By Jeff Girod
Don’t believe in global warming? You’re a racist, you racist! That’s according to former Vice President Al Gore, who compared his struggle to winning over skeptics of climate change to the 400-year struggle against racism. Let freedom ring, Al Gore! (As long as you buy enough carbon offsets. Because ringing that freedom bell is terrible for the ozone.)
In some social settings, just saying the word “climate change” is as taboo as Southerners bringing up racism, Gore said in an interview with something called the Climate Reality Project. You tell ’em, Al:
“There came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural,” Gore said. “Then there came a time when people would say, ‘Hey, man, why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that, so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.”
“Hey, man,” I’m sure Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would wholeheartedly agree with Al Gore that a few ticks up on the thermometer is exactly like his own lifelong struggle. You know, if Dr. King hadn’t been assassinated and had a holiday named after him because of racism.
Hopefully Al Gore is never gunned down before his life’s work can be completed, which apparently entails eating himself into the shape of a manatee, growing a rad neck beard and allegedly trying to show at least three massage therapists his Prius. Whoops, I mean “penis.”
Remembering to put my empty plastic milk jugs in a recycling container? Why, that’s exactly like an entire race of people terrified that their churches and schools are going to be firebombed because they want to vote. You think separate drinking fountains for whites and blacks are bad? Try not carpooling.
Look, I get it. When people won’t listen to your message, you have to get creative. It’s like a game of Rock, Paper, Crazy. But nobody can compete with someone who’s going to compare everything to racism.
And why is it that every time anybody wants to make a memorable point that would otherwise be irrelevant, they throw race into the equation? An NFL running back wants to renegotiate his multimillion-dollar contract? He immediately compares his situation to slavery. College students are unhappy with continuous increases in tuition? Next thing you know we’re comparing their plight to Jews in Nazi Germany.
Sometimes a thing is just a thing. It doesn’t have to be another thing or a bigger thing. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. Al Gore is 63. You tell me: Who’s going to survive another solar flare or ice age?
Is it hotter outside? Of course it is. Maybe it’s because we’re burning down the rainforests or maybe it’s because it’s summer and seasons change. Do I believe in global warming? Possibly. Smog and pollution suck so I try to recycle whenever I can. But the moment you equate climate change with racism, I’m going to start punching spotted owls in the neck and burning old tires in my front yard.
Find me a scientist who says definitively that climate change is because of greenhouse gases and I can find an equally egghead-ed scientist that says your scientist is full of composted crap. But what neither science nerd is going to claim is that the KKK is going to hold a cross-burning rally against solar panels and organically grown carrots.
What we do now for a fact is that racism is a ghastly awful thing and its existence was never in doubt. Al Gore and anyone else who invokes the “r” word cheapens the entire struggle for equality. He disrespects anyone who has ever sacrificed his or her life or livelihood in the pursuit of racial harmony.
More importantly, comparing the fight for climate change to racism just makes Al Gore sound like a fat stupid idiot. And black, white, yellow or purple, fat stupid idiots are one thing this world will never run out of.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org