But, because their answer to the first question is different from mine, the second question really matters for true believers such as Gore and the Newsweek editors. If Gore really believes humans are damaging the earth, he should stop flying (burned jet fuel is a major source of greenhouse gasses), stop driving his car (more greenhouse gas emissions) and sell his Nashville mansion (which sucked up nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2006, more than 20 times the national average).
As for Newsweek, it needs to shut down production immediately. After all, here’s a publication that depends on paper for its very existence. Who knows how many thousands of trees (which could have been absorbing carbon dioxide from the air) were cut down to print the global-warming issue? Those magazines had to be printed (using electricity) shipped to distributors (burning diesel fuel) and sold to customers (who might otherwise have invested the $5.95 in something useful, such as carbon offsets).
Every single edition Newsweek puts out from now on is just further proof that the magazine’s editors don’t really believe what they publicly profess to believe about global warming. In the end, “climate change” will prove to be nothing more than a Washington cliché, something politicians exploit to try to get ahead.
And speaking of clichés, we really need a new one for when somebody leaves a job. Karl Rove is just the latest political figure to announce he needs to step down “for the sake of my family.” But nobody’s ever explained how giving up a steady income can help a family. Many of us would love to spend all day at home with the wife and children. We don’t because we need a paycheck to keep the checking account from drying up entirely.
It’s unlikely anyone’s ever going to be honest enough to say “I’m resigning so I can write a tell-all book” or “I’m leaving so I can cash in on my connections by starting my own consulting firm.” But the next president ought to insist that anyone who leaves his (or her) administration give a plausible excuse for doing so.
Any such excuse wouldn’t necessarily have to be more honest than the current cliché, but it would at least be more interesting. That would be, as they say, “good enough for government work.”