Rebuttal of Al Gore’s NY Times Editorial
Photo courtesy kangotraveler.
Al Gore had an editorial piece printed in the New York times today.Â It’s full of typical environmentalist talking points but only half of the truth is provided.Â Follow along as I share my comments (in bold) under each of Gore’s paragraphs (in italics) so help break down the truth from the hyperbole.Â While I’ll only excerpt parts of the opinion piece, the entire op-ed can be read by following the link at the bottom of this post.
[W]e…must make…an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis.
Imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis?Â We’ve had three straight years of lackluster hurricane seasons.Â We’ve had two years of record-breaking cold winters.Â Global temperatures have fallen greatly from a peak in 1998.Â Show me some proof of how imminent this climate crisis truly is, Mr. Gore.
To those who are still tempted to dismiss the increasingly urgent alarms from scientists around the world, ignore the melting of the north polar ice cap and all of the other apocalyptic warnings from the planet itself, and who roll their eyes at the very mention of this existential threat to the future of the human species, please wake up.
Many of us are still tempted to dismiss global warming because we see no increasingly urgent alarms, no matter what scientists tell us.Â Scientists are still learning about climate science.Â Their models in both the short and long-term are inaccurate.Â Weather forecasting isn’t accurate past a few days.Â Hurricane forecasts for each season are constantly revised and still wrong.Â The predictions of global temperatures spiking higher and higher are wrong as well, even as carbon dioxide levels continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.Â Polar ice is on the rebound in the Arctic.Â Antarctic polar ice has had a net gain over the last 20 years.Â So what are these other “apocalyptic warnings”?
Here is the good news: the bold steps that are needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly the same steps that ought to be taken in order to solve the economic crisis…
So we should put our country further in debt by giving another $800 billion, this time to solve the so-called “climate crisis”?Â Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always solve the problem.Â Our nation runs public education and we’re losing fast to other countries, even though we spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars per child.
Thirty-five years ago…the United States imported less than a third of its oil from foreign countries. Yet today…our dependence has doubled from one-third to nearly two-thirds â€” and many feel that global oil production is at or near its peak.
And environmentalists have gotten in the way every time by refusing to allow for offshore drilling, building of additional refineries and additional nuclear plants.Â It’s the fear-mongering environmentalists, like yourself, that have caused us to import more and more of our oil from foreign countries.Â Our country could increase global oil production if your fellow Democrats would allow our country to drill, Mr. Gore.Â But your stubborn adherence to turning away from fossil fuels has only made the problem worse.
[W]e can make an immediate and large strategic investment to put people to work replacing 19th-century energy technologies that depend on dangerous and expensive carbon-based fuels with 21st-century technologies that use fuel that is free forever: the sun, the wind and the natural heat of the earth.
Who will pay for it?Â The taxpayer?Â With oil prices having dropped by more than half over the last several months, I’d hardly call carbon-based fuels “expensive” any longer.Â In fact, the price of ethanol is subsidized by the government to make it remotely similar in price, even with less fuel efficiency.Â All three of the options you mentioned – the sun, wind and natural heat of the earth, are inefficient at best and require billions of dollars to be spent on new systems and infrastructure.
First, the new president and the new Congress should offer large-scale investment in incentives for the construction of concentrated solar thermal plants in the Southwestern deserts, wind farms in the corridor stretching from Texas to the Dakotas and advanced plants in geothermal hot spots that could produce large amounts of electricity.
And how much will this cost the American taxpayer?Â And who will pay for the ongoing maintenance of said solar thermal plants, wind farms and geothermal hot spots?Â Will the budget be inexplicably short-sighted for these new power sources and will we, the American people, be forced to bail out yet another failed program?
Second, we should begin the planning and construction of a unified national smart grid…The cost of this modern grid â€” $400 billion over 10 years â€” pales in comparison with the annual loss to American business of $120 billion due to the cascading failures that are endemic to our current balkanized and antiquated electricity lines.
All I can say is that American business wouldn’t lose $120 billion each year due to rolling blackouts if environmentalists weren’t so set against the construction of new coal and nuclear power plants.Â Your political party has caused this problem and now you expect lead the effort to get us out of it?Â No thank you.Â Oh, and isn’t Martha’s Vineyard a pretty rural area?Â What happened to that wind farm that was to be built off the coast there?Â Your former companion in the Senate, Ted Kennedy, shot it down.Â So all of these plans are okay as long as a prominent Democrat doesn’t happen to own property anywhere near the proposed sites?
Third, we should help Americaâ€™s automobile industry (not only the Big Three but the innovative new startup companies as well) to convert quickly to plug-in hybrids that can run on the renewable electricity that will be available as the rest of this plan matures.
So you support a plan to bailout the automakers as well and invest more in hybrids?Â And how will you keep our country from going bankrupt, Mr. Gore?
Fourth, we should embark on a nationwide effort to retrofit buildings with better insulation and energy-efficient windows and lighting.
Will this be a new requirement for all businesses, at their expense, which will cause unemployment to skyrocket or will the government pay for this as well, causing our national debt to increase even more?
Fifth, the United States should lead the way by putting a price on carbon here at home…
Look out, folks.Â More taxes are being recommended to help save the world.Â Aren’t you taxed enough already?Â Do you want to bring home even less from your job every week?
Of course, the best way â€” indeed the only way â€” to secure a global agreement to safeguard our future is by re-establishing the United States as the country with the moral and political authority to lead the world toward a solution.
This isn’t the only time Gore has related global warming to being an issue of morality.Â Did Gore’s endorsement of ethanol which caused food prices to spike and millions to go hungry around the world constitute a moral judgment as well?Â And since we have this supposed separation of church and state in America, why should we let the religion of Al Gore interfere with our beliefs?Â After all, it is a moral issue and not a legislative one – at least not yet.Â With a Democratic President and Congress, it seems likely that we very well could find ourselves under the moral compass of Al Gore.
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