It’s been nearly one decade since former Vice President Al Gore released his film “An Inconvenient Truth.” It sent shockwaves through American politics and emboldened environmental activists to push for more regulations on American businesses.
Gore warned increasing carbon dioxide emissions would spur catastrophic global warming that would cause more extreme weather, wipe out cities and cause ecological collapse. To stop global warming, humans needed to ditch fossil fuels and basically change every aspect of their lives.
Watching “An Inconvenient Truth” is sort of like going back in time. Back to a world where flip phones were cool and “Futurama” was still putting out new episodes. A world where a bitter presidential candidate was trying to rebrand himself as an environmental crusader.
But have Gore’s warnings, which were alarming to many in 2006, come true?
In honor of the upcoming 10th anniversary, The Daily Caller News Foundation re-watched “An Inconvenient Truth” just to see how well Gore’s warnings of future climate disaster lined up with reality.
Gore’s been harping on global warming since at least the late 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2006 he discovered a way to become massively wealthy off making movies about it and investing in government-subsidized green energy.
Gore opens the film talking about nature, then jumping to a presentation he’s giving where he shows the first image ever taken of the Earth from space. From that image, he jumps right into making alarmist claims about global warming.
Kilimanjaro Still Has Snow
One of the first glaring claims Gore makes is about Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. He claims Africa’s tallest peak will be snow-free “within the decade.” Gore shows slides of Kilimanjaro’s peak in the 1970s versus today to conclude the snow is disappearing.
Well, it’s been a decade and, yes, there’s still snow on Kilimanjaro year-round. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure this out. One can just look at recent photos posted on the travel website TripAdvisor.com.
In 2014, ecologists actually monitoring Kilimanjaro’s snowpack found it was not even close to being gone. It may have shrunk a little, but ecologists were confident it would be around for the foreseeable future.
“There are ongoing several studies, but preliminary findings show that the ice is nowhere near melting,” Imani Kikoti, an ecologist at Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, told eturbonews.com.
“Much as we agree that the snow has declined over centuries, but we are comfortable that its total melt will not happen in the near future,” he said.
Gore Left Out The 15-Year “Hiatus” In Warming
Gore also claims temperature rise from increases in man-made carbon dioxide emissions were “uninterrupted and intensifying.” He goes on to claim heatwaves will become more common, like the one that killed 35,000 people across Europe in 2003.
Sounds terrifying — until you actually look at what happened to global temperature after Gore’s film was released. Global temperatures showed little to no warming trend after Gore released his film. In fact, surface temperature data showed no significant global warming for a period of about 15 years, starting in the early 2000s.
Satellite-derived temperature data showed, until the recent El Niño, no statistically significant warming trend for more than 21 years.
Gore’s movie was released right in the middle of the so-called global warming “hiatus.”
The Weather Hasn’t Gotten Worse
Gore also famously predicted storms would become more frequent and intense as man-made emissions warmed the oceans.
“And of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms,” Gore said in his film. “That same year that we had that string of big hurricanes, we also set an all-time record for tornadoes.”
Gore’s film came out just after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. Indeed, footage of the destruction from that storm featured prominently in Gore’s film. He mentions how the U.S. was hit with a rash of severe storms in the early 2000s and how Japan saw a record number of typhoons.
“The insurance industry has actually noticed this,” Gore said. “Their recovered losses are going up.”
But Gore’s claim is more hype than actual science, since storms aren’t more extreme since 2006. In fact, not even findings from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) support Gore’s claim. […]
The North Pole Still Has Ice
Gore also claimed the Arctic could be ice-free in the coming decades. He said “within the next 50 to 70 years, it could be completely gone.”
With no Arctic sea ice, polar bears and all sorts of Arctic animals would be threatened, Gore warned, showing an animated scene of a polar bear drowning.
This is actually one of Gore’s more cautious predictions — he did incorrectly predict in 2008 there would be no Arctic by 2013. But even in this case, Gore is likely wrong because of the Arctic’s geographical setting.
The Arctic is almost completely surrounded by land, so the ice that forms there tends to stay there. Arctic ice coverage has shrunk in recent decades, but it’s not likely we will see even a summer where the North Pole is completely ice-free. […]
And before I forget, the latest data shows polar bears are actually thriving, despite shrinking ice coverage.