Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Al Gore - Profile in Arrogance

Thoughts while watching MSNBC...... I hadn't intended to write a journal entry today, and certainly not about Academy Award Winner Al Gore. But he is making such an ass of himself this morning that I'm reminded once again of yesterday's journal entry profiling journalist and Free Speech advocate Flemming Rose.

As I watch Gore make himself the center of attention (and not the very real and important issue of global warming), I remembered that today is just the latest episode of Gore Egomania since his movie debut. It seems he and Mr. Rose crossed paths before.

Or, that is to say, they DIDN'T cross paths! It seems Vice President refused an interview with the tough and aggressive journalist, Mr. Rose and global warming skeptic Bjorn Lomborg. Even when Rose agreed to exclude Lomborg from the interview at the absolute demand of the Gore team, Gore abruptly cancelled an interview, fearing Rose would have been prepped to asked tough questions.

Flemming Rose writes about the near interview with Al Gore in an editorial in
The Wall Street Journal:


Will Al Gore Melt?

If not, why did he chicken out on an interview?

Sunday, January 21, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Last week he was in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. The day before the interview Mr. Gore's agent thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness.
According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

One can only speculate. But if we are to follow Mr. Gore's suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore's path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore's world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question. It would have been great to ask him why he only talks about a sea-level rise of 20 feet. In his movie he shows scary sequences of 20-feet flooding Florida, San Francisco, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Beijing and Shanghai. But were realistic levels not dramatic enough? The U.N. climate panel expects only a foot of sea-level rise over this century. Moreover, sea levels actually climbed that much over the past 150 years. Does Mr. Gore find it balanced to exaggerate the best scientific knowledge available by a factor of 20?

Mr. Gore says that global warming will increase malaria and highlights Nairobi as his key case. According to him, Nairobi was founded right where it was too cold for malaria to occur. However, with global warming advancing, he tells us that malaria is now appearing in the city. Yet this is quite contrary to the World Health Organization's finding. Today Nairobi is considered free of malaria, but in the 1920s and '30s, when temperatures were lower than today, malaria epidemics occurred regularly. Mr. Gore's is a convenient story, but isn't it against the facts?

He considers Antarctica the canary in the mine, but again doesn't tell the full story. He presents pictures from the 2% of Antarctica that is dramatically warming and ignores the 98% that has largely cooled over the past 35 years. The U.N. panel estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snow mass this century. Similarly, Mr. Gore points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but don't mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing. Shouldn't we hear those facts? Mr. Gore talks about how the higher temperatures of global warming kill people. He specifically mentions how the European heat wave of 2003 killed 35,000. But he entirely leaves out how global warming also means less cold and saves lives. Moreover, the avoided cold deaths far outweigh the number of heat deaths. For the U.K. it is estimated that 2,000 more will die from global warming. But at the same time 20,000 fewer will die of cold. Why does Mr. Gore tell only one side of the story?

Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously. It is crucial that we make the right decisions posed by the challenge of global warming. These are best achieved through open debate, and we invite him to take the time to answer our questions: We are ready to interview you any time, Mr. Gore--and anywhere.

I'm not at all prepared to agree with Bjorn Lomborg and certainly not ready to join the global warming skeptics. But, I'm disappointed to see Gore play such childish games like refusing to listen to the Republicans opening statements. If Gore wasn't so childish, he could make the Republicans look like fools. But instead, Gore looks like the fool and he is singlehandedly turning his mission into a fool's errand.





Bill Gnade said...

Nice job, Wizard. The WSJ piece is important and helpful.

My wife recently finished reading Lomborg's book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist." Though Scientific American published a stiff rebuttal to his work, Lomborg was able to rebut the rebuttal. I am not able to conclude whether he was right, either in the book or in his apologia, but he surely is a force to be reckoned with.

Thanks again.


Not Your Mama said...

Already posted about Gore. Short version: most people just don't get him. Not the left and not the right.

Vigilante said...

How nice to run into Bill Gnade! I was just perusing his site! Four posts from him in a single day! He certainly is exercised over Al Gorical!

I must admit to being confused over the intensity of the campaign of personal smear against Al Gore; it's as if the issue of climate change and global warming was all of his concoction.


Perhaps some of the mystery was revealed to me tonight.

Following a chain of links, (actually a derivative of some commenters in ContraTimes), I turned up this explanation:

Whistleblower explains, environmentalism is nothing less than the global elitists' replacement ideology for communism/socialism. With communism largely discredited today – after all, 100-150 million people died at the hands of communist "visionaries" during the last century – elitists who desire to rule other people's lives have gravitated to an even more powerful ideology. More powerful because it seems to trump all other considerations, as it claims the very survival of life on earth is dependent on implementing its agenda.

Now, I think that's a simply amazin' statement. If you take a moment to reflect on it, you might see how this kind of thinking totally explains a lot of stuff, including why we are stuck up to our balls in I-Wreck.

Does Imhofe believe this?

the WIZARD, fkap said...

vigilante, you raise a really good point. I, personally, have no doubt about the reality of global warming and the need for real action today to reduce carbon emmissions.

The tragedy (and Al Gore reflects this)is that it has become a POLITICAL ISSUE rather than either a scientific issue or a social issue.

Someone posted a story (it may have been on Gnade's site) about Einstein, when one of his theories was attacked, began the investigation into his work HIMSELF!! This is the nature of real science.

Today, questionsing the various statements presented by former Vice President Gore or other politicos and various glitterati gets you lamblasted, ridiculed or accused or being a traitor to the human race. That's not science, it's politics.

Likewise, someone else pointed out, correctly, that the Senate, if they were indeed true believers could simply ratify Kyoto. Bush is powerless to stand in the way of such ratification. Yet, of course, it's not even on the agenda.

WHY? Because it's a POLITICAL ISSUE, best left unsolved so it can be used as a political club in upcoming elections.

But I do not doubt for a single second Gore's sincerity.

But he is glitterati, a politico, with all the flaws of fame and all the flaws of humanity.

the Wizard......

Vigilante said...

I happened to think the Republican Senator from Idaho who quarreled with Gore on nuclear power, exhibited the kind of intelligent partisanship that used to hold sway in our legislative bodies. He was confrontive, yet informative. He didn't have to read his questions (although it was obvious he was literate); he had relevant and technical facts with which he seeded his lecture to Gore. His was a refreshing and surprising example which evoked in me some nostalgia about what it used to be like in the Senate.