More on Gore’s day on the Hill

Asserting that the planet has a “fever” and asking parents whether they would listen to the doctor if their child had a fever is an old rhetorical trick. You don’t discuss the issue on its own terms, rather you turn it into a metaphor so you can talk about something else that everybody fears or loathes. This begs the whole question at issue, namely, whether there is anything pathological (if that concept even applies) to the modest amount of warming we’ve observed over the past 30 years. The Earth was warmer than today during the Holocene Climate Optimum, very likely the Roman Warm Period, and arguably the Medieval Warm Period. The amount of warmth we’ve seen is within the range of natural variability. Gore’s “fever” rhetoric is alarmist spin, not science.

Another question-begging rhetorical trick: Gore claims that if you acknowledge the reality of man-made global warming, then you have established “the moral imperative” for regulatory action. No, all you have established is that mankind is having some discernible influence on average global temperatures. This in itself tells you nothing about whether global warming is on balance good or bad, or whether the negative impacts of global warming are likely to be mild or severe. It certainly does not tell you that we’ll all be better off and get richer if we restrict people’s access to carbon-based fuels.