Taking the Tip from Tipper: Divorcing AGW

Published June 14, 2010

Former Vice President Al Gore spent the last decade as a larger-than-life figure, more of a symbol than a living, breathing human being. Stolen from the pages of a Danielle Steele novel and plopped on stage at the 2000 Democratic Convention, this normally lifeless personality was possessed by the ghost of Madmen’s Jon Hamm and political pop-culture history was made. Al and Tipper’s kiss marked the dawn of Gore’s personal stardom and his pet project: anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmism.
Since his mind-numbing PowerPoint presentation An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters, Gore has been married to the AGW cause. And just as Al’s and Tipper’s kiss represented the dawn of the most successful movement in pseudoscience, their divorce aptly marks its end.
A stark trend toward accepting empirical science instead of speculation has caused the ground beneath AGW to cave in quickly. Like the news of the Gore divorce, the scientific evidence hit the public as if from nowhere. But both these cases are results of major, longstanding problems instead of a single cataclysmic event.
For AGW alarmism, what were once dismissed as minor discrepancies are being exposed as major contradictions of the scientific facts.
At first, AGW was a smooth talker. Graphs, models, charts, PowerPoints, and Hollywood movies all worked to persuade. As questions began to arise, however, patronizing and talking down turned small spats into explosive arguments. The Michael Mann “hockey stick” diagram was exposed as being based on a trick that would make any trend look like a spike. Gore’s new mansion was built in an area he had predicted would be underwater in the near future. The Climategate scandal showed us AGW was hiding the facts. Stories weren’t adding up.
Climategate was the equivalent of coming home for lunch and catching one’s spouse in bed with a neighbor. The emails revealed in great detail how AGW’s gatekeepers perpetuated misinformation by blocking outside analysis of the data the AGW alarmists cited for their claims. No amount of smooth talking could explain away their open betrayal of the scientific method.
This came on the heels of numerous other betrayals. Last year Human Events reported Gore’s firm had significant investment from Goldman-Sachs (popular for their huge take from the government bailout) and stands to gain enormously from any cap-and-trade legislation passed as a result of AGW alarmism. Gore’s failure to disclose this sort of profit-seeking shows AGW has some hidden bank accounts and has not been honest with us.
And although we’re always told never to change for our partner because we’ll end up resenting them, global-warming fear-mongers persuaded of us to do exactly that. They bullied us into buying tiny cars, squeezing onto packed buses, sweating away without air conditioning, and losing billions of dollars in productivity, and we still couldn’t satisfy their ever-increasing demands. The Tax Foundation estimates cap and trade will cost the United States $144.8 billion annually while handsomely lining the pockets of Gore and other superrich investors in the system.
After the divorce hearing, we might want to file a civil suit for emotional distress.
The glow is gone. According to the UK polling firm YouGov, the percentage of British citizens considering themselves “very interested” in AGW has shrunk by more than one-third in just two years. A Harris poll found 10 percent fewer U.S. residents saw AGW as a “serious problem” this year than last. The public has seen AGW undressed and concluded it is time to move on.
Journalist Helen Rowland wrote, “When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn’t a sign that they ‘don’t understand’ one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to.” Now that the public finally understands the truth about the AGW movement, it is tired of the years of betrayal and abuse and has decided it has had enough.
Marc Oestreich ([email protected]) is a legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute.