Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
|PEACE WITH EARTH
BOSTON—Since this is the list-making time of year, allow me to add a tiny trophy to Al Gore’s very full shelf: the prize for the most elegant speech of 2007.
I wasn’t sure how the politician-turned-environmentalist fit the profile for a Nobel Peace Prize, but his acceptance speech connected the dots. “Without realizing it,” Gore said, “we have begun to wage war on the Earth itself. Now, we and the Earth’s climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: mutually assured destruction.”
How many Americans actually heard these words of war and peace? The coverage from Oslo was overshadowed by the coverage from Iowa. The presidential campaigns used up the oxygen that might have been reserved for the greenhouse gases.
The inconvenient truth of the 2008 election year is that climate change is still way down the dance card of most-talked-about topics. It’s ranked No. 12 among Democratic candidates, and No. 15 among Republicans. Out of the 2,275 questions on the Sunday morning talk shows, the League of Conservation Voters counted only three on global warming.
Indeed, the environment has made little more than a cameo appearance on the campaign trail. Climate showed up in the last Iowa debate at the Tinker Bell moment when Republican candidates were asked to raise their hands if they believed climate change was a real threat and caused by human activity. It got a star turn in July when an animated snowman at the YouTube debate asked the Democrats if his little snow-son would live a “full and happy life.”
From time to time, the candidates doff their carbon caps and calculate their carbon footprints. But the warming of the globe, the fact that the ice cap is “falling off of a cliff,” as scientists say, doesn’t heat up the campaign as much as paying for the education of an illegal immigrant.
Gore told the Nobel crowd, “We have everything we need to get started, save perhaps political will. “ But, he added optimistically, “political will is a renewable resource.” Will it get renewed?
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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac
"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."
~Harry S. Truman