Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Al Gore, Almost Right?

That's the kindest thing that Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey can say about Gore's flawed film:

As further evidence of warming, Gore notes that permafrost is melting in parts of Alaska and Siberia. The temperatures in central Siberia are thought to have increased by 3 degrees Celsius over the past 40 years. This not only causes engineering and infrastructure problems, but might also release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as once frozen organic matter begins to decompose. But is this warming unprecedented? Perhaps not.

A Russian study in 2004 found that the average temperatures in Siberia during the Holocene Climatic Optimum around 6000 years ago warmed up by 3 to 9 degrees celcius in the winter, and by 2 to 6 degrees celcius in the summer. Due to changes in the earth's orbit which affect how much sunlight reaches the surface, pretty much the entire Arctic was warmer than now 6000 years ago. [emphasis added].

But wait! How could the Arctic have been so warm 6,000 years before Henry Ford cursed us with the automobile? Before we started cranking up our evil air conditioners? Even before...HALIBURTON? If it's true that the earth experienced major periods of warming without man in the past, then it would be possible that the earth is warming today without our help.

Please, Al, tell me it's not true!