April 22, 2007

"There is no love lost between Gore and Hillary. They don't think she can win and they're probably right."

So says some unnamed Gore aide. "If Gore runs, he's got a really good chance of getting the nomination. And he has a good chance of pulling off the election, too."
[S]ince Sen Kerry abandoned his presidential aspirations this year, many of his leading advisers have yet to align themselves with any of the other candidates.

They were expected to join the campaign of Sen Edwards, who was Sen Kerry's running mate last time.

The former aide, who has himself signed up with Sen Edwards, said: "The question is: where have all the Kerry people gone? The answer for most of them is nowhere. Now ask yourself why."
Interesting. I'd love to see Gore in the race myself. He's got more substance than those others, more weight. That is... oh... I mean...
James Carville, President Clinton's former strategy chief, suggested last week that Mr Gore, who has piled on the pounds, could shed weight over the summer to make himself more media-friendly for a White House run.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he lost 15lb or so," said Mr Carville. "And I think if people thought he could get us out of the mess we're in with Iraq, they wouldn't care how fat he is."
You know how Al Gore is always talking about his "carbon footprint" or whatever? Here's a calculation I'd like to see. Maybe somebody here can figure it out. How much is one's carbon footprint increased by the consumption of food? Isn't everyone who is overweight overconsuming? I'd like to see a number representing the environmental damage we do for each excess pound we carry.

And this is not just for the purpose of tweaking Gore (whom I kind of like!). It's a serious matter that's got to be at least at the level of leaving the wrong kind of light bulbs on when you're out of the room. Plus, it might help people lose weight if they could reenvision their problem in terms of environmental responsibility. And if you're going to say to me that it's bad to shame people into good behavior, then are you against all the other shaming we are subjected to about the environment?

UPDATE: I still don't have an answer on my "carbon footprint" science question, which I'm quite serious about. But in the comments dpb says "isn't all that fat he carries just a form of carbon sequestration?" Fascinating point! So fat people are carbon sequestrating devices. If lots of plants are grown to feed people, and they just bulk up and hold it all inside, that's good environmentalism. Sure, they may die from being fat, but as long as they are buried, they have removed the carbon permanently. Remember: No cremation!

But there are many other factors here. The production and transportation of food requires the burning of fuel. If you were to eat only the amount of food that would maintain your ideal weight, rather than the extra 1000 calories a day (or whatever) that you do eat, then there would be less fuel burnt to supply your habit of overeating. Also, if you weigh more, your car is consuming more fuel carrying you around. Fat people in cars has got to be as significant as incandescent light bulbs.

Do you think this is insensitive and in poor taste? Let's just call it an inconvenient truth.

70 comments:

Bob said...

It'll get really ugly if Gore comes in against Hillary; it'll be like a soap opera menáge á trois trying to figure out how Hillary, Bill and Al will behave toward each other. Entertaining, at least.

PatCA said...

Golly, one might speculate that Gore's newfound passion for global warming is just a way to get name recognition for another run!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:
How much is one's carbon footprint increased by the consumption of food?


It would depend critically on the type of food, how it's packaged, how it reaches the consumer, etc...

Ann, by the way, do you know why there are 20+ comments missing from your blog entry about Obama & Morgan Freeman since yesterday? If so, will you explain?

Joan said...

I find your attitude towards Gore completely mystifying. Most of the time you're clear-thinking and generally sensible, and yet you persist in this odd affection for Gore, who is as feckless a politician I've ever seen. Why would you want to see Gore in the presidency? What has he ever actually done that demonstrates that he is capable of running this country, especially when we're in the midst of a war?

Sometimes I think you hang onto this Gore fixation to give weight (ha ha) to your "I'm not a conservative!" exhortations.

As for shaming people into losing weight because they're harming the planet, that's nuts. People who are overweight are already ashamed that they don't meet our cultural norms. They already know that being overweight means they'll be sicker and probably die younger than everyone else. If those much more immediate stimuli don't keep people thin and healthy, why should concern for global resources make a difference?

People who have never been fat have no idea what it's like to want to lose weight and the constant struggle it entails. It's no wonder so many people give up and just decide to be fat. Do you really want to go through your life miserable every day? We don't need to be piling new reasons to be ashamed onto fat people. They have enough to deal with already.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Plus, it might help people lose weight if they could reenvision their problem in terms of environmental responsibility.

I'm sorry, Professor, but this is the most preposterous thing ever said by anyone about anything.

Bissage said...

Bob,

I read your 11:16 and ran screaming for the utility room whereupon I then: (1) unscrewed the top of my skull; (2) removed my brain; and (3) washed it in the sink with a strong solution of TSP, bleach and dishwashing liquid.

The thought of Hillary, Bill and Al "behav[ing] toward each other" in a menáge á trois remains. It is, however, much lessened, and for that I thank: (1) this movie;
(2) a childhood spent reading Popular Mechanics and (3) the Grace of God.

Now, I take my leave, to search the internet for a photo of a fluffy bunny to take my mind off of the horrible, horrible thing that just happened to me.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Joan wrote:
Why would you want to see Gore in the presidency? What has he ever actually done that demonstrates that he is capable of running this country, especially when we're in the midst of a war?


Gore was far more qualified than Bush in 2000, and yet his vastly superior qualifications apparently weren't significant to the 47.9% of voters who chose Bush.

And as far as being "in the midst of a war," I suspect that Gore, unlike Bush, would not have started one. In my opinion, that's a positive.

Out of curiousity, can you name a Republican candidate now running for president who has more experience or better qualifications than Gore? If so, can you share the details with us?

David53 said...

Isn't everyone who is overweight over consuming?

If I can't eat chocolate covered peanuts with my beer life is just not worth living. Overconsumption is the American way, guaranteed by the Constitution, protected by the 2nd amendment.

damozel said...

I wonder if Gore has become a bit too one-track. Climate change is, sadly, not the ONLY issue facing the next president. In the above comments Patca referred to Gore's "newfound passion for global warming", which is of course NOT the case; he's been harping on this issue for the last 25 years. Bush Sr. made fun of him for it. It's been a priority for him for years and I imagine, against my wishes of course, he is going to be vindicated in that respect.

My own concern is that he is too much consumed by the issue. The next president will have many tedious, day-to-day problems to solve. It needs someone politically adroit and driven by pure reason. Unfortunately, we Americans don't favor such candidates. We want to be STIRRED.

Bruce Hayden said...

Cyrus Pinkerton

Depends on how you define qualified for the presidency. My view is that Gore was more qualified than Kerry who had no executive experience, but less than Bush, because Bush had had some in both private and public organizations, plus the Harvard MBA. Kerry, of course, had no executive experience whatsoever.

Of course, if you define the relevant experience to be warming a seat in the Senate or being a VP with an extremely limited portfolio, then, sure, he had some qualifications. And, yes, he had some experience in diplomacy.

But he still tried to litigate his way into the White House after losing Florida. And that showed: a total lack of class; a total lack of respect for the American system of government; and a significant ego to believe that that the type of cheating that he engaged in would benefit the country.

Bruce Hayden said...

The reason that things would get bloody if Algore runs and gets the nomination, or even gets close, is that he hasn't paid his dues this time. He is talking about stepping in well after Hillary, et al. have spent significant time and money in their quests for the nomination. He expects to be anointed because of how close he came in 2000. But why should those who would have been campaigning for quite a while by then be happy that he could jump over all of them, based on his fraduluent movie and having won the popular vote in 2000.

The other thing that you have to keep in mind is that Hillary, Obama, and probably even Edwards are a lot smarter than Algore is. I doubt that he can adapt or think fast enough to keep from having his body riddled by his opponents. He sure seemed incapable of thinking and responding faster than GWB, and the later isn't all that swift either.

Finally, I suspect that his fraudumentary is going to hang over his head throughout the campaign. The problem with it is that he exagerated a lot and cut out a lot of the provisos and limitations that the researchers he cites invariably threw into the papers reporting their research. So, a lot of the campaign would invariably turn into a "gotcha" about his book and movie.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I think Al Gore is a bubble off of plumb. [Audible sigh.]

Ann Althouse said...

Cyrus: "Ann, by the way, do you know why there are 20+ comments missing from your blog entry about Obama & Morgan Freeman since yesterday? If so, will you explain? "

This is the first I've heard of that. I'll republish it, and if there really is something missing, it might come back. I haven't deleted anything, I don't think.

AJ Lynch said...

Ruth Ann:

Never heard that expression before - I like it.


But I think you meant he is a whole bunch of bubbles off plumb.

Invisible Man said...

Bruce,

I don't even know were to start with your posts. Read any account of what Bush and his legal team had planned for the electoral vote possibilities. Rove actually expected that Bush was going to wind up in Gore's scenario with the popular vote won and the electoral college lost, and they planned to argue that it was the will of the people that he be President. So please, the whole lack-of-class thing strikes me as silly posturing especially when Bush v. Gore had Bush's name first for a reason.

Also, anyone who was watching knows that Texas has one of the weakest executive governorships in the country and if you think that Bush's private executive experience amounted for much, I'd hope that the last few years might have persuaded you otherwise.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Bruce wrote:
Depends on how you define qualified for the presidency. My view is that Gore was less [qualified] than Bush, because Bush had had some in both private and public organizations, plus the Harvard MBA. Of course, if you define the relevant experience to be warming a seat in the Senate or being a VP with an extremely limited portfolio, then, sure, he had some qualifications.


Gore was just "warming a seat in the Senate?" Really Bruce? Was Bush just "warming a seat" in the Texas Governor's office before just "warming a seat" in the White House? Get serious.

Compare government service:

Gore - 8 years in the US House of Representatives
- 8 years in the US Senate
- 8 years as Vice President

Bush - 6 years as Governor of Texas

Bruce, this is why I noted that Gore's qualifications to be President were vastly superior to Bush's. Now, if you want to include experience in the private sector in looking at Bush's qualifications, then you have to consider his performance at Arbusto Energy, Bush Exploration, Harken Energy, etc...
I'm not convinced that a review of the fortunes of any of these companies helps your claim.

But [Gore] still tried to litigate his way into the White House after losing Florida. And that showed: a total lack of class; a total lack of respect for the American system of government; and a significant ego to believe that that the type of cheating that he engaged in would benefit the country.

Bruce, the problem with your point of view is that it's not based on the facts. For example, you specifically mention "litigation." Here are a few reminders for you about litigation after the election:
1. On November 12, Team Bush went to federal court in Miami to halt manual recounts in Palm Beach and Volusia counties.
2. On November 16, Team Bush submitted written arguments to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to end the recounts.
3. On November 22, Team Bush filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court to end manual recounts.

etc...

An honest evaluation of what happened in Florida would include a reference to lawsuits by both Bush and Gore.

Now,putting aside your characterizations of Gore's ego and "lack of class," do you have any actual evidence that Gore cheated? Can you be specific about how he cheated? If you have anything serious to share, Bruce, I'd be delighted to see it.

Bruce, no offense, but the problem with partisan screeching is that it's impossible to disguise as serious commentary. Shrieking "Gore's a cheater!" isn't enlightening or even mildly entertaining. As far as I'm concerned, it's just pathetic.

dave™© said...

Oooooh - a "fat Gore" reference!

What fucking pathetic maroon you are...

Christy said...

Gore wouldn't carry his home state in 2008 either. He has been weighed, measured and found wanting. Nothing has changed.

Speaking of which, we use 12 to 18 calories(kcalories)/day for every pound we carry depending upon our activity level. Someone else can figure our carbon footprint from there. Ann, however, seems to be saying that the petite amongst us who spend all day doing office work are more deserving to walk the planet than the bigger and stronger. The meek to inherit the earth? Not if I have anything to do with it.

Ann Althouse said...

dave, I hope you're pissed at Carville too.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Christy wrote:
Speaking of which, we use 12 to 18 calories(kcalories)/day for every pound we carry depending upon our activity level. Someone else can figure our carbon footprint from there.


Nope, it doesn't work that way. For example, my carbon footprint when I drive my truck is essentially independent of my weight.

Lars said...

Christy:
"The meek to inherit the earth?..

I don't care what the meek do. I own the mineral rights....
J.P. Getty

J said...

"Gore was far more qualified than Bush in 2000, and yet his vastly superior qualifications apparently weren't significant to the 47.9% of voters who chose Bush"

Well, Gore started out with almost identical advantages in life, was far less successful than W, and had a demonstrably inferior academic record, but other than that I suppose your right.

"if you want to include experience in the private sector in looking at Bush's qualifications, then you have to consider his performance at Arbusto Energy, Bush Exploration, Harken Energy, etc..."

You've got me there. Somebody who has never held a job in the private sector is unlikely to have been involved in a corporate bankruptcy.

"he's been harping on this issue for the last 25 years"

Actually, 25 years ago we were going into a new ice age. But as a result of the exact same things that are now causing global warming.

"but the problem with partisan screeching is that it's impossible to disguise as serious commentary"

Aint that the truth.

dbp said...

Hi Ann,

I don't know about Al Gore's 'carbon footprint', but isn't all that fat he carries just a form of carbon sequestration?

I too would like to see him in the race. Neither Hillary!, Obambi nor Edwards have much substance to them. I think the global warming stuff is totally bonkers, so I can't quite explain why I would like Gore in the race--I guess it just feels as if he has gravitas.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

j wrote:

Well, Gore started out with almost identical advantages in life, was far less successful than W, and had a demonstrably inferior academic record, but other than that I suppose your [sic] right.


Another strange post. I'm not sure what you mean by "successful," but prior to the 2000 election, Gore had certainly achieved more than Bush in public life.

As for the "demonstrably inferior academic record," are you proposing we go back to comparing SAT scores again? College grades? Is any of this vaguely relevant? Are you suggesting that academic performance in some form or another is a serious "qualification" consideration as far as you're concerned?

You've got me there. Somebody who has never held a job in the private sector is unlikely to have been involved in a corporate bankruptcy.

Well, Gore did work in the private sector, as a journalist at The Tennessean for five years. It's odd that you were unaware of this. Then again, it in no way compares to Bush's performance at Arbusto, Bush Exploration, Spectrum 7, etc...

Actually, 25 years ago we were going into a new ice age. But as a result of the exact same things that are now causing global warming.

Whoa! I've been told this same goofy story a few times by rightwingers, but when asked to cite specific scientific studies that made such a claim, they always become silent. J, can you cite scientific studies claiming that we were entering a "new ice age" based on the activities of man? Or as an alternative, can you reference any article, scientific or otherwise, indicating anything like scientific consensus regarding the impending "new ice age" and its causes? If not, can we finally pry the "new ice age" myth from the grip of the global warming deniers?

Tim said...

"Maybe somebody here can figure it out. How much is one's carbon footprint increased by the consumption of food?"

According to this study (http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html) by our our "friends" at the UN, Gore's diet (and most adult Americans, for that matter) probably leaves a much larger carbon footprint than he or other global warming alarmists are willing to admit. It's so much more fun beating up on Big Oil than Big Ag - and fewer votes are at risk too.

tjl said...

"Oooooh - a "fat Gore" reference"

Poor Al Gore! After so many disappointments, he must now suffer the final indignity of having dave tm as his defender.

Until the aftermath of the 2000 election, Gore was always seen as a responsible, if plodding, centrist -- the respectable foil to Clinton's cheesy exploits. If Gore did seem to go off the rails after Florida, it's understandable up to a point. The question is, can Gore reclaim his place in the mainstream, or will he remain branded as the global-warming activist whose public appearances always seem to coincide with freakish cold fronts?

johnstodder said...

Just as McCain's collapse and Mitt Romney's failure to move voters is opening a hole for Fred Thompson, the surprising weakness in Obama's performance so far, and the questions about Edwards due to his wife's health problem is opening a hole for Al Gore. An ozone hole, if you will.

The two Tennessee studs would make for an interesting election.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tim wrote:
According to this study by our our "friends" at the UN, Gore's diet (and most adult Americans, for that matter) probably leaves a much larger carbon footprint than he or other global warming alarmists are willing to admit.


The UN completed a study of Al Gore's diet?

Wait a second, the study you cite isn't really about diet at all! It's about livestock management practices. Oh well.

F15C said...

Cy: "Whoa! I've been told this same goofy story a few times by rightwingers, but when asked to cite specific scientific studies that made such a claim, they always become silent."

-- Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.

-- Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed'' that we must "prepare for the next ice age.

-- The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster than Even Experts Expect,'' Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers "have begun to advance,'' "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter'' and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool.''

-- Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World,'' April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous'' that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that The New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age.''

-- The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable'' now that it is "well established'' that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

I lived through that period time as a pilot and the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the doom and gloom crowd was exactly the same as today - just substitute cooling for warming. The sheer certainty that 'unless you do what I'm telling you to do we're all facing certain catastrophe' is precisely the same. The phenomenon is more real and interesting from a group psychology perspective than climate science perspective.

Jim C. said...

"if you're going to say to me that it's bad to shame people into good behavior, then are you against all the other shaming we are subjected to about the environment?"

If shame worked to keep people's weight down, no one would be fat. The use of shame against fat people is worse than bad: it's ineffective.

It seems you really didn't think very much before making that statement.

Green Man said...

Considering how much Gore flies, it may be significant. I was one of those smaller short haul planes and the flight attendant was counting up halfweights (kids). We had 4, so they sent for two more adults to be let on board. They let one on, they termed her a one and a half weight. The plane had more seats, just the weight estimate was that they were at maximum.

There are obviously other environmental effects. You could probably estimate the bulk of them by figuring out his calorie intake, then finding the average footprint due to food, and increasing it by the increase in his calories. The man is obviously not a vegetarian.

tiggeril said...

Geez, here I've been driving around to spite the environmental lobby and now I have to put on even more weight to do it?



It's a burden I'm willing to carry. Cry havoc and unleash the dogs of war!

Corn dogs, that is.

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unknown said...

I think you could derive it from this paper:

http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~gidon/papers/nutri/nutri3.pdf

Or call the author and ask.

Palladian said...

And found a brilliant new way to drive away your weighty (intellectually and otherwise) commenters.

unknown said...

The Nature Conservancy uses 4.1 tons of CO2 eq per year as average.

http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator/?src=s2

Assuming he eats 50% more calories than the average person, that would be an extra 2 tons of CO2 per year. The rest of it is more challenging to figure out.

unknown said...

For passenger travel in cars, the difference is insignificant:

"For an individual, the numbers are smaller: in one year, the typical driver could purchase 18 fewer gallons of gas by shedding 100 pounds."

http://media.www.dailyillini.com/media/storage/paper736/news/2006/11/01/News/Ui.Study.Links.Obesity.Gas.Usage-2414075-page2.shtml

J said...

"Are you suggesting that academic performance in some form or another is a serious "qualification" consideration as far as you're concerned?"

Not at all. Indeed, given the performance of my employer's last CEO, I think you'd find me (and my co-workers) a whole lot less impressed with an MBA from Harvard than the general population. Nevertheless, academic performance seemed very important to my friends who supported Bill Clinton. It didn't support that side in this case, so I can see why you'd want to downplay it.

"Well, Gore did work in the private sector, as a journalist at The Tennessean for five years. It's odd that you were unaware of this. Then again, it in no way compares to Bush's performance at Arbusto, Bush Exploration, Spectrum 7, etc..."

You got me again! I suppose it doesn't compare to Bush in the sense that those weren't part time gigs he held while flunking out of divinity school or quitting law school. I'm sure Gore had a paper route or worked part time at a carwash once too, so I stand corrected.

"can you cite scientific studies claiming that we were entering a "new ice age" based on the activities of man? "

Looks like 15c covered that already. And if he flew C models, he's probably a geezer like me who attended high school in the seventies and had that crap drilled into him for four years. I know that if you weren't alive then, the 70's might as well be, as Nigel Tufnel put it, "hundreds of years before the dawn of history", but we had environmentalist propaganda back then too. It didn't go to eleven like it does now though...

downtownlad said...

Fat people tend to sweat a lot too. I bet they use lots more air conditioning.

Not to mention that the reason they are fat is because they drive to much and don't walk.

I think you're onto something Ann.

Seven Machos said...

Cyrus -- It's true that Gore tried to litigate his way into the presidency in 2000. Anyone who tries to argue this is really quite stupid.

F15C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
F15C said...

j: "And if he flew C models, he's probably a geezer like me who attended high school in the seventies and had that crap drilled into him for four years."

Bingo j, HS was late 60's and early 70s. The 'Next Ice Age' aka Global Cooling was mid/late 70's. I remember it all very well. So many believed so strongly. Many of them were not stupid either - just wrong.

I think one of the most intriguing aspects of AGW is that of the group psychology at work upon scientists, journalists, politicians, and lay people who truly 'believe'. Belief it is right now since there is no proof, only statistical results from models deemed by consensus to show "likely" and "very likely" correlations between input data sets. Consensus is not science and, just as in the 70's, correlation still does not equal causation.

Regarding this recurring phenomenon of group hysteria over doomsday beliefs (remember how Reagan was responsible for Global Thermonuclear War that destroyed the Earth via Nuclear Winter in the 80s?), I don't know if it is surrogate religion (fear/worship Gaia - or else), or what, but it is most interesting.

What many people fail to consider is the simple reality that the human world has always been, and still is, ruled predominately by superstition. And, that superstition has always been supported by 'scientific' interpretation of the available facts. We really are not a hundreth so smart as we think.

Fen said...

The question is, can Gore reclaim his place in the mainstream, or will he remain branded as the global-warming activist whose public appearances always seem to coincide with freakish cold fronts?

Gore will never sit in the Oval Office. His lawyers threw out absentee military ballots on hyper-technicalities. That has not been forgotten.

Synova said...

I suppose I'll go back and read the comments and find out that someone pointed this out, first thing, but...

It's not fat.

It's carbon sequestering.

Synova said...

I somehow missed the global cooling thing but my 10 years younger sister says she definitely remembers being taught in school about how the world was about to freeze.

I remember how we were all going to have to live in dome cities because the surface of the world was uninhabitable... I remember a film in science class with actors in gas masks. That was in high school. We saw a film about remembering past lives under hypnosis in that class as well.

David53 said...

Bingo j, HS was late 60's and early 70s. The 'Next Ice Age' aka Global Cooling was mid/late 70's.

My favorite from the 70s was the "we're going to over populate the Earth and use all of our natural resources by the year 2000" belief that my sociology professor expounded on a daily basis.

Synova said...

Oh, and I was going to say about Gore as president and war.

I liked him every bit as much as Bush in 2000. I don't remember why I didn't vote that year, but I really had no preference *at all*. And I've usually been Republican and never Democrat and I *still* saw nothing to prefer in Bush.

On 9-11 I thanked the Lord God that Gore wasn't president. I don't know if my view of Gore concerning the military was about *him* or simply about Democrats or just remembering Clinton, but I trust someone who is pro-military, even militant, to NOT misuse the military more than I trust someone who is any degree of anti-military.

Right after 9-11 when next to *everyone* in the country believed in retaliation, I was thanking God that it wasn't Gore with his finger on the button. I am convinced that there would have been a very good chance that Afghanistan would not have been "bombed to the stone age" but turned into a bowl of glass.

That's what a dependency on emotion for decision making gets you.

Would he have decided to go to war in Iraq.

No.

Clinton showed a distressing willingness to get us involved militarily *just so long as none of our troops were killed.* We began bombing in Bosnia, because he knew that as long as our people were not at risk, the American population would accept our involvement. (And never mind much that someone *else* was getting killed.)

Rightly or wrongly, I expected Gore to operate similarly.

Under Gore I would have expected our response to be wildly violent, if shorter in duration. I would have expected our response to be far more immediate, before the feelings of hurt and horror had any time to cool.

I just posted this in the McCain "bomb Iran" thread.

"And bombing has other benefits over troops and occupation.

It's pure destruction with almost no risk to our troops, and it doesn't require any long term commitment from our Congress or Senate."

No... Gore wouldn't have started any land war in Asia... wouldn't have made any relatively cold decision to move militarily against anyone.

But he may very well have responded with short term, and very lethal, possibly even nuclear, violence.

Considering that provoking that sort of "hot" reaction was Bin Laden's *expressed* purpose, I can't think that it would have been a good thing.

sonicfrog said...

Said it once, said it a thousand times...

Gore is running!!!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

seven machos wrote:
It's true that Gore tried to litigate his way into the presidency in 2000. Anyone who tries to argue this is really quite stupid.


It's a shame you didn't bother to read and understand what I wrote previously. Here it is again:

An honest evaluation of what happened in Florida would include a reference to lawsuits by both Bush and Gore.

Apparently some aren't interested in honesty. The truth is that both Team Bush and Team Gore used litigation in Florida. Only a hypocrite would condemn one candidate for litigation while giving the other candidate a pass. So, seven machos, since you are not a hypocrite, would you agree that it's fair to say that in taking his case to the USSC, Bush litigated his way into the presidency?

Roger said...

"qualifications to be president..." hmmmm. Somnehow I don't think its resumes; Bush pere probably had one of the best resumes for public life and didnt exactly burn up the presidency. Somehow I think the framers pretty well identified the basics: Age and nationality. Other than those, my suspicion is that the ability to communicate may be the single most important skill a president can have.

Crimso said...

I think that the whole issue in sequestering carbon has to do with a very long-term phenomenon. Fossil fuels release carbon that was sequestered for a very long time. Carbon "sequestered" in the form of plants (or fat) will still cycle fairly rapidly. That having been said, the idea that humans are causing global warming has not been remotely demonstrated from a scientific perspective (idiotic proclamations from the NAS notwithstanding).

Tim said...

Notwithstanding how fat Al Gore is (too fat), or whether that takes up a larger carbon footprint than thin people (yes), or whether he'll ever be president (no), I think the global warming alarmist had better start walking the walk (Gore might lose weight) if they want the rest of us (o.k., me, for starters) to think they really believe instead of starring as the hypocrite in their own movie.

Global warming alarmists leaving their Hollywood mansions or Martha Vineyard summer homes to fly around the country in private jets to movie premiers and lectures hardly inspires any confidence - only cynicism. Until the true believers can live up to their ideals and live the way they demand the rest of us to live (and they've got far more money to lubricate any resulting discomfort), I'll pass on drinking their "some global warming alarmists are more equal than others" Kool-Ade.

Annie said...

LOL, but . . . no kidding:

Through the 1990s, the average weight of Americans increased by 10 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The extra weight caused airlines to spend $275 million to burn 350 million more gallons of fuel in 2000 just to carry the additional weight of Americans, the federal agency estimated in a recent issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. [...]

The extra fuel burned also had an environmental impact, as an estimated 3.8 million extra tons of carbon dioxide were released into the air, according to the study. [...]

More than half — 56 percent — of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in the early 1990s, according to a CDC survey. That rose to 65 percent in a similar survey done from 1999 to 2002.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

f15c,

As a reminder, here's what I asked for:
Can you cite scientific studies claiming that we were entering a "new ice age" based on the activities of man? Or as an alternative, can you reference any article, scientific or otherwise, indicating anything like scientific consensus regarding the impending "new ice age" and its causes?

f15c, I'm familiar with your list of examples, as they have been lifted word for word from a WaPo editorial by George Will ("Let Cooler Heads Prevail: The Media Heat Up Over Global Warming," George F. Will, Sunday, April 2, 2006). The problem here is that apparently neither you nor George Will actually read the articles you cite. Unfortunately, if you were to read them, you would find that the quality of your (or George Will's) research is extremely poor. Let me give you a few examples:

1. This is the lead paragraph from the New York Times, May 21, 1975 article which you cite as an example showing scientific consensus on a "new ice age:"

The world's climate is changing. Of that scientists are firmly convinced. But in what direction and why are subjects of deepening debate.

Are you and George Will kidding in proposing this as an example showing scientific consensus for a "new ice age?" Does "deepening debate" really mean "consensus" to you?

2. The Newsweek article from April 28, 1975 focuses on the economic and political implications of global climate change. The "almost unanimous" quote that is pulled out of context from this article by George Will does NOT represent unanimity about global "cooling" in the scientific community. In fact, the article specifically mentions that "meterologists disagree about the cause and extent" of climate change, but "they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century."

Strangely, the vaguely alarmist tone of the article is completely at odds with its citation from the 1975 National Academy of Sciences report, a report which likely best approximated "scientific consensus" about global climate change in the mid 1970s:

Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.

That doesn't sound like a prediction of a "new ice age" to me. Does it sound like one to you?

Let's see what else the 1975 US National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Report "Understanding Climate Change: A program for action" said:

We do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate.

And this:

Climatic change has been a subject of intellectual interest for many years. However, there are now more compelling reasons for its study: the growing awareness that our economic and social stability is profoundly influenced by climate and that man's activities themselves may be capable of influencing the climate in possibly undesirable ways. The climates of the earth have always been changing, and they will doubtless continue to do so in the future. How large these future changes will be, and where and how rapidly they will occur, we do not know.

Again, there is no statement here of scientific consensus about a "new ice age." In fact, it is clear that the "scientific consensus" at this time, as represented by the NAS report, is that sensible climate change predictions were not yet possible.

3. From the New York Times, January 19, 1975:
[A] study is to be made public within the next few days by the National Academy of Sciences. It buttresses similar conclusions in several other reports published within roughly the past year...The new report also expressed concern over the increasing importance of man's effects on climate. It is still unclear whether the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, caused by burning fuel and by polluting the atmosphere with dust, other particles and gases, will raise or lower global temperature.

Once again, there's no suggestion of a scientific consensus on a "new ice age" here. Simply put, that consensus never did exist, which is why neither you nor George Will can find evidence of it.

By the way, for anyone interested in Douglas Colligan's essay "Brace Yourself for Another Ice Age," from Science Digest, it is included in the book Science Fact/Fiction along with many other stories and poems, including "EPICAC" by Kurt Vonnegut, "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury, "The Sound Machine" by Raoul Dahl, "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" by H.G. Wells, etc...

Mike said...

Yeah, that's what Gore needs to take the White House; Kerry advisors.

If Bob Shrum becomes a Gore advisor, you can put a fork in Gore.

dbp said...

Hi Ann,

I was joking a little bit at Vice President Gore's expense with the whole 'carbon sequestration' bit.

Only (slightly) more seriously: If we wanted to account for a person's carbon footprint we would look at the portion of carbon use related to being overweight times the amount of time they live. If being overweight shortens the lifespan, then this might more than compensate for the higher carbon usage rate. It would all depend on how much higher a fat person's carbon usage rate is compared to how much lower the lifespan.

Best Regards,

dbp

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

crimso wrote:
That having been said, the idea that humans are causing global warming has not been remotely demonstrated from a scientific perspective (idiotic proclamations from the NAS notwithstanding).


Oh please, make my day and tell me specifically which proclamations by the NAS have been idiotic and why.
This promises to be great fun.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

As I said before, the annual carbon footprint of someone who is overweight is unlikely to be substantially different from someone who is not overweight.

To see why this is true, look at the following "carbon scores" (given as percentages, by activity) for the average Brit: [source: The Carbon Trust]

Recreation: 18%
(This includes carbon emissions associated with leisure activities. Examples are vacations, driving to the gym or park, watching TV, videos, listening to the stereo, etc...) This is unlikely to be significantly dependent on consumer weight.

Heating: 14%
Again, unlikely to be significantly dependent on the weight of the consumer.

Food: 13%
(This includes carbon emissions associated with cooking, food transport, food production and packaging.) Only a small fraction of this is dependent on the weight of the consumer.

Household: 13%
(Includes emissions associated with household appliances and furnishings, e.g., lighting, refrigerator.) Unlikely to be significantly dependent on consumer weight.

Hygiene: 12%
Slightly dependent on consumer weight.

Clothing: 9%
Slightly dependent on consumer weight.

Commuting: 7%
Unlikely to be significantly dependent on consumer weight.

Aviation: 6%
Unlikely to be significantly dependent on consumer weight.

Education: 4%
Unrelated to consumer weight.

Phones: 1%
Unrelated to consumer weight.

As these carbon scores show, there is simply no reason to believe that being overweight is a significant factor in carbon footprint size.

TMink said...

Al Gore was my senator for years. He was a great senator, he had a 100 rating from the NRA. Yep, a perfect rating while our senator.

Then he went Washington, then he went global. Then he lost the presidency because he could not carry Tennessee.

Experience is important, but it is not all important. Policy is also important. And Al was too liberal to carry Tennessee, so he lost.

It was his policy. And it is still his policy. Fred Thompson will carry Tennesse, and maybe the country. It is the policy.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

Cyrus: You forgot to count breathing. All that extra air flow needed to serve those cells. All that heavy breathing. Those exhalations are full of carbon dioxide.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann,
I assume you're still talking about Chubby Al, indirectly. Considering that Americans have a fairly large carbon footprint, breathing constitutes a very small fraction of that footprint. Taking into account that overweight people have a reduced life expectancy, a smaller resting lung capacity, are less likely to exercise, etc..., my best estimates don't show any significant increase in lifetime carbon emissions for the plump. Sorry.

ninefoothoagies said...

I'll forget for a moment that a saggy middle-aged broad like you with a dye job that looks like it was done on in the back of a moving vehicle on a dirt road is making fun of somebody else's appearance, to ask this:

Do you know for a fact that Al Gore is an overeater, Ann? Or are you just being a tenured, public-welfare empiricist yet again.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote,

Also, if you weigh more, your car is consuming more fuel carrying you around. Fat people in cars has got to be as significant as incandescent light bulbs.


Ann, the major factor in automotive load weight, is the car, not the people. Increasing the weight of a passenger by 10%, for example, is really not significant.

To the extent that you are concerned about carbon footprints, there are serious steps that everyone can take to reduce their carbon footprint. However, the "inconvenient truth" is that trying to put an additional share of blame on overweight people isn't one of them.

Ann Althouse said...

Cyrus:

1. Gore is way more than 10% overweight.

2. You're not really picking up the humor.

Ann Althouse said...

Also the extra weight in the car is just one energy use. There is also the production and transportation of all that food.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

Gore is way more than 10% overweight.


I have no idea how much Gore is overweight. I provided an example (clearly not personalized to Gore) showing that vehicle weight is insignificantly changed by carrying the extra pounds of an overweight person. Here's a sample calculation for you;

A typical passenger car weighs over 3000 lbs. If a large man who is 20% over his ideal weight (let's say 240 lbs instead of 200 lbs) climbs in a 3400 lb car, his extra weight comprises about 1% of the loaded vehicle weight. In other words, it's not significant.

You're not really picking up the humor.

It's a mistake to assume your audience doesn't get the humor. As a comedian, if you don't hear chuckles, don't assume it's the fault of the audience.

On the other hand, I suspect the "fat Al Gore" angle of this blog entry has more to do with throwing a bone to the rightwing audience you are cultivating than it reflects a genuine interest in "carbon footprints" on your part.

Also the extra weight in the car is just one energy use. There is also the production and transportation of all that food.

Sorry Ann, but this is an overgeneralization. As a general rule, being overweight results from consuming more calories than you burn. If you understand this principle, then you realize that a person can become overweight without eating more food. And if you bother to work through a few sample calculations, you will find that a person doesn't need to eat much extra food to gain weight.

For example, there are 280 calories (over 10% of daily caloric intake for an American man) in a 2 oz Snickers bar. If a man eats two Snickers bars a day, adding over 20% to his daily caloric intake, the total weight of additional food to be transported for a year is 90lbs, a small fraction of the weight of the truck used to haul it.

I'm willing to bet that the environmental impact of a person driving several times a week to a gym to exercise far exceeds the environmental impact of a person being overweight.

Ann Althouse said...

Oh, yes, the old point that fat people aren't overeating, they're underexercising. The fact is, if they are fat, they are taking more than they need. That is overconsumption. Actually, let me blame the overexercisers too. They should rest more so they can eat less and cause less environmental damages. I note that they turn more oxygen into carbon dioxide in addition to consuming more food. If they wanted to be greener, they'd cut down on exercise and food.

And as for cars, every bit counts. If everyone got down to their correct weight and still drove the same cars the same distance, a huge amount of fossil fuel would not be burned. You can do the math. It's just like if everyone adjusted the thermostat 1° or even a tenth of a degree. Added up, the savings would be huge.

That reminds me, fat people require more air conditioning. In winter they require less heat, so it would be acceptable to add an extra 10% to your ideal weight in the winter in a cold climate, but you must lose that weight at the end of the heating season.

I'm just telling you the truth. Deal with it.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

I'm just telling you the truth. Deal with it.


Nah, you're just using this as an opportunity to take a few cheap shots. If you really cared about "carbon footprints," you'd take the time to do a little research; you'd then realize that turning down the thermostat 1 degree (F) would have an enormous impact whereas targeting the overweight would have an insignificant impact. To compare the two, as if they are somehow of the same magnitude, is preposterous.

The point I was making about those who exercise was lost on you. I applaud those who exercise regularly, but the fact is that many of those people drive to the gym to exercise. Again, if you truly care about carbon footprints, encourage people to drive less and to use more fuel efficient cars.

I assume you know that, in addition to diet and exercise, genetic predisposition influences body weight regulation. I also assume that you realize that these genetic risk factors lead to a susceptibility to gain weight in spite of adopting healthy diet and exercise habits. As I've tried to show you, those who are overweight do NOT have significantly larger carbon footprints by virtue of their extra weight. So, it seems to me that if you want to help make practical and significant reductions in carbon footprint size, you ought to find a better target.

Ann Althouse said...

Cyrus, you're not doing the math! Let's say, conservatively, that 100 million Americans are on average 10 pounds overweight. That's 1 billion extra pounds. How much gas does it take to transport 1 billion pounds around every day? A lot!!!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann,

I have to say, I admire your tenacity. And I'm going to have to put a reminder on my calendar to come back to this blog entry on May 26 to see if you've tried to sneak in the last word.

Let me do the math for your example:

- 100 million people
- each person is 10 lbs overweight

You are right, that's a billion extra pounds. But what fraction of the total is that?

- Assume the average person weighs 160 lbs.

That's 16 billion pounds total! And 1 billion of those pounds (6%) are just stored fat!

But wait! What about the weight of the cars themselves?

- Assume each car weighs 3200 lbs empty.

- Assume the fatsos ride in pairs (i.e., 50 million cars).

The total weight of cars carrying overweight people is 160 billion pounds! Wow!

So, when this particular overweight population drives, it puts 176 billion pounds on the road, 1 billion of which is fat (approximately half a percent of the total).

What if everyone in this population went on a diet, lost 20 pounds and became 10 pounds underweight? Then the population of 100 million underweight people would be only putting 174 billion pounds on the road. Would that lead to a significant decrease in gasoline use? No, gasoline use would drop by a small amount, and this would show up as an even smaller change in total "carbon impact."

On the other hand, what if this population of 100 million people eliminated one automobile trip per week?

- Assume the population makes on average 35 automobile trips per week.

Eliminating one automobile trip per week (out of 35) would have the same effect as reducing the total weight on the road from 176 billion pounds to 171 billion pounds. Wow, a reduction of 5 billion pounds. That's the equivalent of each of those people being 50 lbs underweight!

So Ann, looking at the bigger picture, getting drivers to drive just a little bit less leads to a much bigger reduction in carbon footprint than badgering overweight people to lose weight.

That said, I do hope that overweight people can find a way to lose weight for health reasons. But if we want to reduce carbon impact, the best place to start is at home with our own behavior.