Video: The Goracle on geothermal temperatures
posted at 8:48 am on November 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Yesterday I featured the science stylings of John Kerry, who apparently can’t do math or research in his quest to sound like Chicken Little on carbon-dioxide emissions. The self-appointed dean of the American global-warming hysteria movement, Al Gore, didn’t do much better when trying to explain geothermal energy to Conan O’Brien. Gore tells Conan that geothermal energy is plentiful, because the Earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees (via John Derbyshire):
Conan: Now, what about … you talk in the book about geothermal energy …
Al: Yeah, yeah.
Conan: and that is, as I understand it, using the heat that’s generated from the core of the earth …
Conan: … to create energy, and it sounds to me like an evil plan by Lex Luthor to defeat Superman. Can you, can you tell me, is this a viable solution, geothermal energy?
Al: It definitely is, and it’s a relatively new one. People think about geothermal energy — when they think about it at all — in terms of the hot water bubbling up in some places, but two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, ’cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot …
The interior of the Earth is extremely hot … but as Derb notes, it’s estimated to be between 5000 – 9000 degrees Celsius, not “several million degrees.” The surface of the Sun is only estimated to be 6000º C, while its core really is several million degrees Celsius. If the Earth’s core temperature was that hot, we would have had a “global warming” crisis a few billion years ago, and this debate would never have taken place.
Of course, anyone who followed the controversy over Gore’s piece of cinematic fantasy An Inconvenient Truth knows that Gore tells a lot of very convenient untruths in his quest to create a market for his carbon-trading company. However, this is just flat-out ignorance that with any other person in any other context would destroy their credibility. This is worse than Tom Cruise telling Matt Lauer that he can debunk the entire psychiatric field because he’s read a few books. If Gore can’t get this rather basic fact right, why should he be believed on anything else in the energy field?