Al Gore Op-Ed in New York Times: "We Can't Wish Away Climate Change"

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Expect a hundred comments about how climate change is a hoax, reminding us of how much snow fell this month, the non-shrinking glaciers or hacked emails. They will probably be from people who will not even bother reading Al Gore's long op-ed in the Sunday New York Times. If they did, they would find that he addresses all of these issues.

To summarize it, he writes:

  • If only it were true, it would be a great relief;

  • The errors in the reports and the emails are embarrassing, but do not change the overall picture;

  • Global warming puts more moisture into the atmosphere, possibly causing more snow; "Just as it's important not to miss the forest for the trees, neither should we miss the climate for the snowstorm";

And his take on why there is such opposition to doing anything about it:
"Over the years, as the science has become clearer and clearer, some industries and companies whose business plans are dependent on unrestrained pollution of the atmospheric commons have become ever more entrenched. They are ferociously fighting against the mildest regulation -- just as tobacco companies blocked constraints on the marketing of cigarettes for four decades after science confirmed the link of cigarettes to diseases of the lung and the heart.

Simultaneously, changes in America's political system -- including the replacement of newspapers and magazines by television as the dominant medium of communication -- conferred powerful advantages on wealthy advocates of unrestrained markets and weakened advocates of legal and regulatory reforms. Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as "socialist" any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace."

More in New York Times

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