The Prophet Al Gore, Blessings Be Upon Him
Just when it seems that public figures can sink no lower, be more cynical, act more duplicitous, a news story comes along that plumbs new depths in ideological betrayal. And so it was this week when the shocked staff at Current TV was called to an all hands staff meeting. They were informed that the Current TV network, supposedly a bulwark of liberal green thought holding back the barbarian hoards from FOX and talk radio, had been sold to those leading mideast liberals at Al Jazeera. Former Vice President and self styled eco-prophet Al Gore has made himself a much, much richer man by doing what the political class has done since the dawn of human history—sell out to the other side.
Some years ago Al Gore founded a left wing TV network that proved to be a complete and utter flop. Gore's decision to sell the network raises questions concerning the sincerity of his self-proclaimed ideologies. Particularly when considering to whom he sold the company, Gore’s moral servitude can be questioned as well. That is because Al Jazeera is funded by the government of Qatar. More specifically, by the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, one of the world's richest oil sheiks. What would entice the inventor of the Internet and discoverer of global warming to do such a thing? No surprise there, he did it for the money—reportedly $100 million in hard, oily cash.
This comes as little shock to us here at The Resilient Earth. Indeed, we wrote about the moral turpitude of Mr. Gore in our 2008 book, The Resilient Earth. For those who have not yet aquired a copy of that informative and entertaining book, we present here an excerpt from Chapter 15, Prophets of Doom:
Al Gore's Convenient Calling
Albert Gore Jr. was born into privilege, the scion of an influential Tennessee family. His father served in the United States House of Representatives before WWII and, after the war, in the US Senate for two decades, so it came as no surprise when Al Jr. also chose a career in politics. Following in his father's footsteps, he served first as a Congressman, then a US Senator, and finally Vice-President of the United States during the presidency of Bill Clinton.
Reaching for the top prize in American politics, Gore was the Democratic nominee in the 2000 presidential election. It was one of the most controversial elections in American history. After a series of voting discrepancies and court challenges, Gore lost the election to George W. Bush when the US Supreme Court ruled that vote recounting had gone on long enough. Embittered by his narrow defeat, Gore left politics for private life and more academic pursuits. Asked to speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the lingering resentment over his defeat was still evident when he said in his speech, “Let's make sure not only that the Supreme Court does not pick the next president, but also that this president is not the one who picks the next Supreme Court.”
Al Gore was to eventually return to the public eye with a new mission. He found a higher calling in the environmental movement, a cause he had always supported. Gore claims the roots for his passionate belief, that human civilization harms the Earth, came from Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. During Gore's childhood, his mother, an educated and politically active woman who took Eleanor Roosevelt as a model, read the book to the 14 year old Albert and his older sister.
Carson's book was about DDT, a pesticide that was widely used to control malarial mosquitoes. But it also had negative effects on birds' eggs, weakening their shells and threatening a number of species with extinction. As a result of Carson's book, DDT was banned around the world. Four decades later, studies have shown that the removal of DDT caused millions of deaths in countries plagued with malaria and dengue fever.
While Gore attended Harvard, he was a student of the noted oceanographer Roger Revelle, who is mentioned in Chapter 2 of this book. Dr. Revelle, the self-proclaimed father of global warming, had a profound and lasting influence on young Albert. In Gore's own words, Revelle taught him “what was happening to the atmosphere of the entire planet, and how that enormous change was being caused by human beings.” Gore attributes his lifelong dedication to environmental causes to Revelle's teachings.
Mr. Gore comes by his environmentalist leanings honestly. His reemergence from the political wilderness as an environmental prophet of doom was no sudden conversion. But Gore has reinvented himself. From failed politician to a speaker on the college lecture circuit, the new Al Gore is only concerned with saving mankind from its own excesses. He now lectures widely on the topic of global warming, which he calls “the climate crisis.”
His power-point show on global warming is entertaining, but many of his conclusions are not supported by the science. That did not stop his lecture hall pitch from being turned into a slick documentary—basically a video of Gore presenting his talk. This film was immediately embraced by eco-conscious Hollywood. It would have been shocking if Gore's film hadn't won the OscarTM for best documentary in 2006. Perhaps more surprising was the announcement that Al Gore and the IPCC would share the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007.
The link between proselytizing about global warming and world peace seems tenuous at best. The Economist, observing that two out of the previous three peace prizes went to people and organizations who had nothing to do with peace, stated: “Evidently the committee has decided to redefine the award as the Nobel Prize for Making the World a Better Place in Some Unspecified Way.”
At the same time that Gore's documentary was being praised by activists, it was coming under progressively harsher criticism. A UK High Court judge, in response to a lawsuit questioning the film's suitability for showing in British classrooms, ruled that An Inconvenient Truth, contains significant factual errors. Justice Burton said Gore makes nine statements in the film that are not supported by current mainstream science The specific errors are:
- Mr. Gore asserted that sea levels will rise up to 20 feet due to melting ice sheets “in the near future.” Justice Burton: “This is distinctly alarmist” and will only occur “after, and over, millennia.”
- Low-lying Pacific atolls have already been evacuated. Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.
- The Gulf Stream that warms the northern Atlantic would shut down. Judge: It was “very unlikely” this would be happening in the future, though a slow down was possible.
- Graphs of CO2 and temperature rise over the past 650,000 years showed an “exact fit.” Judge: There was a connection, but “the two graphs do not establish what Mr. Gore asserts.”
- The snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro are disappearing due to global warming. Judge: It cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt. Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
- The drying up of Lake Chad is an example of a catastrophic result of global warming. Judge: There was “insufficient evidence to show that.”
- Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming. Judge: Insufficient evidence to establish the exact cause.
- Polar bears were found that had drowned “swimming long distances—up to 60 miles—to find the ice.” Judge: Only four polar bears have been found drowned, because of a storm not the lack of ice.
- Coral reefs are bleaching because of global warming and other factors. Judge: Separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing and pollution, was difficult.
The judge concluded that the film could be shown, but teachers must alert students to the errors he identified.
Interestingly, the Motion Picture Association of America rated Gore's film PG, requiring parental guidance due to “thematic elements.” More disturbing is Gore's picture book for children, an inconvenient truth: the crisis of global warming—adapted for a new generation. Supposedly a book about environmental awareness for young children, the book is heavy on images and light on substance. For example, on page 155 looms the full page image of a nuclear fireball. In very small letters the caption reads, “Test detonation of a nuclear bomb, Nevada, 1957.” The opposing page shows five German soldiers in a trench. The photo caption reads: “German soldiers in World War 1, 1914.” Above the German photo, on white background and in bold, large text are the words: “New technologies for fighting, such as nuclear bombs, have dramatically changed the consequences of war.”
Another image of supposed global warming disaster is of stranded fishing boats in the dried out Aral Sea, in Central Asia. This image has a link to ecological problems, but not ones caused by global warming. The Aral Sea was destroyed by Soviet mismanagement. The former USSR diverted the rivers that fed the sea to other uses, another triumph of communist central planning. What do those words and those images have to due with global warming? Nothing. But they leave a horrible verbal and visual impression on young children—and there is a disturbing pattern in this.
Misleading pictures from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.
Al Gore is a politician and politicians deceive the public all the time. They lie to get elected, it is a way of life for them. That might be the way it works for voting adults, but not with impressionable kids. Gore wore the mantle of a politician for nearly three decades. It seems that it is a hard cloak for him to abandon, because he has brought politics into science. When politics gets involved in science, the lies, opinions, and deceit, that are a politician's everyday fare, destroys scientific discipline. Gore did this trying to indoctrinate young children, a “new generation,” with his horrific pictures and misleading words.
Gore made a speech to New York University Law School on September 18, 2006. His sponsors were two NGOs, the World Resources Institute and Set America Free. A few statements from his speech are presented here to demonstrate Mr. Gore's approach to the problem of global warming.
“My purpose is not to present a comprehensive and detailed blueprint— for that is a task for our democracy as a whole—but rather to try to shine some light on a pathway through this terra incognita that lies between where we are and where we need to go. Because, if we acknowledge candidly that what we need to do is beyond the limits of our current political capacities, that really is just another way of saying that we have to urgently expand the limits of what is politically possible.”
Though Mr. Gore denies having a plan for the future he has made suggestions. In his book, An Inconvenient Truth, he put forth a number of things everyday people can do to save the planet. While some of the suggestions are sensible, others are laughable. These include a simplistic admonition to “use a tote bag when shopping” to the fatuous “buy things that last.” Gore doesn't present a detailed plan because, despite claims to have invented the Internet, he knows little about science or technology.
Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, devoted a long segment to the imminent meltdown of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice-sheets. The film predicted a global sea level increase of 20 feet (6 m) that would flood Manhattan, Shanghai, Bangladesh, and other coastal settlements. As proof of this impending disaster, Gore quoted Oreskes' essay as proving that all credible climate scientists were in agreement regarding this supposed threat. He did not point out that Oreskes' definition of climate change “consensus” did not encompass his alarmist notions.
What is more revealing is his call to urgently expand the limits of governmental power. A lifelong member of America's political left, Mr. Gore has always embraced the expansion of government control. It comes as no surprise that he sees the solution to global warming crisis, indeed all environmental problems, as a need for expanding government regulation and oversight. He truly believes that humanity's future is in jeopardy.
“Many Americans are now seeing a bright light shining from the far side of this no-man's land that illuminates not sacrifice and danger, but instead a vision of a bright future that is better for our country in every way ... Our children have a right to hold us to a higher standard when their future—indeed the future of all human civilization—is hanging in the balance.”
Presumably, the bright light is the one Mr. Gore is shining on the path to the future. Casting aside the overblown, campaign stump speech language, Gore thinks that mankind is in peril and the future looks bleak, unless bold political leadership asserts itself. Being unable to formulate an actual plan for reducing GHG emissions, or solving the world's future energy needs, he falls back on the need for moral leadership.
“Developing countries like China and India have gained their own understanding of how threatening the climate crisis is to them, but they will never find the political will to make the necessary changes in their growing economies unless and until the United States leads the way. Our natural role is to be the pace car in the race to stop global warming.”
Only a politician could think that the world is waiting for America to “lead the way” before they “find the political will” to tackle the dual problems of rising pollution rates and falling energy supplies. China, India or any other developing country will not slow their industrial growth to please the US They cannot. Their people would rise up and topple their governments if told the future had to be put on hold.
China is building one new coal-fired power plant every week with India following close behind. China and India will stop building power plants when they think they have enough of them, or a better alternative arises. A foreshadowing of this can be seen in Westinghouse's recent deal to build four new nuclear power plants in China.
Even the greener-than-thou nations of Europe have discovered they have little appetite for such economic sacrifice. To date, six EU nations have petitioned for relief from their GHG reduction goals. The natural role for the United States and the other technologically advanced nations is not to lead the way to national impoverishment through limiting growth, self denial, and industrial suicide, but rather to develop new technology that is both environmentally sound and economically competitive.
The most interesting codicil to Mr. Gore's saga as prophet of ecological doom is that, after winning an OscarTM and publishing a best selling picture book, Gore steadfastly refuses to meet his critics head to head. A sizable and growing list of “contrarian” scientists have offered to debate the former politician in public. This list includes Bjørn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Dennis Avery, coauthor of the best-selling book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years, and Lord Monckton of Brenchley, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher during her years as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Lord Monckton and Mr. Gore have clashed in the media before. Monckton has stated publicly, “A careful study of the substantial corpus of peer-reviewed science reveals that Mr. Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, is a foofaraw of pseudo-science, exaggerations, and errors, now being peddled to innocent schoolchildren worldwide.”
It is understandable that Gore would not wish to debate a real scientist, but Lord Monckton is a fellow politician who has also been involved in the global warming policy debate. To date, Mr. Gore has demurred.
Supposedly the sale was about ideology—Gore believes Al Jazeera gives “voice to those who are not typically heard” and speaks “truth to power.” In this case, superstitious truth in the form of misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semetic tribal nonsense. At least he didn't sell out to Glen Beck, his supporters point out. Yeah, right.
In an e-mail message he wrote of his real reason for divesting: “I am incredibly proud of what Current has been able to accomplish. But broadcast media is a business, and being an independent content producer in a time of increasing consolidation is a challenge.” In other words, they were losing their shirts.
So, followers of Gore, you were warned years ago about this guy. What do the staff of Current TV think of the sale? According to one report, the displeasure among the staff was thick enough to cut with a scimitar.
“We all know now that Al Gore is nothing but a bulls***ter,” said the staffer bluntly. “We do stories on the tax code, and he sells the network before the tax code kicked in? Al was always lecturing us about green. He kept his word about green all right—as in cold, hard cash!”
Al Gore stands for truth, justice and the Al Jazeera way.
Al Gore, the idol of millions, including Hollywood luminaries like Barbra Streisand and Leonardo DiCaprio, has been shown to have feet of clay, oil bearing clay. He now has a war chest filled with filthy lucre and he is is not afraid to use it. Look for more green disinformation from the Prophet of Doom soon, but probably not on the Al Jazeera network.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical