Climate Zealotry Produces Bad Policy: Observations on Al Gore’s New York University Speech

Is Al Gore’s latest speech on an impending climate disaster, delivered at NYU on September 18, a campaign speech or an expression of the convictions of a true believer that the world is rapidly approaching catastrophe unless it embraces his preferred solution? If the speech is the former, then it is typical of political behavior—long on rhetoric and short on practicality. If the speech is the latter, then it is a manifesto of a zealot. Such things are dangerous as zealotry brooks no dissent. Self righteous arrogance and excessive certainty that reject alternative points of view or the possibility of error are not admirable qualities or a basis for forming national and international policy. Indeed, they are dangerous qualities. Although, he calls for “deep discussion and debate,” he has shown a deep intolerance of both by demonizing and attempting to discredit anyone who challenges his views and beliefs.

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