November 15, 2005

Boortz and Gore on Long-Term Perspective

from - smijer

Neal Boortz commented yesterday on Al Gore's long term risk assessment... You can go read it from the horse's ... uhh... oh yeah, mouth.

Did you read this line from Boortz?

Remember, though, that it wasn't all that many years ago when Gore-types were warning of global cooling.

If so, please bear in mind that he is, once again, full of it.

And, in case you missed the irony, Boortz characterizes Gore's assessment as representative of the "leftist" mind and as "anticapitalist" and "socialist"... forgetting for a brief moment that he is talking about a fella who was vice president of the most illustrious capitalist superpower in the world for eight years, and whose administration oversaw the biggest welfare reforms of the century as well as the enactment of the historic North American Free Trade agreeement.

But it all boils down to this: Boortz thinks that Gore's assessment is "really stupid". But who wins the battle of long term perspective between Gore and the Talk Master?

I say Gore - I agree that anthropogenic climate change is a bigger long-term problem than Islamic terrorism. In fact, if historical trends apply, a century or two from now, Islamic terrorism will be something that Islamic children read about in history books and for which challenged Islamic clerics will have to give embarrassed non-answers... just as happens now with the Christians and their witch hunts and their Inquisition.

We are already seeing the backlash that inevitably comes against those who use violence indiscriminately against whoever they perceive to be "the enemy"... People who are so in love with aggression are rarely rational, and can be depended on to destroy themselves long before they destroy their enemies.

On the other hand, anthropogenic climate change is scientifically well established (contra Boortz, who says his disagreement with the people who study it is that he doesn't believe climate change is "solely" due to human action... which of course it isn't... but human actions definitely have a profound impact on climate change). It's long term effects, though not fully understood yet, bear every indication of being extremely nasty - not just for Americans, but for the world - and the world economy.

Furthermore, climate change is a much more difficult problem to solve. It isn't a matter of ostracizing fanatics and creating strong cultural taboos against their actions... It's a matter of solving a whole host of economic and scientific problems.

Who do you think wins the battle of long-term perspective?

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Posted by smijer at November 15, 2005 08:09 AM
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I voted for Gore in 2000 because I believed him on WMD. I sort of believed him on climate change too.

"President Bush (senior) has ample evidence early on to suggest that Saddam Hussein was a major danger to the region and to U.S. interest, including information that he was aggressively seeking technologies for weapons of mass destruction and that he was offering state payments to terrorists." - Al Gore (15 Oct 1992)
And ton more Gore quotes on Saddam and Iraq here.

He was right on Iraq, but clueless on what to do.

He may be right here, but you can bet in power he'd be just as clueless what to do.

Now I think he's just a flake.

univar.jpg Posted by Bill Baar on November 15, 2005 08:56 AM
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The art of removing context from quotes is what deters smart people from telling the whole truth sometimes...

Those quotes came from a variety of contexts... Gore talked about the justification for GWI, which, together with its aftermath, crippled Saddam and put any hopes he had for developing serious wmd beyond his reach... He talked about the need for Operation Desert Fox, based on the intelligence he had access to at the time. That intelligence may have been flawed, or maybe not. I'm glad that the response was measured rather than radical. I happen to share or have, in the past, shared most of the opinions that Gore stated on the web-site you linked. And, I wish that the UN weapons inspectors had been allowed to finish their job, even if doing so did undermine the case for all-out war. As desirable as regime change may have been, it was not worth an all-out invasion and occupation, or the resulting civil war. War should always be the last resort.

It turns out that, in 2003, Saddam was no threat to the U.S., or even the Kurds... and it turns out that the evidence that this was the case was ignored or buried. Removing him from power was at best a symbolic gesture toward respect for human rights - but at what cost!

Whereas, substantive measures toward stopping on-going atroicities are desperately needed in the Sudan... but we do nothing - and can do very little... because we have trapped our Military behind enemy lines, and because we have lost our moral standing to intervene on behalf of human rights by starting aggressive war and by running from our obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

Hopefully, under our next administration, America can begin building moral authority and create a real commitment to security and human rights.

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on November 15, 2005 10:32 AM
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I distinctly remember a Reader's Digest story from the 70s pertaining to the oncoming ice-age. Don't ask me why I still remember that stuff (I have oodles of useless sports statistics floating around my cranium, as well). I recall the morning news shows discussing it, as well. Don't know the science involved & it could've been something akin to the Brad/Jennifer breakup which was a big nothing that got a lot of coverage, but there WAS a case of some scientists pointing to indications of a coming ice age. It did happen.

I don't think Gore was even a congressman at the time, however.

univar.jpg Posted by RW on November 15, 2005 01:57 PM
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Yeah... as the link I provided point out, there were scientists who pointed to "signs" and speculated (with the scientifically responsible caveats about the state of the data) about global cooling, and there was irresponsible science journalism - as there always has been and always will be. But, as you point out, Boortz could not have meant the Reader's Digest when he was talking about the scientists and policymakers who are now concerned with global climate change... The Reader's Digest just doesn't qualify as an "Al Gore 'type'".

univar.jpg Posted by smijer on November 15, 2005 02:56 PM
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That's why I gave a whole list of Gore quotes. Pull his speeches and read them too.

Clinton's 1998 Speech to the Joint Chiefs on Iraq and Al-Qaeda one of his best. I remember it well and I followed Bin Laden after that. Major reason why I voted for Gore instead of Bush in 2000.

Gore and the Democrats confusing on politics. They're plenty confusing on science. Gore just looks so desperate for power he'll tell anyone whatever they want to hear.

univar.jpg Posted by Bill Baar on November 16, 2005 07:19 AM
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