Monday, April 14, 2008

Spreading the message: Al Gore


My aunt recently drew my attention to a presentation by Al Gore that updates his Inconvenient Truth message with data gathered since its 2006 release.  

If you have not yet come across this on the blogs, it's a wonderful video.  Gore is witty, intelligent and inspiring.  Well, see for yourself!

The presentation can be viewed here.  
More information on the Inconvenient Truth can be found here.

9 comments:

the t-dawg said...

Wait...Al Gore is what??? You do realize that a lot of what he presented in "An Inconvenient Truth" has been debunked, correct? Hockey stick? Nope. 20 feet sea level rise? Nope. Don't you find it mildy disingenuous that Gore is not only selling the end of the world, but also owns the company that sells the cure? Or that he refuses to publicly debate scientists who disagree with his opinion, likening them to Holocaust deniers? Gore is nutty, and most of the AGW crowd knows this, but he pushes their cause, and thus they let it slide.

Heather said...

I was waiting to see if anyone else saw this and wanted to comment. For my part, here are my thoughts. Anyone else?

It’s obvious you feel strongly that global warming either doesn’t exist or that if it does we can do nothing about it. You certainly have company. But, at its core, the environmentalist movement is about taking care of the Earth with the same fervency that we care for ourselves, our homes, and our children.

You know, we applaud parents who protect, defend, and nurture their children. Yet when people speak out in an effort to protect, defend and nurture the Earth and her resources, why are we offended? How is taking care of the Earth any different? How do we have any less of a responsibility?

Seriously, which of us suffers when we recycle? Which of us suffers when we conserve water or electricity? Which of us suffers when we turn off the TV and reconnect with our neighbors?

In contrast, who is hurt if we squander resources like trees and fertile farmland? Who is hurt when our water is polluted? Is doing the right thing dependent on the accuracy of global warming predictions, or do we do the right thing (taking care of the Earth), just because it’s the right thing to do?

the t-dawg said...

I have nothing against recycling or taking care of the environment. I said nothing to the sort that global warming doesn't exist. Why would you make any of those assumptive leaps? I wholeheartedly support clean, alternative energy development, but I don't need to hang my hat on AGW, where there is no consensus. I have other reasons which do have a consensus, namely dependecy on foreign oil creating instability in the U.S. economy, the purchasing of foreign oil helping to fund terrorist states and organizations, and that we are polluting the air (that stuff that we need to breathe). I take offense to the placing of Al Gore on some kind of ethical pedastal. Al Gore is a hypocrite, a fear monger, and either a liar or an idiot. Brushing his blatant inaccuracies to the side and saying, "well, the ends justify the means" seems a bit dishonest...don't you think?

Kreios said...

@t-dawg:

If by debunked you mean spin, then you are correct. Unfortunately, people like to hear what fits their desires so they ignore the details which is what allows spin to work. Then people dutifully regurgitate it over and over again as you have demonstrated.

Heather said...

Why does their need to be consensus? There have been times in history where there was not consensus that the earth was round or flat; that the sun vs. the earth was the center of the solar system. You accept his arguments or you don’t. You act on them, or you don’t.

But to chalk him up to a crackpot because some people don’t agree doesn’t make sense. To call him a hypocrite because he believed in a technology to the extent of funding it, and then enthusiastically talking about it so that others can know about the alternative possibilities available to us, doesn’t make sense.

Much worse are the oil companies who hire their own “scientists.” If Gore is wrong at least we’ve done something positive. If the oil companies are wrong, the effects could be much more devastating.

Also, what you refer to as "brushing his blatant inaccuracies to the side," - I'm not saying that his info is wrong or sketchy, that getting people to change justifies false info. What I'm saying is no one really knows what will happen and given each side, I'd rather have done something and be wrong than not done something and be responsible for catastrophe.

In the end, I do what I do because I think it’s the right thing. I support Gore and his team because he’s out there encouraging positive change in a cause I very much believe in.

the t-dawg said...

The Oregon Petition Project isn't funded by Big Oil. There are many scientists, climatologists, and meteorologists that do not believe in AGW. Now, of course there needn't be a consensus that AGW is real...but then why is Al Gore claiming there is one? Why does he liken dissenters to Holocaust deniers? My issue isn't with AGW...it's a likely possibility that we need to do more research on. Should we take all plausible means in case AGW is real? Absolutely!!! Should we lie and deceive people in order to scare them into doing it? My answer is absolutely not. Perhaps yours is different.

My issue is with Al Gore misrepresenting the truth to further his agenda. Yes, it is absolutely disingenuous to be telling people that they are going to cause the end of the world, then own the company that profits off that unsubstantiated, overexaggerated guilt. Yes, he is a hypocrite for living in an estate that uses up more energy in a month than the average American household does in a year, then telling Americans they need to use less energy. Yes, he is a hypocrite for saying he has removed his own carboon footprint by purchasing offsetting carbon credits...from the company he owns. Yes, he is a hypocrite for riding in private jets. If he was truly an environmentalist worth putting up on a pedastal, he wouldn't be living and acting the way he does. He'd be living simply and energy efficiently instead of lavishly while purchasing the magic offsetting carbon credits that eliminate his carbon footprint transgressions.

In regards to the "spin" comments (O'Reilly?), check with the IPCC (you can start with their website). They don't even agree with much of what Al Gore pushed in "An Inconvenient Truth," and the IPCC is a mainly political body trying to pass itself off as an unbiased scientific group (hint: the majority of the members of the IPCC are politicians, not scientists). If Gore is so noble, so intelligent, such a leader, why does he refuse to debate knowledgeable, informed AGW dissenters in a public debate? Hmmm...

Heather said...

We could go on like this forever, I think, and not change each other's minds so I'll just close with a few comments.

One, I looked into the Oregon Petition Project. It is basically a petition organized by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM). None of the first 3 authors on the paper that accompanied the petition are climate scientists. In fact, the lead author is a chemist who also studies nutrition and preventive medicine. He also has strong ties to the Discovery Institute to which I offer no credibility at all. To top things off, this paper that accompanied the petition? It was formated identically to the National Academy of Sciences layout. Upon the petition and paper's release, the NAS was inundated with calls. The NAS had to respond with a press release indicating that they neither published the paper, nor agree with it; that they support Kyoto. That isn't deceptive?

Second, I won't try to argue for Gore's behavior. I don't agree with everything anybody does, including myself at times, but until I do more research, I don't want to comment on what someone else should or should not be doing. (Maybe we can talk more in email)

Third, I looked at the IPCC and I'm not seeing how they are passing themselves off as scientists. It even says on their webpage that they don't do any research. It seems they collect other research and help to advise government agencies around the world on policy decisions affecting climate. Regardless, there is funding behind everyone, and everything these days is suspect to ulterior motive. So let me end with this last point to anyone who is following this post.

Don't believe anything I say. I mean that. Don't believe anything I say or what anyone else says (the news, friends, neighbors, etc). Do your own research. Look at the issues, then look behind the issues. Gather all the information you can and decide for yourself. Reality/truth is infinitely more complex than we can ever know or comprehend. The best any of us can do is to look at both sides of the issue (and the sources we trust will be different for each of us) and decide for ourselves.

the t-dawg said...

I'll conclude and say that I hold you in much higher regard than Al Gore. You fervently recycle, utilize public transportation, walk or ride your bike as additional transportation, you have a compost pile, eat local foods...I could go on. You practice what you preach, and THAT is an example of an admirable person.

Love ya.

Heather said...

Thanks, t-dawg!