I have not seen Al Gore's new movie "An Inconvenient Truth" Believe it or not, though, I do intend to. I have heard good things about the movie and, frankly, I like getting input on all sides of the situation. But I feel that Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" cannot even begin to be addressed until we begin addressing a few of our own.
The chief "inconvenient truth" that conservatives must realize is that even if global warming is not a reality, it does not mean we should not make better use of our resources. Even if our oil reserves consist of a thousand years' supply, it does not make sense to use that oil recklessly simply expecting those future generations to solve the problems themselves. A greener and cleaner America never hurt anyone, and, ironically, the concept of environmental stewardship SHOULD be a high priority for anyone who considers themselves a conservative, the ideals being ingrained in the GOP since the days of Teddy Roosevelt.
The liberals, on the other hand, must face the inconvenient truth of a credibility gap. 30 years ago, I sat in grade school listening to the teachers tell us we had 20-30 years' worth of oil left on the planet. Ten years later, my wife sat in school and heard the same 20-30 year window. Ten years after that, our younger siblings heard the same estimate, and now, we are hearing the same dire predictions of 20-30 years' worth. In every case, the "worst case" scenario was presented as fact rather than as a "worst case" scenario, and the constant crying of "wolf" has left some of us, frankly a little skeptical of those who present the information. While global warming is a different matter, it is, essentially, being presented by the same group, and a lot of questions remain that are unawnswered (including the research of my cousin, a FLAMING liberal, who studied the effects of the RAINFOREST on global warming).
Liberals have also been unwilling to support the changes necessary to deal with what they consider to be an inconvenient truth. Even as many states linger through drought, it is impossible to find a commercially available system to reclaim greywater for reuse in watering gardens, lawns, etc. One would think an enterprising environmentalist would be a little more on the ball. And while hybrid automobiles have only recently become commercially available, I can personally attest to the fact that as early as 1979, an article on converting your car to a hybrid automobile could be found within the pages of Mother Earth News. Then there is the matter that the environmental restrictions liberals have fought for have themselves put roadblocks in the way of better environmental management; experts in our area, for instance, are warning mechanics that converting cars to use E85 ethanol is a violation of environmental laws because it messes with the emissions systems on these vehicles, regulated and mandated by the federal government.
Then there is the inconvenient truth of the "don't do as I say, nor as I do" approach. Not only are liberals NOT EMPLOYING the strategies for conservation and environmentalism that they insist are necessary as we face this "inconvenient truth", they are, in fact, standing by as people are prosecuted for trying to follow the guidelines they set forth. Recently in New York, a family had their children seized and were charged criminally because they raised their children on a vegan diet, something that would seem to "jive" with the whole environmental movement. Their convictions were overturned but they have yet to have their children returned. Based on the evidence I have seen, there were some legitimate concerns, but these are concerns that could have been addressed by a NUTRITIONIST, not by a judge and jury. And in Arizona, about 8 years ago, a mother had her son removed because she chose to live "off the land" in a tipi with him. Closer to home, a family's lack of running water in the household led to the removal of their children. They DID have water, mind you, but the fact it wasn't PIPED in was used as a basis for removal. And in Washington State, a man was shot and killed as he attempted to fight off the state's seizure of his children as they were building their home off the grid. While I can not attribute any of these seizures to liberals directly, the fact is, that in NONE of these instances were liberals willing to rally to the defense of these people, and, in fact, I was recently accused of being "paranoid" by one of the high priests of liberalism because I insisted on doing so.
I believe very firmly that we need to soberly and seriously evaluate our impact on the environment and try to lessen our impact. But another "inconvenient truth" is that only about 7% of our oil usage is for personal automobile usage; even cutting our personal usage in half would have a negligible effect on our oil dependence. Much of this oil is being used by corporations, and the same people who are preaching environmentalism are putting roadblocks in their way to expanding their businesses. No less a liberal then Ted Kennedy is preventing the erection of windmills in Chesapeake Bay because they will block his view, while his contemporaries demand the necessity of such alternative power sources.
Al Gore is right: we DO need to face an "inconvenient truth". But that "inconvenient truth" is not the one he insists it is. The inconvenient truth we must currently face is that we, as a nation, are not ready to lessen our impact on the environment. Personally, I've done as much as I can. My highest electrical bill has been under $70, even with seven children, an extra deep freeze, and 4-6 hours per day of air conditioner usage. My highest gas/water bill has been just over $100 even in the harsh days of last winter when natural gas was priced at $13.00 per mcf, approximately 2 1/2 times its current cost. I really don't think there's much more we can cut, at least not until we can afford wind/solar conversion in our home (hold your horses; we're looking into it for the long term), but even as we try to conserve, other people will insist that in doing so we are denying our children some intangible material comforts to which these outsiders feel they are rightly entitled.