Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Al Gore Code

With lots of chatter over the last 24 hours that The Da Vinci Code movie is something of a plodding bore, what kind of an omen might this be for the film about the guy who’s name rhymes with "bore"--An Inconvenient Truth?

If you’re keeping up with this subject, here’s my latest article on climate policy from the current issue of National Review, and if there are any NLT readers in New York, I’m debating NASA’s chief climate alarmist James Hansen next Tuesday evening. The forum is free and open to the public, and you can get the details here.

Discussions - 26 Comments

I don’t see much connection between the two films. Different subject matter, different genres, different styles. Oh, but Da Vinci Code was called a "bore" and bore rhymes with Gore. Brilliant.

As for the debate, I predict you’ll be crushed like a grape.

A student asked me recently why global warming has evoked such derision and hostility, even as a discussion topic, from many conservatives. Say GW and movement conservative students laugh out loud. Is it merely that many environmentalists downplay or deny the various uncertainties? Has it to do with anti-Gore politics? Anti-"MSM" tactics? Exhibit-A in attacks on "junk science"? Or is this just another symptom of the center not holding, so we have, in this policy area, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" (and take your pick who’s who)? My attempt to frame classroom discussion in terms of false positives and false negatives did succeed in changing the conservative laughter into conservative smiles, so that’s something.

Mike, judging by your snide reaction to the post I doubt you actually read Mr. Hayward’s article which raises many serious questions about global warming. And Mr. Thomas, the reason you see such reactions from most people (not just conservatives- did you miss South Park’s recent Al Gore episode?) about global warming is because of the way it is presented: it’s not enough to take note that the planet is warming, we have to accept the fact that the destruction of planet Earth is right around the corner. According to people like Al Gore (and the movie trailer), the world is going to enter its death throws in 10 years unless we act NOW. No one believes that. The conservatives have Pat Robertson telling us Revelation and the End Times are nigh, the liberals have Al Gore telling us Global Warming and planet-wide cataclysms are immanent, and the people in the middle are wise enough to ignore both.

Anyone who sits through this collossal bore of a movie, should win an award. A slightly entertaining movie, "The Day After Tomorrow", couldn’t turn the corner for the left, what makes anyone think this will?

A junk-science monotone lecture presented by a humorless, mentally unbalanced, has-been, sour-grapes loser. Just what the American public wants to see. This is going to have all the "facts" of Farenheit 9/11 with none of the laughs.

Andrew, I wasn’t asking about people in the middle, or about public opinion. I am curious about conservatives like Brian.

While I was in the bookstore the other day another customer asked the clerk why they couldn’t find the DaVinci Code in the history section. After explaining where to find the book and sending the customer to the correct section the clerk mentioned that misunderstanding happened quite a bit. Sad commentary.

the world is going to enter its death throws in 10 years unless we act NOW. No one believes that.


There is certainly more support for that position than there ever was for WMD and the like.


Fascinating that you guys are willing to crisp any number of Iraqis (or Iranians) for a myth, but unwilling to knock a few points off GDP to save the planet when the consensus that action must be taken is overwhelming.


With that kind of cognitive dissonance, it’s a wonder you people can dress yourselves.

Oh., I have no interest in uh, "crisping" Iraqi’s, oh Blathering One. Just crisping the Iranian mullah’s sock-puppet Ahmenidijad will suffice along with the mullahs as well.

QUOTATION: Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interwar period, appeasement of Fascism.
ATTRIBUTION: Barbara Tuchman (1912–1989), U.S. historian. “If Mao Had Come to Washington in 1945,” Foreign Affairs (New York, Oct. 1972).

Referring to “the deep-seated American distrust ... of diplomacy and diplomats.”

Coughlin, is this rather a familiar trait with many of your European governments? Particularly the appeasement of fascism. H’mmmmmmmm?

WMD ... a myth?

WMD was found in Iraq, that is a fact. It was just not found in the quantities that was asserted. Moreover, it was clear Saddam, even up to the end, was intent on keeping his WMD programs alive, which was a clear violation of the various UN Security Council’s resolutions.

Alas, truth isn’t relevant to some.

Steve - How about because among climatoligists (not the generic "scientists global warming cultists always cite), global warming is not a settled issue and even the one who believe it might be happening, believe it has little to do with man, and that there’s little we can do to stop it.

Couple that with the fact that India and China are going to whatever they damn well please, "global warming", if it does exist, is a minor issue at best.

Steve - How about because among climatoligists (not the generic "scientists global warming cultists always cite), global warming is not a settled issue and even the one who believe it might be happening, believe it has little to do with man, and that there’s little we can do to stop it. Couple that with the fact that India and China are going to whatever they damn well please, "global warming", if it does exist, is a minor issue at best.


Back that nonsense up with some facts, figures and names please. I’ll be happy to research them.

Alas, truth isn’t relevant to some.


By golly you got that right.


You know the name sort of implies that a lot people would be killed by the weapon. Trace elements of nerve gas in a discarded artillery shell are not going to cut it.


Your comment reminds me of the religous cult which predicted the return of Christ.


When He failed to show up on schedule, they simply claimed He had. The rest of us just hadn’t noticed.


Given that religion doesn’t deal in hard facts, your post actually makes less sense than their claim.

Couple that with the fact that India and China are going to whatever they damn well please, "global warming", if it does exist, is a minor issue at best.

Back that nonsense up with some facts, figures and names please. I’ll be happy to research them.

Brian, dust off that ol copy of the Kyoto Protocol, India and China are not required to reduce carbon emissions under that agreement.

You know the name sort of implies that a lot people would be killed by the weapon. Trace elements of nerve gas in a discarded artillery shell are not going to cut it.

17 Cyclo Sarin warheads.

Hey, lets make all pollution laws optional...that way we can protect a corporation’s "right to pollute" and the environment! What a great idea!

17 Cyclo Sarin warheads.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4997808/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3861197.stm


This is desperation itself trot this stuff out. Even the idiots in the White House are not trumpeting this as a WMD find.


You don’t see the utter absurdity of your claim? That if any genuine WMD were in Iraq right now they would have be used against US troops by now? That you’d be looking at casualties running into 5 figures?


The US has had the run of the place for 3 years now. C’mon, please! 17 1980’s artillery shells, most of which were unusable? You destroyed an entire infrastructure, killed 30,000 civilians and unleashed mad max world for that?


A note of caution. Propaganda is for the consumption of the "enemy". You aren’t supposed to believe it!!

Brian, dust off that ol copy of the Kyoto Protocol, India and China are not required to reduce carbon emissions under that agreement.


Well Ken, I don’t have a problem with that. For a couple of reasons :


1) The US and Europe are responsible for the current levels of GHG in the atmosphere, not the Chinese and certainly not the Indians.


2) If we, the countries that can afford to take the minor economic hit that this entails, don’t take action. Who will? We have to make a start. If belts are to be tightened, we need to start with our own.


In short, the whining about China and India is a juvenile attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the mess we have got ourselves into. Lets worry about them once we have our own house in order.

In short, the whining about China and India is a juvenile attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the mess we have got ourselves into. Lets worry about them once we have our own house in order.

Brian, you made a request in comment 11:

Back that nonsense up with some facts, figures and names please. I’ll be happy to research them.

Yet when given a tiny portion of information, you slide back into your manic "who cares about the stinking facts, I’ve got my rhetoric to spew mode" . First, China is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and is adding more capacity and yet has zero obligations under Kyoto.

Read the article, India as well as China are major players in greenhouse emissions, both are bringing more coal burning capacity on line and yet neither have any obligations under Kyoto.

Kyoto is seriously flawed. Europe has build in wiggle room, as does Russia. There is also nothing minor about the "minor economic hit" that you allude to, whole industries will have to be shuttered in order to meet targets. Take a look around, Brian, only one country that signed Kyoto, the United Kingdom will meet their targets and the only reason why they will meet their targets is because of the conservative politics of Margaret Thatcher. When the fines start kicking in for Europe, you’ll find out how impractical, costly, and how unpopular Kyoto will become in your own neck of the woods.

Here’s a podcastfrom The Ashbrook Center that will absolutely make your day, not. Next time, don’t ask for facts and figures to research if you’re only interested in filling the bilge with b.s.

Yet when given a tiny portion of information, you slide back into your manic "who cares about the stinking facts, I’ve got my rhetoric to spew mode"


Whoa back up there buddy. The facts on the thread are on my side.


The facts I asked for relate to the Climatoligists disputing global warming, and your odd assertion that this is, quote "a minor issue at best". How you have arrived at the conclusion that it is a minor issue? Surely failure to act makes it worse, not better? Your comment seems contradictory.


I’m not disputing the issues you raise re China and India, those are real concerns, and I noted as much in my response. However, it is absurd for the richest countries in the world, largely responsible for the current situation, to blame others for our utter failure to take action on this issue.


So right back at yah. Lets hear who these august personages are that have debunked climate change, and I’ll have a good old go at debunking them. If they appear to be upfront, not funded by the Coal, Oil or Gas lobby then I’ll review what they have to say, and thanks for bringing them to my attention.

Whoa back up there buddy. The facts on the thread are on my side.

Okay, so let’s check your facts, first comment # 19:

The facts I asked for relate to the Climatoligists disputing global warming, and your odd assertion that this is, quote "a minor issue at best". How you have arrived at the conclusion that it is a minor issue? Surely failure to act makes it worse, not better? Your comment seems contradictory.

The comments in question were made in comment #10 and they are not mine.

I’m not disputing the issues you raise re China and India, those are real concerns, and I noted as much in my response.

Okay, lets check comment #17, you responded:

1) The US and Europe are responsible for the current levels of GHG in the atmosphere, not the Chinese and certainly not the Indians.

...and

In short, the whining about China and India is a juvenile attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the mess we have got ourselves into. Lets worry about them once we have our own house in order.

In comment #19 you wrote:

Lets hear who these august personages are that have debunked climate change, and I’ll have a good old go at debunking them. If they appear to be upfront, not funded by the Coal, Oil or Gas lobby then I’ll review what they have to say, and thanks for bringing them to my attention.

This from the guy who wrote in comment 7:

Fascinating that you guys are willing to crisp any number of Iraqis (or Iranians) for a myth, but unwilling to knock a few points off GDP to save the planet when the consensus that action must be taken is overwhelming. and With that kind of cognitive dissonance, it’s a wonder you people can dress yourselves.What kind of treaty is Kyoto when it doesn’t require all parties to play on a level playing field? India & China have bustling economies and contribute greatly to greenhouse emissions but aren’t required to reduce any emissions whatsoever. The European Union is allowed to play games by apportioning emissions not needed by Britain and Germany to big polluters (awarding large net increases in some cases), thereby obtaining flexibility that no individual country had. Russia is given the right to sell emissions credits to other countries in the Kyoto Protocol because the economy of Russia is but a shadow of the USSR’s in 1990. Yet the EU, China, India, and Russia are crowned as Kyoto Champs and the U.S. is villianized for pointing out that Kyoto is a seriously flawed treaty. Since so many countries are falling short in meeting their treaty obligations maybe its time to put aside the rhetoric and get serious about finding a workable, fair, and honest solution that puts everyone on a level playing field.

Yet the EU, China, India, and Russia are crowned as Kyoto Champs and the U.S. is villianized for pointing out that Kyoto is a seriously flawed treaty. Since so many countries are falling short in meeting their treaty obligations maybe its time to put aside the rhetoric and get serious about finding a workable, fair, and honest solution that puts everyone on a level playing field.


We can agree on that.


I guess I do not see the US rejection of Kyoto as a genuine attempt to find a "better way". I’d be happier if that was the case. You also overstate the case when you claim that China is a Kyoto "champ", and that the EU is not. As a taster of the document below, Sweden where I live is doing very well indeed.


http://www.davidsuzuki.org/files/climate/Kyoto_Progress.pdf


Even the most enthusiastic (but informed) proponent of Kyoto realises that the issues you describe are of course real. Although I think you are overly fixated on it’s flaws, and that the use the Chinese and Indians burgeoning economies as a reason for the US to do nothing (especially when the EU is at least giving it the old school try) seems disingenous and even irrational. I mean think of all the high tech stuff that only we can make and sell them? That should offset quite a lot of the pain.


My main beef with your original post was the minimisation of the problem of Climate Change, which I find unhelpful and perhaps even dangerous. It happens far too much on this site.


Can you stretch to the following.


1) That whatever is agreed to replace Kyoto must be binding, not simply guidelines?


2) That some kind of phased handicap must apply to help majority world countries in the initial stages of any action,perhaps coupled to trade deals for new technology, coal scrubbers and whatnot?


3) That the rise of new energy industries, the replacement of existing transport fleets, the introduction of household energy generation and conservation has potential to deliver enormous job creation over the next 20 year?

My main beef with your original post was the minimisation of the problem of Climate Change, which I find unhelpful and perhaps even dangerous. It happens far too much on this site.

Again, I never minimized the problem of climate change. That was comment #10, the other Brian.

You also overstate the case when you claim that China is a Kyoto "champ", and that the EU is not.

Here’s what I said:

Yet the EU, China, India, and Russia are crowned as Kyoto Champs and the U.S. is villianized for pointing out that Kyoto is a seriously flawed treaty.

Okay, your contention that Sweden will meet their kyoto goals has been verified.But the same article is clear that with the exception of the UK & Sweden, no other EU country will. So, will those countries kyoto agreements be enforced by the EU or will they be just simply viewed as guidelines? Since, the EU has been awarded the right to play numbers games under kyoto by reapportioning emissions from the UK & Sweden to the heavy polluters of Europe one could ask: Is the EU really serious about climate control? If most of the countries that signed the kyoto protocol are failing to meet their treaty obligations doesn’t that signal that maybe kyoto was unreasonable and flawed just like the U.S. government has contended from the very beginning of this process?

Again, I never minimized the problem of climate change. That was comment #10, the other Brian.


Ken I apologise, I realise I did confuse the two posts. My bad:-(


maybe kyoto was unreasonable and flawed just like the U.S. government has contended from the very beginning of this process?


It is depressing that countries are struggling to meet the modest limits that Koyoto proposes, though it does make you wonder how bad it would be if nothing was being done by anyone.


As you note India and China not onboard causes something of a double take. In much the same way, it doesn’t help to have the worlds foremost polluter, and richest country sniping from the sidelines.


I really don’t think it’s fair to say the EU is not serious, we are after all the ones taking the bulk of the hit at the moment. I also don’t see carbon trading as a numbers game, what slack is currently in the system will quickly be taken up. Its fully worked capitalism, where all costs are taken into account. Heavy energy users have been getting a free ride for far too long.

What amount of WMD would Brian Coughlan deem to be the correct amount to actually be classified WMD?

Would a litre of Sarin gas be enough to be considered WMD?

Would less than a litre, say a soup spoon full, not be enough to be considered WMD?

A pin drop of sarin can kill an adult, yet I am to accept Brian C’s logic that there has to be sufficiant quantities, possibly barrels of WMD such as sarin, for such things to actually be considered WMD.

What a load of B.S.!The sarin gas attacks in Japan prove my point. The anthrax attacks in the U.S. prove my point.

WMD does not have to be in large quantities for it to be considered WMD.

Again, WMD was found in Iraq, just not in the quantities that we presented to the world.

And, most importantly, we discovered that Iraq was harboring the programs for WMD, which in and of itself was a violation of the UN resolutions.

Of course, after the sanctions were lifted, which was close to happening, Iraq would have behaved itself and not begin producing large quantities of various kinds of WMD.

In regards to global warming, no action is much preferable over ’serious’ EU action!

Again, WMD was found in Iraq, just not in the quantities that we presented to the world.


Let me refer you once again to this quote :In a speech before the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, NC, on April 7, 2006, President Bush stated that he "fully understood that the intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody else" when U.S. troops failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.


Now lets examine this carefully. Either he is lying or misinformed. Given that most of his statements tend to fall into one of these two categories, I have to confess that the odds are in your favour:-)


However, given that the statement is of no conceivable benefit to him, and that surely not even he, 3 years into the war could be so poorly informed, I am reluctantly forced to conclude that in this rare instance, he is actually having the truth dragged out of him.


Even Guido eventually gave up on the "we found WMD" in Iraq, and shifted his premise.


I beleive it was "we found weapons in Jordan which, at a stretch, could be construed as WMD, which might have come from the stockpiles that Saddam manage to spirit away".


I’ll tell you what I consider WMD. A device able to travel more than 1,000 kilometers with a warhead capable of delivering a payload capable of killing 1,000 people within 2 hours of impact.


Thats cutting it pretty fine, a moderate bomb load on a few B52’s could do the same, and a lot faster.


You should be ashamed and embarrased to have the gall to trot out the weak nonsense you have, after the pronouncements in the run to this war. Have you forgotten? Has some editor in your brain simply excised them from the record? Let me fill in the gaps.


"In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it." - President George W. Bush addressing the AEI, Washington Hilton Hotel, February 26, 2003


"According to the CIA’s report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons." Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) - Congressional Record, October 9, 2002


Blair admits ignorance on WMD
By George Jones, Political Editor
(Filed: 05/02/2004)


Tony Blair admitted yesterday that when he asked MPs to vote for war he had been unaware that the claim that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes referred only to battlefield weapons, not missiles.


The Government did nothing to correct the impression given by the September 2002 dossier that the claim referred to longer range weapons, including ballistic missiles, which could deliver chemical or biological warheads.


Tony Blair: misunderstood the meaning of ’battlefield weapons’
Questioned during the Commons debate on the Hutton report, the Prime Minister said he had not known what sort of weapons were being referred to at the time of the crucial vote approving the war on March 18.


Does that sound like a few liters of degraded sarin Gas in shells from the mid 80’s? You could probably find as much on flanders field from world war one.


You must actually be bonkers. There is no other explanation for your contentions here, in public.


Next time you tell lies, try and lie about something that cannot be refuted with Google. The existence of God or some such.


Muppet.

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