ClimateGate news

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gore: time for civil disobediance

Via the Wall Street Journal on-line, the Goracle is now preaching civil disobedience to his flock:

But then Mr. Gore really got going and told his disciples to head -- literally -- to the barricades to "stop" coal.

Speaking last Wednesday on a celebrity panel in New York, the Nobel Prize Laureate proclaimed: "If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration." He added, "clean coal does not exist."

Mr. Gore didn't explain how far he thinks his young acolytes should go in their rage against the coal-burning machines that provide about 50% of U.S. electricity. Sit-ins? Marches against power plants? How about trashing power lines: What could he mean by "civil disobedience"?
This is dangerous talk from an ex-Vice President and a man who was almost elected President of the United States. As the Journal opinion article says, figures like Gore who hold the public trust and...
"such rhetoric is wildly irresponsible, not least for the fanaticism and even violence it could incite".
Another example is NASA scientist James Hansen:
The NASA scientist and influential global warming swami recently testified on behalf of the "Kingsnorth Six," Greenpeace activists who caused £30,000 of criminal damage at an English coal utility while attempting to shut it down. Mr. Hansen argued they had a "lawful excuse" because of the imminence of climate doom; they were acquitted.
While Hansen defended civil disobedience, Gore goes him one further and actually promotes it. But the Journal says Gore is defeating his own argument.
New U.S. coal plants use modern scrubbing technology, which means less traditional air pollution. They're also far more efficient -- that is, they get more energy out of the same amount of coal (i.e., carbon) compared to older models. Often this results in power companies mothballing parts of a more carbon-intensive fleet.
That's it Al. Stop the construction of new cleaner coal plants and keep those older dirtier ones running.

But then it's not really about reducing pollution, CO2 emissions or going green. If it were, the Goracle wouldn't own one of the highest energy intensive mansions in the country.

No. It's all about revving up the Faithful. For the Revolution.


John Nicklin said...

Al Gore better hope like hell that Obama wins. That way The One can pardon Gore when he's charged with inciting crime.

Real class from a Nobel recipient.

rob's uncle said...

James Hansen in his own words [Nature Sep 05 2008]:
This week, James Hansen was in London, UK, to testify on behalf of activists who defaced a coal-fired power station in Kent. Geoff Brumfiel caught up with Hansen at a London hotel to find out what has got him all hot and bothered.

• Why did you come to testify?
Nothing could be more central to the problem we face with global climate change. If you look at the size of the oil, gas and coal reservoirs you'll see that the oil and gas have enough CO2 to bring us up to a dangerous level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
There's a potential to solve that problem if we phase out coal. If we were to have a moratorium on coal-fired power plants within the next few years, and then phase out the existing ones between 2010 and 2030, then CO2 would peak at something between 400 and 425 parts per million. That leaves a difficult problem, but one that you can solve.

• Do you think that leaders like UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have lived up to their promises on climate change?
It depends on whether they will have a moratorium on coal-fired power. I think that the greenest leaders, like German chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Brown, are saying the right words. But if you look at their actions, emissions are continuing to increase. All of these countries and the United States are planning to build more coal-fired power plants. And if you build more coal-fired power plants, then it is not possible to achieve the goals that they say they are committed to. It's a really simple argument and yet they won't face up to it.

• So do you think that these activists were justified in doing what they did?
The activists drawing attention to the issue seems to me as justified. You should try to do things through the democratic process, but we really are getting to an emergency situation. We can't continue to build more coal-fired power plants that do not capture CO2 if we hope to solve the problem.

• We need to get energy from somewhere. So if we're not getting it from coal, then where?
The first thing we should do is focus on energy efficiency. The fact that utilities make more money by selling more energy is a big problem. We have to change those rules. Then there is renewable energy — in order to be able to fully exploit renewable energy, we need better electric grids. So those should be the first things, but I think that we also need to look at next-generation nuclear power.

• Some have said you are hypocritical for flying all the way from the US to the UK just to testify. How do you respond?
I like to travel as little as possible, not only because it uses less CO2 but because I prefer to do science. But sometimes there are things which are sufficiently important that I think it makes sense.

• What do you think the role of the scientist should be in the broader societal debate on climate change?
I think it would be irresponsible not to speak out. There is a clear gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community and what is known by the public, and we have to try and close that gap. If we don't do something in the very near future, we're going to create a situation for our children and grandchildren that is out of control.

Anonymous said...

He should call for civil disobediance on the factories making CFL's