Five years ago at a UN Conference on Climate Change, Al Gore predicted that, global warming having reached such an unbridled pitch, the North Pole might be completely ice-free during the summer of 2014. This climate change crusader had made the same claim when he accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Was he right? Let's take a look.
The Danish Meteorological Institute's (DMI) Centre for Ocean and Ice closely monitors Arctic sea ice extent and publishes a monthly plot on its website. According to DMI, 2014 is the second summer in a row that the ice cap has expanded. Data from the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) agrees, showing 2014's summer ice well within the average range for the years 1961-2010. In fact, NSIDC's website points out an ice extent decline rate of "slightly less than the average" for the month of August.
This year's sea ice surge is no trifle. The U.K.'s Daily Mail notes that NSIDC's numbers indicate a 43 percent increase of 1.71 million square kilometers of ice over the course of the last two summers. DMI's statistics are even more dramatic because of a different measuring system that agency uses. It reports a 63 percent rise — from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometers — over the same time period.
So it looks like Al Gore was wrong, despite his Nobel Peace Prize. But we can forgive an honest mistake, can't we?
If only it were honest. Within hours of Gore's ice-free-Arctic prediction at the 2009 UN Conference on Climate Change, the scientist he had referenced told UK's The Times, "I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this" and said his research identified polar ice "beyond 2020."
Gore had based his assertion on what he called "fresh" research by this U.S. Naval Post-Graduate School professor, Dr. Wieslav Maslowski. "I don’t know when [the data] were released, but I just got them yesterday," Gore had told his UN audience, quoting a 75 percent likelihood. Later when The Times confronted the Nobel laureate, his office backpedaled, admitting the estimate was a "ballpark figure" from a conversation several years earlier between Gore and Maslowski. But the misquoted scientist told The Times, "It's unclear to me how this figure was arrived at."
That may explain why Gore didn't return calls to The Daily Mail for comment about the 2014 summer sea ice spread.
Unabashed and undaunted, the former U.S. vice president continues his campaign to save the planet. His Climate Reality Project website reads: "The majority of Americans believe man-man climate change is real. So why haven't we taken action to face this challenge?" This time he doesn't bother to specify where he got his "majority" statistic, but with his track record, would we trust his source?
To answer his question, however, we'll turn to a recent Gallup poll which shows that 65 percent of us do, in fact, believe global warming is happening or will in the future. The poll doesn't specify what we think of the "man-made" part of Gore's contention, but it does answer his question about why we haven't taken action. It's because most of us know global warming is not a threat. Only half of the 65 percent of believers think global warming will ever endanger our way of life.
But what about the polar bears' way of life? That's the big concern regarding sea ice extent because the ice is their hunting ground. Naysayers expect that less of it means they'll starve, and Al Gore adds to the worry by saying vast numbers of them will drown. Surely this summer's ice spread is good news for them. The bad news is that DMI and NSIDC declare Arctic ice continues in a steady overall decline since 1979. Does this mean the end is near for polar bears?
It should come as no surprise that the answer is "no," and Gore and his alarmist cronies are wrong again. Polar bears have "certainly been around through the last interglacial period," biologist and government advisor Mitchell Taylor told Canada's CBC News. "During that interglacial it was warmer than it is now: we had pine trees on Baffin Island, deciduous forests north of the Arctic Circle. Polar bears had to survive that or we wouldn't be seeing polar bears now."
Gore's disproven predictions add more notches to the ever-growing tally of climate alarmist prophecies that have been proven dead wrong. Alex Newman recently published a must-read comprehensive exposé of these "Embarrassing Predictions" in The New American. From catastrophic global cooling claims made in the 1960s and 1970s, to cataclysmic forecasts of global warming ever since — starvation, mass migration of "climate refugees," threats to national security, etc. — not one conjecture has come even close to reality.
Yet the "Great Global Warming Swindle" continues to form the basis of national and international climate policies, wasting billions of tax dollars and stifling economies. John McManus, president of The John Birch Society, sums up these policies as "costly and unnecessary solutions" to a problem that doesn't exist, which leads to the conclusion that climate alarmists such as Gore aren't the only ones who are wrong. The majority of Americans who detect no threat from global warming are obviously mistaken, too.
Photo of Al Gore: AP Images