Saturday, April 22, 2006

An Inconvenient Spokesman

Has Al Gore always been an extremist, and he just hid it well before, or did he become one after his loss in the 2000 election?

Jonah Goldberg, writing at NRO, referred to Gore's new documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, as "scaremongering." Knowing that Goldberg sometimes can be guilty of hyperbole, I wandered over to the official website for the movie. Goldberg is right.

I should say that I have never known quite what to think about global warming. I have read enough to think that there is reason to be concerned. I have also read the viewpoints of those who think that geologic factors and improved measuring devices account for global warming more than any human contributions. In trying to weigh these issues and looking at them based on logic and evidence, admittedly as a non-scientist, I encounter Al Gore.

It is hard to get excited about global warming when its leading political spokesman is a nut. At least, the material used to promote this documentary makes him look like a nut.

The introduction at An Inconvenient Truth's official website calls this "the most terrifying movie you will ever see." Move over, Alfred Hitchcock.

The trailer to the movie says that if you love your children, you will see this film. I normally don't like those conversations that start with the idea of, "What would the media say if a Republican...." But in this instance, I am going to indulge. What would the media say if a conservative movement leader or politician began a sentence by saying, "If you love your children, you will _________." Fill in the blank with anything you want. That person would be accused of every kind of arrogance and idiocy known to man. He would be accused of telling others they didn't love their children. And on and on.

The website's explanation of "the science" of global warming explains that the number of deaths due to global warming will double to 300,000 in 25 years. Really? That means that 150,000 people died due to "global warming" this year. What exactly constitutes a global warming death? One that occurred due to a heat wave or storm? There were those kinds of deaths prior to global warming. How can you give any number with any kind of certainty? Gore wants to make much of the number of storms in recent years, but what does a few years mean in terms of geologic time? Gore considers Katrina to have been a "tipping point," but was the devastation of Katrina more a factor of its size or of where the powerful hurricane reached landfall?

I could go on and on. It will be interesting to see if this movie gets a wide audience based on a felt need by some to identify with a cause. I guess I will have to remain on the fence. The main spokesman for one side is a nut.


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