May 31, 2007

Unreasonable

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From Real Clear Politics: Al Gore's Insolent Assault on Reason by Robert Tracinski.

Early coverage of Al Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, has focused on the fact that the book is largely an assault on the Bush administration. But they have glossed over the most significant and alarming theme that Al Gore has taken up: his alleged defense of "reason" includes a justification for government controls over political speech.

Judging from the excerpts of Gore's book published in TIME, his not-so-subtle theme is that reason is being "assaulted" by a free and unfettered debate in the media -- and particularly by the fact that Gore has to contend with opposition from the right-leaning media. ... [And] if the left isn't winning in the marketplace of ideas, there can't possibly be anything wrong with their ideas. It must be the marketplace itself that is "broken," and the left needs to use the power of government to fix it -- in both senses of the word "fix." ...

For decades, the left has dominated the intelligentsia: the media, the universities, and the other institutions that provide credentials for "experts" -- another term Al Gore has been harping on. This leads the left to act as if the latest consensus among its favored experts -- whether it be the superiority of socialized medicine or the imminent threat of global warming -- must be what every "rational" and well-informed person thinks, because it is the consensus of the elite.

Thus "reason," as Al Gore uses the term, refers to the ability of the leftist elite to impose its conventional dogmas on the national debate, without the need to persuade or convince others.

In reality, a genuine respect for reason starts with an absolute respect for the mind and judgment of the individual. A respect for reason requires the subordination of coercion to persuasion through the strict limitation of government power. A respect for reason requires a commitment to liberty above all else.

Al Gore stands for the exact opposite.

Meanwhile, another "assault" on Gore's "reason": NASA's Top Official Questions Global Warming.

NASA administrator Michael Griffin is drawing the ire of his agency's preeminent climate scientists after apparently downplaying the need to combat global warming.

In an interview broadcast this morning on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program, Griffin was asked by NPR's Steve Inskeep whether he is concerned about global warming.

"I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told Inskeep. "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."

"To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change," Griffin said. "I guess I would ask which human beings where and when are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."

And from World Net Daily: Light-bulb ban craze exceeds disposal plans.

As state and foreign governments enact forced phase-outs of incandescent light bulbs, consumers are being kept in the dark about the many downsides of compact fluorescent lamps, replacements being billed as an environmental and energy-savings panacea.

Across the U.S., schoolchildren are being urged to replace incandescent light bulbs in their homes, state legislatures are following the leads of foreign governments in banning the sale of the bulbs in the future and the federal Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency are highly recommending the switch to CFLs. Businesses like Wal-Mart are also pushing CFLs hard, as are environmental groups. But safe disposal plans and recycling centers for the mercury-laden compact fluorescent lamps, seen as the future, lag behind the hype.

So, too, does the truth about what will become mandatory, fine-imposed handling requirements for CFLs by homeowners and businesses.

Posted by Forkum at May 31, 2007 02:12 PM
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