Snake Oil

Al Gore is still at it. You might think he would be just a little ashamed to be continuing to spread the gospel of global warming considering that he sold his network CurrentTV to Al Jazeera which is backed by the decidedly ungreen Kingdom of Qatar, not to mention that there has been, in fact, no warmer for the past several years, as even the New York Times is forced to admit. Recently, Gore compared the fight against global warming to World War II. I found this article in PJMedia entertaining.

Comparing “global warming” to World War II, former Vice President Al Gore said America should “mobilize” to combat climate change and put a “price on carbon pollution.”

“Even though we give FDR and the New Deal the credit for ending the Great Depression, what really ended it was World War II when we mobilized for a great national effort in which the survival of our country and our values was deemed to be at stake and when we decided to act, then we put people to work and the economy started booming like never before,” said Gore on Tuesday at Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

“Well, this time the threat is different and it doesn’t trigger the ancient reflexes we inherited from our ancestors when they were attacked by other humans with weapons, but it is nonetheless a threat to our survival. This stuff is no joke. We’re now, we’re seeing the acceleration of this.”

Gore, who won an Academy Award for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said he is training 800 representatives from 91 countries in Turkey this weekend on a “new version” of his global warming slideshow presentation. After the training, Gore said, they would give the presentation in their home countries.

“Even though on a population basis the cities that are most affected by sea level rise are in India and China and so forth, Bangladesh – if you look at the value of assets at risk in coastal cities, number one is Miami, number two is New York, New Jersey and we are paying the cost of carbon pollution. It is well past time that we put a price on carbon pollutio

n and not just accept the price that it extracts from us,” Gore said.

The former Tennessee senator said retrofitting U.S. buildings and infrastructure would create more jobs and lower “global warming pollution.”

“It’s a huge fork in the road, huge choice that we have to make and if we mobilize the way we should, if we put a price on carbon and get the signals correct in the economy, then we’re going to put many millions of people to work installing the solar, installing the wind, reconfiguring buildings with more insulation,” Gore said.

“We can save 90 percent of the energy saved being used in most buildings – 25 to 30 percent of all the global warming pollution in the world comes from poorly insulated, poorly constructed buildings. The retrofitting of our buildings and our infrastructure, that’s the way to create jobs and the installation of the renewable energy systems.”

Pollution can be defined as “The contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms.” Carbon dioxide in a naturally occurring substance in the Earth’s atmosphere and is necessary for life on Earth. Carbon dioxide, therefore, cannot be considered pollution. It makes just as much sense to complain of oxygen pollution.

Of course, it is the dosage that makes the poison and an Earth with substantially less carbon dioxide would be a frozen wasteland, while an Earth with a much greater level

English: Al Gore's Hearing on Global Warming
Just shut up Al (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

would be too hot for comfort. Still, the amount of carbon dioxide and the Earth’s temperature has varied somewhat over the ages without catastrophic results. There have been long eras with higher temperatures than present in which life has flourished.

I am pleased to see that Al Gore admits that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did not end the Great Depression. Roosevelt did not really know what he was doing and it is likely that his policies made matters worse. To be fair, no one knew what to do about the depression and the different varieties of socialism that were fashionable at the time helped to make the 1930s  a lost decade in terms of world economic growth. Roosevelt was also worried about his chance of re-election as 1936 approached and tried to out-demogoguethe socialist populists like Huey Long and Father Coughlin. This did not help inspire economic confidence. By 1940, Roosevelt had begun to see that his antagonistic attitude toward business was making an economic recovery almost impossible. Since World War II had begun and it was obvious that America would eventually enter the war, he eased back on many New Deal policies.

The war did stimulate the American economy, but it doesn’t say much for Roosevelt’s policies that something as destructive and inefficient as war did a better job at promoting economic growth. In general, war is a terrible and wasteful way to stimulate a nation’s economy. Resources get used to make weapons, ships, tanks, or planes which are blown up or end up at the bottom of the ocean. Economic efficiency must make way for military necessity. People get killed. Aside from the horror of many deaths, there is also the loss of the talent and skills those killed in war could better have used in peacetime. If Al Gore is proposing that we undertake a massive, national effort to waste and squander resources on green energy that could better be deployed more efficiently, as the market decides, than he is simply a fool and a fraud. He really needs to stop selling the snake oil.


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