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A Convenient Conspiracy

The more I think about An Inconvenient Truth’s egregious omission (that the most important action an individual can take to curb global warming is to stop eating animal products), the more confident I am that  the omission was intentional. I’m working on a documentary right now (the inconvenient truths about life after foster care), and there’s no way I would leave out things people might not want to hear, like that 3 out of 10 homeless people have a foster care history. Or that without help, within 2 years of being booted out of the system (at age 18), nearly half of foster care kids will still not have a GED, are likely to be substance abusers, land in our nation’s prisons, or end up homeless. Some end up dead. If I left out the reality that we’ve failed these kids while supposedly trying to parent them, I’d be dishonest.

There’s no way Al Gore doesn’t know about the connection between diet and global warming (and PETA made sure of that this week with a letter). He’s been researching this for decades, for heaven’s sake! I can’t help but think he is being dishonest by not telling what might be the most important part of the story.

Recently, Lisa Day, the vice president of social action and advocacy at Participant Productions (makers of the Oscar-winning film starring Gore) was interviewed by Grist and asked about the meat-connection omission. She said, "What it really boils down to is how much information you can get across in 90 minutes, and what is most compelling." That seals the deal for me. I simply don’t believe her. I find it excruciatingly difficult to believe that telling the world about the undeniable link between diet and global warming wouldn’t be compelling. Shocking, even. And far more shocking than anything in the film.

Day makes sure to note that the website for the film does deal with the meat issue. And it does. The site suggests action steps, and on the four-page list of 23 ways you can reduce your impact at home, the last item is "Eat less meat" and reads: 

Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

Clearly, that is not sufficient.

All competent conspiracy theorists know that there’s got to be a payoff for the offender. There must be some kind of gain that prevents the person from telling the truth. Here are two suggestions: HE OWNS A CATTLE RANCH, and he’s not a vegetarian. Which is worse: A meat-eating cattle rancher telling people to stop eating meat, or a meat-eating cattle rancher conveniently keeping quiet about the connection between his meat-eating, cattle-rancing ways and global warming?

Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. tater #

    The Real Crisis

    Our so-called "crisis" is thus neither a product of current observations nor of projections.

    But does it matter if global warming is a "crisis" or not? Aren't we threatened by a serious temperature rise? Shouldn't we act anyway, because we are stewards of the environment?

    Herein lies the moral danger behind global warming hysteria. Each day, 20,000 people in the world die of waterborne diseases. Half a billion people go hungry. A child is orphaned by AIDS every seven seconds. This does not have to happen. We allow it while fretting about "saving the planet." What is wrong with us that we downplay this human misery before our eyes and focus on events that will probably not happen even a hundred years hence? We know that the greatest cause of environmental degradation is poverty; on this, we can and must act.

    We can no longer afford to cling to the anti-human doctrines of outdated environmentalist thinking. The "crisis" is the global warming political agenda, not climate change.

    The global warming "crisis" is misguided. In hubristically seeking to "control" climate, we foolishly abandon age-old adaptations to inexorable change. There is no way we can predictably manage this most complex of coupled, nonlinear chaotic systems. The inconvenient truth is that "doing something" (emitting gases) at the margins and "not doing something" (not emitting gases) are equally unpredictable.

    Climate change is a norm, not an exception. It is both an opportunity and a challenge. The real crises for 4 billion people in the world remain poverty, dirty water and the lack of a modern energy supply. By contrast, global warming represents an ecochondria of the pampered rich.

    March 12, 2007
  2. Canaduck #

    I completely agree with you, and it's nice to see that other people are as pissed off at AIT as I am. Everyone is patting Gore on the back for being some kind of freaking HERO and it drives me nuts.

    March 14, 2007

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