‘An Inconvenient Truth’: More on Al Gore’s Movie

By May 26, 2006Global Warming

Thanks to our friend and fellow blogger Eric McErlain for passing this along to us, a review of Al Gore’s movie by Gregg Easterbrook in Slate. Overall, it appears that Easterbrook buys into the basic premise of the film, but not entirely. Two interesting passages caught our eye:

“[T]he film flirts with double standards. Laurie David, doyenne of Rodeo Drive environs, is one of the producers. As Eric Alterman noted in The Atlantic, David “reviles owners of SUVs as terrorist enablers, yet gives herself a pass when it comes to chartering one of the most wasteful uses of fossil-based fuels imaginable, a private jet.” For David to fly in a private jet from Los Angeles to Washington would burn about as much petroleum as driving a Hummer for a year; if she flew back in the private jet, that’s two Hummer-years. Gore’s movie takes shots at Republicans and the oil industry, but by the most amazing coincidence says nothing about the poor example set by conspicuous consumers among the Hollywood elite.”

And this, on the “morality” of the issue:

“This raises the troubling fault of An Inconvenient Truth: its carelessness about moral argument. Gore says accumulation of greenhouse gases “is a moral issue, it is deeply unethical.”… But the last century’s headlong consumption of oil, coal, and gas has raised living standards throughout the world; driven malnourishment to an all-time low, according to the latest U.N. estimates; doubled global life expectancy; pushed most rates of disease into decline; and made possible Gore’s airline seat and MacBook, which he doesn’t seem to find unethical.”

Double standards? Misplaced morality? Doesn’t sound like the Al Gore we know….

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Bruce Simpson says:

    Al Gore’s statement that if Greenland melts, due to global worming, the level of oceans will rise 20 feet just doesn’t make sense when you consider the vast area of the oceans, compared to Greenland. Sure Greenland is large, but only a very small fraction of the area of the oceans.

  • Deconstructing Mart S. says:

    “…how we got to where we are is really irrelevant.”
    (flunked history in high school, eh?)

    “It makes no difference what the use of fossil fuels has accomplished.”

    (Yeah, what good were men on the moon, and all the technology that’s spun off from that [like the internet and cell phones and tang – hey, two out of three aint bad]. Besides, It’s only good, if he says it’s good, or so he says.)

    “What is important is what happens from now on.”

    (But, since it hasn’t happened yet, how can he know he’s right…, or wrong? …and with his contempt for historical continuity, after he’s been shown wrong and the world economy is in a shambles, he’ll just say, “how we got here is unimportant…”)

    “To say that any environmentalist who boards an airplane is a hypocrite is just silly”

    (but it’s ok to assert that the SVU owner is destroying the world by his careless disregard for the environment???? Well then, how about the blokes who’s careless disregard for logic contiminates the thoughts of those who haven’t yet learned to think?!)

    “Do you want a meaningful discussion, or are you swallowing the oil companies’ propaganda that freedom lovers should be able to throw whatever they like into the air we breath and water we drink?”

    (i.e., freedom is for capitalist pigs. And, we can only have a meaningfull discussion if you agree with him and swallow his enviroterrorist manifesto… and speaking of enviroterror, have you taken this test yet?

    http://www.crm114.com/algore/quiz.html

    It’s sure to drive the Gorophiles crazy.)

    …have a nice day

  • Mike says:

    I think the point is that the limousine liberals are trying to get the unwashed masses to make a sacrifce while they don’t alter their lifestyles a whit. Its called hypocrisy.

  • So, if the message is not packaged in a way you deem perfect, you choose to reject it entirely? If anyone connected with the movie drives an SUV or flies a private jet, the whole premise is disgarded?

    And, how we got to where we are is really irrelevant. It makes no difference what the use of fossil fuels has accomplished. What is important is what happens from now on. To say that any environmentalist who boards an airplane is a hypocrite is just silly. Do you want a meaningful discussion, or are you swallowing the oil companies’ propaganda that freedom lovers should be able to throw whatever they like into the air we breath and water we drink?

  • Wadard says:

    Do you know whether Laurie David offset the carbon emissions? You can’t verily accuse her of double standards or misplaced morality until you know the answer to that question.

    BY the way… energy is not cheap if your children have to pick up the tab for it later on. All you are doing is externalising the cost, to use the correct economic term for the practic.

  • markus says:

    God forbid Laurie David should have to mix with the common people on a commercial airplane.

    Besides, sacrifice is just for the little people, not for important people doing important things.