Yesterday, Al Gore told NPR that the Myanmar cyclone was a consequence of global warming. Gore has previously alluded to Hurricane Katrina being a result of global warming as well. The problem is, there is no good scientific proof that global warming is influencing the destructiveness of these storms. Gore is making a conjecture and turning a tragedy into a political tool.
Iâ€™m no global warming denialist. I believe human action is causing the Earth to warm and our climates to change. I am an avid conservationist. But I am also appropriately skeptical of the global warming doomsayers such as Gore. I donâ€™t take on faith that every change in temperature, every climate shift and every catastrophic weather event is repayment for our sins of carbon emission. Our climate and weather are far too complicated and naturally volatile for me to think there isnâ€™t more affecting these systems than simple human action.
Thatâ€™s why I cringe when I hear Gore and others connect horrible tragedies to global warming. Sure, these events make the problem seem very real and very immediate, but itâ€™s scientifically dishonest not to admit that there is no hard proof that recent big storms are the result of our carbon emissions. You canâ€™t one moment stand behind the banner of science and then the other moment conveniently leave out facts because those facts are inconvenient to your political objectives.
If we are going to rally the world to combat the human-caused elements of global warming, we have to stick to the scientific facts and resist the urge to inappropriately use weather-related tragedies to frighten people into action.