Since leaving elective office, former Vice President Al Gore has made his living as the world’s most prominent prophet of climate alarmism. He has managed to accumulate fabulous wealth (net worth: $300 million) and an enormous carbon footprint jet-setting all over the world to deliver speeches filled with fiery rhetoric about an issue whose narrative has morphed from global warming to climate change to climate crisis to climate emergency to climate catastrophe since he began preaching about it more than 30 years ago.
In what even some of its proponents admit has become a true religious exercise, only UN chief Antonio Guterres, purveyor of a climate “highway to hell,” “global boiling,” and “climate collapse,” seems able to go toe to toe with Gore in terms of pure fright scenarios. But it seems fair to question now exactly what value such bombast adds to the ongoing search for climate and energy solutions?
Because he has held no office or official sanction for decades now, Gore himself has become increasingly irrelevant to the conduct of global climate discussions, a fact that often seems to leave him frustrated, leading him to lash out at his often-imagined tormentors when he is invited to participate in global conferences. A good example came during the WEF annual conference in Davos in January. There, he claimed, without evidence, that the extra heat being trapped by our atmosphere is the same as “600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on the earth.”
Fox News called Gore’s Davos 2023 speech an “unhinged rant,” including this excerpt: “That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice and raising the sea level, and causing these waves of climate refugees!” Gore referred to the troposphere as what “we’re using as an open sewer,” leading an editor at National Review to respond to Gore’s rant by asking, “How does anyone take this stuff seriously?”
It’s a great question, to which must be added, what value does such demagoguery add to what are supposed to be serious quests for solutions?
More recently, the former Vice President has directed some rhetorical flourishes towards smearing UAE Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, who the UN picked to chair this year’s upcoming COP 28 conference. In a July 2023 interview with the New York Times, Gore said, “The president of COP28 obviously is not the right person for the job. This is not a good time to undermine the confidence that people deserve to have in the process.” According to the article, Gore “suggested reforming the COP process in ways that would limit the influence of fossil fuel companies, and removing the ability for rich countries to veto language calling for a phase out of fossil fuels, as they have done for years.”
Gore is out again in the media this week, continuing his efforts to deem COP 28 a failure in advance of the meeting even taking place in an interview with Axios. There, Gore again derides the decision by the UN to allow fossil fuels industries to even participate in the conference, claiming, “It has probably never been realistic to expect the fossil fuel industry to play a genuinely meaningful role in helping us decarbonize society,” Gore told Axios. “No matter what they have said, no matter what thoughtful men and women in the industry know is ultimately the right thing to do, they are powerfully incentivized by their shareholders to continue drilling for oil and gas, thereby adding to human-caused global warming,” he said.
Again, as is his habit, all the bombast is offered without evidence. To Gore, the religious dogma is and always has been a matter of faith requiring no proof. It is also fair to point out that Gore’s position here has been disputed by fellow climate alarm luminaries like Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and even Joe Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry.
Obviously, the UN, WEF, and organizers of other global climate conferences feel obligated to keep inviting Gore to participate. But at some point, they might want to pose this simple question to themselves: “Why?”
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
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