Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
Al Gore’s timing is perfect. We here at The Heartland Institute are just now finishing off the last preparations for our Sixth International Conference on Climate Change in Washington, DC, June 30 and July 1. (It’s still not too late to register, and you can also check out the live-stream).
And, wouldn’t you know it! Al Gore emerges from his palatial, energy-sucking estate for a media blitz (here, here, and here) in which he peddles his usual hokum: “If you don’t do what I say … we’re all doomed. DOOMED, I say!!! Why won’t you LISTEN TO ME!!! YOU FOOOOOOLS!!!!” (Blah, blah, blah … and paraphrasing)
We couldn’t ask for a more timely example of why we put on these conferences. Thanks, Al. By the way, the invitation for you to speak and/or debate at our climate conference still stands — if you’re up for it. And the offer is real.
In Rolling Stone this week, Gore slimed those who don’t agree with his view that the planet is at mortal peril. If Gore doesn’t accept the invitation, it might be because he’s out of energy after putting out the 7,000-word opus Rolling Stone saw fit to publish.
Gore starts out with a cute, anecdotal lead that harkens to a childhood memory of attending a pro wrasslin’ match. In Gore’s moralistic fable, only children — or idiots and rubes — think wrasslin’ is real. And to believe (or see) that the observable scientific data continually proves the climate models wrong is to be as dumb as a Triple H fan.
But Gore’s real problem is not with the Triple H fans, but the media that plays the part of the “referee” that is always looking at the distraction created by the villain’s manager while the bad wrassler cracks the hero over the head with a folding chair. Writes Gore:
Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.
That childish set-up for Gore’s thesis — the global warming debate as a wrasslin’ match — should do just fine for Rolling Stone’s readers, who would fall for such an absurd morality play: the dark and muscular “Poisonous Polluter” on one side, and the scrawny but heroic “Science and Reason” on the other. Only the ideologues who edit Rolling Stone would allow an author 6,700 more words to follow that juvenile set-up. They obviously have no standards for what qualifies as a logical argument. But Gore’s a Nobel Laureate and an Oscar winner! And Jann Wenner is easy to impress. Oh, well. It only gets sillier from there.
But whatever the cause, the referee appears not to notice that the Polluters and Ideologues are trampling all over the “rules” of democratic discourse. They are financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufacture doubt about what is true and what is false; buying elected officials wholesale with bribes that the politicians themselves have made “legal” and can now be made in secret; spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media; hiring four anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (Question: Would Michael Jordan have been a star if he was covered by four defensive players every step he took on the basketball court?)
We’ll get to the “pseudoscientists” stuff later. But … please. I guess there’s no money in alarmism — despite the tens (or probably hundreds) of millions in government funding that goes to Gore-approved scientists world-wide. And there’s no lobbyists on that side, either. Sure. And if you believe that, I can hook you up with a lobbyist who will lobby against lobbying.
Gore, of course, equates those who deny alarmism with those who denied smoking cigarettes causes cancer. But “this time,” Gore writes, the scientific consensus that man is killing the planet “is even stronger” than the scientific consensus that smoking cigarettes causes cancer. And we’ve “been sowing doubt even more effectively than the tobacco companies before” us.
[Global warming] has been has been endorsed by every National Academy of science of every major country on the planet, every major professional scientific society related to the study of global warming and 98 percent of climate scientists throughout the world. In the latest and most authoritative study by 3,000 of the very best scientific experts in the world, the evidence was judged “unequivocal.”
But wait! The good guys transgressed the rules of decorum, as evidenced in their private e-mails that were stolen and put on the Internet. The referee is all over it: Penalty! Go to your corner! And in their 3,000-page report, the scientists made some mistakes! Another penalty!
And if more of the audience is left confused about whether the climate crisis is real? Well, the show must go on. After all, it’s entertainment. There are tickets to be sold, eyeballs to glue to the screen.
That’s right. It’s all a show. It’s just entertainment — says the man who made an Oscar-winning movie to promote his views. Yet everyone in the media and the larger American culture is against him. Right. Heartland certainly hopes we have lots of eyes glued to the live-stream of our next climate conference. Yet despite us being one of the most prominent and active promoters of a science-based view that is an alternative to Gore’s dystopia, we’d have to pry open the eyes of tens of millions of folks Clockwork-Orange-style to even approach the audience he enjoyed — which was propped up by mandatory school showings, an Oscar, and a Nobel Prize.
Yet Gore is the victim here. He’s put upon. His view isn’t being sufficiently drilled into the mind of the culture. C’mon, Al. Whining should be beneath you.
But lets put the whining aside and get to more substance. You’ve got to love how Gore dismisses with a wave of the hand the incriminating Climategate emails, which exposed a conspiracy to rig the data and “hide the decline” to keep the myth of catastrophic global warming going. Gore fails to mention how those Climategate emails exposed the warmists’ blackballing from scientific journals colleagues who saw data that went against the faith. No matter (since Gore is a “denier” on that fact), we’re back to wrasslin’! If you point out mistakes? You’re just like a dufus referee of the WWE.
Just one more excerpt for now, because I can hardly take anymore:
To sell their false narrative, the Polluters and Ideologues have found it essential to undermine the public’s respect for Science and Reason by attacking the integrity of the climate scientists. That is why the scientists are regularly accused of falsifying evidence and exaggerating its implications in a greedy effort to win more research grants, or secretly pursuing a hidden political agenda to expand the power of government. Such slanderous insults are deeply ironic: extremist ideologues — many financed or employed by carbon polluters — accusing scientists of being greedy extremist ideologues.
Despite the libelous beginning of that paragraph, Gore probably committed the most truth in that passage.
Alarmist scientists are “regularly accused of falsifying evidence and exaggerating its implications in a greedy effort to win more research grants” because many of them are guilty. Alarmist scientists are accused of “secretly pursuing a hidden political agenda to expand the power of government” because that’s what they (and Gore) have been doing for decades. And I’d like to see the tax returns of the top 10 most famous alarmist scientists and advocates and compare them to those of the top 10 most famous “deniers.” I’d bet my modest tax refund this year that it would be no contest of who is more “greedy” and wealthy – on the alarmist side.
So … If they are so wrong. If they are so easily refuted. This is your chance! We have reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the cable networks registered as credentialed media attending this event. Scores of bloggers — including warmist friendlies from The Huffington Post — will also be there. We’ll make any schedule adjustments you require Al. Come and prove those “pseudoscientists” wrong to the world. Put action behind your Rolling Stone piece. We’d love to have you attend.
(Follow Heartland’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change on Twitter: #ICCC6)