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Government Earth Science

For Overstated Claims, Gore, Tesla Upbraided By NWS, NHTSA Respectively 195

barlevg writes "In a recent interview, former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore made a bold claim, that man-made global warming was causing hurricanes to be formed of such severity that 'they're adding a 6' to the hurricane scale, going on to say that 'The fingerprint of man-made global warming is all over these storms and extreme weather events.' In response, the National Weather Service has responded that they have no plans to add a 'doomsday Category 6' to their rating scale: 'No, we're not pursuing any such change. I'm also not sure who VP Gore means by "they,"' also noting that 'Category 5 has no ceiling: it includes hurricanes with top sustained winds of 157 mph and higher.' Furthermore, a recently leaked United Nations climate assessment claims only 'low confidence' of a link between human activity and increased hurricane severity and that this is likely due to increased human settlement in coastal areas and other regions vulnerable to natural disasters." Along similar lines, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that Tesla's Model S, no matter how safe it is, doesn't get any special grade inflation: there's no "5.4" score (as the company did in a press release this week), because that's just not how the NHTSA keeps score. (Hat tip to reader cartechboy.)
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For Overstated Claims, Gore, Tesla Upbraided By NWS, NHTSA Respectively

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  • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:44PM (#44648077)

    The Category system only measures wind speed, not storm surge, track, or the velocity of the storm system, or even how much rain it will dump. A Category 1 coming ashore during a full-moon high tide can do a lot more damage than a hurricane with higher winds.Arguably, Sandy was not even a hurricane when it came ashore. And a year before there was Irene that deluged inland areas of New York and North Jersey with amazing amounts of rainfall. It came ashore with winds similar to Sandy in almost the same part of NJ, but did very little damage to that area.

  • by memeplex ( 910698 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @05:46PM (#44648101)
    There's a bit of a difference between "should be", and "they're adding a..." There's no need to reflexively defend Gore. AGW is real. Gore being an asshole is also real.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:13PM (#44648409)

    I'm surprised that the inventor of The Internet would make such erroneous claims.

    Of all places, Slashdot really ought not to fall victim to such an erroneous meme.

    What Al Gore actually said: "I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

    "In all fairness, it's something Gore had worked on a long time. Gore is not the Father of the Internet, but in all fairness, Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet."
    - Newt Gingrich, 2000 [ajc.com]

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Thursday August 22, 2013 @06:30PM (#44648589)

    I'm happy with Tesla claiming a 5.4 ... as long as the same scoring is reported for other cars. I haven't heard a peep about what competing vehicles got when scored the same way. Maybe i missed it, but it sure seemed like none of the 'reporters' were willing to even do the mildest amount of investigation to give the public an honest comparison and that's where the real problem is.

    Apparently, it's capped at 5. However, that doesn't mean a car can't score higher, it's just it's reported as 5.

    The reason for the "5.4" is that they keep the raw scores - they occasionally have to reset all the scores because cars were basically passing the current criteria. So they reset the meanings to make 5 a harder goal still. Of course, since you can't compare a 5 from the past to a 5 today, they reassess all the scores and give them new ratings based on what the current rating system is. So yesterday's 5 might be today's 4.

    They keep raw values because you can't obviously re-test obsolete vehicles, but you still need to be able to compare.

    The other way, of course, is to add further ratings - so 5 stars today is 5 stars tomorrow - you see this with some ranking systems, e.g., Windows Experience Index where the max value is raised (5 in Vista, 7.9 in 7, I don't know what 8 has).

    It's just that today, Tesla's Model S exceeds current safety ratings (they had to "cheat" to get it to roll over because there was no standard test maneuver they could do to roll it over, and I think on the roof crush test, it broke the machine).

    Of course, tomorrow when people make even safer cars, the Model S might score a 4 with the new criteria.

  • Re:Biased much? (Score:5, Informative)

    by barlevg ( 2111272 ) on Thursday August 22, 2013 @07:13PM (#44649083)
    That was actually my point exactly in posting this article. In order to support the argument that climate change deniers are the ones who disregard reality, we need to make sure that climate change awareness "advocates" don't go around doing the exact same shit.
  • Perhaps you'll take the word of Vint Cerf, you know, the guy who invented TCP/IP?

    [T]here is no question in our minds that while serving as Senator, Gore's initiatives had a significant and beneficial effect on the still-evolving Internet.


    His initiatives led directly to the commercialization of the Internet. So he really does deserve credit.

    He was instrumental in getting money to the NCSA, which used it to create the Mosaic web browser:

    Gore's legislation also helped fund the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, where a team of programmers, including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, created the Mosaic Web browser, the commercial Internet's technological springboard. 'If it had been left to private industry, it wouldn't have happened,' Andreessen says of Gore's bill, 'at least, not until years later.'

    But I suppose those guys are just spouting bullshit too.

    Amazing how the first people to shout about "political bias" are usually the only ones displaying it. If you have even the slightest shred of honesty, you'll look into the actual events and admit that you've been spouting nonsense - because even if you disagree with him on politics, shouldn't it at least be for... well, you know, actual reasons?

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal