Al Gore isn’t saying if he’s feeling the heat.
Mother Nature’s alpha male has been challenged by two skeptics to debate the "crisis" of global warming. Mr. Gore would, of course, take the affirmative. Dennis Avery and Lord Monckton of Brenchley would take him apart.
Is that why Ozone Al has not responded to their formal requests to debate or to be interviewed for this column?
The Heartland Institute, a public policy think tank with a Web site brimming with counterarguments to Gore’s prediction of an environmental apocalypse, has been involved since spring in promoting the debate. It’s run newspaper ads, issued press releases and used other tactics to get the public’s attention.
"Obviously Jim Eiden, legislative specialist on energy and environment at the Chicago-based Al Gore is the focal point of the movement, the de facto spokesman," says institute. "There’s a lot of unsettled science. We believe the debate is just beginning. He is politicizing it."
Gore gets his information from a United Nations panel on climate change that examines the possibility that man-made pollution drives temperatures upward, Mr. Eiden says.
"It’s a government bureaucratic entity," he says about the U.N. "The problem is the information distributed to the public is written by bureaucrats with an agenda. Like anything, you can spin it any way you want. Bad numbers in, bad numbers out."
There’s nothing that’s happened in recent weather history that is inconsistent with the 600 previous warming periods in the last million years, according to Mr. Avery, co-author of "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years" and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington D.C.
"There is no evidence to support the Greenhouse Theory."
Avery’s book looks at historical writings, physical evidence of Earth’s many warming/cooling cycles and the effect of the sun’s temperature variations on the planet. He claims warming is natural, unstoppable and nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, he says it can be wonderful.
Other periods of warming have lengthened the growing season and lessened the probability of a sudden frost. In other words, man was able to produce much more food in sun than in snow. And since warm weather does less damage to roads and doesn’t hinder travel the way cold weather does, trade flourished near and far, Avery said.
Christopher Monckton, for two decades a science and technology adviser to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, did have a debate with Gore in the pages of the U.K. Sunday Telegraph in 2006.
"He has rather half-baked, jumbled and prodigiously exaggerated notions," Mr. Monckton said when he called from
It would be a very severe misallocation of resources, he says. Environmental policies would be unnecessary or ineffective because, if the problem really is that big, Gore’s solution is too small. There would be nothing humans could do, no matter what, he says.
Gore is purposely misleading and scaring the public into adopting radical environmental policies designed to destroy the West’s economies, he says.
Gore made at least 20 errors in "An Inconvenient Truth" exaggerating the supposed danger, Monckton says. "They all cannot be accidental."
Dimitri Vassilaros is a Trib editorial page columnist. His column appears Sundays, Mondays and Fridays
You can reach him at 412-380-5637.
E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.