Alexander's Column

'Al's Big Adventure' — This summer's hottest box-office hit

Mark Alexander · Jun. 23, 2006

Albert Arnold Gore, the populist pope of eco-theology, is back. Now showing at an artsy theater near you, Gore’s tiresome treatise on global warming has taken the urban illiterati by storm.

Not content with duping his box office gofers, however, Gore is using the proceeds from “An Inconvenient Truth” to launch a crusade. He plans to recruit thousands of new disciples, adolescents of all ages, inculcate them with his eco-theocratic dogma, and disperse these newly indoctrinated Gorons far and wide to recruit still more cult converts from their communities and schools.

At least Gore had the good sense to release this film in the summer. His last attempt to launch a major global warming campaign was at an international confab in New York City on 15 January 2004 – one of the coldest days in that city’s history.

“This moment cannot be allowed to pass,” proclaimed Gore this week.

Indeed it shouldn’t, at least not before this charlatan is exposed and his latest venture into the global warming debate is eviscerated.

To understand Al Gore, one has only to read this passage from his epic 1992 diatribe, “Earth in the Balance.” Gore writes, “A developing child in a dysfunctional family searches his parent’s face for signals that he is whole and all is right with the world; when he finds no such approval, he begins to feel that something is wrong inside. And because he doubts his worth and authenticity, he begins controlling his inner experience – smothering spontaneity, masking emotion, diverting creativity into robotic routine, and distracting an awareness of all he is missing with an unconvincing replica of what he might have been.”

Dysfunctional family, indeed – Gore is the leading manifestation of Leftist pathology.

Gore has always promoted himself as a “man of the people,” a thoughtful and inquisitive farm boy who grew up in Carthage, Tennessee, on his family’s 80-acre estate. Yet the real Al Gore was a pampered, privileged rich boy, heir to his father’s financial and political estate. It’s likely, then, that the closest Prince Albert ever got to real livestock was the time he spent roping hamsters in his family’s penthouse suite atop Washington’s tony Fairfax Hotel.

After college, Gore dabbled with seminary for a couple years, but dropped out to hop his father’s escalator to the Senate. Years later, when Bill Clinton picked the lesser Gore to run on the bottom of his ticket, the elder Gore said, “We raised him for it.” Bill and Al, and spouses Hill and Tipper, tolerated each other for two long terms.

Gore – earth tones, orange face and all – tried every trick in the book to prove his alpha maleness in the 2000 presidential election, but alas, to no avail. Since then, he has dedicated himself to his true calling – picking up where he left off after leaving seminary, and building a cathedral of worship for his cadre of eco-nuts.

Which brings us to his latest sermon, “An Inconvenient Truth,” in which Gore proposes Orwellian government regulations curtailing industrial output from Western nations on the thesis that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. In typical fashion, Gore dramatically exclaims, “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequence.” He chastises “deniers” (un-believers), and predicts cataclysm if his teachings are not received.

“An Inconvenient Truth” is a documentary knockoff of last years pop film, “The Day After Tomorrow,” only less credible.

“The debate in the science community is over,” Gore insists, but in the inimitable words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a classical liberal, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

There have been some significant efforts to restore reason to the global-warming debate.

A few year ago, Dr. Frederick Seitz, past president of the National Academy of Sciences, invited colleagues to sign a petition based on research by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine’s Arthur Robinson. This research soundly refutes Gore’s assumption that global warming is human-induced.

The petition states: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

The Robinson petition has more than 20,000 signers, most of whom have advance degrees in relevant fields of research.

Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray, in a recent interview with Discover Magazine (which has advocated the theory of human-induced global warming), says: “This human-induced global-warming thing … is grossly exaggerated. … I’m not disputing there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ‘40s, and then there was global cooling in the middle '40s to the early '70s. Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical … about this global-warming thing. But no one asks us.” (Gray was described by Discover Magazine’s editors as one of “the world’s most famous hurricane experts.”)

Commenting on the misuse of science to support political agendas, Malcolm Ross, whose capacity for reason has not been unduly restrained by his Harvard PhD, concludes of such folly, “Freeze or fry, the problem is always industrial capitalism, and the solution is always international socialism.” After 41 years with the U.S. Geological Survey, Ross has gained a few insights into how government bureaucrats endeavor to regulate the economy by way of environmental mandates.

Dr. Roy Spencer, former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has issued “Questions for Al Gore” based on what he calls “Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.” Gore’s thesis is heavily dependent on Dr. Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” temperature graphic, which claims that temps in the Northern Hemisphere were relatively stable for the last nine centuries, but spiked in the 20th century, and that the last decade was decade was the hottest in 1000 years. But Mann’s claims have been thoroughly debunked and Mann thesis discredited.

NASA scientist James Hansen, director of the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, argues, “The natural fluctuations of climate are still large – at least, the natural fluctuations of weather compared to long-term climate change.” (Hansen, it should be noted, is a liberal who publicly endorsed the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry.)

Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center, is a bit less nuanced about Gore’s claims: “[Global warming] is a hoax.”

Professor Robert Carter, James Cook University Marine Geophysical Laboratory, Australia, notes, “Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention. The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science.”

Richard S. Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Science MIT, writes, “A general characteristic of Mr. Gore’s approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Dr. Lindzen calls into question Gore’s “scientific consensus” claim, citing a recent report that of the 928 scientific papers published on global warming between 1993 and 2003, “only 13 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view and several actually opposed it.”

But don’t expect to hear from professors and scientists like Seitz, Gray, Ross, Spencer, Hansen, Frank, Lindzen, Carter or Spencer when NPR promotes Gore’s globaloney.

Timed to coincide with Gore’s film, this week, the National Academy of Sciences delivered a 155-page report on global temperatures to Congress. The report estimates that the average global-surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose almost one degree during the 20th century, noting the increase “is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years.” Notably, the report assumes that “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.”

Though rudimentary methods for measuring temperature were first used only 150 years ago, the academy scientists based their conclusions on “proxy” evidence – tree rings, ice cores, cave deposits, boreholes and, apparently, dowsing rods and s?ances. The study also noted, without explanation, that there was a global heat wave around the 10th century, and a “Little Ice Age” from about 1500 to 1850.

The NAS report, however, failed to mention the Wisconsinian glaciation, which advanced across most of North America 30,000 years ago and receded 10,000 years ago. Scientists know the date range for the Wisconsin deep freeze and thaw, but with no way of knowing how many SUVs were prowling the streets of Eau Claire at the time, they can’t very well put the blame on us humans.

Notably, the last comprehensive report on global warming from the Academy was 2001, and it suggested that increased solar radiation may be responsible for much of the climate change during the last century. Fifteen years before that, scientists were predicting that we were headed for another ice age.

Albert Gore’s mantra notwithstanding, leading “experts” have, at one time or another, blamed global warming for record low and high temperatures, droughts and monsoons, desert advance and retreat, dust bowls and floods, forest die back and expansion, ocean current cooling and warming, coastal-rainfall reductions and increased hurricanes, record harvests and famine, hyperthermia and hypothermic deaths, ice-sheet expansion and contraction, plankton blooms and extinctions … well, you get the picture.

Global temperatures may, in fact, be increasing – however incrementally, but when it comes to prognosticators of the end times like Al’s Gorons, mindless minions supporting their guru’s efforts to harness meteorological trends and use them to haul his global social and political agendas, caveat emptor.

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