Wednesday, June 07, 2006

An inconvenient discussion about inconvenient "truth"

I remember when we finally set up the Van Halen concert. Ok, so it wasn't Van Halen; it was an "environmental expert." Uh, well he wasn't really an "environmental expert" as much as he was this guy from West Virginia who more than less embodied every conceivable negative stereotype of the flunkie from the 60's. He was revered by some for his "connection with the earth" and he was about as much of a scientist as I am a petite Geisha.

He did, however, help me to establish the "3 rules" I use to determine whether or not someone is serious about the environment, or if they are substituting "Mother Earth" for their lack of religious centering or trying to cash in for political gain. In case you are wondering how I know, I used to do this for a living, as this link will demonstrate.

Rule Number 1: The subject must be open to discussion.

Christians will not waiver on whether or not Jesus is God. To them, the subject is not open to discussion. That makes their belief a matter of faith. To Al Gore, the subject of global warming is not open to discussion. And worse he makes little to no sense when he elucidates. Try this paragraph:

"The scientists are telling us that what the science tells them is that this - unless we act quickly and dramatically - that Tucson tied its all-time record for consecutive days above 100 degrees. this, in Churchill's phrase, is only the first sip of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year until there is a supreme recover of moral health. We have to rise with this occasion. We have to connect the dots. When the Superfund sites aren't cleaned up, we get a toxic gumbo in a flood. When there is not adequate public transportation for the poor, it is difficult to evacuate a city. When there is no ability to give medical care to poor people, its difficult to get hospital to take refugees in the middle of a crisis. When the wetlands are turned over to the developers then the storm surges from the ocean threaten the coastal cities more. When there is no effort to restrain the global warming pollution gasses then global warming gets worse, with all of the consequences that the scientific community has warned us about." The complete load of, I mean, speech.

I don't have time to break that down, but about 80 percent of it has nothing at all to do with global warming and the part that does makes no sense. Why? It isn't science or reason, it's faith, and probably a little posturing for that Iowa campaign kickoff.

Rule Number 2: The more flagrant the hysteria, the less serious the problem

On this one, I know because I used to engage in hysteria. As a reformed hysteric, I know that often the intention is good - much like the pavement on the road to hell - but the result is awful (if you scream and flap your arms enough, people start to ignore you). Al Gore would have to work hard to be more hysterical. Now the emotional trick with this is to keep an even keel in your voice, stay on message and dismiss as wrecklessness or callousness any dissent. Sort of like "I'm here to save your children, while others would simply let the bus go over the cliff."

Never mind that the bus is on the plains and the kids got off in Missouri.

What makes Al Gore so frightening is that he comes across as a man with zero fear on the subject of being labelled hysterical. If he truly does not fear repercussions, then he has lost it. He's gone over the edge. I am a firm believer in environmental realism. Global warming is a problem. But if I'm going to get hysterical, it'll be over something like this.

(This is the inviolable one)Rule Number 3: Where there is smoke, there is another agenda.

What makes global warming so attractive to a politician? The fact that it's going to kill a lot of us? No. Fish species depletion and rapidly dwindling biodiversity in the earth's oceans may starve many before the earth turns into a desert. OOOOOH, you got me, right? That's happening because of global warming. Nope. Overfishing.

Is it that global warming is coming on faster than we can adapt to it? Nope. Wait, it's that it is inevitable if we don't change what we're doing. Nope. We could stop driving tomorrow, shut down every C.F.C. producing menace used by people and the earth may still heat up. We don't know.

What makes global warming so attractive to a politician is that it is a matter of opinion. I mean pretty much damn near every facet of the subject could be interpreted in a different way. It's the same reason I prefer humanities to geometry. Geometry is cut and dried.

And the beauty of an opinion is that with the right mix of emotion, manipulation and emphasis, it can beat out someone else's opinion. A fact is just a fact and if it doesn't support my position, then it's a liability. The facts don't support the hysteria on global warming.

A few corporations are polluting rivers and anything else they please while our politicians turn a blind eye and scream "It's getting awfully hot outside."

I'll let Mr. Gore off the hook on this when he steps up and calls (BY NAME) 10 corporations on their savage effect on the environment. He won't do it. We should press him on it. He won't do it because it takes money to win. Win what? Ask Mr. Gore. I doubt he'll lay his left hand on the Bible, raise his right hand and swear that he'll not run for office in 2008 and that all of this is completely altruistic. There are serious environmental problems out there and this is no time for men who invented the internet to be distracting us from them.

Yeah, there's dire global warming. It's the net effect of a bunch of hot air.

2 Comments:

At 06:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry but this tirade doesn't make any sense.

First you accuse Gore of hysteria.
Then you say "What makes Al Gore so frightening is that he comes across as a man with zero fear on the subject."

So which is it?

And how does the Iowa caucus come to the picture? If Gore wanted to run global warming would be the last subject he talked about.
It's hardly a topic that is popular in the US.

And if you had seen the movie you would know that Gore was concerned about this issue long before he became a politican.

 
At 06:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idiot.

Gore is not running for president and he will not run for president.

You can throw your speculation out of the window. It's worthless and has nothing to do with reality.

Inane cynic, that's what you are.

 

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