“One day,” according to Al Gore, “climate change skeptics will be seen in the same negative light as racists.” Coming from the mouth of everyone’s favorite presidential loser, this quote came in an interview with Gore on website UStream.tv, where Gore also claimed that climate change activists such as himself must “win the conversation” against the nonbelievers.
So essentially, people who don’t believe in global warming are going to be the new racists. They will somehow elevate themselves from common skeptics to the status of full-blown racists simply because they reject a theory that not even all scientists agree upon?
While I personally do believe in global warming, I disagree with this statement for the same reason I disagree with every statement where people claim “x is the new y.” We’ve all heard these types of statements before. Popular versions of them range from “30 is the new 20″ to “gay is the new straight,” but each variation really proves to be as stupid as the last.
But should someone who doesn’t believe in global warming really be seen in the same light as a racist? I don’t think so. Al Gore is simply trying to take his global warming assault on the senses to the next level by appealing to the common man’s disgust for racists. By comparing global warming skeptics to someone everyone hates, Gore has successfully planted the seed in the minds of those who haven’t yet decided for themselves on the matter. He has performed a form of inception, to some degree, which would make Christopher Nolan proud.
Al Gore is smarter than this.
“There came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural,” Gore continued. “Then there came a time when people would say, ‘Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.”
Who is Gore trying to kid with this? It is a conversation about global warming, not racism, and suggesting that it is morphing to that status is just plain stupid. Who really cares if people believe in global warming anyway? Plenty of people don’t, and while I think they’re fooling themselves it really is their prerogative.
Most of the scientific community believes it to be happening and I agree with them. A lot of companies have adopted more “green” policies; car companies concerned with emissions have created more electric vehicles, and more and more politicians urge people to reduce their carbon footprint.
And guess what? According to a 2010 study by Yale University, “Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are relatively apathetic about the threat.” The study also found that two-thirds of younger Americans don’t even believe it exists, and 61 percent of them say that they don’t take any actions to try to reduce it if it is real.
Humans in positions of power have made changes to deal with it and do what they can and many others make a good-faith effort to confront the issue, and the ones who do nothing don’t. End of story.
Whatever is going to happen to the planet is going to happen regardless as humans have relatively little control over it. People who don’t believe in global warming shouldn’t be seen as racists, however. I’d like to reserve that term for the real racists among us. Let’s just call global warming deniers what they really are — apathetic and ignorant.
Gerry Wachovsky is a graduate student and columnist for the Daily 49er.