TCS Daily

Scientific Goring

By Nick Schulz - May 3, 2002 12:00 AM

"Part of Al Gore's makeup is a moralistic streak that makes it hard to have a diversity of viewpoints."

So said James Blumstein, one of the former vice president's professors. Blumstein is right about one thing - Gore is a moralist. But Blumstein is profoundly wrong about another. Gore is actually amazingly capable of entertaining a diversity of viewpoints, some of them mutually exclusive and sometimes even about the same person.

Consider Gore's view of Dr. Rajendra Pachauri. Pachauri, or "Pachy" as he is known to his friends and acquaintances, was recently selected to head the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UNIPCC). This is the scientific panel that monitors issues relating to the alleged threat of 'global warming' and Pachauri, as its new head, is someone who will wield considerable influence over global climate change policies.

Until recently, the head of the UNIPCC was Dr. Robert Watson. But the Bush administration was not fond of Watson, and so the administration lent its support to Dr. Pachauri before the recent vote. Gore, on the other hand, was fond of Watson and was not happy with the vote in favor of Dr. Pachauri over Watson.

To express his outrage, Gore took to the pages of the New York Times and ripped the Bush administration for its environmental policies generally and for its support of Dr. Pachauri particularly.

"The administration threw its weight behind the 'let's drag our feet' candidate, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of New Delhi, who is known for his virulent anti-American statements," Gore opined.

But Gore's remarks were this week challenged in a letter to the Times' editors. Interestingly, the letter was sent from Dr. Pachauri himself, the very person Gore savaged in his Times piece. Dr. Pachauri was surprised by Gore's attacks.

"In a 1991 speech," Dr. Pachauri writes, "Mr. Gore, referring to my 'commitment,' 'vision' and 'dedication,' said: 'Pachy is the one person in the world who could bring us all here. ... He is known all over the community of concerned men and women as someone with the intellect and the heart.'"

In his letter, Dr. Pachauri goes on: "In 'Earth in the Balance,' Mr. Gore acknowledged me 'among the other scientists who have been helpful in giving me advice during the writing of this book.'"

So much for Gore being unable to entertain a diversity of viewpoints -- a visionary one minute is anti-American the next.

Dr. Pachauri shouldn't be surprised, really, and neither should we. After all, the telling of fibs, untruths, and tall tales is, in a way, little more than holding a diversity of mutually exclusive viewpoints -- one knows the truth but professes its opposite. And in this area, Gore is peerless.

Who can forget Gore's assertion that he created the Internet (he didn't)? Or that he and wife Tipper were the inspiration for "Love Story" (they weren't)? Or that he said he traveled with James Lee Witt, the director of FEMA, in 1998 to inspect fire and flooding damage in Texas (he never went with Mr. Witt)?

Moreover, his attacks on former friends and professional acquaintances are not new either. National Review's Jonah Goldberg highlighted a telling anecdote in a review of Bob Zelnick's book about the former vice president:

"The most heinous example of Gore's willingness to 'lie for justice' comes in the defenestration of his old Harvard mentor Roger Revelle. An esteemed scientist, Revelle had introduced 'global warming' to Gore when the latter was a college student. In 1991, Revelle co-authored an article in the scientific journal Cosmos downplaying the risks of global warming. He suggested that more study was necessary before any draconian government action was taken. Revelle died shortly thereafter. When the article received wide attention, Gore personally launched a sub-rosa campaign using friendly activist-academics to depict Revelle as a mentally failing old man who had been duped by politically motivated scientist-con men."

With this track record, is it any wonder that Sen. Joe Lieberman is waiting to see what Gore does before deciding whether or not to throw his hat into the 2004 presidential ring? After all, if Lieberman takes on Gore in the Democratic primary, there's no telling what Gore will do. Of course, Lieberman only needs to look at what Gore has done to Drs. Pachauri and Revelle to get a sense of what he does to his 'friends.'

URL Next Door - This week's URL Next Door is the blog of frequent TCS contributor Iain Murray. Iain's delightful postings can help keep an American audience on top of who's who and what's what in England and elsewhere across the pond.

I just returned from continental Europe and I can assure you that there is almost no hope for support from European elites as the United States works to widen its war against the states that sponsor terrorism. Now, whether or not support from continental Europe matters to the U.S. is a debate for another day (short answer: it doesn't).

But the support of the Brits does matter and what Tony Blair and Labor choose to do is significant. Make sure you check into the Edge of England's Sword to help better understand what ought to happen.

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