Next to Be Dropped: the Rest of the ‘Story’?


Last week wasn’t just a disaster for the Obama administration. Al Gore’s hysteria took it on the chin, too.

As Ed notes below, Andrew Revkin reports today that Al Gore is pulling one among the numerous demonstrably false (as opposed to the merely deceptive and misleading) claims made in his slide show — this one about accelerating natural-disaster trends, a claim immediately debunked by Roger Pielke Jr. after Gore made the claim in his recent speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Embarassingly, Gore also used bogus numbers as the basis for an op-ed in the Financial Times coinciding with his talk, co-authored by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. No word whether the FT is also pulling that peice. Their argument, that vastly greater numbers of jobs exist in the wind-energy industry than in the coal industry, was soon enough debunked by the Christian Science Monitor – if accidentally so, as CSM specifically dismissed the claim as made on Fortune’s blog (now corrected) – with further help from Pielke Jr.

In their piece demanding more taxpayer-funded green pork, Gore/Ban falsely state that:

Globally, with 2.3m people employed in the renewable energy sector, there are already more jobs there than directly in the oil and gas industries. In the US, there are now more jobs in the wind industry than in the entire coal industry.

As Pielke said, the key to the “bogus comparison” is that the very same wind energy report from which such claims are derived makes clear that “those 85,000 jobs in wind power are as ‘varied as turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more.’ The 81,000 coal jobs counted by the Department of Energy are only miners. Their figure excludes those who haul the coal around the country, as well as those who work in coal power plants.”

As Pielke and the CSM both noted if in their own way, such a claim actually proves too much; because even if the jobs claim were true, it would demonstrate that it takes many more workers to produce a kilowatt of “renewable” energy than to produce one from coal. Which is another way of saying it’s much more expensive.

Now, when even the falsehoods concocted to makes one’s case actually defeat one’s case, it might be a sign to switch sides (or at least change one’s mind). Just a thought.


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