NEW YORK — Former Vice President Al Gore, the most prominent proponent of global warming alarmism, was the target of biting humor and ridicule Monday at the second International Conference on Climate Change.
U.S. Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) and scientist Arthur Robinson, who has assembled a list of more than 31,000 U.S. scientists skeptical of global warming alarmism, in separate speeches ripped what they saw as Gore’s hypocrisy in urging energy conservation while expanding his own carbon footprint and with inconsistencies in Gore’s popular movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The conference, produced by The Heartland Institute and 60 co-sponsors, attracted about 700 scientists, economists, and policy experts to confront the issue, “Global Warming: Was it ever really a crisis?”
McClintock joked he was the first to discover global warming during a grade school trip to a natural history museum, where he deduced dinosaurs were destroyed by warming temperatures. Unfortunately, he said, Miss Conroy, his elementary school teacher, failed to nominate him for a Nobel Prize, “so instead of jetting around the world in a fleet of Gulfstream Fives to tell people they need to feel guilty about driving to work, I have to take the subway. And I don’t get paid $100,000 a speech for my original discovery. But then again, I don’t have Al Gore’s electricity bills either, so I guess it all balances out.”
The congressman also noted that James Hansen, the notorious NASA astronomer who has urged that global warming skeptics face a Nuremberg-style trial for crimes against humanity, in 1971 warned of a coming deadly ice age, but lately has made front-page news by warning of a deadly global warming.
Robinson, who heads the independent Oregon Institute of Science & Medicine, dissected “An Inconvenient Truth” by noting contradictions, much to the delight of the audience.
For instance, he noted Gore produced a chart that he said showed computer models predicted a sharp rise in global temperatures years before computers capable of such projections existed. Another Gore graphic warned of species becoming extinct … and illustrated the point with wooly mammoths and other species that disappeared eons ago. Robinson ridiculed Gore’s contention that Pacific Ocean islanders evacuated their land for New Zealand as ocean levels rose 3 inches.
Robinson defended his oft-cited list of 31,478 scientists who have proclaimed their skepticism of dangerous global warming. The list has been criticized for containing the names of many non-climate scientists. But Robinson said the ranks of sound-science climatologists have been trimmed because some scientists “succumbed to fortune and glory” by spinning their research into global warming alarmism, and thus lost credibility with their peers.
Robinson said with the ranks of climatologists so weakened, the only scientists who can claim “there is no convincing scientific evidence” of dangerous global warming caused by human activity are scientists from fields beyond climatology, such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics — more than 31,000 of whom signed his petition.
More than 50 presentations were made Monday, including:
- Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway, who noted that the composition of ocean water — including carbon dioxide, calcium, and water — can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans, a relatively new alarm raised by global warming alarmists as data mounts that global temperatures pose little risk.
- Syun-Ichi Akasofu of the University of Alaska, who said Earth’s climate is presently in a period of long, slow recovery from the Little Ice Age that ran for 300 or so years and ended in about 1850. The data suggest a large-scale secular trend of about 0.5 degrees Celsius per century of linear rise, punctuated by multi-decade-long oscillations. He said his data suggest the warming may end soon, because by historical standards it should not last for more than about another 100 years.
- David Evans, former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, said computer models of human-caused global warming in models from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics. However, radio temperature data for the upper troposphere clearly show there is no hotspot. The IPCC’s assertion of man-made global warming rests on this fundamental prediction, but, said Evans, the hotspot just isn’t there.
Evans suggested “the science behind (human-caused global warming) is weak” and consists largely of 45 people peer-reviewing each other’s papers, which tends toward groupthink on science questions.
- Australian climatologist William Kininmonth said his data show that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would produce a temperature change at the surface of about 0.6 Centigrade. By contrast, models favored by alarmists predict a much more shallow energy-loss curve, and hence give an average temperature increase nearly three times higher. He said the difference is significant because it influences predictions of world-wide sea levels.
Bloggers Daniel Foty and Thomas Sheahen contributed to this article.