We face a challenge in the conversation of democracy that we must be up to in order to save the climate balance on which our civilisation depends.
These were part of prepared remarks given by former Vice President, Al Gore, at the Hay Festival in the United Kingdom. "Prepared", I said. Can you imagine what the semantic content of the rest of his speech must have been? Can you say "Zilch"?
I see where Mr. Gore's new film, "An Inconvenient Truth", scored well on a per-theatre average over the Memorial Day weekend. It earned $366,000 in four theatres. That's $91,500 per theatre, far outstripping "X-Men's" $32,554 average. Of course "X-Men" ran in 3690 theaters. I will certainly see this movie when it comes to my area. I see it having about as much effect on public policy as "X-Men", too.
Since anthro-centric global warming can only be mitigated through political action, I wonder if that action will be as effective as President Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security. Yes, yes, I know they have nothing to do with each other. But both issues are thoroughly political, even though advocates for both claim a huge body of evidence supports the political action required.
This may be the best hope for those who, like me, have strong doubts about the impact humans can have on the climate. That is, if we look at the results of the attempt to privatize Social Security all at once -- and going further back, the attempt to nationalize health care during the Clinton administration -- we can take heart that people are basically conservative, meaning that they're resistant to change. The "third rail" of politics remains untouchable. That was proved by the failure of privatization and the assurances opponents put forward that Social Security really isn't in danger. Enacting massive measures to reverse climate change will fail, too, primarily because the "sea change" Gore talked about in his speech won't take place.
I think that for massive policy changes to pass there would have to be a climate upheaval as lengthy and dramatic as the Great Depression was for the economic "climate". I mean, FDR and Congress were able to push through a huge amount of legislation establishing social programs because they saw that they had to "do something". Hurricane Katrina isn't enough for global warming legislation to be passed. There'll have to be a decade-long drought and record-breaking high temperatures across the country every year, all year. I just don't see it happening. Not that I'm unhappy about that, you understand...