two natural sources. The only place it is altering our climate is in the compute remodels of the IPCC. They are programmed so that an increase in CO2 causes a temperature increase. In every record for any time period, temperature increases before CO2 - the fundamental assumption to his claim is absolutely wrong.”

Professor Ian D. Clark: “In fact, much of the rise in CO2 is attributed to increased respiration of the biosphere. Our carbon emissions are minor compared to this natural cycling of carbon. There is absolutely no empirical scientific evidence for the increase in CO2 having affected climate.”


2 – “Now, we find ourselves living in what the scientists call a new normal of more extreme weather that’s happening all over the world with increasing frequency. And the results—fire, flood, drought, crop and livestock devastation, refugees, just to mention a few—impact everyone, everywhere.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Dr. Tim Ball: “PROVE IT. Every record shows no increase and the pattern is well within natural variability.” 

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “Extreme weather [events] are NOT increasing at present! They are perceived to be 'increasing' due to media attention! Check the reality of climate by looking at extreme weather fifty years ago!”


3 – “but like all crisis, this one includes opportunity as well as danger.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Professor Bob Carter: “Yes. And the opportunity is to discontinue futile wastage of money on policies like the Kyoto anti-carbon dioxide protocol, and to introduce a cost-effective policy of preparation for, and adaptation to, all dangerous climate-related events. The money saved will run into hundreds of billions of dollars, and can be used to provide sanitation, clean drinking water and food to underprivileged persons and nations.”

Dr. Tim Ball: “What opportunity? To falsify the record to make false claims and then use the material for political and financial gain. It appears nobody has made more money from exploiting carbon credits than Al Gore.  He fits Mencken's comment that. "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."”

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “Yes, we have opportunities to develop clean technology, like clean coal, provide good housing for all people, provide good education so they will face future extreme weather more effectively. [There is] NO need to reduce atmospheric CO2! It will do NOTHING!”


4 – “the weather we’re experiencing now is just that, dirty. It’s fueled by dirty fossil fuel energy and misinformation.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “NO! NO! NO! Weather today in south Asia, where 3/4 of humanity lives today has NOT changed much in last fifty years! Monsoon droughts/foods always occurred before and will occur in future!”

Dr. Tim Ball: “[Mr. Gore's is) A comment that only serves to underscore his ignorance of climate and climate history. How does he explain all the previous climate variability and severe weather?”


5 – “this crisis has to be understood in order to be stopped. The misinformation includes messaging that it’s not happening, that we can’t solve it, that we can’t afford to act. However, together, with your help and the full force of our 21st century technology and media, we can stop the misinformation and the dirty weather and we can solve the climate crisis.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Professor Bob Carter: “The misinformation is coming from persons such as David Suzuki, Al Gore and other IPCC supporters. The solution lies with the mainstream media, who should cease to report the ceaseless propaganda that emanates from these people about global warming.”

Dr. Tim Ball: “Yes, but the crisis that has to be understood and stopped is the false crisis Gore perpetuates fro his own profit, both political and economic.”

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “Once again, I see NO CLIMATE CRISIS! This is an exaggerated view of climate alarmists! Humans can live happily by becoming more technologically prepared, making good use of available fossil and other energy sources and be prepared to cope with future climate impacts, which will be NO different than what we witnessed 50 or 100 years ago!”


6 – “help us fight against the messages from the climate deniers.”

ICSC scientists respond:

Professor Ian D. Clark: “This term, which alludes to the Holocaust deniers, is a great insult to many alive today. It is contrary to science to defame researchers with opposing evidence. Science is advanced by the discourse between differing views. Consensus science is an oxymoron.”

Professor Bob Carter: “The best way to fight the climate deniers would be to close down the IPCC, for it is IPCC scientists who remain in denial as to the natural cause of modern climate events.”

Dr. Tim Ball: “Use of the term "denier" is deliberate and part of the public relations campaign Gore uses all the time. It brings with it the Holocaust connotation. It's ironic and wrong because, although it omits the word "Change", it is the opposite of what is happening. Those called climate change deniers have careers spent trying to educate people of the extent the climate changes naturally - they are anything but deniers. The real deniers are people like Gore as the commentary and arguments made by him above prove.” 

Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar: “There are many scientists today who are questioning the IPCC science! Climate has changed due to natural climate variability NOT due to human-added CO2! “

Editor's note: The 2011 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) concluded “the data reveal there have not been any significant warming-induced increases in extreme weather events." The NIPCC report shows that this was the case whether the phenomenon being studied was precipitation, floods, drought, storms, hurricanes, fire, or other weather-related events. NIPCC author, Dr. Madhav Khandekar shows that extreme weather events are now occurring with about the same frequency as they did during 1945 - 1977 cooling period.