The Failure of Al Gore: Part Deux
Published on: June 27, 2011
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  • John Barker

    We got a glimpse of the kind of leader the green movement needs in part one. I hope we have a fuller picture later in the series. Gore has broken the hearts of too many good people, but why haven’t knowledgeable people in the movement worked to replace him? What do people in the movement really think of him?

  • nadine

    “A global treaty to meet Mr. Gore’s policy goals isn’t a treaty: the changes such a treaty requires are so broad and so sweeping that a GGCT is less a treaty than a constitution for global government. ”

    That’s not a bug. It’s a feature. I always thought the global apparatus that the greens intended to put into place in order to try to regulate the irregulatable was the whole point of the exercise. One big step further towards global government, with them as our masters.

  • Nick

    Amusing that you mention Kellog-Briand because whenever I discuss Kyoto or future potential Climate Change treaties I always ask how it will be enforced? After being given an answer I continue, if that doesn’t work are you willing to go to war to force countries into line? The answer I always recieve is a determined no, as if that is absurd, but if Climate Change is a cataclysmic threat then it is something worth fighting and dieing to prevent. Much as no-one was willing to fight a war to prevent a war, nor is anyone willing to fight a war to prevent climate change and if you aren’t willing to resort to “the last arguement of kings” then those who are opposed to you will always prevail.

  • Rick Schu

    Well you are good with words. Some words and statements you quote are true, other statements are [false]. If you do not believe in global warming you live in a box. You have eyes but do not see. You have ears but do not hear. Your so smart that your stupid.

  • Frank

    Thoughtful and informative essay on the failure of Mr. Gore to successfully lead the global green movement.

    For Rick Schu: you totally missed the point…totally. Mr. Mead does not argue that global warming does not exist. Rather he presents the case that the global warming movement was doomed to fail because of the impossibility of implementing their proposed solution, to centralize and regulate global economic activity, through the creation of the GGCT mechanism. You really ought to understand what you read before making insulting remarks like “Your [sic] so smart that your [sic] stupid”.

  • Rockyspoon

    John Baker–your assumption that there are knowledgeable people to replace Gore is a falacy simply because their “knowledge” is information about climate science that doesn’t exist. Much of it has been fabricated, misinterpreted, or contrived. The Team defending the Hockey Stick are in a incestuous circle of promulgating each other’s misinformation about past climate and bogus, self-made statistics that derive from one tree (Yamal) and now one beach on North Carolina. If you haven’t read A.W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, you really should. It destroys the graph upon which “climsci” (conjugation of the worst of climate and science) is based. You’ll find it has become a psuedoscience, and perhaps nobody is now willing to be as gullible as Gore and take the helm of a failed science cult.

  • Crewell Hurley

    The sky will stop falling after legacy media withers, all politicians are term-limited, governments are slashed, and giant rent-seekers are banished from government access. Not likely in THIS dimension…

  • Rockyspoon

    To Frank: Yet the root cause for the failure of the global warming movement is that man’s impact on global warming (now arguable since it has leveled off for at least the past decade while that “culprit” CO2 continues to rise unabated) is pretty much negligible, and complete and total elimination of carbon-based energy sources in our lifestyles would be so devastating as to completely be counterproductive. Besides, increases in atmospheric CO2 are way more beneficial than any problems it may cause. Add to that the recent announcement on the commercialization of cold fusion, which has no GHG effluents whatsoever, and there’s little or no reason to pursue time-consuming, expensive, unreasonable, ineffective and arcane means of controlling the gas of life.

  • Drew

    I live in California. We are regulating ourselves and demanding more limitations to impose our own strict “green” rules-even if the Federal government won’t do it. We want 62 mile per gallon gasoline cars. The State leadership is acting as if California can stop global warming on its own. They don’t yet see these steps as impractical or costly. No wonder our employment is down and our economy is in the tank and people are moving elsewhere.

  • David

    Schu: did you read the article? The point Mead is making is that even if global warming is as serious as Gore argues, the solution is unworkable, ignorant of the way nations work, and doomed to failure. That is the barb pointed at you that needs a respsonse– not the same old tired argument about how serious our condition is. Your response here actually makes Mead’s point. Who is the stupid one?

  • JohnR22

    As communism approached its final collapse in the late 1980s, one intellectual theorized that the West’s marxists would simply morph into environmentalists. After all, both movement are utopian, both are fundamentally anti-capitalist, and both seek to impose an all-powerful centralized govt (democratic or not; doesn’t matter) to regulate the most niggling details of our daily lives…in order to achieve utopia.

    And like the marxists, today’s environmentalists resort to name-calling, demoniztion, and demagoguery. After all, it’s all they have because their ideology is utterly bankrupt.

  • stepan

    “Its core tactic to cloak a comically absurd, impossibly complex and obviously impractical political program in the authority of science.”

    Hey, it worked for Obamacare, why wouldn’t it work for a global climate treaty?

  • Larsky

    This is you Rick Schu:

    “Its core tactic to cloak a comically absurd, impossibly complex and obviously impractical political program in the authority of science. Let anyone attack the cretinous and rickety construct of policies, trade-offs, offsets and bribes by which the greens plan to govern the world economy in the twenty first century, and they attack you as an anti-science bigot.”

    Rick, Please be careful when throwing the word ‘stupid’ around’ sometimes it reflects back in the mirror.

  • Mr. Mead rightfully concentrates on Gore as the eponym of the Movement, but a secondary effect is coming into focus.

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that even if I agreed that there was a problem and this was the solution, Gore and co. are not the last people I’d ask to help implement it — because in fact they aren’t even on the list.


  • Sam Timmons

    You give Al Gore more attention than he deserves.

  • Billy Ruff’n

    Several years ago when I began to ponder the issue of global warming I reached a fork in the intellectual road: one path led towards the science and an attempt to answer the question, “How can they (AGW advocates) be so sure?”; the other path led toward the policy and the question, “Is the solution they pose reasonable?”. I went down the “science” path and have learned a lot about weather, climate, atmospheric physics, etc., which is good. What isn’t so good is that years later I and my fellow travelers are still engaged in what seems to be an unwinnable war between “warmistas” and “deniers”. Mr. Mead has taken the other path, and in a few thousand words he has put a stake through the heart of the beast. Hopefully now the beast will die, and we can all move on to more productive pursuits. Bravo, Mr. Mead!

  • MaxMBJ

    While I agree with Dr. Mead about Gore’s failed approach to this whole topic, I fear he is trying not to see the big issue here: science has been hurt badly by this entire scam. The great “consensus of scientists signed on to this thing — literally — showed the world that modern science, the same science that gave us evolution, is driven by things others than objectivity.

    This will hurt the scientific community to come and will set back progress in knowledge acquisition.

  • Luke Lea

    Good job. By looking past the scientific debate to the economical and policy dimensions of the issue you show why the greens greeted Bjorn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist with such hysteria. That was to first tip off to me that something was rotten in Denmark.

    That the AGW movement is an intellectual substitute for Marxism seems right: same people, same motivation. And same naivete.

    The moral defense of capitalism is still a problem however. A terrible human price was paid to build the modern world. Without capital there could be no capitalism, yet capital itself is the accumulated crime and sacrifice of centuries, plus interest. The financial chicanery surrounding the current meltdown is only the latest chapter in that long and sorrowful history. The redemption of evil is a hard concept to swallow outside a Judeo-Christian world view, which of course is alien to 20th century intellectual elites. Hence the vulnerability of our civilization to radical critiques.

    On a more frivolous note Rockyspoon makes an interesting comment: “Besides, increases in atmospheric CO2 are way more beneficial than any problems it may cause. Add to that the recent announcement on the commercialization of cold fusion, which has no GHG effluents whatsoever, and there’s little or no reason to pursue time-consuming, expensive, unreasonable, ineffective and arcane means of controlling the gas of life.”

    Who’s side are you on, Rockyspoon? 🙂

  • Buzz Belleville

    I’ve enjoyed the first two parts of this series, as I enjoyed Gore’s piece in the Rolling Stone. Gore rightfully predicted in that piece that the MSM would take his qualified criticism of Obama out of context and turn it into headlines. He knows, I think, that he’s been marginalized to a large degree. He has zero ability to convince skeptics, and has become redundant and even somewhat of a liability for those of us who see AGW as a serious problem. I’ve had the AGW argument with numerous intelliegent lay people of a conservative ideology, and for them it matters a great deal that Gore is a hypocrite in his lifestyle and a “progressive” in his ideology. That his lifesyle and politics have zero relevance to the conclusions of climate science just doesn’t matter to these folks.

    I’ve thought a lot about the appropriate policy prescriptions (and enforcement mechanisms), both from an international treaty perspective and within a comprehensive national scheme. (I teach Sustainable Energy Law). It seems the most logical enforcement mechanism involves some sort of tariffs. And an international treaty needs to work backwards from national policies rather than create them.

    A federal policy that implements a revenue-neutral carbon tax (taxes based on carbon content at every wellhead, mine and point of entry, with direct refunds of all amounts collected to American consumers) is my first choice. But that would have to be coupled with tariffs on imports from countries that do not have a comparable carbon pricing mechanism. In that vein, an international treaty would amend GATT and/or specifically allow the imposition of such tariffs, and provide some framework for reporting and monitoring and quantifying each nation’s reduction efforts. Such a treaty could still have grandiose statements about the threat we face, ambitious goals for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels, technology sharing, and financial assistance to developing countries for adaptation and land use matters. But I just can’t logically see how such a treaty can have enforceable emission limits for each nation.

    My two cents.

  • Tim

    Ric Schu: Are you really quoting the Bible to defend the “science” of global warming? Is this serious or is a joke?

  • AlHubb

    A very well-written article that dealt with the complexity of the issue without getting into the “hot button” topics that set people off and make them froth at the mouth. Also, with one or two exceptions, some thoughtful responses…. As for me, I wonder what the tactic will be in a few years when global cooling begins.

  • Right on all accounts: The problem isn’t the science, it’s the strategy. And it’s a complete failure. So it’s surprising that the gren elite don’t adopt the LMAD plan instead.

    We DO need a carbon tax to move the economy from fossil fuels to green energy BUT obviously the GOP (or even the Dems in the Senate) will never let it happen.

    We also need limit on the size of government (as a % of GDP) BUT Democrats will never let it happen.

    We need a tough but compassionate resolution on the plight of illegal immigrants BUT the GOP will never let it happen.

    And we need a resolution on the debt issue and a balanced budget…

    We need Healthcare-for-all (with a public option). ..

    We need rational taxation based on consumption NOT production to juice the economy…

    What we need is LMAD… Healthcare-for-All? It’s in there. Balanced budget? It’s in there. Carbon tax? It’s in there. Rational taxation? Amnesty? Border Security? Limited government? Social Security and Medicare solvency? It’s all in there; it’s all paid for and it’s all optimized.

    It’s time for American Progressives concerned about rising temperatures, health care for all and illegal immigration and American Conservatives concerned about rising federal debt, bigger government and rational taxation to quit navel gazing and realize the obvious: they need to BUY each other off in order to effectively address their pet ideological concerns—there is no other way. This means trading things like a carbon tax, healthcare for all (with a public option) and amnesty for a balanced budget, strict limited government (tied to GDP) and an end to the corporate income tax plus other tax reforms. This plan is outlined at

    Progressives and Conservatives are actually making the same apocalyptic arguments albeit on different issues. They both make good arguments for action. But the public is yawningly uninterested in global warming for instance and unwilling to make the hard choices on America’s fiscal problems. Buying off the opposition is the American way so use the system we have to get the outcome you want

    Google LMADster for more info.

  • Mike Constitution

    Nothing has happened as predicted.

    None of the models have provided correct forecasts.

    None of the “science” is settled.

    The anthropogenic climate change movement is just another leftist power grab that is anti-liberty, anti-Western, and anti-capitalist.

    Please go away and leave us alone so we can do the hard work of creating the wealth you so despise (and depend on, heh).

  • Ron,PhD

    Gore’s latest “solution” (depopulation) has been already extensively and thoroughly discussed. Even Ted Kaczynski in his “Industrial Future and It’s Future” makes a fuller case for depopulation.

    Kaczynski’s manifesto at least makes an attempt at being logical. The fruits of his ideas were death for some.

    Is Gore heading in the same direction? Most likely, but he is one man. It remains to be seen if his acolytes will wake up.

  • Stewart

    Buzz Belleville: your “revenue neutral” carbon tax looks a lot like the efficiency machine cartoon in this article. So you raise taxes at the wellhead, raising for example the price of natural gas from $4 to $6. Then you take the $2 you collected and give it back to the consumer so they are still paying $4. Of course, in reality, depending on which party is in power, that $2 won’t go back evenly to every consumer, but will be diverted to special classes. Further, the ultimate result is economic contraction, which disproportionately affects the poor, thus requiring further subsidization from the rich and further economic contraction. Why don’t you just let us pull the wallet out of our pockets without your worthless contraption.

  • limboaz

    Beautifully written article with one exception. I think the science behind global warming is weaker than you let on, both in terms of the actual amount of warming that is occuring and also in terms of attributing the claimed warming to man’s activities. The science is littered with bogus statistical methods, cherry picking, bias, suppression of opposing viewpoints, constant and questionable “adjustments” of raw data, and an over reliance on computer modelling, to name but a few of the problems.

  • JerryGarcia

    All you need to know you can learn by looking at how Algore lives. If he REALLY REALLY believed what comes out of his sewer would he live the way he lives? If he REALLY believed the planet was in imminent danger he would make significant changes to his lifestyle … but he doesn’t does he?

  • seven degrees

    The article is too long for such a boring subject as Al Gore. It’s really quite simple: the science was wrong, Goldman Sachs stood to gain billions in brokers fees, Emmelt of GE bet the farm on wind turbines, the EPA stood to destroy capitalism happily, crooked scientists gained millions in “research” money, the UN salivated over “world govt.” & Gore needed something to do. Period.

  • Cranios

    Rick Schu: 1) The issue of global warming is not whether the globe is warming, or not; instead it is the question of why it might be warming (if it even is warming). The polar ice cap on Mars is also melting – is that because of man-induced activity?

    You wrote: “Your (you’re) so smart that your (you’re) stupid.”
    Your and you’re. Learn the difference.

    You’re so stupid that you’re stupid. Now stop just accepting everything Al Gore and the media tell you, ok?

  • willis

    “A treaty banning war involves monitoring a few easily measurable and generally visible activities.”

    However, those activities may bear an uncanny resemblance to kinetic military activities, which, as we have learned, do not violate the Kellog-Briand treaty or the War Powers Resolution Act.

  • WigWag

    The problem with Professor Mead is that his Jihad against Vice President Gore makes the core of his argument less convincing not more convincing. Mead’s critique of the Greens (including Gore’s leadership on global warming) is largely on target. The problem is that to everyone but a small coterie of Gore bashers (many of whom can be found on the comment pages of Via Meadia) his post is so focused on the venality of Gore that his larger point is obscured not made more resilient.

    In this particular case Mead reminds me of no one so much as the contemptible Maureen Dowd who became obsessed with Gore during his campaign against Bush. She treated us to a number of comments very reminiscent of Professor Mead’s remarks. In one of her New York Times columns she said,

    “Gore is so feminized that he is practically lactating.”

    Bob Somerby of the Daily Howler ( describes how two days before the election in November 2000, Dowd wrote a column imagining a conversation that Gore might have with his “bald spot.”

    “I feel pretty,” her headline said (pretending to quote Gore’s inner thoughts). The moronic Dowd wanted that to be the image that voters carried into the voters’ booth.

    Ann Coulter was even more direct; in a 2000 Hardball interview with Chris Mathews she called Gore “a total fag.”

    I wonder whether Mead agrees with either Dowd or Coulter. Whether he does or not, the tenor of his commentary places his firmly in their company. Attacking the messenger with vigor while attacking the message weakly is something that I would expect from Maureen Dowd or Ann Coulter. Why Mead chooses to emulate them is truly mysterious.

    After spending a good part of the 2000 election ruminating on what Gore’s choice of plaid shirts and turtle necks on the campaign trail said about him as a presidential candidate, the same news media (including Maureen Dowd) that had previously ridiculed him, experienced an epiphany. Like Paul on his way to Damascus they decided that the man they previously thought was a fraud had became a good stand in for the Second Coming. After winning his Nobel Prize and his Oscar, the same news media that decided Gore was a feckless idiot in 2000 decided that, like a caterpillar breaking free of its cocoon, Gore had become the most beautiful butterfly.

    Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Professor Mead that Gore was never as loathsome as his critics suggested or as brilliant as his admirers proclaimed. Instead of conducting his Jihad, Mead would be more convincing if he stuck to the facts.

    The facts are very much on Mead’s side. The science of global warming is far more complex than either global warming critics or advocates are willing to admit. Mead’s comparison with the science of nutrition is an excellent one.

    And by suggesting that the only solution to global warming is multilateral in nature, the Green Movement is signaling what they are really about; increasing the power of forces headquartered at Turtle Bay or even worse, Brussels, at the expense of democratic power operating at the local level.

    Nadine’s comment (#2) gets it exactly right; the “constitution for global government” that Mead alludes to is not a bug in the argument of the Green’s, it’s the point.

    I suspect that for many in the Green Movement the concept of manmade global warming is little more than a convenient excuse for accomplishing what they really want, devolving power to multilateral institutions. Mead is smart, capable and eloquent enough to make this argument without smearing Gore or anyone else.

    That is unless he’s hoping to turn Via Meadia into an online version of the New York Post or Fox News (or MSNBC). It would be a shame if that is his intention. After all, there are plenty of places where we can read the vitriolic comments of Maureen Dowd and Ann Coulter. One would hope that Mead has higher aspirations for his blog than that.

  • Mrs. dT

    I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but it goes something like “Inside every green you’ll find a red.”

    I don’t think that a single world government was an accident; rather, I think that was the goal all along and they just needed a crisis – manufactured, or otherwise.

    But they may have forgotten that it takes ratification of a treaty by Congress, not by the stroke of a pen by a president – and Americans are wise to ceding power to the U.N. – or any other foreign body.

    What’s funny is that they actually thought Americans would be intimidated by the science, or that the fear-mongering of the “end of days” type stuff would actually scare Americans into handing over their wallets in this way. Not.A.Chance. You can say a lot of things about us Americans, about our parochialism, our patriotism, our easy smiles, our simplise, and, yes, our love of making money, but we didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. There is one thing Americans can do really well and that is to smell a rat when it comes to someone who is after our wallets.

    And we smelled a rat with the signing of the Kyoto treaty and ANY treaty that doesn’t require of others what is required of us.

    We refuse to allow our legislators to sign any treaty where WE comply without verification that others comply, where we give money that others do not also give, where we pay the lion’s share, and where we give money to our enemies. It doesn’t matter if it is global warming or global zoology. We’ve wised up over the years. We’ve seen the trickery and we won’t enter into any treaty where we comply and the other signatories leave us out in the cold (pun intended).

    And they actually thought, not just considered, but actually thought that we’d sign a treaty that would eliminate global capitalism? Americans would sign a treaty to eliminate Capitalism? Americans. Not in some fine print, but in the bold print, writ large. That is what Al Gore has been doing all this time.

    Someone other than Bill Clinton was inhaling when they thought Al Gore was important to anyone. There was never any hope of a treaty vote being anything other than 0 to 100 in Congress. And it never will be anything other than that. So who has been fooling who?

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    “To argue with these people about science is to miss the core point. Even if the science is exactly as Mr. Gore claims, his policies are still useless.”

    Exactly right. Gore and his supporters are totally inimical to any kind of conversation whatsoever. They remind me of old-style fire-and-brimstone preachers who thumped the bible constantly and whose answer to every question or challenge was “you will burn in the fires of hell.” You either believe these people or you don’t, there’s no in-between. It’s more like a cult than science or any basis for public policy.

  • Brilliant!
    Ken Haapala, Exec. VP
    Science and Environmental Policy Project

  • Char

    The science isn’t settled. The high priests control the printed word, dictating to the peons/serfs what they want them to believe. It’s not going like they predicted. They’ve even downgraded themselves from GW to climate disruption.

    The climate has always been “disrupted” over the long term, that’s what the statists refuse to believe. Change happens.

    It’s about money, power, control.

    & LMAD? I don’t trust “progressives” at all.

    There will only be 1 option – public or in old terms, “The King.” That usually doesn’t work out so well for the serfs.

  • Jaspk

    To Rick Schu: I fear your eyes have failed you in reading this article. The author does not deny that global warming may indeed be real, but that the global treaty solution is a utopian one that is inherently unworkable. By persisting in this charade, the greens miss any opportunity to achieve meaningful results. Their “I know it all and your stupid if you don’t agree” approach mearly drives people away and is well exemplified by your condencending remarks.

  • Bill Carson

    Rick Schu above says: Well you are good with words. Some words and statements you quote are true, other statements are [false]. If you do not believe in global warming you live in a box. You have eyes but do not see. You have ears but do not hear. Your so smart that your stupid.
    You ain’t too good with words though, Rick. Maybe you could tell what statements in the piece are false as you claim. Or are you so welded to Gore that you think readers should believe you just because you asserted that false statements were made?

  • R. Nixon

    Outstanding article and dead on!!

    And, as pointed out by some posts, do not underestimate the connection between communism and the green movement. The green movement has become a very convenient/safe place for the “far left” to park themselves while they continue to quietly advance their political agenda. After all, who could challege anyone who wraps themself in the green movement flag while pretending to “save the planet”.

  • Anthony

    For related and informative commentary, see Ethan Siegel: “Global Warming Crisis” (Starts with a Bang, Science Blog).

  • Brian

    One aspect of the GGCT that I didn’t see addressed here which always struck me: it ignored requirement 3 (efficiency) and replaced it with urgency (we have to do something NOW, however inefficient, or even that will be for naught.) What do you make of that as a strategy (if we stipulate to 1 & 2, even.)

  • jetty

    The Greens almost succeeded in completely destroying America as we know it (the EPA is still trying). Although they came close, the communists failed again.

    Their next push? Sharia Law (and I’m being serious).

  • Benjamin Norbert

    Meade makes excellent political and geopolitical points, but he is wrong in granting the “greens” an advantage even in terms of the scientific debate. Beyond the fact the Gore et al’s program is a politically sophomoric attempt at a global micro-controlling, economy- and liberty-killing nanny state, the fact is that the science underlying that program has an extremely low probability of being right. “Climategate” aside — that’s about dishonesty in science, not science per se —recent patterns in solar activity and weather, together with their history going back many centuries, indicate it is more likely Earth is headed for a new Maunder-like solar minimum, coupled with a mini-ice age, that that Gore er al’s hysterical predictions are coming true. And in general, taking the long view, the planet’s interglaciation periods (such as the one in which our civilization has blossomed and led into history over the past 10K years or so) are the exception; ice ages are the rule. And I haven’t even discussed the weakness of the evidence that human activities much affect the greenhouse effect on Earth.

  • Paul in Colorado

    Like roosters on dung heaps who believe they make the sun rise, like primitive shamans afflicted by an unsympathetic nature, it seems that our self-appointed betters actually believe that they can control the weather on this planet. In the 1970s they were certain that society would soon collapse due to global cooling, now we are doomed due to global warming, and they are able to switch from one position to the other without a hint of contrition. What has actually collapsed, though, is the public’s belief in their dire predictions and draconian solutions, and for the very same reason that support for the European Union is collapsing – they are both top-down initiatives, with unelected elites lecturing instead of leading, and doing everything in their power to deny the people an opportunity to vote on their proposals. That aristocrats have reservations about democracy is not news, but with the peoples of northern Europe awakening to the fact that their elites are stealing their national wealth and giving it to indolent kleptocrats in southern Europe, their dream of a unified Europe is quickly unraveling, for the simple reason that the people of Europe are anything but unified. With the zeal of the most hard-bitten religious extremists, they actually believe that ordinary people will upend their lives, give up their few comforts, and commit themselves wholeheartedly to the latest cause – whatever it may be today – not because they actually believe in it, and certainly not because they voted for it, but because they’ve been told to by their betters, who believe that should be sufficient. A glance at their own history books, though, should alarm these elitists terribly, and they would be well advised to take note of the fate of extremists who have for too long been disturbing the peace, and find themselves facing the very people who have suffered under their enlightened administration.

  • NikFromNYC

    The LA Times featured cold fusion in ’89 before its debunking. Environmentalists were aghast!
    “It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of “Climate Change Denial”)
    “Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA  Times)
    “It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
    “Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)

    CLIMATEGATE 101: “For your eyes only…Don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone….Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that.” – Phil “Hide The Decline” Jones to Michael  “Hockey Stick” Mann

    Here I present A Global Warming Digest:

    -=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

  • EJM

    Everything Prof. Mead says in this article and the previous one is true. The problem is that it is and was obviously true to even the half-blind at least 4 to 5 years ago. Hence the question arises as to how and why Al Gore and the frantic prophets of global warming doom he was the spokesman for could be taken seriously at all by so many for so long. It is the dissection of the global warmist mania as a case study in the intentional manipulation of governments, policy makers and a neurotic, scientifically and economically innumerate public that is required. Only if the intentions and methods of those who perpetrated this scam are exposed can future ones to which the same anti-western, anti-capitalist, Luddite crowd will inevitably turn next be discredited at the outset– before we all waste time and resources arguing with them on their next willful and fraudulent fantasy.

  • ZZZ

    The most debatable point of the Anthropogenic Global Warming argument is the unexamined assumption that global warming is a bad thing.

    Global warming means that the poles — but not the tropics — will experience most of the warming, and that only the average lows — and not the average highs — of the daily temperature temperature cycle will get warmer.
    How can that be a bad thing?

    If the glaciers retreat, that’s also good. Greenland will once again be green, and the descendants of the Vikings can recolonize the place, as well as Antarctica if they’re in the mood. How can more land for people to live on be a bad thing?

    There is lots of evidence that a warmer earth means smaller deserts. The Sahara desert was much larger during the colder climate of last ice age, and at that time there was a similar desert in the northern part of South America. Now the South American desert is gone and the Sahara is much smaller because much less of the earth’s water is locked away from the hydrological cycle inside glaciers. How can this be a bad thing?

    Environmentalists are blind to this gaping weakness in their argument because they draw most of their acolytes from those who, unconsciously, fear the future and do not want anything major to change, ever. Talk about a lost cause — to state this unconscious ideal consciously is to realize its impossibility.

  • jae

    Awsome analysis!

  • Scott Harris

    I suppose it is normal for Dr. Mead to focus his criticism of Al Gore on the cumbersomeness of the GGCT. That, after all, is Dr. Mead’s particular area of general expertise.

    But what is maddening is that Dr. Mead continues to ignore the scientific fraud that forms the basis for the whole movement. And perhaps, because I am a scientist and engineer, and can easily see the falseness of the scientific basis for the global warming hysteria, my focus is on that subject.

    But while I applaud Dr. Mead’s analysis of the unworkability of the GGCT, and the naivety of most of the greens who reflexively support whatever the latest fad in the religion of environmentalism is, it is vitally important to ferret out the perpetrators of what amounts to a massive fraud. Perhaps, because Dr. Mead is not a scientist, he just doesn’t yet understand the depth of the fraud, or the malevolent nature of those who could not have been ignorant of what they were doing.

    The base fact is: AGW was a theory proven false. To seek and obtain finances and power on the basis of this proven false theoty is and was fraud.

    Once AGW had been proven false, as it was in the early 1990’s, those who continued to seek resources and political power on the basis of known falseness are criminals, and are guilty of hyping false information to scare a large portion of the unscientific world with unrealistic scenarios of environmental Armegeddon.

    And not only that, but even if the theory of AGW was proven true, there was NEVER a valid scientific case for the environmental crisis that was foisted on the ignorant public. EVERY half-way intelligent scientist or engineer marginally familiar with basic scientific systems knows that the earth’s environment is a “negative-feedback” system.

    A Negative-Feedback system like the earth’s climate means that as the earth heats up, more water vapor in the air will produce more cloud cover. More cloud cover will block radiation from the sun reaching the earth’s surface. This blockage will cause the earth to cool, offsetting the warming effect. Conversely, as the earth cools, the water vapor will condense, falling to the earth in the form of precipitation, and reducing the cloud cover. This reduction in the cloud cover will cause more of the sun’s radiation to reach the surface of the earth which then causes it to warm.

    The earth’s environment impels it to adjust to warming trends by creating conditions to cool the earth back down. It also works in reverse. EVERYONE with a minimal level of science and how systems work knows this.

    But the computer models that the pushers (and pushers is the correct term) of AGW used all had positive feedback built into the algorithms. On it’s face, that is eggregious fraud, even if AGW was somehow proven to be true.

    (A similar argument holds true for those who think atmospheric ozone depletion is a global crisis. Many conflate AGW with Ozone Depletion, but in fact these two are different issues entirely. And there is another whole set of absolute lies that forms the foundation of the Anthropocentric Ozone Depletion scam.)

  • Adele

    Thanks, as always, for thorough analysis. I never really bought into the global warming scare, firstly because it felt like I had to join a cult and that annoyed me, and also because I remember we were supposed to have an Ice Age during the 80’s and that never materialized. Then there is the fact of the earth’s temperature constantly going up and down. By being scared into “doing something about global climate change,” it implied there was an ideal temperature and that’s ridiculous.

  • Foobarista

    You can map this back to the failure of the “blue model”; the “GGCT” would be a massive “progressive” device powered by a gigantic, professional bureaucracy, detached from democratic accountability and empowered by a gigantic, ill-defined but all-encompassing mission.

    The fact that many lefties dream about this sort of control structure to impose their wishes on the world means it’s what we call in technology a “solution shopping for a problem”, and after this approach was repudiated as a device for managing social wealth after the fall of Communism, greenies (who are nearly always lefties nowadays) latched onto it as a device for managing the world’s climate and ecology.

  • jason alicea

    Poppycock is the term that should be used for the green community. It is a hoax. The globe cools, it warms, there is zero PROVEN connection to the changes in the tempature being associated with human behavior. Zero. The game has been given away just by the change of the name of the game, it’s no longer global warming but now rather climate change. Well duh, the climate changes. Constantly. Add that to the fact of the extreme rhetoric of catastrophe, the earth being enveloped in water, the glaciers melting (they are not), the polar bears becoming extinct (they are not), extreme weather being caused by “climate change” (it is not), the falsified and simply made up reports proven by the emails that were found amongst the “scientific” community that the earth is in fact cooling AND that the scientists who wrote these emails clearly state they need to make up the figures, PLUS the simple hypocrisy of fools like Gore who live in carbon eating mansions while making literally billions off of phantom carbon trading is all enough when added together to completely show the green movement for what it is, emperors with noclothes.What happened te the earth’s ice age that was coming in the 70’s? Or the end of the earth by such and such a date? All nonsense. it is not the public who is past skeptical of climate change who are dogmatic idealogues, it is the fools who continue to push this green agenda. Wind power and solar power are not viable energy sources, but they certainly are cash cows for enviromentally friendly corporations like GE arent they? Climatehange is like the Easter bunny or Santa Claus, children believe in them. And my spelling erros are typing errors, for the he doesnt believe in cliamte change, look how stupid he is crew.

  • huxley

    Not only did Rolling Stone relegate the Gore polemic to its back pages, but on the RS website about half the commenters excoriated Gore and the AGW cause.

    I’m not sure exactly when — maybe after the failures at Copenhagen or Cancun climate conferences — but the climate change movement has jumped the shark, and its supporters are stuck in the denial and anger stages of the grief process.

  • Randy

    A multi-part evisceration of the Goracle by Dr. M. It’s Christmas in June!

  • I met the Goreacle at a New Orleans cocktail party after he had hung chad but before he globally warmed. He was standing alone being ignored by everyone so we went up and said ‘hi’. He had dandruff.

    It is my fervent hope that Mr. Gore will someday return to this, his best and highest use: alone in a crowded room, flaking.

  • Great article. But I have to disagree with one point: Al Gore didn’t fail.

    He didn’t fail insomuch as his goal was to implant these ideas and this bureaucracy into every penetrable institution — big businesses, academia, the media, and government at all levels, even and maybe especially those levels where the “sustainability mission” is most irrelevant but the endowed activist class has the most time on its hands and is therefore most useful to continue its self-propagation — municipal politics.

    There isn’t a city council in America where “sustainability” isn’t now part of a pricey rubric that gives the least productive members of the loud activist classes the latest justification for their paychecks.

    I don’t mean rational city planning — park beautification, conservation, blight control, air quality, water quality. Those types of projects began in the Seventies and improvements in city living have been the result. They also required real expertise and real work. I’m talking about the new class of activism around global warming/sustainability that contributes nothing but a great deal of talk and expensive conferences and deanships and newspaper advertising touting this or that commitment by GE or the state university system — bull with a dollop of fuzzy internationalism delivered via the politics of demonization of anyone who questions why the city council needs to go on a retreat to talk about global warming when they can’t even figure out how to get garbage pick-up back on track.

    The meaningless and actually aimless activism Gore ushered in is not, despite all this, inconsequential or powerless. It serves the same purpose that endless grim military parades served in the former USSR, or North Korea today. And it is politically useful to the precise degree that it is not scientific or goal-oriented.

    It wouldn’t matter if the entire scientific community came out tomorrow and announced in unison that global warming is not real: the Tribbilification of sustainability politics, and its march through the institutions, is complete.

  • Matt

    As usual, WRM delivers a knockout blow with devastating clarity and eloquence.

    The public would do well to remember (or learn) that when Kyoto Protocol ratification was brought before the Senate in the late 1990s the vote was quite memorable. It was 95-0. Against.

    That is to say that just after the (supposedly) hottest year on record that this sweeping template for things to come could not even muster a single vote from a single Senator of any political stripe is absolutely telling. Joe Biden was among them. Famous Liberals like Feingold and Sanders could not muster a “yeah” vote. Quite revealing indeed.

    Even the believers never quite believed. The record proves it definitively. The most recent decade would do little to cure this lack of faith as the Earth seemingly cooled and 19 of 20 of the UN models failed to predict actual temperatures within even a paltry confidence interval of 95%.

    The regions that were said to be afflicted with 50 million climate refugees by this year instead have seen above average population growth by global standards. It is rare to get a prediction wrong by 180 degrees, when the exact opposite occurs. Rare indeed.

    This is, of course, why Global Warming morphed in to Climate Change. Temperature rise was discarded as the preferred metric and instead we were to focus on weather variability as measured by “extreme” weather events. This new re-branding and fear marketing program was so cynical that Orwell himself could not have predicted something like it.

    Now we are heartened to learn that despite the rash of Tornadoes in the US (which are actually caused by seasonally cold air) that global cyclonic activity is at a 33 year low.

    That is correct. They have nearly managed to do it again–get a prediction EXACTLY wrong. Usually the prediction fails to happen, and something muddled or indecisive occurs.

    …in this case the hypothesis is rejected with stunning and devastating clarity.

    Is it me, or does a pattern seem to be emerging?

    Excellent work WRM!

  • MJ

    As with all other so-called ‘movements’ throughout history, the Green movement is about two simple things: money and power. The Greens have attempted the first velvet revolution since the fall of the iron curtain and failed … miserably. In the meantime, a select group has become quite wealthy (AlGore) and others have found reliable employment for most of their adult lives. The smart money is on countries like China and India who were able to advance significantly in the world economy — despite the inequities of their cultures — because, in part, the Western world was listening to the likes of AlGore and his bought-and-paid-for “scientists”, rather than realizing that the iPad and iPhone they cherish was built by defacto slave labor.

  • Danram

    Sorry, Walter. You came to the right conclusion but for all the wrong reasons. Yes, the global warming movement is dead. But the reasons for its decline have far less to do with Al Gore’s falures of leadership than they do with the simple fact that a clear majority of the public has now figured out what a shameless scam and naked money grab by the left the whole thing has been all along.

    150 years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were about 300 parts per million. Today, they are about 380 parts per million. The total increase in CO2 is therefore 80 ppm. Divide 80 by 1,000,000 and you come out with 0.00008. Convert that to percentage terms and you come out with 0.008%.

    That’s 8/1000ths of 1 percent, gang. So mankind, after doing his fossil fuel-burning worst for 150+ years, has only succeeded in altering the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere by a paltry 8/1000ths of 1 percent.

    Anyone who seriously believes that this kind of miniscule increase in the amount of a trace gas in the atmosphere can, in and of itself, cause the glaciers to retreat and the seas to rise is smoking crack.

    Thankfully, the general public has finally figured out the con.

  • uncleFred

    The problem with attacking GGCT or cap and trade as unworkable and ineffective is that none of the proponents care how unworkable and ineffective these “solutions” actually are. You will merely invoke the next response of the left “Well we have to do SOMETHING.”

    In any even, the case for AGW is simply not sufficiently proven to justify anything beyond continued study. The first step of which is start with raw data and models in a completely transparent process where opponents and proponents are equally welcome to participate in peer review and open discussion. Science is NOT consensus, it is about provable reproducible results.

  • hondr

    The alarmist models are junk, proven so.

    The scientific peer review process has been perverted, and it will be decades before anybody takes the alarmists seriously.

    The actions recommended by the alarmists are disjointed, unproductive and unachievable, and are thus severed from all reality.

    Thus, as the blogger mentions, the alarmists have cut their own throat. If there is a real problem here, they have only succeeded in making its ready identification an impossibility.

    Fortunately, we have some several decades to consider whether this is a true problem, after the alarmist stink wears off and we get to work, with a proper application of the scientific method and some joined up thinking in the governmental realm.

  • Lawrence

    I seriously doubt that provided the U.S. follows its constitution to the letter no agreement will ever bind ,nor should it to any world agreement that interferes with its’ soveriegnty.The people of the should not allow anyone in Washington to give this up for them. This whole scam is a means obtaining power, control,and money by the governing elites and their cronies.

  • Mr Congeniality

    Those of you knocking WRM for not addressing the “science” behind global warming, err, climate change are missing the point. His point is (to paraphrase somewhat) that Al Gore is a fat, useless parasite. And now he’s failed at even that. WRM makes his case quite well, imho.

    I’ve met him twice (he’s quite short, 5’7″ or so, though he claims 6’1″). The first time at an event in the early 90’s. The second time at Union Station in New York after he lost to Bush the Second. He was going up the escalator with a single NYPD officer. He had gained significant weight and grown a beard. I was headed down. Because I didn’t like him when I met him, and my instincts were confirmed with his abominable behavior in 2000, I decided to withhold my customary congeniality and said “wow Al, you’ve really gotten fat” as we passed. He looked startled and the NYPD officer pretended not to hear me.

    The larger and more disturbing question is why anybody ever paid any attention to such a buffoon?

    Bill Reeves: funny comments
    Buzz Bellville: “I’ve had the AGW argument with numerous intelligent lay people of a conservative ideology…the conclusions of climate science just doesn’t matter to these folks.” You’re talking the wrong lay people. The weakness and outright fabrications in the “science” have been a conservative topic for at least two years now.

    The frightening aspect of this is that while “government” broadly defined has failed at virtually all of its assigned and expropriated tasks — promoting a stable currency, defending our borders, enforcing order and laws in our cities, winning the “drug war”, winning the “war on poverty”, making us all eat healthier diets (nod to WRM on this), making every family in the US homeowners, peace in the middle east, building functional democracies in countries populated by entirely by bronze age illiterates — huge swaths of society still finds it perfectly plausible that these same governments can effectively manage the weather.

    Is there ANY amount of demonstrated government failure that can shake these people’s confidence in government’s ability to solve (perhaps imaginary) problems? Given such confidence placed in organizations that consistently deliver failure, maybe it makes sense they’d choose such an obvious failure to lead them on this next windmill-tilting.

  • John

    You make the mistake of believing that Al Gore wants to “save the planet”. He does not.

    Al Gore wants what all men want, power and money. He also craves the celebrity of being known as The Man Who Saved Earth rather than the historical footnote of the guy who insisted on a Florida recount and lost anyway.

    He fancies himself as some kind of Gaia Ghandi; some selfless nobleman who set the world right.

  • spoofproof

    Mr. Mead claims that the real issue is NOT climate science?? Excuse me, but if the scientific data had been rock solid and unassailable the deal would have been done because DEATH is a strong motivator. No widespread death from the fantastic horror of AGW = failure of this cheap Leftist Scam. In this modern era, successful Leftist movements have depended on plenty of death for their success. Modern liberalism specializes in Horror & Death. Modern liberalism is the vilest worldview ever conceived.

  • Peter Dellas

    Wig Wag managed to weave into his anti-Mead polemic the 2000 election (that would be a George W. Bush inference), Ann Coulter, Fox News, homophobia (inferred) and jihad, then season the brew with Maureen Dowd, MSNBC and Chris Matthews–perhaps in order to feign some sense of balance.

    Though you sprinkle a few kind words in there Mr. Wag, how many of the eggs in a dozen-egg omelette can be rotten before YOU wouldn’t eat it? Even one?

    Professor Mead, you wrote another great piece, sir.

  • FergalR

    The green movement’s core tactic is not to “hide the decline” or otherwise to cook the books of science.

    Dear professor – that is their precisely their core tactic. Climatology’s peer-review has been hijacked by a hockey-team sized coterie of charlatans.

    Dangerous warming has achieved falsification by the standards of all but post-normal science.

  • aallison

    Another masterly treatise. Thank you Prof. Mead for bring intellectual rigor to the issues of the day. That said, I wonder if perhaps you spell checker replaced political with polite in: “Like the Club of Rome, Y2K, the Iraq Study Group and President Obama’s management of the Middle East peace process it is something polite people try not to think about. This is why Al Gore is less visible than he used to be, and his views are less eagerly sought: the polite world and its ready handmaid the press know Gore has failed but does not want to think or write about why.”

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Thanks for the kind words. “Polite” was the word I intended to use.

  • -spawn44

    The left had the AGW argument pretty much to themselves until the release of the climategate emails, which opened up the eyes of the average person to the political fraud that was taking place, by the socialist environmental democrats, right under their noses. Your articles highlights another aspect that I had not really thought of before. Which is how the socialist infested democrat party was so easily led by the nose into buying into this fantasy. I think a great change must occur in 2012.

  • Mike S

    Forget about climate change and Al Gore. I am concerned about energy security and a cleaner environment for my kids. Went for a walk in a forest I last visited 20 years ago – it was decimated. Ok, could be a fluke but friends in other parts of the world are telling the same story. Why not exploit off-shore nuclear – it’s called solar energy and the USA has a huge lead in solar technology – PV, CSP and CPV. Let’s mobilise…

  • DJ Cox

    OK, so his science for wanting change is sound: If we don’t reduce global carbon emissions we will lose the free ecosystem services we receive from a functioning planet and it will be hard to sustain any sort of civilization; that much is very clear despite what most of the resident climate change denying commentators here say. My question is: what would be a better policy? Certainly, there must be many other better policies so, let’s move the conversation there, please.

  • Dear Walter,

    What do you propose doing with the emerging population that wants what we in the West have in terms of mobility, big consumption patterns and huge carbon footprints? If they end up living as we do surely the biosphere will crack and fade.

  • mike whelan

    Great witty sane essay .

  • Luke Lea

    Testimony on climate change to Congressional Science Committee:

    “The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts of (1) a substantive long-term rise in global mean temperatures in the absence of regulations, (2) serious net harmful effects due to global warming, and (3) cost-effective regulations that would produce net beneficial effects versus alternatives policies, including doing nothing.”

  • russ in nc

    There is nothing that can convince me that my lifestyle is killing the Earth. I suspect the Earth neither knows nor cares whether the human race thrives or expires.

  • Steve

    THANK YOU for posting this! I’m very glad I found your blog!!

    Common Cents

  • Robert

    Failure! How much is this dufus worth? He’s laughing all the way to the bank.

    A guy that never had a real job now worth 10s of millions of dollars.

  • wally

    I have been a voracious consumer of political commentary and blogs for around a dozen years. It is shocking how much value Walter Russell Mead has added to this community in such a short time.

  • Mister Mike

    Truly, an excellent article & the points about Gore are impossible to dispute. That said, what if he is proven right, & the worst case climate change scenarios come to pass? What then? To deny that humans are NOT impacting the planet (& negatively) is to make like the proverbial ostrich. Travel the world a little bit & spend some time in the many developing world “megalopolises” & some of you might finally get it. Go diving in SE Asia & see how reefs that were healthy 3 years ago are dead now. Go to India & look for one of the 1500 tigers they (think) they have left. Fly to China & take a look at the 10 year drought/one month flood cycle most of the country is experiencing (& which has never been recorded before in 4,000+ years of Chinese history). Climate change is real (not “poppycock”), it is happening now as we dither about, & the odds of any of the conserquences being positive are about the same as the odds of the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup in 2012. Which is to say, slim to none.

  • Charles Higley

    “Once the argument moves to science it goes into complex and tricky terrain from which the broad lay public will draw only uncertain conclusions. Gore does not win the scientific argument as decisively as he would like”

    What is not said here is that Gore NEVER debates or argues the science as he refuses to do so in public. If there is as argument, it is simply his propaganda pieces that he releases and then the skeptics put our their responses.

    There is not argument to win in that there is never two people arguing. The false perception that there is a debate or argument presupposes that there are two sides, each with some merit. Gore’s side’s real science does not exist, only that junk science produced by a small coven of fully loyal to the cause “climate scientists” and those who are sorely misinformed.

    This article is very good, but does not address the origin of the junk science construct that led to the false conclusion that there is anything to do at all about man’s CO2 activities as they effect climate.

    Being a false, it underlines how far those who want to fundamentally restructure the human world will go to attempt to achieve their goals. There is nothing at all in the GGCT that has the welfare of the people of the world or the natural world in mind.

  • Lark

    Mr. Mead suggests warmism failed because the solution couldn’t work. But that’s the point – if it worked there wouldn’t be money in it.
    AGW looked to governments like yet another great “for the children” scam – big money for crony businesses, big money for obstructionist lawyers, big money for corrupt politicians, big money for parasitic NGOs, …and titanic money for government bureaucrats. And all unaccountable money, since anyone who was against what our adorable ruling class was doing with it would be against children and the very future of the planet!1!!11!eleventy!!
    Only they came up against Thatcher’s Law – they ran out of other people’s money.

  • Kozlowski

    Mister Mike:

    You are right. THOSE are the issues we should be focused on, not questionable attempts to “control” the climate. Imagine how much further ahead we would be with all the other REAL environmental issues if we had not blown the multi trillion dollar science project of the century. We might be able to address some of those issues that concern me as well. Sadly while most of the ‘elites’ chatter about something non-existent, many urgent issues simply are ignored.

    BTW you are dead wrong on the weather in China not being seen in 4000 years. Thats plain silly. Extreme weather is normal and part of our weather system – always was, always will be. Somewhere is always setting records because there are so many ‘somewheres.’


  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    WOW Walter you’re getting linked by Instapundit, RealClearPolitics, Polipundit, as well as others. Congradulations! I also see that the number of comments per article is growing, so your traffic must be way up.
    Finally, I will say it again, Global Warming will become known as the Greatest Scientific Fraud in human history. The scientists that took grant money, should be charge with crimes against humanity.

  • Chris Korvin

    The dogs barked and the caravan moved on.

  • mike

    Global warming was always the “tail” for Al Gore, the “dog” was making a fortune out of trading the air we breathe.

    One of the oldest sayings in history when referencing being scammed by a company or government is to say “Next they will be charging us for the air we breathe”.

    Well Al Gore can be credited with managing to be the first to genuinely do that and in doing so, pulled off the biggest financial scam in history. How we or the people that govern us allowed anyone to scam the public in such a degrading junk science manner is something that we have to learn from and never allow happen again. Al Gore should be in jail.

    Not since snake oil has there been a less scientific kind of crime against the masses.

    Al Gore will go down is history as the world’s greatest snake oil man.

  • Arch

    There is no evidence that CO2 is causing global warming.

    The computer models used by the IPCC to predict warming have been invalidated. Input actual CO2 data and compare results to measured temperatures; the models don’t work.

    The data used to construct the IPCC climate models were cherry picked and altered. Of the 90,000 data sets available, one was selected for the 19th century and only 12 for the 20th. Even these had to be adjusted by IPCC climate scientists.

    Step one in this research should be an accounting of solar radiation. None was done. The assumptions used violate the first and second laws of thermodynamics and do not comply with the physical chemistry characteristics of carbon dioxide molecules.

    Even if Gore is correct, there is nothing man can do about atmospheric CO2. 95.2% comes from the nature – warming oceans, decaying biomass and respiration. Only 3.57% are due to fossil fuels.

    Bad models, bad data, bad science and no effective solution.

  • ice9

    So he’s wrong. Except that he’s right. Mead takes 3,000 words to say…well, nothing. Gore’s right about climate change, but he’s a weenie so we’re right to lie, cheat, and steal over climate change, and use the fact that Gore’s wrong about climate change to paint him a weenie, which he is because he is boring and lost the election, which he actually won, and the guy that lost was a complete disaster by the way, so the weenie is wrong even though the weenie isn’t really a weenie because he isn’t really wrong.

    Do I have that right?

    Oh, and I (Mead, that is, not the weenie) won’t quite say that Gore is wrong on climate change, it’s just that I hate him and I can’t admit that folks I hate are right about the things other people I love say he’s wrong about. Then, of course, 90% of the commenters declare unequivocally that Gore’s wrong, that there is no climate, or change, or even if he’s right, we can’t do anything about it because Gore is right but the anthropogenic change wasn’t caused by the anthros but by cows, which aren’t people, so ha!

    Plus, Love Canal and the Internet, which weren’t baseless smears by CeCe but windows into the soul of the candidate.


    Coherent as always.

    “Conservatives: we govern by demonstrating how the other guy is unfit to govern.”


  • Fat Albert

    Just how, HOW could yo betrAAAAAAAAAAAAAY ME???????

  • DJ

    So, do most of you really think that all of these scientists are lying about climate change or are being bamboozled by their colleagues? How likely is that?

    Are these the same scientists that go all around the world burying bones in the shapes of these fake things called dinosaurs?

    I don’t get it. Understanding that all the CO2 we put out has a warming effect on the planet doesn’t make you some tree hugging commie pinko. Fact: 1 burnt gallon of gasoline produces 19 lbs of carbon dioxide. Think that may have something to do with melting glaciers during a period with zero solar activity?

  • turnages


    > There is no evidence that CO2 is causing global warming.

    We know the CO2 is going up. We also know the average temperatures are increasing. The 10-year average for 2000-2009 was 0.16 C higher than the 10-year average for 1990-1999, which in turn was 0.21 C higher than the 10-year average for 1980-1989.

    Of course, CO2 isn’t the only thing that affects the temperature short-term. Year-to-year correlations with average temperature are not expected. There is too much superimposed noise from ENSO cycles, volcanic dust, sunspot variations etc. For example, in 1998 ENSO/El-Nino pushed the 12-month average 0.2 C above trend, in 2009/10 the cycle was a La Nina and pushed it 0.15 C below trend.

    Over decades, however, these other effects even out and the upward trend is clearly evident.

    Have a look at the graphs on this page:

    which shows forecast versus actual average temperatures for recent decades, and a forecast up to 2020. It also has a candid description of the discrepancies of previous forecasts, which, although they affected certain regions, did not in general push the global averages outside the 90% confidence limits plotted on the graph. The one
    exception to this was the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, which contributed substantial cooling for two years.

    >The computer models used by the IPCC to predict warming have been invalidated.

    Not so. If you use them correctly, and don’t drive them beyond their limits, they have a very useful place. See the discussion in the linked page above.

    > The data used to construct the IPCC climate models were cherry picked and altered.

    Shock, horror. If we look into the matter more closely though, we find that the datasets were picked according to their quality/consistency track record, not whether they would give the warmest results. Yes, there were alterations, so that like could be compared with like. Some temp stations took their readings at noon, some just recorded max and min in 24 hours, some had this and some had that type of thermometer, some were down near the coast and others were way inland. Some stations, again, were re-sited partway through their record, so OF COURSE the data had to be sifted and cleaned. Would you have preferred garbage in so you could then sneer at the garbage out?

    Anthony Watts industriously gathered info on shortcomings of many temperature measuring stations. It turned out, however, that it made no significant difference to the average warming calculation whether they were included or excluded. If anything, including the bad stations gave a COOLER answer than otherwise.

    > Step one in this research should be an accounting of solar radiation. None was done.

    You are again mistaken. It has been continuously observed over the last three decades via satellite. See .

    > Even if Gore is correct, there is nothing man can do about atmospheric CO2 …Only 3.57% are due to fossil fuels.

    You are a factor of ten out. Since 1850, the CO2 concentration has increased from under 300 to nearly 400 ppm. And if the ocean hadn’t been there to dissolve most of the new CO2 from fossil burning, it would have been a lot higher still.

    And as far as effective solutions are concerned, Gen 3/Gen 4 nuclear power has the ability to supply massive energy without CO2. I think it’s worth a wholehearted try.

  • Boritz

    Can those of you who are the smart science majors answer a Reading Comprehension question similar to what might be found on the SAT Exam

    Q: What is the author’s main point in the article?
    a. Man-made global warming is not taking place.
    b. Al Gore is a hypocrite.
    c. Bush’s economic policies hurt the poor.
    d. Al Gore is not a credible leader for the green movement.

    Answer: d
    This is not even remotely a science issue. Those of you who left posts saying the author had not made his case with scientific data fail.

  • teapartydoc

    Another bubble has burst. I criticized Dr Mead for even talking about Gore in my last post here, but I see from this Part Two bit that he was planning to raise the discussion to implied broader consequences of do-gooder political activity and the interplay that goals and desires have with practical considerations and practical politics. These are actually cautions for all of us because I suspect many if not all of us have in our minds solutions that we consider to be silver bullets for certain issues. If we could only get enough people to understand a major change could be effected, and our country would be a better, perhaps safer, place to live. Like the man from La Mancha, we spend precious blood and treasure chasing down our windmills and trying to preserve the purity of damsels long lost to the pleasures of the world, in a figurative sense. Good lesson.

  • DLS

    The judge concluded “I have no doubt that Dr Stott, the Defendant’s expert, is right when he says that: “Al Gore’s presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.”

    The judge referred to “errors” in quotes because the plaintiffs were claiming scientific “errors”, which were actually points of difference between the film and the IPCC report and so should be discussed in class.

  • Gibbs303

    For those of you who think that the climatologists are “in on it”, that Climategate proves they are cooking the books to fool us rubes…

    They aren’t trying to fool us; it is themselves they are trying to fool.

    In the second half of the 16th century, astronomy found itself in rather dire straits; the Ptolemaic, or terra-centric view of the universe still ruled, but it was increasingly difficult to match observation against theory; data sets were constantly having to be ‘tweaked’ or ‘tuned’. Copernicus had offered an alternative, but his theory had its own faults which wouldn’t get resolved until Kepler had shown that the planets orbit in ellipses, not perfect circles. In addition, it is very difficult, even for a supposedly neutral scientist, to give up the paradigm, or guiding theory, that they have spent their entire professional lives working under.

    This is the same position that climatology finds itself in now.

    Hopefully, it won’t take a full century before they give up their ‘Ptolemaic’ universe…

  • Mietopol

    Brilliantly written! Oh if only i could write like this the green movement would’ve been wiped out by this tsunami of defeat long time ago. My view is totally in line with this articles ( part one and deux) and i have posted hundreds of tweets on this subject. The response have been dismal at best. Now i am vindicated. Thank You.

  • Carbonicus

    As usual, a cold, calm, reasoned and fantastic assessment by a great writer.

    Rand and Simon and many others warned us this was coming, as much as 40 years ago. We stood by and watched a slow procession of eco-Armageddonists, from Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren, to Al Gore, James Lovelock, Amory Lovins, James Hansen, and now Holdren again (as Obama “science czar”) advance the misanthropic, de-industrialization, de-population, anti-capitalism, collectivism agenda, under the green cloak of “saving the planet and humanity”, from one eco-crisis after another that never happened, and from which neither the planet nor humanity needed saving.

    The green chickens are coming home to roost, to borrow from Reverend Wright. Those of us who write on this topic and point out the eco-socialist insanity and their true purpose/agenda are doing humanity a service for which we seek no compensation, no “thank you”, but for which history will thank us, profusely. As long as we win this battle.

    If not, humanity will suffer so profoundly we will have bigger problems than thanking those who tried to stop eco-socialism, or damning those who advocated and implemented it.

    If you are not familiar with the concept of the “environmental kuznets curve”, I suggest you become familiar with it. Having done so, I hope you are able to make the connnection between long-term envirommental improvement and economic development, as well as the converse.

  • Mike Power

    Bravo, Monsieur Meade! The evisceration of Al Gore and his ilk is long overdue and greatly appreciated.

    Love the “…cover of the Rolling Stone…” remark 🙂

  • WigWag

    The really unfortunate thing about this post and the previous one is that the erudite and eloquent Professor Mead is following along the same path travelled by so many media elites; he conflates the messenger with the message. While ordinary Americans are concerned about jobs, the future prosperity of their children, a clean and safe environment and maintaining the greatness of America, media (both new and old) on all sides of the political spectrum insist on dumbing down the conversation by assigning an out-sized role to the personalities and peccadilloes of political leaders. Thus the story becomes about Bill Clinton’s enormous id or Barack Obama’s secret longing for Islam or Sarah Palin’s daughter and her child with a man she has not married or the size of the charge account at Tiffany’s maintained by Newt Gingrich’s wife. In today’s world all of this nonsense is covered by the press with far more attention than the content of what these leaders actually say or the consequences of decisions that they have made in the past. It must surely be a sign of the apocalypse that a commentator as astute as Professor Mead has chosen to cast his lot with the nincompoops who want to make American political discourse more idiotic not more intelligent. The classy thing for him to do would be to apologize for writing a post about Gore that is as silly as the Fox News coverage of Obama or the New York Times’ coverage of Sarah Palin.

    And isn’t this a rather bizarre statement for the pied piper of populism to make?

    “That Al Gore’s definitive statement on the crisis of the climate change movement appeared in the back pages of Rolling Stone magazine rather than in a more prominent and prestigious location is one sign of the decline in his reputation. At the peak of the climate change movement, such an essay might have appeared in Foreign Affairs…”

    It’s easy to understand Professor Mead’s affection for “Foreign Affairs;” he’s published many truly brilliant articles there and until recently he derived part of his living from the Council on Foreign Relations which owns the magazine. But his most recent article in “Foreign Affairs” was about the role of the Tea Party in shaping America’s view of the world. Mead suggested that politicians who ignore Jacksonian instincts held by large numbers of the American people do so at their peril. He makes a habit of regularly ridiculing foreign policy realists for their belief that the shaping of foreign policy should be left to the Mandarins and should be immune from the common sense inclinations of the American people.

    Why then does Mead think that “Foreign Affairs” would have been a better venue for Gore’s ideas than “Rolling Stone?” As he surely knows, “Foreign Affairs” has a miniscule circulation (about 170,000) and is read mostly by those with a special interest in international affairs; how many of the Jacksonian populists whose virtues he regularly extols actually read the magazine that he has long been associated with? “Rolling Stone” has a circulation of approximately 1.5 million (about 9 times the circulation of “Foreign Affairs”); which of the two magazines does Mead think the average American is more likely to read?

    One possibility is that despite his penchant for praising the wisdom of average Americans, Mead thinks that Gore would be better advised to pitch his message to the more elite audience (that includes him) which reads “Foreign Affairs” regularly

    But perhaps Gore is smarter than Mead on this subject. Maybe what Gore knows is that the community of Mandarins who rush to read the new issue of “Foreign Affairs” as soon as it is published is already convinced that manmade global warming is a real phenomenon that should be addressed using precisely the multilateral strategies he prefers. Maybe Gore knows that in the elite world, Mead’s view is like a voice in the wilderness and he’s already converted most members of this world to his point of view. Maybe it’s not the Mandarins like Mead who Gore feels he needs to convert but the vast number of typical Americans who are far more likely to read “Rolling Stone” than “Foreign Affairs.”

    Its fine that Mead prefers to hobnob with the prestigious Board of Directors of CFR than with Jann Wenner and colleagues who created the media empire that includes “Rolling Stone.” But isn’t Mead guilty of precisely the same hypocrisy that he accuses Gore of, when on the one hand he champions the average American but then criticizes Gore for publishing his article in a periodical that they are likely to read?

  • JLK

    There goes Wig Wag again pompously splitting hairs and navel gazing to sound serious and loaded with gravitas by expending 300 words on a 25 word argument.

    Replies of this ilk always remind me of government’s propensity to turn a 20 page policy paper into 1500. Wordy arguments always give me a suspicion that something we won’t like is being hidden or that the author is in love with his own brilliance.

    When standard commentary is written about AGW, the feedback invariably degenerates into the angels-on-a-pin useless shouting matches with loads of scientific jargon but in reality flogging the same old unprovable arguments ad nauseum.

    So thank you Dr Mead for taking a different approach to the “Fall” of the Green Movement.

    Someone mentioned that AGW has managed to insutae itself into the self-serving bureacracies of local governments. You are absolutely correct on that point. From the $0.10/liter British Columbia “Carbon Tax” to my little burg on the Left Coast Millions are being spentin thename of “saving the world”. It is both frustrating and outrageous.

  • Michael

    Great article in highlighting that AG failed to hit the moon when he shot for it. However, as some have highlighted, he succeeded at much else with his climate crusading:
    . making himself fabulously wealthy (and hypocritically enjoying that wealth, as you highlighted in the previous essay)
    . earning fame and the pinnacle of lefty elite credentials, a Nobel prize
    . embedding global warming mentality into the actions of governments up and down the Western pan-theon and their pet corporations
    . dramatically slowing exploitation of US natural resources, to the benefit of developing world tin-pot dictatorial petro-powers, thus transferring US resources to bolster hostile entities
    . creating a new vector for transferring US resources overseas to hostile entities without oil resources, namely China building green technologies not for themselves, but for indulgent Western industrial states

    That’s quite a lot. Perhaps that was the goal all along (thinking conspiratorially). Perhaps Gore is, like so many of his acolytes, a true believer in his religion.

    L. Ron Hubbard once said the best way to get fabulously wealthy was to found a religion. He did it, Scientology (truly one of the more bizarre cults in human history) resulted. Al Gore proves it again.

  • Peter

    Good post, Mr. Mead, and if I do say so, the responded here are even better.

    PS: Some time ago, someone/somewhere noted that Algore’s birthday was something like nine months after the Roswell hullabaloo. Maybe that’s it; weird Al is part of an alien spawn.

  • Phantomorphan

    Thanks, Professor Mead, for thoroughly debunking Gore the bore and his egregiously stupid plan. More’s the pity that the elite who would affect to rule us — say, the editorial suites of the New York/LA Timeses — will never read it or consider for even a millisecond that they might be wrong. They’re true believers with eyes wide shut.

  • BMF

    I commented on your first installment and disagreed that Al Gore was in any way responsible for the failure of AGW specifically and the Green movement in general.

    As before, this is a very good article, but I have to agree with other posts that Gore is not responsible for the demise of AGW or the Green movement.

    The Green movement has committed suicide by lies and exaggerations. In their wake they have become the flotsam of junk science and will not likely recover to their former influence.

    Al Gore, on the other hand, is just a political opportunist. The gravey train stopped at his station and he was welcomed aboard as a shill for the Greens. In the process, he pocketed about 100 million dollars, the Nobel Peace Prize, and influence far beyond his ability to think or reason. He reminds me of Peter Seller’s role in the movie “Being There.”

    Al Gore does not possess the requisite skills to be a leader. He is merely one of the barkers at the AGW tent in the Green carnival. It was fun while it lasted, but the people figured out that the beard on the bearded lady was a fake.

    The Green movement has taken down the AGW signs and replace them with ones that proclaim “Climate Change.” But it’s the same bearded lady with the same fake beard and I think the people are on to the scam.

    Meanwhile, Al is enjoying his mansion by the sea that he said was going rise to a level that would destroy the very property he paid millions for. Now why would he do that? Ask the bearded lady.

  • SukieTawdry

    Oh, I think the Goreacle achieved his primary objective. He got stinking rich off his con.

  • I just read the second part of Mead’s article. The value there isn’t in his attacks on Gore, it’s in his explanation of the the players and the designs of the movement. I’m a student of viral memes and find the global warming meme fascinating. Mead’s explanation is the best I’ve seen so far, but he’s wrong.

    Mead’s saying the global warming crowd is after a one world government. I doubt they consciously are. I think they are a host of self-interested players using the fad of the moment to advance themselves.

    In the 1920s and ’30s being a communist was a badge of honor in some sets. Today being a global warming alarmist is a way of fitting in with some groups.

    Fitting in is the simplest reason for being a warmist. Stack the rest of the reasons – profits, power, prestige – on top and you have a large group.

    There’s also no downside to being a warmist. Sure rational people might mock you, but you can just call them names and ignore them. Other warmists will join in the mocking and soon you’re building a community.

  • Jimmy J.

    An outstanding summation of the complexities of what Al Gore and the Warmists have been proposing. In their eyes this can all be fixed if people will just conserve energy, reject progress, and return to simpler days when people rode horses or walked. They seem to have no inkling of the poverty that their precriptions will create – even here in the good old U.S.A. Totally blind to the real implications of their “solutions.”

    10,000 years ago the land where I am sitting was under 1000 feet of ice. It is now a nice temperate forest area where people can live comfortably by using fossil fuels. If the climate changes, (whether warmer or colder) we can and should do what our ancestors did – adapt. Adapting to climate change has been well explained by Bjorg Lumborg, the “Skeptical Environmentalist.” Would that Gore and the Warmists realized that they may be right about the science of warming (Although they have far to go to convince me), but adaptation, not trying to control the climate, is the answer.

  • aallison

    Re: #20
    Then, sir, I must respectively protest! Most people (not just the polite among us) has already figured out that Gore is an irrelvant fraud. Further the press mainstream media is the handmaiden of “progressives” not the polite.

  • TonyM

    Like all environmental utopians, the current crew with Gore as their mouthpiece would like us to believe that their own brilliance can trump the forces of geology and the cosmos. What next? Control the output of the sun – we could eliminate skin cancer? Perhaps we should start a massive effort to prevent volcanic eruptions- look at all the lives that could be saved and all the environmental damage that could be avoided. Even better, let’s control those pesky tectonic plates and prevent tsunamis and earhtquakes and the devastation they cause.

    It is idiocy and arrogance at its ultimate. And as others have noted in this blog, it is also an opportunity for the Gores of the world to make a financial killing. For the Socialists of the world it is their opportunity to bring down the economies of developed countries whose capitalism proves the lie that Socialism is.

  • Robert

    Anyone who has tried to discuss any topic where they disagree knows, facts are not required. As Gore admits in his article it is the narrative and narrative is another word for story. Once upon a time . . .

  • Russell

    If anything , this is scientifically even weaker than Gore’s case.

  • bobby b

    Normal automobile tires are inflated to around 35psi. At that pressure, a parked car’s tires have a significant flattened area along the bottom, caused by the weight of the car.

    At approximately -35f, your car tires freeze solid. They warm and soften as you drive, but this can take miles. In the meantime, as you drive, your car is going “BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM”, until you turn a corner, at which point the differing inner and outer turn radius, combined with small amounts of skidding, breaks up the coordination of the tire rotation and the BAMs turn into softer BANGs, but they come four times as often. That’s life here in the north.

    When we Minnesotans heard how Gore’s dreaded global warming was coming . . . it was as if . . . we were all so . . . I mean, well, I’ll admit it, I cried.

    And now, we know he lied. Gore lied. He built us up, he gave us hope, he took our money as we all sat through his damn movie again and again and again, drinking frozen grog and cheering at the same parts every time . . . Hey, dying polar bears! High five! . . . Look! Water in LIQUID form in March! . . . See, THOSE people don’t need to keep charcoal fires under their cars at night! . . . (Sigh.)

    It’s been rough. When we figured out that Mann’s hockey stick was based on three trees, we were confused. When someone mentioned how rare positive feedback is in nature, and then pointed out how many degrees of temp change were actually at risk, it pretty much took the wind out of our iceboat sails.

    The final straw came when we saw their computer code and the Harry_Read_me.txt file. I think we’d all quietly and individually come to the realization before the CRU leak that something wasn’t right – I mean, we’d all get together for our “Practice Beach Parties” and someone would inevitably get too loaded and try to run the CRU models – giddy times! – but we’d get nonsense results every time. So we’d quickly turn on the TV and watch the PBS people explain how our lives were going to change, and the party would pick right back up. But once we saw the modeling program itself, we couldn’t fake it anymore.

    We’re better now. There was that initial quick spate of suicides by sauna, and people kept sneaking into Burger King and opening up all of the CO2 tanks and screaming “JUST FOR YOU, AL!!”, and then someone burned Gore in effigy, which warmed us up so nicely that suddenly we were seeing Gore burned in effigy every night for a month, sometimes twice in a night, and so now we’re okay – resigned to our frigid hell, sure, but basically okay.

  • Lavaux

    Gore and the warmists (collectively the “Greens”) exploit fear to attain their Utopian goals of zero footprint human regression managed by a global government. They should have taken Marx’s example and exploited hope instead.

    When exploiting fear, one must present a certain and concrete threat to be remedied by measures that will work and won’t make people worse off than the threat will. The Greens couldn’t demonstrate the threat because the climate and the weather are too dynamic and unpredictable. What’s more, the proposed costs of the remedial measures were unthinkably ruinous. C’mon, you really want us to surrender our liberty and prosperity to the UN in return for … good weather?

    The Greens should have exploited hope instead. Just like Marx, they could have promised mankind’s return to an idyllic existence of subsistence farming, hunting & gathering, basic arts & crafts, and poetry writing (er … cave painting). It’ll be like summer camp every day! And to lovingly guide all of this fun will be a global staff of camp counselors, who will teach everyone how to live and make sure that everyone’s included in the kickball game regardless of race, religion, sex, or number of appendages. Can it get any better than that?

    Yes. The way things are now, for example. Oh well, back to the drawing board for the Greens.

  • Tim

    Important in all of this is the extraordinary levels of delusion involved.

    From beginning to end Al Gore and his devouts ignore reality.

    The ‘science’ is certainly solipsistic, painting homo sapiens as the core drivers of global climate, tipping the ‘balance of nature’into climatic Armageddon. Thus a ‘problem’ is created.

    Even if one is sufficiently convinced to believe in the ‘problem’ one must further delude oneself that the answer is to put your trust in ….politicians and bureacrats. Not just your local body politicians and bureacrats, no. Politicians in other States, other countries, places on the other side of the world. Places you never heard of (nor need to).

    The Carbon Economy, as a key part of the Global Treaty, is and will always be infinitely corrupt. As Mr Mead outlines, there are too many players, too many interested parties, far too much money involved and far, far too much to lose.

    This is mass delusion on extraordinary levels from go to woah.

    As regards to Al Gore;
    The church is more dangerous than the priest at the pulpit.

  • Mike in PP

    And the irony is, the left believes the right is politicizing the issue.

  • SteveK9

    I manage to annoy both sides. I am a Scientist and the scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming. To me this is obvious. The solution is also obvious — nuclear energy.

  • Beale

    I’m quite willing to let Mr. Gore argue the science. The question isn’t whether the world has gotten warmer in the past few centuries, which it has (and how many of us would want it otherwise?); or whether the world will warm even more, which it may or may not. The real question is: do Gore, or the alleged scientists for whom he speaks, now how to stop the world from warming? It is abundantly clear that, first, they have no clue, and, second, they don’t care because stopping warming isn’t their real purpose anyway.
    The comparison to the Kellog-Briand Treaty is inapt: the treaty did no paticular harm that I can see, while the Green movement threatens to destoy our civilization, and may succeed.

  • As I read it, an extremely fine-tuned, close-reasoned, richly nuanced article. The challenge, I think, is to read it for what WRM is saying, as opposed to what we want him to say, or think he ought to be saying. I don’t know that I’ve succeeded. But I wonder if he isn’t, at bottom, describing the corruption or debasement not just of one man’s political career – or even his signature cause – but also that of an entire culture of political discourse. A decline of a whole way of using political language and argument. And one that goes back, I shouldn’t be surprised, at least to the beginnings of the post-Cold War era.

    In other words, however correct our Climate Change diagnosis may (or may not) be, our modern “globalist” way of attacking the problem only succeeds in making us look hysterical, dogmatic and power-hungry. And ultimately – because no one in his right mind could ever live up to that stridency of rhetoric – hypocritical. Even as that same culture is making the absolute naysayers – those of us who are attacking the attackers – look equally hysterical and dogmatic. Whatever the merits or demerits of the Climate Change Thesis, wouldn’t it be a shame if posterity were to judge US, of all people, to have been the one generation least equipped to approach the matter reasonably? To approach it, I mean, in light of the actual needs of concrete human beings, and not just of our pet ideas, “visions” and assumptions? That we, of all generations, were the ones with the least breadth, presence and patience of mind to achieve even a constructive resolution of our differences? In any case surely Prof Mead is right that, whatever the extent or the gravity of the problem, the solution is hardly one we can afford to leave in the hands of politicians or bureaucrats, or lobbyists. Or worst of all, ideologues.

    Suppose though, just for laughs, that Gore and his colleagues turned out to be say, 2/3 right. And off in their timetables, not by ten or ten thousand years, but by more like 50 to 100. It’s one thing to determine that – with or without human input – we’ll be experiencing another Ice Age (or Carboniferous Period) within the next 50 millennia. Or less. It’s another thing to discover that we humans are actively accelerating and compressing that same process, and in ways that will make our colonizing of other planets not an adventure but a necessity within five generations. We all know the future is coming, but I doubt if many of our nations will be DEMOCRATICALLY prepared for its coming that soon. Suppose that, 75 years from now, those of us still living were to conclude that Gore & Co had been much more wrong in degree, so to speak, than in kind. That things were in fact proceeding much more slowly – more stealthily? – than any of us had envisioned. And by means, perhaps, of some scattered processes – say, over-metropolitanization? – producing an effect much less like one massive Global Warming than like a series of incremental, interconnected “regional dryings.” Yet one whose net results, though more spread out over place and time, were not all that appreciably different – at least in human cost – from what mainstream Climate Changers had forecast. Even then, I can’t imagine many of us wishing that our politicians and other movers and shakers had done things differently today – say, by embracing some Global Emergency and Austerity Regime. But I can easily imagine most of us wishing that WE, and our friends and neighbors, and our neighborhoods and local communities, had done certain things very differently.

  • Luke Lea

    Nice summary, Beale!

  • Randy

    Dr. M,

    Is it your impression that there’s been very little coverage in the MSM on Gore’s article (thus serving as evidence that they are embarrassed, as you say)?

  • AdamH

    Ah, but the Kellog-Briand Treaty *did* do harm. Since World War II, when nations fight wars they are forced to use euphemisms such as “police action” or “kinetic military action,” because war is illegal. Countries simply fight each other; they no longer declare war on each other.

    Now this might not be much of a problem (other than being offensive to common sense) except that in the laws of war, both national and international, many protections and clauses are brought into effect only by a declaration of war. So we are left with nations fighting wars that are not called wars; because if they were honest and called it a war, war could be declared on them!

  • Pete H

    SteveK9 says:
    June 30, 2011 at 6:39 am
    “I am a Scientist and the scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming.”

    If you truly believe that you are certainly not a scientist!

  • Victory69

    Climate always had changes. The problem we all have is is the world’s climate going to be predictable. And, can catastrophic changes be predicted? That is where science even fails. The science of anything to be “settled” must adequately and predictably forecast otherwise it isn’t settled at all. It falls under the heading of magical thinking instead.

  • Al Gore = household name.

    Walter Russel Mead = jealous nobody.

  • old white guy for obama

    It’s not the failure of Al Gore but the failure of America to deal with the biggest problem humanity has ever faced. Your decendents will wonder what the “conservatives” were thinking. Incidentally are you still smoking?

  • Rollie Herberg

    It is most disappointing that Mead went to such extreme detail and great length to point out the difficulties of concerted global action, given the need to eat or the desire to luxuriate and number of factions involved, on global warming and did not spend a second on laying out a feasible international approach that is responsive enough to avert a tragedy the commentators to his article will no be here to do the suffering that they need to do. That make me suspicious of him (Mead).

    How did we get here and why are we going to [an undesirable afterlife destination], literally? Just read most of these blogs and you have the answer.

  • K Chesebro

    Professor Mead,

    I assume you’ve considered this somewhere among your voluminous writings, but as to the “bar closing down” just when the blacks showed up, you might address government’s role in affirmatively acting to shut it down. Of particular interest might be the Davis-Bacon Act passed in 1931, and minimum-wage laws passed later, which greatly restricted the ability of hard-working blacks to out-compete unionized whites (given that blacks were largely barred from the unions).

    Economist Walter Williams, who first addressed such matters in the ’70s, has a new book out touching on it. Some background here:

    His new book is here:

    Law professor David Bernstein has also addressed in detail the role of government in closing down economic opportunities for blacks:

  • Jeffrey Eric Grant

    I have two questions:
    1. Where is the science that links increased temperatures to AGW CO2 as the cause?
    2. How did the oceans all become acid?

    Neither Schmidt, Mann, IPCC reports, or any other scientific source has responded to these questions.

  • Jeffrey Eric Grant

    I am currently on the hunt to find the answers to the following two questions:
    1. Where is the ‘proof’ that vastly increased temperatures are caused by increased CO2?
    2. What is the main cause for increased ocean acidification?

    You see, I am an Engineer and need answers before I agree to CAGW. I have been looking for these two for quite some time. Neither Gavin Schmidt nor Michael Mann can give me a straight answer!


    AL Gore’s remedy doesn’t pertain. He is looking for money, and I am fresh out.

  • Nichol

    Gore is not the only leader of the environmental movement .. you only seem to know about the USA. Appart from that, Gore is mostly correct. The USA will get behind in the technology to build the new infrastructure for energy. Just keep driving your SUVs and let China, Europe and India take over the technological lead when it comes to energy technologies.

  • The greatest shame of all is that the group that the left is saying they are trying to protect, the poor and undeveloped, are to lose the most if their no-growth policies ever come to effect.
    And if ever we want to give those people the chance to arm themselves against potential ecological threats we need to encourage global growth, not slow it down deliberately.
    Wealthy societies will cruise leisurely through the 21st century, no matter what changes nature will throw at them, let’s just make all societies wealthy then.

  • deacon

    the fatal flaw in the entire ‘climate change’ paradigm is that it for all intents and purposes assumes that the climate we now have cannot vary. anyone who’s studied any earth science at all can tell you that this is not, and never will be, the case. ask most people what they think the number one ‘greenhouse gas’ by volume is, and you’ll be hard pressed to get the right answer: water vapor. the only reason that carbon is bandied about as the villain is because we use hydrocarbon fuels, and the carbon is a commodity they can tax. in short, it’s all about harvesting money. why else would they be so gung-ho to sell you ‘carbon credits’?

  • ny_entrepreneur

    “They start arguing with him about hockey sticks and CO2.

    “This is exactly what Mr. Gore wants; it moves the argument onto his strongest terrain.”

    While I agree about the absurdity of Saint Laureate Al Guru’s goals of global government, his argument that humans have caused a significant increase in temperature is easy to debunk.

    We can do quite well with just four points:

    First look at the graph on page 2 of the US National Academy of Sciences report of 2006 at

    There you will see that as far as we know the temperature is exactly the same now as in the year 1000 well before any suggestion of human activity. So, by this graph, any and all human activity since year 1000 has so far had exactly zip, zilch, zero, effect on temperature.

    Moreover, the increase in temperature over the past 100 years looks just like that from year 900 to year 1000.

    Of course, between year 1000 and now the earth entered and left The Little Ice Age. Yes, crops failed for two years just before the French Revolution; Washington had to row through ice as he crossed the Delaware; Napoleon had a tough time returning from Moscow; and the human settlements in Greenland died out — right, The Little Ice Age.

    So, since 1850 or so, we’ve been pulling out of The Little Ice Age.

    So, we have to reject the claim that we have evidence that humans have been warming the earth.

    Second, The Movie showed a graph, as a function of time, of temperature and CO2 concentrations from the ice core data taken at the Russian base at Vostok in Antarctica. So, there are peaks of temperature and peaks of CO2 concentration. So, The Movie wants to claim that the CO2 peaks caused the temperature peaks. Then the movie, with Al Guru on a step ladder, wants to claim that CO2 concentration is higher now than even in the peaks in the peaks in the Vostok data so that we are in line for catastrophic temperature increases.

    Alas, The Movie neglected to mention or display the data carefully enough to make clear that, in fact, the CO2 peaks were about 800 years after the temperature peaks.

    So, the main data in The Movie was totally misused.

    So, we have to reject the movie.

    Third, the climate alarmists want us to stop ‘climate change’. But the scientific record clearly shows that the climate of the earth had long had large changes long before any role for humans. E.g., at one time, nearly all the earth was covered in ice. Also, at one time the earth was warm enough for dinosaurs in Antarctica.

    So, really, humans have not caused all changes in climate, and there’s no hope for humans to stop climate change.

    Fourth, the work on ‘radiative forcing’ by Guru Ramaswamy in the IPCC document is mostly wild guessing at approximations and is not solid science.

    So, once we are ready to reject Al Guru, we would like one step more, that is, to have an explanation for what he IS doing: Net, the claims of Al Guru et al. are wacko nonsense as bad at the Mayan charlatans who killed people to pour their blood on a rock to keep the sun moving across the sky; Al Guru wants to establish himself as the Grand Guru of the World and destroy much of human activity in order to ‘keep evil humans from destroying the pure, pristine planet’ as part of some wacko religious morality play with human transgressions, terrible retributions of an angry earth god, and redemption via human sacrifice. Sounds like someone went to divinity school.

    No thanks. No sale.

    That’s enough: Saint Laureate Al Guru and Sister Laurie and the Guru Acolytes need to find something else to do.

  • That’s enough: Saint Laureate Al Guru and Sister Laurie and the Guru Acolytes need to find something else to do.

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