Different shades of gray
Each month the Sun Advocate presents two views of the same subject as columnists Terry Willis and Tom McCourt see it.
An Unfortunate Lie
Al Gore has risen like the Phoenix from the political compost pile. This time he is Eco-man, a super hero out to save the world. His latest venture is a horror film about global warming, entitled "An Inconvenient Truth." Sadly, the inconvenient truth for Al Gore is that his credibility is so bad; the producer of the film has found it best to remove his name from most of the advertisements.
The unfortunate truth here is that global warming has more to do with people control than with environmental crisis. The people who promote the Chicken Little doctrine of global warming don't like automobiles, factories, power plants, super highways, energy development, and Wal-Mart. They want to control the way you make your living, the way you travel, the choices available to you in the marketplace, and the way you live your life. Political and economic control is the way they hope to promote their wilderness and new-age social agendas. Global warming is only a scare tactic to persuade you to get on board. Unfortunately, some of the green people have swallowed their own hook and really believe this stuff.
Ideally, Al Gore and the greenies want us to return to that blissful time before the industrial revolution. They pine for the good old days when people lived a subsistence level existence on small farms in grass huts. The communist dictator, Pol Pot, wanted the same things when he emptied the cities in Cambodia and herded everyone out into the countryside to starve in the early 1970s.
The social ideals of the green people do sound romantic to old hippies. They imagine everyone living in pristine wilderness while running around in loincloths and beads like aboriginal Hawaiian Islanders. But the world is far too populated now for us to ever go back there again. We would all starve in the dark unless we could reduce the world population by about two-thirds. I haven't heard how the green people plan to do that yet, unless they follow Pol Pot's lead.
The truth is, that the climate of the world is constantly changing. It is always in transition. Sometimes the climate is getting warmer and sometimes it is getting colder. It has been happening that way since the beginning of time. Geology proves it. There are glacial moraines here in Castle Valley and on the Wasatch Mountains where great sheets of ice once dotted the landscape. Every day since those ice sheets started melting has been global warming. It started happening a long time before people were here. I don't think Al Gore can change that.
To presume that mankind can influence the weather, or manipulate the weather, is foolishness. One good volcanic eruption like Mount St. Helens can negate every human effort. All of those torturous miles spent cramped up in a 50-mile per gallon Yugo would be for naught. Clouds of sulfur dioxide would fill the vacant spot in the sky you were saving by not releasing greenhouse gasses with your little can of hair spray.
It has all happened before, and it will surely happen again. Stamping out milk cow flatulence and electing Al Gore president will not save us from global warming.
I agree that we need to be conscious of the environment and do all we can to keep it clean and healthy. We must take every precaution not to foul the water and the air. We need to be responsible when we drill and when we mine. But we all make a living from the earth too, in one way or another.
The science of weather is an inexact science. The local weather guy, using the very latest in weather prognosticating equipment, can't tell me with any certainty what the weather will be like the day after tomorrow. How can those people presume to foretell the weather 20 or 100 years from now?
And that's what makes the whole political charade of global warming such a hard thing to sell. Al Gore standing before a camera with a straight face while telling us that we have only ten years to "solve" the problems of global warming is a bad cartoon.
Figure it up. Let's see Ã¯Â¿Â½ two years until the 2008 election, then Al Gore as president for two, four-year terms. Yup, that's ten years. We have just enough time to save the planet by voting for Al Gore to come to the rescue.
Thank goodness for Eco-man.
An Unheard Message
Yes, let's ignore the message because we dislike the messenger. What a simple solution for a global problem. We have spent years listening to scientists sound the warnings about global warming and green house gasses, but have chosen to hope they were a bunch of left wing radical screwballs and that they would go away.
Like it or not, even scientists who have been skeptical of the global warming theory are coming around after overwhelming evidence continues to mount. The scary thing is that is happening even faster than most scientists have predicted. A new study that was commissioned by a republican who was skeptical of previous studies, found that our planet is hotter than it has been in almost 400 years, maybe more.
We have the technology to make changes to the problem right now. No it doesn't involve living in huts and burning candles for light. It doesn't even mean driving a Yugo. We are the most technological savvy nation on the planet, so why are we still allowing ourselves to be addicted to 18th century technology. It is about the economy. Big money drives the nations policy, and influences almost every aspect of energy development in our country.
Who would get rich if every new construction home was required to have solar panels on the roof to generate enough electricity to heat bath water and wash your clothes? How do we speculate on the stock market for the price of a barrel of sunshine? How would we make money to pay for our road system if all the cars ran on a hydrogen fuel mix and got 100 miles per gallon?
We even have technology to make the use of existing fuels much cleaner, but industry cries about the cost. Coal burning plants could be cleaned up and that actually could save money in the long run.
The media always lumps all environmentalists into one bid category called "greenies." Radical groups like the Earth Liberation Federation (ELF) are merged with the Sierra Club. So are those like me who are trying to be environmentally aware of issues. Can I lump any one who disagrees with me into a group I'll call "brownies?"
Let us be clear, I like my way of life. I know that to continue living this comfortable style, I may be forced to make changes. I make changes all the time. That is what is being asked. Not to revert to the pre-industrial revolution, but to move into the next revolution.
We are already being controlled by those who are in command of the fossil fuel industries. They can have power over our budgets; affect our choice in automobiles and can change our travel and commuting plans at the drop of a hat. Demand forces up the price of gas. Each holiday we have to pay more to play or visit family and friends.
We may be taken out by a volcanic eruption or a meteor hitting the planet, wiping out a chunk of the earth's population in one quick swoop. We can't worry about that; what will happen, will happen. But we do spend a chunk of scientific effort and money trying to avoid those disasters.
So let's try to deal with things within our control and do it in a sane manner. We must get our heads out of the sand and take action. We didn't quit riding horses for transportaion because we ran out of horses and hay. We developed new and better ways to do it. It is time to do that again. This can be as defining as the Industrial Revolution of the Iron Age in changing the fate of civilization. Or, it can be our decline of the Roman Empire. It truly is our choice and we have to begin making it in every choice we make each day.
We can start at the polls. I am not endorsing Al Gore. I don't even think he is planning to run. But we do need to cultivate and choose candidates that are looking out for our future not their political cronies. I am speaking about both parties. Big oil, the auto industry and others need to get on board. Quit shooting the messenger and listen to the message.
It is not to late to begin our next triumph in life standards.