Gore steps up his hypocritical Presidential campaign


Richard Moore

Here we have Gore grandstanding on an easy popular issue. Gore, who fought to 
bring us the NAFTA disaster, and who mocked the black Congressmen and women who 
protested the theft of the 2000 election. Does anyone really think he could or 
would do anything meaningful about global warming? When he starts talking about 
reversing what is euphemistically called 'economic growth', then we can lend him
some credibility.


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Posted on Fri, Dec. 15, 2006

Gore urges scientists to speak up

By Douglas Fischer

SAN FRANCISCO - Former Vice President Al Gore, who brought the message of a 
climate in crisis to the general public, carried the gospel back to those who 
gave him the data, urging more than 5,000 scientists studying the Earth and its 
climate to vociferously educate the public to the graveness of global warming.

"I'm asking you very seriously to become much more active," Gore told 
researchers gathered Thursday for the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting,
the world's largest scientific meeting.

Some 15,000 scientists are at the conference. More than one-third filled two 
giant ballrooms at the Marriott Hotel to capacity hear him talk.

"Get involved. Because so much is at stake."

Gore's documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," popularized the significant -- and 
increasingly catastrophic -- changes under way on Earth as a result of human 

Gore's evidence came largely from those sitting in the audience: Researchers 
studying Antarctic ice cores, ocean sediments, Arctic sea ice, clouds, mountain 
glaciers and a host of different planetary systems.

Their most recent evidence, unveiled in the past week, suggests the pace and 
scope of change surpasses even what scientists suspected a year ago:

€ The Antarctic ice core record, for example, now extends back to 800,000 years.
Yet scientists studying that record warn that current trends render moot any 
comparison with information locked in ice: The planet, they say, is warming to a
degree unseen in 40 million years, as the first mammals were evolving. Sea 
sediments bolster that hypothesis.

€ Arctic ice could be gone in the summer within 34 years.

That's decades earlier than previously thought, and it rids the Northern 
Hemisphere of its refrigerator. And "if we allow it to go," Gore said, "it won't
come back on any time scale relevant to the human species."

For Gore, the climate crisis is a symptom -- "the most prominent and dangerous 
symptom" -- of a larger ailment: Humanity's relationship with the planet.

"We have somehow persuaded ourselves that we really don't have to care that much
about what we're doing to future generations," he said.

"We have to find a way to communicate the direness of the situation."

James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, had a 
front row seat to Gore's hourlong talk.

His name often comes up when talk turns to the need in science for a 
standard-bearer; more than any scientist, he has generated headlines for his 
spars with the White House on climate change.

He agreed fully with Gore's call. "Scientists have not done a good job 
communicating with the public," he said in an interview.

The "huge gap" between where the science is and what the public knows, Hansen 
added, "is partly our fault and part of the problem."

Dan Kammen, co-director of the University of California's Institute of the 
Environment and a professor in the Energy and Resources Group, said being a 
scientist activist has its price. He's lost out on grants because of his 
political positions on energy and climate issues, he said.

"Some of us have been doing this for some time and at some risk," Kammen said.

Are more scientists likely to heed Gore's call? In a few weeks, a pack of 
climate scientists and politicians are planning a demonstration in front of the 
White House.

"There is a lot of frustration" with inaction on curbing carbon emissions, 
Kammen said. "But science is inherently a discipline of skepticism."

But rare is the scientist who can pack so many colleagues into two ballrooms 
that, as happened Thursday, organizers must turn people away at the door.

Jerry Porter, an atmospheric scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National 
Laboratory, could only shake his head in wonder at Gore's grasp of the 
underlying science and its implications.

"He's a deeper thinker about environmental issues than those of us in the 
environmental sciences," he said.

Douglas Fischer of the Oakland Tribune can be reached at 

© 2006 ContraCostaTimes.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.


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