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June 20, 2014

Another Bunch of Hot Air From Al Gore

Getting your science from a rock and roll magazine is probably a bad idea.

In the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone, our jet-setting former vice president and unsuccessful aspirant for the Oval Office fells a lot of trees and spills a lot of ink (to the tune of 7,000-plus words) preaching to the choir the sky will fall unless we do something about carbon emissions. Never mind that a June snowstorm blanketed parts of the Rocky Mountains with over a foot of snow, or that Antarctic sea ice isn’t melting like Newsweek (and Gore) claims it is.

If you can stand the clunky prose and hackneyed logic long enough to read through Gore’s piece, you’ll find that he blames some new and unusual suspects. Who knew, for example, that global warming could be laid at the feet of Harry Reid’s favorite boogeymen, the Koch brothers? And of course, Gore claims that catastrophic storms like Haiyan or Sandy were caused by warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures reflective of global warming, yet he ignores the “warming hiatus” our planet has enjoyed since 1998. Such storms are only “unprecedented” because we have better methods of measuring them; on the other hand, we have no real way of knowing the severity of storms during acknowledged warm periods like those which occurred during medieval times – long before SUVs and Koch brothers roamed the planet.

Gore, of course, has a number of remedies for this ailment, and some of them would line his pockets. He notes, “We have the policy tools that can dramatically accelerate the transition to clean energy that market forces will eventually produce at a slower pace. The most important has long since been identified: We have to put a price on carbon in our markets, and we need to eliminate the massive subsidies that fuel the profligate emissions of global-warming pollution.” Yes, cap-and-trade is back. Instead of selectively eliminating subsidies, however, let’s eliminate all energy subsidies and let the free market decide what survives.

Gore forgets carve-outs for cyclical energy sources such as wind and solar power, generally known as a “renewable energy portfolio,” create their own subsidies, as utilities have to provide these regardless of price or pay a non-compliance fee. That little detail is, of course, a small casualty to the noble cause of propagandizing about so-called “global climate change.”

Yet Gore goes beyond the political realm, darkly warning, “In order to accomplish these policy shifts, we must not only put a price on carbon in markets, but also find a way to put a price on climate denial in our politics.” No one is denying that our climate changes; the points of contention are who (or what) is to blame and what can (or should) be done about it – not to mention the folly of believing the earth’s current climate is now optimal and only mankind can control it. Maybe the Creator will have something to say about all this.

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