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Gore’s opponents are doing what his backers do. No fair!
Gore wraps his position in reason while arguing like a true believer. Adversaries aren’t to be argued with but to be denigrated as “pseudoscientists,” “deniers,” and “special interests.” He writes, “In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.” He cites the fact that people don’t believe as he does as proof of the epidemic of unreasonableness, a comforting idea but one designed to stop rather than advance the debate. Gore isn’t open to the possibility that he is wrong. So, what’s the use with continuing the conversation?
But people, for reasons sound and unsound, increasingly reject the idea that SUVs are a sign of the apocalypse. The anecdotal reminder of the mildness of this summer or the harshness of last winter, the poor example environmentalist heavies set by leaving Sasquatch’s carbon footprint while imploring the rest of us to leave Tiny Tim’s, and the science suggesting that the fiery ball 93 million miles away has more to do with heating the Earth than that Escalade in the next driveway all serve to cast doubt upon the theories Gore has peddled for the last two decades.
Global warming has had a better run than overpopulation, acid rain, or the ozone layer as an environmentalist scare story. But clearly it has enjoyed better days. Gore’s slide shows and lispy monotone tear-jerkers about the plight of the polar bear don’t have the effect on audiences that they once did. But there is one argument that always seems to seize attention: Do as I say or you are going to die.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Uplifted America, forthcoming this fall by ISI Books. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.
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