Sunday, August 20, 2006

Coming Soon: The Right's "Earth in the Balance"

In the early 1990s, Al Gore released a book that became one of the biggest pieces of scare-mongering in history. It was Earth in the Balance, which later became the film An Inconvenient Truth. A dire threat to the world was presented, with the answer also given: The Kyoto Accord. It was to be accepted immediately, with no questions asked.

In the intervening 14 years, anyone who has dared suggest that things were not so bad or that the data was insufficient, as Bjorn Lomborg did with The Skeptical Environmentalist, was not only disagreed with, there were efforts to force their arguments off the market and to destroy the man's reputation. Michael Crichton outlined this very well in the appendix to his book, State of Fear, and came under attack for his novel. A novel!

Indeed, anyone who dares suggest that things are overblown gets treated as if they are defending Public Enemy Number One - or worse, that their mere expression of skepticism is somehow aiding and abbetting the destruction of the world.

Well, the Right is about to come up with its equivalent in Pat Buchanan's State of Emergency. Once again a dire threat is presented - this time, to America. This "threat" is said to be the immigration of people from non-European countries. A solution to this dire threat is presented: Mass deportations (as was the case during the Eisenhower Administration), a $10 billion wall, and a moratorium on legal immigration.

Those who question this narrative get treated horribly. Indeed, Buchanan has proceeded to claim that those in the GOP who do not accept his arguments are all about money. Others have claimed that those GOP who support a comprehensive system (like Rudy Giuliani, Chris Cannon, or President Bush) are selling out the country to a reconquista, wholly bought and paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or not serious about the rule of law.

I reject that notion. And while Tony Blankley and other conservatives are going to lap Buchanan's crap up, I won't be. At least, no more than I lapped up Al Gore's nonsense. But that's gonna leave me much like Lomborg, I suppose. But I have some decent company in this one.

No comments: