Roger L. Simon

Deconstructing Al - Gore Hurts Global Warming Cause

I have long suspected that Al Gore hurt the very cause – anthropogenic global warming – he is famous for espousing. Now I have some evidence of that in a new Rasmussen Poll saying only 24% percent of Americans consider the former veep a global warming expert. Furthermore, “just 36% of Americans say that Gore knows what he is talking about when it comes to the environment and Global Warming. [caps theirs]”

Gore’s problem may stem from the attitude inherent in his remark before a Congressional Committee quoted further down in the Rasmussen article: “Global Warming is ‘not a partisan issue; it’s a moral issue.'” Wrong, Al. It’s neither. It’s a scientific issue.

And, considering the Rasmussen Poll, most of us apparently know it.

When I first viewed Gore’s Oscar-winning movie, it was that very thing that immediately occurred to me: why am I listening to a politician talk about this? Why not a scientist or scientists? You could cut the inauthenticity of the whole enterprise with a knife, starting with pseudo-self-deprecating joke about his near presidential victory to the recitation of facts that seemed to support his cause (but perhaps didn’t, we later learned). The documentary form, of course, allows for these kinds of distortions. How many serious scientific arguments can you fit in an eighty minute film? How deep can you go? Not very far. So someone must select. And with selection comes unscientific bias.

So coming back to the “deconstruction of it all,” I will give my visceral reaction to the documentary. After viewing the movie I was less troubled with the global warming issue and more troubled by Gore’s narcissism – not exactly the result intended. In fact, the reverse. And evidently, from the poll results, I am not alone. (Something for the Oscar documentary committee to ponder.)

And to be clear, I am personally concerned about global warming. I want to learn more. Even though I am aware of reports that Mars and other planets are currently heating up as well as Earth, this is not by itself proof that the warming cycle here does not have a significant anthropogenic component. I simply don’t know. (Neither, I would wager, does Al Gore, in his heart).

So, considering that I am predisposed to worry about such things as global warming, and that I would support some government actions if I were scientifically convinced of the problem, that I might buy a hybrid car, etc…. that I responded negatively to Gore and his film should be of interest, if only because, on this subject at least, I seem to be an average American.