In an interview on Wednesday, the Washington Post’s Klein originally quoted former vice presidnt Al Gore as saying that there will soon be a sixth category added to the national scale used to measure hurricanes because of the global-warming-induced severity of recent storms. That statement was widely criticized, mainly because it was in no way accurate, as another Washington Post blogger noted.
Klein contacted Gore’s staff, who said that the former vice president’s actual words were the following: “The scientists are now adding Category Six to the hurricane . . . some are proposing we add Category 6 to the hurricane scale that used to be 1 to 5.”
Klein explained, “That doesn’t offend my memory of the discussion and it’s entirely possible I missed Gore’s qualifying sentence while trying to keep up,” explaining that he transcribes his interviews in real time with a recorder as back-up, and tends to edit afterwards for redundancies. Gore is right that some scientists have previously proposed adding a sixth category to hurricane measurements, but there are currently no plans to do so (there hasn’t been a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean since 2007).
It obviously wouldn’t be too difficult for Klein to consult his recording and discover what Gore actually said, rather than relaying his staff’s claims alone, but the blogger explained he is on vacation and doesn’t have his tape recorder.