It’s reassuring to know that there are remote corners of the earth that remain uncorrupted by the ravages or modernity; where the people live a simpler, more spiritual life, and where they still take Al Gore seriously.
In a gushing, uncritical story littered with generalisations and inaccuracies, the BBC reports that hill tribes in a remote part of India are honouring the world’s favourite hypocrite, fantasist and serial liar for his efforts to promote awareness of climate change.
The Khasi tribes in the Indian state of Meghalaya – a noble people renowned for their expertise in tropospheric temperature analysis and climate modelling – claim their way of life is under threat from global warming.
"We hope Mr Gore would be able to bring global attention to what we are facing in our part of the world," Meghalaya parliament member Robert Kharshing said.
"This whole thing called climate change is affecting us the most."
The report coos that ‘Meghalaya - literally "Abode of the Clouds" - is home to the towns of Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, which vie for the title of wettest place on earth’.
But rampant deforestation and global warming mean these areas are getting less rain, while the soil is not able to hold water that does arrive, environmentalists say.
Surely, if this is the wettest place on earth, they’re not going to miss a bit of rain – and anyway, aren’t the alarmists always telling us that global warming will mean more rain?
But there’s more:
The tribes people say that they are also at risk from a greater influx of migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, where global warming has increased the demand for living space because large coastal regions have become submerged.
Of course no evidence is offered to support this claim. Bangladesh has always suffered from cyclones and other storms, and its geography makes it particularly vulnerable to flooding – I can remember regular appeals to alleviate such disasters at least 30 years ago. There’s no proof that global warming has led to an increase in the severity of storms, or in the rate of sea level rise, in Bangladesh or anywhere else.
But none of this is to take away from Gore’s achievement. A spokeswoman said the Goracle was "humbled" to hear of the award, but was unsure if he could attend the ceremony.
He is, after all a busy man – so little time, so much misinformation to disseminate! Then again, perhaps he won’t be going because he’s heard that the award will consist of traditional gifts, including local handicrafts, and a "small amount of money".
Don’t these peasants know who they’re dealing with? If you want Gore to come to town you’re going to need to find an extremely large amount of money.