An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore: on Corporations
Commerce wounds nature that can no longer heal itself
Our over-scheduled, over-populated, hyper-stimulated existence is designed to monopolize our attention, to sell us things, to speed us from one place to another.
Nature, by contrast, is slow-moving, undemanding, maybe underwhelming for many people. But if you never put yourself in the midst of nature--to understand that its essence is our essence--then you’re inclined to treat it as trivial. You become willing to abuse and destroy it through carelessness, not recognizing that to do so is wrong.
We’ve come to accept that if nature can yield something of value to the lucrative engines of commerce, then we should grab it and rip it out, never thinking twice about the wounds left behind. According to this way of thinking, if exploitation results in injury to the environment, so be it: nature will always heal itself. But the magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever foresaw; the wounds no longer simply heal themselves. We have to act affirmatively to stop the harm. Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p.161 May 26, 2006
An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore: on Energy & Oil
Skeptics point to historical warming--but today is hotter
The correlation between temperate and CO2 concentrations over the last 1,000 years--as measured in the ice core record by Thompson’s team--is striking.
Nevertheless, the so-called global warming skeptics often say that global warming is really an illusion reflecting nature’s cyclical fluctuations. To support their view, they frequently refer to the Medieval Warm Period. But as [the historical] thermometer shows, the vaunted Medieval Warm Period was tiny compared to the enormous increases in temperature of the last half-century.
In any given year, it might seem as if the average global temperature is going down, but the overall trend is very clear. And in recent years, the rate of increase has been accelerating. In fact, if you look at the 21 hottest years measured, 20 of the last 21 occurred within the last 25 years. The hottest year on record during this entire period was 2005. Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p. 64&72-73 May 26, 2006
Ocean warming causes stronger hurricanes, like Katrina
Scientists have been using evermore accurate computer models that long ago predicted a much higher range of ocean temperatures as a result of man-made global warming. The actual ocean temperatures are completely consistent with what has been predicted, and they’re way above the range of natural variability.
As the oceans get warmer, storms get stronger. In 2004, Florida was hit by 4 unusually powerful hurricanes. That same year, Japan set an all-time record for typhoons. The previous record was 7. In 2004, 10 typhoons hit Japan.
The emerging consensus links global warming to increasingly destructive power of hurricanes, increasing the strength of the average hurricane a full half-step on the well-known 5-step scale. As water temperatures go up, wind velocity goes up. One major study came out less than a month before Hurricane Katrina hit.
When Katrina first hit, it was only a category 1 storm. Then, it passed over the unusually warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico [and became category 5]. Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p. 78-94 May 26, 2006
Global warming causes more floods & also more droughts
There has been record flooding in China, which, as one of the planet’s oldest civilizations, keeps the best flood records of any nation in the world.
Recently, for example, there were huge floods in Sichuan and Shandong provinces. Paradoxically, however, global warming also causes not only more flooding, but also more drought. The nearby Anhui province was continuing to suffer a severe drought at the same time the neighboring areas were flooding.
One of the reasons for this paradox has to do with the fact that global warming not only...