Skip to comments.Amphibian Warming, or, A Convenient Half-Truth
Posted on 08/04/2008 10:01:35 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
Last week, Rush Limbaugh celebrated the 20th anniversary of his national show. As part of the festivities, he played a number of well-loved and famous clips from his archives. One such clip was a television spot where he debated Al Gore on the environment and on global warming. During that debate, Al Gore attempted to explain himself, and the urgency behind global warming, by quoting the oft-cited story of the frog in a pot of water. If, he said, you drop a frog directly into a pot of boiling water (and why didnt PETA complain about this analogy?), the frog will hop out immediately to avoid being cooked. However, if you place the frog into a pot of tepid water, and slowly raise the temperature, the changes in temperature are imperceptible, and the frog will never move, even as it is being cooked alive.
It is an old chestnut, and one that I have heard more often applied to the moral decay of the United States; in fact, considered as a description of the political environment, I suspect that it was more of a Freudian Slip on Al Gores part than anything else. If we instituted drastic conservation measures all at once, people would complain, and push back; but if we rachet things up slowly, slowly, perhaps we can get everything we want without anyone noticing or reacting.
There are a number of reasons I suspect this. First among them is the habit that liberals and Democrats have of projection: they often accuse Republicans of whatever it is that they themselves are guilty of. (For example, Rosalyn Carters remark that Ronald Reagan makes us comfortable with our prejudices. Even among all the vitriol of the left, nobody every credibly accused Reagan of being racist; so for Carters wife to bring up the subject all on her own reflected poorly on her.) Or even better, the recent quote of Barack Obama, I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. These take a more ominous cast when you listen to Al Gores famous meltdown about George Bush, He played on our FEARS! He BETRAYED this country! Is that Al Gores real intent?
Consider the geopolitical situation for a moment, especially as it touches on environmentalism. The Kyoto Treaty, supposedly the means to an environmental heaven on earth, seems to concentrate on slowing growth in the Western World (especially the U.S.) in favor of developing countries. In the meantime, high oil prices, partially triggered by demand from India and China, are wreaking havoc with the U.S. economy. But the leading Democrats, from House Speaker Pelosi to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have steadfastly refused to allow drilling in or near the continental United States, thereby increasing prices at the pump. In the meantime, the high oil prices directly support a number of regimes hostile to the United States, including not just the Middle East, but Venezuela and Russia. And there are rumors that Iran, and possibly China, may convert from valuing oil in dollars to using other currencies, such as the Euro or the yuan. The Democrats solution, of course, is to use up our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, thereby rendering the country literally helpless against any supply shocks including both the civilian economy, and the military.
So we have the prospect of very high oil prices, a curtailment of our standard of living, growth among the enemies of this country, and no sure way out. But thats not all. U.S. citizens are being conditioned to rely less and less upon fossil fuels, to use green technologies, to forego their choice of vehicles and use environmentally friendly (and big-government approved) alternatives such as rapid transit, light rail, and inflation of tires. In other words, it is incumbent on us to give up our cars, our comforts, and our lifestyles, all for the good of the planet. As Nancy Pelosi said, Im trying to save the planet. Or, speaking of failed policies, as Jimmy Carter said (or is it Dhimmi Carter?), it is our patriotic duty to put on sweaters and change the thermostat.
OK, so we see that the Democrats are really trying to change our lifestyle for the worse. So how does this relate to betraying the country in anything other than a small, peevish, selfish way? Think back to Al Gores remark about the frog. If the frog gets used to the changes, it will not try to leave. The ultimate goal of the Democratic elite is the institution of socialism and/or communism in the government, and the establishment of a classless society. (Which, in the real world, always means the middle class takes it in the shorts.) But every time communism is tried, it is a disaster, since it cannot provide even for the basic material needs of its subjects. And when the American people get a taste of that, they will clamour back for the good old days of capitalism.
Except, of course, under one circumstance. If, under the rubric of environmentalism, the liberals can manage to get the people of this country used to straitened means, standing in lines, and the like; in a word, to the defeatism so prevalent in every green announcement why then, half of the work of the communists is done; and the people (having been downtrodden) will not be able to articulate just why they are unhappy with the new order. The change will have been as imperceptible (and as final) as boiling a frog. So Al Gores use of that example was a Convenient Half-Truth.
One of the more recent examples of projection tacitly admitted by the left was the phrase: “politics of personal destruction”. This phrase arose as common talking points aimed at Republicans during the first Clinton administration while the Clintons trashed Paula Jones, Judge Ken Starr, Monica Lewinski [remember the “stalker” until the blue dress was unearthed?], and many others.
As Senator Kennedy threw his support behind Obama he announced that the “politics of personal destruction” was behind us. Thus he attempted to drive the spike through the heart of the Clintons.
GORE ON GAS
PAUL EHRLICH’S BOOK, ON GAS PRICES: “The United States could start by
gradually imposing a higher gasoline tax-hiking it by one or two cents per
month until gasoline costs $2.50 to $3.00 per gallon, comparable to prices
in Europe and Japan.” (Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, The Population
Explosion, 1990, pp. 219-220) On the dustcover of the book, Gore said, “The
time for action is due, and past due. Ehrlich has written the prescription.”
“Higher taxes on fossil fuels. . . is one of the logical first steps in
changing our policies in a manner consistent with a more responsible
approach to the environment.” (Al Gore, Earth in the Balance, 1993, p. 173)