Al Gore is not a well man. I’ve always thought he was philosophically dangerous—in fact he is a de facto follower of Heidegger—but he literally appears to be losing his mind. Making the rounds right now is this recording of a recent Gore appearance in Aspen, where I guess he thinks shouting expletives will be more convincing than his gauzy mockumentary. Some excerpts:
And some of the exact same people — I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: “This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.” Bullshit! “It may be sun spots.” Bullshit! “It’s not getting warmer.” Bullshit! . . . There’s no longer a shared reality … It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company — meaning bipartisan company — to use the goddamn word “climate.”
To paraphrase one of Randall Jarrell’s great lines, you have to hear it, not to believe it. (If you care about the particulars of Gore’s rant—volcanoes, sunspots, etc, Marc Morano’s indispensible ClimateDepot site has the goods on each of these inconvenient truths.)
His comparison of climate skeptics to “tobacco scientists” would be risible on its own terms, but is especially ironic given Gore’s famous embrace of tobacco on the presidential campaign trail back in 1988:
Throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I’ve hoed it. I’ve dug in it. I’ve sprayed it, I’ve chopped it, I’ve shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it.
He later excused his insensitivity to the evils of tobacco to his own “emotional numbness.”
Really, Gore is the gift that keeps on giving. I hope he never shuts up. (By the way, if you want a good compilation of Gore’s greatest gaffes, see this site.)
UPDATE: It turns out that Gore didn’t know he was being taped, even though the event was being live-streamed on that wonderful invention of his. But the most salient feature of this story is that Gore’s talk was 89 minutes long.