As Ben Smith at Politico reports:
“If you look at the seriousness of the climate crisis, you see how it ties to the economic crisis and the national security threat that we face,” he said. “200 billion dollars are being sent overseas just from oil.”Who exactly is defending the status quo? Not the oil companies, who are busy trying to fulfill the government's mandates to blend ethanol into gasoline, which has the destructive tendency to increase food prices, and reduce overall gas mileage.
“The idea that we can drill our way out of this is just so absurd,” he said, comparing the push for offshore oil drilling — which has gained popularity and put environmentalists on the defense — to dealing with a hangover by having another drink.
“The defenders of the status quo are the ones who have dug us into this hole,” he said, commenting that Americans have been “so often fooled into finding a remedy for a problem" that has nothing to do with the problem at hand — pointing to the invasion of Iraq when America was attacked by terrorists in Afghanistan as an example.
“The engines of distraction and the great concentrated power of communication that you’ve seen turned on this issue or that issue is already hard at work," he says. "They will say we can’t switch away from oil."
It is true that the oil companies would love to increase production of oil domestically, since it is a far more stable source of petroleum than overseas regions like Venezuela, Russia, and the Middle East. However, they're kept at bay by environmentalists and NIMBY types who don't want anyone to drill for the power that gets their cars and buses to operate.
Similarly, the environmentalists and NIMBY types want to limit creation of new wind power plants, hydro facilities, and nuclear power plants, all on the lines that it would be destructive to the environment.
Never mind that the lack of power would be destructive to the lifestyle of everyone on the planet. There is a very strong correlation between energy consumption and longevity.
As I've previously written, oil and petroleum products are also responsible for many modern health advances, including providing sanitary conditions at hospitals and for many lifesaving devices.
Gore would like people to believe that the global warming is the real threat to mankind, and yet the science is hardly settled. Indeed, the evidence appears lacking.
He is a hypocrite of the first order, as he demands that people conserve and use less oil, as the limousines of his followers and his own family wait idling as he gives his speeches. If he truly believed in global warming, he would never travel to far flung destinations or even around the country in jets that expend tremendous amounts of fuel and release significant amounts of COx into the atmosphere. He would teleconference if he was truly serious.
He is not.
He's intent to make money for himself and his fellow travelers in the carbon trading scheme.
Look, there are good reasons to reduce emissions and pollutants that are completely unrelated to global warming. It's common sense to reduce particulates and ozone at ground level because they are harmful to your health. They increase asthma and can cause respiratory distress in people.
But new technologies can reduce particulate emissions and ozone emissions. Alternative energy sources like solar and wind require vast spaces to generate power, and that isn't always feasible in places that need power most, like urban areas where space is limited and costs are high for real estate acquisition.
Conservation is also a good idea, but it cannot take the place of drilling either as worldwide consumption of oil continues to rise. A person can reduce their own energy costs by investing in new energy efficient windows, doors, insulation, garage doors, and even roofing options that reflect solar energy instead of absorbing them. These changes will pay out over the life of the home or business, but if the government wants to change habits, providing additional credits or tax breaks for those energy efficient options is the way to do it.
Imposing new taxes for the sake of Al Gore's misplaced conscience isn't.
Gaius notes that Gore has a problem with physics - that you simply can't transmit power generated in one place and distribute it somewhere else without running into the physical constraints of transmission lines. I'd further note that the NIMBY types also get in the way of building new power lines that help improve the distribution of power from far flung places, even when those power sources are green.