Tag: Al Gore

TBC: Morning Musing 3.17.15

OK, I totally spaced on it being St Patty’s Day,s o I don’t have anything specifically themed for ya. But I do have 4 articles that are interesting…

First, this is as green as it gets today, but it is kind of round about green. Not sure how I feel about the idea, but it would make things interesting to say the least:

Al Gore should run for president

To many Democrats, the fight the party needs is clear: Hillary Clinton vs. Elizabeth Warren. But the differences between Warren and Clinton are less profound than they appear. Warren goes a bit further than Clinton does, both in rhetoric and policy, but her agenda is smaller and more traditional than she makes it sound: tightening financial regulation, redistributing a little more, tying up some loose ends in the social safety net. Given the near-certainty of a Republican House, there is little reason to believe there would be much difference between a Warren presidency and a Clinton one.

The most ambitious vision for the Democratic Party right now rests with a politician most have forgotten, and whom no one is mentioning for 2016: Al Gore.


It’s About the Constitution, Stupid.

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

During an hour “fireside” chat at this week’s Southland Conference on technology, entrepreneurship and southern culture, former Vice President Al Gore was asked about Eric Snowden by Sarah Lacey. His answer, when asked if Snowden was a hero or traitor, was quite clear:

   I hear this question all the time…I’m like most people, I don’t put (Snowden) in either one of those categories. But I will be candid – if you set up a spectrum, I would push it more away from the traitor side. He clearly violated the law (so) you can’t say OK what he did is alright. It is not.

   But what he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the Constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed. In the course of violating important laws he also provided an important service because we did need to know how far this has gone.

He then added his concerns about the mass surveillance by the NSA:

This is a threat to the heart of democracy. Democracy is among other things a state of mind. If any of us are put in a position where we have to self censor, and think twice about what we write in an email, or what we click on for fear that somebody reading a record of this may misunderstand why we looked up some disease or something, some young people who might otherwise get help with a medical condition, might think oh my gosh if I put down a search for bipolar illness I will be stigmatized if my online file is hacked or accessed by my employer. That kills democracy.

Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks ‘an important service’, says Al Gore

By Ewan MacAskill, The Guardian

Former vice-president argues whistleblower exposed ‘violations of US constitution far more serious than crimes he committed’

Asked if he regarded Snowden as a traitor or whistleblower, Gore veered away from the “traitor” label. He refused to go as far as labelling him a whistleblower but signalled he viewed him as being closer to that category than a traitor, saying: “What he revealed in the course of violating important laws included violations of the US constitution that were way more serious than the crimes he committed.” [..]

Gore called on the internet companies to work with the public to help draw up a “digital Magna Carta” that provides protection of freedoms. “They need to pay attention to correcting some of these gross abuses of individual privacy that are ongoing in the business sphere,” he said.

Snowden’s hope of a return to the US is dependent on a change in a major shift in opinion that would allow him to escape a lengthy prison sentence. His supporters will seize on Gore’s comments to help make the case that he is a whistleblower and should be allowed to return to the US as a free man. Ben Wizner, Snowden’s US-based lawyer, said: “Al Gore is quite obviously right. Regrettably, the laws under which Snowden is being charged make no allowance for the value of the information he disclosed. Whether the NSA’s activities violated the law or the constitution would be irrelevant in a trial under the Espionage Act.”

This conversation about our privacy and the government disregard of the Constitution in the name of security is not over by a long shot.

Behold the Grand Misdirection — Lockbox vs the Loan-Sharks

The Austerity Rhetoric is ramping up.

The National Debt is the Issue of the Day.

How in the world are we going to pay for it — especially for all those Baby-Boomers with the audacity to dare to Retire, after working all our lives;

After paying all our lives into the Social Security Trust Fund, as our Govt required us to do.

HOW Dare We — actually expect the Govt to Pay the Benefits that we were promised?  Oh the Nerve!

Here’s the sleight of hand Hoodwink that the GOP Loan-Sharks are preparing to pull off — pay attention, because it’s a classic trick of misdirection — and it goes by fast:

It is the Federal Government that has the Legal Obligation

to payback the Social Security Trust Fund

NOT the other way around !

It is the Federal Govt that raided OUR Retirement “Cookie Jar” —

and it is the Federal Govt that needs to replace them.

What’s left of OUR “Cookies” should be permanently off the Table.

In other words, All cuts to SS Benefits should be OFF the Table.

Disruptive Technology, Micro Solar, and Recovery Act Innovation

Technology is a double-edged sword.

It can spark the furnace, that keeps you alive in the winter.

It can spark a wild fire, that consumes all its path.

But then again, Lightning can cause the same damage —

WITHOUT the assist of human innovation.

Technology is a double-edged sword.

It can lead to increased crop production, to feed the masses;

which in turn, can lead to increased masses,

that taxes that same crop production.

Technology is a double-edged sword.

Sometimes the simplest of inventions —

can change the world;

often in ways, never imagined by the inventors.

Such innovations have been call “Disruptive Technology” —

because their impact, is SO unexpected,

and yet SO useful — that they spin off other innovations,

and industries, and businesses, and even

entirely new ‘ways of life’

Stop being such a purity troll, Al Gore

Don’t have time to post too much now, might post a longer diary about this later, but for now:

Al Gore and his group, the Alliance for Climate Protection, think President Obama’s decision to pursue offshore oil drilling is a bad idea and they’re letting him know.

In a recent tweet, Gore appeared to endorse a statement released by the Alliance’s CEO Maggie L. Fox in which she criticized Obama’s drilling plan, saying that it “continues our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.”

“We cannot simply drill our way to energy security,” Fox wrote. “Americans are demanding a clean energy future that goes beyond drilling and incentivizes the technologies that are critical to building a 21st-century clean energy economy. What we need now is presidential leadership that drives comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that caps harmful carbon pollution, puts America back to work, ends our reliance on foreign oil and keeps us safe.”


Today Is Al Gore’s Birthday

Today is Al Gore’s birthday. In July of 2008, this appeared at the Wall Street Journal:

Appearing before a packed crowd at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, the former vice president and Nobel laureate urged lawmakers to resist the temptation to overturn a federal ban on offshore drilling, and he reiterated his support for a carbon tax accompanied by a “sharp reduction” in payroll taxes.

“We should tax what we burn, not what we earn,” Gore told the crowd. His comments come at a pivotal time, with some Democratic lawmakers saying publicly that they could support a relaxation of the offshore drilling ban as a response to soaring oil prices.

Gore also challenged the country to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources within 10 years. He compared the goal to the Marshall Plan, the interstate highway system and the Apollo program. “Once again,” he said, “we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.”

This isn’t about campaign promises. This isn’t about cutting a political deal. This isn’t about taking a moderate approach. This isn’t about baby steps. This is about the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. This is about science. This is about the desperate need for a global sense of desperate urgency. We don’t have time to waste. We don’t have time to compromise.

The world is not addressing climate change with anything remotely close to the urgency it demands. Nearly a month ago, I wrote about the collapse of international efforts to address climate change. I linked about the increased industry disinformation campaign. About how the British, the European Union, China, India, Russia, Australia, and the U.S Senate are failing. This is an historical moment when world leadership is required. When someone needs to step up and force the world to open its collective eyes and stop dithering and denying and pretending and avoiding. This is not a time to be perpetuating myths and enabling both the process and the paradigm that undermine the very concept of our having a collective future.

As I wrote, last month:

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Al Gore vs the Denialists

Crossposted at Daily Kos.  If you choose to recommend it there, the Rec Button may have been pushed to the bottom after the last diary comment made.


This weekly diary takes a look at the past week’s important news stories from the perspective of our leading editorial cartoonists (including a few foreign ones) with analysis and commentary added in by me.

When evaluating a cartoon, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does a cartoon add to my existing knowledge base and help crystallize my thinking about the issue depicted?

2. Does the cartoonist have any obvious biases that distort reality?

3. Is the cartoonist reflecting prevailing public opinion or trying to shape it?

The answers will help determine the effectiveness of the cartoonist’s message.

:: ::

Chris Britt, see reader comments in the State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)

Your Head Will Explode

To corporate media hacks, there are no objective facts. Because they are incapable of either researching or comprehending what can be demonstrably proved, they dumb down all issues to mere partisan controversies. There is no scientific method. There are no historical contexts. There are two sides to every story, even when there really aren’t. Everything can be a legitimate source of bickering.

It’s not just juvenile, and it’s not just unprofessional; it is, in fact, dangerous. If a prominent Republican went flat-earther, Wolf Blitzer, David Broder and their ilk would reliably report on the new controversy over the shape of the earth. Andrea Mitchell just proved her credentials as an upstanding member of this upsidedown cult of unreality. On the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, she interviewed Al Gore. Did she ask him about the science of climate change? Did she ask him about the politics? Did she ask him if the politics was dangerous, given the science? Of course not. As reported by Steve Benen:

This morning, Gore appeared on MSNBC, where Andrea Mitchell read from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page to ask the former vice president questions about climate change.

Let’s think about that, for a moment. Al Gore may be an imperfect messenger, but his understanding of climate change is steeped in science. He’s written books about it. Books that he not only read, but actually wrote. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work explaining climate change and trying to get the world to deal with it. In contrast, Sarah Palin has no understanding of climate change, whatsoever. Not only does she not understand the science of climate change, she doesn’t appear to understand science. Nothing in her resume credibly qualifies her to discuss climate change. To be kind, one could say that her best and most consistent professional qualification is that of a quitter. She’s not very good at it, but she does have plenty of experience.

But even more surreal is the context of Mitchell’s question. A supposedly serious supposed journalist asks a Nobel Prize winning expert what he thinks of the nitwit ramblings of an ignorant anti-intellectual that were posted to a Facebook page? Has the corporate media really dumbed itself that far down?

Apparently without laughing in her face or being stupefied into horrified silence, Gore gave Mitchell a succinct response:

“Well, you know, the global warming deniers persist in this air of unreality,” Gore explained. “After all, the entire north polar icecap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?”

Al Gore: It’s like gravity; It exists.

Chalk One up for Science, as if Science, were subject to Popular Vote …

(If that were true, guess who would of won in 2000?)

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Al Gore


MITCHELL: Palin calls it “junk science.” She says, “The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worst.”

What’s your response to that?

CRU Frauds Destroy Environental Movement Credibility

The Globe and Mail reports that the cover-up is usually worse than the crime. University of East Anglia CRU climate scientist Mike Hulme worries that denying the academic dishonesty and shabby efforts of fellow climate scientists to destroy CRU data will “set back climate science back twenty years”. Phee-yew! And that’s criticism from inside the tent.

The first thing I did this morning was grab a bucket and scoop the water out of the bathtub and pour it by hand in the washing machine. My wife ordinarily does this and has, cheerfully, for years. She’s the heavy-lifter environmentalist chez kidneystones. The temperature inside our new home in Tokyo right now in December is about 55 degrees. The windows are open to let in the sunshine. I’m wearing a turtleneck and a warm-up jacket as I type. We don’t own a car, don’t own an air-conditioner and turn on the electric heat in winter only when a hat and extra sweater won’t suffice. We recycle assiduously whenever we can. In short: we’re into environmentalism.

We defend environmentalism easily. The savings from recycling water appear on our water bill. We have hard data we share willingly with neighbors. The work I do in the social sciences includes history of science. That, too, I publish and share. Good work withstands scrutiny. A few people I respect, however, are currently making the case that science cannot withstand scrutiny and that breaking into computers to get access to data matters more than what is discovered.

The break-ins are very likely part of a larger effort to discredit climate science. Why? Because climate science appears to be pure bullshit and there appears to be clear evidence of collusion to control access to core data. For years, climate science skeptics, critics, deniers: call them what you will, have petitioned the CRU for access to the raw data. They were stone-walled at every turn. Fact or fiction?

Prof. Jones wrote that climate skeptics “have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send it to anyone.”

How can anyone defend Jones? We shouldn’t need to remind anyone of the Bush efforts to conceal WH email, or the challenges critics of the war have faced trying to get information about who knew what and when. Real questions exist about the core samples and the methodology underpinning climate science claims.

Rather than bring the data to the light of day, climate scientists threatened to destroy or delete their work. Had Jones and company simply allowed all-comers access to the core data underpinning their claims there would have been no ‘criminal’ hack. Why wouldn’t Jones and company let others see their core work? The only plausible explanation, IMHO, is Jones et al knew their work would not stand up to aggressive examination.

When so-called ‘progressives’ defend stonewalling, data-deletion, and academic dis-honesty, environmentalists know that there’s even more reason to bring the facts, all of them, to the public. The cover-up and the CRU fraud both stink.  

Eating Crow

Hello folks!

Congratulations to buhdy for making the site work. Really. No thanks to me. I pulled out right about the time I was predicting that “occupant” could not possibly win, no matter what. Well, there you have it. Never underestimate the importance of the novelty factor which (it would be churlish to dwell on) appears to have pretty much worn-off.

But that’s not why I’m here. I’m back to congratulate the winners and to wish one and all well. I sincerely do hope that rationality and critical thinking will prevail as we learn more and more about the cobbled-together pseudo-science underpinning Al Gore’s awkward adventure, otherwise known (cruelly) as the ‘dog ate my data’. The environment is in trouble and devoting so much time and energy away from real problems, like the amount of plastic we produce and ingest, has cost enough already.

You folks elected McCain-lite and for that I’m sure you’re all suitably proud. I would have much preferred the real thing and a frank statement confirming the US would stay in Afghanistan and Iraq for as long as it takes to bring stability to both countries.

You’ve opted for the worst of both worlds, instead: a pack of Bush-like promises to ‘Finish the job’, whatever the fuck that might mean on any given day, with enough cannon-fodder to piss off all the locals but not provide any real security, all under the command of a general who sees little wrong with outsourcing rendition, assassination and ‘snatch and grab’ teams to Blackwater.

Good thing, McCain lost. Because there’s not much chance he would have done much more than build a few nuclear power plants and allow the climate-science cranks to perpetuate their lies a few years longer. Take a bow.

What ever happened to the News?

Media Reform Information Center

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S.

in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world’s largest media corporation.

In 2004, Bagdikian’s revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth.



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