Heartland Institute and puzzling "genius" throw down Gore debate gaunlet

Just when you think the global warming denial lobby couldn't get any stranger and desperate, well… they go and get stranger and more desperate. Christopher Monckton, who is the Viscount of Brenchley, but is better known as a puzzlemaker, has teamed up with the oil-industry darling Heartland Institute in challenging former Vice President Al Gore to a global warming debate.

An advertisement pronouncing “Challenge debate: global warming is not a crisis” appeared in today's Washington Post, according to a press release sent out last night by the Heartland Institute.

No doubt Gore will ignore this “challenge” by Monckton. As Gore well knows, it is not a debate that a denier like Monckton wants, it is only the appearance of a debate that he requires in order to create doubt about the realities of global warming in the public's mind.

In fact, by even the mere act of challenging Gore to a debate in a highly publicized way will no doubt add a little fertilizer to the seed of global warming doubt.


“In fact, by even the mere act of challenging Gore to a debate in a highly publicized way will no doubt add a little fertilizer to the seed of global warming doubt.”

Hardly. The “seeds of Global Warming doubt” have already existed – as they should. However, it is people like Gore or Suzuki’s fear and avoidance of any debate which will cause these “seeds” to to blossom in to full-blown, healthy skepticism.

Of course Global Warming cultists don’t want an open and honest debate – for the same reasons Jerry Falwell won’t participate in a debate over whether God exists – they demand we accept their claims with unquestioning faith.

I really hate to ask the same question over and over, but tell me where is the debate?

And please keep in mind that Suzuki and Gore are not asking for faith, they are presenting the science…. it is those that deny the reality of global warming and its consequences that are asking us for faith because their claims are baseless and without any weight of scientific evidence.

“I really hate to ask the same question over and over, but tell me where is the debate?”

You mean the debate which Gore is afraid to have? I suppose it’s location would be decided between the participants, should Gore ever grow a pair. I don’t expect that will happen any time soon, as honest debate doesn’t seem to be his oeuvre.

“And please keep in mind that Suzuki and Gore are not asking for faith, they are presenting the science…. “

… or at any rate, their own version of it. But I agree, Gore and Suzuki aren’t asking for faith – rather, they seem to petulantly demand it.

“it is those that deny the reality of global warming and its consequences that are asking us for faith because their claims are baseless and without any weight of scientific evidence.”

Nice straw-man argument. Nobody said any such thing in the challenge. The proposition for debate is: Global Warming is Not a Crisis. Nowhere is it suggested by that simple wording that a) Global Warming is not real, or that b) there may or may not be “consequences”.

And with all your claimed evidence, then you would think it would be easy for Gore to win such a debate. Apparently Gore doesn’t seem to think so, and chooses to run away.

Whether Gore has “a pair” is not the issue, he is smart enough to know that this proposal by the Heartland is nothing more than an attempt to create the appearance of a scientific debate where one does not exist. With all the evidence, why debate? What's debatable?

“he is smart enough to know that this proposal by the Heartland is nothing more than an attempt to create the appearance of a scientific debate where one does not exist.”

Of course no debate exists, since Gore keeps running away from any debate. Gore is not being challenged to a “scientific” debate, since he is not a scientist of any sort. The proposition, again, is “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis”.

Since the proposition is a political question, one would think Gore, a lawyer and politician, should be emminently qualified to defend his position. So why doesn’t he?

“With all the evidence, why debate?”

If Gore has “all the evidence”, then he would certainly win the debate. He has nothing to lose – unless of course he doesn’t have “all the evidence”?

“What’s debatable?”

To repeat the challenge in the ad – before you photoshopped it to misrepresent it –
Global Warming Is Not a Crisis”.
That’s what’s debatable.

So why the continued evasion?

Maybe you should set an example by not being evasive about your name, Mr. dfgf or Mr. 05986, whatever you call yourself. Do you have something to hide, or are you ashamed about your position? I think we should be told.

When AGW zealots, or zealots of any stripe for that matter, are on the losing end of a verbal exchange they resort to personal attacks. The Goracle is afraid to debate the issue because his whole thesis rests on junk science. Not even the IPCC makes the kind of wild assertions made by Gore. Julian, you and all Desmoggers should just cover your ears, close your eyes and keep repeating to yourselves, “The Science is settled; there is a concensus. The Science is settled; there is a concensus.” Maybe constant repetition will make it so. BTW is Julian your full name or are you holding something back?

What would a debate between Gore and Monckton accomplish, other than perpetuating the false impression that there is a debate over the realities of climate change. John, as someone who I know appreciates science, would you not agree that any “debate” should occur in the scientific literature?

No, Kevin, this alleged science is being used to frame important public policies that have the potential to wreck western industrialized economies. Gore is a leading advocate for these policies. If Gore has sound science behind him, he should welcome the chance to crush once and for all those you Desmogges like to call “deniers”. It is you AGW types who have pushed this agenda on the public so you should be prepared to defend it. It is not good enough to say, as the Goracle did in his Congresional testimony, that it is a moral issue and therefore presumably not debatable. If Gore continues to refuse debates, one can only conclude he knows he would lose.

Scientists should be very wary of “public” debates. In a one on one (or as recently, a three on three) debate the participants who are prepared to distort the truth and respond quickly (rather than accurately) usually win over an un-educated audience. A true scientist considers his response carefully before uttering it whereas the pseudo-scientist has a whole list of carefully rehearsed and not necessarily accurate responses. The audience marvels at his skill and repartee and fails to grasp that what he is saying is not entirely correct. Showmanship wins over substance every time in these debates. The correct forum for scientific debate is the peer reviewed scientific literature.

This is not to say that the climate scientists should not be seeking more public platforms, just that staged public debates are not the right way.

Ian Forrester

We are talking about Gore, political animal, defending statements he makes and policies he proposes in a debate with another politician and non-scientist. Presumably that defence includes the underlying science. If the Goracle canot handle this, he has no business pontificating the way he does.

John, I’m sick of your lack of comprehension and that you seem to puff yourself up as some sort of authority figure. You seem to attack Gore in order to make it seem like you are better than Gore or more of an authority on climate change than he is.

Gore is simply echoing what the scientists (i.e. the IPCC and Dr. Hansen) have been saying for 15 years and 19 years respectively. He is only representing the state of the science in a way that the general public can understand and is cutting through the think-tank and policy wonk gobbledygook to give us all a thorough synopsis of climate change. He never claimed to be a scientist. However, he is a defender of real science and attacks the pseudo-science spewed out by the NRSP, FOS, Heartland Institute, Marshall Institute, FCPP, and others about climate change.

Look your right Gore is using Hansen as his guide. Hansen has being making doomesday predictions for years. “If we don’t act now in ten years…!” Look many of his 10 years has passed and we are actually in better shape then we were 30 years ago. Air quality is better. It takes like 30 cars today (which by the way drive more) to put the same amount of CO2 and pollution in the air as a 70’s version. The world is not coming to an end. We should care about the earth but do it in a calm and level headed manner. I fear the alarmists are using this for some other purpose. Fear mongering is right when Republicans (which they are accused of) do it with regards to terrorism and its not right for Democrats like Gore to do it with respect to the environment. Fact is the IPCC and the United Nations are look for purpose in the 21st century. Thats fine. But the idea of the UN dictating how I live in the United States is absurd. I want my president the one I elected to call the shots not some guy from France or Russia. I am not an internationlist like the meida moguls. Lets get some real perspective. I am all for the debate!

Jon, there is nothing factual at all about your posts on this thread. You have the FOX News perspective, unfair and unbalanced, and spew out the same industry-fed PR crap which has been refuted time and time again by actual scientists.

Oh, and there’s no debate. AGW is happening and nothing anyone says against it can pass any peer-reviewed test.

You also said something absolutely ridiculous:

“Fear mongering is right when Republicans (which they are accused of) do it with regards to terrorism and its not right for Democrats like Gore to do it with respect to the environment.”

The Pentagon said climate change is the US’s number one national security issue for the 21st Century. These aren’t some left-wing “extremists” or “alarmists”.

Also, saying the Republicans are right to fearmonger while the Democrats are wrong to fearmonger shows your lack of balance and objectivity.

“What would a debate between Gore and Monckton accomplish, other than perpetuating the false impression that there is a debate over the realities of climate change.”

Really? Why would it? You’d think with all the alleged and often refered-to “overwhelming consensus” and “evidence”, Gore would completely bury any debating opponent?

Maybe the impression isn’t so false after all?

I guess all these evasions serve to demonstrate just how much confidence you Global Warming enthusiasts really have in your own “evidence”. Not enough to withstand an honest debate, it seems.

Lets be fair here. Everyone has evidence. Not all of it is good evidence. Please show me how the 1500 year cycle and natural variation are without scientific evidence. Do you even know what you are talking about or are you making assertions based on emotion. Unstoppable Global Warming is a book out with over 100 peer reviewed studies that suggest the warming trend may have a lot to do with the 1,500 year cycle or natural variation. By the way the highest period of warmth in the 20th century was from 1900-1940 not 1970-1999. I bet you didn’t know that. Please state your point and back it up before making baseless assertions. Watching Al Gore’s movie is not enough. Get both sides of the issue.

Sorry; the authors Singer and Avery are corporate shills. Not a good source of information.
Here’s a real scientist refuting their arguments.

Do you realize how stupid it looks when you accuse other people of making assertions based on emotion? Your own assertions are nonsense.

It doesn’t matter if Avery and Singer are funded by oil. Prove to me that the SCIENCE in their book is wrong. If theur science is right it doesn’t matter where they get their money.

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John Dowell, you wrote this in one of the posts above: “Not even the IPCC makes the kind of wild assertions made by Gore.” Here’s your chance to debate. Give us details on a “wild claim” made by Gore, what he said and where, wherein it differs from the IPCC, and why you consider it to be a “wild claim”.

This is your chance to face a public debate.

  • Ignoring challenges from someone as well-publicized as Monckton is not a viable response. Everyone on our side deserves better leadership than Gore (and DeSmogBlog) are giving us.
Click here for previous discussion.

Lord Monckton has already done the comparisons. Here they are:

“Gore showed heart-rending pictures of the New Orleans floods and insisted on a link between increased hurricane frequency and global warming that has no basis in scientific fact (IPCC, 2001, 2007).

Gore said global sea levels would swamp Manhattan, Bangladesh, Shanghai and other coastal cities, and would rise 20ft by 2100, but the UN estimate is just 8in to 1ft 5in. (IPCC, 2007; Morner, 1995, 2004).

Any claim that seems to have been pulled from thin air, as Gore’s do, can be called “wild”.

John, are you just careless or are you deliberately distorting the truth?

Gore never said that sea levels would rise by 20 feet by 2100. Please re-read what he said and report back with the truth.

Ian Forrester

Gore said that we should worry about sea levels rising by 20ft which implies that it would happen in the forseable future.(next 200 years) If it were to happen in the unforeseable future ex. next 1000 years I would’nt be worrying about it, and if I would be then everybody should be pissing their pants because the next ice age is due.

Science has debunked virtually every assertion that Al Gore made in his movie. The Gulf Stream is in no danger of shutting down (Science, November 17, 2006; New Scientist, November 7, 2006). Antarctica as a whole is getting colder rather than warmer (Nature, January 14, 2002). The Antarctic ice cap is growing rather than shrinking (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, September, 2006). Greenland is in a prolonged cold spell (Journal of Geophysical Research, June 2006), and Greenland’s ice sheet is in equilibrium (Journal of Glaciology, December 2005). Alpine glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are growing, not shrinking (Insurance Digest, March 13, 2005; Journal of Climate, September 2006). Kilimanjaro is losing its snow cap due to local deforestation resulting in dryer updrafts rather than because of global warming (Nature, November 23, 2003) – indeed, Kilimanjaro temperatures are in a long-term cooling trend. Scientists expect sea level to rise only 1 foot or so in the entire next century (IPCC, February 2007). - James Taylor, Senior Fellow, The Heartland Institute

Why then, James Taylor, is the entire atmosphere of the planet being deliberately filled with light-reflecting particles to increase albedo and reduce levels of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth? Why indeed is such geoengineering activity being proposed by the IPCC? Is Gore ignoring challenges from the likes of Monckton because he is not allowed to introduce this aspect of the overall story and so is forced to fight with one hand tied behind his back?

Just to comment on the one article, in regards to Greenlands ice sheet, the method used and the one you use to show growth of greenlands icesheet was with radar. However, newer more accurate technology in the form of the NASA GRACE program shows a decrease in total ice mass from the greenland ice cap.

Recent Greenland Ice Mass Loss by Drainage System from Satellite Gravity Observations
S. B. Luthcke,1* H. J. Zwally,2 W. Abdalati,2 D. D. Rowlands,1 R. D. Ray,1 R. S. Nerem,3 F. G. Lemoine,1 J. J. McCarthy,4 D. S. Chinn4

Mass changes of the Greenland Ice Sheet resolved by drainage system regions were derived from a local mass concentration analysis of NASA–Deutsches Zentrum für Luftund Raumfahrt Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE mission) observations. From 2003 to 2005, the ice sheet lost 101 ± 16 gigaton/year, with a gain of 54 gigaton/year above 2000 meters and a loss of 155 gigaton/year at lower elevations. The lower elevations show a large seasonal cycle, with mass losses during summer melting followed by gains from fall through spring. The overall rate of loss reflects a considerable change in trend (–113 ± 17 gigaton/year) from a near balance during the 1990s but is smaller than some other recent estimates.

In addition the paper you refer to, Journal of Glaciology, December 2005, the lead author is J. Zwally, is the second author on the more recent GRACE program publication. Where as they state

“In the 1990’s the ice was very close to balance with gains at about the same level as losses. That situation has now changed significantly, with an annual net loss of ice equal to nearly six years of average water flow from the Colorado River.”

Meaning the research you are using to justify the no change in greenland icesheet is old data and need to be updated.

It is true that for a very brief period around 2005 Greenland’s ice sheet lost mass. The brief period of ice loss has since ended. Your data is old and misleading.

Kindly provide evidence for this statement: “It is true that for a very brief period around 2005 Greenland’s ice sheet lost mass. The brief period of ice loss has since ended.”

What scientific study states that the period of ice loss has ended? I find this claim hard to believe since you say it ended two years or less ago, which hardly allows anyone to decide if there is a trend up or down since then.

Do you make this stuff up or do you have a subscription to an organization that makes up any data you ask for?

The paper you discussed about glaciers expanding in the Himalayas is typical of the distortion of facts that you and your organization are responsible for on a daily basis.

Since you do not cite authors or any useful information (except the journal) I cannot find the paper you refer to. However, I did find this article by Fowler (University of Newcastle) and Archer that presents data on glaciers in that area of the world.

“Conflicting Signals of Climatic Change in the Upper Indus Basin”, Journal of Climate, vol. 19, 4276-4293, September 2006.

It can be accessed at:


They report that a small number of glaciers in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush Mountains of the Upper Indus Basin are thickening and expanding. However, this is not the normal for the Himalayas or elsewhere on the globe. Here is a quote from their paper:

“The observed downward trend in summer temperature and runoff is consistent with the
observed thickening and expansion of Karakoram glaciers, in contrast to widespread decay and retreat in the eastern Himalayas”.

Cherry picking and quote mining are all you people are able to do in your feeble efforts to distort the science. You take a finding from a small area and then make the statement that it is occurring over much larger areas. That is scientific fraud.

It is significant that you do not provide accurate quotes of references, no doubt to ensure that scientists cannot follow up and see if you are correct or not. I think it is safe to say that 99% of what you say is utter nonsense and should be completely disregarded by anyone looking for factual information.

Ian Forrester

You replied to Carl Szczerski, James Taylor. Why didn’t you reply to me?

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/mar/HQ_06085_arctic_ice.html NASA also outlines how the antartic (GRACE program) is also showing net negative ice balance. Where as again the source you cite based on information from Winghan uses radar to assess the height changes, the GRACE program uses gravity to assess the changes in mass that may be occuring and as I posted previously is incredibly accurate. Thus your information on antartic ice balance is also outdated. To quote the NASA website, “Isabella Velicogna and John Wahr, both from the University of Colorado, Boulder, conducted the study. They demonstrated for the first time that Antarctica’s ice sheet lost a significant amount of mass since 2002. The estimated mass loss was enough to raise global sea level about 1.2 millimeters (0.05 inches) during the survey period, or about 13 percent of the overall observed sea level rise for the same period. The researchers found Antarctica’s ice sheet decreased by 152 (plus or minus 80) cubic kilometers of ice annually between April 2002 and August 2005.” Though, I do believe research has shown certain regions of the icesheet are growing, there is an overall net mass loss again from the Antartic ice sheet. Results were published in Science, least according to the NASA site.

I could write a book on Al, actually I think a few people have picked his work apart play by play already. Forget the IPCC for a moment. This one is fun. Everyone knows about the polar bears dying right? Its all because of Global Warming! Let’s examine Gore on this subject! Gore purports in AIT that polar bears “have been drowning in significant numbers,” based on a single report that four polar bears drowned in one month of one year, following an abrupt storm. ACTUALLY THE POLAR BEAR POPULATION IS INCREASING!!! Quiz me some more I could go all day!

Just ask the Candadians. Their number are growing in Canada. Polar Bear population has been steadily growing for the past decade. Now unless a bunch of global warmimg activists hell bent on making sure we go do it their way go up there and kill the rest to make their point I think the polar bears are going to be alright. Only time will tell if I am wrong or not. I bet in ten years—–this blog probably won’t even exist. No one will be talking about polar bears drowning, the same way they were talking about a pending ice age in the 1970’s! DOOM AND GLOOM (people running) AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Whoever said the debate is closed ?
Apparently Al-Gore cannot defend his inaccurate “heuristic ‘Al-Gor[e](ithms)’ on global-warming”. Period.

Any fool can make unsubstantiated claims!

Such as:
“The Earth is flat!”
“The moon is made of cheese!”
“global warming is a myth!”

Quote [your spelling retained]
Just ask the Candadians. Their number are growing in Canada. Polar Bear population has been steadily growing for the past decade.
End quote

Show us your scientific evidence for your claim that “Polar Bear population has been steadily growing for the past decade”!

It is perfectly clear that the astute Gore realises that Deniers with a political agenda like Monckton will never concede defeat just because of inconvenient minor details like overwhelming scientific evidence revealing the bankruptcy of his arguments.

Gore recognises the only purpose of such a sham debate, is to provide ExxonMobil’s propaganda with the oxygen of publicity by providing the media with headlines which is precisely what Monckton and his parasitic ilk seek, knowing that is all that most people will ever read.

Why can’t the media such as the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, stop publishing Monckton’s execrable scrawlings?

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