Al Gore is a rabblerouser.

April 17, 2009

At least according to Dr. William Happer, Princeton U Professor of Physics and former U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Senator. From his testimony to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee:

I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind. I predict that future historians will look back on this period much as we now view the period just before the passage of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution to prohibit the ‘manufacturing, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors.’ … Deeply sincere people thought they were saving humanity from the evils of alcohol, just as many people now sincerely think they are saving humanity from the evils of CO2. Prohibition was a mistake, and our country has probably still not fully recovered from the damage it did. Institutions like organized crime got their start in that era. Drastic limitations on CO2 are likely to damage our country in analogous ways. … Many of you may know that in 2007 a British Court ruled that if Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, was used in public schools, the children had to be told of eleven particularly troubling inaccuracies. You can easily find a list of the inaccuracies on the internet, but I will mention one. The court ruled that it was not possible to attribute hurricane Katrina to CO2.

More on the subject, and on the slew of scientists who call foul on the now mass-market theories of global warming.

I’m no physicist. Every day, I read the said–she said on environmental advances and setbacks. What’s a Smaller to believe? I suppose that it doesn’t hurt to reduce, because I live in a li’l house and I don’t want to be jammed in with junk. And it isn’t too bad to reuse, either, because then I’m not introducing new junk into said li’l house (see above). And, recycling seems good, right? Repurposing and remaking to help alleviate the junktrain?

Is this common sense? Depression sense, even? Less about saving the planet than keeping life manageable?

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5 Responses to “Al Gore is a rabblerouser.”

  1. The Choir said

    You must read the Sunday New York Times article in the magazine from a few weeks back on Freeman Dyson; interesting stuff. The green movement is quickly becoming the new Black–PLAGUE, that is. I too, am going to burn a slew of PCV pipe and feed the goo to Peruvian campesinos if I hear one more word about “carbon footprint” in the way it’s being “Oscar-worthy” touted–it’s become ridiculously overused; it is the “child abuse”-freaking of the 80’s and 90’s recast as our hysterical 2000’s mantra. ENOUGH! Consume less, live simply, but do not rue every frickin’ thing you do to live–the “carbon-footprints” we regret laying down?–IT’S CALLED LIFE, people. Nothing we do has a zero-carbon footprint, AND IT SHOULDN’T. I, for one, and not advocating giving the earth an extra 200 years (out of millions) by driving ourselves crazy. We’re a form of life, and we have to go sometime, as does the planet. Deal with it maturely and stop getting hysterical over it.

  2. Anne Walk said

    It’s interesting to read this post as I am unaware of any disagreements about the existence of global warming…outside of the U.S.

    I, of course, believe in the theory of global warming, just as I believe in the theory of gravity.

    I visited what was left of a glacier in my area a couple of years ago. When I was a young girl, I visited that same glacier and it was substantially larger. It’s almost gone now. It had been there for millions of years and now, in about three decades, it’s almost gone. There are pictures of the rapid decline in the visitor’s centre.

    We’ve been, so far, quite protected from the damage of global warming here in North America. The same can’t be said for the rest of the world for which the changes that are happening are immediate and devastating. It makes me sad to think about it. It makes me sadder when I don’t do anything about it and so I try to help in any small way that I can to reduce my use of our resources. I have three children. The future is important to me.

    Guilting people into questioning every move they make is never good or useful. Neither is throwing up your hands and deciding “that’s just the way it is”.

    Live thoughtfully, simply, and with an eye on tomorrow.

    Thought provoking post!

  3. The Environmental Curmudgeon rears his head! Thanks for the comment, Choir; I agree that living a life of absolute restraint and constant worry isn’t healthy. I think you said it well with “live simply.”

    Anne, thanks for you mention of the glacier. I don’t think, however, that these physicists are arguing against the theory that global warming is happening; they all recognize that, sure. The crux of their argument is whether it is manmade, and whether it will adversely affect mankind. Happer seems to think the atmospheric increase in CO2 will actually benefit humans.

    That said, I agree with you, too, that living thoughtfully is important, though some researchers have generated studies that show that hope for a better future isn’t the best motivator for contemporaneous change, either. In any case, I think “living thoughtfully” equates to taking good care of ourselves, our neighbors, and the land on which we thrive.

    Thanks to both of you for reading and joining the discussion.

  4. Amanda said

    I think that, for me, living simply and thoughtfully has as much to do with how I approach things as it does with being sweet to the earth; when I’m a super-consumer, I am less present in my actions. When I work to reduce clutter in my life and nurture “small” things, it’s very much about thinking about what I’m doing while I do it. It’s about being thankful for the things I have, and giving back, in some way, to things that are bigger than myself.

  5. Well said, Amanda. I like the part about being “less present” when you’re consuming big-time. Thanks for making me think.

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