On the surface, Sunday's 60 Minutes puff piece did little more than cheer the pending rollout of Al Gore's all-out 300 million dollar green media blitz. But on a deeper level, it also provided disturbing new insight into just what drives this man's unwavering and unfounded obsession.
Having dispensed with her CBS-requisite softball questions and genuflection to Mr. and Mrs. ex-vice-president, interviewer Leslie Stahl soon steered the conversation to an obviously painful topic. Gore appeared rather surprised when asked whether he had gone through "the seven stages of anger and grief" after he "lost the presidency when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of George Bush."
Failing to parry the dogged insistence that he must have felt anger, fury and rage, Al hesitantly admitted that he "strongly disagreed with the [court's] decision," and yeah, he "probably went through all that."
And although both Gores appeared somewhat unsettled by the topic, Stahl's voiceover pushed even deeper:
"His friends said they were worried about him and his state of mind, especially after he gained a lot of weight and grew a beard."
If you'll pardon the lay pop-psychology, it sounded as though Al may have had some coping issues to iron out. So then -- just what brought the self-proclaimed once "next president of the United States" out of his dark funk?
According to wife Tipper, "Al's survival after his defeat in 2000 depended on his immersing himself in the climate cause." [emphasis added] Somehow, CBS didn't find this peculiar statement worthy of further exploration. I do -- as it may suggest that the "PR Agent for the Planet" became so in an effort to lift himself from the throes of depression.
More from Tipper:
"I mean, I think that if you look at anyone who kind of went through what, what he went through and see what he's been able to do. I'm just really proud of the way that he has not given up. That he lifted himself and our family, you know, back up as well."
Of course, he did so "by turning his old slides that were gathering dust in the basement into that mega-hit documentary."
The same "mega-hit documentary" that became the quintessential bible of the Big Green Scare Machine's Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cause, despite having the majority of its claims either disputed or outright disproved. And, on the subject of those who dare question the anthropogenic contribution to global warming, Al Gore told Stahl:
"I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view. They're almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the earth is flat. That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off,"
About this, Gore may have mistaken one group as two. In reality, the nutty International Flat Earth Research Society did challenge pictures of the obviously spherical Earth taken from the moon. Toward that end, they concocted this wild story that the Apollo moon landing had been "faked in Hollywood studios" and that science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke (who recently died and will be greatly missed) had written the script.
But referring to the thousands of scientists questioning AGW as a "tiny, tiny minority" while comparing them to a truly diminutive group of space-cadets who believe we live upon a disk-shaped planet is, itself, a bit nutty.
As is traveling the globe -- 60 Minutes featured him in India -- training others to "spread the word" by continuing to present his error-filled slideshow to others still. In fact, watching this arrogant cult-like geometric indoctrination method eerily brings to mind the "auditing" techniques the Church of Scientology employs in spreading its own brand of fantastic dogma.
In essence, then, we're dealing with a psyche that blamed at least Republicans and perhaps the world for having suffered the humiliation of a perceived power theft. While friends and family fretted over his response to that blow, he retreated to his basement to prove his mettle by resuscitating a lightly sleeping obsession. And when he reemerged, he did so reinvented -- as a self-appointed savior of the planet armed with little more than an unsubstantiated PowerPoint presentation and an accordingly unreasonable mission.
A 1604 novel by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes told of another man who descended into fantastic delusions of grandeur as a victim of his own frustrated obsessions. Enraptured by tales of chivalry, Alonso Quixano fancied himself a knight errant and, sporting an old suit of armor, dubbed himself "Don Quixote de la Mancha" before embarking on an imaginary mission to save the downtrodden.
But while Quixote's delusions were mostly benign, Don Gore de la Tierra's are not. The "word" his misguided mission spreads has facilitated policies of potential calamity far exceeding the actual problem their implementation is meant to remedy. From economy starving Kyoto-style cap-and-trade treaties to population starving ethanol mandates, unintended consequences invariably turn such quixotic green solutions into sheer disaster.
Time and time again.
In one famous Cervantes scene, the delusional warrior encounters a group of windmills and mistakes them for "hulking giants," which he proceeds to do battle with. Of course, Gore sees industry and capitalism as his imaginary adversaries and windmills not as the problem but rather one of many needless solutions.
But his mission to engage the "hulking giant" which is the planet's chaotic climate system leaves little doubt which character is the more delusional.
And, needless to say -- the scope and communicable nature of such fantasy make him infinitely more dangerous.
Marc Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.