September 02, 2006

When Global Warming was Cool (Or: "I'm too sexy for my MTV appearance")

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When an AP reporter disses your pontification at the MTV Video Music Awards and refers to you as a "wooden politician", you know it had to have been a big mistake:

Fans watch for the FCC-flaunting skits, nearly naked starlets, foul-mouthed speeches and those embarrassingly bad dance numbers.

They do NOT watch for lectures from former Vice President Al Gore on global warming. When does the phrase "here's a photo of a glacier melting" ever fit into an awards show?

Gore did get a laugh, however, when he intoned, "I actually was not intending to be here tonight, but then MTV explained that Justin Timberlake was bringing sexy back."

*Blech!* Okay....we have Big Sexy in the house, dressed like the man in black, ultra hip, suave, and solid, giving the MTV audience (which his wife Tipper went on a jihad against years ago) the time of their life with................his inane slide show.

See it for yourself if you missed it (like I had when it aired Aug 31st):

And I never did blog on this, but here it is if you missed it...another example of liberal hypocrisy at its finest, from USA Today:

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For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Gore is not alone. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said, "Global warming is happening, and it threatens our very existence." The DNC website applauds the fact that Gore has "tried to move people to act." Yet, astoundingly, Gore's persuasive powers have failed to convince his own party: The DNC has not signed up to pay an additional two pennies a kilowatt hour to go green. For that matter, neither has the Republican National Committee.

Maybe our very existence isn't threatened.

Gore has held these apocalyptic views about the environment for some time. So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

Living carbon-neutral apparently doesn't mean living oil-stock free. Nor does it necessarily mean giving up a mining royalty either.

Humanity might be "sitting on a ticking time bomb," but Gore's home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.

The issue here is not simply Gore's hypocrisy; it's a question of credibility. If he genuinely believes the apocalyptic vision he has put forth and calls for radical changes in the way other people live, why hasn't he made any radical change in his life? Giving up the zinc mine or one of his homes is not asking much, given that he wants the rest of us to radically change our lives.

The writer is Peter Schweizer, author of Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.

It's high time Al Gore cooled it with his excessive CO2 emissions. Maybe he could hold his breath, once in a while?


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June 28, 2006

Activists Scientists Praise Gore Film?

Well, not exactly. Although the AP would like you to believe it. Yes, some "scientists" gave Gore's An Inconvenient Truth "five stars for accuracy" we need to take a closer look at this report. And the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works did just that. And they say "whoa, hold on a minute":

AP chose to ignore the scores of scientists who have harshly criticized the science presented in former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”

In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the “more than 100 top climate researchers” they attempted to contact to review “An Inconvenient Truth.” AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore “five stars for accuracy.” AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific “skeptics” they claim to have contacted.

The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP. See http://www.junkscience.com/feb06.htm

The AP also chose to ignore Gore’s reliance on the now-discredited “hockey stick” by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990’s were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week’s National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann’s often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. [my emphasis]

Dafydd at Big Lizards eviscerates the AP's claim:
This is about as self-selected a group as it's possible to compose: climate scientists who actually take Algore seriously as a spokesman for the dangers of "global warming pollution!"

(While AP is quick to note that some of those they contacted were "vocal skeptics of climate change theory," you may notice they oddly fail to mention how many of the 19 who responded to them were among those "skeptics." At a guess, I'd have to say -- zero?)

If you're a climatologist -- and even if you more or less support the IPCC position on global climate change -- how likely would you be to seek out a showing somewhere of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth? Most scientists I know cringe at such populist caricatures, even if they agree with the basic premise... especially if they agree.

Scientists tend to be irritated anyway by the depiction of science in movies, even so-called documentaries: everything from orbits that "decay," to explosions that can be "outrun," to a rotating space station that produces a gravitational-like force... directed along the axis of rotation.

But they're even more skeptical of science when the subject is controversial within the scientific community (which anthropogenic global warming certainly is) -- and in spades and doubled when the moviemaker is not himself a scientist but a politician with no formal training in any math or science beyond what he learned in high school (which, considering Algore's GPA at St. Alban's and at Harvard, was probably not very much).

Most climate scientists would steer so far away from An Inconvenient Truth, even if they supported global-warming theory, that they would probably pretend they didn't even know it existed. Those who went to pains to actively seek it out would be a special breed: scientists who were so tickled that someone as important as Albert A. Gore, jr. would make a movie about their crackpot theory, that they could hardly stop themselves from gushing.

I wish the Associated Press had thought to ask those 19 gushers who they thought had really won the 2000 election.

The very essence of scientific consensus is that every person must give an opinion; every position must be canvassed; all objections must be answered. If you contact 100 scientists and only 19% have seen some work, their opinion is not a consensus: at best, it's a sampling; but more likely, it's a biased pool that does not represent the whole. [all original emphasis]

Curt at Flopping Aces cuts to the chase:
How much you want to bet those 19 agreed with Gore before they saw the movie. Now how much you want to bet the other 81 didn’t want to see the movie because its fiction?
The enviro-scaremongers will always find fellow travelers to prop up their claims. And the antique media is only too happy to be complicit in distorting reality for those who only skim headlines and buy into this silliness...because some scientists say it's true.

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June 27, 2006

I've Heard Some Wacky Theories Before, But...

...this one sits way near the top of the list.

A study in Canada (why do these studies always seem to come from Canada anyway?) is claiming the the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. No, it's not an argument in favor of environmental factors. It seems the people behind this study believe that having many older brothers has the effect of "tricking" the womb into making you gay. Check this out:

[Professor Anthony Bogaert] suggests the effect is probably the result of a "maternal memory" in the womb for male births.

A woman's body may see a male foetus as "foreign", he says, prompting an immune reaction which may grow progressively stronger with each male child.

The antibodies created may affect the developing male brain.

In an accompanying article, scientists from Michigan State University said: "These data strengthen the notion that the common denominator between biological brothers, the mother, provides a prenatal environment that fosters homosexuality in her younger sons."

"But the question of mechanism remains."

Andy Forrest, a spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall, said: "Increasingly, credible evidence appears to indicate that being gay is genetically determined rather than being a so-called lifestyle choice.

Huh? Their kidding, right? "Credible evidence" now equates to some crack-pot theory that homosexuality is caused by an immune reaction in the womb?

Look, do I know exactly what factors go into making someone gay? Of course not. Nor do I claim to. But if someone's going to convince me that it's 100% biological, they're going to have to do a whole lot better than this nonsense. And if you ask me, based on the content of this article, it flies in the face of journalistic integrity to have the headline read "Womb environment 'makes men gay'" as if it were a statement of fact.

But then, we are talking BBC News here.

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May 11, 2006

When Radical Environmentalism Kills

What do you call someone who's actions cause the untimely deaths of tens of millions of innocent people? Well, usually we consider them a mass murderer. But some people's simple acts can cause a ripple effect with horrible results.

Take Rachel Carson, for example. You may or may not have heard of this woman. In 1963 she wrote a book called "Silent Spring" that theorized - and it was only a theory, mind you - that the pesticide DDT was having a catastrophic effect on the earth's ecosystem. The title suggested that in the near future, we would no longer be greeted in the springtime with the sound of chirping birds because they would all be dead. She thought DDT destroyed their eggshells.

The radical environmentalist movement, which was then in its early stages, siezed on this theory and politicized it with such ferocity that DDT was eventually banned from use. Here's the problem. Her theories were proven false less than twenty years later. But that wasn't enough to lift the ban. Because by then the Eco-nuts had so ingrained the world with the idea that it was hard to convince it otherwise. Even today, the whackos in the radical environmentalist movement worship her as a saint.

But who payed the price for her bogus claims? The people of the Third World:

"The ban on DDT robbed developing nations of a cheap, safe and effective means of combating malaria, which kills two million people each year.

That tots up to at least 50 million deaths since the bans took effect in the early 1970s. And for what? Even at the time, Carson's claims that DDT was responsible for everything from the thinning of eggshells to cancer in humans looked shaky. By the mid-1980s they had been utterly discredited. Yet by then Carson's claims had achieved the status of holy writ among environmentalists - and among right-on officials in government ministries. Third World nations were threatened with trade sanctions if they even suggested using DDT in fields or homes.

Now, finally, the giant US Agency for International Development is supporting the widespread use of DDT in Africa to combat malaria. The effect is likely to be quite simply breathtaking, for DDT is truly a miracle cure for this deadly mosquito-borne scourge."

Nice legacy, huh? Generating unnecessary hysteria and the deaths of millions.

Oh, but Rachel Carson's intentions were good, were they not? We can't blame her for the fact that 400 million people around the world get infected with malaria every year, can we?

You bet your ass, we can. But she's not alone. Millions of other people with "good intentions" put healthy skepticism aside and helped cause these needless deaths. Oh jeez, how could concern for the environment be bad? It's bad when people accept unproven claims because so many "experts" claim that they're likely to be true - even if they have no solid evidence. Their intentions are good, after all.

And God forbid you question these people. It makes you a greedy, evil, uncaring jerk. And before you know it, everyone who doesn't want to be thought of as a greedy, evil, uncaring jerk signs on to these crack-pot theories de jour. That's how you get unhinged demagogues like Al Gore screaming at the top of his lungs that the world will end in ten years if you don't listen to him.

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