Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Assault and Blathering

Live Err
Al Gore's new book the Assault on Reason hit the shelves. Advance reviews and excerpts indicate more of his trademark condescending sighs. 308 pages of Al Gore shaking his head and telling us that we just don't get it. He believes Americans are so used to getting their information from emotional thirty second soundbites, that we don't have the attention span to appreciate his smoldering intellect. Next he plans to sell his Anthropogenic Global Warming Policy, with a big rock show. Well if you can't beat them, join them.

The whole global warming debate has been an Assault on Reason. Our exposure to the topic is from fearful sound bites: meteorologists speculating why Chicago would see a seventy degree day in the middle of January, a mudslide in California, or a tornado in Kansas. The people delivering the message, are more likely to Rock Stars and Politicians, rather than Climate Scientists or Tree Surgeons; the ones who have taken the easy courses in college. From what I've learned, Al Gore probably doesn't even understand basic geography.

Global warming is part of the American conscience now. People at the bank no longer ask if it’s hot enough for you, if you brought the cold weather along, or had mistakenly ordered all that rain. Today, when the temperature becomes unbearably hot, people blame Global Warming. In the winter it is used as an excuse for cold snap, sometimes without irony.

Americans have stubbornly resisted any Global Warming Legislation, but it's not because we're unaware. With gas approaching four bucks a gallon, who isn't cutting back on the unnecessary trips? Do we really need another round of "Turn down your thermostat, and inflate your tires? Most of the ideas proposed thus far are ridiculously impractical, like taking a bicycle to work. (Fine if your a twenty year old kid living in Southern California.)

The only real solution is increasing taxes on energy. This would effectively price all the things that make America so delightful out of the range of middle America. Air Conditioning, big cars and pleasure craft would only be accessible to people like Al Gore. The resistance the Global Warming proponents note, is a well reasoned refusal to accept a lower standard of life.

Nobody wants to sacrifice, including the Live Earth Rock Stars. I doubt any musicians will be using un-amplified instruments, lighting the stage with CFLs, or using low carbon smoke machines. Madonna will keep her microphone plugged in, even though she rarely uses it when she's "singing." Just the oil used for transportation will be staggering. But according to their Press release: "The aim is not just to drive awareness but to get people to take action.. ... These actions are likely to include personal pledges to reduce emissions, for instance by using energy efficient equipment or flying less. "

This, despite their original plan to perform: "seven major concerts on seven continents. "That would require a flight into Antarctica. The only reason behind an Antarctic show, is to make it an even seven, to coincide with the concert date of 7/7/07. A seventh show would only be a necessary expense, for an obsessive compulsive. There is a good chance when they conceptualized these shows, they hoped to photograph drowning polar bears, and collapsing ice sheets for a dramatic example of the crisis we are facing. But they forgot that Antarctica is on the bottom of the earth, and July 7th is midwinter in Antarctica . It is dark 24 hours a day. So much for photographing those ice sheets. Temperatures can reach 130 degrees below zero. Oh yeah, and the polar bears don’t live there either. The Live Earth website lists no Antarctic shows.

The Live Earth press department confirmed that an Antarctic show is in the works, but refused to offer details. Ditto for Al Gore’s office. Perhaps they just are having a difficult time locating a stadium in Antarctica capable of hosting such a grand concert, that isn't already booked.

According to Linda Capper Press Representative for the British Antarctic Survey, back in February, Al Gore's office contacted the BAS requesting a flight into the Rothera Research station in Antarctica this July, to bring an "undisclosed artiste" to perform there. Rothera is under British jurisdiction and hosts an over-winter population of 22 residents. Al Gore was probably fairly certain they would get the plane in, too. Back in February, he was boasting that Live Earth would present the "first ever rock concert in Antarctica."

Unfortunately planes cannot land in July; the airports close for the season in March. Ships cannot get in after April. because of the sea ice (which, contrary to An Inconvenient Truth, has not all melted). We all remember the story of the Russian Scientist who performed an appendectomy on himself one winter, because the only help his nation could provide was air-dropping a mirror, some clean scalpels, and a bottle of vodka. If they want to have any bands there this July, they would need to be there already.

So what band is going to perform in Antarctica? Linda Capper informed me that the Live Earth Show will be held at the Rothera facility. According to Linda : “We have a house band - 5 of our science team. They are very good indie rock-folk fusion. The remaining 17 will be the audience on location.” Wow. I can’t wait for that show. Is this anyone's idea of a "major concert?" A bunch of cabin-fevered scientists, playing songs, around a kerosene lantern. I've been to pajama parties bigger than that. I wonder how long the Live Earth producers will let them play, (or if they’ll even get to finish a song).

Live Earth is now running away from their original claim. According to the current website there are now: "Nine concerts in nine cities ACROSS seven continents." [emphasis mine] (Perhaps they should change the date to September ninth.) Seems more like a last minute cover-up, for a really bad idea. It appears that Al Gore, leader of the Climate Change movement, and Champion of Reason, would flunk Earth Science 101. Yes there has been an assault. And Al Gore is still holding the weapon.

MORE: My article made it to The Weekly Standard
MORE 6/13/07: Now it's on The Examiner
MORE 6/14/07: After the article actually made it on to the Drudge Report® yesterday, I heard back from Linda Capper:

Hi Tim.... just saw all the comments on your website - a lot of negative feeling out there.... phew!

I'm sorry that you see it that way. I was just having a little fun. Al Gore himself said, "the task of saving the global environment is a task we should all approach with a sense of joy." Well what is more joyful, than the sound of laughter? 
We all share the same planet, so each of us has to do what we think is necessary to save it. Al Gore thought  he could help, by flying a band into Antarctica in the middle of winter. I thought I could help, by pointing out that he tried it.


  • Frankly, I think you really have a lot of nerve coming down on Mr. Gore. I hope you haven't forgotten that if it wasn't for Mr. Gore there would be no internet. I know for a fact that he spent years and years, slaving over his work bench in his garage, soldering wires and salvaging parts from old Radio Shack phones and radios in order to finally assemble this little world wide web that we all enjoy. Shame on you Mr. Slagle...have you no respect?

    By Anonymous GordonC, at 4:09 PM, June 13, 2007  

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