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Category — Gore, Al

Al Gore Reinvention? (From ‘climate change’ to ‘sustainable capitalism’)

“Business that is everything to everyone is not anything at all in itself.”

 - Elaine Sternberg,  Just Business: Business Ethics in Action. Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 33.

No doubt his handlers have given Al Gore the word: go easy on climate warming (aka climate change). The issue has little traction. You are the wrong voice for the cause. Solyndra. Climategate 2.0. Winter snows…. Not now, Al.

Take it up a notch! they must be telling him. Think bigger. Subsume the issue…. And so Gore’s new piece in the Wall Street Journal barely mentions his pet issue of (man-made) climate change but something much larger and amorphous.

“A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism,” coauthored with David Blood, calls for “abandoning short-term economic thinking for ‘sustainable capitalism’.” Such is code for that subjective, holistic, anything goes doctrine of corporate social responsibility, which I elsewhere questioned as follows:

The discipline of business ethics should be reoriented around a more sophisticated understanding of capitalism proper. Business ethicists should also respect methodological individualism given that in both the primary and final analyses, businesses do not act, individual businessmen and businesswomen do. Because corporate social responsibility (CSR) speaks to the elusive whole more than to the parts, much business-ethics thinking has become prone to a central- and social-planning mentality.

Think Enron! As I wrote in this rebuttal letter published yesterday in the Journal:

Al Gore and David Blood’s “A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism” (12/14/11) reminded me of nothing so much as Enron Corporation, whose demise ten years ago is still the topic of debate and learning.

“We believe that incorporating environmental and social considerations into the way we manage risk, govern our projects, and develop products and services will help us maintain our competitive advantage,” Ken Lay stated Gore-like. “As we move forward, we will leverage our intellectual capital and innovative capabilities to promote sustainable business practices around the world.” [Read more →]

December 20, 2011   8 Comments

Is Al Gore Bad for Big Environmentalism? (A shriller gone sour)

“‘I think Al Gore’s done more to hurt this cause than he has to help it…. There are a lot of Democrats who don’t want to get within 10 miles of Al Gore on climate policy, because he’s seen by a lot of Americans as being on a crusade, and he doesn’t mind turning the economy upside-down because of sort of a religious zeal he has.”

- Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted in Jean Chemnick, “Graham says Gore to Blame, not Obama, for Congress’ Antipathy toward Climate Bill,” E&E News (sub. req.) June 23, 2011.

Al Gore in his most recent pronouncements on the climate-change issue (“Climate of Denial,” Rolling Stone, June 22, 2011) went so far as to pin blame on President Obama for the failure to excite the electorate on energy sacrifice in the name of averting catastrophic climate change. “In spite of [his climate-change related] achievements,’ Gore opined, “President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change.” Gore explained:

After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority. Senate advocates — including one Republican — felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that “drill, baby, drill” is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil.

But even the Left has questioned Gore’s complaint. And more politicos than not see what perhaps Mr. Gore himself refuses to see: climate alarmism fatigue and Al-Gore fatigue.

“Thank you for existing and speaking on this issue,” I hear Gore’s critics saying. And remember what happened to Jimmy Carter when he went the oil-and-gas alarmism/self-sacrifice route back in the 1970s (see here and here)?

Still Alarmist–and Energy Postmodernist

Gore also goes alarmist. “What we are doing is functionally insane,” Gore penned in his 7,000-word essay. “If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses for several millennia to come.” [Read more →]

July 5, 2011   11 Comments

Is Al Gore the Re-incarnation of the Xhosa Prophetess Nongqawuse?

I don’t know much about global warming.  But I do know something about the dangers of precipitous action, especially when its advocates appear to be caught up in something akin to religious fervor.  My instincts run towards stop, take a deep breath, and be absolutely sure that you’re not about to put the world’s economy in a stranglehold just to please the people who despise modernity.

That’s why I was both heartened and disheartened when I read, some time ago, Dana Milbank’s Washington Sketch column in the Washington Post, “With All Due Respect, We’re Doomed.”  He gave an account of Al Gore’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where apparently he was treated like a prophet.  Quoth the tongue-in-cheek Milbank:

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them.  The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it. 

What the Goracle saw in the future was not good:  temperature changes that would “bring a screeching halt to human civilization and threaten the fabric of life everywhere on the Earth–and that is within this century, if we don’t change.”

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry (D. Mass.) appealed to hear more of the Goracle’s premonitions.  “Share with us, if you would, sort of the immediate vision that you see in this transformative process as we move into this new economy,” he beseeched.

The article is well worth reading in full, but you get the idea.  The bad news is that even Republicans on the Committee, like Sen. Bob Corker, treated Gore with a reverence ordinarily reserved for the likes of Isaiah and Ezekiel. That doesn’t bode well for those hoping to defeat cap-and-trade climate legislation in the Senate.

But there’s good news too: Milbank himself, a card-carrying member of the MSM, gets it. [Read more →]

July 11, 2009   12 Comments

"Repower Texas": Taxpayers, Ratepayers, Economic Energy Producers Beware!

“It will be possible to achieve a 100% clean power mix over the next ten years if appropriate policies are put in place to unleash the [zero carbon source] technologies’ vast potential.”

Repower America (The Alliance for Climate Protection)

The heavily bankrolled climate alarmist/energy coercion lobby, led by Al Gore’s new national organization Repower America, is coming to a town or city near you!

In Houston, they have arrived. The “Repower Texas” campaign is being fronted by a group of government-dependent political capitalists that see Big Green (as in money) in Texas’s renewable energy mandates. And how did this business underclass get started? It began with the Ken Lay/Enron renewables mandate for the Lone Star State in 1999, and the policy begun by then-governor George W. Bush is being continued today by governor Rick Perry.

The big question now is if renewable mandate #3 will be voted out by the Texas legislature and whether Governor Perry will sign it.  If so, hapless electricity ratepayers in the Lone Star State will be paying for a massively uneconomic solar boom just like they are already paying for the (artificial) wind boom.

Repower America/Repower Texas should be a wake-up call to taxpayers, ratepayers, and real energy producers. Make no mistake: the parasitic (intermittent, uneconomic) energies are after the markets now met by consumer-chosen, economic energies.

In short, the free-market energy economy has been put into political play. Expect a lot of counter-education in the name of “Don’t Depower Texas.”

Here is the call to action from Depower Repower Texas. [Read more →]

June 1, 2009   4 Comments

Special Note to Our Readers (a record number of you)

This has been the busiest period in the short life of MasterResource (we are less than five months old). Our viewership this week has exceeded ten thousand, and cross posts on mega-blogs across the political spectrum have introduced us to new audiences. MasterResource, an energy scholars’ blog (but one that is accessible to the general reader), is on the map!

Two issues have driven our recent traffic. One is the temperature analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate bill by environmental scientist Chip Knappenberger. His straightforward analysis (but don’t ask me to use the MAGICC model!) reflects Chip’s usual careful scholarship. I expect that it will not need to be substantially revised (no complaints so far at RealClimate). But if errors are found, Chip will be the first to thank the reviewer and make the changes.

I know Chip personally, and I have worked with him for more than a decade. In our camp, he has a reputation for telling it like it is in regard to climate science and climate observations to “skeptics” and “alarmists.” Knappenberger’s beginning post in a series questioning “ultra-skepticism,” for example, has attracted critical attention (and maybe even made him some enemies in such a contentious debate). Expect more interesting posts from Chip in his effort to identify the middle way between “skepticism” and “alarmism.”

The second issue driving our record views involved Joseph Romm of the mega-blog Climate Progress. [Read more →]

May 9, 2009   5 Comments

Al Gore: "We Must Protect the Ice!" (Scientists: arctic ice twice as thick as previously thought)

At a recent conference in Oslo, Al Gore pounded one of his favorite drums. “We have to act, and we have to act quickly because we don’t want to cross this tipping point,” he warned. This particular tipping point (among the many tipping points in Mr. Gore’s collection) is the proclaimed melting of the world’s polar ice packs and glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Mr. Gore regularly worries about ice melting in the Southern Hemisphere as well. In recent testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Gore warned:

“We already know that the Antarctic Peninsula is warming at three to five times the global average rate. That is why the Larsen B ice shelf, which was the size of Rhode Island, already has collapsed. Several other ice shelves have also collapsed in the last 20 years. Another large shelf, the Wilkins ice shelf-which is roughly the size of Northern Ireland- is now beginning to disintegrate right before our very eyes. A recent study in the journal Science has now confirmed that the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming.”

But Mr. Gore really needs to keep up with the news. In a recent study of Arctic ice, (results thoughtfully translated by Benny Peiser of CCnet), researchers found that arctic ice is, in reality, about twice as thick as they’d previously thought. ” [Read more →]

April 30, 2009   4 Comments

Remembering the Old James Hansen (give him some credit)

I have previously posted on NASA scientist and leading climate alarmist James Hansen as a “scientist behaving strangely.” His mixing of politics and science–controversial science at that–has raised eyebrows among friend and foe.

But then there is the old, more moderate Jim Hansen. Below, I offer some quotations for the historical record. There are undoubtedly other quotations that can be added–and should be in the “comments” section, whether by Hansen or by colleagues of Hansen.

Perhaps Dr. Hansen can say that his thinking has evolved toward greater alarm. But if so, with temperatures little or no higher today than when he wrote a decade or more ago, the question must be asked: why has his alarm gone up rather than down? [Read more →]

March 12, 2009   4 Comments

Science Magazine: Remembering a Rare Energy Realism Essay (Best Article Award?)

Today, there is much more political science than science in the editorial content of the flagship publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS has become just another special-interest, at the trough of special government favor. So why not, for example, tilt toward exaggeration on big-money research issues like the prospective impact of the human influence on climate?

Recent evidence of the political nature of the scientific community was produced when Al Gore received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his presentation at the annual convention of AAAS in Chicago. Yet Gore has gone far beyond mainstream science to sound the climate alarm, and scientists know it. They just like his politics, because it allows them to act as rent-seekers rather than truth-seekers. Roger Pielke Jr. [Read more →]

March 8, 2009   4 Comments

Obama Climatomics: Politics Drives Science Amid a Fading Alarm

The Environmental Left has used global warming as a tool to force their Malthusian “sustainability” agenda on the U.S. and, to the extent possible, the rest of the world.  Yet in one simple maneuver, the President has replaced save-the-world alarmism with a revenue-driven cap-and-trade program. It is politics, not science, which is in the driver’s seat, and the carbon cuts will be far below what the catastrophists have long demanded. The “unsaved” world moves ahead. [Read more →]

March 3, 2009   9 Comments