Quote: “The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.” Al Gore
Figure of Speech: alloiosis (al-oy-OH-sis), the this-isn’t-that figure. From the Greek, meaning “difference.”
What do you give a politician who has everything? Al Gore gets a gold Nobel medal to display next to his Oscar — not to mention implied canonization as Patron Saint of the Earth. (He’ll share the prize with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ). Donning his figurative high priest’s robes, he uses an alloisis, a figure that redefines an issue, to claim that the unbalanced Earth is not political, it’s moral.
Sure, it’s not cricket to bequeath a toxic waste site to one’s progeny. But moral purity and $40 million will buy you a wind farm. In posing climate change as a “spiritual challenge,” Gore shuts off any debate that leads to practical choices. Values are inarguable; sermonic language reinforces values, it doesn’t change them. Dealing with the climate crisis requires the practical language of politics. It means sleeping with strange, smelly bedfellows.
Besides, as an NPR reporter noted this morning, whenever a politician says something isn’t political — it’s political.
Snappy Answer: “And I suppose you’re the guy to lead all of humanity.”