Saturday, November 20, 2010

Al Gore--Meet Bjorn Lomborg

Al Gore, author of I'm Unbalanced, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 largely based on his boffo film An Inconvenient Truth. For outright lies, distortions, false facts, jury-rigged evidence, and junk science, it is outdone by Mein Kamp and The Communist Manifesto. But Hitler and Marx neglected to convert their nonsense into box office gold.

Reichsfuehrer of Propaganda Gore wants to gain control of the spoils of the government cap 'n tax scheme which will impoverish America (except for Herr Gore and his fellow schemers). His movie was the best piece of government propaganda since Triumph of the Will. All emotion, triumphalism, mass hysteria, and rah-rah we're the best, with almost zero substance. There's a sucker born every minute, and every damned one of them must have shown up for Gore's movie--including the Nobel Committee.

But just as Triumph of the Will ignored the achievements of Jesse Owens, so An Inconvenient Truth [sic.] ignores another champion. That champion is Bjorn Lomborg. And unlike Owens, Lomborg has produced his own film to counter Gore's junk science movie. It's called Cool It.

Lomborg is not exactly a household word--yet. But his credentials as a reformed global warming enthusiast make him a force to be reckoned with. He knows the enemy camp because he used to be part of it. He knows his science, and he knows how to present it on film. This former Greenpeace activist does something very smart at the beginning of his movie. Before he proceeds to rip Gore's entire thesis apart (including pointing out that the earth has been cooling recently, so the mantra has changed to "climate change"), he introduces the audience to his biggest critics. They first began to attack him after his epiphany and publishing of 2001's The Skeptical Environmentalist. So Lomborg shows a clip of Stanford University Professor of Environmental Studies, Stephen Schneider, solemnly and ominously telling the camera crew that they're "not helping the world " by publicizing Lomborg's dissent.

Lomborg began his journey of learning about global warming the same way I began my journey about gun control. We were both incensed by an author who doubted the wisdom of the prevailing "consensus." Lomborg was sure the global warming scientists were right just as I was convinced that gun control enthusiasts were right. In Lomborg's case it was man-made global warming doubter Julian Simon in his book The State of Humanity. In order to attack Simon, Lomborg brought together a brain-trust of university scientists and students to prove Simon wrong. And much to his surprise, Lomborg found that the deeper and more carefully he delved, the more he found Simon to be correct. His Skeptical Environmentalist was the result.

Lomborg also states early on in the movie that he, like most scientists who don't have professional agendas that require them to think the way their sponsors tell them to think, is not a global warming denier. He simply says that the facts are not entirely clear on whether the earth will continue on a warming course, and more importantly that the real evidence shows that man's contribution to global warming (or "climate change") is statistically insignificant when compared with natural forces over which man has no control--and likely never will.

After establishing his credentials and his theory, he then goes on to the real business at hand--systematically tearing apart all the major assumptions in Gore's movie. He does so from his perspective as the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank that devotes its efforts to finding the most cost-effective ways of using government money and assets for fighting global human misery. Needless to say, Lomborg concludes that Cap'n Trade is the worst possible way of doing it. Using that mode of presentation, Lomborg is able to establish that he is not some heartless bureaucrat who ignores poverty, disease, and natural disasters in the name of profit.

He also establishes that he is an environmentalist of the classic sort. Preserve and protect that which clearly needs to be preserved and protected, and use the rest in the most humane and sensible way so as to serve the earth and its people. It is much like the Biblical admonition to be good stewards of the earth. That includes not worshiping the earth as a god (or goddess) and building a religion around it.

He commits the heresy of contradicting "settled science" by proclaiming that the world of human-caused pollution and destruction has actually improved considerably over the past few decades (ask anyone who has lived in Los Angeles long enough to remember how the acidic yellow skies were frequently so noxious as to make it nearly impossible to breathe). He also points out that recent major loss and harm to human life is more the result of lack of preparedness and increased population in dangerous places than it is to human activity. He cites Katrina and Haiti as examples.

As for Katrina, there have been far worse hurricanes, but they didn't cause the huge loss of life and property because people were better prepared to fend for themselves, and human populations hadn't crowded together in large numbers in the middle of a low-lying area know to be in the path of hurricanes and sea surges. So Lomborg doesn't attack environmentalism--just shoddy unscientific environmentalism. Based on his studies in Kenya and Great Britain in which he asked "what would you spend funds on?" he finds that environmentalism of the current hysterical sort is the privilege of wealthy high-tech nations. The Kenyans replied "medical care." The Brits replied "global warming."

Much to my delight, Lomborg also debunks all the myths about Al Gore's favorite mascot--the polar bear. He lays out the statistics that show that polar bear populations have increased dramatically in the past two decades, even if certain isolated areas have seen a decrease. The evidence shows that if the Kyoto Accords had been implemented worldwide, it might have saved one polar bear per year. Lomborg says that if governments really want to have an effect on polar bear populations, they should ban polar bear hunting, and enforce the ban rigidly. Of course my thought was that if they do that, where am I supposed to get that new rug to go in front of my fireplace?

Lomborg concludes that crippling the economies of industrial nations by destroying the current energy infrastructure is a fool's errand. As a cost-benefit analyst, he logically concludes that if you're going to spend government money on improving the environment, spend the money on research and development on renewable energy and let the market take care of the result. He sensibly posits that if "green energy" eventually becomes scientifically superior and more cost-effective than coal and petroleum, people will make that choice without being driven first into bankruptcy by omniscient government bureaucracies.

My only personal objection to the movie is that it doesn't caricature Al Gore more successfully. A few shots of him pocketing millions of dollars earned from scamming the public would have been desirable. Gore is the ultimate hypocrite, decrying profits while making millions (probably even billions) on a dangerously foolish carbon emissions scheme. Gore tells everyone else how they should live in caves with candles instead of electrical appliances while he himself lives in a house bigger than Rhode Island using electricity at the rate of a small European nation.

On the other hand, I'm more than a little envious of Lomborg. The man is an excellent scholar, a fine scientist, and has many accomplishments under his belt. So when he showed up to tout his movie on TV last week, I was sure they had sent in a ringer and gotten his age wrong. Lomborg was wearing a black tee-shirt and looked like a twenty-five year old athlete or model. Is he really 45 years old? Apparently so.

19 comments:

Mike Kriskey said...

Last week they reviewed Cool It at the AV Club website. I thought that the reviewer had been unfair to the movie, and said so. (I'm "Mad Mike.")

I was ready for a fight, because the site's commenters are overwhelmingly young and lefty, but there was only agreement.

Conventional wisdom is changing, and it's due both to the efforts of Lomborg and the East Anglian scandal.

Libertarian Advocate said...

Add to all of the above - an amazing yeoman's effort for sure LawHawk - the fact that Ottmar Edenhofer, Co-Chair of the U.N. IPCC has very recently abandoned all pretence that Climate Policy has any rational relationship to environmentalism.

In Edenhofer's own words:

One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole....

Discussion here: http://libertarianadvocate.blogspot.com/2010/11/ottmar-edenhofer-co-chair-of-uns-ipcc.html

Joel Farnham said...

Nice review LawHawk.

Sometime you should chronicle your epiphany about gun control. I would love to hear it. ;_0

LawHawkRFD said...

Mike: Climategate was (and is) a scandal that should have broken Al Gore's spell. But as always, the MSM minimized it when they talked about it at all. Lomborg may be the hammer that hits the nail. As they say, "fight fire with fire," and if he can get serious distribution of his film, it could be the beginning of the end for globaloney.

LawHawkRFD said...

Libertarian Advocate: Good article. The global warmists are divided pretty evenly between those who really believe the junk science and those who know this may be their last chance to control the joint economies of the entire western world. And now they see Lomborg's work, and particularly his movie, as a major threat to their plans. They'll come at him with everything they've got.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: It's really not a long story. My son was working on his extracurricular credits for college admissions, and "volunteered" me as coordinator for the Simi Valley High School mock trial entry in the Ventura County competition. It was my earliest practical training for the bench, so I took it. It meant overseeing a lawyer who was training the prosecution team and another who was training the defense team. That meant that more than the other two lawyers, if I was going to do a good job and advance the teams to the state competition I had to do extensive research for both pro- and anti-gun control (the state committee chose the annual topic, and that year it was gun control).

Although I had to be as neutral as possible so that both teams could shine, I started doing extra side research on the subject because no matter how hard I tried, the anti-control arguments kept coming out on top. The historian and the constitutionalist in me kept me going long after the competition was over. Within a year, I was completely drawn over to the side of the true meaning behind the Seoond Amendment, and have never looked back.

BTW, the team went on to win the regionals, and finished second in the California state competition.

AndrewPrice said...

We've known for years that climate change/global ice age/global warming was a false theory premised on politics rather than science. Just looking at the models and the assumptions they made proved that. Then, when Mcintyre proved that Algore's "hockey stick graph" was a mathematical trick, it all started to fall apart. Add "Climategate" and their predictions not turning out as predicted, and it's all starting to fall apart for them.

Between all of that and guys like Lomborg out there exposing what's going, we might someday get a return to actual science rather than political-science. At least, we can hope.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

My mother's concept of gun control was the original one. How to keep it on target.

My father's came out of having to cover various jobs as a cub photographer in Chico, Ca. He went to several suicides, murders and accidents by gun. From this, he didn't want guns around his kids, so we didn't have them. He didn't want to control others from having them, just his family.

He tells of one time getting a call to cover a shooting. He showed up. A man at the door, said it was around back. He went around and found that a woman was shot with a shotgun. He took his picture. About then the police showed up and basically dragooned my dad into shooting more because the police photographer wasn't available just then. It was later he found out the man who directed him was the husband/killer.

While I have shot several types of guns, I don't really own one. I own a bb gun, baby steps, I am working on it. :-)

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I grew up with guns, and went deer hunting and duck hunting with my dad and my brother-in-law. We always had a handgun in the house as well. I don't know where she got it, but my wife was very anti-gun of any kind, so when our first child was born, she convinced me to turn in the rifles and shotguns I inherited from my father along with my .32 Colt semi-automatic. I always regretted it. Today, my older daughter follows her mother's lead, my son doesn't hunt, but he keeps a Beretta in the house or his car. My younger daughter is the best sportsman of the lot, and she and her corrections officer husband have two handguns and many hunting rifles in the house. Now that I live in the country, I'll be picking up a .30-06 and a twelve gauge to go with my ever-present .357 Colt Magnum Trooper V handgun. I keep the Colt right next to my Bible.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Let's just hope that between now and then the lame duck Congress doesn't decide to sneak Cap 'n Tax past the people the way they did with Obamacare.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
My favorite liberal is a UCLA professor, it is amazing how an educated person can embrace human caused global warming or climate change, which ever. We have had some interesting discussions but even when presented with documented facts he can not accept the truth.

I for one am hoping some truth to global warming as with out it I could be freezing. We had our first snow here in the Tehachapi mountains on October 30,much earlier than any time in the past 10 years .

As for gun control, I carry even in church. It would be unforgivable for me if I could not respond to some demented person because of political correctness and friend or family were injured. However if lucky, in my lifetime, I'll never have to make the choice to use that option .

I suggest that you get any additional guns soon, because moonbeam will probably embrace expanding our already draconian gun laws.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Being "educated" does not guarantee the ability to think independently or analyze facts without regard for what your fellows think. There is a group-think mentality among professors that seems to make any crazy scheme sound good so long as it serves the academic leftist desire to control the minds of those who do not agree.

I don't carry my gun to church, but that may simply be that I haven't picked a local church yet. LOL

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
I have a problem with according any thing as substantive to owlgore
(golly I love that name)as ass. In my perspective I would have to say he is only passing through.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Just remember that lefties glorify form over substance. There is no substance to anything Gore says, but it has plenty of lefty-cuckoo pizzaz, so even though his star is fading, it will be along time before they reject him entirely. And then it won't be because they think he was wrong, but rather because he failed to convince normal people that he was right.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

Great Review, I am probably going to have to check out the movie Cool It!

One of the problems I have with the Global Warming Crowd is that they state there is a crisis and we have to act immediately. They want to take over any industry that requires energy out of pure alarm.

However, when one asks questions about how much the CO2 levels should be and what the optimum environmental state we should try to achieve is they balk and refuse to answer. When pressed the line is that we should not control the environment and it should be left on its own.

Which is it should we control the environment and regulate it or leave it be. We have control over the planet's climate and yet we should not use it because we don't know what we are doing. It's nonsense.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - sorry I didn't get time to read this one yesterday. Thanks for bringing Lomborg to light. Like most people who rail against the liberal media machine, one would have to work overtime to find out about him were it not for folks like yourself. (o.k., perhaps yes, I'm laying it on a bit thick here.) While you do battle for "Truth, Justice, and the America Way," I seriously doubt whether you can actually "leap tall buildings in a single bound OR are even remotely faster than a speeding bullet." ;-) !

chas7007 said...

LawHawk:

Good article, glad to see Al is back in the news and discussions, it's always fun exposing a compulsive liar. Global warming scandals have been going on since the 50's and I wonder who the next buffoon is going to be leading the scam. I look forward on researching Bjorn, I've been out of the loop for a week. Thanks for updating your loyal Texas followers.

You need a gun. Take it from a previous camp manager in a national forest. :)

LawHawkRFD said...

Individualist: That's one of the most crucial tactics of the statist left. In order to take over, you have to find a crisis, or create one, then move as fast as possible to get legislative and executive control over it before people have the time to realize either the real crisis could be solved with much less draconian measures, or the crisis isn't even real. I learned that at the knee of Saul Alinsky.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: That's OK, I respond very well to being buttered-up. LOL And I am more powerful than a locomotive. Oh, wait, after a bit of exertion, I puff and breathe like a locomotive. I knew it was something like that.

One thing Andrew and I have tried to accomplish is to discuss pressing matters and current political events while at the same time going a little off the beaten path to find things that you won't see in the average course of viewing or reading. I appreciate you telling us that we are succeeding at our goal.

On the other hand, when I go off on one of my occasional rants, I'm not sure it's particularly educational, but I always feel so much better afterwards. It's like internet "scream therapy."

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