David Brooks tries to make some pretty interesting revisionist history in his column in The New York Times today. Too bad it’s completely untrue. Brooks writes
Al Gore released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. The global warming issue became associated with the highly partisan former vice president. Gore mobilized liberals, but, once he became the global warming spokesman, no Republican could stand shoulder to shoulder with him and survive. Any slim chance of building a bipartisan national consensus was gone.
Brooks starts his story in 2003 when McCain and Lieberman passed a bipartisan bill to curb global warming. There have been bipartisan measures on the environment. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency was created under Nixon in 1970. But the Republican party has taken to denying global warming for quite a while now. It’s hardly a reaction to Gore. I would argue that much of the success of an Inconvenient Truth was because people were frustrated with inaction in Washington and had begun looking for answers to our environmental problems elsewhere.
Brooks is always looking for that rational middle (that somehow mirrors his views), so when it’s not there it must be someone’s fault. In this case it must be Gore’s, because he is “partisan” according to Brooks. The inconvenient truth is the Republican partly has long since lost interest in the environment or in passing any bipartisan legislation, the country and the world be damned. There are plenty of ways to tackle environmental problems. You don’t have to come at it from one ideological perspective. But you do have to try.