Mainstream climate scientists have been taking a terrible beating on the PR front in recent months, and alpha environmentalist Al Gore is now fighting back. In a New York Times op-ed, Gore says he wishes the danger of "unimaginable calamity" from manmade global warming weren't real, but it emphatically is — regardless of the doubts sowed by "Climategate," the East Coast's "Snowmageddon," and the troubles at the now-under-review Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Can Gore turn the tide in the climate change debate? (Watch a report about Glenn Beck slamming Al Gore)
It's about time the science side hit back: Gore's got the right idea, says Juan Cole at Informed Comment. Climate scientists are being "swift-boated" by "very, very wealthy and powerful interests" — "Big Oil" and Big Media — and they need to learn to explain their "persuasive evidence" directly to the public. They have the science on their side, but their critics "don't play fair."
"Advice to climate scientists on how to avoid being Swift-boated..."
There's a reason scientists are losing their holy war: Fair? Al Gore and his media allies treat you like a "holocaust-denying lunatic" if you question the scientific "global consensus" on global warming, says Caleb Howe in RedState. With the science "crumbling" around the IPCC, though, the "consensus" is being exposed as mere faith-based "hysteria." Climate science needs to "de-cult."
The skeptics have their own cult — but don't dismiss them entirely: Climate-change skeptics rely on their own "political theologies," says Richard Black at BBC News. But they're right that the IPCC has squandered its trust and perception of objectivity. Hopefully the pending "tough love" audit of the IPCC will help both skeptics and believers get closer to the truth on an issue that affects us all.
"Tough love in a troubled climate"
Gore's got the right message, but he's the wrong messenger: "I agree with almost everything Al Gore writes in his New York Times op-ed," says Charles Johnson in True/Slant. But he's too "polarizing" a figure to make the case persuasively to a skeptical public. And that's too bad: the right may "demonize him as a hypocrite, a liar, etc.," but he actually "has a pretty good grasp of the science" and politics of global warming.
"Al Gore in the New York Times"