Al Gore

The scariest part of the global warming scare is the prediction of rapidly accelerating sea-level rise. In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore warns that if half the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and half the Greenland Ice Sheet melted or broke off and slid into the sea, sea levels could rise as much as 20 feet. Gore implies this could happen within our lifetimes or those of our children, stating, in the book version of AIT (pp. 204-206), that some 100 million people living in Beijing, Shanghai, Calcutta, and Bangladesh would  “be displaced,” “forced to move,” or “have to be evacuated.”

I debunk Gore’s sci-fi doomsday scenario in earlier posts.  Suffice it to say here that the UN IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report projects 18-59 centimeters (7-23 inches) of sea-level rise by 2100. To be sure, some scientists, such as Scripps Institute of Oceanography researcher Dr. Richard Somerville, who testified recently before the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, claim the IPCC estimate is too low and that sea levels will rise by 1-2 meters.

Drs. Shirwood, Craig, and Keith Idso, our colleagues at the Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, have posted an editorial on sea-level rise that reviews a new study based on global tide gauge data.

The study, Houston and Dean (2011), finds that the rate of sea-level rise over the past 80 years has not accelerated and, in fact, has slightly decelerated. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on sea level rise ending up near the low-end of the IPCC projection — about 7 inches, roughly the same amount as occurred in the 20th century. Clearly, now is not the time to sell the beach house!

The Idsos’s editorial follows in full: [click to continue…]

Post image for Krugman and Climategate

Paul Krugman, never one to mince words when writing about Republicans,  looks desperately for common ground on two unrelated issues in his latest column. As a result of a blog post (among other pieces) written by a Professor William Cronon of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin State Republican Party has requested copies of all communication that Cronon has made using his University e-mail related to the recent union struggle in Wisconsin.

They seem to be legally entitled to this information under a state law similar to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s not clear that Cronon’s e-mails could be construed as anything other than embarassing, as he isn’t directly involved in preparing policy summaries that have enormous political implications.

Regardless of how you feel about this specific issue, Krugman errs when he tries to relate this to Climategate, insinuating that they are at all similar:

[click to continue…]

An AB32 Primer

by Chris Horner on October 25, 2010

in Blog

So, we read that Hollywood, Al Gore’s group, rent-seeking industry and other green groups have been joined by the rest of the usual suspects-Google, Bill Gates-in opposing Proposition 23, a ballot initiative to delay their state’s energy rationing law which will soon take effect. That is, barring voter intervention putting a temporary stay on this economic suicide pact until the state’s economy recovers somewhat.

I should think that’s about all one needs to know about Proposition 23.

Still, all of that money to protect the global warming industry’s gravy train seems to be having an effect among telephone survey respondents. But it remains a close one. And that’s why they suit up and play the game.

The people who will be hurt most by this costly gesture by elites who for the most part will not feel the pinch of California sinking further down the drain, particularly Hispanic voters, support reclaiming voter sovereignty on an issue the political class has proven an inability to responsibly manage.

I suppose this is just fodder for so much more hand-wringing by the Left about the regular voter being too stupid for the elites to stomach. How dare those imbeciles not wildly fall for it! Remember, AB 32 was passed as a global warming law. When it began to dawn on people that now was not the time for foolish gestures, even in California, and since no one actually posits that AB 32 would ‘do something’ to the climate in any detectable way (or even close, accepting all of the alarmists’ assumptions), the party line promptly switched to it being a jobs bill. Yeah, that’s it.

And, now, as the truth is making the rounds that this “world’s first” scheme has in fact proven to be a job-killing bog in many places already, the global warming industry has now done its usual late-hour race to the bottom. One pressure group is blitzing the airwaves with shameful ads saying this is about (of course) childhood respiratory function. Not a word in the ad about global warming. Huh. This comes from the California chapter of a group long having had a difficult relationship with being straight on such matters (including, as Reason’s Joel Schwartz has pointed out on many occasions, about California-specific issues and, as I detailed in Red Hot Lies, about global warming).

Which begs the question, unless they are just torturing the facts and being alarmist (again), why wasn’t that the reason AB 32 was passed to begin with? Instead, it was (risible) state-specific computer-modeled scenarios of doom unless the people allowed the political class to strip them of ever more freedoms. It was the faddish “global warming” pony they sought to ride to the long-held desire to price energy out of the reach of the same average voters whose proliferation and attainment of automobility, vacations and the like the elites just couldn’t tolerate.

You will know them by their deeds, and the global warming industry’s have a pretty miserable record.

Former Vice President Al Gore is the gift that keeps on giving to opponents of global warming alarmism and energy rationing policies. He leads what I think of as the Dream Team: Gore is the public leader; James Hansen is the go-to scientist; Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) pushed through a cap-and-trade bill in the House that killed cap-and-trade; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the main promoter in the Senate; when he dropped the ball, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was in charge for awhile; and she has now been replaced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) with help from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

I used to think that we were just incredibly lucky that the alarmist movement was led by this group of second raters.   I now realize that it isn’t luck.  Global warming alarmism attracts incompetents, know-nothings, and looney tunes.

We have missed Al Gore in the debate, but luckily Kerry and Graham were fully up to sinking cap-and-trade in the Senate (not that it had much chance anyway) without any help from the leader of the forces of darkness. So it was good to see that Gore returned this week on a conference call sponsored by Repower America (aka the Alliance for Climate Protection).

Gore on the conference call acknowledged that cap-and-trade was dead and that the alarmists had lost in 2010.  He bitterly blamed the usual suspects: Big Oil, King Coal, right-wing media, and professional deniers (I believe that is where he would put me and CEI).  This is boilerplate nonsense.  Three of the big five oil companies (BP, Shell, and Conoco Phillips) support cap-and-trade, as well as most of the big electric utilities (Duke Energy, P G and E, Exelon, PNM Resources, Entergy, etc.) and many other major corporations, such as General Electric, Dow Chemical, General Motors, and Ford Motor.  Cap-and-trade died when the American people found out that it was a colossal transfer of wealth from them to corporate special interests (see the list in the previous sentence).

Gore even said that our system of government was not working as the founders intended it to work.  In fact, in the debate over cap-and-trade the system of checks and balances in the Constitution is working exactly as the founders intended.  It has prevented an elite from hijacking the economy for its own enrichment.

I can see why Gore is bitter.  His comparatively modest investments in green energy promised to make him a global warming billionaire if cap-and-trade were enacted. Unluckily for him, the American people have said no emphatically.

[This was originally posted on Politico’s Energy Arena here.]

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It’s not clear what Al Gore has been doing the past three months since the Climategate scientific fraud scandal broke–perhaps doing a bit of interplanetary travel or hanging out in a remote cave discussing how to de-industrialize America with his fellow global warming alarmist, Osama bin Laden.  No matter, Gore has returned to his global warming crusade with an op-ed in the Sunday New York Times.  And what an op-ed!   “We can’t wish away climate change” is 1896 words, or about three times the length of most op-eds.  Unfortunately, the leader of the forces of darkness hasn’t learned a thing during his mysterious sabbatical.

Gore begins by claiming that “it would be an enormous relief” if global warming turned out not to be a crisis.  This is undoubtedly true for most people, but Gore can’t resist piling on: “I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion.”  Oh, really?  Can anyone believe that the man who has remade himself from a losing presidential candidate into the savior of the planet wants it all to go away?  And who stands to make hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars from investments in green technology if energy-rationing policies are enacted?  Would he give back his Oscar and his Nobel Peace Prize?

Gore then summarizes Climategate as “the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”  Yes, at least two mistakes.  One that he doesn’t mention is the systematic manipulation of data in order to make the 1930s and ’40s appear cooler and the 1990s and 2000s warmer in the surface temperature record.  Another is the conspiracy to cover up the Medieval Warm Period with the infamous hockey-stick graph.  Nor does Gore mention that Professor Phil Jones, the central figure in Climategate, conceded in a recent interview that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.

For Gore, the scientific case for alarmism is exactly as it was before Climategate, except that it’s “clearer and clearer” that things are actually worse than scientists thought.  This is a refrain Gore trots out every few months, and it is  the main reason he continues to lose credibility.

From misrepresenting the science Gore moves on to describe the political obstacles to global energy rationing.  He correctly summarizes the obstacles as formidable, but can’t resist telling another tall tale.  He claims that China “had privately signaled last year that if the United States passed meaningful legislation, it would join in serious efforts to produce an effective treaty” in Copenhagen.  But when the Senate failed to pass cap-and-trade, “the Chinese balked.”  This “private signal” is sheer fantasy.  The Chinese government have made it clear in the most direct, undiplomatic language at every international global warming pow-wow for years that they will not commit to mandatory emissions reductions.

Gore concludes with a long, incoherent rant about why he and his fellow doomsters have so far failed.  It all started with the fall of Communism.  This allowed “market fundamentalists” to convince ignorant voters that, “Laws and regulations interfering with the operations of the market carried a faint odor of the discredited statist adversary we had just defeated.”

So what is to be done?  Here Gore becomes totally unglued.  “…[W]hat is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.”  The point about a regime of laws in particular and politics in general is that they cannot be instruments of human redemption.  Gore’s global salvationism (to use English economist David Henderson’s insightful term) is not far removed from the totalitarianism of Communism and National Socialism, as he makes clear in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance.

And where does Gore put his hopes for human redemption?  Hilariously, Gore is counting on Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), who may release a draft energy-rationing bill this week that Gore hopes “will place a true cap on carbon emissions.”

This shows that Gore can still get a laugh now and then, but he’s become another illustration of the old adage that even the best vaudeville acts eventually wear out.  It’s time for Al Gore to hang up the soft shoes and shuffle off the stage.

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