Sunday, May 14, 2006

Al Gore, Global Warming Crusader-in-Chief.

The perception that the United States is the source of all global warming evil for squandering their unique leadership status is not helped when you look at their leader. "Do I have to?" I hear you groan. I only bring it up by way of making the point that the Emitter-in-Chief is not the only leader the US has; there is Al Gore, and he is showing leadership on global warming.

If he were to hitch his presidential campaign to that wagon I would say he can't go wrong. He's a younger man with time on his side, at some point he will be thrust on the center stage of the biggest global events we will ever witness, climate change. But these days he introduces himself as the man who "used to be the next president of the United States" when he presents his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" that he is crisscrossing the country with. Whether he is dinkum about his ambitions or not, he seems the real McCoy about his subject: :::[ABC News]

You learn in "An Inconvenient Truth" that Gore has focused on global warming longer than he's been a politician; he studied at Harvard under Roger Revel, one of the first scientists to realize that the industrial age has created a new and unnatural injection into the atmosphere of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that would change the climate of the entire planet.

In Al Gore's 'slideshow' prelude to the film he comes across as a convincing harbinger to the ABC journalist:

Whatever your politics, it is an authoritative and compelling demonstration of the unassailable reality and dangers for humanity of the continuing addition to the atmosphere of greenhouse gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas.

I am pleased to note that the journalist, Bill Blakemore, is himself convinced. It seems like a bold move that the American ABC News program forcefully assert the scientific consensus that there is manmade global warming, even though it shouldn't seem that way:

And yes, as our research here at ABC News has confirmed, virtually all the credible climate scientists say that if humanity continues with business as usual in pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere unabated, then global temperature will continue to soar into temperatures far higher than the human species has ever experienced, making Earth incapable of supporting civilization "as we know it" (that used to be a joke line in a Monty Python skit), perhaps with, as eminent Earth systems scientist James Lovelock speculates, "only a few breeding pairs of humans left near the poles," where, he supposes, life may still be tolerable.

The other thing on Al Gore side is that he doesn't chew gum while he walks the talk. He has established the Alliance for Climate Action, a "collection of local, regional and state-level professionals committed to working to reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in Burlinglton, Vermont", as the Burlington Electric Department website describes it.

"Professional", now there's a refreshingly pleasing word to be associated with leadership. I have never thought it professional when the Emitter-in-Chief chews gum while he talks the walk. And just what is that chewing motion when he pauses during his speeches all about? Bush is not ruminating, that's clear from this side of the Pacific.

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