Al Gore does Iron Eyes Cody

So how geeky am I, celebrating my first day back to (relative) normacly by spending two hours with algore?

Much has been written about the movie and the former vice president, and much of it is true. The Gore that leads viewers through “An Inconvenient Truth” is affable, sincere and not too preachy, totally unlike the man most of us remember as milquetoast, insincere and preachy.

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While the flick does venture into maudlin territory at times — I half expected to see Gore dressed up as ‘ol Iron Eyes from those 1970s anti-pollution commercials, with a solitary tear running down his cheek — and not surprisingly he’s at his best during the Power Point presentation which anchors the flick. The facts he lays out are virtually impossible to dispute.

The former vice president’s movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes, worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets — mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The Associated Press.

To be fair, there are some legitimate critics of Gore’s science, but they are far outnumbered by those who praise the film’s accuracy. I’m going with the majority on this one.

Besides, much of what Gore is proposing would — at the very least — make the Earth a more livable place. If for nothing else than aesthetics, wouldn’t you prefer to live in a city not shrouded in smog?

You know all about big oil’s influence, but there’s an under-reported adversary to changing our environmental habits — the fundamentalist right.

It’s almost become orthodoxy to those on the fringes, such as Falwell and Robertson, to dismiss global warming as arrogance, that the very idea man could influence climate is non-Scriputral. I can’t figure out why they’ve reached this conclusion, save for the fact that those promoting proactive environmental policy tend to be on the left. In other words, if Al Gore’s for it, we’re against it. That, and a general mistrust of science.

“But I can tell you, our grandchildren will laugh at those who predicted global warming,” Falwell said in a recent TV appearance, after boasting that he and his wife both drive Suburbans. “We’ll be cooler by then, if the lord hasn’t returned….The fact is that there is no global warming.”

And there’s this from Dobson’s organization, Focus on the Family:

“Our concern with global warming’s more radical proponents is the way in which they have attempted to manipulate this issue to stifle advances in numerous fields – advances that would benefit the lives of people the world over, including many of its poorest citizens. Any issue that seems to put plants and animals above humans is one that we cannot support.”

Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. The National Association of Evangelicals produced those series of commercials that ran about a year ago — “What Would Jesus Drive?”  — and there’s momentum within less political segments of the Christian community for responsible environmental policy.

Just as they were on civil rights, the left — save for some extremists — are right on this issue. Hopefully our partisan divide won’t prevent a much-needed consensus.

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