Friday, 12 August 2011

Al Gore's Climatological "Meltdown"

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In recent years, former Vice President Al Gore has been the object of a great deal of humor — and ire — for his extremist views and hypocritical actions when it comes to the environment. But a bizarre rant from the man who was once heartbeats away from becoming President of these United States calls forth a term which Americans want nowhere near the Oval Office: unhinged.

The ideology of manmade global warming has fallen on hard times in recent years due to a series of revelations that have fundamentally undermined the credibility of the “science” and its advocates. Beginning with “Climategate” and “Glaciergate” and continuing through such public spectacles as the implosion of the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, polling data has repeatedly demonstrated that the claims of climate change scientists have fallen on hard times with the public.

The shrinking credibility of the notion of manmade climate change has been met with a measure of relief among critics who have long understood how shaky the “science” was all along. But for the theory’s brashest boosters, the effect has been a rapid degeneration in the rhetoric.

Consider the case of Al Gore’s recent remarks to the Aspen Institute. The purported two-fold goal of the Aspen institute is “to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.” If that is the case, Gore singlehandedly set back those goals with a profanity-ladened tirade — as The Hill reports:

The model they innovated in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — by name, I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists, to pretend to be scientists, to put out the message: "This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes." Bulls--t! "It may be sun spots." Bulls--t! "It’s not getting warmer." Bulls--t!

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And there are about 10 other memes that are out there, and when you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you. The same crap, over and over and over again ... There is no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes the best evidence ... It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the goddamn word "climate."

One may well ask whether this is what the Aspen Institute has in mind as “values-based leadership” and a “neutral and balanced venue…” A man who has spent a lifetime in politics should have learned more about how one should conduct one’s self in public. Profanity-laden tirades —while one wallows in character defamation of the growing number of scientists who are willing to risk their careers to disagree with the theories that have become the ideological core of the environmental movement — ought to be beneath Gore, but apparently it is not. In truth, if it were not for the high office which was once entrusted to him, it would be easier to simply feel pity for Al Gore.

His invocation of the concept of memes — one popularized by another man given to ideological rants, Richard Dawkins — is that ideas have a life all their own, and that human minds are little more than conveyors for such memes. Any talk about "memes" is not about truth, but control. So, if what motivates the entire climate debate is only about memes, then the climatological ideology for which Gore is prepared to tear down modern civilization is nothing more than one more parasitical meme, lacking any more objective reality than any other meme.

But the battle over the theory of manmade climate debate is about facts — scientific facts, economic facts, and the fact that human reasoning may often be confused by ideological considerations. Gore’s ideology is not being defeated by memes, but by facts. 

Photo: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore delivers a speech at Asia- Pacific summit for the climate project in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan 9, 2011: AP Images