Al Gore may not have won the presidency (thank God), but over the last two years, he's been given an enormous consolation prize by his friends on the left. He's been designated as the Savior of the Planet.
First came the warm wave of supportive publicity surrounding his slide-show documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Katie Couric, Harry Smith and Oprah Winfrey all touted Gore as so warm, so vulnerable and self-effacing, and his predictions so impossibly scary. Last May, Gore and Couric sat together on a sunny day in Central Park and unspooled the doom. Manhattan would be under deep water soon if we don't take drastic measures, they warned.
Now comes another warm wave of media smooches and applause with the news of his plan for an international set of "Live Earth" concerts to promote massive government action to curb humanity's excessive reliance on energy. Impending global doom has become such a hip cause it's now pushed by Cameron Diaz, Jon Bon Jovi and a flock of other Hollywood astrophysicists, the homelessness issue having become passe.
Ever since the whole planet-panic kicked in around Earth Day 1970, there have been repeated predictions of impending doom, which didn't exactly work out. When will someone in the media ever admit this?
Go back to 1989 and 1990. Instead of NBC's Katie Couric handing the microphone over to Al Gore to lament how Manhattan's about to go underwater, the same NBC network handed its microphone and camera crew directly to left-wing "Population Bomb" author Paul Ehrlich, awarding him large chunks of airtime to imagine America losing the nation's capital and the entire state of Florida.
In May 1989, Ehrlich claimed, global warming was going to melt the polar ice caps, causing a flood in which "we could expect to lose all of Florida, Washington D.C. and the Los Angeles basin. ... We'll be in rising waters with no ark in sight." Ehrlich didn't give a time frame, but his panicked report clearly suggested doom around the corner.
The panic was necessary to sell an extremely harsh "solution" of "enormous, rapid change." Ehrlich commanded that to forestall doom, the world needed to cut its energy use in half over 20 years. Industrialization needed to be dragged to a screeching halt, not only in America, but especially in the Third World. Ehrlich felt the next generation of Americans should be denied the Earth-strangling prosperity of their parents, saying the world's ecosystems "cannot support the spread of the American lifestyle to the Third World or even to the next generation of Americans."
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