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Environment

Gore's Weakest Link

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJune 30, 2006 7:16 PM

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As I told you all before, I saw An Inconvenient Truth, and though I am not a scientist, being pretty familiar with much climate science I felt that most of what I saw was accurate. However, I was most troubled by the treatment of the hurricane issue. Not because there isn't an issue, but because the film--and apparently Gore--did not include the appropriate caveats, such as the following:

1. Global warming doesn't "cause" storms; though it will surely change the typical environment in which they form. 2. There is considerable debate over the extent to which global warming has already intensified tropical cyclones; though there are strong thermodynamic reasons for thinking that it will do so.

And so on. I believe that in depicting science, it's always better to include the caveats than to ignore them. And so, I'm glad to say, does Houston Chronicle science writer Eric Berger, who's just blogged on the Gore film. Berger has filed stories on the hurricane-climate issue and he too thinks that the Gore film should have been more cautious here. Hmm, could we be reaching journalistic "consensus"?

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