This stuff never ends. With regard to Al Gore’s 2004 New York Times review of Ross Gelbspan’s “Boiling Point” book and the quote which I screencaptured of at the end of my February 8, 2017 blog post …..…. let’s focus on a particular set of words:
In this new book, Gelbspan focuses his toughest language by far on the coal and oil industries. After documenting the largely successful efforts of companies like ExxonMobil to paralyze the policy process, confuse the American people and cynically “‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact,'” as one strategy paper put it, he concludes that “what began as a normal business response by the fossil fuel lobby — denial and delay — has now attained the status of a crime against humanity.”
I wouldn’t have said it quite that way, but I’m glad he does, and his exposition of the facts certainly seems to support his charge.
Gore is of course saying he wouldn’t directly term the whole situation as a crime against humanity. But the inconvenient truth here is that Gore did say it that way about denial and delay tactics, quoting other memo phrases directly related to the “reposition global warming” part of the ‘strategy paper.’ The leaked strategy which, lest any one forget, was part of a set of memos which also contained targeting goals – “older, less-educated men” / “young, low-income women” – that Gelbspan made famous in his 1997 “The Heat is Online” book.
Those are the same strategy / targeting phrases which Gelbspan mentioned for the first time in December 1995 during a radio show interview (click to enlarge image).
But in his 1992 book, Al Gore said this:
… it is also worth remembering that some self-interested cynics are seeking to cloud the underlying issue of the environment with disinformation. The coal industry, for one, has been raising money in order to mount a nationwide television, radio, and magazine advertising campaign aimed at convincing Americans that global warming is not a problem. Documents leaked from the National Coal Association to my office reveal the depth of the cynicism involved in the campaign. For example, the strategy memorandum notes their “target groups” as follows: “People who respond most favorably to such statements are older, less-educated males from larger households, who are not typically active information-seekers … another possible target is younger, lower-income women …
And as I pointed out here with the help of independent corroboration, that set of memos is not what Gore and Gelbspan claimed it was.
Al Gore doesn’t like it when anyone implies there is any doubt about his scientific pronouncements. The microphone gets cut for the questioner, or he just offers a sidestep answer and scurries off. A journalist could make initial headway asking about his ‘corrupt skeptics’ accusation, which might yield a friendly answer or two about it being ‘well documented’ or ‘discovered by a Pulitzer-Winning reporter,’ but if the journalist persists, pointing out how the accusation is not at all well documented, and how this traces back to a person who never won a Pulitzer, and then wonders about why Gore would say this person discovered leaked memos that he already possessed, it is a sure bet that Gore will gesture to the exit pretty much this way: