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Berkeley Professor: Gore an Exaggerator; No Record of Iceless Polar Bears

By Phil Brennan   |   Monday, 16 Mar 2009 10:54 AM

A liberal, Prius-driving Berkeley professor says Al Gore is exaggerating global warming facts, coal is a good source for energy, Thomas Friedman is wrong about global warming and storms, and hybrid cars won't help save the environment.


Professor Richard A. Muller explains his hybrid ownership this way: "It doesn't help slow global warming. I just love the technology."

Named a MacArthur "genius" in 1982, Muller who teaches a highly popular course called Physics for Future Presidents, insists that the bulk of misinformation on climate change has been spread by scientifically uninformed folk: "deniers" on the one hand and "exaggerators" like Gore and Friedman on the other.

Oh, and those polar bears vainly searching for ice that Gore depicted in his documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth”? There's no record of that, Muller told Forbes magazine’s Terry Dolan.

Muller added that solar panels on residential rooftops make no economic sense and that Gore and Friedman are nothing more than "environmental preachers."

Among his other targets is the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of scientists, diplomats and politicians. "No one actually pays attention to the IPCC," he says dismissively.

In his film, Gore claims the U.S. will be flooded as the oceans rise by 20 feet, but Muller told Forbes that a 12-inch rise in sea levels over the next 100 years as predicted by the IPCC is more likely.

Muller also scoffed at Tom Friedman’s allegations that global warming was behind an increase in hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. “That's because we're looking harder for such storms and finding more," he said. "There is compelling evidence that the rate of such storms has been slowly going down."

While accepting what he sees as the reality of global warming, Muller told Forbes his chief concern is the lack of understanding about the science behind important policy issues.

"The problem with the political process," Muller told The Daily Californian, "is that we're always looking one day, one month ahead, so we don't invest in long-term strategies."

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