Thursday, October 01, 2015
Al Gore spreads environmental gospel before climate talks
6 foot sea rise this century? Eric Rignot is the authority quoted but Rignot is actually an engineer who knows very little about glacier dynamics. Prof. Don J. Easterbrook, a geologist, DOES know about glaciers, however, and he has already given a comprehensive rebuttal of Rignot's claims, remarking, "inter alia":
"These assertions are not new—36 years ago, Mercer (1978) suggested that the West Antarctic ice sheet was potentially unstable and others have commented on it before and since then. Here is what some have said: Calving of large icebergs is a natural process unrelated to warming–this ice shelf and others spawn huge icebergs every 6-10 years. Releasing a huge iceberg, by itself, is a normal process. Collapse of Pine Island glacier, if it did occur, would take 1000-2000 years, but it is unlikely to contribute to more than 2.7 cm of sea level rise over the next 100 years. Every 10 years or so ice shelves calve large icebergs, which are not worrisome. This ice stream is unlikely to collapse in our lifetime. "
Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore is busily training an army of organizers to go out and spread his environmental gospel ahead of key climate talks in Paris later this year.
The modern world is collapsing around us and we must change our ways, according to the former US vice president, who has led the training of more than 5,000 people in the last 18 months.
At each session, he delivers an updated version of his Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," using the latest news footage and startling videos to show how the very fossil fuels that have powered so much innovation are leading to the demise of society.
Air so hot it melts airport runways, floodwaters that crumble roads and bridges, methane that blows terrifying holes in Siberia and air pollution so thick it has shortened life expectancy in China by several years featured prominently during his three-hour presentation in Miami this week.
"The world that we have built was built for different conditions," Gore told about 1,000 people who came from 80 countries to attend the three-day climate training session.
At times, he lamented killer heat waves, parching drought, a media that doesn't connect the dots between extreme weather and global warming, and what he called "crazy short-term thinking" among politicians who deny that climate change is occurring.
"Don't let anybody tell you that we are going to get on rocket ships and go to Mars and live in hermetically sealed buildings. We couldn't even evacuate the city of New Orleans when a hurricane hit there," he said.
In Florida, where sea level rise threatens the drinking water, the tourist-friendly beaches and billions of dollars in infrastructure, Gore arrived just as Monday's super moon coincided with high tide, flooding some streets in Miami.
The Climate Leadership Reality Corps Training aims to teach people to give similar but shorter presentations in their own communities, each lasting around 20 minutes, so that they can educate others and encourage conservation and renewable energies.
Attendees in Miami were charged no fee to participate, but once their applications were approved, they were required to pay for their own food, lodging and travel.
On the second day, Gore led a panel discussion with leading scientists, including NASA expert Eric Rignot, who warned that 20 to 30 feet (six to nine meters) of sea level rise is considered inevitable, although it's unclear when this will eventually happen.
Pressed by Gore for a more precise timeline, he said to expect at least 6.5 feet before century's end.
Such a scenario would devour many coastal cities worldwide, but Gore counseled his followers to maintain a positive focus, citing progress in the wind and solar industries.
"Despair is paralyzing," said Gore. "We can't deliver that message."
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).