Monday, October 5, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth, Indeed!

Dear Mr. Gore,

I watched your film, An Inconvenient Truth. It was interesting, though I couldn’t tell if the movie was about global warming or about you. My wife said that the inclusion of your personal story was probably an attempt at connecting with Joe Publics like me. Frankly, I didn’t think we connected very much at all.

In truth, you and I do have some things in common. We’re both guys. We’re also both white. And we’re both married. In high school we both played on the varsity football team and threw for the track and field team. But that’s about where our similarities end.

You see, Mr. Gore, you are old, I am young. You are famous, I am not. You are rich, and, by governmental standards, I am poor. You have at least one car, I have none. You own at least one house with at least 20 rooms. I rent a two bedroom apartment. You probably have air-conditioning; we do not. You probably keep your hot water heater on all day and all night. To save money, we only turn ours on for up to two hours each day. If you do your own laundry, you probably dry your clothes in an ultra-efficient dryer. We can only afford to hang our clothes and dry them in the sun and wind.

The data you present in your film is convincing. I too think we have a burgeoning problem with the effects of global warming. I too believe we’re going to have to change a lot to avoid catastrophes. You made it sound like the governments of the world would bring about these necessary changes. What I find hard to believe is that an educated man such as yourself--who has seen government from its very insides--would still believe that the government can run as efficiently as a top-of-the-line energy-saving refrigerator. You know better than I do that it simply cannot happen.

Instead of increasing the size of an already bloated, sickly government, why not promote increased individual self-government? Why not preach a doctrine of personal sacrifice today for the welfare of our children tomorrow? I listened anxiously to hear you say in An Inconvenient Truth that we each needed to check personal greed, or curtail wasteful commercialism. I waited for you to say that we ought to use fewer resources and live simpler lives. Instead, you surprised me with a remarkable social gospel with the premise that we can have our cake and eat it too--that we can save the earth while living in the lap of luxury.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I found it easy to swallow the gnat of global warming but strained to choke down the camel of your extravagant personal lifestyle. Regardless of whether you ever intended to, you have set yourself up as a messiah to the world. Why not try coming down and living at the level of your most humble potential disciples? Or would you find their way of life to be a very inconvenient truth?


Whitney Hardie said...

Very well written. Intriguing!

Katie said...

I agree. The movie did a good job of alerting people of the problem of climate change. It did a bad job of discussing where the most good could be done: in our individual lives.