Saturday, July 26, 2008
COP: Gore forecasts ice cap meltdown within years
Arrives at meeting in motorcade, suggests attendees ride bicycles
By Christina Miller
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
A complete meltdown of the North Pole ice cap resulting in environmental catastrophes for Greenland and other northern nations, generating a flood of "climate refugees." The latest horror flick storyline? No. Al Gore's latest forecast. Gore has declared that because of the potentially horrifying consequences, he wants the U.S. to move to entirely renewable sources of electricity within 10 years.
"[It's] fantastic that he set the goal he did," said Alan Cohen of the Baltimore Climate Action Network, an offshoot of Chesapeake Climate Action Network. "I also wish Gore were running for president, but that's another issue."
The former vice-president told a recent meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution that the climate crisis is worsening so quickly that the meltdown scenario is possible "within a few years."
He also said tornadoes, floods, wildfires and other catastrophes can be blamed on environmental damage due to global warming.
Gore, however, did not mention that the winter of 2007-2008 was the coldest on record worldwide. Nor did he discuss confirmation from the editor of Physics & Society, a newsletter of the American Physical Society, that many of the group's members don't believe humans are the primary cause of climate change.
Nor was included in his speech reports of the Petition Project, which has collected the signatures of more than 31,000 scientists, including 9,000 Ph.D.s, who deny that global warming can be attributed to man's activities.
Nevertheless, Gore said the solution to the climate crisis is to reduce dependence on carbon-based fuel. He told the audience America's best achievements have resulted from setting short-term goals because people do not pay attention in the long term.
Gore laid out a plan that in 10 years would see all of the nation's electric energy come from solar and wind power. He cited a finding that the amount of solar energy that falls on the earth in 40 minutes could supply all of the country's electricity needs for one year.
Gore pledged his faith to efficiency and conservation improvements that could be obtained through international treaties, starting with the United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen next year.
He said the biggest obstacle to reducing energy dependency is politics and self-government. He called the current political system too sold out to special interests to make any serious improvements in climate change.
Attendee David Stone said Gore's speech was a "bold call to action" in combating climate and global warming issues. He also said that even though it is an unpopular position, he believes taxes and the cost of living should rise in the U.S. to promote fuel efficiency and energy independence.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Gore's challenge would simply restructure the entire electricity supply system across the nation. That industry depends on coal for about half of its power, natural gas for about a quarter, and nuclear and hydropower sources providing lesser amounts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Jime Owen of Edison Electric Institute said the idea to use more renewable energy is fine, but there's no way the nation's energy needs will be met by such sources over the next 10 years.
"We cannot do the job with renewables and energy efficiency alone," he told the Chronicle. "We have to have a balanced energy portfolio that includes all those things in even higher percentages, but also has to include nuclear. And we frankly think that nuclear should be increased."
Gore, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and 2000 Democratic presidential candidate, said his solution solves three problems at one time.
"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet," he told the Chronicle. "Every bit of that's got to change.
Such statements, however, came in for ridicule in a commentary at Human Events.
"Al Gore did not claim he invented electricity. … But the words he uttered in his challenge on energy carried just as much fantasy," wrote Cassandra Kane. "The Alliance for Climate Protection, a supposedly bipartisan group Gore leads, estimates the costs of transforming the U.S. to clean electricity sources at $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion over 30 years in public and private money. That's an investment of about 30 percent of a year of America's Gross Domestic Product.
"Gore said in the speech that we must 'move beyond empty rhetoric.' Yes, agreed. But why don’t Gore and his Democrat counterparts heed their own advice?" she asked.
She cited a 2007 report from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that the Gore family burned through more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. Gore contended that his 10,000-square-foot Nashville mansion is not an "average" home and that he and his wife Tipper work from home. He assured America he was using energy-saving technology to reduce the family footprint down to zero, she said.
"However, a TCPR report released last month shows that Gore actually increased his energy use by 10 percent, despite all of the supposed steps to make his home more energy-efficient."
WND columnist Doug Powers raised a similar issue.
"Gore showed up to the speech with a carbon nightmare of a motorcade, complete with two Lincoln Town Cars and a Suburban SUV. Would it be too much to ask that Gore at least pretend to believe what he preaches?" he suggested. "Prior to the speech, Gore had encouraged all attendees to walk, ride a bicycle or take public transportation. Now it's apparent why: He needed the carbon offsets."
Physics & Society Editor Jeffrey Marque says there's a "considerable presence within the scientific community" of experts who don't agree with contentions human-produced CO2 emissions likely are the primary cause of global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.
The publication's July issue features a paper by Lord Christopher Monckton, the science adviser to Britain's Margaret Thatcher administration. Monckton concludes scientific modeling has grossly overstated the rate of temperature change caused by greenhouse gas.
WND also has reported on the work of Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry who co-founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and whose Petition Project has collected the names of thousands of scientists.
Robinson's petition states:
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."