Stingray dragged me to Al Gore’s globalwarmingumentary. It’s all the stuff you already know, so it’s not exactly a nail-biter, but it’s useful to see all the charts and numbers and footage of fractured glaciers crashing into the sea gathered together in a single spot for convenient one-stop blaming.
Interspersed with grainy cinéma vérité of lonely traveling activist Al, a 15″ Powerbook girding his loins, thinking deep thoughts as he stares solemnly through windows of limousines and chartered aircraft, are satellite photos of hurricanes and a nostalgic look back at the 2000 presidential election featuring hanging chads and Katherine Harris in her trademark patriarchy-blowing clown makeup. But mostly the film is Gore speaking before a huge screen from which glints an incessant cavalcade of graphs heralding the doom of the biosphere at the hand of fat lazy American oil gluttony.
It is a myth, quoth Al Gore, that the major climatological brains of our age regard global warming as controversial. The controversy is entirely a manufactured product of corporatocratic assholery. One of the aforementioned graphs compares, over a given period, the number of peer-reviewed scientific papers disputing the evidence of global warming (0) to the number of media reports casting doubt on the science (600-something, I think). Imagine. The news media, complicit in corporate disinformation campaigns. Well I never.
Well, funny story, the very day after I saw the film, I happened to hear ‘All Things Considered’ on National Public Radio, and danged if there wasn’t a blurb on the “feud over global warming.” Correspondent Richard Harris reported on a National Academy of Sciences panel. The panel was convened at the behest of Congress to examine a study suggesting that earth temperatures are hotting up well beyond what they’ve ever hotted up to before. I won’t go into the details of Harris’ report, which you can listen to for yourself, except to remark that the hyperbolic language he uses is precisely the sort of borderline prevarication to which Gore alludes in his lecture. Suggesting that there is acrimonious debate among experts over basic facts, calling it a “feud,” reporting that the official smart scientists are now “looking askance” at certain data that “some” use to support crazy claims about climate change, even taking it upon himself to redefine the word ‘plausible’ as ‘ doesn’t meet scientific standards of certainty’—it is as though Harris has calculated to encrapulate the discourse and weaken the case for global warming.
NPR. Ever since they got that Bushite pit boss, you’ve really gotta keep your eye on’em.