Friday, October 12, 2007

They'll give these things to anyone...

Al Gore and U.N. Climate Panel win a Nobel Prize. Somebody had a little too much to drink while selecting this one. This was a bad decision for a couple of reasons.

First, it's Al Gore, they guy who "invented" the internet. The really funny thing is I found a site that defends Gore's statement and tries to explain it. It think it is pretty clear irregardless of the context:

But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Looks like a pretty clear cut statement to me. Anyway, here is a great article by Steven Hayward about Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize. Some highlights:

Parson Al winning the Nobel Peace Prize was as predictable as his Oscar for Best Documentary, and represents the final debasement of a once-prestigious award. It used to be that the award went to people of genuine humanitarian or diplomatic accomplishment, like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer or Doctors Without Borders. Now it goes to frauds and poseurs like Rigoberta Menchu, Yassir Arafat, the U.N. (three times now, counting Gore’s co-winner, the U.N.’s climate change panel), and Jimmy Carter. About the only way to top this would be to give the next Peace Prize to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. More likely the Nobel committee will, one of these days, simply pat itself on the back and give the award to . . . themselves.

The glitter of the Nobel overshadows the inconvenient news reported last week that a British court of law labeled Gore’s movie as partisan political propaganda, pointing out 11 different errors of fact or scientific judgment, and prohibiting its screening in British public schools without a disclaimer of these defects. The Nobel will be one more quiver in Gore’s arsenal of intransigent moral authority by which he refuses to debate any aspect of the subject and declares the entire matter “settled.” It’s never a good sign when politicians declare a scientific matter settled; we all remember how well that worked out for the Vatican when they told Galileo 400 years ago that astronomy was settled. It is even more problematic to suggest that climate change is not a political issue, but a moral issue, but then to demand massive political interventions in the economy to fix the problem.

Likewise, climate change is a real phenomenon, but the
catastrophic scenario of Gore and his fellow climate campaigners is steadily fraying around the edges if you follow the scientific literature closely. Has anyone noticed, for example, that global temperature has been flat for the last decade, after two decades of slow and steady increase from 1980 to 1998? Most of the climate models suggest global temperature should be consistently warming with the rise of greenhouse gases, but it has stopped. This increasingly inconvenient truth will eventually become too obvious for even the media to ignore. Meanwhile, the real world economic consequences of Gore’s policy agenda (which Obama and Edwards—but not Hillary—have signed up for) are so extreme that no self-governing people will ever submit to it, which is why a few environmentalists have gone so far as to say openly, “down with democracy.” Go ahead; make my day; try that out on the American people. The Democratic Congress can’t even pass a modest emissions trading scheme that would barely begin to enact Gore’s agenda, because they are afraid of its cost.

Next, there is the problem with the science of Global Warming. Richard Lindzen, an MIT scientist, is refuting the findings of the U.N. and Gore:

The reports maintain that there's more than a 90 percent chance that human activity—primarily the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in increased levels of atmospheric CO2—is responsible for the earth's recent warming, which amounts to a 1.2-degree-Fahrenheit rise in global mean temperature over the past 100 years. Noting that the current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is higher than it's been in the past 650,000 years, the IPCC predicts that human-induced climate change could spell extinction for 20 to 30 percent of the world's species by the end of this century, cause increasingly destructive weather patterns, and flood coastal cities.

Lindzen doesn't dispute that the planet has warmed up in the past three decades, but he argues that human-generated CO2 accounts for no more than 30 percent of this temperature rise. Much of the warming, he says, stems from fluctuations in temperature that have occurred for millions of years—explained by complicated natural changes in equilibrium between the oceans and the atmosphere—and the latest period of warming will not result in catastrophe.

Okay, that's enough. I'm going to go continue my ground-breaking research into re-creating the internet and put my name in for one of them there fancy and relatively easy to get Peace Prizes...

1 comment:

meaningfulalbums said...

Ok, well I can't say that I read this entire blog, especially since my head is still pounding from the headache that started 2 days ago... but anyway, I am glad you are back to blogging. And thanks for the comment on my blog - it's about time!! I need an invitation to Jess' blog!

~Big E