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The Trans-Former VP

What's behind Gore #2?

by: daniel clark | published: 02 11, 2009

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While delivering a January 28th speech to the Senate about "climate change," former vice president Al Gore said something peculiar, even by his standards. "For years, our efforts to address the growing climate crisis have been undermined by the idea that we must choose between our planet and our way of life," he said. "These are false choices."

So who are these ecological saboteurs to whom he refers? One of them is none other than Al Gore, who in his 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, moans that, "We [Americans] are still by far the worst contributors to the crisis. I look around for really meaningful signs that we are about to really change; I don't see it." At the start of the closing credits, a caption rhetorically asks, "Are you ready to change the way you live?"

Another caption, which he displays during his slide show, says, "We are witnessing a collision between our civilization and the earth." That description characterizes Western civilization as a foreign body, hurtling earthward like a meteor in a disaster movie. Meanwhile, the novice filmmaker narrates about the need to mend our ways -- kind of like Ed Wood, without the cardigan.

Going back to his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, the VP-to-be complains that "marginal adjustments in ongoing programs" and "moderate improvements in laws and regulations" are "forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public's desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle, and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary."

From a purely tactical standpoint, Gore's about-face is perfectly sensible. There's a good reason, after all, why Barack Obama's campaign buzzword was "change," and not "wrenching transformation." That sounds more like a slogan from the '84 Mondale-Ferraro campaign.

One would expect, however, that Gore's departure from his characteristic gloom would cause apprehension among his most ardent admirers. When the ex-veep prods us to replace reliable fossil fuels with grossly inefficient or cost-prohibitive "renewable energy," he now presents such a transition as virtually seamless. What's more, he told the Senate that it will be so immediately beneficial that it will "hasten our economic recovery."

To most of America, that's a more effective sales pitch than an appeal for sacrifice and struggle, but not to the greenies. Tearing down the West in general, and America in particular, has always been, if not the true aim of their movement, at least their preferred means of achieving its ends.

Demands that we inflict inconvenience, discomfort and hardship on ourselves are always the environmentalists' first option. Don't drive so often, they say. Don't drive so fast. Don't live so far out of town. Buy a hybrid. Buy a Segway. Ride the bus. Ride a bicycle. Walk. Just stay home.

Turn down your thermostat. Put on a sweater. Put on a Snuggie. Stay out of the colder parts of your house. Shut up, shiver, and like it.

Bring your own bags to the supermarket. Don't use plastic bags. Don't use paper bags. Don't use styrofoam. Don't use plastic forks and spoons. Drink through a paper straw.

Don't barbecue. Don't eat meat. Only buy "organics." Use a bicycle-powered toaster like Ed Begley Jr. Try eating insects.

Line-dry your clothes. Don't flush so often. Don't use so much hot water. Take shorter showers. Save rain water in a barrel.

Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. Don't break compact fluorescent light bulbs. Don't throw away compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Your house is too big. Your car is too big. Your TV is too big. Your bathtub is too big. Your dinner is too big. Your family is too big.

In other words, you are the problem. There's practically nothing you can do to improve your standard of living that the Gore-mongers wouldn't deem to be a threat to the planet. So how can they tolerate their leader's newfound concern for maintaining America's prosperity? Because they know he doesn't mean it.

If your dentist reached inside your mouth with a pair of pliers, his assurance that "this won't hurt a bit" would be meaningless. The same goes for the new Al Gore's assertion that we can stop using the most efficient and economical means of producing energy, without adversely affecting our way of life. We already know that his agenda would lead to a wrenching transformation, and that's putting it mildly.

When he was vice president, Al Gore joked that he's so boring his Secret Service code name was "Al Gore." Well, this new Al Gore, with his made-over message, is every bit as transparent.

-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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