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Why Al Gore is a failure

There have been a couple of articles in the media that tried to answer the question why Al Gore has led the warming movement to one of the most spectacular ccollapses in the history of ideologies and fads.

Mead: Why Al Gore is a failure, part one
Mead: Why Al Gore is a failure, part two (Business Insider)

Al Gore in denial (Front Page Magazine)

Why does Al Gore sound superficial on climate change rhetoric (International Business Times)

Global warming hysteria: Gore's profound failure of leadership (First Things)

The Mendacity of Al Gore's Rolling Stone article (Global Warming.ORG, 3 parts)
I won't summarize all the texts but let me mention some points. Maed, the author of the first pair of articles which originally appeared in The American Interest and which was later promoted by Fox, is a professor of international politics, a registered Democrat and an Obama supporter. He points out that Gore hasn't won any political battle using his brains and muscles since the 1990 reelection in Tennessee. Leaders may have character flaws, Maed admits and demonstrates using a few examples, but they can't afford character flaws that are directly linked to what their leadership is supposed to be about.

A leader of the jihad against CO2 simply can't afford to have the "carbon footprint" of a large African village. And in fact, because the population growth is a factor in the equation and Al Gore even wants to direct his next crusade into your bed (see also Al Gore's ugly rhetoric is nothing new), he can't have the record of overf*cking and of excessive children production, either. Al Gore's reproductive footprint is the polite word.

A long essay by a Nobel prize winner who would once be viewed as a meta-Obama, a clear ticket for the leftists to the White House, was only published at the end of the Rolling Stone and he didn't even get his picture on the cover. The left-wing media were only interested in Gore's rants because he mentioned the name of Barack Obama. Still, as Noel Sheppard points out (building on Maed's essay), the media spared Al Gore the mocking he deserves.

There must be other reasons why people including potential allies have found out that Al Gore is a liability that they don't want to be exposed to, right? The hypocrisy is the most visible and well-known part of the defective character named Al Gore. But it's not the only thing.

Authors of the articles above as well as readers emphasize many other things. Al Gore's bias is way too obvious. It's just too clear that he doesn't understand the science and even when he partly does, it is way too transparent that he is suppressing the inconvenient truths, overhyping the convenient possible truths and untruths, and he's just not being honest. And it's just too clear how he benefits out of the answers of a certain kind.

Even more importantly and generally, Al Gore is just an evil man and people may see it. In fact, Gore also looks evil: the absence of any eyelashes may be a part of the reason why he looks kind of inhuman. He loves to treat other people without any dignity and he doesn't have any real emotion. He has no empathy, no understanding of what people can really find important or touching. And it's often visible through his eyes. The fact that he only wants to reduce the carbon footprint of others, and not his own, is just a tip of an iceberg.

Well, I agree with all those things - and wrote some of them - but I still think that the most important reason for the failure of Al Gore's international activism to "fight against climate change" is something unrelated to his personal characteristics. It's just the objective fact that this ideology is built on bogus claims and irrational emotions and people are ultimately able to see it.

Even if the "global warming" had an overall negative impact - and it's pretty clear that the overall one would be positive if there actually were a noticeable global warming - the total price of the damages is going to be lower than the cost of "mitigation" by several orders of magnitude. This obvious fact is often being questioned at the level of "academic debates" but whenever it comes to the real politics and sacrifices are being expected, people know damn well that it is the case.

And Al Gore - who has been a "normal" politician and not just a green "dreamer" - is of course being naturally identified with the political part of the jihad against carbon dioxide which has obviously been an even more obvious failure than the scientific part of this jihad. Al Gore has really been linked to schemes such as the Kyoto protocol. This treaty didn't make any detectable difference for CO2 (which kept on growing) - and surely not for the temperatures (which kept on chaotically oscillating) - but even this modest treaty will come out of business in 2012, with no successor in place. And I am not even going to mention various Copenhagen conferences etc. because they're completely forgotten by now. For many people on the Titanic of alarmism, it's even better to pretend that such failures have never taken place. They live in the constant state of denial. Every day, new people and politicians realize that climate change policy is dead.

In some cases, the complete lack of realism about the talk on the carbon regulation is spectacularly self-evident. On Friday, Poland will take over the E.U. presidency for six months. It's a country that belongs to the advanced capitalist world but that is not excessively rich - something like $20,000 GDP per capita (PPP) - and that gets approximately 95% of its energy from coal. You don't really want to try to ask this country to reduce its consumption of coal etc. by many percent (which surely makes no difference for the global CO2 concentrations, anyway). And if you speak about 50% or similar preposterous figures, you're effectively declaring a war on Poland, in a very similar way as Al Gore... I meant Adolf Hitler did.

But it's not just Poland. Tripling of the energy and fuel prices - which is the minimum consequence of a significant elimination of a large part of the fossil fuels - would mean a huge problem for pretty much every region of the world economy. Every 2% of the reduction of the consumption of fossil fuels means something like 1% drop of the GDP. You can't really make the dependence any weaker. If you want to reduce CO2 emissions to 1/2 of the current values, you surely need to reduce the GDP by more than 20%. Note that the relationship is nonlinear for high decreases - a kind of square root. To reduce CO2 emissions 9 times, you need a 3-fold decrease of the GDP, and so on.

Now, try to ignore all benefits of warming (we're "generous") and calculate the "losses" that you could avoid if the expected warming by 2100 were reduced from the current realistic 90% confidence interval -0.5 °C and 1.5 °C (and be sure that we can't really "safely eliminate" cooling in the next 90 years, either) to the interval between -1 °C and +1 °C. It's hard to find any. You may think about some ski resorts that will probably pay a few million extra dollars every year (partly imposed upon the skiers) to get artificial snow for them to keep on going, before the people realize that they can ski elsewhere. This is the kind of expenses you may find. And this should be compared to the trillions of dollars that the mankind is supposed to pay to "mitigate" a change in the coming decades. Just to be sure, a trillion is a million of millions.

Most people probably can't manage to get a good grasp on the differential equations in atmospheric physics - and Al Gore is the last one who could succeed - but they still have some understanding of the temperature. It's about their everyday life experience. People who have ever left their living room at least for a few days know that 1 °C or even 2 °C of temperature change occurs all the time and it's even hard to detect it. Such a tiny change would be distributed over 100 years - does it really make any sense to talk about this "change"? And they also know that if their income shrinks by 10 or 20 percent, they may see the difference - and their hungry stomach may scream about this difference.

It's time for all those who have been working on the climate alarm to admit their failure, to admit that they were wrong, and to promise that they will shut their mouth at least for 50 years or before the temperature changes at least by 1 °C from the 2010 temperatures. I don't expect this to happen in the real world but I surely do expect this to happen from honest people when they evaluate what has actually happened and what they have learned from us, the climate soothers, in recent years. And we have kindly taught them a lot of things even though they may still be denying that they have learned anything.

And that's the memo.

Just to be sure that you understand what I mean, Al Gore with Michael Mann, the long hairy guy, and Chicken Little should record a song explaining why they became deniers, too. ;-) (Via Minnesotans for Global Warming.)

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snail feedback (6) :

reader Deadman said...

It’s a pity that yet another excellent post is spoiled by an inappropriate advertisement from the contemptuous and contemptible New Internationalist:

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Deadman, don't forget that what is displayed to you doesn't have to be seen by everyone. Moreover, I don't see any New Internationalist in the URL you mentioned. Are you sure you wrote the right URL?

reader JinYu said...

We know CO2 is not the driver, but might gravity be the main ? force driving our climate.

I am looking forward to your view on this.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear Jinyu, I read the first page of that paper and apologies, it is rubbish. I won't say too much more.

Why I consider the "gravitational" celestial influences to be a form of astrology, see the fast comments under an article on the barycenter. Also, there doesn't exist any outstanding problem with the Milankovitch theory that the author indicates, and there are just too many wrong things about the paper. I think that I've given it enough time already.

Cheers, LM

reader Deadman said...

I’ll try again:

reader Will Nelson said...

Gore was pushing global warming even before the "scientists". Apparently he knew something that they didn't know - like, how to sell books and make a career out of scaring people. Thanks to Gore, now they know that too.

Truthfully, however, the main reason that I hate Gore is that he was too incompetent to defeat George Bush in a slam-dunk Democratic year, and as a result we have at least one extra war and several trillion extra debt to China. Better a decade of misguided spending on renewable energy than the decade we actually had, featuring endless wars, torture conducted in my name, and irresponsible tax cuts that broke the budget and which even the beneficiaries had not been asking for.