Record Heat Wave Renews Global Warming Debate

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Al Gore says Tuesday's government report revealing that June was the hottest month in recorded history proves the reality of global warming. Some scientific skeptics, however, say it proves no such thing. The scientists are right, of course, but not in the way that opponents of cutbacks in "greenhouse" gas emissions claim: "No scientific theory is proven -- not Einstein's theory of relativity, not even Newton's theory of gravity," says TIME science correspondent Michael Lemonick. "You can't prove scientific theories; you can only marshal evidence for and against them." But moves by the fossil-fuel-burning corporations to line up scientists to pooh-pooh global warming and the greenhouse effect may distort conventional wisdom in the scientific community. "You can always find a handful of scientist who'll say whatever you want to hear," says Lemonick. "But it's not as if the scientific community is divided on this issue -- the overwhelming majority of scientists believe that global warming is occurring, and that carbon dioxide is trapping heat."