The Corner

No, It Ain’t So Jonah

The Style account is a bit of a muddle. Gore was well-received personally for his jaunty, self-deprecating manner more than his substance, which was treated with the proper amount of skepticism. I suspect Gore was pleasantly surprised that no one snarled at him or made silly conspiratorial black-helicopter arguments.

I think he may have made a tiny handful of converts, and there were a number of people (I was among them) who went up to him afterward to thank him personally for coming–maybe as many as a dozen in all. (I think Fred Smith thanked Gore, too; the day Fred converts on climate change will be the day Lucifer starts ice skating.) Does this justify Gore saying he received “multiple kudos”? Perhaps. But there were about 100 people in the room, so it is a stretch for Gore to give the impression that he won over even a significant plurality of the group. However, we should be open to the possibility that this is Variety’s characterization of Gore’s remarks more than Gore’s own interpretation. And in the end, there is little doubt how the Wednesday Group would come down on a proposal for, say, a carbon tax, or even a tradable emissions system. A more fruitful discussion with Gore would be to discuss climate change policy strategies that don’t involve rationing and/or taxing energy, or giving the government more power. This is where the greens lack either imagination or good faith.

P.S. I gave my card to one of his staffers and said I would like to have more of Gore’s materials on the issue. Haven’t heard back yet.

Finally, I wrote a long piece about the current politics of the climate change issue for A Certain Other Magazine, that you can see here.

Steven F. Hayward — Stephen F. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of a two-volume political history, The Age of Reagan.

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