That sound of grinding teeth you hear this week is coming from
global-warming skeptics and their fans in the blogosphere.
The reason? Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for his work on
Mr. Gore's detractors have spent recent days fulminating about
the former vice president's award, renewing their dare that he
should "debate" prominent skeptics Dennis Avery and Fred Singer.
They've also gleefully noted that a British court finds that the
Academy Award-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," which features
Gore, contains several scientific errors.
The British court's ruling came on a challenge from a school
official who did not want to show the film to students. High Court
Judge Michael Burton said that the film is "substantially founded
upon scientific research and fact" but that errors were made in "the
context of alarmism and exaggeration," according to an ABC News
online report. It adds:
"Burton found that screening the film in British secondary
schools violated laws barring the promotion of partisan political
views in the classroom. But he allowed the film to be shown on the
condition that it is accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore's
'one-sided' views, saying that the film's 'apocalyptic vision' was
not an impartial analysis of climate change."
In the British online journal Spiked, editor Brendan O'Neill says
this reveals an environmental campaign that is "political and
moralistic ... based on misanthropic ideas about human activity and
on demands for ... the rewiring of people's expectations and
desires." The Gore critic adds:
"Environmentalists have a narrow view indeed of what constitutes
'the truth'. They treat truth as something which is revealed to the
public by scientists in a laboratory, which apparently green
activists are allowed to exaggerate every now and then. "
In National Review online, American Enterprise Institute scholar
Steven Hayward says, "Parson Al winning the Nobel Peace Prize ...
represents the final debasement of a once-prestigious award." He
"The Nobel will be one more quiver in Gore's arsenal of
intransigent moral authority by which he refuses to debate any
aspect of the subject and declares the entire matter 'settled.' It
is ... problematic to suggest that climate change is not a political
issue, but a moral issue, but then to demand massive political
interventions in the economy to fix the problem."
But liberal analysts are pushing back.
"What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?"
asks New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. …