Too Hot Not to Handle

     From the moment Angela Lansbury (yes, Angela Lansbury) opened the film singing, Someone has wounded you, dear world Someone has poisoned you, dear world it was clear that the culprits in this Murder, She Wrote were Americans.

     One professor interviewed for the special said the United States uses more energy by far than any other country in the world. Of course, theres a connection between energy use and prosperity we also have the largest economy in the world. But this film asserts that we must stop our productive ways before we are plagued with rising seas, forest fires, floods, droughts, disease, hurricanes, heat waves, and perhaps most shockingly, more pollen in our springtimes.

     What is this film in favor of? Its in favor of more regulation government forcing businesses and consumers to change, no matter how costly. Its in favor of scaring the pants off you so youll do something, like turn off that lamp! Now!

     What is it against? Companies driven by profit. People driven by their own cost-conscious needs as consumers. Its against the industrialization that brought us tailpipes and smoke stacks, even though one person admits fossil fuels have produced the living standard we enjoy. And then theres pollen.

     Pollen-allergic sniffles are annoying, but far worse is being blamed for something that isnt your fault. The HBO film conveniently left out anyone who would hand you a Kleenex and tell you its okay. Where are the scientists who have said that stronger hurricanes arent a result of man-made global warming, but of natural cycles? That the earth was going through periods of warming and cooling long before industrialized man starting pumping out greenhouse gases? Does anyone besides George Will remember when, about 30 years ago, Those In the Know were predicting another ice age?

     In a 2004 interview, Laurie David, wife of Seinfeld creator Larry David and executive producer of Too Hot Not to Handle, accused the opposite side of using PR firms and misinformation and false scientists and false advertising.

     She doesnt need a PR firm now, though, because she has the force of a coordinated media push behind her. The misinformation in her film takes examples of natural happenings around the world, exaggerating and extrapolating them into what would or could be unless we all start taking spit baths and driving hybrids. Her scientists, while credentialed, have among them donors to Democratic candidates and anti-Bush administration causes. And the Ad Council has recently taken care of the global warming advertising.

     But the American people shouldnt take kindly to unwarranted guilt heaped upon their heads. Laurie David may learn that it aint over when Angela Lansbury sings.