Mark Landsbaum
Orange Punch Blog
July 24, 2008

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels is the former Virginia State Climatologist, and is a UN IPCC reviewer. He’s also University of Virginia professor of environmental sciences and author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies on climate change.

Al Gore is an Oscar winner for narrating a PowerPoint presentation, a fellow whose carbon footprint at his Tennessee 20-room home and pool house consumed 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours, and whose college grades one year included one D, one C-minus, two Cs, two C-pluses and a B-minus, putting him in the lower fifth of his class for the second year in a row.

Courtesy Marc Morano, communications director for Republicans on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, we compare Mr. Gore’s claims on global warming, with facts from Mr. Michaels:

Gore: “Scientists . . . have warned that there is now a 75 percent chance that within five years the entire [North Polar] ice cap will completely disappear during the summer months.”

Fact: The Arctic Ocean was much warmer than it is now for several millennia after the end of the last ice age. We know this because there are trees buried in the tundra along what is now the arctic shore. Those trees can be dated using standard analytical techniques that have been around for decades. According to Glen MacDonald of UCLA, the trees show that July temperatures could have been 5-13°F warmer from 9,000 to about 3,000 years ago than they were in the mid-20th century. The arctic ice cap had to have disappeared in most summers, and yet the polar bear survived!

Gore: “Our weather sure is getting strange, isn’t it? There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory. . . .”Fact: The reason there “seems” to be more tornadoes is because of national coverage by Doppler radar, which can detect storms that were previously missed (not to mention that every backyard tornado winds up on YouTube nowadays). Naturally, the additions are weak ones that might, if lucky, tip over a cow. If there were a true increase in tornadoes, then we would see a definite upswing in severe ones, too. If anything, the historical record indicates a slight negative trend in the frequency of major tornadoes, based upon death statistics.

Gore: ” . . . longer droughts . . . “

Fact: Hogwash. The U.S. drought history, given by the Palmer Drought Severity Index, is readily available and extends back to 1895. There’s not a shred of evidence for “longer droughts” …

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