Author's note: By the time you finish this column, it will be 2.6 degrees warmer somewhere else.
Al Gore has a movie coming out next month.
I'll wait until the excitement dies down to continue.
Okay... The film, entitled An Inconvenient Truth (view clip here) is about, you guess it -- global warming. The bad news: Al Gore says we could be doomed. The good news: Al Gore is the one saying we could be doomed.
The subject of "global warming" holds a particular fascination for many of us, since it involves something with which we're quite familiar: the weather. We're also familiar with the "art" of weather forecasting. This is why Al Gore can go full-blown Chicken-Little on us, and yet our highways are still filled with SUV's, people continue to use hairspray, and our cows still shrug, look the other way, and break wind with reckless abandon.
Gore-style meteorology, specifically climatology as it concerns global warming, seems to be one of those rare sciences for which the percentage of accuracy of predictions rises as the distance from the date in question increases.
To buy into this scientific convenience takes the same blind confidence required to believe an archer who tells you he can put an arrow through a soda can at 500 yards -- the same person who you've noticed can't hit a bale of hay from 10 feet away.
Ask the night sweat-suffering Gore what the world will look like in 100 years if the United States doesn't sign on to the Kyoto Protocol, and you'll be drawn a gloomy, and very specific, picture of our final days. Then ask him what the overnight low will be in Chattanooga two weeks from Thursday, and you'll get an unresponsive stare. At some point during the conversation, Gore will excuse himself and go burn thousands of gallons of jet fuel to fly to an emergency summit meeting on ozone depletion.
At least the global warming doomsdayers showed some common sense in the release date of An Inconvenient Truth. Usually a liberal, skillfully utilizing a business acumen that can only be acquired by earning a Master's Degree in tarantula dentistry, would put out a movie on global warming in the middle of the winter, but Al is learning. Gore went for a near-summer release date, when all of us sweaty movie-goers will be sitting in a theater that will probably have its air-conditioning turned off as we roast in the pleather seats, thinking, "dang, Al's on to something!"
If there's one marketing flaw in Gore's attempt to find an audience for his film, it's this: If we really have so little time left to either (A) live, or (B) fix the "problem," do we really want to spend that precious 90 minutes at an Al Gore movie?
Another Gore hurdle is credibility. Sure, Al has his core followers, many of whom are proud owners of Colorado swampland, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other stuff from the back of Mr. Haney's pickup truck, but the rest of us see somebody else in Al Gore.
Remaining skeptics perhaps are uncomfortable hitching the direction of the future of the human race to somebody who once spent eight years kick saving morality slapshots for his boss, while his wife, Tipper, stuck parental warning stickers everywhere except where they really belonged -- on Bill Clinton's pants.
The Al Gore we know once showed up at a debate wearing so much makeup it looked as if he'd rear-ended a Maybelline truck on the way to the auditorium. The Al Gore we know endorsed Howard Dean and created the Internet. The Al Gore we know thinks that the biggest threat to the world isn't Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, or al Qaeda, but rather their leaf-blowers.
Did you know that, even if the planet gets cooler, this is also evidence of global warming? Gore's former boss, Bill Clinton, proved that in a speech not long ago in Montreal. Clinton pointed to "evidence" of global warming; including that glaciers in the Himalayas, and Arctic sea ice, are melting and the warm Atlantic currents are slowing down.
One result of a slowing Gulf Stream would be, for several reasons, more severe winters and cooler summers in Europe. As Bill might say, "It depends on what your definition of 'warming' is."
You have to give them credit for covering almost every angle. The only area of the argument left uncovered is the part where the hand sticks out to grab money from the United States.
Global warming? Sorry, Al, but I demand a recount, and from someone with weather, rather than political, experience. What's Willard Scott been up to?
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