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Al Gore in Agony: The Gasbag vs. Natural Gas

Written by Gary North on November 23, 2012

Al Gore has problems. The carbon tax idea died. Obama is opposed to it.

Then there is natural gas. America has a lot of it. It’s clean. It’s cheap. But its use releases carbon dioxide. The horror!

Everywhere he looks, the public is ignoring his message. Voters don’t think earth is in the balance. Politicians think he is slightly unbalanced. He is yesterday’s crisis, yesterday’s candidate, yesterday’s news.

On the carbon tax

 Those of us that hold out some hope that we will find a way to get a price on carbon, and know there are multiple ways to do it, have felt that the convergence of the fiscal cliff and the climate cliff could produce some surprising results. And there have been some private comments by some Republicans to that effect. But certainly that’s something you wouldn’t wanna bet money on in Vegas.

On his lack of credibility.

Q. Do you worry that you getting out in front of this might brand it in a certain way —

A. Well, they come after anybody who speaks up in favor of doing something on climate. It’s not going to surprise any of them that I’m in favor of it. I’ve said it on practically a daily basis for years and years.

On being out of touch with politics

First of all, I don’t agree that it is stuck in the U.S. I really don’t. I think there is a great deal of movement beneath the surface. I run into people all the time who are former deniers, former opponents of doing anything on climate who are saying, “Look, this is just getting too weird. It’s clear that this is going on, we’ve got to do something.” Now, we’re not at the tipping point, but we’re much closer than we have been.

I’ve said this before and I really do believe it’s true: Changes like this don’t occur in a linear way. The potential for change builds up, unmanifested, until it reaches a critical mass. You don’t always see it coming. There are plenty of examples of that. I believe we’re seeing just that kind of movement just beneath the surface here in the U.S. . . .

I’m not saying we’re right on the tipping point. I know better than that. But neither do I think it’s accurate to say that we’re stuck in neutral. I don’t think we are.

On being out of touch with economics

In many areas, renewables, particularly solar and wind, are competitive. Not everywhere by a long shot, but in a growing number of areas. That in itself drives a certain tipping point, because when utilities are confronted with a better bargain, even with all the regulatory morass, they do make changes. We’ve seen 166 coal plants close. Yes, [natural] gas is a big part of it, but so is the impact of renewables on the margin. And that margin’s getting wider and wider all the time.

On natural gas

I’m concerned about methane leakage — the fact that it’s a valuable commodity and they have an incentive to capture it hasn’t stopped the leakage. Particularly in the fracking process, when they pull the fluids out, there’s just a huge outgassing. There are still leaks throughout the production and distribution chain, and the magnitude may well be sufficient to outweigh any CO2 advantage that you would otherwise gain.

I do worry that we could make such a legacy investment in gas infrastructure that the nation’s appetite for making a second conversion would be severely diminished. But I weigh that against the inherent market power of the cost down-curve for solar and wind reaching the point where utilities — and homeowners, and business owners — simply can’t say no to it, even if we’re in the middle of the bridge substitution strategy.

On the Keystone pipeline

I know the realpolitik and business perspective is to say, “It’s gonna come out no matter what,” but I don’t buy that. We have a planetary emergency. I know it drives some people nuts when I say that, but dammit, that’s what we face. We have to take that reality on board. . . .

And let me answer the first part of that question — you’re probably not in as much suspense about that one. I am strongly opposed to that tar-sands pipeline. I think it’s crazy. Again, you have the realpolitik/business logic, but I just think it is morally wrong for us to open a brand new source of even dirtier carbon-based energy when we are desperately trying to bend down the curves.

On the future of civilization

I understand why a lot of people think it’s unrealistic in the extreme for one of these things to be slowed down or stopped. But you know, if you take that position, then you are inherently saying, “Well, it’s not that unrealistic to destroy the future of human civilization.”

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12 thoughts on “Al Gore in Agony: The Gasbag vs. Natural Gas

  1. Al Gore got mediocre grades in his college science courses. He comes from a family of politicians. That anyone would follow this pied piper of "human caused global warming" nonsense shows how out of touch many Americans are. Unless they had been promised a "piece of the action" when the billion$ in carbon tax revenue started flowing in to government coffers.

    That's the problem with people who make their careers in government: the solution to every problem (they create) is to invent a new tax. The result is we are all broke. You can get blood from a stone!

  2. "Can't" get.

  3. In this case "bad" science produces "bad" politics.

  4. Gene W 1938 says:

    Al Gore is part owner in the carbon market exchange (along with many other 'Carbon Supporters') who stand to make millions if not billions if the carbon tax is imposed !!! Google the subject !!! This is a world class scam and they should be jailed !!!

  5. There's a really good video, available via internet. I first saw it shown on a PBS network.
    Check out "The Great Global Warming Swindle"

    We're being fed a lie. Don't just listen to one side of the story. Check out this show.

  6. kirk Hogan says:

    AL SAID: "I think there is a lot of movement under the surface." Two thoughts come to mind. First is Nixon saying "I am NOT a crook'…and the other refers to the 'movement' of which Mr. Gore is SO CLEARLY FULL OF. There is a reason why the biblical quote is so often stated incorrectly. 'Money' is not the root of all evil…because the root of money is LABOR. The verse states that it is the "love of money" that is the (or 'a') root of all evil. For example….Al, being full of it…has NEVER commented on the ocean life as a source of CO2…yet Whale Movements yield LOTS of it. He, therefore, to be consistent, should be in favor of exterminating WHALES as well as humans.

  7. Here's the thing about "climate change" back in the 70's they were warning everyone about an ice age coming, what happened between then & now. Now they are clamming climate change is warming the earth. This ony goes to show that our government has to have something to justify spending money on year after year. I wish people would remember what they say from on year to another, as this is something entirely different from only 35 years ago, so what is it, freezing or warming? When they make up their minds then they should start giving us warnings of impending doom & not before

  8. Read my post abopve about the scam that the government has been playing on ever one for the last 1/4 century

  9. Gore also said in a speech that the temperature at the earth's core was "millions of degrees". It's actually about 5000 degrees centrigrade.

    Temperature sensors used to slant the data in favor of "human caused global warming" have been found next to the outflows of building air conditioners and, in one case, next to a trash incinerator!

    Climate data that the NOAA 16 satellite has been sending back to earth for the last 10 years became suspect when it recorded a temperature reading in the Great Lakes area of over 800 degrees.

  10. What they never say about climate change is, how are all these chemtrails affecting the weather? And are they in on it to "prove" their theories? I live northern mn and the past month and a half it's been cloudy. There was 3 scattered days off sun and each day there were chemtrails. I believe what ever they are spraying is much more disruptive then we could do by accident.

  11. It's hard to get excited about the stupidity of american sheeple relating to climate change when the just allowed the NWO criminals to buy the Kriminal Kenyan another term. That to me epitomizes American imbicility, qualitatively AND quantitatively.

  12. Does Cargo Cult science lead to Cargo Cult politicians?

    All signs point to "Yes".