Doctor Gore: a good idea? – poll disagrees

From a University of Tennessee press release: Former VP Gore to Receive Honorary Doctorate from UT Knoxville

Former Vice President Al Gore

KNOXVILLE — Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will be honored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with only the third honorary degree granted by the campus. The degree was approved by the UT Board of Trustees at their meeting Feb 26th.

Gore will receive the degree — an Honorary Doctor of Laws and Humane Letters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology — at the spring commencement exercises of the College of Arts and Sciences on May 14. He will be the featured speaker at the ceremony, addressing graduates and their families along with the gathered faculty.

“Vice President Gore’s career has been marked by visionary leadership, and his work has quite literally changed our planet for the better,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “He is among the most accomplished and respected Tennesseans in history, and it is fitting that he should be honored by the flagship education institution of his home state.”

Gore, whose career in public service and business has spanned four decades, is currently chairman of Current TV, an Emmy-award-winning, independently owned cable and satellite television nonfiction network for young people based on viewer-created content and citizen journalism. He also serves as chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm that is focused on a new approach to sustainable investing.

Gore’s appreciation and personal interest in the institution of higher education is apparent as he serves as faculty member/visiting professor at various institutions across the country. A UT Knoxville faculty member holds the Nancy Gore Hunger Chair for Excellence in Environmental Studies, endowed by Gore to honor his late sister. Gore also is a distinguished member of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy’s board of directors and honorary co-chair of the Tennessee 4-H Club Foundation Inc. with UT Extension.

Gore, a native of Carthage, Tenn., was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the U.S. on Jan. 20, 1993, and served eight years in that office. During that time, Gore was a central member of President Clinton’s economic team. He served as president of the Senate, a Cabinet member, a member of the National Security Council, and as the leader of a wide range of administration initiatives. Prior to his service as vice president, Gore was twice elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, in 1984 and 1990, and represented Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District — the seat held by his father, Al Gore Sr., before his own service in the Senate — in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1982.

He received a degree in government with honors from Harvard University in 1969. After graduation, he volunteered for enlistment in the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War. Upon returning from Vietnam, Gore became an investigative reporter with the Tennessean in Nashville, where he also attended Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and then Law School.

Gore was the co-winner, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change. He is the author of the best-selling books “Earth in the Balance” and “An Inconvenient Truth” and also is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary.

In addition to his roles with Current TV and Generation Investment Management, Gore is a member of the board of directors of Apple Inc., a senior adviser to Google Inc., and a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit organization designed to help solve the climate crisis.

He and his wife, Tipper, live in Nashville. They have four children and three grandchildren.

Gore will join entertainer and philanthropist Dolly Parton and former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. as the only recipients of honorary degrees from UT Knoxville.


Now here’s the interesting thing. The Knoxville News Sentinel ran an op ed saying “Al Gore a fine choice for honorary degree” and at the same time ran a reader poll on their website.

Here’s the results as of 10:30PM PST 3/3/10

As far as I know, there’s been no effort by anyone to flood the poll, I learned about it only as I’m writing this entry. Maybe too many people saw him interview with Conan O’Brien a few weeks back. You can vote if you wish here.

h/t to Leif Svalgaard


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Dr Evil.
We will hold the world to ransom for …
One hundred Billions Dollars ….


Dr. of Scatology, PhD (piled high and deep)

Michael not Man

Al Gore is going to make Bernie Madoff look good.


Sorry but I couldn’t resist.
So this makes him the third big boob to receive this “honor”
REPLY: Fourth actually. There are no uniboobs.


Honorary degrees are almost always motivated by political maneuvering. The timing of this one is a bit weird, though. Why now? What’s in it for UT Knoxville?

Dr. Al Soothsayer of Doom.

i ben edjakate at duh skuul of globl wormng
al gor iz a gud techer
wer do i voat Yess! ?
Think UT Knoxville will notice 25:1 results?

Doug in Seattle

Is this the same Al Gore that lost the Presidency in 2000 by losing his own state?
The same Al Gore whose absence from the Tennessee Museum in Nashville is a reminder of the respect of his fellow Tennesseans?
Possibly the same Al Gore who was born, not in Tennessee, but Washington, DC and who grew up not in Tennessee, but Washington?


Gore is a legend in his own mind.


This is really really disappointing. A doctorate is given to people for making a significant contribution to human knowledge, not for alarmism, lies and political advocacy. Looks like we have an entire university administration that doesn’t seem to know what science is. No offence intended to individual staff at UT.

Actually, I suspect there is a bit of backslapping going on here, as usual:
One could probably dig a bit and find a substantial “arrangement” with the “life-sciences” and Al Gore’s projects
Of course, this is pure speculation on my part.
Quote: from

Jimmy G. Cheek is Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida. Appointed in January 2005, he is the administrative head of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) which includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, elements of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, 13 Research and Education Centers throughout Florida, and the Florida Cooperative Extension Service with offices in each of the state’s 67 counties. Last year, IFAS expenditures were approximately $300 million, over half of which was non-state appropriations. IFAS employs 1,160 faculty and 1,275 staff


I be Doctah Gore. I be oprating on ya brain. Got any bucks?

The only question worth asking is: how will this affect the football team? Other than the gridiron Volunteers, UTK has no there there.


Knoxville, eh?
Well, that’s apt.
He is a total Jackass.

‘Visionary leadership?’ …’improving the planet?’
What a cheek, Chancellor Cheek!
Do you think we came down in the last rain shower?


The picture looks photoshopped to me.

That paper should be thankful Anthony didn’t see this around 4:30 pm EST or they would have been swamped by people heading over to cast a vote.


Sure, right after he serves 20 years in Antarctica.

Norm in Calgary

What next, a Pulitzer prize for the script to An Inconceivable Truth?

D. King

How much is enough Al?
This much?

Another University trashes its reputation!


Pretty much sums up the state of this farce…..
The Science says: 1 degree …… the forcing hypothesis predicted by the models has proven itself a fiction over time……
Skeptics and Warmists are wallowing round in the mud over data that lies well within the error bars…..
The science is now a non issue…..Al Gore, Jo Romm etc have successfully hijacked science and turned it into pure propaganda.
Given that the only coverage of the science is propaganda, why would Al getting honorary credentials even though he thinks the globe is ‘several million degrees just 2km’s below the earths’ surface be a surprise?
Jo Romm said in an interview the other day that the ice melt from Greenland would raise sea levels by 250 feet and not one person has pulled him up on the fact that he’s out by a factor of 10…..
If it wasn’t so hilarious it would be hilarious!
Worst thing about all this is that if you look at the ACTUAL science, warmists and Skeptics are at almost exactly the same place…..the real argument is feedback factors as I see it……
People like Al Gore make things so much worse by spewing complete BS…they are the reason why this scam is a scam….. people want to spend trillions because they think things are worse than the science says….
Ho Hum……


I find there is a strange symmetry between fellow graduates. At my ceremony an honorary doctorate was awarded to Brian Rix. Many aspects of my life have been a farce ever since. No offence to Ms Parton, who is a deserved legend in country music if you like that sort of thing. But maybe Gore will look more and more of tit as time goes by.

Peter of Sydney

They got to be kidding. It was bad enough to make the Nobel Prize a joke; now PhD degrees? It would be an offense of the highest order to all honest and true PhD’s. But then I’m not surprised. Once Obama was given the Nobel Prize for doing nothing apart from winning an election, I suppose anything goes from now on. The world has indeed gone mad. Enjoy the ride; it will get much worse.

Larry Kirk

And do they also sell pardons..?

Dave Wendt

I personally think that an honorary doctorate is hardly justified, but if they were to award him a BS degree that would be something I could get behind.

Paul Clements

This is reported here in Australia
VICTIMS of Hurricane Katrina from Mississippi are seeking to sue carbon gas-emitting multinationals for helping fuel global warming and boosting the devastating 2005 storm, legal documents showed.
The class action suit brought by residents from southern Mississippi, which was ravaged by hurricane-force winds and driving rains, was first filed just weeks after the August 2005 storm hit.
“The plaintiffs allege that defendants’ operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming,” say the documents, seen by AFP

Al Gore always reminds me of a Heinlein character – the Rev Nehemiah Scudder.


Should anyone be moved to contact UT Knoxville directly, here are the links:
UT Knoxville
Jimmy G. Cheek
(865) 974-3265
Office of Communications and Marketing
(865) 974-2225


In this clip, Al Gore criticises the media’s reporting of climate change sceptics saying that they represent a tiny minority within the scientific community and should not be given any credibility.
Al Gore + Dr Rajendra Pachauri, two for the price of one..


Google stuffs “related” ads into a space near the top of some articles or comments. I had a good laugh at the one that came up immediately below the knoxnews poll:
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Maybe Albert should sign up for a basic science class. Throw in Statistics for Dummies, too.
btw, I enjoy Phil’s mom’s posts on Bishop Hill. Perhaps Albert’s mom could be persuaded to post a note here about her boy’s adventures.

OT, but there’s a new memoranda on the UK Parliamentary site from John Graham-Cumming. Short version is that he seems to suggest that the MET Office code released for calculating crutem3 may not be “the” code and suggests they look closely at it to verify.

Jeff Steadman

(Sigh)…..Mr. Cheeks, I could really say a lot of things right now, but I’ll start with these: 1) Al Gore surely does not have visionary leadership; 2) his “work” has not changed our planet for the better, but for the worse; 3) I have serious doubts that he is one of the most respected Tennesseans in state history; 4) Do his “accomplishments” include the fact that he never took an introductory Earth science course?
And of course, I’m leaving these comments on a website that Mr. Cheek will almost certainly never check in his lifetime, so it all amounts to barking at a brick wall. The “wisdom” of American academia…..
One of the four corners of deceit, as Rush says.

wayne job

The view from Australia is that Al Gore is a carpet bagger, a flim flam artist. Why would any reputable establishment even let him talk, let alone give him an honorary degree. After the scam that has been uncovered, this man is a laughing stock, around the world. Incredible!!!

Stefan P

“…saw him on David Letterman a few weeks back. …”
the guy looks more like Conan O’Brien
REPLY: Slip on my part, I was thinking of the James Hansen interview which happened about the same time. -A

GAH!!! Gore spent a grand total of ONE MONTH in Vietnam, with 2-3 bodyguards protecting his silver spoon behind at all times.

Peter of Sydney, it is not a mere Ph.D, but rather a LL.D, the Doctorate of Laws.
This completely devalues the LL.D, almost as much as my alma mater awarding one to Joh Bjelke Petersen in 1979 or so, IIRC.
Ph.D’s are, by comparison, a dime a dozen….

Sydney Sceptic

You know if the PhD had been in creative writing, extortion or motivation, I would say it was well deserved… This one.. maybe not so much.

Timing’s pretty neat. The next Heartland conference is May 16-18. If Al Gore wants a roasting, fine.

Of course, I should have said “an” LL.D, rather than “a” LL.D, but if one interprets LL.D as “Doctorate of Laws”, then it corrects itself….

Funny thing is, many lifetimes ago he did actually write an interesting book called “Earth in the Balance”. Interesting, that is, so long as one forgets his climate science.

D. Patterson

The thunk you may have heard was the sound of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville academic degree values colliding with Gore’s declining carbon credit values as they plummet on their way to a hard rock bottom. Anyone looking at the qualifications of an applicant holding a UT-Knoxville degree, especially in science, will now have cause to wonder about the quality and value of the applicant’s education. Just as the connotations of a Harvard education has changed, so too will the connotations change for any institution honoring the participants in the Enron affair, Bernie Madoff’s affairs, Al Gore’s enterprises, Mann’s U-Penn, the UEA, and the Univ-Leeds. Can anyone say Nobel Prize, Oscar,…without a knowing smile these days?


i wonder if this place needs a new building and new funds. Quite frequently high Donators to the university gets chairs and honorary degrees.
(p.hd = Piled higher and deeper LOL)

I’m curious as to know the reasons for this. The timing seems strange bearing in mind all that has gone on over the last few months. Anyone got any insights into the academic minds and trustees over at UT? There has to be something going on behind the scenes.


That magnolia tree in the background hates him.

Phillip Bratby

Dolly Parton being honoured I can understand!

Ed Zuiderwijk

They will regret this and be forced to eat their hats.

Just goes to show, grime pays.
At least history will judge all the brown-nosed, group-think, mass hysterics for their failure of reason.

John Hooper

More like Johnny Knoxville is giving him a Jackass Award.

Well they gave one to ………..Dr Seuss
And here they are practicing for the official ceremony.