Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned of “rain bombs” and “boiling” oceans in an emotional speech about climate change at a gathering of global elites at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Gore’s impassioned plea to fight climate change or face disaster—a common theme at the WEF summit—came during a panel on the second day of the elite gathering of world leaders and corporate executives in the Swiss ski resort of Davos on Wednesday.
“We are not winning. The crisis is still getting worse faster than we are deploying these solutions,” Gore said.
The former VP claimed that human actions were causing the Earth’s atmosphere to be treated as an “open air sewer” for greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
“People are familiar with that thin blue line that the astronauts bring back in their pictures from space? That’s the part of the atmosphere that has oxygen, the troposphere, and it’s only five to seven kilometers thick. That’s what we’re using as an open sewer,” Gore said at the WEF summit.
To drive home the apparent severity of the problem, he compared the impact to a nuclear holocaust.
“We’re still putting 162 million tons [of greenhouse gas] into it every single day and the accumulated amount is now trapping as much extra heat as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on the earth,” he said.
Gore listed what he thinks are some of the detrimental consequences of climate change, including “rain bombs” and “boiling” oceans.
“That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice, and raising the sea level, and causing these waves of climate refugees!” Gore said.
He dove into the idea of a global warming-induced refugee crisis, claiming that the number of people escaping the consequences of climate change is “predicted to reach 1 billion in this century.”
Gore blamed climate change for the rise in authoritarianism, suggesting that liberal democracies are being undermined by forces that seek to exploit refugee flows for political benefit.
“Look at the xenophobia and political authoritarian trends that have come from just a few million refugees,” he said, shouting, “What about a billion?! We would lose our capacity for self-governance on this world! We have to act!”
‘Highway to Climate Hell?’
Gore’s impassioned outburst and dramatic call for action came on the heels of a similarly alarmist speech earlier that day from the United Nations chief, who repeatedly expressed urgency regarding the “horror story” and “death sentence” of climate change.
“We are flirting with climate disaster,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Every week brings a new climate horror story,” he continued, while calling for urgent action to prevent the world from heading for a 2.8 degree increase in temperature, the consequences of which “would be devastating.”
Parts of the planet would be rendered uninhabitable, he warned, while for many, such a rise in temperatures would be a “death sentence.”
Like Gore, the UN chief has long been in the camp of climate alarmism, famously saying at the COP27 climate change summit in Egypt several months ago that “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”
But a number of experts say such alarmism is a bad take and, while climate change is a problem, there’s no need to panic.
Among them is Steven Koonin, a professor at New York University’s department of civil and urban engineering, who once served as undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy, and holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
‘Almost a Nothingburger’
Koonin threw cold water on the UN chief’s alarmism in a recent interview with psychology professor Jordan Peterson, arguing that humanity adapting to climate change may be a challenge, but it’s far from an emergency.
Responding to a question by Peterson about what percentage of scientists in his view “take an apocalyptic view” on the climate change issue, Koonin said he thinks around 95 percent aren’t in the climate panic camp.
“None of them are kind of jumping off the roof and saying ‘My God, we’d better do something or we’re headed for the climate highway to hell’ or something which is what the Secretary General of the UN said a couple of months ago,” Koonin said, referring to Guterres’ remarks at COP27.
“It’s an issue. It’s a long-term problem. We can deal with it. But there’s no reason to ring alarm bells,” Koonin said.
“If I wanted to be a little snarky, it’s almost a nothingburger,” he said of the issue of climate change and global warming, adding that “the science says that, if you read the reports.”
“But the detrimental effects get hyped up by various players,” he added.
While the detrimental effects of global warming get exaggerated, its benefits get ignored by climate alarmists, Koonin said. For example, he said higher concentrations of carbon dioxide have benefits such as greater greening of the planet, as well as increased agricultural yields.
Koonin, who wrote the bestselling book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, also told Peterson that there are other factors that are more important to human well-being than climate change.
‘Hard to Find Trends’
He also discussed the widely cited report from the International Panel on Climate Change and argued that policymakers tend to read summaries rather than the detailed report itself and, as a consequence formulate incorrect conclusions.
Koonin said the detailed report acknowledges natural variation in temperature, not just human-caused, and that aside from things directly associated with warming like record-high temperatures, there are basically no extreme weather event trends.
“You don’t see much trends, globally,” he said. “Drought—hard to see a trend. Hurricanes or tropical cyclones—hard to see any trend at all over a century.”
He acknowledged that there’s a “little thing” that warrants some discussion, namely sea level rise, but that this is proceeding at about one foot per century.
“It’s hard to find trends,” he said. “Doesn’t mean that the trends aren’t there. But they’ve just not emerged from the data.”
From The Epoch Times