Friday, March 02, 2007

Al Gore: Don't Pay Attention to Me

Al Gore complains that the media, in the name of journalistic “balance,” give too much attention to viewpoints with little support:
“I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action,” Gore said. “There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly – and I say ‘rejected,’ perhaps it’s the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen … balance as bias.” [emphasis added]
Gore’s not totally off-base here. It’s true that journalists often try to create balance – and the appearance of conflict – by finding someone, anyone to take an opposing point of view. As a result, it can appear that a crackpot opposition has much greater support from the relevant experts than it really has. Consider, for instance, articles that make creationist critiques of evolutionary theory sound like serious arguments when most of them are regarded by scientists as pure hokum.

No, the problem with Gore’s statement is its hypocrisy, given that Gore’s position on global warming is inconsistent with the scientific consensus. If the media took Gore’s admonition seriously, they would pay much less attention to Al Gore.


Roger Healey said...

In addition, Al's an energy hog.
His home "consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year."

Chuck said...

One thing that has stuck in my craw about Al Gore is that in his well-done movie, he never once mentions widespread use of nuclear energy as a way to reduce global greenhouse emissions quickly and substantially.

France gets between 70%-80% of its power from nuclear energy and recycles its waste.

The U.S. gets something like 25% of its energy from nuclear power and does not recycle its waste.

This is a solution that's ready to be deployed tomorrow and wouldn't have any of the growth-constraining effects that might be involved in some sort of cap-and-trade or voluntary reductions scheme.

Also, why is it that Gore won't talk about geo-engineering projects like raising the world's albedo?

Gore's solutions--for whatever reason--seem uniformly oriented towards command and control. And that sucks.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of raising the world's albedo, why don't we stop paving roads with (petroleum-based) black asphalt, and use something lighter like concrete? Anyone who ever walked barefoot as a kid knows which absorbs more sun. But since governments pay to pave roads, this requires political effort, not just the market.