Friday, December 01, 2006

Can You Hear Me Now?, Amen!, -and- Jaws of Death

Can You Hear Me Now? - woman assaulted over cell phone while getting hair done
Amen! - court rules against ACLU over San Diego cross
Jaws of Death - man on crack when alligator attacked

On this day in history: December 1, 1947 - Aleister Crowley, the wickedest man in the world, dead in Hastings England, aged 74. He wrote that "for nearly all purposes, human sacrifice is best," and taught the Law of Thelema, "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Crowley also appears on the cover of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper" album.

Born on this day in history: December 1, 1945 - Bette Midler (1945 - ____) singer, actress. "The Divine Miss M" starred in "Beaches," 1988; "For The Boys," 1992; and "The First Wives Club," 1996; winner of two Grammys, a Tony, and an Emmy.

Today's Video: Submitted by Laura. Fantastic Machine

VIDEOS: The videos are now available via the link "Amazing and Amusing Videos" in the Links section, below the visitor counter.

It would be a relatively simple matter to consider "An Inconvenient Truth" a comedy. Real climate scientists, however, are not laughing. This is not just because Al Gore commits numerous basic science errors. They are also concerned that many in the media and public will fail to realize that this film amounts to little more than science fiction.

Gore tells the audience that, by simply looking at Antarctic ice cores with the naked eye, one can see when the American Clean Air Act was passed. This is pure fantasy, unless Gore is able to detect parts per billion changes to chemicals in ice. Air over the United States does not even circulate to the Antarctic before mixing with most of the northern, then the southern, hemisphere air. This process takes decades.

Gore repeatedly labels carbon dioxide "global warming pollution." Carbon dioxide is no more pollution than is oxygen. CO2 is plant food, an ingredient essential for photosynthesis--without which Earth would be a lifeless, frozen ice ball. The hypothesis that human release of CO2 is a major contributor to global warming is just that--an unproven hypothesis, against which evidence is increasingly mounting.

The correlation between CO2 and temperature that Gore speaks about so confidently is simply non-existent over all meaningful time scales. Over geologic time, the two are not linked at all. Over the intermediate time scales Gore focuses on, the ice cores show that CO2 increases do not precede--and therefore do not cause--warming. Instead, they follow temperature rise--by as much as 800 years. Earth actually cooled between 1940 and 1980, when human emissions of CO2 were rising at the fastest rate in our history.

The fact that water vapor constitutes 95% of greenhouse gases by volume is completely ignored by Gore. Humanity's three-billion-tons-per-year net contribution to the atmosphere's CO2 load is actually less than half of 1% of the atmosphere's total CO2 content. Our CO2 emissions are also dwarfed by the 210-billion-tons-per-year emissions of the gas from Earth's oceans and land.

But Gore persists, labeling future CO2 rises as "deeply unethical" and lectures the audience, "Each one of us is a cause of global warming." Not satisfied with simply warning of human-induced killer heat waves, he then uses high-tech special effects to show how human-caused climate changes are causing more hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, infectious diseases, insect plagues, glacial retreats, coral die-outs and the flooding of small island nations due to sea level rise caused by the melting of the polar caps. One is left wondering if Gore thinks nature is responsible for anything.

It is a miracle that "An Inconvenient Truth" exists at all. A movie with a scantily clad Jessica Alba presenting a computer slideshow on climate science is implausible enough. With Al Gore as producer, the credibility factor drops even lower. The movie can best be classified as science fiction nerd porn.