Al Gore Brings His Message to Insurance, but Its Not About Climate Change
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 7, 2011
I read with great interest recently that former Vice President Al Gore will be the featured speaker at this year’s IASA Annual Conference and Business Show. As you may know, I am no fan of Gore’s manipulation and magnification of science when it comes to climate change, but I did see this as a unique opportunity to hear his views first-hand, and perhaps to get in a question or two.
Then I saw the topic of Gore’s keynote address and did a double take. It seems that instead of a lecture on climate change, which I’m sure would be of interest to insurers who must regularly weigh weather-related risks, he is calling on his heritage as “inventor of the Internet” to speak to us about “The Democratization of Technology.” The talk, IASA tells us, will be about “technological advancement and the potential of user involvement.” Gore will identify “key opportunities and challenges, charting a new digital society.”
How very interesting, I thought. Why would the world’s foremost proponent of climate change prophesy change gears and instead give us a talk about a topic better suited to Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg? Then it occurred to me that perhaps the whole climate change hysteria thing is not selling so well these days.
Witness a February blog by Gore in which he responds to a question from television host and opiner Bill O’Reilly about “why southern New York has turned into a tundra” (in terms of heavy snowfall). “As it turns out,” says Gore, “the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming.”
Not a surprising response from Gore. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), however, says its Climate Scene Investigator (CSI) team “found no evidence — no human ‘fingerprints’ — to implicate our involvement in the snowstorms. If global warming was the culprit, the team would have expected to find a gradual increase in heavy snowstorms in the mid-Atlantic region as temperatures rose during the past century. But historical analysis revealed no such increase in snowfall. Nor did the CSI team find any indication of an upward trend in winter precipitation along the eastern seaboard.”
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Gore’s climate change gig is getting a bit stale. And with creditable scientists weighing in against his pronouncements, perhaps he has decided to cut his losses and take on other challenges.
Personally, I hope Gore will start dishing on climate change at IASA, but I won’t really be surprised if he doesn’t. Then again, perhaps a well-placed question from the audience will get things started?
Ara C. Trembly (www.aratremblytechnology.com) is the founder of Ara Trembly, The Tech Consultant, and a longtime observer of technology in insurance and financial services.
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