Saturday, 07 November 2009

Al Gore Appeals to "Collective Will" to Solve Climate Change

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Al GoreAccording to critics, for Al Gore, “going green” is not just a slogan for saving the world, it is a description of his bank account.

But the green guru doesn’t like people noticing the fact that regardless of whether or not temperatures are rising, Gore’s bank balance has shot straight for the stratosphere.The Telegraph.co.uk reports that "since he quit mainstream politics, Mr Gore’s personal fortune has risen from £1.2 million [$2 million] to an estimated £60 million [$100 million]."

The Telegraph account continues:

He has made significant investments in environmentally friendly projects like carbon trading markets, solar power, biofuels, electric vehicles, sustainable fish farming and waterless lavatories. He has also invested in non-climate change related investments, including putting money into Google and Apple.

Mr Gore said it was “certainly not true” that he was going to become a “carbon billionaire” and that the suggestion came from global warming deniers.

He said: “I am proud to put my money where my mouth is for the past 30 years. And though that is not the majority of my business activities, I absolutely believe in investing in accordance with my beliefs and my values.” At a hearing earlier this year on clean energy legislation, Mr Gore was challenged by Republican congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, over his investments.

She said: “The legislation that we are discussing here today, is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?”

Mr Gore said: “I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it.”

In other words: “Yes.” But where some might see a conflict of interest, Mr. Gore may view his new-found wealth as the reward for the virtue of his vision. Be that as it may, Mr. Gore’s latest eco-jeremiad has burst forth into publication: Our Choice, a Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis. In a style suited for a culture swamped by typically Arminian thinking, Mr. Gore assures his readers that salvation is in their hands. (Especially, he might add, if they are prepared to fork over the $26.99 for his new “how-to” book.) According to the USA Today,

With global warming taking center stage in world affairs, Al Gore can't be far behind: The Nobel-Prize-winning former-vice president-turned-energy entrepreneur is releasing his plan to crack the climate conundrum.

"The clock is ticking with respect to solving the crisis," Gore, 59, said Thursday as he sat in pinstripes and black cowboy boots in an environmentally certified conference room, with glass walls and white surfaces. Our Choice, A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, which debuted Tuesday, "offers us the tools to find a way out."

In 416 pages, Gore offers a potpourri of lavishly illustrated recipes — solar, geothermal, and wind power solutions — for slowing the greenhouse gases warming the climate. "It is now abundantly clear that we have at our fingertips all of the tools we need to solve three or four climate crises," Gore writes. "The only missing ingredient is collective will."

“Collective will”? Nothing good comes from talk about the “collective will.” And when someone claims “We have the tools to accomplish ‘X’ — all we need is the will to use them,” it is usually a sign that something really awful is about to happen.

Weighing in at 416 pages, it is unknown at the time of this writing how many trees were slaughtered so that they might serve as the medium of Mr. Gore’s latest revelation. Undoubtedly their sacrifice was not in vain; after all, as one of Mr. Gore’s fellow visionaries of the brave new future declared, “You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”

The appeal to the power of the “collective will,” the desire to remake the world according to the fantasies of a coffee-house philosopher, and the possibility of a great deal of money to be made in the process has proven a pretty lethal combination since 18th-century France and 19th-century Germany. Right now, we’re just waiting for Mr. Gore’s stirring new songs for the Green revolution and the dashing uniforms he designed for the brave servants of the “collective will” to be unveiled.