Last Week’s Onion Editorial Cartoon Pillories Gore

by William Yeatman on January 19, 2014

In a welcome sign of the times, Gore’s act is wearing thin with the tastemakers.
alOn a related note, Gore last week took to his blog to decry the possibility of geoengineering as a solution to global warming climate change. My colleague Marlo Lewis had this to say about Gore’s post (from last week’s Cooler Heads Digest):

Al Gore this week warned that use of geo-engineering to counter global warming would be “utterly mad.”

Geo-engineering refers to a set of techniques designed to cool the planet by limiting the amount of solar energy reaching the surface. Potential techniques include injecting small particles into the stratosphere to scatter sunlight, and spraying sea-water mist into clouds to make them brighter and reflect more sunlight back to space.

As reported in the Guardian, Gore said it would be “insane, utterly mad and delusional in the extreme” to engage in geo-engineering. “The idea that we can put a different form of pollution into the atmosphere to cancel out the effects of global warming pollution is utterly insane,” he declared.

By Gore’s logic, vaccines are “insane” because vaccination is an attempt to use one form of a disease to fight another form of the disease. Sometimes fighting fire with fire makes sense. Besides, sea-water mist is not pollution.

Gore’s knee-jerk rejection of geo-engineering is of a piece with the warming movement’s opposition to nuclear power and hydroelectricity as climate solutions. As my colleague Christopher Horner puts it, they believe “climate change is the worst catastrophe facing mankind – except all the others.”

Geo-engineering may be a pipedream, but morally it is no different from any other project to manage the natural world for the betterment of human welfare.

Suppose geo-engineers figure out how, using non-toxic substances, to cool down the sea surface in the path of tropical cyclones and prevent storms headed for population centers from developing into full-blown hurricanes. If so, then geo-engineering would make the world a safer place.

Gore, however, wants carbon pricing schemes and renewable energy mandates to be the only game in town. After more than 20 years of climate advocacy, global emissions keep going up. Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results the very definition of insanity?

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