The hope, of course, that to the extent possible, both groups will invest themselves, and their money, in the ways that Mr. Gore is going to suggest in the film.
The Scientist and Mentors
Finally, Mr. Gore shows an image of earth that was made by a friend of his - all of the experts in the film are friends of Mr. Gore. The image was, again, made over a period of years and shows all the geographic locations of the earth. This is important because it segues into Mr. Gore's new direction of rhetoric; a story about two teachers, one he liked very much, the other not so well. Now, this explanation of his impression, his like or dislike of these teachers is intended to accomplish several things in the connection between Mr. Gore and his audience. Also, the audience has changed from a young audience, to one of mixed baby boomer generation and young people.
Mr. Gore goes on to share with the audience, as he stands beside the image of the planet in geographic view with the image of South America and, across the ocean, Africa, at that point that is historically iconic because it is image that shows that the continents were once joined. In fact, Mr. Gore points out, as a youngster in school one of his classmates questioned the teacher, asking if the land was ever connected because they looked to fit together like a jig-saw puzzle. Of course not, don't be silly, the teacher responded, shutting down the young boy's curiosity and eagerness to share his observation with others. Who hasn't had one of those moments with a teacher or professor. The rhetoric emphasizes the ways in which brilliant thinking is often shot down, and that young people, grade school children, often have important observations to contribute to society. Then, Mr. Gore goes on to explain, the young child grew up to be a "drug addict and ner do well." This is suggesting, of course, that the stifling of ideas in the young is the cause of economic and emotional destruction, if not death.
The teacher, the stiffler of ideas, who thwarted a valid and accurate observation about the environment, went to become the "science advisor in the current administration." The audience applauds their approval, but their applause is in respect to the "current administration." It is yet another rhetorical cheap shot at the current administration, which is the same administration that won the presidency away from the man who would be "the next president of the United States," but never was. A totally unrelated theme to global warming, yet one that surfaces again and again throughout the documentary.
The second teacher, more to the theme of global warming, was a man who served as the source environmental enlightenment, and inspired the man who, though he would not become president of the United States, would be elected to the United States Senate as the Senator from Tennessee; and who would go on to be vice president of the United States.
The teacher was reflecting the conclusion of scientists at that time, Mr. Gore advises the audience, continues, saying, it is not what we don't know; but what we know for sure, paraphrasing and quoting Mark Twain. "The earth is so big we can't possibly have any lasting harmful impact on the earth." This segues way into the lead in about the earth's atmosphere, and how thin and vulnerable the earth's atmosphere is. This leads to the introduction of the second teacher. However, before that, Mr. Gore explains that the details of global warming are complex, and offers a simplistic drawing of the sun's radiation absorbed into the earth's upper atmosphere, protecting the earth from the harmful radiation of the sun. Here, Mr. Gore is suggesting that the complexities of the science behind the issue of global warming is too complex for the average to understand beyond a simplistic drawing, and thereby the greater population should rely upon his expertise, his trained skill in gathering information and analyzing it for us. This is important rhetoric, because Mr. Gore is telling the audience that he won't bore them with the scientific details, which they will not understand anyway; and this theme of things being too complex for the average person repeats itself throughout the film.
Al Gore, who has not yet introduced the second teacher, but he will; is suggesting to the audience that we allow him to be our mentor on global warming. That he has done the tedious investigation of detail, and we can rely on the man who would be the next president the United States to lead us, to guide us on this life threatening environmental issue.
The thin layer of the atmosphere is being thickened by the man-made pollutants put into the air. This is where Mr. Gore introduces a video that is intended to inform the public at a level that we can all understand. Seemingly capitalizing on the success of the comic strip television show, the Simpsons, a video which uses beginner level reader language and cartoon characters explains how Mr. Sun sends his good rays of light to the earth, which Mr. Gore has suggested is good, because it keeps the earth from getting too cold. "I'll be on my way," Mr. Sunbeam informs us, and then, "Not so fast Mr. Sunbeam," the pollutants of "green house gases," stop him, beat him up, overwhelming him, trapping him in the earth's thin and vulnerable atmosphere. Not to worry, though, our "cheap" politicians came up with a solution to global warming, and the video shows a huge ice cube being dumped into the ocean to, presumably, cool the planet off. "Cheap politicians," and we can no longer count Al Gore amongst them, who, presumably, by the rhetoric, gave politicians a level of value by way his own credibility. It might be suggested here, as interpretation of the rhetoric, that Mr. Gore is feeling betrayed, abandoned by some politicians, otherwise, it would be hard to imagine him taking cheap shots at those amongst whom Al Gore sat and worked with for so many years of his professional life.
Now, Mr. Gore introduces his second great scholastic influence - the first, remember, was the teacher who thwarted independent thinking and sound observation. Now, he introduces us to his second one, the one that inspired him, and that he liked. This one is college Professor Roger Revelle, who was the inspiration him in facing his challenges in confronting the problem of global warming. Here, Mr. Gore is establishing for the audience that he has a youthful connection to the issue of global warming. It suggests, too, that he has spent his entire life researching this issue (when he was not inventing the internet). He is reassuring us of his earlier rhetoric that suggested we the audience, in general was not intelligent enough to understand the complexities of global warming above a first grade level, if we are to take that hint from the level of audience his cartoon was aimed at. That, again, his authority comes from science, a man of science, an academic, and, therefore, we can rely on Mr. Gore to understand those complexities for us.
Introducing the Opposing Authority and Science
Thus far in the documentary, it has been the use of rhetoric to draw the audience in, to relax, and to have confidence in Mr. Gore's authority in the matter of global warming even though he, himself, is not a scientist. We can do that because Mr. Gore's own relationship in the global warming issue arises out of youthful college days and his direct connection to Professor Roger Revelle, a man of science and an academic.
As Mr. Gore now introduces the academic Professor Roger Revelle as his authority, at least his earliest authority, as the first man ever to suggest that CO2 emissions, man-made emissions, into the earth's atmosphere were creating a dangerous condition of global warming. It is time to introduce, for purposes of analyzing the rhetoric on that level of academic credibility, the opposition to Mr. Gore's documentary. The opposition is the documentary film by director Martin Durking, the Great Global Warming Swindle. This documentary features no politicians, no celebrities, but scientists: Professor Tim Ball, of the University of Winnipeg; Professor Niv Shaviv, University of Jerusalem; Professor Ian Clark, University of Ottawa; Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama and lead author International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Professor Philip Stott, University of London; Professor Richard Lindzen, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and others from Harvard and other highly respected universities around the world.
An impressive cast of scientist, and it is especially important to note Professor John Christy of the University of Alabama, who served as the lead author for the IPCC, which is the document most commonly cited…