Friday, October 12, 2007

How Al Gore is sowing the seeds of War

I'm not much impressed with former Vice President Al Gore being recognized this week with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at using scare tactics - rather than a mature approach, based on reason (even though he's written a book called "The Assault on Reason") - as his primary tool in his campaign to fight global warming. To tell you the truth, I think the Nobel Peace Prize is often about as meaningful as United Nations General Assembly resolutions. The committee that chooses who gets the Nobel Peace Prize means well, but it's frequently a poor judge of character. And not just in a small way.

I mean, arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat also won a Nobel Peace Prize once. Problem with that is, Arafat never wanted peace - and the committee responsible for handing out the Prize later tried to take it away from one of the Israelis, current Israeli president Shimon Peres, who won it at the same time as Arafat and, in stark contrast to the Palestinian terror leader, was then and remains now committed to peace. I wouldn't be surprised if, one day, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez gets the Nobel Peace Prize - that's how compromised, I believe, the selection process is (Chavez is buying up arms like crazy from Russia).

Al Gore's dire warnings about a "global emergency" are hardly conducive to maintaining peaceful relations between governments and peoples. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in the past, "Fear is not a good political adviser." It seems to me, though, that fear is the only adviser we're really willing to trust these days.
Just look at how readily we take Al Gore's assault on reason (his own, I mean, and not the book he wrote about it) connected with his global warming campaign (I don't doubt his passion for the subject, but his method of dissemination is disturbing) at face value.


A spokesman for Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, expressed Klaus's surprise at Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, saying
"...the relation between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct...It rather seems that Gore's questioning of the basic foundation stones of the current civilisation does not contribute to peace much." (BBC News) And coming as the Nobel Peace Prize did on the heels of a court decision in the U.K. which stated that there are at least nine different scientific errors in the film "An Inconvenient Truth", I can't bring myself to congratulate the former Vice President (in case you didn't know, the court called "An Inconvenient Truth" propaganda and set conditions for its being shown in British schools).

In addition to his hypocritical tactic of warning against demagoguery while being a demagogue, I remember that it was Gore who failed not simply to win the 2000 election, but to even carry his home State of Tennessee in that election. This is significant, if only because there are many like myself who don't yet discount the possibility of Al Gore running for president again in '08 - and who knows what impression a Nobel Peace Prize can have on naive or anxious American voters.

Climate change is a phenomenon that, in the seven score and seven years since the phrase "weather forecast" first came into being in 1860, has really yet to be fully understood; at the very least, we know that there have been previous Ice Ages which could only have ended warming. We owe modern human civilization to climate change. And truthfully, we've only had the technology to track weather phenomena and temperature variations for a relatively short time. Rushing to judgment, and refusing debate, and even going so far as making children fearful about global warming is not the answer to the questions surrounding what can or should be done about human contributions to the natural process of climate change.


In closing, let us consider again the words about Al Gore spoken on behalf of the Czech president: "...
the relation between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct...It rather seems that Gore's questioning of the basic foundation stones of the current civilisation does not contribute to peace much." You may disagree out of hand, but I say President Klaus makes a valid point here. You needn't be a rocket scientist, or political scientist, to see what it is. All you need is the ability to think critically, and realistically, about the world we live in. It is a far less peaceful place than it could be.

It is no secret - or shouldn't be - that in many of the most volatile, war-prone regions of the world (like, say, the Middle East) governments (like, um, those of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) are as apt to fight wars over natural resources as they are over borders, religious disputes or "refugees".
Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, is worrying not only individual citizens around the world, but increasing the paranoia of their governments over their countries' natural resources, paranoia which could convince worried countries to gamble on "force diplomacy" getting them what they feel they need in terms of natural resource rights more effectively than "table diplomacy".

As stated in the third paragraph of this entry, "Fear is not a good political adviser." Fear can be both a product of, and a contributor to, insecurity. Expand this notion to international relations: Wouldn't you agree that an increase of international insecurity poses a danger to peace, increasing as it does the likelihood of war between nations and peoples? I would hope you would see that this is so. In short, I feel that Al Gore's activities on behalf of fighting climate change - based as they are on inducing fright, rather than on constructive debate - endanger the cause of peace, and that because of this, he doesn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

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