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Blur - "Song 2"
Sublime - "Santeria"
Cowboy Mouth - "Jenny Says"
The Refreshments - "Banditos"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Critical Thinking versus Political Blindness

I got to thinking about Al Gore and Global Warming, because of Bri's post "the importance of critical reading" (I don't know why Gore popped into my head, maybe because of the Nobel Peace Prize). I decided to check out what Gore preached and how he lived. I ran upon this article about his electric and gas bill for his home. For the most part, it's simple. You can run out phrases about "Carbon Footprints" all day long and it's still hugely wasteful. You can use double talk, stretch the truth, flat out lie, throw out statistics, twist numbers, and fall to the floor crying "I'm being picked on by conservatives" all you want: but it is what it is. It's bullshit.
I truely love it when someone tells me to live a certain lifestyle but they can't follow their own bullshit sermon. His one year electricity consumption is probably 20-25 years for my family. And his natural gas bill is crazy. This is Tennessee. It's not Maine. A gas bill like that along with his electric consumption, is Hypocritical BULLSHIT!
See I do think there needs to be major changes to the way we live on this planet. But I truely believe that we need to be led by example. There is NO EXCUSE for this and I can't believe that anyone would excuse his lifestyle. See if the people crying "change" are part of the problem, then who can you trust? It's just typical political crap. It's crazy for someone who is living a life of excess to tell me to conserve. And he talks a real good game for someone who's "Carbon Footprint" is that of 100+ people (I don't care how many solar panels they have, how many energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs they use, if they cut their air travel down to 3 trips a week, if they only allow one SUV full of guards to follow them, if they only heat their pool to 78 degrees, only cool their house to 68 degrees, only heat their house to 78 degrees, etc).


Brian said...

It's interesting. You've called George W. Bush every name in the book but you believed him when he spewed the Iraq b.s. I know you'll get pissed at me for bringing up Iraq but it's not really about Iraq. It's about why you believed Bush on Iraq on WMDs but not Gore on climate change? You think they're both scum but believe one, but not the other.

As for climate change itself, you can focus on these little smokescreen side issues all you want. But that's just fiddling while Rome burns. Climate change is real regardless of what Al Gore says or does.

Just ask people in parts of Africa that used to get rain all the time but never do and are starving as a result because they can't grow anymore crops. Just ask Pacific Islanders whose islands are close to disappearing under water because of melting ice caps. I don't think any of these people give a damn about Al Gore.

Focusing on Al Gore or Hollywood actors or whatever is, I'm sorry to say, a lame excuse to avoiding the real issue.

They're evil politicians anyway. Aren't you SUPPOSED to be better than them?

Don't live a sustainable lifestyle because Al Gore said so. Do it because it's the right thing to do.

Or if you must, do it because you're better than Al Gore.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

And by the way, I don't believe climate change is real and serious because of what a politician and filmmaker says. I believe it because that's what the overwhelming majority of climate scientists say. I believe it because journalists have done many reports of climate change's effects on real people in other part's of the world. Those are the people I trust. Am I 100 percent certain they're right? No. But "Al Gore's a hypocrite" is not enough to prove to me that these scientists are wrong because it's irrelevant.

Al Gore gets the press because he's a former vice-president and some still want him to run for president. But it's the work and words of the scientists you should look it.

Al Gore or other celebrities are just smokescreens people use to avoid talking about the real issues. They're being a hypocrite doesn't mean the issue is a fraud. And I think you have enough respect for truth that deep down, you know it... even though you reflexively oppose anything that appears "trendy."

Brian said...

Last note: I'd be willing to be you've never trusted Al Gore because he's a politician and celebrity and you think all politicians and celebrities are lying scumbags. So to say that it's his living in a mansion that makes him non-trustworthy in your eyes seems disingenuous.

"But I truely believe that we need to be led by example."

I couldn't disagree with this more. To say nothing of the fact that it sounds completely the opposite of the personal responsibility you usually talk about.

In fact, I think this is the biggest problem in our country. We're all a bunch of sheep waiting for the Savior of the Week to led us to the Promised Land. No one takes the initiative on their own to improve things.

My decision to do the right thing is not dependent on what politicians do. It's not dependent on what my peers do. It's not dependent on what celebrities do. It's not dependent on what is cool and me always doing it. Nor is it dependent on what is cool and me always doing the opposite.

My decision to do the right thing is dependent on myself. It's dependent on my conscience. It's dependent on me acting as a sovereign adult with a mind of my own judging for myself based on partly on the facts and partly on my morality. I'm not a sheep who needs to be led by others.

To say I can't do the right thing because Al Gore won't would be a chickensh*t copout. I have a mind of my own. And you do too.

Bri said...

Ok THIS is the last note, I promise. (See the essay certainly succeeded in making me think! :-)

You wrote, "See I do think there needs to be major changes to the way we live on this planet."

Yet this is only sentence where you mentioned this. You spent one sentence talking about the "major changes (needed) to the way we live on this planet" but paragraphs after paragraphs about how Al Gore is a hypocrite.

Now you are absolutely right about both of these propositions. It just bugs me that the priority you give to each is completely reversed. To me, the "major changes" you mention is 100 times more important to talk about because it's the one that's actually going to matter 10-20 years down the road. In fact, it's the only one that should matter today.

A Social Skidmark said...

Bri. I understand what you mean. But I'm not attacking the need to change the world. I'm attacking the ignorant waste at the top. It has nothing to do with them being a celeb or a politician or a dentist or a grocerystore clerk. I actually like Gore. That doesn't mean I don't think he's full of shit. I agree with alot of what he says. But that doesn't mean I believe he believes it his self. When I say it's crazy for a conference on Global Warming to be held, it's not because of the cause it's self. It's because of the tremendous waste and polution that the conference it's self causes. I'm not saying ignore the cause. I'm saying that it's hypocritical for someone using and abusing natural resources to have a conference about the the over use and abuse of natural resources.
As far as Gore. I really like that he did all the stuff he said he was going to do with his house. It's a real good thing. But I need to see more and not just from him.
I'm not a big wasteful person. I don't know about the rest of the world. For me, the way I see it, the people that are crying the loudest are the ones wasting the most. They are the ones that need to adjust their lifestyles. I've yet to see any of my neighbors flying across the country in their private jet. I don't have neighbors with 20 room homes housing 2 people. I don't know that many people with a pool and none with a heated pool.
So yeah I think that the celebs that get on tv and cry about global warming are full of shit. So what. Just because I don't believe them, doesn't mean I don't believe that Global Warming is a major problem. It just means that when I see these ignorant assholes, I get an overpowering smell of SHIT that turns my stomach. I don't think that the people molesting children should lead the fight against people molesting children. I don't think drug addicts should lead the fight against drugs. So I don't think that these celeb bullshitters should lead the fight against Global Warming. Just my opinion.