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Guest Editorial

Gore's doomsday talk mostly about politics

Science always saves man from his own excesses. Whether it be by eliminating disease or finding ways to overcome the damage we do to our planet, the men of science always rescue us, and there's no reason to believe the same won't be true if global warming actually progresses to the point it endangers mankind.

The idea that all the horrible things man does to the environment will result in catastrophe may be the currently in-vogue doomsday theory, but it's not the first. Man might have been wiped out by Plague, decimated by Smallpox or destroyed by Polio, but smart men and women, driven by demands of the free market, figured out how to neutralize these threats.

Disease, however, was not created by man. So, to understand just how ridiculous the idea that global warming will result in the destruction of the Earth really is, we must look back to the 1970s and that decade's liberal-created impending catastrophe - the population boom theory.

This theory, once very popular among Democrats, said that the population was growing so quickly that all these new people would overwhelm the Earth's resources. This would lead to widespread starvation, riots and all sorts of other terrifying things. To combat the population boom, we would all have to change how we live, let the government decide how many children we can have and generally do a lot of the same things we're supposed to do to save ourselves from global warming.

Of course, the population boom never happened. The population increased, but the demand for food led to scientific innovation. Any starvation that has occurred since the '70s has happened due to distribution problems, not an overwhelming crush of people overtaxing our ability to feed everyone.

None of this history has stopped Al Gore from telling America that global warming represents a unique crisis that can only be averted by doing whatever he tells us to do. Rid yourselves of SUVs, demand that big businesses "go green" and embrace whatever half-baked alternative energy sources Gore's left-wing allies would have you use.

Nothing more than a clever political gambit, the threat of global warming allows Democrats like Gore to attack capitalism without looking like the socialists they are. For Gore and his allies to get to tell everyone what to do, global warming has to be a threat that can only be solved by government taking over and making everyone live the "right" way.

Whether you believe in the global warming theory or choose to be skeptical, any student of the history of man would hardly panic at the threat. The only inconvenient truth here is that there's no reason to believe that this particular end-of-the-Earth scenario requires the intervention of government.

If the emission of greenhouse gases and our consumption of fossil fuels has truly damaged the planet, then science will solve the problem when the economics make sense. Since global warming represents little more than a possible threat, not one that impacts our daily lives, that time has not yet arrived.

Al Gore says that this crusade isn't about politics, that it's about saving the planet. Unfortunately, Gore only wants to save the Earth so he can reshape its people in his image. The former vice president wants a world in which the government decides what's best for everyone, and if he has to threaten people with annihilation to get us to listen, than he's more than willing to play that card.

Fortunately, some of us have a pretty clear memory of not dying of Smallpox and remember never having been involved in the food shortages that the population boom most certainly should have caused by now. The melting of the ice caps and the promise of even scarier hurricanes makes for a really terrifying campaign speech, but for Gore to pretend it's anything more than that should make us question who's telling the real truth.

Daniel B. Kline is the author of "50 Things Every Guy Should Know How To Do," which is available in book stores everywhere. He can be reached at dan@notastep.com.

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