- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009

NO ALAPALOOZA

Former Vice President Al Gore abruptly canceled a Dec. 16 personal appearance that was to be staged during the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which begins next week. As described in this column on Tuesday, the multimedia public event to promote Mr. Gore’s new book “Our Choice” offered $1,209 VIP tickets that guaranteed a photo taken with Mr. Gore, and a “light snack.”

Berlingske Media, a Danish group coordinating the event, on Thursday said that “great annoyance” was a factor in the cancellation, along with unforeseen changes in Mr. Gore’s schedule. The cancellation affected 3,000 ticket holders.

“We have had a clear-cut agreement, and it is unusual, with great disappointment that we have to announce that Al Gore cancels. We had a huge expectation for the event…We do not yet know the detailed reasons for the cancellation,” says Lisbeth Knudsen, CEO of Berlingske Media.

ClimateDepot.com, an online news site that tracks global warming, referred to the situation as “Nopenhagen,” and evidence that momentum for the Copenhagen conference “is fading.”

But there are plenty of other interesting “side events” at the summit, should participants grow weary of discussions about carbon dioxide. Among the events, gleaned from the official “COP15” calendar:

“Gendered Development” (Women for Climate Justice), “Fashion Summit” (Nordic Initiative), International Enduro (electric-powered Motocross racing), “Climate Refugee Camp” (Danish Church Aid), “A universal declaration of Mother Earth rights” (Bolivia), “Zoos and biological consequences of climate change (Aalborg Zoo), “Meat the Truth” (documentary film), Children’s Action Event (Children’s Climate Forum), “Play to Stop Climate Change” (Backstreet Boys).

OSCAR AND AL

There are a few floor shows taking place stateside as well.

Pajamas Media founder Roger L. Simon and independent filmmaker Lionel Chetwynd - both members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Oscar nominees themselves - have called on the Academy to rescind Oscars awarded for the film version of Mr. Gore’s book “An Inconvenient Truth” after Climategate has led to accusations that British and American scientists manipulated global warming data to suit their agendas.

“In the history of the Academy, not to my knowledge has an Oscar ever been rescinded. I think they should rescind this one,” says Mr. Simon.

Two Oscars for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song were awarded in 2007, both based on Mr. Gore’s book.

STRIKING BACK

Tomorrow’s weather prediction: Stormy, with gale-force winds.

Scientists at the very eye of the Climategate hurricane are striking back Friday against critics with the help of the Center of American Progress (CAP), a think tank headed by John D. Podesta, one-time chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton.

Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor who authored some of the e-mails that fomented the controversy, will join NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, Princeton University researcher Michael Oppenheimer and CAP senior fellow Joseph Romm to address Climategate in an 11 a.m. conference call.

“The stolen e-mails reveal nothing that changes our extensive understanding of climate science,” they say.

“Opponents of cleaner energy have, since the 1970s, systematically attacked and politicized sound science in an attempt to widen the partisan divide and mislead the public,” the quartet observe.

WHAT’S OUT THERE

Now that it’s in the admonishment stage, the White House party crasher saga has taken a predictably comedic turn. A photo of President Obama and feminine “crasher” Michaele Sahali in a reception line during the Nov. 24 state dinner is making the rounds of conservative Web sites with these new captions:

Mr. Obama: “Show me your invitation.”

Mrs. Sahali: “Show me your birth certificate.”

TRASH TALK

A little good news from Keep America Beautiful: Since 1968, the amount of litter in America has decreased by 61 percent nationwide, a change attributed to aggressive, long-term public education and cleanup programs. Litter still costs the nation $11.5 billion in direct cleanup costs and prevention, the group says; 51.2 billion pieces of litter are left on U.S. roadways, an average of 6,729 pieces per mile. The group based its conclusions on a study that monitored behaviors of 10,000 people in 10 states, and monitored roadway litter in 45 metropolitan areas.

SNOW JOB

Rep. Tom Price was not too impressed with the White House “job summit” Thursday.

“This event is a classic display of how this administration operates,” the Georgia Republican tells Beltway. “They put great effort into the appearance that they are doing something, rather than actually producing any real solutions. Today’s event might make for a flashy story on the evening news, but whats the real impact? Millions of unemployed Americans will still go to bed tonight wondering how they’re going to make ends meet. They’re looking for jobs, not photo-ops.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 51 percent of Americans say global warming is a hazard.

• 28 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Democrats agree.

• 29 percent do not believe global warming poses a problem.

• 51 percent of Republicans and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

• 41 percent of Americans say global warming should be treated as a “very serious” problem.

• 17 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

• 52 percent of Americans are “not at all sure” what will be addressed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Source: Harris Poll of 2,303 adults conducted Nov. 2-11.

At this point, send anything and everything to jharper@ washingtontimes.com.

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