March 19th, 2007 by Rightsideup

The WSJ has a good article summarising some of the changes in the coverage of the global warming debate of late – focusing on Al Gore’s personal issues in this department but also some of the other coverage of respectable scientists who disagree with Gore in part or in totality.

One of the biggest themes of the last several weeks is hypocrisy on Gore’s part. It appears that, while urging all others to change their lives now to save the planet, he continues to live the same old luxury lifestyle while using his cash to pay off his guilt. There are obvious parallels here with the old practice of rich landowners sending others to fight in their place in wartime – it was no more honourable then.

March 17th, 2007 by Rightsideup

The BBC has published the first of a number of pieces which constitute a backlash against hte alarmism of the climate change industry and Al Gore’s movie in particular. Respectable scientists – most of whom are in agreement with the basic premises that warming is occurring and that CO2 emissions play a part – are questioning the tone of Gore’s movie and some of its more outlandish predictions. Great (and somewhat surprising) that the news media are actually covering this – perhaps because Gore is a wealthy politician and not just a bleeding-heart activist? Perhaps the hypocrisy about his Tennessee home pushed them away? Who cares – as long as we now begin to get a more realistic picture of the ongoing debate about climate change I’m all for it.

February 1st, 2007 by Rightsideup

CNN reports that Al Gore has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, apparently for his work as an environmental advocate, primarily his film An Inconvenient Truth. There are two primary objections to this nomination.

Firstly, the prize was to be awarded, according to Nobel’s will,

“to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

Last year’s nominee, Muhammad Yunus, though a person of considerable achievements and benefit to the nation of Bangladesh, was also a bit of a poor fit with the stated aim of the prize, having neither done much to promote fraternity between nations or had anything to do with promoting or holding peace congresses. Al Gore, a controversial figure at best, has hardly promoted peace and has done nothing in connection with fostering peace or “peace congresses”. This is a point which the Economist, for one, picked up on back in October.

The second objection is that Al Gore is far from being universally admired for his work on environmentalism. He has been widely criticised (along with others) for mis-stating or exaggerating the problems of global warming and his alarmist tone. The alarm and worry caused by his presentations and his movie are certainly inconsistent with at least one definition of peace (and have very little to do with any other definition either).

Hopefully, this will turn out to have been a political statement on the part of the nominators and will not gain any greater credence. If it does gain wider attention and support, the Nobel Prize Committee will really have to think hard about a new set of criteria for the prize which are less in keeping with their founders’ stated wishes but more in keeping with actual recent outcomes.