Al Gore has become the poster boy for global warming with his fear-mongering darling, “An Inconvenient Truth.” His modern-era crusade against the horrors of climate change has earned him a sagging shelf full of accolades. The most notable addition recently was the Nobel Peace Prize. One of Gore’s upcoming projects will be a biopic about his life, titled “Jimmy Carter, Part Deux.”
While I applaud Gore’s efforts to bring attention to something that I do believe is a problem, I do not believe he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize or the title of Climate Change Awareness Demigod.
In Alfred Nobel’s will, he outlines who is to receive an award in each category. As published on nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/will-full.html, it states “…and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
I am not entirely sure how Gore fits into this category at all. If anything, he has increased tensions between countries because of climate change legislation like the Kyoto Protocol, in which the United States does not participate in. While he has brought attention to the problem of global warming, he has also increased sniping amongst countries about which are emitting the most and the gray area of developing countries’ emissions.
The movie isn’t that good, anyway. The overly long PowerPoint did not really keep my attention.
I still respect Gore’s commitment to the cause of reducing emissions and reducing the human impact on the Earth. However, I do not think he is using the soundest science. In fact, a Washington Post blog, “The Fact Checker,” said that a British high court judge called parts of Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary “distinctly alarmist.” The judge said that the film could be shown to British schoolchildren, provided there was information to counter Gore’s views. The judge ruled that the film was accurate overall but found nine specific inaccuracies or overblown facts.
Gore’s people responded that mining interests bought off the judge.
Even one of CNN’s weathermen, Rob Marciano, said that studies linking global warming to stronger hurricanes, thus proving the assertion that global warming caused the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, were inconclusive.
All of that aside, it still seems that Gore’s documentary was meant to scare average citizens into compliance rather than to influence people to research more and pay close attention to new studies being done on climate change that both affirm Gore’s assertions and dispute them. Citizens should gather different information from different sources, including traditional media, governmental resources and international sources. No matter how just the cause, if mob mentality overrules logic, the globe will have bigger problems than dying polar bears.
An unrestricted emissions policy is not a viable solution, nor is the government telling its citizens that everything will be OK. The average person has to get involved. If they do not, there will, in fact, be consequences. Nevertheless, it should not be a preaching, overblown former politician causing a global panic attack.
For more information, visit the following Web sites:
• Top 100 Effects of global warming: www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/09/climate_100.html
• The New York Times feature: www.nytimes.com/2007/03/13/science/13gore.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
• The Fact Checker post: blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/an_inconvenient_truth_for_al_g.html