There is a conceit among the American left that the American right cleaves to bad science out of deference to religion, while the left is all-science, all-the-time. Former Veep Al Gore's new movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," however, shows how unscientific -- and downright faith-based -- the left has become.
Is global warming human-induced? Gore says that it is, and he may well be right. Last month in The New York Times, Gregg Easterbrook of the Brookings Institution announced that he had converted from global-warming "skeptic to convert." Easterbrook noted that a 1992 survey found that a mere 17 percent of members of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society believed in greenhouse-gas climate change. Since then, scientists have found more evidence of the phenomenon.
Gore was wrong in 1992 when he wrote that 98 percent of scientists agreed with him on global warming. Witness the survey cited above.
Now, he is wrong when he argues in his movie that there is a complete consensus on global warming today. As proof Gore cites a 2004 study that looked at 928 climate abstracts and found none that refuted global-warming dogma. That says more about the researcher than the scientific community.
There are a number of well-known scientists who don't believe that global warming is human-induced, or who believe that if it is, it is not catastrophic. Hurricane expert William Gray of Colorado State University believes the Earth will start to cool within 10 years. Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center, told The Washington Post that global warming is "a hoax." Climate scientist Robert Lindzen of MIT believes that clouds and water vapor will counteract greenhouse gas emissions.
So you have to ask yourself: Why does Gore pretend that apostates do not exist? Scientists acknowledge contradictory data. But the faith-driven Gore argues that all scientists agree with him -- well, except for those who are bought and paid for by big polluters.
Because this is a crusade -- and not about science -- Gore is drawn not to the most reasoned scenarios, but the most apocalyptic.
Consider this exchange with ABC's George Stephanopoulos -- formerly of the Clinton-Gore administration -- who questioned Gore's prediction that global-warming could cause sea levels to rise 20 feet. "But the consensus is several inches over the next century. Right?" asked Stephanopoulos on June 4. "Not 20 feet?"