Fake Glacier Claim Rises Again

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Lorne Gunter, part of the National Post climate change denier team (see also Terry Corcoran, Larry Solomon), has revived the fraudulent claim that advancing world glaciers demonstrate an end to climate change.

Gunter claimed in a National Post opinion piece on Monday that “worldwide, there are nearly half as many glaciers advancing as retreating.” And other, unsuspecting or conspiratorial papers under the wing of Canada’s largest news conglomerate (CanWest Global) have been picking the story up through the week. (See Vancouver Sun)

But the claim – unsourced in Gunter’s article – appears to be purest fiction.

Gunter’s full quote ran like this:

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that seven mountain glaciers in northern California were advancing. They joined glaciers in southern Norway, Sweden, the New Zealand Alps and the Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan. Indeed, worldwide, there are nearly half as many glaciers advancing as retreating.

Well, here’s an AP story that ran on Tuesday July 8, 2008, documenting the recent advance of seven glaciers on California’s Mount Shasta. And here’s the only reference in that story to the state of glaciers around the world:

Climate change is causing roughly 90% of the world’s mountain glaciers to shrink, said Lonnie Thompson, a glacier expert at Ohio State University.

And if Lonnie Thompson isn’t good enough on his own, here’s the most recent analysis by the World Glacier Monitoring Service, showing a steady, sustained and relatively “massive” collapse in the net size of glaciers around the world – Mount Shasta’s exceptions notwithstanding.

The main thrust of Gunter’s piece was a long and old complaint about Al Gore’s personal energy consumption. Gunter reports that while Gore “delivered a major address calling on his country to abandon all fossil fuels within 10 years” (which is not even close to what Gore actually said), the vehicles in which the Nobel laureate’s party arrived, “two Lincoln Town Cars and a full-sized SUV … sat idling with the air conditioners blasting” awaiting Gore’s return.

Well, if that’s true – if the people who are responsible for Gore’s security have not figured out that they should turn the cars off and repair to an air-conditioned restaurant rather than drag the boss into this kind of an idiotic argument – then somebody deserves to have his wrist slapped. If it’s true (and given the accuracy in the rest of the column, I am not sure why you would assume it is), Gore can be condemned for clumsiness.

But Gunter gets the red card for breaking an actual commandment. That whole thing about bearing false witness is so inconvenient when you are trying to defend ideology against science.


For more on the who’s who of the climate denial industry, check out our comprehensive climate deniers research database.

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