Inconvient (Yet Ironic) Truths

Al Gore may have lost his sense of navigation in the American political landscape. Otherwise he would’ve known that it was only a matter of time before a right wing group would try to embarrass him by employing the worst political maneuver in American politics: telling the truth. So shortly after he won an Oscar someone took the time to look up Gore’s electric bills only to discover that the ultimate preacher of global warming consumes 20 times more than the national average from his Tennessee home.

The Gore camp claim that while the usage is high all the energy is produced by a green power provider to the Tennessee Valley that draws its energy from solar, wind-powered and methane gas supplies, among other sources.

I some times find partisan politics strange in America. The two parties will almost always take the opposite positions on everything, uniting only if the issue involves Muslims, Arabs, Terrorism and/or Israel. It’s one thing for a party to want to, say, privatize social security while the other doesn’t or one wants to increase taxes while the other doesn’t. But on an issue such as the environment…

Everyone in Washington is backed by someone some where. The environmental lobby has a lot of money and votes for the democrats. The oil companies tend to have a lot of money and votes for republicans. Hence one party will champion the environment and seek out alternative sources of energy, while the other plays defense for big oil.

This doesn’t make one evil or the other good.

And I wouldn’t care so much except for the fact that it’s almost a given that what emerges from American politics in general tends to have a resonating effect throughout the whole world.

But other times it’s just a lot of hot air and bickering.

My guess is that it’ll be a country like Japan or maybe one of the Scandinavian countries that’ll end up making a discovery that could actually save this planet’s future. Capitalism can make some people greedy and hinder a campaign but it also has a way of fueling innovation that lead to technological breakthroughs. Markets adjust, prices of such technology decrease and people’s lifestyles begin to change. Bit by bit the world begins to change. Funded by the very system that may be responsible for causing a great deal of the mess in the first place.

But let’s face it…

The environment is not something that’s on everyone’s plate. Most people across the world care about food, wages, health care, education, crime. Melting ice caps is not at the top of the agenda. It’s usually because it’s hard to see the domino effect the environment can have. Rising sea levels, rising temperatures, rising electricity usage, rising prices, rising taxes, lower standards of living, devalued currency and so on and so forth. The ripples are endless.

So politics and partisanship aside, these fundamental things, these every day things, these things that will effect our children and our children’s children, these things that history will hold us accountable for. These are things we should all get on board with. They shouldn’t be inconvenient truths, they should be simple. As simple as agreeing that AIDS needs a cure, genocide shouldn’t happen and cigarettes are bad for your health.

Hence I could not agree with the Gore camp more right now: screw the messenger, concentrate on the message.

Because history will never ever forgive us for giving Kevin Costner a reason to make Water World 2.


  • The problem is: it’s not simple at all. The climate is a very complex thing and we do not know how it works exactly. It is indeed almost certain that the earth is warming right now. That’s quite normal. The earth has been warmer in the past (take Greenland for example. It’s covered by ice now, but the vikings had farms there). Climate changes. It always has changed and always will change. That’s perfectly natural.

    The question is: do we influence the climate. And if we do: how exactly does this work and can we steer the climate change in the direction we want? The answer to that is still open to discussion. We probably do influence the climate, but we do not know for sure how.

    Can we stop climate change? No we can’t. Can we delay it? Maybe. Is trying to delay it the right thing to do? I think not. In my opinion, it would be better to invest in a way to protect us against the consequences. Like building dams and investing in irrigation to prevent lands from turning into deserts.

    Unfortunately, Kyoto is becoming the new religion of Europe which makes it nearly impossible to discuss the subject here.

  • I’m American, and have noticed over the years how global warming gets better when we have a Democrat president, and worse when a Republican is elected — at least according to media reports So, not to worry … this will mostly last until a Dem is elected …

    Not signing the Kyoto treaty is also a big deal — but signing it would have been a mistake. The US already has spent considerable and had some success with controlling pollutant.

    Here’s the problem with Kyoto — it does not really apply to countries like Mexio and China, who are major polloters.

    Here’s the other problem with global warming: From what I’ve read, I think that climate change is cyclical — it happens every few thousand years whether humans have produced pollutants or not. Now modern pollution doesn’t help at all — but I think it’s likely to happen regardless.

    Now, insteading of trying to figure out what to do about it, or how to develop strategies on how to survive it, the funding is going to endless studies on proving or disproving its existance. Also, there is endless time and energy spent on blaming it on a Republican President — that’s how the opposition party works here in the USA.

    Great coherent post — and the above commenter nails it …

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