Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oilcaholics Anonymous: Klein vs. Gore

We'll know that we're winning the climate change battle when the debate starts looking more like genuine public discourse and less like an AA meeting. Take the following exchange between Al Gore and outgoing Alberta premiere Ralph Klein:

Al Gore: For every barrel of oil they extract there, they have to use enough natural gas to heat a family's home for four days. And they have to tear up four tons of landscape, all for one barrel of oil.
Ralph Klein: I don't watch movies that much and I don't listen to Al Gore in particular because he's a Democrat, and not only that, he's about as far left as you can go."

AG: But you know, junkies find veins in their toes. It seems reasonable to them because they've lost sight of the rest of their lives

RK: I don't know what he (Gore) proposes the world run
on. Maybe hot air.
On our 'left' we have a well reasoned, scientifically defensible, and factual characterization of climate change and the impact of tar sands development. On our 'right' we have a so called free market champion who is incapable of responding to the same issue without sounding like an addict himself.

Through a range of political arenas, from Washington to Fort MacMurray, this is a style of discourse that too often is credited as 'leadership' and too rarely called out for its arrogance and absurdity.

What should the world run on? The enormous power of our collective will and ingenuity, not on tax breaks and hand outs to the oil industry; a tax structure that favours green power and conservation, rather than a corporate welfare system that props up polluting industries; and an understanding that our fate is tied to the fate of the planet, and that no amount of oil is going to change that fact.

The world is addicted to oil, and our biggest junkies are the people who profit the most from its extraction and the governments who protect their interests above all others. Breaking the cycle will be painful and involve some hard knocks, but when the gloves come off the safe money is on the sober fighter....not the guy still holding his drink.


a said...

i <3 u al... thank u 4 inventing the internet!! sincerely, fan in california (audrey lin; fremont, cali)

Odiyya said...

For anyone wanting a little more info on Al Gore and the Internet I'll quote his Wikipedia page, and offer a site detailing Gore's accomplishments for the internet, in particular through the 1991 Gore Bill. The Republican's use of this point as a personal attack on Gore is a case in point of the poor dialogue going on in American today:

"In the early 1990s the Internet was big news...In the fall of 1990 there were just 313,000 computers on the Internet; by 1996, there were close to 10 million. The networking idea became politicized during the 1992 Clinton-Gore election campaign, where the rhetoric of the 'information highway' captured the public imagination. On taking office in 1993, the new administration set in place a range of government initiatives for a National Information Infrastructure aimed at ensuring that all American citizens ultimately gain access to the new networks (p.283)."

10:59 AM

Anonymous said...

hey a,
You republicans have ran with that misquote for some time. Do you actual know the quote from its context?

He actually said "I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system."

That does not imply he persoanlly built the internet from scratch but refers to signing off on the initiative for its creation.

Ms Audrey Lin, I would suggest you stop running with popular gossip and conjecture and actually look up these things yourself. Otherwise you are extremely stupid to listen to what people tell you. They only have themselves and their support in mind! Anything to rattle scared housewives.

Michael said...

Easy profit derived from the earth's bounty should be viewed with suspicion. It means that someone, somehow, will pay for it.

For the most part, that means us -- you 'n' me -- will be paying for this profligacy, with our future.

Klein is extracting energy-expensive oil [shale] by using up natural gas to provide the energy to extract that oil, and then pretending the natural gas is "free" -- when it's actually a finite resource, with its own value.

Please! It's absurd to think this sort of thing can continue. We are borrowing from our future, and at some point the loan sharks say "it's time to break some thumbs."

Anonymous said...

Al Gore's movie is in the Michael Moore Crockumentary mold. Short on facts and long on scare. Al "I could have been president if only the votes added up" Gore seems to say or do anything to get noticed. Saying that storms and huricanes are the fault of GW is nuts, we had more hurricanes decades ago than last year.
Kyoto is based on bad science, CO2 is plantfood, sending money to so-called developing countries for polution credits is moronic!!!
Here's a web site created by Climate Scientists . . .

have a read, don't buy into the crap from Club Sierra, Suzziki (Zoologist) and others who are raking in millions of dollars promoting the scare. Where does the cast go? Does anyone know?

EX-NDIP said...

Here's a good read for all you guys . . .

Odiyya said...

With respect to the previous post, I'm familiar with Bjorn Lomborg and his work, and while he offers a fine economic analysis of various situations, there are two critical errors in his conclusions. Namely, they are a cost benefit analysis for immediate ECONOMIC decision making that does not take into account the actual long term costs of climate change, nor the most recent science indicating the speed with which these changes are occuring (his work and book are from 2001).

Unfortunately, his criticism of climate change also fails in the same way every criticisms does. That is, although he talk about 'facts' he doesn't give any. His facts are on the relative 'value' (as he defines it) of a given dollar of spending, not on an evaluation of the risk of climate change.

Having seen An Inconvenient Truth (unlike Mr. Lomborg who offers a critique of it without having seen it - another vast error in critical thought), I will personally vouch that it speaks to and with nothing but the facts.

For those are interested in more facts, the following site is an excellent source for scientific case behind climate change.

You can also watch Al Gore's rebuttal from the Daily Show on today's posts.