David Rose’s Apocalyptic Vision of Al Gore’s Nobel Lecture

According to David Rose’s headline in his article about Arctic sea ice in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday:

Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7 million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago…despite Al Gore’s prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now

Seven years after former US Vice-President Al Gore’s warning, Arctic ice cap has expanded for second year in row.

In the first paragraph of his article Mr. Rose continued:

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

Would it surprise you to learn that when it comes to reporting Nobel Prize acceptance speeches Mr. Rose has as much difficulty separating fact from fiction as he does when reporting on the state of the sea ice in the Arctic? What do you suppose Mr. Gore actually said in his Nobel lecture in Oslo in December 2007? It’s not hard to find out. Here’s a picture of the former US Vice-President at the time:

Al Gore delivering his Nobel Lecture in the Oslo City Hall, 10 December 2007.
Copyright © The Norwegian Nobel Institute 2007 – Photo: Ken Opprann

and here’s a video of the speech he gave:

Skip to 4:30 minutes into the video and you will discover that what Al actually said was:

Last September 21st, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented alarm that the North Polar ice cap is, in their words, “falling off a cliff.” One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.

For those who, like David Rose, apparently have difficulty in understanding English I suppose I now need to point out that the “falling off a cliff” phrase should be attributed to some unnamed scientists, not to Al Gore. You will no doubt have noted that Mr. Gore didn’t actually say the words put into his mouth by Mr. Rose, and that the sentiment that “it could happen in as little as seven years” is not in fact “Al Gore’s prediction” at all, and should instead be attributed to some unnamed “U.S. Navy researchers”.

For the hard of hearing amongst you:

Al Gore never “predicted” that the Arctic would be ICE-FREE by now!

Would it surprise you to discover that David Rose has misrepresented the “new study” that Al Gore referred to in 2007 as well, by some strange coincidence at around this time last year? I refer you to our article on that topic from September 15th 2013, and reiterate for the benefit of those who seem unable to understand either English or Mathematics that a “projection” is not the same thing as a “prediction”, and that Professor Wieslaw Maslowski’s statement that “if this trend persists the Arctic Ocean will become ice-free by around 2013” is not at all the same thing as David Rose’s (mis)interpretation that “The Arctic will be ice-free in summer by 2013”.

The obvious conclusion, or so it seems to me at least, is that Mr. Rose should stop pretending to be an investigative reporter and concentrate in future on his evident talent as a writer of speculative fiction.

[P.S. September 2nd 2014]

For some strange reason this post seems to have attracted a lot of interest over on Twitter. Here are the edited highlights!












We’ll keep you posted!

1 thought on “David Rose’s Apocalyptic Vision of Al Gore’s Nobel Lecture

  1. Many years later Simon Clarke has released a video covering “The Many Errors of An Inconvenient Truth”!

    According to Simon:

    What about that one, extra, big error that the judge couldn’t possibly have known about? Well, that is how An Inconvenient Truth set the precedent for how we talk about climate change…

    Almost 20 years on from the release of “An Inconvenient Truth” the dialogue around climate change remains almost unchanged. It’s still partisan, perhaps nowhere more so than in the United States. It’s still mired in personal, ad hominem attacks. And, perhaps most unforgivably, it’s still focused on the actions of individuals…

    The film has a legacy of climate change as a problem of individuals, not as a problem of societies, or of policy.

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