Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grand Strategy of Al Gore

Insightful article on the grand strategy of the green movement. This quote made me think:

Gore's self-presentation  as a condescending, de haut en bas Great Explainer patiently enlightening the rubes so infuriates many of his opponents that they cannot help themselves.  They start arguing with him about hockey sticks and CO2. This is exactly what Mr. Gore wants; it moves the argument onto his strongest terrain.  Whatever one thinks of the scientific evidence for climate change, Gore is on much stronger ground when he argues that the earth is warming than when he argues that a great green global treaty on the lines he proposes can ever be either adopted or enforced.

It's certainly true that my own irritation with the AGW folks is essentially methodological: not that their beliefs are wrong but that they are unproven and unscientific. It offends me that someone would claim that something (positive temperature feedback) is 100% accurate when it's actually somewhere between perhaps 30% and 80%, and yet the observation is correct that Gore is undoubtedly much happier talking about science which is 60% certain than policy which is about 1% likely to be workable or cost-effective. So from a policy perspective, debating the science of climate change is playing into his hands.

Ironically, though, I'm a lot more sympathetic to the policy aims than the science. In a general sense, I DO support environmentalism. I support research into clean energy (esp. solar and nuclear) and I pay extra money for free-range chicken eggs and meat (although I don't care if it's "organic"). But I get really exercised about untruths and unprofessional science.


[1] Nothing in science is ever 100% accurate. Newtonian physics is terrifically well-supported by everyday experience, is used by civil and mechanical engineers every day, is simple and intuitive... and it's wrong, as Einstein pointed out with Special Relativity. But Special Relativity is wrong too, according to General Relativity. And General Relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics, so we know one of them must be wrong. All of these theories are immeasurably better-supported and better-tested than positive temperature feedback via CO2 emissions (i.e. "global warming").

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

Hahahahaaaa!!! That is ME laughing at YOU, cruel world.
    -Jordan Rixon

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