- The Washington Times - Monday, June 19, 2006

In releasing his movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” former Vice President (and almost-president) Al Gore has tied his political fortunes firmly to a warmer climate. Since the greenhouse effect does not seem to be all it’s cracked up to be, he has to pray for a hyperactive sun and more sunspots between now and November 2008. He’s not the only one rooting for a hotter climate.

Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, the Sierra Club and dozens if not hundreds of enviro-groups around the world — all grubbing for money — would be most distressed if the climate should start to cool, as it did for 35 years following a warming peak in 1940. Wait a minute: Hasn’t there been a cooling trend since the peak temperatures of 1998? It’s too soon to tell whether that trend will continue.

In the meantime, Mr. Gore has pre-empted the topic against rivals in his own party and for certain Republicans, like Sen. John McCain. He’s winning the support of all those who share in the government’s $5-billion-a-year climate-research bonanza. He’s gaining the backing of blue-state governors, mayors and civic organizations that loudly proclaim their “war against warming,” but would be the first to balk at the higher prices for gasoline and electricity that would inevitably result. As the architect of the Kyoto treaty in December 1997 (even after the Senate turned down the idea unanimously in July of that year), Mr. Gore must be aware that it would raise energy costs to the sky without getting any noticeable climate results. No surprise then that Clinton-Gore never submitted Kyoto for Senate ratification.

But after the impressions of his film wear off, after people forget about the crashing ice from glaciers and the cute, computerized polar bear vainly looking for an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, some may ask: How do we know whether the current warming is really caused by human activity?

The warming in the early part of the 20th century was natural and so was the even warmer climate around A.D. 1000, when Vikings were establishing agricultural settlements in Greenland and the north of England produced a quite drinkable wine. There are those pesky scientists who keep doubting the validity of the mathematical climate models and point instead to the atmospheric data, which show little warming that can be traced to humans. Mr. Gore calls these skeptics “deniers,” but his movie denies the very existence of any deniers.

Kind of confusing, isn’t it? Well, Mr. Gore had better hope for a super-warm summer in 2008, maybe even a big drought — just like the one in 1988 that started him on the road to abolishing climate change.

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