To get some perspective on this, let's visit Tokyo, one of the major centers of the global economy, (not literally of course, because that's just too expensive) home of the Japanese royal family and the largest metropolitan area on the planet. When Hollywood writers imagine what the world will look like in 2282 or 5692 or some other random collection of numbers that leads to a world where everyone wears silver spandex and is rebelling against a totalitarian government, they usually use Tokyo as a model of the terrible future of flying cars, soulless skyscrapers and genetic scans that we're bound for.
And how big is the Tokyo metropolitan area? About 5,000 square miles, which takes up a lot of room in the 197 million square mile surface area of the planet. Imagine a wart on an ant that's living under the sink of your twenty room mansion, and you get some idea of the significance of the largest city we have in relation to the planet itself.
Every now and then some environmentalists insist that the planet is alive and angry at us, but if it were alive, it would notice us as about as much as you notice the mites on your skin. And then imagine the mites holding seminars worried about their impact on your epidermal layer, warning that if any more dead skin flakes off, it could be the end.
But environmentalism really isn't about the environment-- it's about the environmentalists. Watch the tree-hugger who warns that if we don't shape up, we'll be living in a wasteland of used tires and toxic fumes, take a jet to wherever he wants to go. Or the celebrity who proposes that we save the planet by drinking rat's milk, drive off in a gas guzzling car.
Most of all though, it's about Albert Gore the Second, the insecure boy who grew up to be an insecure man. The thing about Gore is that he tends to lose his mind when he experiences a setback. After losing the election to Bush, he grew a beard, became a mad hermit and emerged only to offer his insights on journalism based on the plum position of a senator's son on an army paper back in Vietnam.
Now Al Gore is losing it again because people have stopped paying attention to his cult because they're too busy waiting in line to collect their unemployment checks. His outbursts and crazy rants are cries for help from a man with serious mental problems who tried to submerge his neurosis in politics. And they're being ignored by a party that decided he was a millstone around their necks, the last time he became a running joke.
It may be the fate of most modern vice presidents to become jokes. Certainly it's been the case since after the Reagan Administration, which was saddled with George H.W. Bush, a man whom not even a lineup of angry liberal comedy writers could mold into anything humorous. And while Biden is the reigning gaffe champion of America, China and parts of the North Pole, he has never managed to take a single line and turn it into a national punchline for three years running.
"I invented the internet." It was that scent of hubris that would stick with Gore. The uncomfortable man, standing stiffly next to more affable politicians. The man who would rather be thought a nerd, than be known for the nobody that he was. The scion of a clan who was unable to live up to his family's expectations. Who inherited power, but had no idea what to do with it.
The internet would never belong to Gore the Second, but the environment briefly did. Gore had latched on to the environment, not because he knew anything about it, but because he knew that hardly anyone did. It was a perfect pose for a man who had nothing to offer, a subject that everyone pretended to care about, but no one knew anything about. And it was the subject that he turned to again after the dreaded electoral college turned him down.
The environment made Gore relevant again and it helped make him wealthy. Suddenly the stiff man was the prom king of Gaia High School and everyone wanted him to sign their hockey graph. But the environment is also a cruel mistress, no sooner do you bring out a line of biodegradable dish towels which go to help train Guatemalan farmers to grow sustainable coffee beans, than people stop paying attention to you all over again.
For celebrities, the environment is a part time gig, twenty minutes posing in front of a green screen on which a grim vision of smokestacks spewing pollutants into the air will be added in editing, and then jet on to France where they're having a film festival to celebrate the works of the only expat American director in Paris who didn't molest any children.
But for Al, the environment was his only gig. It will be a desperate Rotary Club that pays him to talk about changing economic conditions or doing business in China. Gore's way of doing business in China is not exactly accessible to anyone who doesn't have a hall pass to the Oval Office anyway. The environment is the only reason anyone has paid attention to him. And that's going away now.
Like some evil spirit who shrivels up and blows away when people don't pay attention to him, Gore is turning shriller as an act of desperation. A prolonged cry of why isn't anyone paying attention to the environment, when what he really means is why isn't anyone paying attention to me.
Recently Gore proposed that we start treating people who don't believe that humanity is destroying the planet like racists. If he means like, Albert Gore the First, who voted against the Civil Rights Act, then we would elect them to the Senate and then name a highway after them.
This pathetic outburst followed a Rolling Stone editorial and an obscenity-laced tirade all on the same theme-- those damned deniers who question that fraudulent science that was on the verge of carving up American industry to benefit Wall Street and the Green Mafia. But Gore is wrong about this being the fault of Global Warming critics. It's not the critics that tanked his cause, it's Obama and the economy.
Gore's second coming was a matter of good timing. An Inconvenient Truth was part of a liberal surge that took Congress and neutered the Bush Administration. While Obama waited backstage, lighting up a blunt and practicing his teleprompter face-- the new wave lacked a public figure and a message besides Iraq. Al Gore provided both.
The Democratic Party did not expect to ride the green horse to the White House, but it was one of a series of causes that welded together a liberal coalition and made the next few years seem less like the pig party that it actually was. But Gore's star faded, as Obama's star rose. In the new party of the cult of personality, there was only room for one star, and it wasn't an overweight aging man who had already embarrassed the party once.
Gore's intent seriousness concealed his basic lack of ideas, it was the one trick he had picked up over the years, and that seriousness could also be confused with integrity. A man this awkward and serious had to be sincere, was the takeaway. But Gore's post-election meltdown had already revealed how little there was to the fake Jimmy Carteresque sincerity and the pompous pseudo-religiosity, and how many missing windows there were in the mansions of his cranium.
The latest batch of meltdowns is just another reminder of what Gore is, an insecure man drawn to a limelight that he can never hold. But it is also a reminder of the sort of man who is drawn to the green and the motives for it.
Environmentalism promotes grandiosity, the idea that man shapes the environment, rather than the other way around as science had always held. There is nothing scientific about the notion that human industry is dooming the planet-- it is a wholly apocalyptic belief that makes use of twisted science to promote a grandiose notion.
The Flying Global Warming Monster is a religion, but is a faith in the absence of faith. Liberal theology does not provide its own apocalypses, but liberal activists have stepped into the breach to manufacture a manmade apocalypse. A disaster with its own prophets and rituals to propitiate the Flying Global Warming Monster who lurks in the sky and will raise surface temperatures by one tenth of a fourth of a degree if we do not begin using reusable cloth bags.
Al Gore, with his latent interest in theology, was always drawn to the ecclesiastical role, his equine features with their look of placidly serious idiocy perfect for looking down his hawk nose at people and nodding in all the right places. But instead he followed the family business to its end, and like a phoenix rising from Montecito, reinvented himself as the figurehead of his own church, preaching against the apocalyptic sunburn and the rising tide, while taking a cut of the Cap and Trade profits.
It was a good time to be Gore, but now it's over. What Obama didn't do to overshadow him, the economy has. When times are good, then people are ready to dump money on all sorts of silly things, including the crazy belief that the thriving polar bear population is about to vanish because there are too many cows in Wyoming. But when times are bad, then the doomsayers had better step up their act. Armageddon is scary, but being out of work is even more frightening and leaves folks with less money to drop in Reverend Gore's green biodegradable plate after services.
Gore reinvented himself once, but he's not ready to do it again, instead like a man about to lose the woman of his dreams, he's panicking and behaving in a way that makes the country want to file a restraining order against him. The Madness of King Gore the Second is back, as the national madness for the environment fades into the shadow of the old fads. The nation is putting aside foolish things and climate change tops the list. Gore the Second raves from his multi-monitor setup in Montecito. Long may he rave.