Al Gore — outdone only by L. Ron Hubbard in his ability to weave science fiction into a religion — is reforming the climate change faith, and turning it toward the discussion of energy independence and American financial viability. The truth, alas, has proved too inconvenient to ignore. Among non-partisan researchers, there is now little doubt that human-generated carbon dioxide makes only an insignificant contribution to climate change. More importantly, there is agreement among virtually all climatologists that the planet is experiencing the beginnings of a cold spell, expected to last as long as 30 years, due to a decrease in solar activity. Most significantly, however, the tangible financial crisis has displaced concerns over the invisible climatological one. With the mercury plunging alongside the Dow Jones, the Gore age is on the way out.
In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, Gore dispenses with the elastic “findings” of various environmentalists, and simply tells climate-change skeptics to “wake up.” While he lays out a five-part “plan that would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis – and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced,” he only gets down to proper CO2 fear-mongering in the last of his five points.
Gore’s “new” plan includes some wedged-in pandering to mortgage crisis victims, etc., but it is simply another version of packaged government incentives dependent upon the fantasy that scientific solutions to energy dependence are just around the corner. Of course, a scientific solution has been with us for decades: nuclear energy. George W. Bush may say the word funny, but at least he says it. Apocalypse Al can’t risk scaring off his evangelical Greenpeacers with actual science just yet. So, we have more talk of billions of dollars being thrown at unwieldy processes that will supposedly save billions of dollars. As we plunge into a 30-year deep freeze, it’s safe to suppose bottom-of-the-list climate concerns will slide off the page altogether. And as we confront the realities of an international market meltdown, costly Rube Goldberg energy schemes will be abandoned for broader drilling and revamped nuclear power initiatives.
We’ll never know if Al Gore finally understands that he fell for an enormous and costly political scam. But he clearly realizes no one is throwing money into cooling the planet during a chilly recession. And he must sense that the collective American consciousness can only accommodate one overarching fiction at a time. Right now, it’s Obama change — not climate change — that “we can believe in.”