A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

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Doing as he says

William Connelly has a self confessed "grumpy" review of An Inconvenient Truth. Not much new about the movie, but he did trot out the old "yeah but how much CO2 did Gore emit running around the world for this film?" bit.

It is common fodder for the anti-Gore attack dogs, but why is William bringing it up? I don't know, but here is what's wrong with such a criticism:
  • it is an ad homenim, having nothing to do with the quality of his movie or the accuracy of his message. I know William was not using it in this way, but the usual implication is if Gore is such a hypocrite then why should we even listen to what he is saying, maybe he doesn't even believe it himself.
  • it ignores the fact that all emissions from travel and from the production of this film were offset by purchasing carbon credits. In theory this means that all CO2 produced in this endeavor was compensated for in other ways and places. One can argue about the efficacy of carbon credits and offsets in general, but it is nevertheless an indication that more than lip service has been paid to Gore's individual responsibilities.
  • it ignores the fact that the potential impact of such a high profile messenger getting the mitigation word out there far out balances a few airplane rides. You may as well criticize your doctor for puncturing your skin with a needle in the course of curing a serious disease. And seriously, is there any doubt that the turning of the tide last year in the climate change issue was greatly aided by the success and noteriety of An Inconvenient Truth? Surely that is worth ten thousand flights.

But let's not be too hard on Stoat, we all get to have our own opinions!



  • At January 15, 2007 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Some very valid points there. Personally I feel the argument is offset by the strength of the message. Considering the movie has served the message so well I feel Gore gets a pass. Between his movie and the Stern report we have a lot to thank these guys for.


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