Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

i-7730623bf3926a422ae20d9ba203b465-gore face.jpg Poor Al Gore, no good deed goes unpunished in his quest for climate change awareness. Only a few days ago he went before the Senate on a hearing on global warming. During which, climate change’s biggest political foe, Senator James Inhofe and Gore argued heatedly.

Now, the Republicans are moving to block his ‘Live Earth’ rock concert venue, planned to take place on the steps of the Capitol July 7th.

One outspoken opponent of the concert is Senator James Inhofe, a longtime “debunker” of cataclysmic climate change, which he has derided as a “hoax.”

“Senator Inhofe objects to having any events on the Capitol grounds that are either highly partisan or politically controversial — and the proposed Gore concert is both,” said his spokesman Marc Morano.

Inhofe and Gore locked horns last week at a standing room only Senate hearing on global warming.

Speaking of that Senate meeting, you should take a look at the transcript, here. It was a good speech, but here are a few highlights:

(Continued below the fold….)

I do not believe that the climate crisis should be a partisan political issue. I just returned from the United Kingdom, where last week the two major parties put forward their climate change platforms. The Tory and Labour parties are in vigorous competition with one another–competing to put forward the best solution to the climate crisis. I look forward to the day when we return to this way of thinking here in the U.S.
The climate crisis is, by its nature, a global problem–and ultimately the solution must be global as well. The best way – and the only way – to get China and India on board is for the U.S. to demonstrate real leadership. As the world’s largest economy and greatest superpower, we are uniquely situated to tackle a problem of this magnitude.


The solutions to this problem are accessible, but politically – at least in the near term – seem quite difficult. In practice, however, they will turn out to be much easier than they appear to us now.
For example, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer first negotiated in the 1980’s was opposed by industry for fear it would hurt the economy because its provisions were too stringent. However, governments and industry rose to meet the challenge and the treaty was strengthened twice in quick succession to quickly ramp down the chemicals that were causing the hole in the ozone layer.
There are some who will say that acting to solve this crisis will be costly. I don’t agree. If we solve it in the right way, we will save money and boost productivity. Moreover, the consequences of inaction would be devastating to both the environment and the economy.


When I think about the climate crisis today I can imagine a time in the future when our children and grandchildren ask us one of two questions. Either they will ask: What were you thinking, didn’t you care about our future? Or they will ask: How did you find the moral courage to cross party lines and solve this crisis?

How about, Grandpa, why didn’t they listen to you?

Now if you want to read a bit about what Senator Inhofe thought of that testimony, why just go read for yourself here. A few highlights:

It is my perspective that your global warming alarmist pronouncements are now and have always been filled with inaccuracies and misleading statements. Many of the peer-reviewed studies published in such journals as Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, and Science are radically at odds with your claims. I do not have time to delve into each flaw with your movie, but I do want to touch on just 2.

First, you have claimed that there is a “strong, new emerging consensus” linking global warming to an increase in hurricane intensity and duration. Yet last year, the World Meteorological Organization very clearly rejected this assertion, and other scientists agree.

Secondly, you said that East Antarctica might melt and this could raise sea levels by 20 feet, so we’re all going to die. However, according to many scientists, Antarctica is gaining ice mass, not losing it. In a 2005 study published in Science a team of researchers led by Dr. Curt Davis found an overall gain in ice mass in Antarctica over a ten year period.

and if your blood isn’t boiling yet….

I was on the floor opposing the ’93 Clinton-Gore tax increase of $32 billion, but the cost of Kyoto and other CO2 reduction schemes are estimated to be over $300 billion, ten times the cost of your ’93 tax increase. And who’s paying for it? Those on fixed incomes and the poor, who as a percent of their monthly budget spend five times more on energy than the average household.


  1. #1 Boosterz
    March 29, 2007

    Before Inhofe gets to caught up in his fake self righteous indignation, perhaps he can explain why he’s all pissy about spending the money to counter global warming, but he gave President Chimpy a blank check for the Iraq war. Not including care for disabled vets, the cost of the Iraq War is over 400 billion and climbing.

    Then he can explain to everybody why he is peddling disinformation put out by his oil buddies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Curtis was blatantly quote mined as he himself stated here

    Here’s a snip from that page:
    Asked if he doubted the evidence of global warming, he replied: “Personally, I have no doubts whatsoever.” Mr Davis’s June 2005 study examined the ice-sheets of east Antarctic which showed an increase in mass. However, he said his study did not look at coastal areas which are known to be losing ice and said the “fact that the interior ice sheet is growing is a predicted consequence of global warming”.

    Bottom line, Inhofe is just a bought and paid for DC whore.

  2. #2 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    March 29, 2007

    Global warming could be good for asthmatics:
    Asthma breakthrough is a breath of hot air

  3. #3 blf
    March 29, 2007

    “Senator Inhofe objects to having any events on the Capitol grounds that are either highly partisan or politically controversial…”

    No debates then.
    No hearings then.
    No votes then.

    Oh, and holi-poli can’t demonstrate.

    Feck this “democracy” rubbish!

  4. #4 B
    March 29, 2007

    Ah the YouTube goodness. . . That was Inhofe’s opening statement before the famous

    confrontation portion, uh, I mean, question portion. . . (Or the best clip of it I could find!)

  5. #5 keith armitage
    April 24, 2007

    Hi Shelly,
    I just came across your site while googling montreal protocol for exam revision, I’m an enviornmental science student in university of Limerick (UL) Ireland, just about to do final exams. I’m also wondering about what to do next, I would like to do a masters on biomass. But it is a long way off yet. good luck for now,

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