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Al Gore writes letter of complaint to Agony Aunt
By Judith Weizner,
FrontPageMagazine.com, January 20, 2004
On Jan 15, 2004, Al Gore spoke at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, attacking George Bush on the issue of Global Warming. Some excerpts:
"Yet in spite of the clear evidence available all around us, there are many who still do not believe that Global Warming is a problem at all. And it's no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.
And wealthy right-wing ideologues have joined with the most cynical and irresponsible companies in the oil, coal and mining industries to contribute large sums of money to finance pseudo-scientific front groups that specialize in sowing confusion in the public's mind about global warming. They issue one misleading "report" after another, pretending that there is significant disagreement in the legitimate scientific community in areas where there is actually a broad-based consensus."
Dear Aunt Sophie,
I am a public figure who is also an influential scientist. Lately, however, people have not been taking me seriously. This is bad for my image, not to mention my ego, which is still pretty fragile after I won an election but wasn't allowed to take office. I sure hope you can help me out. I gave a speech the other day about global warming. Everyone knows that the climate is getting warmer. It's the most obvious thing in the world. All you have to do is look out the window. You can't miss it.
The problem is that I gave the speech in New York on the coldest day of the year. My people kept telling me it was 8 degrees outside and maybe I should talk about something else, but it wasn't cold in the theater. It's never that cold on the West Side, anyway. Columbia University is on the West Side and I taught there for a while, so I ought to know.
Anyway, they told me some people were laughing about the situation. In my speech I explained that the cold temperatures are really caused by global warming, and the audience seemed to agree - at least they didn't demonstrate. But later I found out that other people, who hadn't even been there, thought the whole thing was funny. Funny! Well, if cold weather isn't caused by global warming, then what does cause it? It must be caused by something.
People just don't seem to be able to grasp my theory. I call it retrograde causality. For example, many people don't understand that wealth causes poverty. That's a fact. When you have rich people you also have poor people. You can't dispute that. If you didn't have rich people you wouldn't have poor people either because everyone would be somewhere in the middle, but since you have rich you also have poor. QED. I guess people just don't have enough education to understand it. I've always felt we must spend more on education.
I don't know if you knew this, but I once ran for president. I didn't lose, but they didn't let me be president, either. Now there's this other person who really wants to be president. She (it's a woman) has pretty much elbowed me out of the way. But I'm entitled to it before she is. I didn't lose. It's my turn. They're having these caucuses right now and I'm trying to get some face time so I can be nominated by acclamation and here comes this darn ice wave to make me look ridiculous.
What can I do to get people to take me seriously? I want my presidency!
Aunt Sophie's advice:
So you've noticed it's never cold on the West Side - that's because of the tremendous amount of hot air generated at Columbia University.
Westsiders will pay lip service to the idea of cold - they'll say things like "Cold enough for you?", but you can tell they don't really mean it. For them it never snows, although there are occasional accumulations of a cold, white substance in which their helmeted, padded children are allowed to go sledding. People who live on the West Side take a blood oath to resist global warming when they apply for their coop mortgages. When the thermometer reads 2 degrees you'll see them out on the street, carefully separating their glass from their plastic from their metal because they know that re-cycling is the only way to appease Moloch.
So of course, no one in the audience so much as tittered in your direction. The problem is that your speech escaped the confines of the Beacon Theater and yes, people laughed.
What makes you think people can't understand your theory of retrograde causality? It's as clear as can be: Taxation causes prosperity. When you take money away from rich people and give it to the poor, the poor buy designer jeans, which stimulates the economy because the jeans manufacturer has to hire more poor people to work for him so he can pay more taxes so he can sell more jeans so he can hire more poor people. Of course, the poor people benefiting from this economic stimulation all live twelve time zones away, but, hey, it makes perfect sense.
Wealth causes poverty, taxation causes prosperity, sweet causes sour, health causes disease, black causes white, sanity causes insanity. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't take you seriously.
Which leads me to a further thought - winning causes losing. Maybe you should learn to live with that.
Good luck and God bless.
Your Aunt Sophie
Aunt Sophie advises on reader's problems but cannot answer each individual letter
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