Gore Blasts U.S. as Obstacle to Climate Progress at Bali

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Nusa Dua, Bali-Newly minted Nobel Peace laureate. Al Gore, received a hero's welcome from an audience of about 2,000 U.N. Climate Change Conference delegates, activists and journalists at the Bali Convention Center. As Gore strode to the lectern a Spanish woman documentarian standing next to me gushed, "He's like a pop star."

Significantly, Gore denounced the U.S. climate negotiating position. "I am going to speak an inconvenient truth," he said. "My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here at Bali." This inconvenient truth garnered yelps and loud applause from the audience. Gore was referring to the fact that U.S. negotiators are resisting the setting of a target for future negotiations which aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 to 40 percent below their 1990 levels by 2020. The U.S. negotiators are also insisting the developing countries must also participate in any future arrangement to control GHG emissions.

Gore urged delegates and activists to push forward with the negotiations despite the United States. He assured them that the United States would be ready to join the process in two years time when the final negotiations for the follow-on treaty to the Kyoto Protocol takes place Copenhagen. As evidence that the U.S. was already on the move to address climate change, Gore cited new energy legislation in the House of Representatives, the mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limits imposed by California and other states, and the fact that 150 of America's major business leaders are calling for mandatory limits.

Meanwhile late last night, U.S. climate negotiators offered a "compromise text" proposing that developed and developing countries be treated essentially in the same way, with countries taking on GHG reduction targets according to "their level of economic development and significance." Developing countries, such as China, India and Brazil, have so far steadfastly refused to commit to any reductions arguing that the rich countries must go first since their emissions have created the problem. But Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) may beg to differ with Gore about the prospects for U.S. approval of a climate deal in 2009. Kerry warned earlier in the week here in Bali that any post-2012 international treaty aimed at controlling GHG emissions will not be ratified by the U.S. Senate unless there is some kind of commitment on the part of developing countries.

One other note-the U.S. is planning on a major economies meeting to discuss how to handle GHG emissions in Hawaii this coming January. In a press conference last night, the European Union essentially threatened to boycott that meeting unless the U.S. comes around on the question of setting GHG reduction goals between 25 and 40 percent below their 1990 level. "It's true that if we would have a failure in Bali it would be meaningless to have a major economies' meeting" said, Humberto Rosa, the E.U.'s chief climate negotiator.

The conference is supposed to wrap up on Friday by 3 p.m. No one here believes that that deadline will be met. It looks like a long night ahead for negotiators, activists and journalists.

NEXT: The H(GH) is O

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  1. Well, if past government action has taught us anything, the Earth’s surface temperature will hit about 600 degrees about 20 years after it declares “War on Global Warming!”

  2. I’m afraid Gore has been preempted by the Pope.

    Let these two experts fight it out, and get back to us later…

  3. My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here at Bali.

    American Exceptionalism Al.We are that damn good.

    The conference is supposed to wrap up on Friday by 3 p.m. No one here believes that that deadline will be met. It looks like a long night ahead for negotiators, activist and journalists.

    Eat one of those mushroom pizzas yet Ron?

  4. The conference is supposed to wrap up on Friday by 3 p.m. No one here believes that that deadline will be met.

    You mean to tell me these people just won’t shut up? Color me shocked.

  5. The European Union threatened to boycott the meeting!?!?! Oh my god!!! Oh my god!!! Those Europeans sure know how to fuckin’ play hardball!

  6. You mean to tell me these people just won’t shut up? Color me shocked.

    Makes you wonder:

    1.) How much greenhouse gas the jets and limos to get the delegates there set us back.

    2.) How much we could reduce GHG emissions if we just superglued our politicians mouths and noses shut.

  7. I’m afraid Gore has been preempted by the Pope.

    Wow, shit’s really gonna hit the fan now! This should prove to be entertaining. 😉

  8. Keep it up Al, we don’t need another environmental tragedy like the receding of the Wisconsin Glacier. Our ancestors did not do enough to prevent global warming back then and we need to learn from history.

    http://www.nps.gov/archive/iatr/expanded/history.htm

  9. First Bali and then Hawaii? These people sure know how to pick a place to hold a “conference.”

  10. Gore’s on record saying he’ll lie if he feels the cause is important enough. Can we just ignore him from now on?

  11. Anyways, I read somewheres on reason where global warming is a librul myth; apparently it’s bacteria or something . Oh yeah and Al Gore’s got a big house and rides planes!

  12. “Gore’s on record saying he’ll lie if he feels the cause is important enough”

    The ONLY cause that’s actually important to Al Gore is the self-promotion of Al Gore.

  13. Eat one of those mushroom pizzas yet Ron?

    He’s slugging down fruit juice…

  14. So, here’s the question. Why does anyone think that Al Gore, a mediocre student, who only got into Harvard because of his father’s connections, who took one single basic science course the whole time he was there, and who had the professor who taught that course go on the public record to repudiate anything Al Gore said on the subject of science, is qualified to issue a single authoritative comment on this subject?

    In the meantime, actual climate scientists, including those who are on the scientific panel of the IPCC (not to mention the foremost authority on hurricanes in the world, who resigned from the IPCC because of politicization of the subject), are publishing articles warning people against accepting the worst-case scenarios that are being predicted by the politically motivated writers of the summaries of the IPCC’s scientific findings.

    Some “consensus” these guys got going here. A bunch of grant sucking politicos writing dire predictions, while the real guys studying the subject are advising restraint.

  15. Good thing they went to Bali now, that place is under water by 2012.

    BTW, just to keep things at a civilized discourse:

    Al Gore Sucks Farts Out of Subway Seats!

  16. Leave it to delegates, activists and journalists to say that Al Gore is like a pop star…

  17. Global warming will cause some problems.

    Global cooling and the return of the ice age will end civilization.

  18. “I am going to speak an inconvenient truth,” he said. “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here at Bali.”

    ha!…as if speaking ill of America abroad is in any way inconvenient. Half the time if you’re an expat and you start bashing America, the wannabe elites will take you out for dinner, drinks and free lay.

  19. When you hear bad news, shoot the messenger.

    The US is doing its best to sabotage multilateral commitment to greenhouse gas reductions – and all we get here is juvenile putdowns of a Nobel Prize winner.

    Leaders lead, losers whinge and obstruct.

  20. You gotta give the guy credit for getting some things right. But after that Nobel prize thing, there’s just no living with him.

  21. My alternate dimensional self paid a visit today. He talked about how President Gore speech to the country a few weeks ago stated that global warming is a problem that requires Congressional action, but to keep it in perspective and not go overboard on measures that could cripple the economy or technological innovation. Meanwhile the commissioner of baseball, former governor George W Bush, is mired in a steroid scandal so bad, that he himself is about to be under indictment on federal charges of obstruction of justice.

  22. with countries taking on GHG reduction targets according to “their level of economic development and significance.”

    So, they are just modifying the big con game to redistribute wealth globally with the same old trick?

    If this truly is a problem then developing countries should not be adding any new “greenhouse gasses” at all while they lobby for the developed countries to cut back.

    Apparently begging did not get them enough international aid and they must conjure new tricks to get more. Here is a new trick for you, rest-of-the-world, try free markets and develop on your own without having to answer to anybody else.

  23. “Gore’s on record saying he’ll lie if he feels the cause is important enough. Can we just ignore him from now on?”

    Gore is to Global Warming as Bush is to Iraq. I actually think that fits pretty well …

  24. “I’m afraid Gore has been preempted by the Pope.”

    The Pope is leader of the Catholic Church, Al Gore is the leader of Gaia.

    Game, set, match.

  25. Ron Bailey, James Inhofe, and now Pope Ratzo.

    Great company, deniers.

  26. I’m not sure if Argument By Association with Flaming Idiots who Hold Positions Not Really All That Similar to That of Your Opposition is a formal fallacy, but it should be.

  27. Why would you assume I’m making an argument?

    I’m not trying to convince the remaining dead-enders.

    I just find them amusing.

  28. It is so gratifying that 150 major American business leaders are on board with cutting greenhouse gases. And I’m sure they will be more than happy to set a good example and lead from the front by having their companies sell off their private jet fleets so they and their executives can fly commercial like the rest of us? That will impress us skeptics more than bloviating from some tropical paradise about how the rest of us need to turn down the thermostat to 55 and ride our bikes to the supermarket.

  29. Creech –

    IIRC Baxter Pharma’s new building at their Round Lake facility is consistent with that company’s GHE pledge, so that’s kinda cool!

    (it could be an example where the Porter Hypothesis is shown to be correct, too, which would be awesome!)

  30. Uh, yeah, it’s a shame that no global warming advocates are pushing alternative technologies to replace heating oil and the gasoline engine.

    Nope, they all just want you cold and carless.

    Because they’re evil, and hate you.

  31. Here’s a concept joe will never understand:

    equal standards for all nations.

  32. Golly, that’s just way over my head.

    Equa-whatta huh?

  33. Wait, remind me, are we saying that requiring GHG cuts by the developing world is fair and only an America-hater could object to it, or is it one of those months that doing so would be condemning everyone in those countries to horrifying poverty?

  34. “Uh, yeah, it’s a shame that no global warming advocates are pushing alternative technologies to replace heating oil and the gasoline engine.

    Nope, they all just want you cold and carless.

    Because they’re evil, and hate you.”

    Wait, is a global warming advocate someone who welcomes our tropical future? Those bastards ARE evil.

  35. Anon-

    what do you actually mean by “equal standards”? Equal percentage reduction? Normalized target levels? Uniform emissions? Everybody running around on little bicycles, wearing funny hats?
    (oh, wait. Never mind that one. /kicks self)

  36. Al Gore just wants to control you life. He’s just power mad.

    You can tell by the way he passed on what would have been a laughably-easy walk-over of a presidential campaign so he can speak to environmental conferences.

  37. Ron Bailey, James Inhofe, and now Pope Ratzo.

    Great company, deniers.

    That may be. But I expect all of the above are at least as qualified as Gore to be speaking on climate….

  38. Serious question ‘cuz I just don’t follow Al that closely: Does Gore talk about the actual costs of his proposals? I mean real, long-term dollar amount reductions in future GDP’s. Talking about “tightening our belts” is cute but doesn’t count. If so, how do his projections compare to, say, Cato’s? Because at this point the only talk like that I’ve heard has been from Cato and others who conclude that the costs of “doing something” is much greater that the expected cost of global warming. Not saying that’s all that’s out there, that’s why I’m asking. (Yeah, a sincere question on Teh Internetz, sorry.)

  39. Here’s a concept joe will never understand: equal standards for all nations.

    Nor should he; it’s a stupid concept. As far as I know, nations are only equal in responsibilities to the extent that they are all equally responsible (in theory) to:

    1. Provide for the integrity of their territory
    2. Receive ambassadors and treat with other nations
    3. Exercise exclusive legal sovereignty over their citizens

    Beyond that, literally everything is up for grabs.

    Hey, thought experiment: Do you believe that asking a person who makes $2 million a year to take a twenty percent cut in their annual expense budget is the same as asking a person who makes twenty-thousand a year to take an equivalent twenty percent cut in their spending? That’s about how stupid the rigid logic of “every nation has the same responsibilities” is in the case of environmental impact and development.

    There is also the point (which I believe the Argentine delegation makes often) that “developing countries” is a wildly undescriptive term that places countries like China and Argentina alongside Nepal and Niger and treats them equally. They have different absolute impacts and different sized economies, and can as a result respond to the economic pressures of “greenifying” differently.

    And nobody with a straight face can say that the US (that jackass neighbor down the street with the really, *really* loud parties that dispenses drunk litterbugs and vandals at 2 am every weekend) has the same responsibility to the public order in *absolute* or even in *proportional* terms to the guy who lives in a shack on the same street and makes no noise.

    I hope.

  40. how’s this for progress

    Gore’s house progress from CNN

    A green democrat living in a 16,000 sq ft house? Cut electricity usage by 11%?

    Is this guy insane?

  41. Gore’s improvements cut the home’s summer electrical consumption by 11 percent compared with a year ago, according to utility records reviewed by The Associated Press. Most Nashville homes used 20 percent to 30 percent more electricity during the same period because of a record heat wave.

    So it’s more like a 40-50% cut.

  42. In theory, there is a huge gap between keeping down developing nations’ carbon emissions and allowing their economies to grow – if you accept the immobility of energy-intensity and carbon-intensity per economic unit.

    In practice, the same things that would keep their carbon emissions down – the development and distribution of alternate energy sources and building materials/practices, for example – would also be a significant economic boon to them over the next few decades, espeically given the rising price of energy that would be produced if China, India, Russia, and the US were all bidding for the world’s available oil to run their economies.

  43. PORTER HYPOTHESIS!

    PDF! PDF! PDF!
    Theoretical Foundation (2001)
    et
    New Insights (2007)

  44. I’m every bit the layman Al Gore is so I feel qualified to predict that decades from now, when all is said and done, there won’t be enough crow to go around for all the alarmists to eat.

  45. dammit. stoopid preview. that “a” was moi. dammit.

  46. You got any international bodies of climate scientist whose studies and conclusions form the basis of your predictions, ed?

    Gore does.

  47. The US is doing its best to sabotage multilateral commitment to greenhouse gas reductions

    You say that like its a bad thing.

    You can tell by the way he passed on what would have been a laughably-easy walk-over of a presidential campaign

    You mean the one where he’d have to beat Bill and Hillary Clinton for the nomination? Nobody’s beat the Clintons in 20 years, why would it be so easy for Gore?

    Uh, yeah, it’s a shame that no global warming advocates are pushing alternative technologies to replace heating oil and the gasoline engine

    joe, as you well know, if all they were doing was developing alternative technologies using money raised from the capital markets, nobody here would bat an eye.

    But that’s not what’s going on at Bali, and you know it. Bali is a conference to organize state action to increase state control of the economy and redistribute wealth.

  48. the same things that would keep their carbon emissions down – the development and distribution of alternate energy sources and building materials/practices, for example – would also be a significant economic boon to them over the next few decades

    To the degree this is true, there is a lot of money to be made, and the kind of state action being discussed at Bali (carbon taxes, cap & trade, whatever) is either completely irrelevant or unnecessary.

  49. Gore would have spanked Hillary for the nomination.

    All of that early institutional support she picked up would have gone to him instead, plus he is much more popular with the rank and file.

    But that’s not what’s going on at Bali, and you know it. Bali is a conference to organize state action to increase state control of the economy and redistribute wealth.

    Then argue against that. Don’t lie about what is being proposed.

  50. To the degree this is true, there is a lot of money to be made, and the kind of state action being discussed at Bali (carbon taxes, cap & trade, whatever) is either completely irrelevant or unnecessary.

    It’s called “being ahead of the curve.” It’s what you do when maximizing short-term profits isn’t your only goal.

  51. “You can tell by the way he passed on what would have been a laughably-easy walk-over of a presidential campaign so he can speak to environmental conferences.”

    You gotta be kidding Joe– you think he would have had an easy win against Hillary and Obama? Cake walk, my ass.

    He’d have Hillary aides whispering about his past indiscretions and then publicly apologizing.

    No, I think he prefers the glory he’s getting from preaching the religion of global warming.

  52. Easy. Blowout. Start out waaaaaaaayyyyyyy ahead, cruise to the nomination, win the general by at least 8 points.

    Hillary doesn’t even get in if Gore runs, and Obama does a “Gore 88” campaign, just to raise his profile for a future run.

  53. So, here’s the question.

    Anonymous, can you give references for some the things you mentioned? I’m not arguing with you. I’m pretty neutral about the global warming issue. I just honestly want to read the citations for the arguments you made.

  54. how’s this for progress

    Gore’s house progress from CNN

    A green democrat living in a 16,000 sq ft house? Cut electricity usage by 11%?

    Is this guy insane?

    No, just a megalomaniac.

  55. First Bali and then Hawaii? These people sure know how to pick a place to hold a “conference.”

    If you want an indication of how concerned attendees are about a conference’s agenda, hold it at the Best Western (or equivalent) in Gary, Gallup or Karachi. Less attendees, less reporters, more real work get’s done. A good time will be had by none!

  56. Joe, voters don’t choose candidates with nothing to offer but doom and gloom, sorry.

  57. Well, they chose him over his nearest competitor by well over half a million votes last time he ran.

  58. First Bali and then Hawaii? These people sure know how to pick a place to hold a “conference.”

    Cause if they held it on the shores of Hudson Bay in January, they might get some of that perspective thingy …

  59. Wait, is a global warming advocate someone who welcomes our tropical future? Those bastards ARE evil.

    Yes, it is horrible living here in Hawaii, wearing shorts and sandals with the windows wide open in late December, still able to drive a car with the A/C turned on. It would be a frickin’ disaster if the Mainland got a tiny bit closer to this horrible outcome.

    How’s the weather in Massachusetts, joe?

  60. You know, joe, I have in the past speculated that with this campaign having started so soon the contenders my end up bloodying each other so badly that Gore wil end up stepping in and the party will welcome him as the untainted elder statesmen.

    God, knows there are also enough people who have repented of the folly in voting for Bush that he could end up with a substantial majority (rather than a statistically insignificant plurality) in the general.

    On the other hand, there is a sizable portion of the populace who see him as the crazy old codger walking down the street with a sanwich board with “THE END IS NEAR” on it.

  61. I am so sick of this Gorebull warming shit. Anyone who has followed the science for the last year or two has to see that there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature increases. Man contributes such an insignifigant amount of this trace gas as to make it not worth mentioning. Wasting billions on this bullshit pisses me off enough to want to go out and burn a few thousand hectares of forest just for the CO2 and just for the fuck of it.

  62. How’s the weather in Massachusetts, joe?

    We one one unusually large storm event yesterday, and they’re predicting another one for Sunday. Thanks so much for asking.

    But hey, no parasites. Shark bait. 😛

    Isaac,

    I’ve speculated about that, too, but it’s too late. Iowa is three weeks away, Super Duper Tuesday is two months – Gore let the window close, because he didn’t want to run for president.

    As for his chances, the people pissed that he didn’t win + the people sorry they voted for Bush is certainly a sizable majority. And, so sorry to the regulars, it’s really only a rump of the electorate who hasn’t woken up to global warming at this point – pretty much the same 29% giving George Bush a favorable approval rating.

  63. Chuckle of the day from joe – being irrelevant and unnecessary is synonymous with being ahead of the curve.

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