Friday, October 12, 2007

The Gore-y Details

I ran across a Gore Cheerleading article on his Nobel "Peace" Prize. You know, the one that Yasser Arafat was awarded years ago. Bryan Walsh apparently has a bad crush on Al Gore.

Gore's win was widely expected, but there may still be those who wonder how an environmentalist could be, as the Peace Prize's description goes, the person who has "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations." They shouldn't. Climate change is already a key instigator of conflict in areas like Darfur, where drought likely worsened by global warming helped trigger a civil war that has claimed over 200,000 lives.
That's quite a claim! According to whom? Supported by what evidence?

the IPCC has issued four assessments — the most recent this year — taking the current temperature of climate change. Reading the successive reports, which grow more and more confident about the reality and the danger of climate change, is like seeing an image fall into focus.
The reports don't grow more and more confident. The Summaries for Policy Makers, which ignore parts of the report that don't say what they want the summary to say -- do. The scientists don't actually do research like you'd think. They review papers from science journals. Journals that tend not to accept papers that don't have something to do withs arguments supporting the dire threat of global warming (of anthropogenic origin, preferably). They then write up a short summary on the few pages they were assinged and that gets run down the hall to the people writing the Summary for Policy Makers -- who then send those summaries back for revision if the scientist's summaries are not "consistent" with the summary that the upper-level summary writers are writing. These are produced by, and reviewed by, and influenced by ... governments and NGOs before the Summary For Policy Makers comes out. Then everybody's names get put on the report as a "supporting scientist" regardless of what they actually had to say about it. And then this last time, the Summary for Policy Makers came out months before the actual report came out.
Drawing on the work of so many scientists, which must then be approved by national representatives, the IPCC tends to the conservative — so its dire conclusions are all the more authoritative and chilling. It's that "approval by national representatives" that you have too much faith in. Those "national representatives" have an agenda, and that's to be relevant and important.
And what makes you think it tends toward the conservative seeing as how they keep having to revise their numbers downward with each iteration as the dire predictions fail to come to pass?

But global warming is global, and the very existence of an impartial IPCC,
Bwaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! "impartial IPPC". Indeed. People whose jobs and/or status would vanish if they discounted the very problem they've been appointed to worry over don't tend to be impartial. It is a self-justifying political organization, created by politicians -- that happens to hire scientists.

the message has sunk in for even the most recalcitrant listeners — witness President George W. Bush's White House summit on climate change last month. That success is a triumph for the rational scientific thinking that motivates both Gore and the IPCC. It's the idea that if we simply marshal enough facts, enough data, enough PowerPoint slides, and present them to the world, the will to solve the problem will follow as simple as 2+2=4.
Yes, Power Point slides will save the world. That's been the problem. They've marshalled enough (selective) facts and enough (selective) data that they can put them in nifty powerpoint slides and tell us how to interpret them. Which would be the way they would like them interpreted. Anyone who dares attempt an alternate interpretation or to insert additional data and context into the argument is a "denier".

That spirit was sufficient to diagnose climate change, but it won't be enough to solve it — and here's where Gore has fallen short in the past. The Jeremiah of global warming proved strangely restrained on the issue during the eight years he spent as Vice President of the U.S. — eight critical years when the groundwork for preventing climate change could have been laid.
That's because it would have been political suicide. Actually doing the things they say it would take to solve the problem would impact everyone's lives in dramatic and unpleasant ways that go far beyond carrying a canvas shopping bag or driving a Prius. It would've sent energy prices through the roof and taking everything which relies on energy ... which is just about everything ... along with it. Poor people would not be able to afford to heat their homes. Middle class people could afford to do little else if they could still afford to get to work. And do you think Bigfoot Al would be expected to give up his palace and his SUV convoy to live in a 1600 square foot house and drive a Prius? See it's only important if he can tell everyone else what to do, not to do it himself and take the blame for the consequences.

The scientists represented by the IPCC have spoken — what we need now are passionate, even partisan political soldiers to lead the way and push the final tipping point from awareness to action.

I can think of a pretty good general.
A pompus, self-serving, self-aggrandizing ass? This guy's going to be real disappointed when Santa Claus doesn't come this year.

No comments: