Like many Americans I watched with interest former Vice President Gore’s Academy Awards night. Also, like many Americans I am sure, I took the opportunity to watch the cable premier of “An Inconvenient Truth”. The documentary about the “climate crisis” that won the Academy Award for he and Lawrence Bender, better known as Quentin Tarentino’s producer (check his film credits on IMDB).
This post may seem a little fractured so bear with me. As with many things Gore, I am left with a mass of contradictory feelings.
First, let me start by saying unequivocally that I believe that we are in the middle of a significant climate shift here on earth. I am also convinced that much of it is caused by various forms of thermal reactions to our global pollutants and from greenhouse gases and emissions.
So, consequently, you can deduce that I am in favor of doing whatever we can to change this situation. In fact, as I have written before, I think it is necessary not just from a global human perspective, but from a US security perspective. Breaking our addiction to imported fossil based fuels is the easiest thing we can do to change the international terrorist dynamic.
So here is where my contradictory feelings come into play. Al Gore was (before Dick Cheney took that mantle) THE most powerful vice president this country had ever known. By all accounts, until he began running himself early in Bill Clinton’s second term, he had tremendous access and input. Yet, the Clinton administration did little or nothing to improve this country with regard to either energy independence or cleaner fuels. Sure they tighten up the regulations on burning coal, but they also allowed the explosion of SUV’s without reclassifying them as passenger vehicles so that they would have to be part of the overall fuel economy standards of the auto makers for passenger cars (Oh, you didn’t know SUV’s were considered light trucks so they don’t have to meet either safety or fuel standards!!??).
OK, that’s water under the bridge. He brings an important message. But here is the problem with the movie. I have been seeing EXACTLY the same thing on all of my favorite stations for ten years (TLC, the Discovery Channel, A&E, Science Channel, National Geographic, etc.). In fact, Tom Brokaw did a special just last year, right before the movie came out on the same subject.
The science, is as far as I know, little disputed (although more on that later). However, the film like everything with the Democrats these days is minus one conspicuous thing. ANSWERS.
I think, among most Americans, there is a general acceptance of the idea of “global warming” (the movie does not use that term but rather “climate crisis”). Yet nowhere in the film are there REAL discussions of the technologies that will help us. Is it ethanol from saw grass? Fuel Cells? Solar? Nuclear? Electric hybrid? This is where the discussion is and to be a LEADER that is what is needed.
But then, that is Al Gore’s problem now, and always. He never presented answers. Not when he ran for President and not now.
Let me state unequivocally that I DETEST Al Gore. For those who don’t know, and he did it again in t movie – He leapt into real national consciousness making a speech about his sister dying from lung cancer from smoking at the Democratic National Convention. At that time, he failed to mention that, besides his family being tobacco farmers, HE WAS THE SINGLE LARGEST RECIPIENT OF TOBACCO MONEY IN THE SENATE. I was so disgusted by this that I simply could not bear to listen to him.
Worse, rather than confront the failings of the Clinton administration, but recognize it’s successes and build on them, he SACRFICED the democratic party for 8 years by running away from Clinton during his campaign. He left the Democrats leaderless and defeated.
For anybody who has read me in the past, you probably have guessed that I am a Republican. Well, you would be wrong. I am an independent whose heart lies with the democrats. I became an Independent because the Democratic Party is so unbelievably clueless with regard to foreign policy and global politics. The current debate in Congress is a perfect example. They are simply saying, “We don’t know what to do, we just know we want to screw Bush”. That’s great. They get a unique opportunity form the American people and that is the best they can come up with.
Meanwhile, Bush is the only president to even raise the issue of energy independence and has spent the last week in South America talking to Brazil. Oh, by the way, did anyone take note of the fact that Brazil in energy independent largely through the use of saw grass based ethanol?
No, instead of focusing on this, the Democrats continue to play their blame game.
I think the reason I come down so hard on the democrats is that it is a little like arguing with family versus people you don’t know. When family or friends disagree with you, or you sense a failure to understand from them, you feel particularly disappointed and become emotional. With strangers there is simply disagreement without the emotional component. Because on most rights issues, I fundamentally feel a greater kinship to the Democratic Party, I find there dysfunction to be maddening.
So, to sum up. Watch the film, or simply watch the next documentary on one of those channels mentioned above. But also watch the documentaries, or read about the possible solutions. And let’s get started!!!