CNN’s Larry King isn’t exactly known for playing hardball, but his June 13 softball interview was the perfect game for former Vice President Al Gore to cap off his round of TV appearances on global warming.
King let fly a few statements that more balanced interviewers might have caught:
“We should feel a great sense of urgency because it is the most dangerous crisis we have ever faced by far,” Gore said of global warming.
So supposedly the prospect of climate change is bigger than the war on terrorism, the civil rights struggle, the Cold War against a nuclear-armed Soviet empire and World War II? King neglected to mention any of those crises.
“For a long time the scientists have been telling us global warming increases the temperature of the top layer in the ocean and that causes the average hurricane to become a lot stronger,” Gore told King, adding that we’ve seen “a string of unusually strong hurricanes outside the boundaries of this multi-decadal cycle that is a real factor.” Simply put, Gore concluded, “we're completely outside the range of natural variability” in hurricane strength from natural cycles.
But not all scientists agree with that assessment. University of Virginia’s Pat Michaels, for example, has noted that most global warming adherents rely on computer models which don’t account for historical storm patterns.
“In reality, only 10 percent of the behavior of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean (where there are the best long-term records) is related to sea surface temperatures,” Michaels wrote in November 2004. The Cato Institute scholar was reacting to a study relying on a computer model which argued that “nearly 60 percent of the changes” in hurricane strength would stem from warmer ocean temperatures.
But computers “only do what they are told, and they don't do what they are not told,” argued Michael, adding that “global warming is likely to increase winds, several kilometers aloft, that actually destroy hurricanes. In fact, as the planet has warmed, maximum winds measured by hurricane-research aircraft in the Atlantic Basin have declined.”
Gore also attacked some global warming critics in part for lack of scientific training. President Bush, charged Gore, put in charge “of the White House environment office, a fellow named Philip Cooney,” who was “empowered to sensor” government reports on global warming “even though he had no scientific training.”
Gore himself is not a trained scientist, holding a government degree from Harvard.
The Business & Media Institute has documented the media’s love affair with Al Gore’s global warming movie and the media’s 110-year history of skewed reporting on climate change.