Professor Reynolds likes to say about global warming, “I’ll believe there’s a crisis when those who say it’s a crisis behave as if it’s a crisis.” Well, a better example could not be found than this:
(Hat tip: Rob of Say Anything)
The damnedest thing is, Al Gore (gag, shudder) has a valid point, and is mostly right. While I think it would be impossible to get off of carbon-based energy within a decade, I absolutely believe we need to develop new forms of energy (and refine those we already use). And while his stated goal is almost guaranteed to be unreachable, “man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?”
My problem with Gore is twofold. First up, there’s the flagrant hypocrisy of the man’s lifestyle. I’ve seen comparisons to the “carbon footprints” of his home and President Bush’s Crawford ranch, and I’d really love to see a comparison of Gore’s “carbon footprint” of his travel and general lifestyle with, say, an oil company CEO.
Second, the guy’s approach seems to be based on scare-mongering and spreading hysteria though any means necessary — including out and out lying.
The reason we use fossil fuels (or, if you prefer, “carbon-based fuels”) is that they are remarkably efficient ways of storing and releasing energy, and incredibly convenient to use — based on literally centuries of developing it. There is no grand conspiracy anywhere that says “”we need to dump more sulfur in the air! Let’s convince everyone to burn oil!” or something. You’d never know that if only listened to the Goracle and the other global-warming hucksters and conmen, though.
So yeah, it would be great if the US got entirely off fossil fuels in the next decade. It’d also be nice if a supermodel who pooped diamonds fell madly in love with me. I’m not sure which I consider more probable.
But if the US moved half — or even a quarter — of its current use of fossil fuels to alternative forms (such as, say, windmills off Cape Cod, in spite of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, or nuclear power plants, or solar cell farms in Arizona and New Mexico and Nevada deserts), we’d be a hell of a lot better off.
Getting there, though, is the challenge. And if Al Gore and the rest of his ilk think that the best — or only — way to get there is through their lies and fraud and deceit, then to hell with them. Instead, I’ll stick with the tried-and-true methods of changing the behavior of the American people — offer incentives to change (like the various “X-Prize” programs), argue vehemently, and hope for the best.
Winston Churchill said it best: “The American people can be counted on to do the right thing — once they have exhausted all other possibilities.” Just look at how we’re reacting to the skyrocketing gas prices — while some ninnies are running around threatening to use the government against oil companies or trying to sue OPEC or shrugging off more oil development as “it’ll take too long” and whatnot, most people are moving into more fuel-efficient cars and driving less. (I know I am).
Al Gore is just part of the “all other possibilities” part of the process. And, sooner or later, enough people will realize that.