May 03, 2007

Gore Text

I know this is a couple of days old already, but I figure since we've already had "Eat It, Cultural Studies," and, "Shut the fuck up already, Harvard kids," this week, a quick "Piss off, Al Gore," wouldn't be a bad idea.

From Newsvine: Gore Calls Canada Climate Plan a 'Fraud'
TORONTO — Al Gore condemned Canada's new plan to reduce greenhouse gases, saying it was "a complete and total fraud" because it lacks specifics and gives industry a way to actually increase emissions…

He acknowledged that as an American, he had "no right to interfere" in Canadian decision.
Well, um, gee, Mr Gore, don't you think that the highest-profile environmentalist in the world publicly criticising Canada's environmental policies might sort of, I don't know, interfere with those policies?

Okay, so maybe I overestimate the effect of media soundbites on government policy a little. But seriously, Al, I am getting really tired of hearing your self-righteous proselytising all the damn time, whenever anybody leaves the fridge door open for more than a few seconds. You think just because you win one Oscar you have the right to criticise everybody about anything to do with the environment? Piss off. (Ding ding ding!)

What about your own electricity bill? Yeah, okay, it was a cheap shot by some douchey right-wingers, but let's not pretend that makes it a completely invalid criticism. And your response? "Oh, yes, we DO have a large carbon footprint, but it's okay, we purchase carbon offsets, so it's like our giant heated pool doesn't really exist." Well, excuse me, but I'm going to call bullshit on that, because carbon offsets are just a way for the rich to buy peace of mind. Instead, you will get a piece of my mind. Ha!

Point one: only the rich can afford to buy carbon offsets (on a scale of 'need-to-have' items for a normal family, they come somewhere between a lamp shaped like a banana and a Tamagotchi). The tendency of the rich to have larger-than-average carbon footprints notwithstanding (thanks to all those heated pools, Hummers, etc.), this means that carbon offsets only tackle a really tiny percentage of the total carbon output of the planet.

Point two: even if everybody could afford to purchase carbon offsets, the more fundamental problem is that they are complete nonsense. If solving global warming was really as simple as just paying money to some carbon-offsetting company, do you think Al would have his knickers in such a twist to begin with? All the carbon offsets in the world will do precisely diddly-squat to reduce the amount of carbon actually produced by human beings.

So, while, yes, Canada's new environmental policies might be a little vague, I would like to heartily repeat my advice to Al Gore: piss off. Everybody is tired of hearing your voice.

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