Tuesday, January 16, 2007

An Inconvenient Load of Sensationalism

Is what i would use to describe this book. When it was first spoken about in Australia & Al Gore was here on his publicity tour, the media ate him up......they liked the guy. I admit, the interviews i saw, he appeared intelligent & personable. It didn't take me long to decide...."oh crap, don't see the movie, don't read the book.......its something thats going to really freak you out, and give just one more thing to worry about". I don't freak easily, it takes quite a bit.
I recieved this book as a Christmas present. It came a number of months after all the hoo haa of the movie etc had died down.
When it comes to print media....TV.....politics, i always keep an open mind, always with the knowledge, its not what they say or portray..........its what they don't. My pet hate.
Well, in a nutshell, this is exactly what this book is like. I found it to use "shock & fear" tactics.......and gross sensationalism. Sensaionalism is what sells right? Lets make the public scared and fearful.......the world will come to an end quickly if we don't all offset our greenhouse emissions......we don't recycle........reduce the Co2 levels. This book would make any member who doesn't know any better, shit themselves. Don't get me wrong, take the sensationalistic tone away and the basic message is fantastic, YES, we should recycle, we should do as much as we can to help our planet. I totally agree. What i don't agree with is the way in which it is written. The colour plates......some quite shocking, statistics, many of which are not explained OR left to you to make your own mind up.....if you don't do the research you can believing all sorts of bullshit. Example.....there is a colour plate of fires.......it shows the top half of Australia under siege by bushfires.....Hello AL....i live up here, have done for 20 years never seen bushfires such as the ones you show!!! Certainly....the top end do have fires, they back burn to prevent bushfires occuring. The top end of Australia is huge....enormous, the cattle stations are the size of American States. Because there is no explanation in the book....."Australia frequently back burns the top end to prevent bushfires, no one ever is hurt, no properties are damaged, its all done for safety reasons" like this.........only photos eluding to the fact that poor Australia......there are fires burning half the country down...makes me really pissed off. If you dear reader picked up that book and saw this, you would be given the wrong impression. Cyclones......another one. He states that the USA had sooooo many hurricanes that the dept of meterology ran out of names and had to use Greek ones!! Well yeah it did BUT what he doesn't tell you, is that they only have 21 names pre approved before hurricane season begins. If you have a dozen small hurricanes no one cares about...they're still named. Al forces you to think...Crap!! They've run out of names, there must be an increase!! Cyclone Monica he States is the strongest cyclone ever measured off the coast of Australia........hello Al, you failed to mention NO Direct Measurement was Taken.....everything was unofficial!!! Ummm Al, you also mention that in the Spring of 2006 Australia was hit by unusally strong cyclones. Firstly honey, our Cyclone season is from Summer through to Autumn and secondly, we have had a number of very large cyclones years before 2006.....i think you fail to mention this.
You can achieve a great deal by stating something and not follow it up with previous history....leave it to the public to make their own mind up. You can use it to influence and project a problem or issue that may not be there, something this book is guilty of. Al uses all his scientist friends and buddies.........blows his own trumpet...self promotes......etc. Sadly, what he doesn't do is provide loads of ideas for us the general public to get involved with. Yes, there are a few pages at the back devoted....however, for all the shock tactics he's used, a few pages don't cut it.
My opinion, read the book for what it is..........do your research and for god sake keep an open mind, there is a lot in this book that is left un said.


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