An Inconvenient Truth

The issue of climate change has entered its rock concert/college curriculum phase, which is a sure indicator that the issue has peaked and will now begin a long slow fade in the public mind.

The recent staging of simultaneous “Live Earth” rock concerts along with news that Al Gore’s book An Inconvenient Truth (a lavishly photographic companion book to the movie) has become assigned reading at North Carolina’s Elon University follows a familiar pattern seen repeatedly over the past 40 years. Gore’s lavish, simultaneous “Live Earth” concerts on several continents follows the model of “Live Aid” and “Farm Aid” in the 1980s¬—“consciousness raising” events after which public interest quickly waned.

Elon University says it is assigning Gore’s book, rather than a serious scientific and policy work such as the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), because it conveys an “important rhetorical message.” Elon makes clear that it is interested in spawning activism above the university’s traditional mission of imparting understanding.