Al Gore says the earth “has a fever,” but Time magazine claims the planet is “thrashing through the alternating chills and night sweats of a serious illness.”
In the 44-page “Global Warming Survival Guide,” the April 9 issue went even further with its seventh global warming cover story and hit readers with “51 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference.” These included embracing high taxes, increased regulation, and buying now-discredited carbon credits. One of the 51 things included making no left turns.
It’s hard to do justice to all 51, so all this week the Business & Media Institute will be addressing the most entertaining or ridiculous of the suggestions.
Time might love the planet, but it doesn’t like human beings all that much. According to the lead story, “we can also be shortsighted and brutish, hungry for food, resources, land – and heedless of the mess we leave behind trying to get them.”
The magazine especially doesn’t like anyone who doubts any aspect of the global warming mantra. According to one article, if a parade of disasters “didn’t quiet most of the remaining global-warming doubters, the hurricane-driven destruction of New Orleans did.” The story then went about blaming Hurricane Katrina on global warming.
Time could even turn to The New York Times for another opinion there. An April 23, 2006, article by Andrew C. Revkin explained that “few scientists agree with the idea that the recent spate of potent hurricanes, European heat waves, African drought and other weather extremes are, in essence, our fault. There is more than enough natural variability in nature to mask a direct connection, they say.”
Time’s huge special report, almost twice as long as its global warming cover story on April 3, 2006, focused on mankind’s “250-year industrial bacchanal.” The obvious solution: big government. As Time put it, “the most powerful players – government and industry – have to take the lead.”
The magazine was exacting in its demands of its readers, pointing out that even planting trees isn’t good enough because “in some parts of the world, the light-absorbing color of the leaves causes them to retain heat and paradoxically increase warming.”
Readers weren’t just supposed to plant trees – in pre-approved areas. They were supposed to ride the bus, move to a high-rise, pay the carbon tax, skip the steak and only make right turns.
Each of the 51 things is rated by its “impact,” “time horizon” and “feel good factor.” Here are a few highlights (Time’s ratings on a scale of 1 to 10/low to high):
#3 “Change your lightbulbs” – Join Gore and embrace the compact fluorescent lightbulb – even if it, according to the article, “still contains 5 mg of mercury” and you can’t throw it out with your normal garbage. Impact: 2. Feel good factor: 7. (Unless you break lightbulbs and don’t like mercury around the house.)
#6 “Ditch the McMansion” – Time thinks oversized houses are “architecturally offensive,” so it wrote about former art professor Jay Shafer, who “dwells alone in a home fit for a hobbit.” It’s 100 sq. ft. Impact: 5. Feel good factor: 2. (Especially for Shafer.)
#5 “Pay the carbon tax” – In one of the most outlandish superlatives seen in the magazine, Time claimed, “Everyone agrees that it’s necessary to reduce carbon emissions around the world.” What better left-wing way to approach that faulty claim than to tax the heck out of everyone? Impact: 9 (especially on politicians who promote it.) Feel good factor: 2. (Even Time couldn’t claim Americans want to be taxed.)
#51 “Consume less, share more, live simply” – Time’s ultimate solution praised the book “Small is Beautiful” and called for us to “Live simply. Meditate. Consume less. Think more. Get to know your neighbors.” Impact: 6. Feel good factor: 10 (unless Time reporters are your neighbors and they constantly tell you how to live.)
The Time package actually complimented chemical giant DuPont for cutting its carbon emissions 72 percent since 1990, but criticized both Ford and Toyota for “environmental posing” or “greenwashing.” Time took on other targets, like climate change critic Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who the magazine labeled “Jurassic.”
The main article ended with a grave call for action. “It took generations to foul the planet as badly as we have, and it will surely take generations to reverse things,” Time warned. “The difference is, we had the leisure of beginning our long industrial climb whenever we wanted to. We don’t have the leisure of waiting to clean up after it.”
It’s hard to do justice to all 51, so all this week the Business & Media Institute will be addressing the most entertaining or ridiculous of the suggestions. Check back tomorrow!