On Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize

by Wm. Robert Johnston
16 October 2007

Paul Krugman recently penned a column simply gushing over Al Gore and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Gore's prize is of course for his propagandizing about the environment. I say "propagandizing" because he chose not to accurately present the facts in "An Inconvenient Truth". The book, for example, is filled with errors and misrepresentations, as reviewed here. The movie is actually even worse (even Gore didn't have the guts to put some of his movie material in print). In the movie, Gore lies or misleads with virtually every graph he presents: either the data is not what Gore says it is, or the data doesn't relate to climate change (some of his data sources explicitly point this out, it turns out), or Gore misrepresents how the data relates to his scientific claims.

Gore's supporters treat this peace prize announcement as if it makes him more credible, Gore being in the same league as Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. The fact of the matter is that virtually none of Gore's claims on the science stand up: he goes way outside of mainstream science with his extreme claims, and he has admitted that he "overstates" his case (i.e. lies) because a public panic is the only way to accomplish his goals. I keep finding scientists that say of Gore, "I know he's got the facts wrong in my area of specialty, but I like his message so I'll endorse him." This is a faith-based position if anything: "his message is good regardless of the facts".

The notion in Krugman's article of a virtuous Gore who "keeps being right" is equally absurd: Gore built his career on tobacco money; his main accomplishments on foreign policy were that as senator he opposed the Reagan policies that brought down the USSR, and as vice president he contributed to the current crisis in Russia by facilitating corruption among Russian leaders; his first book on the environment couldn't be distinguished from the Unabomber Manifesto in blind tests, and his second one is a propaganda piece targeting a third-grade reading level. He escaped investigation for campaign funding irregularities in 1998 through the cooperation of Janet Reno, his legal actions and persistent claim that he "won" the 2000 election show disdain for the U.S. Constitution, and his statements on the economic aspects of tackling environmental issues show the lack of economic understanding you would expect from someone who has never worked outside the government or news media. Just ask the people who really invented the Internet how credible Gore is.

Take for example the Gore quote in Krugman's article: "'he warned that if we invaded Iraq, 'the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam'." Actually, what Gore warned against in this 2002 speech was not against invading Iraq, but against invading Iraq and then cutting and running like he advocates now--the full quote is "Moreover, if we quickly succeed in a war against the weakened and depleted fourth rate military of Iraq and then quickly abandon that nation as President Bush has abandoned Afghanistan after quickly defeating a fifth rate military there, the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam."--that is because in 2002 he agreed we should invade Iraq. Anyone can "keep being right" if you're very selective in your memory--and with Gore, you have to be very selective.

© 2007 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 16 October 2007.
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