Gore effect

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The Gore effect or Al Gore effect refers to a perceived connection between occurrences of unseasonably cold weather and some events associated with global warming activism, particularly those attended by former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore.[1]


Citing the crowdsourced Urban Dictionary, Peter Scowan of The Globe and Mail reported the term as "the phenomenon that leads to unseasonably cold temperatures, driving rain, hail, or snow whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global warming".[2] Erika Lovely of Politico described it as occurring when "a global warming-related event, or appearance by...Al Gore, is marked by exceedingly cold weather or unseasonably winter weather".[1] The phenomenon was reportedly first observed in January 2004 when a speech by Gore to a global warming rally held in New York City met extremely cold winter weather;[3] according to Andrew Bolt after another Gore speech took place on a strikingly cold day in Boston in the same year.[4] "Climate skeptics" use the term "half-seriously" in relation to the weather conditions at global warming venues.[1] German authors Daniel Rettig and Jochen Mai described the effect in 2012 in a popular science book about psychological mechanisms and memes, but referred to it as selective perception.[5] CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano describes use of the effect as a mere in-joke among weather forecasters: "in the weather community, we kind of joke about it. It's just a bad timing. Every time there's some big weather climate conference, there seems to be a cold outbreak. ... But, globally, we are still warming."[6]

Curtis Brainard of the Columbia Journalism Review has called coverage of the Gore effect "asinine", noting the distinction between short-term weather and long-term climate,[7] while Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly called focus on the claim "insulting".[8] Michael Daly criticized "delight in noting coincidences between events relating to [Gore's] favorite subject and severe winter weather."[9] Environmentalist A. Siegel has called the jokes a "shallow observation" from "those who don't get that weather isn't climate".[10] Phenomena attributed to the Gore effect are "chalked up as coincidence", according to Joe Joyce, a weather forecaster and environmental reporter.[11] Media Matters for America quoted Patrick J. Michaels, a skeptical climatologist and commentator with the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington with the observation that "the predictable distortion of extreme weather goes in both directions".[12] Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for Gore, told Erika Lovely: "As amusing as this little study sounds, we don’t think it should distract us from the reality."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Lovely, Erika (November 25, 2008). "Tracking 'The Gore Effect'". politico.com. Politico. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010. For several years now, skeptics have amusedly eyed a phenomenon known as “The Gore Effect” to half-seriously argue their case against global warming. […]The so-called Gore Effect happens when a global warming-related event, or appearance by the former vice president and climate change crusader, Al Gore, is marked by exceedingly cold weather or unseasonably winter weather. […] While there’s no scientific proof that The Gore Effect is anything more than a humorous coincidence, some climate skeptics say it may offer a snapshot of proof that the planet isn’t warming as quickly as some climate change advocates say.
  2. ^ Scowen, Peter (March 31, 2009). "The New Climate Almanac". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada: CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2010. It happened in Canada this year, sort of, when tickets to a Feb. 21 speech by Mr. Gore at the University of Toronto went on sale – on the coldest Feb. 7 on record for downtown Toronto.
  3. ^ Warren, David (November 2, 2008). "Save us, please, from those who would save the earth". Ottawa Citizen. p. A.14. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. This is an example of what is now called, in urban parlance, the "Gore effect," after the Nobel-prize-winner and former U.S. vice-president. It is defined as, "The phenomenon that leads to record cold temperatures wherever Al Gore goes to deliver an important statement on global warming, or by extension, to sharp temperature drops wherever a major discussion of global warming takes place."
  4. ^ Bolt, Andrew (November 17, 2006). "Al Gore rains on his party". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia.
  5. ^ Ich denke, also spinn ich: Warum wir uns oft anders verhalten, als wir wollen, Daniel Rettig, Jochen Mai, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2012, Chapter Gore effect, p. 47 ff Online, reception of the book see [1]
  6. ^ Transcript, "American Morning" program, January 5, 2010, CNN, retrieved June 13, 2010.
  7. ^ Brainard, Curtis (November 26, 2008). "Global Cooling, Confused Coverage". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  8. ^ Benen, Steve (November 25, 2008). "Political Animal: 'The Gore Effect'". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  9. ^ Daly, Michael (December 20, 2009). "The Gore Effect brings snow to New York City". Daily News. New York.
  10. ^ Siegel, A. (March 2, 2009). "Fire and Ice..." The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  11. ^ Joyce, Joe, "Fun Stories That Make You Go…”Hmmm.”, March 4, 2009, New England News Channel website, (not available anymore) for Joyce's identification of post with WBZ-TV, see Web page titled "Bios/Weather/Joe Joyce" Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine (not available anymore), both Web pages retrieved June 13, 2010
  12. ^ "Right-wing media seize on snow at Copenhagen conference to deem climate change a 'fraud'". Media Matters for America. December 18, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.

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