June 27, 2006
Gore's Global Warming Snow JobBy Marc Sheppard
Phineas Taylor Barnum, the greatest 19th Century showman and huckster, taught the world that by craftily combining equal parts entertainment, science and sensationalism, our natural sense of wonder and curiosity can be exploited to convince the gullible masses of almost anything. Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., the 21st Century showman and huckster, employs a similar recipe to achieve equally misleading results.
Barnum journeyed the world discovering and creating all manners of oddities — some human, some animal, some both. He liked to refer to himself as the 'Prince of Humbug.' Being a modern—day snake—oil salesman, Gore enjoys the benefits of technologies unavailable to his earlier counterpart. While modern 'sensibilities' have marginalized the side—show, modern capabilities have greatly enhanced Gore's slide—show. Of the two men, Barnum was the better wordsmith, and some of his classic aphorisms are employed here as section headings.
Every crowd has a silver lining
Gore's indulgent exercise in doomsaying has morphed from a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation into the feature film, An Inconvenient Truth. While the man who would be President deftly handles his self—portrayal of a con—artist and the Main Stream Media eagerly accept the role of his shills, we, the crowd, get to pay our silver to be mystified and astounded.
With the adept skills of a carnie 3—card—monte dealer, he flashes melodramatic compare—and—contrast photographs of Mount Kilimanjaro gradually losing its famous snows over three and a half decades before the eyes of the eager onlooker. But this fast—talking conman isn't telling you to 'find the queen to win the green,' but rather to heed the green and accept the scene that:
Of course, he attributes this shocking loss to global warming, imposed by Homo—Sapiens' selfish exploitation of Terra. Not surprisingly, he states that the U.S. contributes over 30% of the CO2 and other 'Greenhouse gases' which 'cause' this dastardly and deadly phenomenon.
And, while this African snow—job is but one of many dubious 'truths' he hawks, this one has a particularly interesting history associated with it.
Without promotion something terrible happens... Nothing!
A 02/26/2001 New York Times editorial gave 'A Global Warning to Mr. Bush,' adding a Hemingway reference to heighten the gullible reader's visceral sense of wonder and loss.
The opinion appears to lay the foundation for Gore's subsequent parable. To be sure, the Times and Gore are well practiced in crowd psychology, which teaches that the key to a successful scam is an utterly convincing shill.
More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much
In a letter to the New York Times (published March 1, 2001), Dr. S. Fred Singer, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, responded to the editorial. Doctor Singer had devised the satellite technology currently used for measuring stratospheric ozone, was the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, and is internationally known for his work on energy and environmental issues:
Dr. Singer then concludes his letter with this paragraph of particular interest in light of recent NAS proclamations:
Do I detect some sleight—of—hand? Is this death of a literary icon 'at least partly caused by gases released by human activities' or is this 'simply a delayed consequence of a natural climate warming?'
You can fool some of the people all of the time...
Perhaps another opinion will help clarify matters. In her 11/24/2003 article for Nature Magazine, 'African Ice Under Wraps,' Betsy Mason states:
So, while the problem is, indeed, anthropogenic, it is not a byproduct of our combustion, but rather of our consumption?
... and all of the people some of the time ...
In 2004, as though to add further fuel to the global fire, The Royal Meteorological Society, in its International Journal Of Climatology, published 'Modern Glacier Retreat on Kilimanjaro as Evidence of Climate Change: Observations and Facts', which found that:
So then, the problem is, indeed, moisture related, as stated by Ms. Mason, but not, as she proposed, by any actions of mankind? In other words, the snows of Kilimanjaro have been retreating for more than 100 years, fundamentally due to declining atmospheric moisture, neither due to global warming nor any man—made industrial voracity?
... but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time
Finally, on the 8/20/2004 edition of CNN Daybreak, CNN Correspondent Jeff Koinange inadvertently managed to define the current state of our African climate consensus when he reported that:
Well, that's that —— All of that.
Now or Never
So let's recap this shoddy flimflam which Gore is playing. Consider that each of these scientific entities holds a uniquely divergent opinion regarding the cause(s) of the Kilimanjaro melting:
And, yet, this grifter standing before those slides, himself lacking any scientific — let alone climatological — credentials, implores us to believe that he and he alone holds the truth, convenient or otherwise. Fortunately, while he does 'fool some of the people all of the time,' he lacks the color, wit, imagination, and personality required to ever 'fool all of the people some of the time.'
Still, whenever the show comes to town, crowds invariably gather and attract other eager charlatans.
If I Shoot at the Sun I May Hit a Star
The current saturation of parasitic junk science articles clawing their way through all modes of media, epitomizes the relentless launching of propagandistic material that Rush Limbaugh calls the "drive—by media." Feeding upon the crowd generated by Ozone Al's medicine show and further incited by the abovementioned, curiously timed report from the NAS, within the last few days:
There's a Sucker Born Every Minute
Barnum later denied ever using the phrase which became his most famous motto, suggesting it more likely that he had said, 'The people like to be humbugged.' No matter. In the fine tradition of the Barnum—style huckster, today's junk science scammers are astutely aware of their audience, and that it truly is all in the presentation. They strongly believe that educationalism authorizes sensationalism, and that we, the crowd, want to enjoy both.
Moreover, they recognize that, while the spectacular will capture the attention of the patsies through shock and awe, contrarian intellectual positing is less compelling and, thereby, often remains unheard. The fact that this formula maintains the essentially unchallenged status of their rubbish most definitely does not escape them.
Global Warming is a far—reaching, hot button issue which is not likely to cool anytime soon. The fact that a consensus cannot be reached in the isolated circumstance of a mountain in Tanzania casts severe doubt upon the claims of any broader analysis which include the words 'scientists agree.' What's more, when those words are uttered by America's Greatest Snowman, you would be wise to keep your eye on the ball and your wallet in your pocket.