In Canada, this deft and concerted move of spin began in February 12th's cover story from The National Post - Is Environmentalism the New Religion? That the Post is a newspaper whose spin and political bent flows through the lens and judgement of the Christian religion is an irony that is entirely lost on the both the authors and editor of the article. However, their message has had legs, with the following recent print columns following suit:
Eco-pilgrims gather to 'heed the Goracle' - "They came in their hundreds to hear him speak, and even those left standing outside the crowded hall would not be deterred from lingering in the proximity of the Baptist prophet from Tennessee."
Margaret Wente - "Mr. Gore no longer needs the media to spread the word. His documentary has persuaded millions that global warming is the greatest moral challenge in the world today. And now, thousands of disciples, trained at his climate boot camp and armed with their own Power Point presentations, are fanning out to spread the word."The Washington Times - "Global warming has become the catechism of a new-age religion, with Mr. Gore as its topmost prelate, entitled to cassock, miter, incense and hot holy water. Anyone who dissents risks a session on the rack, as we have lately seen in calls for punishing 'deniers'."
Deniers of global warming are likely screaming in glee at the quotes above, as a sense of vindication and affirmation sweep over their science battered souls. But nothing in the quotes or articles above speaks to the facts of the issue, and like anyone losing an argument all of them resort to attacking the messenger once they find that the message itself is unassailable.
And through this subtle yet deliberate smear, a pattern and disturbing stripe is revealed in our main stream media. That it is the morally justifiable province of the press to mislead the public for its own ends - ends that go past the denial of environmental concern to include defending the corporate bottom line over the health of citizens, withholding fundamental rights from consenting adults, and endorsing the murder of citizens in foreign countries in the name of fear, oil and profit.
If Al Gore does represent a new religion, then it is one founded on rationality over hysteria, on hope for humanity, on care for the planet, and concern for those who will come after us. That is a moral compass worth following and one that can create a better world for us all.
More to the point Gore's message - unlike the religious zeal of the National Post - is grounded in fact. That single point gives him credibility that the Post can't hope for, and it is the most tangible reason why millions are willing to listen to his message.