You have to hand it to Al Gore. Yes, his hopeless presidential campaign in 2000 gifted the Presidency to the most rapacious group of robber barons since their heyday in the late 19th Century. Yes, he is a bit of a hypocrite, and yes, his house in Tennessee is almost as obscenely large as one of Michael Smurfit’s holiday homes.
And yet. Earlier today he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in raising awareness of the climate catastrophe. A lot of people were puzzled, wondering what this all has to do with ‘peace’.
Here, Gore landed on his feet: “Without realizing it, we have begun to wage war on the Earth itself,” he said in his acceptance speech. “Now, we and the Earth’s climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: ‘Mutually assured destruction.’ It is time to make peace with the planet.” Touché.
His heavy salting of military metaphors may be mainly aimed at his home audience (there are more guns than citizens in the US!) but it still rings true. The fact that his prize is shared with IPCC adds weight to the former while giving due weight to the real heroes of the piece, the hundreds and thousands of scientists.
These are the people who have contributed the ‘hard science’ on climate change, in the teeth of one of the nastiest, best organised and profoundly cynical disinformation campaigns ever mounted.
I refer here of course to the Neocon-inspired ‘climate hoax’ campaign, designed to throw enough uncertainty into the debate to befuddle and disengage the public, and so leave the polluters and plunders to continue their ‘business as usual’ gallop into the ecological abyss, dragging most species (ourselves included) straight to hell with them.
Take one Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Here’s what he told the US Senate in 2005: “The threat of catastrophic global warming…is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. Inhofe is no obscure nutter.
He is a powerful, well connected and (in some quarters) respected politician. To get a glimpse into the depths of lunacy and denial that has hijacked US political life, see Inhofe’s own ‘Climate Change Update‘ delivered to the US Senate in January 2005 (a few months before Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans).
So, whatever you feel about Al Gore (Liz McManus was less than impressed at his recent private visit to Dublin at the behest of Merrion Capital, where us riff raff as well as the media were excluded from his behind-closed-doors briefing to the well heeled and well connected) you’ve got to hand it to him, he is a silver-tongued devil:
“Too many of the world’s leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler’s threat: ‘They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent”.
“We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war”.
Now, where is Dick Roche when our nation needs him?