Two scientists in the Philippines are slamming former Vice President Al Gore for making a visit to Manila and presenting both a global-warming doomsday scenario and an analysis of local environmental conditions they say were way off the mark.
“There we go again. A foreign celebrity coming over for a quick visit, giving a talk, and we are all in adulation, taking everything said as gospel truth,” Carlo Arcilla, Ph.D., said in a statement e-mailed to the Inquirer newspaper.
Archilla and Fernando Siringan, Ph.D., both from the University of the Philippines, lamented Gore’s Thursday appearance, saying his “exaggerated” global warming scenario is being given more attention in the nation than solutions offered by Filipino environmental experts.
According to the local report, the scientists assert too much use of ground water by typical Manila households and businesses – not global warming – was the bigger reason the metropolis is sinking.
At Gore’s Manila speech, which was attended by government officials and diplomats, the former vice president warned that up to 2 million Manila-area residents may have to be evacuated from flooded communities as melting glaciers and the polar icecap raise sea levels worldwide.
Gore warned the problem could cause a disaster scenario within 10 years and urged local officials to take action.
“The problem with these exaggerated and very general pronouncements about environmental doomsday scenarios is that they distract us from the real local problems which we can really do something about,” Arcilla told the Inquirer.
He said that global warming was “a serious threat to humanity, (but) it is certainly not in the terms that Gore presents.”
Continued Archilla: “While it is true that global warming could contribute to the rise, this is only in the millimeters, but the centimeters’ rise could be attributed more to heavy groundwater extraction which results in subsidence, which makes it appear that the sea is invading land.”
The scientists urged officials to consider local analysis before falling for everything Gore presented.
“I am glad that former Vice President Al Gore visited Manila, but I am disturbed that we believe everything he says without filtering it through some scientific analysis,” Arcilla said, emphasizing that Gore “really does not have an advanced science degree, even if he is a good student of the environment.”
Gore has come under fire today for a speech he made yesterday in Saudi Arabia in which he claimed the U.S. government committed “terrible abuses” against Arabs after 9-11. In his talk, he claimed Arabs had been “indiscriminately rounded up” and held in “unforgivable” conditions.
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