Thursday, December 20, 2007

Testing the Climate

Testing the Climate. By Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, December 24, 2007. "Last week, Al Gore, at the start of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, took note of a curious coincidence. Almost exactly seven years earlier -- on December 12, 2000 -- the United States Supreme Court had called a halt to the Florida recount, thereby un-electing him President. 'I read my own political obituary in a judgment that seemed to me harsh and mistaken -- if not premature,' Gore told the dignitaries assembled in Oslo. 'But that unwelcome verdict also brought a precious if painful gift: an opportunity to search for fresh new ways to serve my purpose'... The Nobel Peace Prize committee, in its citation, called Gore 'probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding' of what needs to be done to combat global warming... But the sad or, if you prefer, inconvenient truth is that the reason Gore is finally being heeded is that the reality of climate change has become manifest -- something that can be seen and measured around the globe, and even felt in our everyday lives. Such is the inertia of the climate system."

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