While all good sensible people tut-tut another random flare-up of violence by people historically neglected, oppressed and impoverished — even as our governments look for more ways to make the poor suffer and the wealthy more comfy — let’s distract ourselves with an improper outburst of pearl-clutching proportions from one of our political elites. Al Gore used a “barnyard epithet”!

“Some of the exact same people [who denied smoking leads to cancer] — by name, I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this,” Gore said Thursday at an Aspen Institute forum in Aspen, Colo. “And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: ‘This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It’s not — It may be volcanoes.’ Bullshit! ‘It may be sun spots.’ Bullshit! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bullshit!”

He continued: “There are about 10 other memes that are out there, and when you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap, over and over and over again. They have polluted this shit. There is no longer shared reality on an issue like climate, even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened.”

Al, are you trying to give Dave Brooks a heart attack? Someone call him unhinged. Or fat. Or shrill.

Which is all ironic and maybe darkly humorous given the pedigree of right wing conspiracy theories about climate change. Either we have been slowly raising global temperatures through excessive feeding of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, altering habitats that we all depend on to survive and thrive; or we are being duped by a global conspiracy of scientists to establish a one world government that forces us to ride buses and have abortions. Occam slowly sheathes his razor and walks away.

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