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Monday, March 9, 2009

GreenWatch Newsletter 18 (March 9, 2009)

Featured Headline:

This week the Wall Street Journal hosted their second annual conference on so-called "green" energy called ECO:nomics - Creating Environmental Capital. Many famous figures in the global warming debate turned out to discuss "the intersection of business and the environment." Among them, of course, was Al Gore. Mr. Gore, as has become his M.O. harped on the immediate need for action:
I think that we're at a moment in history when we as a civilization have been slow to recognize the enormity of the climate crisis. It is a genuine planetary emergency. And this is the moment to make a one-off investment in the transformation of our energy infrastructure from one that is based on dirty and expensive, declining, vulnerable carbon-based fuels to one that's based on fuels that are free forever.

Later in the event, the floor was open to questions from the audience. Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish Environmentalist and global warming denier, stood up to challenge Mr. Gore's position. I've transcribed it below, but you can watch the video yourself at this link.

Lomborg: It seems to me that you are probably the most well-known person arguing that we should be spending a large sum of our money and we should be spending most of our concern on focusing on cutting carbon emissions, and cutting very, very soon. And I would argue that the Copenhagen Consensus [think tank] and certainly a lot of really well-esteemed Nobel awards tell us that both scientifically and economically, it's not a very good way to spend our money.

And so my point is to actually say, "Shouldn't we have that debate?" I know you've sort of dodged that bullet before, and I don't mean to corner you. Well, maybe I do mean to corner you. Do you want to have a debate on that? Would you be willing to have a debate with me on that point?

Gore: Look, I think that I want to be polite to you. But the scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we as a civilization, let alone we as the United States of America, should pretend that this is an on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand kind of situation.

You know, the tobacco industry for many years after the surgeon general's report collected the epidemiological evidence that was already very, very damning. They had strategic exercises with the PR experts to try to divert people down into the details of this and that. And they delayed public-health action for 40 years. And millions and millions of people died as a result. The stakes this time are so high.

Look closely at this exchange: Mr. Lomborg wants to debate Mr. Gore, not on whether or not the science of global warming is settled, but rather how wealth can best be used to benefit mankind, whether it be through disease prevention, feeding the hungry, or other philanthropic efforts. Mr. Gore, however, either doesn't hear or chooses to ignore Mr. Lomborg's point, instead responding smugly as though Mr. Lomborg were questioning the science on the issue.

If Mr. Gore simply didn't hear or didn't understand Mr. Lomborg's point, then his response, while tone deaf, is excusable if cowardly. If he did both hear and understand Mr. Lomborg, then Mr. Gore's response is abominable. Would he really suggest that the time has passed for debate how people, businesses and governments can best use their own money to do the most good? Would he just have us give it all to him to do with as he pleases?

Or perhaps Gore is simply afraid of any debate at all. The organizers of the conference rescheduled Mr. Gore's appearance at the last minute. Why?

Former U.S. vice-president Albert Gore allegedly feared a direct confrontation with Czech President Vaclav Klaus at a conference on global warming, and this is why Gore's presentation was rescheduled for another day, Lidove noviny (LN) writes Thursday, referring to Klaus's spokesman.

And it's really no wonder Gore refuses to debate. Just three years ago, the public overwhelmingly believed Gore's theory, largely because it hadn't been challenged. Now? A Pew research poll places Global Warming dead last on the list of issues Americans believe Barack Obama should focus his attention on, below, in order, the economy, jobs, terrorism, social security, education, energy, Medicare, health care, deficit reduction, health insurance, helping the poor, crime, moral decline, the military, tax cuts, the environment, immigration, lobbyists, and trade policy.

It seems as far as a global warming debate is concerned, if it weren't for his friends in the media, Mr. Gore couldn't convince anybody.

More Headlines:

Jacoby: Whatever Happened to Global Warming?

Top Ten Climate Change Deniers

Gore Effect Ctd: Temperatures Have Dropped Since the Release of "An Inconvenient Truth"

Warning: Breathing Causes Global Warming

Columbia University Scientists Probe Stone Age Solution for Global Warming

The Reader's Corner:

Jerry of Hampton, NH: "The tragedy of climate as seen through the eyes of Gore and Hansen and others who profit from such lies reminds me of an old adage: 'Lord, protect me from my protectors.'"

Alexander writes in all the way from El Salvador: "Every intelligent person knows that Global Warming is a myth! If Al Gore really believes it he is in denial. But I doubt that. It is just another leftist political ploy at gaining control over our lives."

David critiques our photography: "Regarding your picture of the capitol gathering - your camera angle was wrong! Shoot through their feet and it looks like twice as many people are there and then you only have to cut and paste half as much to get the 'real' effects! Hope this technique is of some help to you in the future!"

Well David, those actually weren't our pictures last week. But we'll be sure to take your advice to heart next time we want to mislead the public and the media regarding turnout at an allegedly "major" event combating global warming.

Felix from Winston-Salem, NC: "Yes, I saw a comment that I would like to second. I too would love to place my foot in Al Gore's fat behind with a swift kick. People of his ilk should be exposed, ridiculed, and put out of business. This man made global warming movement is based on a hoax perpetrated by individuals who stand to profit from Cap and Trade schemes and enemies of America's system of government and way of conducting business. The sooner the American nation realizes that this is a ruse the better."

And finally, Marcella from Huntsville, AL: "Sunday morning, March 1, we woke up to a rare and beautiful site...a dusting of snow in Huntsville, Al. As we entered church that morning our Priest welcomed us with 'happy snowbal warming'"

Need to comment on one of the stories this week? A story you'd like us to cover for next week's newsletter? Email us at Greenwatchamerica@gmail.com. Be sure you include your name and location.

Most Egregious Claim of the Week:

Headlines rang out across the nation: Expert Says Arctic Summer Ice Could Vanish by 2013!
The Arctic is warming up so quickly that the region's sea ice cover in summer could vanish as early as 2013, decades earlier than some had predicted, a leading polar expert said on Thursday.

Warwick Vincent, director of the Center for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec, said recent data on the ice cover "appear to be tracking the most pessimistic of the models", which call for an ice free summer in 2013.

The year "2013 is starting to look as though it is a lot more reasonable as a prediction. But each year we've been wrong -- each year we're finding that it's a little bit faster than expected," he told Reuters.

Of course the next paragraph goes on to note that Arctic ice actually increased in 2008, but never mind pesky details like that. In any case, we were particularly struck by this claim. It reminded us of something else...something we had heard before...
June 27, 2008
The distinct possibility that this summer -- for the first time in recorded history -- the North pole could be free of sea ice, is now a common subject of discussion among the world's climate experts.

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