New York Times to Al Gore: "Cool the Hype."
"From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype."
Although Mr. Gore is not a scientist, he does rely heavily on the authority of science in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which is why scientists are sensitive to its details and claims.
Criticisms of Mr. Gore have come not only from conservative groups and prominent skeptics of catastrophic warming, but also from rank-and-file scientists like Dr. [Don J.] Easterbook, who told his peers that he had no political ax to grind. A few see natural variation as more central to global warming than heat-trapping gases. Many appear to occupy a middle ground in the climate debate, seeing human activity as a serious threat but challenging what they call the extremism of both skeptics and zealots.
Kevin Vranes, a climatologist at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at theUniversity of Colorado, said he sensed a growing backlash against exaggeration. While praising Mr. Gore for “getting the message out,” Dr. Vranes questioned whether his presentations were “overselling our certainty about knowing the future.”
Typically, the concern is not over the existence of climate change, or the idea that the human production of heat-trapping gases is partly or largely to blame for the globe’s recent warming. The question is whether Mr. Gore has gone beyond the scientific evidence.
“He’s a very polarizing figure in the science community,” said Roger A. Pielke Jr., an environmental scientist who is a colleague of Dr. Vranes at the University of Colorado center. “Very quickly, these discussions turn from the issue to the person, and become a referendum on Mr. Gore.”
A fairly brave article from the Times, and one that is very likely to enrage most of their readership. This is kind of nice for me, because I'm very close to occupying the same ground as Easterbrook and Vranes.
Scotto and I have been throwing grenades at each other over this issue for a couple weeks on each other's blogs. For all our differences in philosophy (as passionate as I am about resisting the tyranny of the scientific establishment, Scott argues just as strongly that urgent action to save the world is needed), I think we completely agree on many issues of action:
Recycle everything you can.
Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Walk or bike when you can.
Work for alternative fuel and power sources.
Challenge power bases that tell you what to believe.