Sunday, June 04, 2006

Inconvenient Truth of Volokh Correction #12

I watched Al Gore's movie on Friday - like everyone says, it's very good. My companion who's not a global warming nerd liked the two-thirds of the movie about warming the most, while I actually preferred the one-third that was biographical. AGW nerds aren't going to learn a whole lot, but a few things were new to me, and it was the best PowerPoint presentation I've ever seen. Real Climate and Roger Ebert have the best reviews.

Which brings me to Volokh Conspirator Dave Kopel, who argues elsewhere that the history of mainstream media alarmism over climate change should be used to discount media portrayals of global warming. Kopel would be surprised if he ever bothers to watch Gore's movie to learn that Gore would agree somewhat - the media is doing a terrible job of portraying the state of the science about climate change. Gore makes it clear the media under-reports the existing scientific consensus. Reading Kopel and listening to Gore emphasizes the rather obvious point that the scientific literature and not the media is the place to go to understand the science. Where Kopel is completely wrong is to assume media confusion tells us anything about the scientific consensus. And he pulls out the standard garbage about global cooling concerns in the 1970s to back it up.

Anyway, Kopel seems to be a big fan of Bill Gray, as well as other warming skeptics like Lindzen and Michaels, all of whom have refused to bet over global warming. I just emailed Kopel to see if he'll bet - I'll be pleasantly surprised if he does better than his heroes.

UPDATE: For a much-better-informed-than-Kopel, somewhat-contrary opinion on the state of the science, try Kevin V's piece.

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