To bring about political climate change we must face many inconvenient truths

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An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary on climate change by former vice-president Al Gore–”the real winner of the 2000 election–”proves conclusively that global warming is a man-made problem. The best example comes about a quarter of the way into the movie when Gore presents a double graph showing how temperatures rise as concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide go up.

Although this conclusion is hardly newsworthy in itself, the time scale involved makes it highly significant. It is based on an analysis of Antarctic ice cores, which have preserved climatic records going back 650,000 years! Over that time, the concentration of CO2 never exceeded 300 parts per million–”until now. As Gore showed, current CO2 levels are approximately 500 p.p.m., and within 50 years the concentrations will be “off the chart.” The temperature consequences are self-evident–”the further melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps and the inundation of major cities for starters.

Gore also presents the astounding fact that of 928 peer-reviewed journal articles on climate change over last 10 years, not one dissented from the conclusion that human industry is causing global warming, and that it is a serious problem.

I mention all this by way of prologue to a powerful moment in An Inconvenient Truth that elevates this lecture/documentary beyond the specifics of its subject matter into a wider commentary about the pervasive irrationalism that plagues our world. Essentially, it addresses the existential question: “If the cause of climate change is so well-known and unarguable, why did Gore have to make his movie?”

The answer is revealed in a leaked memo from U.S. tobacco giant Brown and Williamson, now part of RJ Reynolds: “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the body of fact that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the best means of establishing a controversy in the public’s mind.” (my italics).

Note how Brown and Williamson admits that its job is to lie and prey on people’s intellectual insecurities to discredit the inconvenient truth that cigarettes are toxic. This same obfuscation is used by “experts” to reduce the fact of man-made global warming to a mere theory, thereby manufacturing a false controversy and giving plausibility to dishonest arguments, e.g.: “There’s no scientific consensus”; and “Human activity is too small in the grand scheme of things to effect climate change.”

The need for Gore’s documentary is painfully obvious, as is the need to debunk other examples of contrived doubt.

Saddam Hussein and Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Body of Fact

  • On April 29, 1991, Dick Cheney, then President Bush’s Defence Secretary, said Saddam Hussein had no capacity to threaten his neighbours.
  • On Feb. 24, 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Hussein had not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.

The 10-year span between these two similar observations indicates that during the 1990s, Saddam Hussein did not develop a WMD capacity, and frankly was not a military threat to anyone, He did, though, actively support the Palestinians and was a declared enemy of Israel.

Establish Doubt to Discredit Facts
The Bush junta, as I call it, had plans to attack Iraq at least as early as 2000, but it could not justify an assault because Iraq did not pose a threat to the U.S., as Cheney and Powell both knew. The problem was solved when the junta propagated official “doubts” about the findings of United Nations weapons inspectors. Their inability to find any WMDs was merely a sign that they were hidden and further “proof” of Iraq’s dishonesty.

The “controversy” over Hussein’s WMDs became firmly established in the public’s mind, thanks to the New York Times and the rest of the palace press. Bush’s Jan. 28, 2003, warmongering State of the Union Address contained the culminating lies that made invasion possible.

Iran and Nuclear Power

The Body of Fact

  • Like Iraq, Iran is a Muslim state that poses no military threat to the U.S., but is politically hostile to Israel. Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is trying to develop a civilian nuclear energy program.
  • During the shah’s reign, the U.S. accepted Iran’s need to develop nuclear power to meet growing demands for energy.
  • Both the U.S. and Israeli analysts acknowledge that Iran is a status quo power in the region and a force for stability.

Establish Doubt to Discredit Facts
The U.S. and Israel have spread disinformation about Iran’s nuclear intentions, and its president’s attitude toward Israel. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is made to have said that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” but he said no such thing. Yet, the lie has stuck and is held up as proof of Iran’s unfitness to possess nuclear energy, and its hostility toward Israel. With diplomacy discredited, war is justifiable.

Israel and Palestine

The Body of Fact

  • Israel was created illegally in 1948.
  • Israel provoked a war in 1967 to seize more land.
  • Israel must withdraw absolutely from these seized lands, according to UN Security Council Resolution 242.
  • Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians and the world will not force Israel to care for those under its occupation, as it is obliged to do by international law.
  • Palestinian sacrifice bombings against Israelis are born of despair and misery, not “terrorism.”

Establish Doubt to Discredit Facts
The fiction of Israel’s legitimacy must be shielded at all costs, so the systematic persecution of Palestinians since 1947 must be recast as a war of Arab “terrorists” against “democratic” Israel.

The Occupied Territories are also recast as “disputed” and a responsibility for the violence is deemed to be mutual. Peace must be based on a negotiated settlement that guarantees Israel’s security, though nothing is ever said of Palestine’s, much less its right to exist.

Though the solution to the violence is straightforward, it is portrayed as tortuous and complicated, and therefore beyond the understanding of the uninitiated.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, global warming has become an even hotter topic of discussion as scientists confirm everything that Gore said. The professional liars have lost this battle. There is no more doubt. There is no more controversy.

Where is the filmmaker who will apply Gore’s simple expository method to the inconvenient truth of Israel’s illegitimacy and its destruction of Palestine?

Note:

Mr. Greg Felton’s book, "The Host and The Parasite–”How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America," is being published in March by Dandelion Books. To order your copy now, call toll free 1-800-861-7899.

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