Al Gore Invented Global Warming

Thomas Schueneman

So Al Gore invented global warming? At least that's what one may have concluded after watching last weekend's Academy Awards show - and that it was a good thing that he did

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Al Gore. I think what he has done to help bring environmental issues to the public consciousnesses, especially global warming and climate change, is a very good thing.

Al Gore invented global warming? Nope!

After all the self-congratulatory back-patting and weepy reverence toward Gore's "inspiration", I admit I felt a little sick to my stomach. And I'm a staunch San Francisco liberal, so I can only imagine how it made conservative right-wingers feel. To Gore's credit, I think he looked a little embarrassed by the whole thing. I wonder how many people so inspired by Gore have even read his book Earth in the Balance written over a decade ago?

global warming

We've all heard the phrase "limousine liberal" and I can't help but say that, for me, Sunday's event had what I hope was the unintended effect of personifying that for me. Yes, I know that Leo DiCaprio arrived in a Toyota Prius, but his declaration that the Oscars had "gone green" was a bit over the top, and very misleading:
Show up in a hybrid, use recycled paper for the envelopes and such, buy carbon credits for the enormous amount of energy it takes to produce and broadcast such an affair and viola! you're suddenly green.

Going green is a bit misleading among some

It's all things they should be doing, of course, and should have been doing long before Al Gore made a movie. I applaud the effort. My problem is with the self-congratulatory tone and the reality that the Oscars is hardly a "green" event.

The assembled multitude at the Oscars probably consumes more energy every year than some small nations. All the dresses, tuxedos, materials needed for the show - not to mention all the materials and processes used to manufacture all the equipment used in the production - the transportation (Toyota hybrids notwithstanding), the convergence of camera crews from around the world; the fact that Hollywood is a town that exists by sucking the Colorado River dry. Need I go on?

I'm all for people doing what they can. I certainly am not proposing that the Oscars no longer broadcast their glitz and glamour. I do think it does a disservice to the cause they claim to support when it is made to appear that such an event can ever be made truly "green".

There are simple things we can and should all be doing to lessen our footprint on this earth. But to claim that these first few baby steps we take are the final solution to the problem of global warming and environmental degradation is either naive or disingenuous.

Have a nice day.


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