Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's Not ONLY About the Carbon Dioxide

Excerpt from James Taranto (of the WSJ):

Can you trust Al Gore's scientific claims in support of global warmism? Not
if this passage from a Gore op-ed in Sunday's New York Times is any

"Consider this tale of two planets. Earth and Venus are almost exactly
the same size, and have almost exactly the same amount of carbon. The difference
is that most of the carbon on Earth is in the ground--having been deposited
there by various forms of life over the last 600 million years--and most of the
carbon on Venus is in the atmosphere.

As a result, while the average temperature on Earth is a pleasant 59
degrees, the average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees. True, Venus is closer
to the Sun than we are, but the fault is not in our star; Venus is three times
hotter on average than Mercury, which is right next to the Sun. It's the carbon

As blogger George Reisman notes, the atmosphere on Mars is 95% carbon
dioxide, just shy of Venus's 96%. (The Earth's atmosphere, by contrast, is less
than 0.04% CO2.) Average temperature on Mars? Eighty-one below zero.

Men, we need to be clear thinkers. That means understanding that complicated and complex phenomenom (e.g., climate) have many factors.

Part of my frustration with Mr. Gore is that his continued use of lies -- even after they have been repeatedly pointed out -- is poisoning the opportunities for genuine dialogue about complex problems.

Update: Very good article in the NY Times magazine, More Heat Than Light, illustrates a dialogue perspective that I'd like to see more often, including recognition that regulation has real economic impacts (it's not neutral), and there are other pressing problems we need to include in the overall perspective (e.g., malnutrition, AIDS).

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