Earth in the Balance: Part Two

July 11, 2000

Al Gore published his book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit back in 1992. And while a book published eight years ago may be old news, the fact that it was reissued this year in the same format with a new foreword in time for the thirtieth anniversary of Earth Day demonstrates its relevance. In a recent Time magazine article, Mr. Goes says "Thereís not a statement in that book that I donít endorse. Not one." So I think it is fair to examine what he wrote.

One of his best-known statements in the book was his call for the elimination of the internal combustion engine by the year 2017. Not only did he call for this in the 1992 edition of the book, but in April of this year he went to Detroit (home of the auto industry) to renew his eight-year old call to abolish the internal combustion engine.

His book also calls for the environmental equivalent of the Marshall Plan, which in 1949 pledged $17 billion to rebuild Europe (a sum greater than the entire U.S. budget eight years earlier). Although a President Gore may have trouble getting such an allocation through Congress, he has already shown complete support for implementing the Kyoto Protocol and other environmental proposals. The current EPA head Carol Browner is using regulatory power to impose huge costs on industry without congressional approval. Like President Clinton, a President Gore could continue to use executive orders and administrative fiat to implement proposals that Congress refused to ratify.

We havenít heard much about the book in this campaign, but I think it is fair to look at the book and ask how Mr. Goreís ideas would be implemented in society. And I think we should get answers to those questions before the election rather than after it.

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.