A Convenient Lie Car Advertisement

Who among you has not yet seen the movie “An Inconvenient Truth“?

It’s time to go see it. It’s the scariest place at the cineplex.

[UPDATE: The editor wishes to apologize to our 17 readers (Hi Mom!) for the slip-up above. Honestly, he thought he was being clever with the title. Unfortunately, “A Convenient Lie” has been taken. About 23,000 times already. If he could, he would turn back the hands of time and come up with something better. How about “A Convenient Car Advertisement?” –ed.]

Some years ago a book called “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth” was published. No, the most dangerous place on earth is not somewhere in the middle east. Not Iraq. Not Israel. Not Lebanon. Not even Iran, where, we suggest, the bombs will soon be a-fallin’.

It’s in the eye of a hurricane. Or, to be more precise, to the immediate east of the eye, because that’s where the fastest winds will be hitting.

Damned if we can find the book today though.

Oh, we looked. We searched Amazon for books with the word “Hurricane” in the title or the subject. Amazon throws back some 63,000 hits. Ouch. Not even Mohammed Ali took that many hits. Not George Chuvalo either. Certainly not R. Crumb, although in his case we’re not positive [Hey: “Keep on Truckin’!” –ed.].

Problem is, we read the book a couple years before Hurricane Katrina hit, not to mention the three or four other hurricanes that made 2005 the most deadly year on record for hurricanes. So among the 63,000 hits on Amazon are a lot of titles to do with that disaster. You know what they say in the publishing biz: “Reap the whirlwind.”

But back in 1997 or so, we borrowed this book on hurricanes from the library and read it, fascinated by the idea that–get this–the weather has and will continue to change human history.

And the fact we most remember about hurricanes is that the water temperature needed to spawn them is only a couple degrees above the normal ocean temperature. And that global warming is expected to increase worldwide ocean temperatures by about two degrees, on average–meaning in the zones where hurricanes are spawned, near the equator, there will be more of the conditions ideal for hurricane formation.

So we were not surprised that 2005 was so deadly with hurricanes.

In the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” the issue of global warming is also touched on. In between takes of Al Gore climbing out of his car and walking to his airplane, it’s touched on quite a bit.

See, it’s no coincidence we are having “strange weather.” Core ice samples from the antarctic show that after years of consistent highs and lows in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we are suddenly (within a single lifetime) seeing double anything that scientists have observed for 650,000 years.
carbon dioxide levels from wikipedia

Now, what you have to understand is that the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures is a direct one. When one rises, the other rises too. Is it causal? Who cares. Fact is, when carbon dioxide is low, temperatures fall. When it’s high, temperatures rise.

So over a 650,000 year period, we know that the “low” represents an ice age with a thousand feet of ice over New York City. We know that the “high” represents our “typical” climate, i.e. that of the last thousand or so years.

Thing is, what does this new, never-before-seen-by-anyone “high” mean? It is two to three times higher than ever seen in 650,000 years. What will it mean if we keep burning carbon at our current rate for another 30 years? And if we decide it’s finally necessary to change this pattern, how do we even begin?

Do we begin, as Al Gore’s movie would have it, with a giant full-screen car commercial (in our case, the ad was for Lexus. Tagline: “The pursuit of Deception Perfection”)?

Um, no, thank you. We’ll take the pursuit of the slow. It suits us, and, we think, it suits this brave new world of ours.

See, Car ads are just “convenient lies” we tell ourselves [the lie that without them, the economy would fail, for example –ed.].

It’s a point worth considering that it’s cars that are driving our world, and everything it contains (including the economy) to failure.

Do you begin to see why The ALLDERBLOB might think it’s past time to ban car advertisements?

The Gospel of the Car Ad is the opiate of the masses, dulling our appreciation of the dangerous place we’ve driven ourselves.

Banning car ads is not just a responsible option, it’s the least we can do.

One Response to “A Convenient Lie Car Advertisement”


    from the latest work of our colleague Jan "smiley" Lundberg, at Culture Change, comes a damning analysis of why Gore is not really so different from Bush: "Al Gore’s son was almost killed by a car not long after Gore held his historic Senate hearing that ushered in awareness on global warming in 1988. But his son’s massive injuries did nothing to change Gore’s policies and the White House’s efforts to increase the population of cars. His father, Al Gore Sr., was number one architect of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, something that is viewed as an accomplishment by those who don’t put the Earth and local communities first. "

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