Former Vice President Al Gore spent the last decade as a larger-than-life figure, more of a symbol than a living, breathing human being. Stolen from the pages of a Danielle Steele novel and plopped on stage at the 2000 Democratic Convention, this normally lifeless personality was possessed by the ghost of Madmen’s Jon Hamm and political pop-culture history was made. Al and Tipper’s kiss marked the dawn of Gore’s personal stardom and his pet project: anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmism.
Since his mind-numbing PowerPoint presentation An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters, Gore has been married to the AGW cause. And just as Al’s and Tipper’s kiss represented the dawn of the most successful movement in pseudoscience, their divorce aptly marks its end.
A stark trend toward accepting empirical science instead of speculation has caused the ground beneath AGW to cave in quickly. Like the news of the Gore divorce, the scientific evidence hit the public as if from nowhere. But both these cases are results of major, longstanding problems instead of a single cataclysmic event.
For AGW alarmism, what were once dismissed as minor discrepancies are being exposed as major contradictions of the scientific facts.
At first, AGW was a smooth talker. Graphs, models, charts, PowerPoints, and Hollywood movies all worked to persuade. As questions began to arise, however, patronizing and talking down turned small spats into explosive arguments. The Michael Mann “hockey stick” diagram was exposed as being based on a trick that would make any trend look like a spike. Gore’s new mansion was built in an area he had predicted would be underwater in the near future. The Climategate scandal showed us AGW was hiding the facts. Stories weren’t adding up.