July 22, 2008; Page A17
Al Gore gave a speech last week “challenging” America
to run “on 100% zero-carbon electricity in 10 years” — though that’s
just the first step on his road to “ending our reliance on carbon-based
fuels.” Serious people understand this is absurd. Maybe other people
will start drawing the same conclusion about the man proposing it.
The former vice president has also recently disavowed
any intention of returning to politics. This is wise. As America’s
leading peddler of both doom and salvation, Mr. Gore has moved beyond the constraints and obligations of reality. His job is to serve as a Prophet of Truth.
In Mr. Gore’s prophecy, a transition to carbon-free
electricity generation in a decade is “achievable, affordable and
transformative.” He believes that the goal can be achieved almost
entirely through the use of “renewables” alone, meaning solar,
geothermal, wind power and biofuels.
And he doesn’t think we really have any other good
options: “The survival of the United States of America as we know it is
at risk,” he says, with his usual gift for understatement. “And even
more — if more should be required — the future of human civilization
is at stake.”
What manner the catastrophe might take isn’t yet
clear, but the scenarios are grim: The climate crisis is getting worse
faster than anticipated; global warming will cause refugee crises and
destabilize entire nations; an “energy tsunami” is headed our way. And