Friday, March 2, 2007

An Inconvenient Gore

Okaayyy. The wheels are turning this morning, folks. My topic of the day is regarding what are called “offsets.” This idea is promoted as a defense by Al Gore for his lavish energy use. Basically, it goes like this: let’s say you use X amount of kilowatt hours of electricity over and above what you should be using to keep greenhouse emissions from causing the Earth to overheat. In order to make up for this, you could plant trees, use solar power, or pay “offsets” to a fund that pays others NOT to use electricity. The people who do not use electricity are those who do not have access to it; namely, those in 3rd world countries. Perhaps you own a company that spews toxic wastes into the Etowah River. You pay a certain amount of money that goes into a fund to say, clean up dumpsites. Or pick up trash on the sides of the highways. It’s an interesting idea. I will not go into the whole global warming is occurring/is not occurring debate at this time. Here is the link for more information on offsets:!

This brings to my mind two ideas. The first is that this use of terminology is spankingly like the Scientologists’ use of terminology. It lends acceptability because the word is used in a new context. It’s not a sin, it’s an overt. It’s not a spirit, it’s a thetan. Scientology is a cult. So, why not just call an offset what it is? A payoff. A TAX. A tax on pollution that is involuntary. Oooo, we can’t do that… people would not accept it. Thank you, you have just proven my point. Well, taxes on pollution are not bad, when it comes to the preservation of the planet. This goes back to my idea of government being our surrogate for remembering the poor. We are the ones who are individually responsible for helping those in need. Robin Hood, as idealistic as it is, is not a standard for government. That’s called communism.

Secondly and more importantly, offsets bring to my mind the idea of writs of indulgences. If you pay a certain amount, the priest would “pray” for your sin, or the sin of a deceased one, and this prayer is somehow more effective than your sinful prayer. Here we are in the 21st century, and everything old is new again. You can pay an offset to have your liberal mind cleansed of the sin of polluting mother earth. Why stop there? Let’s pay a tax for the sin of offending minorities, whether we have participated or not. (We are doing this already- it’s called affirmative action) Let’s pay a tax for the eradication of any public display of religion. Some atheists might have been offended. Let’s pay a tax to (_____ fill in the blank_____).

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a good thing to save energy, to use solar power, to conserve natural resources. I don’t think it is good to make this ideology one’s religion.

By the way, did you know that the British government is making An Inconvenient Truth required viewing for every student in the country?

For those interested in the global warming debate, I refer you to this site:
Getting information from more than one source is a good thing.

No comments: