Eco-friendly homes more expensive than promised

I think Al Gore must have been behind this eco-friendly housing subdivision, because it’s making money for the rich and screwing every one else:

Residents promised cheaper bills to live in a multi-million pound eco-friendly ‘homes of the future’ complex say they will have to move out after being hit with sky-high electricity charges.

The Pavilion Gardens complex in West Bowling, Bradford, West Yorkshire, was heralded as being the most environmentally-friendly in the county when it was completed in July 2011 at a cost of £5.6million.

Residents were told their electricity bills would be £500 cheaper than average because the houses are super-insulated with biomass boilers for heating and solar panels for electricity.

But just 18 months after moving in, many residents say they have been hit with massive electrical bills almost double the annual average and they can’t afford to live in the properties.

Read the rest here.

Green — it’s the color of the wheelbarrows full of money the scammers are weeping over as they head to the bank.

 

Lynch mobs and hit lists

You already know how I feel about the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin affair and the Obama Administration and its lap dog-media sycophants ginning up a lynching party to “get” Zimmerman and a few random white people to fill the role pending trial. Zimmerman’s guilt has already been decided in the media’s public square.

Now, via the Wall Street Journal‘s inestimable Kimberly Strassel, comes news that Administration is, in the words of Washington beltway attorney Ted Olson, putting up the names of major Romney donors on “wanted posters” in government offices, releasing their names to the public, and libeling their reputations.

“The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money”, writes Strassel.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577368280604524916.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle

I don’t know if you can access this article without a subscription, but Strassel’s “The President Has a List: Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign” article in today’s WSJ points out a litany of presidential abuses of power by the Obama regime, including:

  • Making individual citizens the object of his vitriol.
  • Personal attacks on corporations and industry segments.
  • Legal assaults on constitutional rights of free speech by corporations.
Add to that list the looting of American taxpayers through government policy-driven largesse to Democrat crony capitalists and political insiders. For an excellent review on one way how this is done, I highly recommend reading entrepreneur Jerome J. Schmitt’s excellent insights in today’s American Thinker:

We continue our slouch into the serfdom of Liberal Fascism. Sad to say, I suspect that the large segments of the population that are not cheering these developments are either yawning in general ennui or too glued to the mindless drivel of videoworld to realize how our /their wealth and freedoms are irrevocably slip, slip, slipping away.

“Keynes” and other back-pats

Here’s a Robert Samuelson article, “bye bye Keynes” that should give us all pause: the arguments he uses to write Keynes’ obituary are arguments that we all posited in our own excoriation of Keynes in years past, in response to a string of commentators, ranging from A to Z.

I’ve been reviewing our last few years at Bookworm Room and I think that we all deserve a round of huzzas and raised beer mugs or wine glasses, whatever is at hand. We’ve been so right about so many issues, be it “Keynesian”economics; anthropogenic global warming; the Islamist threat; U.S. fossil fuel reserves; “green” energy; Iraq; Obama; the EU’s collapse…and on and on und so weiter.  Sometimes, our prescience has preceded events on the ground by years.

To all of you Bookworm guests and, especially, to Bookworm, our hostess: I’m so d*** proud to know you! I am so much smarter for having enjoyed the many experiences of your insights and commentary.

Dying certitudes

On the heels of Bookworm’s excellent, hard-hitting essay on narcissism comes a nice coda on man-made global warming that is emblematic of Bookworm’s theme.

Because of major discoveries involving the interaction of atmospheric aerosols and cosmic radiation, “climate models will have to be revised,” stated a communication from CERN that promises to completely overhaul scientific understanding of climate science. CERN is the European center for nuclear research. These discoveries are important, because they deal directly with the dynamics of the overwhelmingly dominant atmospheric greenhouse gas, water.

The complete article by Andrew Orlowski, in the U.K.’s The Register, is found here complete with supporting links:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/25/cern_cloud_cosmic_ray_first_results/

These recent discoveries regarding cosmic ray effects on climate pretty much render obsolete all previous climate prognostications by self-proclaimed experts. To use an analogy, it is as if these experts had tried to authoritatively explain the inner workings of an automobile by studiously ignoring the engine.

“When (leading CERN physicist) Dr. Jasper Kirkby first described the theory in 1998, he suggested cosmic rays “will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” continues The Register‘s Orlowski.

The underlying theme here, however, is not cosmic rays or global warming, it is hubris. It is the self-righteous certainty and self-proclaimed wisdom with which scientists, politicians, media ideologues and demagogues could claim sufficent knowledge and command to engineer huge changes to society on the basis of their own self-righteous objectives. Their narcissism, in other words. In their world, their view was revealed truth, all else was anathema. We ourselves discovered some of this self-proclaimed righteousness from previous commentators on this blog. This is exactly the “fatal conceit” of which Friedrich Hayek.

http://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Conceit-Errors-Socialism-Collected/dp/0226320669

A qualifier is in order: I am in no way suggesting that the work by CERN is definitive. It does, however, illustrate how little we know and that, when pursuing any form of scientific inquiry, humility is a stellar virtue. No doubt, many more blockbuster revelations await us regarding  the complexities of climate dynamics, but we the main point is that we fallible humans are in no position and will never be in a position to mandate radical changes to either the globe or humanity on the basis of perceived knowledge. The believe otherwise is not just unwise, it is, forgive the term, stupid.

The CERN  announcement is emblematic of what is happening today, as we see other revealed truths such as socialism, Keynesianism, multiculturalism, peak oil, environmentalism and government central planning collapse under the repeated poundings of 2x4s called “reality”. It’s a painful process but, hopefully, it signals the birth pangs of a more practically-focused world to come, where the humility, skepticism and spirit of inquiry bequeathed by our Western philosophical traditions can once more hold sway over ignorance, dogma and ideology. Given the $-trillions of resources and human capital that have been wasted to date in pursuit of climate science and the other myths and illusions of our time, this would be a good thing.

We desperately need it.

Walter Russell Mead dissects the failure of Al Gore

I had heard about a two-part article Mead wrote examining why Gore is a poor leader for the environmental movement, but I only now read it.  It is well worth your time.

Part I

Part II

My favorite quotation from Part I, which goes a long way to explaining the green failures:

Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.  The peril is imminent, he says.  It is desperate.  The hands of the clock point to twelve.  The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun.  The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman’s leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.  He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry.  A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation.  Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption.  This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

What this tells the skeptics is that Vice President Gore doesn’t really believe the gospel he proclaims.  That profits from his environmental advocacy enable his affluent lifestyle only deepens their skepticism of the messenger and therefore of the message.  And when they see that the rest of the environmental movement accepts this flagrant contradiction, they conclude, naturally enough, that the other green leaders aren’t as worried as they claim to be.  Al Gore’s lifestyle is a test case for the credibility of his gospel — and it fails. The tolerance of Al Gore’s lifestyle by the environmental leadership is a further test — and that test, too, the greens fail.

I’ve noted before that Mr. Bookworm’s greenism fails when we’re on vacation and someone else is paying the energy bills for his daily demand for two or three fresh bath towels.  I have no problem with being cheap.  I’m cheap, and therefore I conserve energy.  I’m also cheap on other people’s behalf — I think its dishonest to save my money on electricity, but to waste someone else’s.

The greens have wrapped themselves up in a mantle of moral superiority, and that’s a tough garment to wear all the time.  Their problem is that when they periodically cast that rigid mantle off for their own luxury or convenience, it’s pretty clear that they consider themselves so superior, they don’t even need the garb of moral superiority.

Is global warming hysteria responsible for Egypt’s revolution?

Track me on this one:

1.  With help from Al Gore, Hollywood, and the entire Leftist panoply, global warming fears reach hysterical levels.

2.  As part of their apocalyptic battle against rising seas and dying polar bears, warmists declare ethanol is one of the answers (never mind that it turns out that it takes 1.5 gallons of fossil fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol).

3.  Did I mention that ethanol comes from corn?  In the old days, people used to eat corn.  Now they drive it.

4.  To satisfy the panic-stricken need for drivable corn, food crops are diverted into fuel production.

5.  The cost of staples rises substantially around the world.

5.  In 2008, food riots break out, including riots in Egypt.  (Here are three links supporting the ethanol/riot connection, one from a free market site, one from a technology site, and one from an organic food site.)

6.  Although food riots haven’t been in the headlines lately, what do you bet that, with ethanol production still causing producers to divert food crops into the energy market, marginal economic societies such as Egypt continue to feel the effects of food shortages?

7.  Voila — riot conditions.  For history aficionados, remember that, in the 1790s, the French had suffered aristocratic depredations for centuries; it was the food shortages that triggered revolt (a la “Let them eat cake,” not that Marie Antoinette actually said that).  The same pattern showed up in Russia, with rising discontent reaching a fever pitch with WWI shortages.

In other word, what’s happening in Egypt is Al Gore’s fault.  (And yes, I’m being snarky, but it’s not a completely unreasonable supposition.)

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

After graduation, 32 students attempted suicide

I have to say that this video actually made me giggle, because having all of Al Gore’s doom-and-gloom compressed to less than 2 minutes, and then playing Pomp & Circumstance in the background, is more like a cartoon than anything else.

Then again I didn’t have to listen to the whole blather, and I wasn’t a student who has spent my life being indoctrinated by the Chicken Little crowd.  For those students, watching this pompous boor go on and on about the imminent end of the world must have been a most disheartening end to their educational experience:

You get the message:  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Hat tip:  Hot Air

Best article opening award

The award for the best opening in any article (at least for today), has to go to Jonah Goldberg:

Is Barack Obama the Messiah?

Before we answer that question, let me vent for a moment. In 2000 I was cruelly denied the Pulitzer despite being the only columnist in America to ask the pressing question: Is Al Gore an alien? The evidence was there for all to see. He was born nine months after the mysterious alien sighting at Roswell, N.M. His weird syntax and verbal rhythms are otherworldly. He often refers to “earth” or “this planet” as if he’s just passing through, and he once angrily complained to the Washington Post that it had printed a picture of the earth from outer space “upside down.”

There is no “upside down” in space — unless Gore had his childhood view in mind.

The rest of the article, detailing Obama’s “Messiah-ness” is almost as good, and I say “almost” only because it’s hard to top an opening like that.

Another inconvenient truth

Poor Al Gore. He thought his inconvenient truth was that poor frog in the boiling water. It’s beginning to look as if the real inconvenient truth, however, may be that the anthropocentric global warming hysteria convulsing the Western world is fiction:

An inconvenient new peer-reviewed study published in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology.

Climate warming is naturally caused and shows no human influence:

Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.

These results are in conflict with the conclusions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data. However, they are supported by the results of the US-sponsored Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

I urge you to read the rest of the above article here, for full information about this new study.  You may also ask yourself if, at the top echelon of climate change advocates, this hysteria has ever been real, or if it was always a weapon in the anti-Bush, anti-American, anti-Capitalist arsenal of those who dislike Bush, America and Capitalism.  (And while Gore has made himself phenomenally wealthy riding the back of global warming hysteria, there is no doubt that he hates both Bush and America.)

Exposing liberal loopiness and the media that hides it

Nicholas Wishek has used Bore’s Nobel Prize as a leaping off point for a pointed expose of the looniness that is modern liberalism, and the complicit media that protects and serves the liberal agenda. Here are some nice little gems from the column, but I do think you should read the whole thing:

Now, I truly believe that most liberals are well-meaning. I just don’t think that they have a clue. They have no clue about history. They have no clue about human nature. And, worst of all they have absolutely no clue about what makes sense and what doesn’t. If their perception of the world didn’t affect my life, I wouldn’t care. People have the right to be as out of touch with reality as they want. The trouble is that liberals want to change the world in which I live, which does affect me.

For instance, liberals want to put government in charge of health care. That must mean they want the same level of efficiency for our health care system as we have in the IRS, the DMV and the post office. Are you kidding me? Any reasonable person realizes that these government agencies are disasters. Call the IRS with a tax problem, and you get as many different answers as the calls you make. All of us have been to the DMV. Do you really want your life-and-death health care decisions handled the same way? You’d take a number and hope you live long enough to get to the head of the line. And as for the post office, why do you think that UPS and FedEx are doing so well?

[Read more...]

Maybe he’s afraid of a vast Clinton conspiracy

Al Gore is refusing to run:

The win is also likely add further fuel to a burgeoning movement in the United States for Gore to run for president in 2008, which he has so far said he does not plan to do.

Kenneth Sherrill, a political scientist at Hunter College in New York said Gore probably enjoys being a public person more than an elected official.

“He seems happier and liberated in the years since his loss in 2000. Perhaps winning the Nobel and being viewed as a prophet in his own time will be sufficient,” says Sherrill.

Two Gore advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to share his thinking, said the award will not make it more likely that he will seek the presidency. If anything, the Peace Prize makes the rough-and-tumble of a presidential race less appealing to Gore, they said, because now he has a huge, international platform to fight global warming and may not want to do anything to diminish it.

One of the advisers said that while Gore is unlikely to rule out a bid in the coming days, the prospects of the former vice president entering the fray in 2008 are “extremely remote.”

Frankly, that’s all a lot of blah-blah. The guy’s been lusting after the President Presidency since 1991, and he’s felt since 2000 that it was stolen from him. (And on that last, you might find interesting this Big Lizard’s post.) With this kind of momentum push, you’d think he’d leap for the ring.

Thinking on that this morning, it occurred to me that, perhaps, just perhaps, Gore doesn’t want to have to go up against Hillary Clinton. And that’s not just because she’s a fierce campaigner, but because she knows him. With Edwards and Obama, Clinton is digging around, trying to learn things about them. With Gore, however, Hillary shared the White House with him for 8 years.

It’s not inconceivable that Hillary has information about Al that he simply wouldn’t like to have come out. And by that I don’t mean blackmail type information, which could start an ugly tit-for-tat that Hillary wouldn’t want any more than Al, but more what I would call intellectual information: stories about bad decision-making, ill-thought out remarks, etc. Little bites, not big chunks, but things that would, nevertheless, work to Al’s serious detriment over the course of a long campaign.

Gore and the Nobel

I was glad to see that the Nobel Prize committee hasn’t lost its touch. Al Gore, the man whose movie is so inaccurate it needs to come with a warning, has now joined the august panoply of other recent Nobel Peace Prize winners. In case you’ve forgotten, here are some of the highlights in this rogue’s gallery:

Yassar Arafat, one of the bloodiest killers in the Arab world, and a man who easily deceived a credulous West as he unrelentingly, to the day of his AIDS-induced death, plotted to destroy Israel.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian who is probably single-handedly responsible for both the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran and for the fact that we went to war with Iraq. As to the latter, if there were in fact WMDs, it happened under his watch; and if there weren’t, it was his regime that allowed Hussein to create the nuclear Potemkin village that led to the war.

Wangari Maathai, who claimed that “the West” bio-engineered HIV and realized it on Africa, one of the most paranoid of conspiracy theories around.

Jimmy Carter, one of the worst Presidents in modern American history and one of the worst ex-Presidents in modern history.

Kofi Annan, who should be remembered for Rwanda, Oil for Food, the increasingly virulent anti-Semitism that’s become the UN’s hallmark, the Congo sexual transgressions, and just about every other horrible thing that happened on his watch.

Rigoberta Menchu Tum, the Marxist confabulator.

Interestingly, once you start looking into the way back machine, past Rigoberta, you start seeing that the Nobel Committee was still awarding the prize to people who, at least as of the time the prize was awarded, weren’t charlatans, crooks, cowards, con men and, most importantly, devoted to “putting America in her place.” In other words, with some exceptions I’ve detailed below, in those early years, the prize seemed mostly to go to be people of greatness and humanity. Still, there’s even a caveat to that. Some of the institutions or people that, at the time they received the prize, seemed decent, have since descended into anti-American madness, such as Amnesty International, which really did used to focus on bad places, not American or Israeli places, or Betty Williams, the Irish peacemaker who wants to kill George Bush. One of them is just plain funny: the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces, an organization that has distinguished itself by doing nothing in Yugoslavia, the Congo (except for the sex slaves, of course), Rwanda, and the Israeli/Lebanese border.

All I can say is, now that the prize officially become just a pathetic anti-Western statement, Al Gore truly has found his rightful place.

UPDATE:  Too funny.  I just found out that Scott Johnson, at Power Line, did almost exactly the same list I did, putting Al Gore in perspective.  You know you’re thinking smart when you discover that your thinking is in line with smart people.

Nobody’s perfect

A liberal friend told me today that it’s okay that Al Gore lives high on the energy hog because, while his message is important, you can’t really expect him to change his lifestyle:  “He’s entitled to expect a certain standard of living.”  Same friend was unfazed by the fact that Al certainly seems to expect the rest of us to change our way of living.

Gore’s real goal?

Jonah Goldberg’s analysis of Gore’s approach to climate change sounds entirely accurate given the way in which Gore is presenting the problem and the changes he’s demanding:

Indeed, he wants to change attitudes about government as much as he wants to preach environmentalism. Global warming is what William James called a “moral equivalent of war” that gives political officials the power to do things they could never do without a crisis. As liberal journalist James Ridgeway wrote in the early 1970s: “Ecology offered liberal-minded people what they had longed for, a safe, rational and above all peaceful way of remaking society … (and) developing a more coherent central state.”

This explains Gore’s relentless talk of “consensus,” his ugly moral bullying of “deniers” and, most of all, his insistence that because there’s no time left to argue, everyone should do what he says.

Isn’t it interesting how the same people who think “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” when it comes to the war think that dissent when it comes to global warming is evil and troglodytic?

As Czechoslovakia’s the President of the Czech Republic pointed out, the hysteria attendant on climate change is only Marxism in another name. (By the way, take as read here my usual points that I too want less pollution and more alternatives for dictator-owned oil, but for the right reasons, not the wrong, hysterical, anti-societal ones.)

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Two takes on the Leftist politics behind “climate change”

It’s getting so that, every day, every where, more and more people are beginning to challenge the “debate is over” pronouncement regarding global warming. My two favorite from today are an interview with Christopher Horner, an environmental lawyer and (former?) liberal who wrote the The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism), and Janet Daley, writing for the Telegraph, an ex-Marxist noticing similar tactics between the two causes.

Here’s Horner at FrontPage Magazine:

FP: Can you talk a bit about the psychology involved here? The Left really isn’t interested in global warming and the environment, it’s really just about the Left’s lust for power. Give us your angle.

Horner: To distil this to the inescapable, simply note that the demanded response is exactly the same for both the “scientific certainty” of catastrophic man-made global cooling in the 1970s and the “scientific certainty” of catastrophic man-made global warming, both of which we have been falsely assured of. The same movement and even same people drove both alarms. Yet although every single bill on Capitol Hill and even the UN’s Kyoto Protocol is demanded in the name of ‘it’s-real-it’s-bad-it’s-here-now-it’s-our-fault-we-can-impact-it-but-we-must-act-now-it’s-a-moral-issue’, not one such proposal would under any scenario, under any set of assumptions, according to any champion, actually have a detectable impact on that which it purports to address: the climate. Seems a bit odd. In fact, the reasonable conclusion is that this agenda isn’t really about the climate at all, but instead about the one thing that we all agree would result, which is the attainment of longstanding policy objectives of making energy more scarce and moving energy sovereignty to a supranational body — something called the UNFCCC (www.unfccc.int).

And those longstanding policy objectives are held by the constituent parts of the Kyoto Industry, environmentalist pressure groups who seek to radically redistribute wealth, move the decisions of governing to the least accountable levels, all in the name of dramatically reducing that which they view as pollution: any global human population above 2 billion.

And the only way to have the agenda escape scrutiny is to scare the dickens out of people and shriek both that the debate — which no one can recall having — is over and, as is ritual now on all such “greatest threats”, “we must act now!”

And here’s Daley, in the Telegraph:

The Tories are on about airfares yet again. This week, David Cameron and Gordon Brown will conduct a Dutch auction in how much to penalise you for environmental crimes. There is something oddly familiar about all this. Perhaps I am sceptical about the climate change campaign because its exponents remind me so much of the people I knew years ago on the Marxist Left: repressive, self-righteous, and inherently totalitarian.

Because of what they see as the indubitable rightness, and the absolute moral transcendence, of their cause, they can justify demonising anyone who criticises or dissents from it. Back then, the comrades used to shame those of us who blanched at their ideological ruthlessness with the epithet “wishy-washy liberal”: the exploitation of the working classes was the all-encompassing evil that had to be fought with whatever weapon it took. These days you are castigated for worrying about self-indulgent luxuries such as free speech and open debate when we are all about to fry – or drown, depending on where you happen to be on the stricken planet when the apocalypse arrives.

***

Hundreds of years after Galileo, we are apparently still prepared to suppress inconvenient intellectual opposition once political interests have become entrenched. Among those who attempted to prevent the film being shown at all was the Liberal Democrat spokesman on the environment, Chris Huhne, who, without having seen the programme, wrote to Channel 4 executives advising them in the gravest terms to reconsider their decision to broadcast it.

One respect in which the green lobby is significantly unlike the Trotskyist movement of my youth is that it seems not to give a stuff about the poor. Green taxes are regressive: they hit the lower paid, (who can actually be forced to cut back on their air travel and their heating) much harder than the affluent, who can simply absorb the extra costs and carry on living and flying as they always have.

As for that last point, the only evidence you need of that, I think, is the high flying Al Gore, buying his way out of climate warming purgatory by buying credits to make some other poor sap in the Far East give up his new found capitalist aspirations.

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This is what I’ve been saying all along

Over the months, I’ve denigrated Western global hysteria on the ground that whatever we do is irrelevant. China (and possibly India) will make the difference. To pat myself on the back, I was right:

Far more than previously acknowledged, the battle against global warming will be won or lost in China, even more so than in the West, new data show.

A report released last week by Beijing authorities indicated that as its economy continues to expand at a red-hot pace, China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

This information, along with data from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based alliance of oil importing nations, also revealed that China’s greenhouse gas emissions have recently been growing by a total amount much greater than that of all industrialized nations put together.

“The magnitude of what’s happening in China threatens to wipe out what’s happening internationally,” said David Fridley, leader of the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Today’s global warming problem has been caused mainly by us in the West, with the cumulative (carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, but China is contributing to the global warming problem of tomorrow.”

To think that St. Al didn’t know about this China factor is ludicrous. This fact lends more credibility to the growing belief that Bore’s climate hysteria is predicated on his carbon offset business, which will become every more meaninglessly “important” as he pours pretend dollars into little factories in the Far East, and gets real dollars in his pocket.

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Take that, Al Gore!

Al Gore might be thinking right now that he’s fallen into the “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it” trap. After all, his film, having won an Academy Award, is now coming under more intense scrutiny than ever. Wait, that’s wrong. The film isn’t, but Al is. And the scrutiny falls into the category of “how dare he sanctimoniously preach at all of us to make sacrifices, when he’s living in an eco-nightmare of a home.” Gore’s rating on the hypocrisy meter has just gone up a bit more now that it turns out that he’s one of the owners of the carbon offset company he buys into to “neutralize” his energy abuses. If you want to read a splendid analysis about just how cynical Gore’s dodge is, check out this article at Cheat-Seeking Missiles.

UPDATE: James Taranto writing about Gore:

So, let’s sum this up: Here we have a major American politician who is calling for policies that would impose huge costs on society but appears to be profiting handsomely himself; who is leading an extravagant lifestyle while demanding sacrifices from ordinary people; and who is calling on the media to suppress the views of those with whom he disagrees, while at the same time urging more government regulation in the name of “fairness” to his partisan and ideological allies.

Why is it left to think tanks and bloggers to investigate and expose all this? Why aren’t the mainstream media all over the story? Could it be . . . bias?

UPDATE II: Read the last item in this Best of the Web for the ultimate rebuttal to Gore’s carbon neutral scam. (Amuse yourself, by the way, and read the whole Best of the Web, and do so on a regular basis.)

UPDATE III:  Noemie Emery is probably like the Marines:  you want her as your friend, not your enemy.  Because if she’s your enemy, she’s going to wield the word scalpel with the skill she brought to this take-down of Al Gore.  It’s a rundown of his vices that those Democrats who dream of an alternative Pres. Al universe conveniently forget:

The trouble with all these alternative visions is that sometimes real life does break through. Richard Cohen had barely published his paean to Prince Al and his vision (about the need for austerity, and leaving a wee tiny imprint upon Mother Nature) when news broke that His Princeness, in his palazzo in Nashville, was burning through kilowatts in staggering numbers, and trampling all over Mother Earth (if not an Earth Mother) with hobnailed and giant-sized boots. This was the real Al, not the virtual one, and one we knew well from the past: the one who at the 1996 convention made a five-Kleenex speech about how his sister’s horrific death in 1984 from lung cancer had turned him into an indefatigable foe of tobacco, when in 1988 he had bragged about raising the crop; who went from co-sponsoring a bill to make a fetus a person to defending late-term abortion at NARAL celebrations, and then denied that he had changed anything; the Al who wasted unknown gallons of water during a drought to float his canoe for a save-the-earth photo op; the Al who in March, 2000, declared his intention to crusade for campaign finance reform, because he had been nearly indicted in a fund-raising scandal; the Al who ran in 2000 as, a people-vs.-the powerful populist, while being outed as a slumlord who left his indigent tenants living in squalor; the Al who in the Florida recount promised to “count every vote” (for him, that was), while trying furiously to discredit those of overseas servicemen, and others whose problem was a slight technicality, with which the voters had nothing to do.

Ouch.

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No inconvenience to this truth

Coincidentally, a day after An Inconvenient Truth won its Oscar, Netflix delivered the same film to us. We watched it last night. Or rather, I should say, I attempted to watch it. After ten minutes of listening to Al Bore’s disconcertingly slow and rhythmic voice (disconcerting, because the speed and rhythm never have anything to do with content), and after eying his endless graphs, I did exactly what I used to do in college under the same circumstances: I fell asleep. I enjoyed a lovely 90 minute nap, from which I’d rouse periodically to hear “sacrifice” repeatedly, “Greenland” frequently, and “ice caps” regularly. I really can’t comment, therefore, about the film’s contents, because it would have taken way too much caffeine to enable me to absorb those contents.

What I feel confident talking about is the news story that Saint Al Gore is an energy hog, big-time:

Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

Al Gore’s energy consumption is a very easy target for a hypocrisy attack. Too easy, so I thought I’d aim for something a bit more subtle. You’ve probably heard Gore’s defense by now, which is that he purchases carbon offset credits. Here’s how an NPR story explains what these are. (You can listen to the whole story here.):

Melissa Block talks with Mark Trexler, president of Trexler Climate and Energy Services in Portland, Ore., about carbon offsets — what they are, and how a small consumer can reduce carbon emissions.

Texler says that carbon offsets work by calculating how much carbon dioxide you are putting into the air, and then you figure out how much to pay a carbon-offset company to counteract the pollution.

The system works by supporting alternative energy initiatives. And after buying offsets from retail offset brokers, “You can them claim to be climate-neutral,” Texler says.

In other words, if you’re poor, you decrease your own energy use, driving a smaller, less safe car; living in darkened rooms; and otherwise suffering the inconvenience that goes with walking away from the average American’s energy consumption. If you’re rich, you hire someone else to it for you, and continue to live large, even piggishly. Thomas Lifson, writing at American Thinker, summed up the whole thing nicely, both by comparing this conduct to the medieval purchase of indulgences, and to the more recent Civil War era practice of buying commutations. With regard to the latter, Lifson has this to say:

During the Civil War, it was possible for well-to-do men who were drafted to pay a $300 “commutation fee” and escape the draft. The move sparked much public outrage, creating the impression that the war was a “rich man’s war” and probably contributing to the disgraceful draft riots in New York City, which led to the lynching of African Americans.

It seems to me that the purchase of carbon credits is a direct imitation of commutation fee. I don’t expect to see SUV-deprived soccer moms lunching the wealthy outside of fixed base operator terminals at haunts of private jet-setters like Teterboro and Santa Monica Airports, but I do expect public revulsion to rise and rise, as sacrifices demanded of ordinary people are evaded by the wealthy. The war on global warming seems very much a “rich man’s war.”

In other words, in Gore’s world, the only people who should suffer the inconveniences of his “truth” are the ones who can’t pay to have someone else shoulder that burden.

It seems to me that, if Gore were genuinely serious about this whole climate thing, and not simply cynically using climate change as a platform by which to keep himself in he public eye, he wouldn’t simply be “carbon neutral.” Instead, he’d apply himself, personally, to negative carbon growth. This means that Al should turn over the bulk of his significant wealth over to those same carbon offset organizations he uses now so as not to inconvenience himself. That would allow them to continue their mission of aiding poor manufacturers who want to clean up.

More than that, though, Al should seriously clean up his own act. He should sell all three of his properties, turn his profits over to those offset companies, and he and Tipper should move into a nice 1,500 square foot house, and live like the rest of us sacrificial lambs. I strongly feel that St. Gore, too, should suffer a little inconvenience for his “truth.”

On a slightly different subject, but something that still remains within this same post, let me say something about Greenland. At least half the time when I woke up a bit from my Bore induced snooze, I’d hear him droning on about Greenland. Al is very perturbed about the greening of Greenland, and I’m sure I heard him say that, in the past, the ice has retreated a little, but not as much as it’s retreating now. I’d have to differ with him on that one.

Has Gore ever wondered why Greenland, that block of ice, got its name? It got its name because it was once green! Right before the medieval mini Ice Age, there was a medieval global warming age. (Probably caused by carbon emissions from burning dried cow dung.) That icy land mass we now know as Greenland actually turned green at the time, and became a viable farming community for some outlaw Vikings. If Al mentioned this fact, I was sleeping when he did so.

It seems to me that Gore, more than many, illustrates the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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The “Al Gore for President” movie review

When Tina Brown took over The New Yorker, it got hip, edgy and, to me, boring. We continue to subscribe, though, in large part because Mr. Bookworm has always subscribed. And I still read it because it's there, which is how I got to read two movie reviews that give away entirely the new political strategy of focusing on Al Gore. But let's start with a little Bush Derangement Syndrome, which really is the intro to the Gore swoon. (David Denby, by the way, wrote both reviews.)

The first review covers the new Robert Altman movie, A Prairie Home Companion. The movie is about a hometown style radio show doing its final broadcast, because the station has been bought out. Throughout the review, we keep hearing that the show is being bought out by "religious" or "Christian" Texans. It's unclear from the review why their religious or geographic status matter — that is, the review doesn't indicate that these identifiers affect the plot in any way. Indeed, one is left feeling that these are just sort of standard Hollywood bad guy things — good radio show being destroyed by bad Texas Christians. But I'm just guessing. The end of the review, though, makes clear why Denby was so intent on emphasizing their unique characteristics. It gave him the chance to close a limp, lukewarm review with these sentences:

Emotionally, the movie is a queasy and unsatisfying experience. Texas Christians may have done a lot of damage recently, but the only person who will close down "A Prairie Home Companian" is Garrison Keillor. [Emphasis mine.]

To me, that last sentence is pure Bush Derangement Syndrome, appearing as it does out of nowhere, and having nothing to do with the movie or the review. It's just something that the writer couldn't keep inside.

The Prairie Home Companion review, though is just a warm-up. Denby's review of An Inconvenient Truth is even more political. Look at the very first paragraph:

Anyone in possession of a major truth that he can't get others to accept begins to feel that he's losing his mind. [That may explain so much about Al Gore's recent behavior. --ed.] The skepticism he meets turns him into a soreheaded obsessive. After a while, he becomes "pedantic," and then, inevitably, "condescending" and "humorless." [Thus, it's not that Gore is, in fact, pedantic, condescending and humorless. We, the skeptical public created this Frankenstein's monster. In the words of the old song, he's more to be pitied than censured." -- ed.] Al Gore has been in possession of a major truth about global warming for than than thirty years [Gore's prescience was impressive because the era more than 30 years ago was the global cooling fear phase, a phase that occurred when we didn't have the current measurements we do regarding global warming. -ed], and he has suffered the insults of political opponents, the boredom of ironists, and, perhaps, most grievously, the routine taunts of a media society which dictates that if you believe in anything too passionately there must be something wrong with you [The point being that there's obviously nothing wrong with Gore, it's just that the media doesn't understand him -- which really is strange, because I live with the idea that this same media has accepted entirely his view of global warming. --ed.]

Denby then goes on to describe a movie that, if it were about anything other than global warming, would get laughed off the screen. Even Denby acknowledges its faults:

[Gore] appears as the noble-browed warrior of englightenment, brooding over the ravaged earth and the weakness of man, once or twice too often. He mentions family tragedies, which were moving to me, but which strike some viewers as maudlin notes from a campaign biography.

Fear not, though, since "the faults of the movie, semi-excusable as self-vindicating ploys, are nothing compared with its strengths." The strengths, though, make it sound like one of those appalling 8 mm films we slept through in high school in the 1970s:

For long stretches, Gore is photographed talking before an audience with the aid of slides and charts. There are side trips to fissured ice caps, disappearing glaciers — the snows of yesteryear — and expanses of newly parched and broken terrain. The science is detailed, deep-layered, vivid and terrifying. Every school, college, and church group, and everyone else beyond the sway of General Motors, ExxonMobil, and the White House should see this movie. [Get it? Evil corporations, evil oil, and the foul Texas Christian in the White House are incapable of understanding Gore's greatness or simple science. --ed.] [Bolded emphasis mine.]

Denby isn't shy about calling the movie what it is: "It's great propaganda."

But in Denby's mind, what's really great about the movie is how it shows the human side of Al Gore (and you thought he didn't have one). Thus, Gore "speaks in an intimate voice that we've never heard before." When Gore talks about lying by a river, and keeps coming back to that image after global warming holocaust pictures, "it has a greater resonance." Denby claims that Gore has learned to speak in a less annoying way. Listen to this and tell me whether you believe that. The rhythmic up and down of Gore's speech — a rhythm that has nothing to do with emphasizing or deemphasizing actual content — is both soporific and bizarre.

But here's the real kicker. Denby assures us that the movie demonstrates that Gore has been purified in the crucible of past experiences:

[O]ne has the impression of a complex personality that has gone through loss, humiliation, a cruel breaking down of the ego, and then has reintegrated itself at a higher level. In the movie he is merely excellent. But in person . . . he presents a combination of intellectual force, emotional vibrance, and moral urgency that has hardly been seen in American public life in recent years.

Watch out, Hillary. It's Saint Al for President.

By the way, I don't actually have an opinion yet as to global warming. I do know that temperatures are changing, and that we (that is, humans) are definitely causing some changes. I also know, though, that the earth's climate has changed many times. Indeed, I've always found fascinating the fact that the mini-Ice Age was probably what resulted in the lavish costumes worn during the Elizabethan era — those layered clothes kept people warm.

Lastly, I know that, with China and India coming up the industrial pikeway, which means they're making increasing demands on oil while they don't have the resources to burn oil cleanly, there's little that changes in America will do to stop larger climate changes. If Gore's right, we Americans are helpless anyway, because China and India are not buying into his scenario. They just think he's selfishly trying to deny them the same industrialization America got to enjoy. So, if Gore's right, no matter what we do here, we can still kiss this planet good-bye.

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