Sunday, February 28, 2010

No One Has Done More to Discredit Climate Change Science than Al Gore

If you want to understand why so many people reject the idea of global warming, or even believe that it's a deliberate hoax, look no further than Al Gore. (Ann Althouse has a good summary of his latest.) Most people are not scientists, are generally pretty ignorant of science, and don't have the time or desire to become amateur experts on the global warming issue. They go by what they see. And one of the main things they see is Al Gore. 

When people see Al Gore they see someone who is a religious zealot to the point of being unhinged, not a person promoting a scientific idea. He's not someone who presents evidence fairly, recognizes and answers reasonable objections, and gives a scientific viewpoint. Instead he preaches the most extreme sort of doomsaying, and condemns unbelievers. Look at his words in the New York Times.

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption. After all has been said and so little done, the truth about the climate crisis — inconvenient as ever — must still be faced.
"Human redemption"? What kind of nonsense is that? Al Gore rails against the imaginary triumph of what he calls "market fundamentalism," as if our massively regulated economy is anything like a true free market, and calls for extreme global regulation in order to "protect human civilization as we know it." Naturally this will all have to be done by force, for our own good. Al knows best.

It is clear that like many on the left, Al Gore doesn't appreciate the fact that he has to put up with dissent. He wants people do to what they are told by the government, accept an imaginary consensus and completely unproven solutions, turn over their money, and shut up.

Some news media organizations now present showmen masquerading as political thinkers who package hatred and divisiveness as entertainment. And as in times past, that has proved to be a potent drug in the veins of the body politic. Their most consistent theme is to label as “socialist” any proposal to reform exploitive behavior in the marketplace.
That sounds like something a typical communist functionary might have written back in the 1970s Soviet Union. All he needs is a reference to the running dogs of capitalism.

Every time Al Gore speaks, more people reject global warming. They may not know anything about the science involved, but they are rightly repelled at the sight of a self-righteous, hysterical, exaggerating, dishonest former politician, telling them they have to submit to big government to avoid "unimaginable calamity." When a spokesman for any idea, no matter how credible the evidence behind it, comes off as an unhinged religious lunatic out for power & control, many people will  reject the idea he's pushing.  If I were a climate scientist who was convinced that climate change posed a major problem, the last thing I'd want is Al Gore out there making my position look like a religious movement based on hysterical Chicken Little fears, or raging against the free market, and giving credence to everyone who thinks the whole thing is just a socialistic, power-grabbing hoax.

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