But since his two terms as vice president, Gore has pretty much been a professional worrier. How have those fears panned out?
In 2008, he worried “the entire north polar ice cap will be gone in five years.”
In fact, the ice cap has fluctuated throughout the past few decades. And while the ice cap has shrunk during 2012, it’s “actually less than previous estimates, according to new research by scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder,” U.S. News reports.
But it’s hard to tell; recent studies have been done with satellite data, so scientists warn against comparing those to previous surveys (which were conducted with thermometers, research assistants, and warm boots).
Al Gore has also worried about sea levels; he has warned they would rise 20 feet “in the near future.” But that goes far beyond even the alarmist International Panel on Climate Change’s forecast of a 7- to 23-inch rise by the year 2100.
Al Gore has worried about the polar bears. He said they’re drowning because the ice packs are melting.
And of course, Al Gore worries about those who aren’t worried about global warming. He claimed last year that skeptics have conspired together and agreed upon a “dedicated, cynical, lavishly funded strategy” to present global warming as a “theory,” rather than a “fact.”
He forgets that skepticism is the soul of science.
The good news is that even if he’s right, the free market is already reducing carbon emissions.
“In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal,” the Associated Press reported last week. “Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide.”
Al Gore shouldn’t worry so much.
A Romney presidency wouldn’t spell doom for the environment; he respects markets too much.