Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Do You Believe in "The Fever"?

Not too long ago, former Vice President Al Gore won an Oscar and shared a Nobel Peace Prize for telling the world that the earth has "a fever" and humans are the cause of it. As a commenter on one of the blogs I frequent pointed out, Irena Sendlar (nominated for the same Peace Prize) rescued 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II, but lost out to Al Gore who made a slide show. It is just a little bit ridiculous.

In any case, Gore told us that the fever was caused by things like driving big SUVs, using lots of electricity, and flying around the world on private and commercial jets. My question to you is, does Al Gore really believe this junk that he spews on a regular basis? And if he does, what kind of sociopath does that make him?

I am asking that question in all seriousness. On June 17, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research released the latest energy use numbers for Al Gore's family home in Nashville. The numbers show that the family home used 213,210 kilowatt-hours of electricity last year (~10% increase from the previous year). This means that, in an average month, his house uses about 19 times more electricity than the average American home. AND, this is after the Gores spent thousands of dollars in energy efficiency upgrades. (By the way, if you live in an average American home, you use about 11,000 kilowatt-hours in an entire year.)

I don't know about you, but if I really believe something to be true, my actions tend to follow that belief. Sooo, if I were responsible for convincing millions of people that they should feel guilty (and pay huge carbon taxes as penance) for causing the earth's meltdown, I would make changes in my life that reflect that. Here are just a few things I would not do if I BELIEVED the global warming B.S.:

  • Use more electricity each month than 20 average American families.
    • I would look for some ways to downscale.
  • Fly in a private jet to attend climate change "summits" in Bali.
    • Teleconferences are much more carbon friendly to the earth.
  • Drive around in those fever causing SUVs.
    • The Secret Service would have to really justify it for me.
On the other hand, I genuinely respect someone like Ed Begley Jr. (although I don't agree with most of the things he believes). Some time back, he was convinced that American lifestyles were harming the planet. So, instead of making a slide show and throwing an Oscar party, he made a LOT of changes. He started recycling everything, installed solar panels and wind generators, modified his exercise bike to charge his solar batteries, and much more. Most people can't afford to do what he has done, but he has put his money where his belief is. More people should do that. I don't know that I would want to hang out at a cocktail party with Ed because I am afraid of the conversation that would ensue when I threw away my napkin, but he does "practice what he preaches."

So, until I see the former VP living the life of Ed Begley Jr., I will think he is a snake oil salesman and/or a sociopath that doesn't care about how his actions affect the rest of the globe. I believe those are the only options left to me.

7 comments:

Robert (Bob) English said...

Clever and witty.

Russ said...

Thanks, Rob. I was wondering if anyone was still reading.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering when someone will go after the scientists themselves. They insist that we change everything in life (at enormous costs, especially to the world's poor), but no one ever bothered to check to see if the temperature sites meet minimal competence levels for science (most don't).

No one ever checked Mann's work. Never checked his samples, never checked his data sets, never checked to see if he cherry-picked (he did), never checked to see if he screwed up his stat work (he did).

IPCC scientists regularly refuse to let anyone see their work. Mann had to be subpoenaed by Congress in order for his fraud to be exposed.

The accepted study on Sea surface temperatures has been shown to be significantly wrong due to an assumption that was nothing more than a wild ass guess.

The authors of an oft-cited study which "proved" the urban heat island effect was small can't find their work. No others can't check it.

When are these Keystone Kops going to be exposed as the frauds they are?

Dylan said...

Hi Russ,
This is the first time that I have posted here on your blog, but I read it from time to time.
I have a slight problem with the basis of this post because you are working from the assumption that any truth in Al Gore's arguments or ideals are tied entirely to his actions in response to them.
I have heard this statistic before about Al Gore's home, but it has never really conserned me.
Whatever truth may or may not be in his arguments should be able to stand on its own and shouldnt be reliant on the presenter's lack of hypocrisy. I have never thought of Al Gore (or any politician for that matter) to be entirely honest about his inentions or to even "practice what they preach"; the material should speak for itself.
As for whoever posted the previous comment... I don't know where he is getting his facts about the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) . I am assuming he is refering to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report that stated evidence is now "unequivocal" of human-caused global warming. The previous commentor mentioned that the IPCC was very secretive about their work. However, the Assessment report was produced by around 600 authors from 40 different countries and reviewed by over 620 experts and governments. Before the report was even accepted, it was reviewed line-by-line by representatives from 113 governments. That is not exactly what I would call refusing "to let anyone see their work."

Russ said...

Dylan,

The IPCC has been very secretive about the process of putting the document together. I suggest to start looking here:

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3192

In summary, the members of the IPCC have a clear statement about preserving data and information, and they are clearly either destroying correspondence or claiming exemption from the IPCC openness policy.

Just because you can get a UN body to agree to something, doesn't mean that there is some magic truth or goodness in it (think Oil for Food, etc.).

Russ said...

Dylan,

I forgot to respond to the hypocrisy comment. My post was not on his hypocrisy, but on whether or not he is making the changes consistent with an apocalyptic vision. He CLEARLY is not, but he is willing to make life much more expensive with a lower standard of living for those that don't have his economic means.

All this from someone who barely passed his only college science course. His agenda is clearly political and not in anyway related to science.

Russ said...

Anonymous,

I believe that the scientist should be held accountable to some extent, but I don't know how other than professional disgrace. The current peer review system prevents this disgrace based on the prevailing paradigm (read Kuhn's 1950-something work to get the context).

Mann's work has been so thoroughly disgraced that the only place it still shows up without ridicule is in political speeches and on true believers' websites. The National Academy of Sciences has basically written a report stating that the the criticisms (by McIntyre and McKitrick) of the statistical tecniques used to produce the hockey stick figure were found to be "valid and compelling."

I believe the majority of the IPCC "scientists" were SOCIAL scientists rather than physical scientists or engineers.

The adjustment technique appears to be "black" magic that has taken Steve McIntyre and many others a great deal of time to decipher. The "amazing" thing about the magic is that the adjustment always increase the temperature.

House of cards/Keystone Kops/Ringling Brothers. Personally, I want trust P.T. Barnum before I would trust NASA's James Hanson (who wants to throw energy company executives in jail). I guess I should put in handcuffs too because I don't believe the BS that his organization is putting out.

You have hit a nerve, so I have to stop.

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