Commentary: The inconvenient truth about Gore's sequel

Commentary: The inconvenient truth about Gore's sequel

By Anthony L Hall

Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his crusade against climate change. This, notwithstanding that his crusade amounted to little more than a “Powerpoint presentation” of alarming weather projections, which he marketed as an apocalyptic thriller titled An Inconvenient Truth. But it was a blockbuster, and an Oscar winner to boot!

Except that, like the producers of Contagion, Twister, and other natural disaster movies, Gore would be hard-pressed to show what positive environmental impact his film has had. But, unlike them, he actually bears this burden of proof. After all, only he promoted his film as a bible of truths dramatized to save the planet.

Of course, filmmakers base sequels on box-office receipts the originals grossed, not on the social, political, or environmental impact they had. Evidently, Gore is no different.

In fact, the inconvenient truth is that his sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, mostly documents what little impact the original film has had on climate change.

The former Vice-President is still giving, and constantly updating, his presentation, and it is now filled with footage from climate-related disasters, ranging from the 2012 inundation of the 9/11 memorial to the painful, ongoing recovery from Typhoon Haiyan, the intense 2013 storm that killed more than six thousand people in the Philippines and affected some eleven million others throughout Southeast Asia. After a 2015 heat wave killed more than twelve hundred Pakistanis, Gore reports, cemeteries in the city of Karachi prepared for the following summer by digging anticipatory mass graves.

(The New Yorker, July 29, 2017)

Incidentally, another inconvenient truth is that the city of Karachi ended up having no need for those mass graves, making this just one of many false environmental alarms he has sounded over the years.

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Anthony L. Hall is a Bahamian who descends from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is an international lawyer and political consultant – headquartered in Washington DC – who also publishes a current events weblog, The iPINIONS Journal, at http://ipjn.com

The point is that the manifest fecklessness of his crusade is why Gore is to fighting climate change what Nancy Reagan was to fighting drugs.

Therefore, when you see him all over mainstream and social media in the coming weeks, bear in mind that, despite channeling John the Baptist, he’s really just doing what filmmakers do — namely promoting his film (as he did on CNN on Tuesday night).

To be fair, though, this sequel is more than just a Powerpoint presentation with special effects. Not least because it features Gore preaching about saving trees with the same fire-and-brimstone fervor with which televangelists preach about saving souls…

That said, I hasten to clarify that I am not one of those wacko climate change deniers. Indeed, my weblog is replete with commentaries affirming my environmental bona fides.

It’s just that I prize enlightened environmental practices over apocalyptic climate rhetoric. And this invariably compels me to speak my own environmental truth to power — as the following two quotes attest.

Do as I say…

I take umbrage at rich Americans and Europeans lecturing us about the uses of what little energy resources we (in the Caribbean and others throughout the developing world) have to fuel our economic growth. Because, try as we might, even the most profligate amongst us cannot emit as much CO2 in one year as Al Gore emits in one week. He, after all, has to fuel everything from his Tennessee mansion to the private jets he travels in to spread his ‘convenient truth’ all over the world.

(“Mother Nature Makes UN Report on Global Warming Seem Like a Flaming Hoax,” The iPINIONS Journal, April 12, 2007)

Carbon credits and environmental indulgences…

Apropos of hot air, Davos attendees are flaming hypocrites too. After all, the ever-looming apocalypse of climate change always features in their panel discussions. Yet reports are that as many as 1,700 private jets crisscross the pristine Alps each year, taking them to and fro…

To hear these rich folks lamenting about the depletion of the ozone, the increasing gap between haves and have nots, and the almost criminal waste of non-renewable energy, you’d think they jet-pooled to Davos on ethanol-fueled airplanes; whereas they all flew in on gas-guzzling, air-polluting private jets.

(“Financial Times: Davos World Economic Forum Is ‘Moronic, Silly, Empty,’” The iPINIONS Journal, February 10, 2016)

Clearly, I get no environmental inspiration from Gore’s newfangled crusade. Instead, I get it from the American conservation movement, which dates back to the 1890s. This movement gave rise to the Earth Day practices of the 1960s, which I hailed in “Happy 39th Earth Day,” April 22, 2009.

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The environmental practices this day inaugurated have become so routine and universal that the symbolic replenishing of Earth’s natural resources — by planting trees — now seems trite, if not contrived. Granted, to hear all of the alarmist talk about climate change, you’d think it was Al Gore who transformed public consciousness in this regard only years ago with sermons from his environmental bible Earth in the Balance.

But this celebration of and deference to Earth’s natural wonders should be distinguished from Gore’s convenient truths about climate change; so-called truths which include using fake images of melting glaciers in his documentary An Inconvenient Truth just to scare people.

After all, the original Earth Day ushered in conservation and greening trends that have led to cleaner air, more potable (lead-free) water, and a much less polluted environment. Whereas, by Gore’s own admission, there has been ‘no improvement in the fight against climate change’ since he began prophesying about global warming.

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In other words, many people have done and are doing far more to save the planet than this self-righteous, self-promoting bore. They include

• Politician and environmental pioneer Gaylord Nelson — who founded Earth Day;

• Environmental and political activist Wargari Maathai — whose focus on literally planting trees made her truly worthy of her 2004 Nobel Peace Prize;

• Politician and “climate change ambassador” Governor Jerry Brown of California — who is leading US efforts to implement the provisions of the Paris climate accord; and

• Author and environmental activist Professor Bjorn Lomborg — whose TED Talk Global Priorities Bigger than Climate Change is to Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth what the Encyclopedia Britannica is to the Holy Bible.

Still, apropos of inconvenient truths, nothing betrays the inefficacy of Gore’s environmental crusade quite like the way this sequel ends. Because, after lots of time documenting the heroic lengths to which he went to get world leaders to support the Paris climate accord, it ends with no less a leader than President Trump making a global show of refusing to do so.

Except that this provided the perfect cliffhanger for the next installment of his “Inconvenient Truth” franchise. Again, it’s not about making an impact; it’s about making a buck … for the cause of course.

Stay tuned.

Related commentaries:
Earth Day…
Paris climate change…
Polar ice caps…
Mother Nature…
Davos…
 

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