"Not at all," Gore replied. He added that the scientists he talks to -- his disciples, if you will -- see it his way. He ignores the less catastrophic theories, which predict a rise of an inch per decade, or 3 feet over the next century. To Gore, the worst-case scenario is the only scenario.
I thought Gore's chart comparing carbon-dioxide increases to temperature spikes was dramatic. But because Gore omits what he does not want to see, I have to listen to former NASA scientist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, when he tells me: "It is an alarming chart, but there are so many alternative explanations for what he's showing. He's giving it one possible explanation and making it sound like the only explanation." Spencer says it is "more likely" that the higher temperatures increased carbon dioxide levels.
Spencer, who also writes for TCS Daily (which receives some funding from ExxonMobil), believes that some global warming is human-induced, but "I don't believe in climate catastrophe. And, "It comes down to whether you believe the climate system is fragile or resilient." It all comes down to belief -- and that is the problem. Global warming has become so politicized that scientists must believe in it. If they predict dire consequences, they win praise from true believers and grants for their important research. Scientists who question the prophecies of doom can expect to be marginalized.
Oddly, Gore begins "An Inconvenient Truth" discussing a young classmate who wondered if South America and Africa once had been connected. Their teacher ridiculed the friend, who turned out to be right. Sometimes the know-it-alls are wrong.
Now Gore is the know-it-all teacher -- and woe to any scientist who does not agree with him, not just on global warming, but on a 20-foot rise in sea level. It is this alarmism -- this extremism -- that has led many a thinking person to question global warming. It's hard to trust those who believe only the most extreme scenario.
Besides, whenever the establishment says you have to believe something, you want people who question the establishment. Or as global cooling guru Gray once said, "Consensus science isn't science."