Posts tagged: Al Gore

If Money Taints . . .

By , January 3, 2013 8:41 am

Will these guys ever get clean?

Al Gore pockets $100 million in the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, a broadcast entity owned by the Arab state of Qatar.

Matt Damon’s anti-fracking movie, Promised Land, financed by oil-rich United Arab Emirates.

To be clear, that the money in both cases comes from an Arab government doesn’t bother me in the least. That it comes from governments whose source of wealth is more than 80% dependent on oil revenue does. And then, that only bothers me because both Gore and Damon are so anti-carbon footprint and all that. And that only bothers me because if the print were on another foot, say, the foot of someone whose environmental research were funded by the oil industry, you know what the storyline would be.

In almost all cases, opponents/critics use the source of the money as an ad hominem and a red herring to smear the researcher or person making an argument and to distract from the real and very important question: is the research or argument sound? Yes, the source of funding may sometimes play a part in that assessment, but only a minor one.

Well, This Quote Caught My Attention

By , February 22, 2012 11:02 am

So there the Internet’s in a tizzy over an apparent scheme by someone on the globe’s a’warmin’ side of the climate debate to discredit the “denier” side. I use the word “denier” purposefully and in quotes because that’s the word of choice the other side uses routinely to, I can only assume, stifle debate about the climate science behind global warming. I mean, can you think of another reason to use that pejorative?

In any case, the argument is that if you accept the argument that global warming is happening and that man plays a big part in that warming, you’re rational and accept science and all it has to offer. If you don’t, you’re a “denier” and anti-science. You probably–indeed likely–don’t accept evolution and probably–almost certainly–will vote for Santorum this fall.

If that all makes sense to you and if you accept my premise that the pejorative “denier” is intended to stifle debate, you’ll have trouble like I did making sense of the following by a guy named Peter Gleick, “head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California and apparently until very recently, the chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics,” according to Megan Mcardle who writes today in The Atlantic about the aforementioned scheme. Quoting Mr. Gleick now (bolded emphasis mine):

I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.

Now I’m not a climate scientist, but from my observations, I’d say that the “deniers” would love to have a debate, would love to argue their side in peer reviewed journals, would love to share the stage with global warming alarmist Al Gore. Maybe Mr. Gleick can make that happen–after he comes clean from his misguided efforts to “attack [‘deniers’] and scientists [who don’t accept the so-called global warming consensus] and prevent this debate.” Maybe. Not holding my breath, though that might help stave off global warming–if there is global warming.

Finally, and on a related note, the following quote from Mcardle’s pen should be carved in stone for all to read and re-read (people in the press, you guys and gals in Congress, Mr. President and all the candidates who are running to take their seats, I’m thinking of you):

After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.

Folks, that last quote accounts for the economic mess we are in right now. Because the people I’ve just named have lost our trust, many of the tools we need to solve/fix this mess are off the table–until trust is restored–and that’s another blog post.

UPDATE: Judith Curry of Georgia Tech adds her two cents.

Pot Misrepresented By Kettle

By , February 1, 2011 5:57 pm

In my last post, I noted that I hadn’t read much by or about Al Gore lately; he’d apparently taken a breather from his climate-change crusades, I assumed, because of that little matter in The National Enquirer or maybe he was busy decorating his new home in California. But then I read some of his blog and discovered that he’s been a relatively regular poster. I also learned that the guy spins faster than a top. To wit:

In a December 15, 2010 post titled Fox News Manipulates Climate Coverage, he writes,

Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis.

His evidence?

Today, Media Matters posted an alarming email sent by Bill Sammon, the Washington, DC, managing editor at Fox News. Sammon sent the email to Fox News producers on December 8, 2009 – just as the Climate Conference in Copenhagen was beginning:

“Subject:Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data”
“we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”

And why is this misleading? Apparently because Al says so:

But there’s no legitimate debate: the planet is warming. Moreover, man-made global warming pollution is the principal cause.

No legitimate debate. Bias. Deniers. In my business–I write and teach writing, among other things–such words, used the way Gore and his acolytes use them, fall under the umbrella of logical fallacies. In other words, their purpose is to mislead your audience by mislabeling, misrepresenting, and denigrating your opponents without actually responding to their arguments. In short, they come in handy when you’re spinning.

He’s Baaaaack!!!

By , February 1, 2011 5:38 pm

The Goreacle has been absent from the world stage the last few month; at least, I haven’t read much if anything about him. That ended today with a bang, I mean, a blog post. To which a number of climate-change skeptics have responded. I’ll leave it to you to read what they had to say.

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