Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Price: What Peace?


Al Gore recieved his Nobel Peace Prize, shared with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently in Oslo for his work in bringing the matter of global warming to the world's attention.  He refused the ususal limosuine ride to the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo from the airport and apparently rode the train instead as a display of concern for carbon emissions and the environment. 

There was no mention made however of how he actually arrived at the airport.

Speaking from Oslo City Hall, he stated that the "we have begun to wage war on the Earth" and likened those who did not accept global warming (generally referred to as "deniers") to those who refused to acknowledge the threat of Hitler and the Nazis just before WWII.

Rajendra Pachauri, accepting his half of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC, spoke of the "grim fate" awaiting the planet if green house gases were not limited, including the threat of flooding, droughts, starvation, spread of diseases, extinction of species, and other doomsday scenarios.

Then, at the UN climate conference in Bali, we hear that the lone superpower, the world's greatest example, by the way, of human freedom, liberty, and democracy, was brow beaten, replete with catcalls and denunciations.  Meanwhile, undersecretary of state, Paula Dobriansky, leading the US delegation, quickly and shamelessly capitulated to their demands.  

Of course, nothing was accomplished, which is typical of UN bachanals other then when gathered to advance a resolution condemning the US or Israel. 

It was just another opportunity to meet and greet at some scenic idyll (in this case, Bali) for an all expense paid "working" vacation, to issue proclamations, trot out platitudes, and reflect upon the innate goodness, virtue, and moral superiority of the gathered diplomats - and, perhaps, give the US a kick in the shins. 

The new "roadmap" calls for cuts in greenhouse gases of 25-40% of 1990 levels in by 2020, with a final accord reached in 2009 to be implemented in 2012 when the Kyoto protocol expires.

There is the expectation that richer countries will help poorer countries by sharing technology and, I suppose, giving them money.

The US initially opposed this latter concession but was shouted down, and eventually and pathetically withdrew its objections. 

So now the Undersecretary of State has the authority to reach into the nation's treasury to meet UN directives?  

But basically she capitulated to nothing.  All they agreed to was to get together and chat some more at another meeting.  There were no binding agreements, no specific targets for cutting emissions, or mandates regarding aid to poor countries, just another all expense paid vacation in another picturesque locale for the diplomates of the world.

Other non events at the Bali Conference: Al Gore announced it was his own country (of which he is profoundly ashamed) that was the chief obstacle to progress. 

We learn that the US, Japan, and a small number of other enlightened nations are refusing to accept the emissions target cuts of 25%-40% by 2020 because they realize that, first of all, it would be extremely costly to do so, that it would impact living standards, and, most importantly, make no difference in the temperature of the planet. 

Why?  Because global climate is complex, random, and non linear.  It is not based on a simplistic monocausal explanation as put forth by the global warming mono compulsives. 

There appears also to be a brewing dust up between EU effetes and the US.  Sigmar Gabriel, top EU environment official from Germany, said that no agreement on targets in Bali means no "Major Economies Meeting" for climate talks called for by Bush. 

"I don't know what we should talk about if there is no target," he said. 

Here are a few suggestions: 

How about lowering taxes not raising them along with other incentives to spur the free market and the natural creative ingenuity of free people to innovate, take risks, explore and come up with new solutions to energy and clean fuel.  Or do European socialists not recognize the motivating power of making a buck?  

How about discussing the utter futility of setting target emissions and then policing the individual nations of the world to actually meet them?  How many of the nations that actually agreed to it, for example, have actually complied with the much more limited Kyoto Protocols?

How about how little impact any such reductions would actually have on the temperature of the planet even if they could somehow get all the nations of the world to comply - which is very unlikely?  Do you really expect that the local manager of a coal plant somewhere in China is going to fret over CO2 emissions? 

How about recognizing man's limitations and the impossibility of controlling something so massive and complex as global climate?

How about understanding and paying homage to the positive and essential role that capitalism and our fossil fuel based economy has played in spreading wealth, increasing life spans, bettering quality of life, enhancing medical care, education, and raising the standards of living for billions of individuals around the world, far more than UN or EU socialist bureacrats could ever do with an infinity of misguided and insulting conferences, edicts, and cliches? 

How about the misallocation of scarce resources to attack a phantom problem instead of where they may really be needed such as developing infrastructure and promoting free market, dynamic economies where the real solutions for fuel and energy issues are likely to emerge?  Or to address authentic issues that can actually be improved such as providing clean water for millions of poor people or reducing diarrheal and other infectious diseases?

How about discussing the hypocricy of jet setters, celebrities, and diplomats dictating to everyone else how to live, demanding that everyone get by with less and reduce living standards while they, the condescending hypocrites, continue to live extravagantly and give up nothing.

How about the scam and scandal of carbon offsets, basically cute but meaningless tricks developed by clever entrepreneurs, "green" companies, and environmentalists that that have no impact at all on carbon emissions or global temperature but allow wealthy, gullible liberals to assuage their guilt for continuing to live in mansions, drive fancy cars, and fly around in personal jets.  Or as a way out for cowering corporations to show they are good global citizens.  Many celebs, corporations, and others stand to profit mightily in these carbon offset, alternative energy scams.  But think about it: give some company hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars or more to plant a few trees or build a few wind mills so you can continue dumping CO2 into the atmosphere.  It is chicanery, pure and simple, and expensive chicanery at that.

How about talking about the one true, proven, rock solid method of cutting green house emissions while providing for our energy needs.  Not solar or wind but nuclear?

How about realizing that the single greatest greenhouse gas on earth is water vapor, almost all of which comes from the oceans.  Or that CO2 is a natural by product of normal aerobic respiration, which is then utilized by plants to create glucose through photosynthesis, an essential and naturally occuring molecule indispensible to life - and not a pollutant.  When we exhale, we give off CO2.

How about this?  If those of us who consider global warming a giant hoax concede that the temperature of the planet over the last century has gone up less than a degree (as it has), and that man made activity may have something to do with it (unproven, but, for the sake of argument, we'll go along with it), will you concede that the cost of what you are recommending is prohibitive because the economic cost of doing nothing is likely to be far smaller and projected well into the future (say, about a century from now), by which time a new technology is likely to emerge that will make all this fumbling about carbon taxes, cap and trade, carbon offsets, emissions targets, mandates, lifestyle cutbacks, and the like, unnecessary?  On top of which, your recommendations will have no effect anyway?

How about admitting that the only way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to satisfy you would be to dramatically reduce our populations and severly abridge our current economic system, the system that has created the unprecedented wealth and leisure that allows egotistical and condescending celebreties and bureacrats to enjoy the good life while burdening the rest of us with their endless whining, contemptuous put downs, and destructive and costly schemes that will do nothing to alter the temperature of the planet. 

To truly cut greenhouse emissions, what with China and India and many other developing nations coming on board, requires giving up that system or at least crippling it; the capitalist economic system that is the basis of the unparalleled wealth and standard of living we enjoy, the reason for the incredible opportunities for work and education we take for granted, the system that has built the colleges, hospitals, roads and bridges we all use, provided for our jobs and prosperity, for the various social programs that many of us depend on, the system that transformed what had previously been short, brutish, miserable lives for most people into comfortable, safe, lengthy, and productive lives for many, improving the quality of life for countless millions and continuing to do so - but give that up - as many radical environmentalists want - to cut CO2 emissions and reduce the temperature of our feverish little baby, the planet earth. 

Basically, we need to return to the darkness and the cave, the cold and subsistence, with reduced populations and grinding poverty, and perhaps then, the UN and EU bureacrats and the environmental left will be pleased.

After all, green house gas emissions will have been reduced.       

Environmentalists have accused the US of undermining the UN process.  I certainly hope so.


  • Wayne

    April 25, 2008

    I'll agree with you on one thing - there should be more emphasis put on nuclear power. But that's about it.

    As I commented on one of your other ramblings, you should probably take your place with the people who think the earth is flat and that the moon landings were staged. Because to bury your head in the sand and refuse to believe that humans have an impact on the planet and that no amount of wasteful burning of fossil fuels will ever affect the climate is completely arrogant, self-serving, selfish, and not to mention - not true.

    People have a huge impact on the planet. They have overfished the oceans themselves to cause many fish stocks to plummet. They have caused the extinction of such abundant animals like the passenger pigeon. They nearly caused the extinction of 60 million bison in this country. They have cut down vast stretches of tropical and temperate forest and converted much of it to some other use. The list goes on and on. I suppose you would justify all of this in the name of what? Building an economy where more people use more resources, make a bunch of money, and pollute the earth more?

    To cling to some political viewpoint that humans cannot effect climate change at any level is quite laughable. Ice core data show CO2 levels higher than ever before. The climate is getting warmer, and who knows what the ultimate coonsequences of that will be. Yes, CO2 is a naturally occurring molecule, but even drinking too much water can kill you - right mr. medical doctor? So why do you think we can produce an endless amount of a greenhouse gas with no ill effects. I would say you have your blinders on.

    You speak of capitalism in terms that I have heard before. As if it is your religion and it would be heretical to say anything bad could ever come from it. Indeed, you would maintain that only good comes from our economy and the system that drives it. For an educated person, you seem to have a small mind when it comes to thinking about such things.

    Negative externalities like spewing pollution into the air or water is very beneficial to industries that do not have to pay for controlling this pollution. It sometimes takes things like regulation in addition to ingenuity in order to stop this. Because you know who pays the price of such pollution? Well it sure isn't the CEO's of those companies who make multi-million dollar bonuses. It is the rest of society and many times the poor who have no way to avoid the negative effects of such pollution. But in the name of the almighty dollar, not many companies would ever cut their profit margin in order to do so. So, yes - rules and regulations are sometimes necessary for the greater good.

    There are many stumbling blocks to trying to control greenhouse gases produced by humans. Other countries are responsible for contributing and there may be no good way to police this. No one can agree on targets. No one knows for sure how much reduction is necessary to stem the rise in temperature, or even what the exact effects the rise in temperature will have. But it sure is unfortunate that there are people like you out there who will say the grass is blue, the sky is green, and the ocean is red just for the sake of argument and also serve as stumbling blocks yourselves to prevent the people who really do want to make a positive difference in this world.

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