As I ate lunch today, I watched my one cable news channel – CNN – which was airing the awards ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize. You know by my earlier post how I feel about Al Gore winning the prize, but his comments today give me a whole new pile of blog-worthy material.

While I don’t buy in to this idea of catastrophic man-made global warming, I don’t dispute that it’s probably a good idea to take care of the planet. I take care of my house and, on a much larger scale, it seems that I would want to take care of the earth on which my little house is settled. I’m a fan of nature. I love trees, fields, and fuzzy little creatures. If I had any idea how to do it, I would be the type of gal to grow my own food and become as self-sufficient as humanly possible in this day and time. I have asthma, so I hate air pollution as it makes it rather difficult for me to draw a breath. I’ll even admit it, but please don’t tell anyone…I used to be a clean-faced, patchouli-wearing, planet-saving hippie. You can even blame (or thank) me for starting the recycling program in the Johnson City School System when I was a bright-eyed 11-year-old.

All that being said, the government mandates that Gore dreams of is not the way to get people pumped to save the planet. Fear isn’t going to do it either (ask G.W. how well fear has worked in getting people on board with the Iraq war…not well).

The notion that a carbon tax along with various and sundry government regulations is going to be the motivating force in getting people to become hybrid-driving vegetarians is absurd. If we learned nothing else from nearly a century of communist rule in Russia, it’s that people don’t respond well to being forced by the government to do things. I imagine that a carbon tax will be greeted by most with the proverbial middle finger as they hit the gas on their Hummers. Suck on this, hippies!

During his interview after receiving his prize today, Gore was asked why Americans aren’t as “on board” with climate change hysteria as the rest of the world.  Hmmm…we’re smarter than everyone else? Gore answered that the tide is turning, that more people are jumping on the global warming bandwagon, and that he has hope that we’ll be as nutty as him in the not-so-distant future. Not likely.

This brings us back to the fear issue. Americans aren’t easily scared, so I can’t imagine that the constant barrage of  global warming doomsday scenarios is really going to have such a big impact. What we can do is show people how conserving energy can help them today. I’m an unimaginable tightwad, so I conserve gas to save money (I almost hate to admit that, because it feeds Gore’s carbon tax dream, but its true). I don’t care one bit about some stupid polar bear on the edge of Antarctica, but show me a fuzzy little duck drowning in a contaminated stream down the street from my house, and I’m going to get somebody to do something to save that duck! I’m not completely heartless – I cried for nearly an hour when I ran over a groundhog a few years ago – but, like most people, I just need to see that something’s happening in my backyard.  

The thing I hate most about the most recent planet-saving hippie revolution is that it is actually turning people away from the “green” movement. The dividing lines are clearly drawn: if you recycle, you’re a dirty, Al Gore worshiping, hippie-dippie liberal. There’s nothing wrong with recycling (as a matter of fact, I think it’s a good thing!), but, like the peace symbol of the 1960’s, a certain portion of the population has hijacked “green” and made it something that it’s not: liberal. And that’s a real shame.

My theory is that Al Gore and his environmentalist buddies either have more faith in government than any reasonable person ever should, or they care more about their liberal one-world government agenda than their precious planet. I hope it’s the former, because we can fix stupid. Evil is another story.

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