This is a two-part column. Part one is what you might expect from a politically conservative person who believes 'global warming' is a secular religion and that Al Gore deserved the Nobel Peace Prize as much as Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho and a myriad of other low-wattage lights, which is to say not at all. The second part may surprise my liberal friends.
The Church of Global Warming (CGW) is a cult. A cult has a number of definitions, among them this one from dictionary.com: 'A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.' Cults wish to control others. Global warming fundamentalists wish to do the same through the power of government.
CGW members would reject cult status - which all cult members do - and Al Gore has never been accused of displaying charisma. But the CGW confers charismatic status on him because he tells them what they want to hear: Salvation is available through the reduction of one's carbon footprint. Gore regularly violates his own doctrines by flying on big polluting jets, leaving tracks the size of Bigfoot.
Cultists never allow contrary evidence to challenge their beliefs. Last week, a British judge found nine scientific errors in Gore's film 'An Inconvenient Truth' and ordered British schools to mention them and to teach the other side of global warming.
Like the Pulitzer Prize, which mostly goes to liberals or to economic conservatives who are OK with abortion and same-sex marriage, the Nobel Peace Prize has become a victim of political correctness and a tool for message-sending. In this case (as when the award went to Jimmy Carter), the Nobel committee wanted to send a message to President Bush. What will they do when he leaves office? That's easy. They'll give it to Bill Clinton.
People who genuinely labor for peace (read a partial list in the Oct. 13 Wall Street Journal lead editorial) are often ignored by the Nobel committee. Despite evidence from NASA and other scientific sources, which rebut Gore's claims of pending climate disaster, CGW members have the kind of blind faith displayed at a Benny Hinn healing service.
The leader of the CGW even has a faux 'trinity.' Instead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Gore has an Oscar, an Emmy and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Having said that (and far more could be said and is being said), conservatives miss an opportunity when they only ridicule Gore and dismiss his ideas. They should be asking themselves whether it might be possible to find common ground with Gore on at least one of his doctrinal issues that would serve nearly everyone's interests. This is where Part Two begins.
Republicans and Democrats repeatedly tell us we rely too much on foreign oil, especially that which comes from a current trouble spot, the Middle East, and that which comes from a potential trouble spot, Venezuela.
Might it be possible for the CGW crowd and the Church of Free Enterprise (CFE) to come together for the common purpose of reducing our reliance on foreign oil? CGW fundamentalists would get what they want - a reduced carbon footprint and supposedly lower global temperatures (go ahead and let them believe it) - while CFE parishioners would rejoice that Saudi Arabia's hold on us (not to mention its use of our money to underwrite terrorism) could be broken.
If we would launch an energy independence program with the intensity of a Marshall Plan for Europe, or a man-on-the-moon project, to liberate ourselves from the petroleum despots by developing synthetic fuels and finding new energy sources closer to home - especially nuclear power - we could strike a blow against the Islamofascists more damaging than bombs and bullets.
This will require leadership at the highest level, and it will require a conservative of sufficient stature not to be labeled a compromiser or a fool. Anyone out there who meets the test? And would Al Gore bring his legions with him to the table?
E-mail nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.