Using tragedy to advance an agenda has been a strategy for many global warming activists, and it was just a matter of time before someone found a way to tie the recent Myanmar cyclone to global warming.
Former Vice President Al Gore in an interview on NPR’s May 6 “Fresh Air” broadcast did just that. He was interviewed by “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross about the release of his book, “The Assault on Reason,” in paperback.
“And as we’re talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated,” Gore said. “And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China – and we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.”
Gore claimed global warming is forcing ocean temperatures to rise, which is causing storms, including cyclones and hurricanes, to intensify.
“It’s also important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can’t be linked singularly to global warming – we’ve always had hurricanes,” Gore said. “Nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms – the larger ones and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple of hundred feet of the ocean, which drives convection energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful.”
In October 2007, CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano disputed Gore’s claim that there is a strong correlation between intense storms and global warming. He explained that “global warming does not conclusively cause stronger hurricanes like we've seen,” pointing out that “by the end of this century we might get about a 5-percent increase.”
Editor's Note: Clarification: The original audio for this story included two accurate audio clips but placed in the incorrect order. They are now included on this story as separate clips. For the full NPR interview, click here.