An Inconvenient Truth

By Anthony | July 3rd, 2006 | 11:32 pm

I finally got to see An Inconvenient Truth this weekend. One of the most striking parts was when Gore addresssed the common argument that we’re simply experiencing nothing more than cyclical variations in temperature and CO2 levels. He displayed a series of charts showing data taken from ice core samples which did indeed reveal cyclical variations in temperature and carbon dioxide. However, when compared with the levels we are currently experiencing, it becomes obvious that this is no cyclical variation. Recent levels are well outside of the normal range from centuries past.

He also addressed the argument that aggressively persuing more environmentally-sound policies would be harmful to our economy. Pulling up two charts, he showed that our standards for automobile emmissions are actually well below those of many other countries – including China – implying that there is significant room for improvement in that area without sacrificing competitiveness. He also noted that the two main foreign automobile companies that offer hybrids – Honda and Toyota – are actually outperforming their U.S. counterparts who are lagging behind in hybrid technologies. Of course, there are many other areas to consider other than just the automobile industry, but this seems to show that its not a foregone conclusion that addressing the global warming problem will make us less economically competitive.

I’ve been looking for online versions of the charts he used in the movie, but haven’t been able to find them. If anyone knows where they can be found, please let me know.

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