Al Gore, Frozen in Time


(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Since we’re on an economics kick today: Craig Compeau of Fairbanks, Alaska has sponsored the creation and display of an 8 1/2 foot tall, five-ton ice sculpture of Al Gore. He has organized a local contest to guess how much colder the winter will be in 2008-09 compared to the winter of 1947-48, the year of Al Gore’s birth, with proceeds going to a local charity. This winter Fairbanks has already hit 47 degrees below zero (as in 79 degrees below the freezing point) so the guesses are going to have to be almost as low as Gore’s credibility.

The Associated Press dryly reports that the ice sculpture will be on display “through March unless it melts before then.”

(edited for typos)


8 Responses to Al Gore, Frozen in Time

  1. Brian says:

    Is Craig Compeau by any chance a plumber? Cause that would just be great if he was. Him and Joe can join their forces as the new voices of the right. They can speak plainly and confidently about all sorts of things they know nothing about.

    How about this: If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow this year then global warming is real. If he doesn’t, everyone gets a new snow machine racer. Great idea, yeah? I think it is definitely a better test than this ice sculpture business…groundhogs KNOW weather.

  2. Claire says:

    Greg, this is great! These are the only pics I could find anywhere.

    Brian, however…you’re a douche. This had nothing to do with Joe the Plumber, and Craig Compeau is a great man and patriot.

  3. Claire — It’s not cool on this blog to call someone a douche. I’m glad you’ve visitied the site to read what people have to say and would like to offer your comments, but let’s keep things more decent and substantive.

  4. Brian says:

    Claire–I don’t know Craig, and he may well be a wonderful guy. As far as I can tell he sells snowmobiles…and I bet he sells them very, uh, patriotically.

    To me Craig has a lot in common with what Joe represents. Joe is supposedly a normal guy–a Joe Sixpack–who promotes the notion that the uninformed opinions of everyday people should be promoted to the national stage. The result, as you might recall, is often more embarassing than helpful.

    Likewise, Craig’s little publicity tells us more about Craig and his lack of knowledge than it tells us about Al Gore or the global warming science. No one serious, whether they buy the global warming science or not, would ever think that comparing the temperature in 1948 to the temperature in 2009 in one place contributes anything productive to the debate. I was actually surprised that the good scientific-oriented minds here at JPGB would give this guy any free press.

    And then there is you, Claire. You fit right in, really. Your douche-calling tactic says a lot about you and your ability to defend your ideas, just as Craig’s stunt says more about him than it does about the debate he has chosen to become a part of.

  5. ryan marsh says:

    I do have one bit of criticism of Brian’s statement about promoting the views of the uninformed to the national stage. That is what democracy does. In fact, it’s basically the point of democracy. If you don’t want those opinions to have anything to do with the national stage, you have to stop that pesky voting thing. This is why, in spite of Jon Stewart’s point that viewing elitism as a bad thing seems odd, people do view it as a bad thing: the belief that some opinions are better than others is one step away from the belief that inferior opinions should be suppressed (or repressed, perhaps). I’m not saying you are even contemplating that step, but there are only 2 reasonable approaches to people with uninformed opinions: inform them or disenfranchise them. The latter is much simpler and easier to do.

    I think a simpler way of making this point is the line about defending to the death someone’s right to say it, even if the guy meets the Joe Sixpack model.
    I might replace defending to the death with encouraging, for as mentioned that’s the point of democracy.

  6. Brian says:

    I knew you’d have to take Claire’s side Ryan : )

    There are more than two ways to deal with uninformed opinions. You mentioned we can inform them, or we can suppress them. Certainly having fun poking a little fun at them is a viable alternative as well….let’s not forget: Joe the Plumber, Mr Ice Sculpture, and Claire all having something in common: They entered the ring swinging wildly. I think it’s perfectly reasonable not to handle their hubris with kid gloves.

    As far as the point of democracy is concerned: Universal suffrage is good because it gives the system legitimacy. Legitimate decisions are necessary, but legitimate does not mean good.

  7. Ryan says:

    For Mr. Ice Sculpture (I hope this name sticks) and Claire, they did venture forth their opinions unsolicited, but Joe was an innocent man who had his opinion sought out by a candidate, and when his opinion wasn’t “whatever you believe, I believe” he became nationally known and put into the public face. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the media creating a story around him, thus forcing a campaign to challenge his opinion, that would have lasted 5 minutes and then we could have moved on. I saw more coverage of the details of his life than I did actual discussion of his opinion (which admittedly I think I happen to agree with on the one issue that started this). Now going on to be a war correspondent is a little ridiculous, but from the hiring company’s point of view, not his–this money will help him save up to own his own plumbing company sometime soon. And besides, who wouldn’t take a job on TV if it was offered?

    For opinions, I said there were 2 things you could do about them, emphasis on the word do. Making fun of them amounts to doing nothing, which of course would not be included in the list of things to do as it is not doing something.

    And for democracy, I never said all the results are good, but I do believe the process is good, and for the very reason I said–it encourages those who would otherwise remain silent or perhaps never have the option of speaking. Universal sufferage is a good process independent of the legitimacy claims.

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