I was surprised to discover that Al Gore's new movie begins with words from me!
While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, "'An Inconvenient Truth' won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. ‘Sea levels may rise 20 feet' -- absurd." He used this comment from one of my TV shows.
The "20 feet" claim is absurd -- one of many hyped claims in his movie.
His second film, "An Inconvenient Sequel," shows lower Manhattan underwater while Gore intones: "This is global warming!"
My goodness! Stossel doubts Al Gore's claim, but pictures don't lie: The 9/11 Memorial is underwater! Gore is right! Stossel is an ignorant fool!
But wait. The pictures were from Superstorm Sandy. Water is pushed ashore during storms, especially "super" storms. But average sea levels haven't risen much.
Over the past decade, they have risen about 1 inch. But this is not because we burn fossil fuels. Sea levels were rising long before we burned anything. They've been rising about an inch per decade for a thousand years.
In his new movie, Gore visits Miami Beach. No storm, but streets are flooded! Proof of catastrophe!
But in a new e-book responding to Gore's film, climate scientist Roy Spencer points out that flooding in "Miami Beach occurs during high tides called 'king tides,' due to the alignment of the Earth, sun and moon. For decades they have been getting worse in low-lying areas of Miami Beach where buildings were being built on reclaimed swampland."
It's typical Al Gore scaremongering: Pick a place that floods every year and portray it as evidence of calamity.
Spencer, a former NASA scientist who co-developed the first ways of monitoring global temperatures with satellites, is no climate change "denier." Neither am I. Climate changes.
Man probably plays a part. But today's warming is almost certainly not a "crisis." It's less of a threat than real crises like malaria, terrorism, America's coming bankruptcy, etc. Even if increasing carbon dioxide warming the atmosphere were a serious threat, nothing Al Gore and his followers now advocate would make a difference.
"What I am opposed to is misleading people with false climate science claims and alarming them into diverting vast sums of the public's wealth into expensive energy schemes," writes Spencer.
Gore does exactly that. He portrays just about every dramatic weather event as proof that humans have changed weather. Watching his films, you'd think that big storms and odd weather never occurred before and that glaciers never melted.
In his first movie, Gore predicted that tornadoes and hurricanes would get worse. They haven't. Tornado activity is down.
What about those dramatic pictures of collapsing ice shelves?
"As long as snow continues to fall on Antarctica," writes Spencer, "glaciers and ice shelves will continue to slowly flow downhill to the sea and dramatically break off into the ocean. That is what happens naturally, just as rivers flow naturally to the ocean. It has nothing to do with human activities."
Gore said summer sea ice in the Arctic would disappear as early as 2014. Nothing like that is close to happening.
Gore's movie hypes solar power and electric cars but doesn't mention that taxpayers are forced to subsidize them. Despite the subsidies, electric cars still make up less than 1 percent of the market.
If electric cars do become more popular, Spencer asks, "Where will all of the extra electricity come from? The Brits are already rebelling against existing wind farms."
I bet most Gore fans have no idea that most American electricity comes from natural gas (33 percent), coal (30 percent) and nuclear reactors (20 percent).
Gore probably doesn't know that.
I'd like to ask him, but he won't talk to me. He won't debate anyone.
Critics liked "An Inconvenient Sequel." An NPR reviewer called it "a hugely effective lecture." But viewers were less enthusiastic. On Rotten Tomatoes, my favorite movie guide, they give "Sequel" a "tipped over popcorn bucket" score of 48 percent. Sample reviews: "Dull as can be." "Faulty info, conflated and exaggerated."
Clearly, Nobel Prize judges and media critics are bigger fans of big government and scaremongering than the rest of us.