the inconvenient truth about al gore

An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s movie on global warming, is coming out on the 24th of this month, and the attacks have started already. You’ve got big oil interests beating him up on one side, and those that find the admittedly Gore-centric film to be grotesquely self-serving on the other. I haven’t seen it yet, but I think it’s probably a pretty safe bet that I’ll like it. (I’ve even gone so far as to sign the pledge to see it in the theater when it opens.)

As I’ve mentioned here before, I recognize the fact that Gore’s a politician at his core, and I know that he’s done things in his past for the sake of political expediency that he probably shouldn’t have, but, even with that, I can’t imagine a person better suited to tackle the real problems of our nation at this time. For all of his faults (like selecting Joe Lieberman as a runningmate), he at least recognizes the severity of the situation we presently find ourselves in. And, to his credit, he began talking about these issues years and years before it became popular to do so. (Bush, as you’ll recall, held it against him during the campaign of 2004, taunting him with the nickname “Ozone Man.” Taking on the subject was not something, at least at that time, that did anything but hurt his chances for the Presidency.) Personally, I’m hoping that he will run in ’08, but I’d be satisfied if he were just given the responsibility for addressing alternative energy and global warming, and the resources to do so (even if it were, god forbid, President Hillary doing the appointing).

At least one of my fellow local bloggers apparently doesn’t share my fondness for the man, but that’s OK. The person at the New Yorker is on my side. Here’s a clip from their review:

…And yet, as a means of education, “An Inconvenient Truth” is a brilliantly lucid, often riveting attempt to warn Americans off our hellbent path to global suicide. “An Inconvenient Truth” is not the most entertaining film of the year. But it might be the most important.

The catch, of course, is that the audience-of-one that most urgently needs to see the film and take it to heart–namely, the man who beat Gore in the courts six years ago–does not much believe in science or, for that matter, in any information that disturbs his prejudices, his fantasies, or his sleep. Inconvenient truths are precisely what this White House is structured to avoid and deny.

In the 1992 campaign against Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush mocked Gore as “ozone man” and claimed, “This guy is so far out in the environmental extreme we’ll be up to our necks in owls and outta work for every American.” In the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush cracked that Gore “likes electric cars. He just doesn’t like making electricity.” The younger Bush, a classic schoolyard bully with a contempt for intellect, demanded that Gore “explain what he meant by some of the things” in his 1992 book, “Earth in the Balance”–and then unashamedly admitted that he had never read it. A book that the President did eventually read and endorse is a pulp science-fiction novel: “State of Fear,” by Michael Crichton. Bush was so excited by the story, which pictures global warming as a hoax perpetrated by power-mad environmentalists, that he invited the author to the Oval Office. In “Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush,” Fred Barnes, the Fox News commentator, reveals that the President and Crichton “talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement.” The visit, Barnes adds, “was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more.”

As President, Bush has made fantasy a guide to policy. He has scorned the Kyoto agreement on global warming (a pact that Gore helped broker as Vice-President); he has neutered the Environmental Protection Agency; he has failed to act decisively on America’s fuel-efficiency standards even as the European Union, Japan, and China have tightened theirs. He has filled his Administration with people like Philip A. Cooney, who, in 2001, left the American Petroleum Institute, the umbrella lobby for the oil industry, to become chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he repeatedly edited government documents so as to question the link between fuel emissions and climate change. In 2005, when Cooney left the White House (this time for a job with ExxonMobil), Dana Perino, a White House spokesperson, told the Times, “Phil Cooney did a great job.” A heckuva job, one might say…

But, wait! I’m not done… Here’s one more link. It will take you to a nice, short interview with Gore on the environmental website Grist, in which he explains why the new film focuses to such an extent on him. Do me a favor, and, if you read that nasty review linked to above, read this too.

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17 Comments

  1. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    For those of you in Michigan, the film opens June 9 in Royal Oak and June 16 in Ann Arbor.

  2. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    And has anyone else seen the video of Gore and his family shot by Spike Jonze? It’s really good…. It’s hard to watch it and not like the guy.

    I should look for it online.

  3. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    OK, I found it. Here

  4. Anonymous
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Video can lie like no man. But, yeah, he seems pretty optimistic. Although he does seem to be preoccupied with being “stiff” around his wife.

  5. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    You Taints have a one-track mind. I don’t hold it against you though. Given your perspective on the world, it’s understandable.

  6. be OH be
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I’d take a stiff blowhard over a cocksure jackass any day.

    But I agree that Spike could make Dubya seem just as charming with the proper editing.

    Now I dare anyone else to use “stiff”, “blow”, “hard, “cock”, and “ass” in a sentence without referring to sex.

  7. Grandma
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I’ll never understand the “Al Gore is wooden and boring” mantra. It’s just not true. He appeared in the flesh after a special screening of An Inconvenient Truth here in SF, and took questions from the audience. He was well-spoken, funny, spontaneous and passionate. In other words, everything that our current president is not.

  8. egpenet
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    The French term their professional politicos, elephants, because elephants live so long. Gore was no match for “the bully-bob,”b grandma, because he wanted to look presidential. Bad idea, bad coaching and too esoteric for the “no hillbilly left behind” culture of this country.
    “My President is so down-homey, he found two more shotgun accident victims of the VP whimpering in the brush he was cutting in Crawford.” Hmmm. Got a laugh at the AATA bus stop.
    Gore is right. But, it’s too late. In January, according to experts, we pumped the peak barrel of oil from Saudi Arabia. It’s downhill from here, kids.

  9. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I’ll take that challenge, be OH be.

    Let’s see… “stiff”, “blow”, “hard, “cock”, and “ass”

    How’s this: “The cock rode to market between the stiff ears of the ass, who was intently listening to his master blow a farmhand.”

    Shit! I was so close!

    Please let me try again.

  10. mark
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to join the “Draft Gore” movement… Anyone want to join me?

  11. be OH be
    Posted May 19, 2006 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    missed it by that much.

    “… watching his master blow a strong poker hand.”

  12. Jack
    Posted May 19, 2006 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    ok..now we’ve got “stiff”, “blow”, “hard”, “cock”, “ass” and “master”

    As a stiff wind picked up and blew hard out of the south, the master of the ship yelled “Close the ballcocks! Get yer asses to work!”

  13. mark
    Posted May 20, 2006 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    OK, let me give it another shot…

    “He loved to blow his master’s stiff, hard, ass-flavored cock.”

    How was that? Do I win something?

  14. ChinaLawBlog
    Posted June 5, 2006 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I have heard Gore holds up China as having better emission standards than the United States. This is a joke.

    China is an environmental disaster and it is not because of its laws. It is because of the lack of enforcement of the laws. China

  15. mark
    Posted June 5, 2006 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I have no reason to doubt that you’re right… If I’d heard Gore say that, I would have called him on it too.

  16. oliva
    Posted June 6, 2006 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s so funny to me re. Gore’s “wooden” reputation. I remember being at Kerrytown with my sisters after Clinton and Gore were elected, and we were being tacky and discussing which man was more attractive. Some middle-aged sales clerks overheard us and joined right in. Raunchy talk, let me tell you! Back then I invoked the word “wooden” about Gore, but it was meant entirely flatteringly–in the sense of Bob Marley’s use of the term: “I push the wood / blaze the fire / satisfy your heart’s desire . . .”

    Once again, quoting Plato: It takes all kinds to make a world.

    How grand that beyond the raw (raunchy) appeal is a deeply intelligent, likable man–a man we elected to be president!

    Wanting him to have a good life now (and not grow old before his time), I kind of hesitate to wish he’d run for prez again. Selfishly, however, I wish he would.

    Looking forward to the film–

  17. mark
    Posted June 8, 2006 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Ewwwww!

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