We already knew Al Gore was wrong. That pretty much everything that made his film distinctive and emotionally compelling couldn't be justified by the evidence.
Now, it appears he's lost touch with reality entirely. He has challenged Americans to entirely end the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity within a decade (without an expansion of nuclear power). This is utter insanity. The research of the excellent Renewable Energy Foundation shows pretty conclusively that large scale renewable energy is currently unrealistic. Wind power is far too unreliable and has a nasty tendency to cut out when you need it most. Other technologies just cost too much per KWh to be remotely practical as a large part of our energy mix.
Of course, that's not to say that massive adoption of renewable power won't happen. It is possible, though unlikely within a decade, that new technological developments will achieve something remarkable. Perhaps solar power really will become too cheap to meter. There are steps that can be taken to encourage technological advance in that direction. Jim Manzi, writing in the National Review, proposed prizes that could encourage technological advance at low cost and without too much risk of interest group capture.
However, to start trying to tax people into avoiding fossil fuels now, when there isn't a practical alternative, will just push up the cost of energy. It would cost ordinary families, and particularly the poor and vulnerable elderly, a fortune and do lasting damage to industry. To try and force a switch away from fossil fuels on the timescale and scale Gore is proposing would be insanity.
Cross-posted from CentreRight.Com.