Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Convenient Delusions

Last night, I saw An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary about Al Gore's campaign to raise consciousness of global warming. It was truly alarming.

I would love to summarize the points he made, but I don't think I'd be doing him justice. Most alarming for me were the revelations about the melting and cracking that's already occuring in arctic and antarctic ice. It's happening quickly -- in many cases, more quickly than previously predicted -- and the potential consequences are dire. The melting of Greenland's shelf ice would raise global sea levels by over 20 feet, submerging many costal cities around the world. Scarier yet, ocean currents may be affected in totally upredictable ways, completely altering global weather patterns.

The response to Gore's science mirrors a point he makes in the film: the scientific consensus is there, but it is denied by those who find it politically convenient to pretend that there is a significant disagreement within the scientific community.

Anyhow, I would encourage anyone and everyone to see the film.

This morning, I was enraged by conservatie pundit Ezra Levant, who appeared on Sounds Like Canada to promote his book, The War on Fun. In this book, he argues that nasty, liberal do-gooders are trying to control our every action and take away everything that's fun. Apparently, he defines "everything that's fun" as smoking, over-eating, and producing massive amounts of carbon dioxide. He was actually speaking from his new Hummer, as if to prove how obnoxious and disconnected from reality he is.

He tried to claim that, while we should have the freedom to do what we want, we also need to take personal responsibility for the outcome of our actions. But, he utterly failed to address any notion of collective responsibility for outcomes that affect us all. He might be just fine driving around Calgary in his Hummer, but if the Netherlands wakes up under water, how is he going to take responsibility for his part in that?

Big surprise, it's not even an issue for him. Ezra doesn't seem to believe in global warming. Without citing any science at all, he brushes off global warming as lacking a scientific concensus, and asserts that climate change certainly isn't the most pressing issue facing us.

I guess that's his convenient delusion.

Interestingly, Ezra's live-and-let-live attitude towards personal liberty only seems to go so far. On one hand, we shouldn't let something petty like a desire not to radically alter the world's climate stand in the way of his gas-guzzling fun. But, please, let's not offend his sensibilities by daring to extend equal treatment by the state to gays and lesbians. Fun is all well and good, but, two boys kissing? That's just gross.

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