There’s been a lot of seasonal blowback for the climate change crusader Al Gore. A United States with 49 states experiencing snow this winter only exacerbated a plunge in popularity (They even tried to kick him off the board of Apple because the ice caps haven’t melted yet.), and he became an even easier target for critics who still call climate change ‘global warming.’


Both phrases are still spoken by Gore, who used them prolifically in a recent—and generously portioned—New York Times op-ed that came after a spate of perceived and actual failures in the climate change narrative. Most notably, the Copenhagen climate summit was a demonstration in bureaucratic ineptitude, and it didn’t meet its objective to create any kind of worldwide consensus to reduce emissions.

And most of it just has to do with money, like anything else. China, for example, refused to sign on to any targets that weren’t attached to GDP because their growth rate is fantastic, so any overall cap could restrict that. They wouldn’t negotiate on the matter, and it arguably derailed the whole debate. However, the U.S. Congress hasn’t made any movement because its members are mostly bought and sold by energy companies, of which many are the most profitable and powerful companies in history. So just because Barack Obama showed up in Denmark didn’t mean anything would happen when he got home.

But climate change detractors say Al Gore is a fraud because it snowed.

Will he be genuine if it gets really hot this summer?

(An aside: I’m a climate change skeptic, just as I’m a skeptic of anybody telling me anything. The term “climate change skeptic” is a misnomer when applied to those who actively discredit the theory without acknowledging all the evidence or leaving their politics at the door.)

The global warming debate is such a daily struggle because it occurs invariably after someone complains about the weather. It’s like when a driver complains about taxes after hitting a pothole. Except you don’t need to drive to complain about the weather. You don’t even need to pay taxes. It’s a universal. People understand weather.

But I don’t think they understand climate change.

I don’t understand it, just like I don’t understand stock derivatives, the endocrine system, the theory of relativity or the infatuation with the Twilight series. Some things are important even if you don’t understand why they exist or what they entail.

Some things are not, like the Twilight series.

But because we’re talking about weather, and everyone understands hot, cold, wet and dry, they figure that they understand climate change.

To put it another way, examine this phenomenon—everyone thinks the weatherman is wrong. Actually, most of the time, they’re right, within a margin of error. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t be hanging on what they say. After all, they were right about all this snow.

Al Roker’s got his fans, even if he’s not right about every cold front. And many put Al Gore in a similar nerdy class of celebrity, even though he’s a former vice president. He’s got oodles of charm.

I don’t have a problem with Gore’s recent vilification. It’s coming from the same people who’ve been flinging shit at him for years, and his supporters are the same people who’ve been giving him massive exposure (like the New York Times) and trumpeting his cause.

Gore makes plenty of money on this whole apocalypse thing. He can take a few for the team.

But to spin the entire debate around one figure, as has become so popular in this media landscape, ignores the larger issue for the sake of an ideological rallying cry. Let’s forget about Al Gore. Let’s even forget about climate change. Let’s oversimplify this argument in a different way.

Let’s just assume the price of gas is going to go up. It usually does. Or the bill to heat your home, provide your electricity, etc. And let’s imagine those costs are also incurred to all the businesses that you use, and you pay more for their services as a result. Let’s say that keeps happening forever. Wouldn’t you want to try something else? And if it makes the air cleaner, isn’t that good?

Illustration clearly stolen from South Park‘s episode Imaginationland III.

6 Responses

  1. Steven Douglas

    When people sarcastically point to things like recent snow storms in the US and the UK re: global warming, I don’t interpret that as a serious attempt to debunk anything, as much as an open mockery to all the warmists who have in the past exploited storms, regional ice melt, heatwaves, droughts, hottest years/decades “on record”, etc., as if these isolated phenomena were all part of the “mountain of growing evidences” in support of the warmest hypotheses.

    I mean, come on, you’ve got people right now trying to link climate change to specific earthquakes.

    There really is something to the sentiment going around that says, “We get it. If it’s cold, it’s the weather, if it’s warm, it’s climate change/global warming”.

    Does that mean that Al Gore will be right when the next heat wave (or other single event) hits? Al Gore thinks he’s right now — as he just went on record as saying that the recent snow storms are strong evidence of global warming! He even had the mechanisms to describe it! So for Al Gore, anything that happens on is powerful evidence in support of the warmist hypothesis. But you can safely bet the farm that the next heat wave will be trumpeted by warmists everywhere. Google heat wave, and you’ll see a true mountain of evidence for that assertion just for the recent past.

    Incidentally, I am one of those who refuses to acknowledge the semantic goal post shift by warmists re: global warming/climate change. I view climate change as the skeptics’ argument, not the warmists’. The central tenet of warmist orthodoxy is not that the Earth’s climate will simply “change”, but rather it will warm at an accelerated rate as direct result of increased fossil fuel burning. They don’t want to “fight/stop climate change”, as the soundbite goes, but rather control activities that they believe will cause dangerous “global warming”.

  2. SteakSauce

    For some one who doesn’t “understand climate change”, you sure seem to have a lot to say about it (emphasis on ‘seem’). Your article is mostly an in vouge opinion about how you feel about climate change and a wry title that grabs attention. Your article offers no support for your opinion. What I read here is a glorified forum post by an unthinking echo box of conservative politics, and not even a well thought out one, but a ignorant, grade school attempt at journalism.

    The increased rate of CO2 in the atmosphere is a well documented trend; data on the quantity has been being taken since the 50’s on Mauna Loa and is known as the Keeling curve.
    There is no debate about what that curve offers us: apx 2 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 every year.

    The fact is that our atmosphere IS retaining more energy from the Sun due to anthropogenic interferiance. No part of any body of scientific consensus rejects that point. How that increase will affect our planet is a much harder question than your simplistic treatment offers. In a reality where when calculation GDP, we dont even have a final ‘approximation’ until 3 years after the earning quarter, and that is on something we know to be happening.
    That you demand a specific understanding in short time is no surprise, it reflects the arrogance typical of our species. You want to be able to put in as little work as possible to maximize how important you’ll look.

    How about this? Instead of being an echo box for every troll with a conservative pod-cast, why don’t you pull your head out of your ass and get educated on climate change.

    What do I mean by this? Look at the end of the last interglacial. A period of warming where glaciers retreated from the North American continent and formed a huge lake in Canada. When an ice dam broke, it flooded the North Atlantic with fresh water, interrupting the thermohaline cycle, sending Europe into another thousand years of ‘cooling’ (though the world experienced a net increase in temperature.

    Long story short, if your going to talk about climate change, be educated and not an echo box; a lie, no matter how many times repeated, will not become the truth.

  3. Patrick Slevin

    My opinion is that Al Gore’s not the crux of the debate that he’s made out to be. I am not debating climate change. If you take issue with the words “failures in the climate change narrative,” it is specifically referring to the inability for governments to address the issue. And the paragraph in parenthesis outlines my “en vouge” position, which is not necessarily a conservative one.

    The greater point is we need to shrug off non-renewables. You can quote bullet points on CO2 levels just as the opposition can quote solar flares or whatever balderdash, but the fact is we can’t use oil, coal and natural gas forever.

  4. Edward Metcalfe

    Before winter NOAA predicted a mild winter, the Farmers Almanac predicted a harsh one. If what they predicted has since changed then the politics hasn’t been left at the front door.

  5. IGnatius T Foobar

    It’s not just Al Gore that we need to burn at the stake. We need to eliminate ALL warmists. It is one of the biggest scams in history and people need to be punished for it.


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