Like MENSA, Only Thicker

Inconvenient Economics

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House Vote On Passage: H.R. 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act

Washington Congressional Representatives



Inslee, Jay [D]



Larsen, Rick [D]



Baird, Brian [D]



Hastings, Doc [R]



McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R]



Dicks, Norman [D]



McDermott, James [D]



Reichert, Dave [R]



Smith, Adam [D]



The Economic Uses of Al Gore ~ Holman Jenkins, Jr.

Last spring Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn asked Al Gore during a House hearing if his investments in green energy meant he would benefit personally from cap and trade.”If you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me,” Mr. Gore responded (and, yes, according to two reporters present, he sighed).


Mr. Gore is quite right that his arguments should be judged on their merits, not on his investments. He’s wrong to think his investments are irrelevant, and, even more, that sincerity is dispositive of anything. Sincerity is no substitute for disinterestedness.

Here are a couple questions: When so much of his position and prestige are invested in a predicted climate crisis, is Mr. Gore likely to be open to contrary evidence? Is he likely to be particularly fastidious about whether proposed steps will actually have an effect on global warming if they also happen to benefit his investments?

Ms. Blackburn’s challenge was in a sense late. Mr. Gore long ago jumped over to the side where salesmanship, by whatever means, was the trumping priority. As far back as 1989, he insisted there was “no dispute worthy of recognition” about the danger of manmade climate change. By now, he titularly heads a vast establishment with a stake in one side of the argument.

Notice, for instance, after a decade in which the earth appears to have stopped warming and even cooled, that global warming advocates have rushed to embrace a computer simulation that predicts this cooling (in retrospect, of course) and allows for indefinite future cooling, even while assuring that the world is destined to face disastrous warming anyway. Isn’t this what forecasters of doom have done since time immemorial when their deadlines for doom haven’t been met?

Mr. Gore’s own predictions of a climate catastrophe have not lessened, but every time he opens his mouth, the costs of meeting the emergency become easier and easier to swallow. They aren’t even costs anymore; as he says in his new book, they are “profits.”

All policy salesmanship naturally defaults toward the proposition of huge benefits and negligible costs (i.e., free lunchism). Isn’t that where Al Gore is today?

Mr. Gore notes that he has poured his own money into two climate action nonprofits, but, whatever his self-felt motives, aren’t these nonprofits functionally propaganda arms (i.e., advertising) that benefit his for-profit investments?

The truth is, evidence of man’s impact on climate remains maddeningly elusive, in part because man’s impact on climate is so small as to be hard to disentangle from natural variability. This is not Mr. Gore’s position, of course. If anything, however, the case for action has become less closed since he pronounced it closed in 1989, if only because of the huge sums and manpower poured into the subject to little avail.

In retrospect, a significant moment was the falling apart or debunking of two key attempts seemingly well-suited to clinch matters for a scientifically literate public. One, the famous hockey stick graph, which suggested the temperature rise of the past 100 years was unprecedentedly steep, was convincingly challenged. The other, a mining of the geological record to show past episodes of warming were sharply coupled with rising CO2 levels, fell victim to a closer look that revealed that past warmings had preceded rather than followed higher CO2 levels.

These episodes from a decade ago testified to one important thing: Even climate activists recognized a need for evidence from the real world. The endless invocation of computer models wasn’t cutting it. Yet today the same circles are more dependent than ever on predictions made by models, whose forecasts lie far enough in the future that those who rely on them to make policy prescriptions are in no danger of being held accountable for their reliability.

For a while the media could patch over the scientific shortfall by reporting evidence of warming as if it were evidence of what causes warming. Inconveniently, however, just as temperature-measuring has become more standardized and disciplined and less reliant on flaky records from the past (massaged to the Nth degree), the warming trend seems to have faded from the recent record.

We could go on. But from our first column on this subject, we have been convinced that the scientific questions are interesting and irrelevant, since it was never in the cards that Western societies (or Brazil or India or China) would sacrifice economic growth for the uncertain benefits of fighting climate change. Unable to do anything meaningful about climate change, policy would therefore default to satisfying the demand of organized interests for climate pork.

Isn’t that, however much he may be distracted by feelings of sincerity, exactly the economic function of Mr. Gore today?




A clip from the Daily Show shows the Fox Network running the same video as footage from two different rallies a couple of months apart. It appeared like an attempt to intentionally inflate the numbers attending a more conservative rally.   I could not find this video at the Daily Show, U-tube, nor at the Huffington Post where I originally viewed the footage.

Below is Sean Hannity acknowledging the error and apologizing.




dENSA 2009 Mariner Pool Results:

Actual Mariners Wins:  85

Four-Way Tie for First Place:

Glory 84 Wins

Marla 84 Wins

Jim 84 Wins

Sam 86 Wins




Big Daddy’s Charity Texas Hold’ Em Tournament

Projected $15,000 Prize Pool

Qualifying Rounds November 14th, 21st and 22nd @ 3:00 PM

Final round on December 5th @ 2:30 pm

$100 Buy In, Plus $25 Entry Fee

$500 & $250 Donated to 1st and 2nd place winner’s Charity of Choice

For More Information Call: 534-0758



Non-denominational political entity seeking better funtioning government through localized taxing, spending, transparency and accountability.

Location: Merlyn’s Book Store, Spokane WA

Time: 7:00PM Tuesday, November 17th



Next dENSA meeting will be at the Maxwell House on November 18th


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