Al Gore Cancels Trip to Taiwan

From the Taipei Times:

Former US vice president Al Gore will not be able to make it to Taiwan this September to address the issue of global warming, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said yesterday. Tien, who invited Gore to visit Taiwan to promote awareness on global warming, told reporters yesterday that she received an e-mail from the Harry Walker Agency, which has the exclusive right to arrange Gore’s speeches, saying that Gore had canceled all his scheduled events in the next six months. The visit to Taiwan had been postponed to next year, she added. Tien said the reason for the cancelation was that Gore was considering a presidential bid.

So it’s looking like Gore is going to enter the race after all. May the best man (or woman) win, or else join in political matrimony as a wholly new and more feminine ticket for Clinton/Gore.


11 thoughts on “Al Gore Cancels Trip to Taiwan

  1. I just checked the Taipai Times and could find no mention of this story. Do you know when and where it appeared?

  2. The link to the article is in the red text above the blockquote box. You have to scroll down on the page — it’s the last topic of the news pieces. Obviously, Gore’s canceling a visit is not headline news to them, whereas the implications here could make MSN’s homepage.

  3. Hurrah for a potential Gore run, but let me add that any sort of Clinton-Gore team-up is far-fetched, to say the least. Neither of these top dogs is going to accept some second banana role – especially the guy who already was second banana for eight years!

  4. The Fates do bring humor. After looking at the “science fiction” in Mr. Gore’s latest foray into the world of knowledge, purported climate change scenarios and floods, his current melodramatic posturing is in my humble opinion, completely in character. Mr. Gore need attention and adulation, real or not, momentary or not, and perhaps it will keep him from snacking and looking much like thos objects that dot our Albuquerque skies during the annual balloon fiesta. One would hope that Mr. Gore would downsize his energy glutton of a house at the same time, and he might just want to look at the new sealevel studies that show absolutely no statistical rise of the world’s seas. But let’s hope Mr> gore does enter the fray and destroys Hillary’s chances in the process, I suspect he would make the Fred Thompson ticket more attractive. With angry Ralph Nader looking at another run, the campaign might get more entertaining still. Mr. Nader, for all his anger, is still just about the most ethical human being to step on a political stage, but alas he has failed to martial an independent movement.

  5. Donald, I have always wondered what is ‘conservative’ about creating tax breaks and laws that favor polluters. Wouldn’t it be conservative to assume that smog, lead and radiation are probably bad for you and we shouldn’t put more of it into the environment (otherwise known as where we live)? There is a tax deduction on a Hummer under a loophole for large vehicles, but I pay taxes on my little gas-efficient car. Why should I be paying more taxes to subsidize these Hummer-driving freeloaders?

  6. Fred Thompson paid to borrow some guy’s pick-up to drive to a political rally. Afterwards, he ostentatiously got back in the pick-up, drove a few blocks away, ditched the truck, and rode away in a limo.

    That’s what I call personal integrity. Or, lack thereof.

    The fact that Mr Gore’s house may be larger than most, or whether or not he’s a hypocrite is beside the point. I realize that Mr Wolberg is not sold on the science. Fine. But, whether the climate is warming or not, we need to conserve oil NOW.

    ExxonMobil has cut back on oil exploration. They are using their enormous profits to buy back their stock (see BusinessWeek if you choose not to believe me). The easy oil is running out; what’s left is the stuff at the bottom of the ocean, or in the Kiril Islands, or other such places. As a result, any new fields take a decade or more to develop, so the oil companies’ short-sighted attempt to maximize their stock options will possibly have consequences 10 or 20 years down the road.

    Yes, the Hummer loophole is yet one more gift from the Bush Admin and it’s congressional enablers. It’s despicable. Let’s face it: almost no one needs a Hummer, or an SUV. They are no safer than regular car. It is ludicrous to beleive that one needs a 10,000 lb vehicle (I’m guessing; the big Fords from the early 70s weighed 4,000 lb +)to transport one person to work. Which often means sitting and idling in traffic, which is made worse by the sheer size of the cars.

    So, my apologies, Mr Wolberg. You may find that ridiculing Al Gore is fun, but it’s also counter-productive. Your attitude of “science hasn’t proven it beyond a shadow of a doubt, so let’s ignore it” is way too reminiscent of the attitude of the tobacco companies. How many people died because they dragged their feet by claiming there was no “proof” of the danger of smoking?

  7. The world is a strange and interesting place. What seems logical or reasonable, may actually be quite different upon closer examination. Once in a while, completely off the wall analyses may be closer to actuality than would seem possible. Thus it is with the issues surrounding oil production and consumption. Reasonable analysis says, “consume less and you will have more.” Is this actually the case? Possibly, if the U.S. was the only consumer. In this case, we are but one of many expanding and energy hungry economies requiring lots of oil. I sugegst, if all our cars were 45 horsepower and 45 MPG, the price or supply of oil would not be impacted one bit. Price is set by supply and demand. If demand is high and supply “managed” by a cartel, for example, the price stays high and the supply remains “tight.” China, India, and other nations have oil demands that are increasing and the suppliers, OPEC and others, will simply shift supply to the markets with demand, even if we increased our mileage by decreasing size and horsepower or going to alternate fuels.

    The way yo break a cartel, simply and logically, is to increase supply. Unfortunately, that means encouraging industry to go out, drill, and drill some more. U.S. Geological estimates of available reserves, known reserves, are relatively positive. Likely production is also available in places where drilling as well as exploration are prevented by silly laws and regulations more suitable for the 1950’s than now. Heck, the Cubans have granted the Chinese the right to drill in waters very near Florida, but American companies cannot.

    Again, there are vast resources available in oils shales and tar sands in North America, right here, ready, ours, can be gotten, and enough for hundreds of years. Expensive, perhaps, but comparable to current oil prices.

    Conservation in the energy sector certainly is to be valued. It is sill to use oil for generating electricity, but hydro is limited, gas is good (but needs drilling and is an oil by-product at times, wind can work but even the Kennedy’s get upset if there are windmills where THEY sail, solar is very expensive and limited, and the best is what some in the U.S. get frightened about, Nuclear Power.

    Most of the U.S. is supplied by truck, big trucks, with big engines and never mind 10,000 pound weights, these are 80,000-100,000. What do we do about this sector? Expensive oil, means expensive food and expensive everything else. So the circle closes.

    The answer is, drill more, find more, use sands and shales, build nuclear, do wind, do more hydro. Supply determines price. We need to control our own supply. Economy without production does nothing to increase supply or decrease price. We do not control these, OPEC does. Break OPEC and we win.

    My issues with Mr. Gore center on the his political nature, and at best a superficial political nature. His views on science are at best uncritical and self-serving. As a person in the Senate, he was frequently simplistic, self-agrandizing and seemed to have a need for “capturing” the moment. Is he diffeent from most other political folks, perhaps not, but he does makje more noise than most.

  8. But if the oil companies aren’t drilling, then what? That is the big problem with capitalism. The market is all about satisfying current desires rather than anticipating future needs. Industry won’t move until it has to. It will wait until the crisis hits and then act.

    I have been a proponent of railways for a long time. Trucks make no sense. The problem is that the rail infrastructure has decayed even beyond what has happened to our roads. I mentioned this before, but someone made an inane comment that trains wouldn’t work for dairy because dairy is local.

    As for Mr Gore, he was addressing the Senate, not a scientific conference. Of course he was simplistic. And politics is about theatre. He has to beat the drum because he has to change minds. The status quo will maintain itself via inertia. A shock is required to jolt it from its rut. Defenders of the status quo only have to do nothing except keep on keepin’ on.

  9. Rail over road anytime, and it works most everywhere that there is adequate rail. However, America selected road over rail, and there is no adequate rail. As I recall, the interstate system was largely the work of Mr. Eisenhower and his vision of rapid movement of people (and perhaps military) anywhere and everywhere. The ideal should be rail with container trucks to distribution centers where local; trucks handle the loads. But most of America moves by truck. Changing this would be very difficult.

    The issue of drilling is again more complex than apparent. It is very, very difficult if not impossible to drill in the most promising areas in the U.S. Laws and regulations exist that make this almost impossible. New drilling technologies are fantastic and the U.S. leads, but the irony is that our own companies cannot drill on our own soil. The silliness of this is the Chinese example. The Chines have permits to drill in the area of Florida (in waters the Cubans say is there’s), but U..S. companies cannot. The market place would see a great deal of drilling here if the laws and regualtions were changed.

  10. Just a couple of points: America did not “choose” road over rail. The auto and oil companies used their lobbying power to give them significant advantages over railroads. So much for the “free market,” unfettered by gov’t “interference.”

    Secondly, during Jeb Bush’s last gubernatorial campaign, he asked his Big Brother not to allow drilling off the Fla coast to enhance Jeb’s chance of re-election. Seems Jeb didn’t want to upset the owners of ocean-front property on the Gulf Coast.

    Investor’s Business Daily has harped on about the regulations that make building more refineries–as they call it–“impossible.” Well, turns out that no refineries have been built since the 70s because the margins were too thin. In other words, it didn’t pay. Now, that oil companies are more vertically integrated than they’ve been since the heyday of Standard Oil, the oil companies have an incentive to keep the supply of refinery capacity tight. So, the cry of “regulation” isn’t always exactly what companies would have you believe.

  11. The history of the interstate system in the United States is a complex one and I suggest it was a national policy issue, not a simplistic oil company/automobile play. The notion of moving people rapidly was mainly a necessity of war going back to FDR and pre-War planning needs for moving people and machines to our borders. Indeed, the correctness of the Alaskan route was shown by the actual conquest of parts of the America by the Japanese Aleutian foray. It was Dwight Eisenhower as I recall that carried the development of the interstate system to its modern form, and it was defense needs that drove the Eisenhower effort. Individually, states also vied for development, the Pennsylvania Turnpike comes to mind, and this development was a useful template for development by mainly planners and strategic thinkers. I would suggest that history shows that the auto industry responded to the new linkages with very different car designs. Travel on highways engineered for rapid travel–I recall that the interstates are engineered for 100 miles per hour speeds–demanded advances in suspensions, steering, tires, brakes, and engines, not previousl available or needed. It was the opportunity for autos and trucks that created the change. Much the same pattern happened in Europe of course, with the development of the Germanautobahn system, very much akin to our later interstates, although built for much higher speeds (unlimited). The autobahn system was a product of Hitler, of course.

    As for Florida non-drilling, one must again look at the facts. The Chinese communists feel it is productive, as does Castro who has given the Chinese the leases. The shortsightedness of our myopic representatives is all the more ridulous by the facts of the world economy. The Chinese are drilling themselves out of dependence on Middle Eastern oil and they are doing it near Florida. It is a shame that our laws and regulations lack that first important notion: do what is best for the USA.

    The refinery issue is different. It is a mix of business prudence, regulation and taxation. There is a lack of refining capacity, but there is little incentive to build new. Actually, it is almost impossible to build new capacity. AQt a minimum, the permitting process might well take a decade before even the first gallon of fuel was produced. No business can function by committing billions of dollars in resources to a project that may be 10, 15 or 20 years away from return. Thus, it has been most efficient for refiners to expand current capacity by add-ons to operations rather than new construction. Here again, the Chinese are rapidly building new capacity, and have few if any governmental hinderances.

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