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Al Gore, who made hundreds of millions of dollars off promoting his thoughts on "global warming", accused President Obama of having "failed" to act to stop warming.  (Source: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty images)

Mr. Gore, who recently bought his fourth luxury mansion, uses carbon like there's no tomorrow. But he says he's actually "carbon neutral" thanks to carbon credits he buys from his own company.  (Source: coldwell banker previews via real estalker)

White House officials insist Mr. Gore's accusations are untrue and that the President hasn't "failed" to address climate change.  (Source: AP Photo)
Wealthy investor-cum-advocate continues to be one of the global warming movement's noisiest voices

United States President Barack Obama must be feeling a bit like his predecessor, George W. Bush, when it comes to the topic of climate change.  President Bush was criticized by Democrats as being too weak on climate change.  At the same time, more extreme elements of his party criticized his efforts like CAFE revisions for supposedly being too heavy-handed.  Likewise, President Obama has been criticized by Republicans for being to heavy-handed on climate change, but has been criticized by extreme members of his own party for being too weak.

Taking to the pulpit in a rambling 8-page online editorial in the magazine Rolling Stone, former Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore delivered perhaps the most stinging criticism yet against President Obama.  Entitled "Climate of Denial", Gore speaks on behalf of the latter contingent -- extreme elements of the Democratic party -- in lashing out at the President saying he has "failed" to do his part to advert the climate crisis.

I. A Question of Credibility

It's a widely known fact that Al Gore makes over $100,000 for speaking appearances.  In 2007 Fast Company estimated a speaking date with Mr. Gore would cost you a cool $175,000 USD.

In his global warming "documentary" An Inconvenient Truth, Mr. Gore claims to have given at least 1,000 speeches, meaning that he's likely earned in excess of $100M USD.  And there's the profits from that documentary as well -- Mr. Gore likely earned a tidy cut of the film's almost $50M USD box office gross [source] and $31M USD in DVD sales [source].

That's not too shabby for a man who was once written off as too boring to become president.

And then there's Mr. Gore's alternative energy climate firms such as Kleiner Perkins and Generation Investment Management LLP.  According to reports, Mr. Gore is poised to become the "world's first carbon billionaire", thanks to these investments.

Mr. Gore defends these holdings, stating, "Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country? I am proud of it. I am proud of it."

He's also been forced to defend his palatial living quarters, which are far from carbon-neutral [source].  In 2007 his 20 room, 8 bathroom mansion used as much electricity in a month as the average American household did in a year. The Gore manor also devoured a very sizable amount of natural gas a year.  In 2010 he bought a fourth mansion -- an even more extravagant abode [source].

And that's not to mention the companies private jets that he's used over the years to promote his "anti-warming" efforts [source]. (Mr. Gore contends that he's never owned a jet personally so this doesn't count.)

Faced with ever present criticism over his apparent green hypocrisy, Mr. Gore says he lives "carbon neutral" by purchasing a wealth of carbon credits to offset his lavish lifestyle.  But reports indicate Mr. Gore is really just paying himself -- his credits allegedly come from Generation Investment Management, a London-based company with offices in Washington, D.C., for which he serves as chairman. [source]

In legal cases justices are supposed to recuse themselves from matters where they have a vested interest.  But Al Gore is no judge and he doesn't seem ready to recuse himself of this debate in which he has a massive vested interest in anytime soon.

Mr. Gore does have the honor of a Nobel Peace Prize, along with United Nations International Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) embattled chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri, for what it's worth, though.

II. Obama -- "Weak" on Climate?

Al Gore attacks Obama in a piece he writes for Rolling Stone he comments:

President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change. After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding.
...
Without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change.

Mr. Gore contends it wouldn't damage the President politically to get "tougher" on climate, writing:

Many political advisers assume that a president has to deal with the world of politics as he finds it, and that it is unwise to risk political capital on an effort to actually lead the country toward a new understanding of the real threats and real opportunities we face. Concentrate on the politics of re-election, they say. Don't take chances.

All that might be completely understandable and make perfect sense in a world where the climate crisis wasn't "real." Those of us who support and admire President Obama understand how difficult the politics of this issue are in the context of the massive opposition to doing anything at all — or even to recognizing that there is a crisis. And assuming that the Republicans come to their senses and avoid nominating a clown, his re-election is likely to involve a hard-fought battle with high stakes for the country.
...
But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

The attack sent the White House press department into a panic.  They rushed to point out the 960 metric tons yearly saved by the President's Recovery Act that set "aggressive new joint fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and trucks."

States White House official Clark Stevens in a written response, "The President has been clear since day one that climate change poses a threat domestically and globally, and under his leadership we have taken the most aggressive steps in our country’s history to tackle this challenge."

Mr. Gore dismisses anyone who questions that global warming is real, man-made, and "destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization" as a "polluter" or "idealogue".  It's a strategy that promises huge profits for Mr. Gore -- and one that he claims to firmly believe in from an altruistic perspective as well.

One thing's for sure -- this won't be the last time Mr. Gore will be spotted beating the drum of the global warming movement and noisily opening his mouth as a self-proclaimed expert on climate change.


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RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By SPOOFE on 6/23/2011 1:35:03 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Al Gore may be the world's biggest hypocrite and that doesn't mean his work to raise awareness for climate change is necessarily worthless.

It indicates he doesn't believe it, which is a sure sign everybody should ignore anything he says. His words are pure marketing spin, designed to drive his profits. It's not different than when Steve Jobs insists his products are "magical", or when Pop Tarts claim to be "part of a complete breakfast".


RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By Amiga500 on 6/23/2011 4:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed.

If he was serious, he would be reducing his carbon output, and funneling the profits back into R&D for technologies to reduce CO2/MH4 etc emissions.

Things like non-electrolysis based H2 production, improving fuel cell efficiency or working on other alternative means of energy storage - so things like windmills become more practical alternatives to coal/oil/gas fired power stations (don't get me started on the nuclear option - the hippies hypocrisy is breathtaking).


RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By superstition on 6/23/2011 6:08:10 PM , Rating: 1
"Indeed.

If he was serious, he would be reducing his carbon output"

Indeed, this does not rebut what I said.

As I said, Al Gore may be the world's least green environmentalist, the world's biggest hypocrite (or not) -- but that doesn't prove that the majority of the information in his global warming talks is meritless.

Ad hominem can sometimes be useful as a shortcut (a heuristic). But, shooting the messenger to avoid the message is a common tactic -- one that fits exactly with my appraisal of humanity's chances (see the rabbits in Australia) as this sort of strategy dominates.


RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By PaterPelligrino on 6/24/2011 12:51:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As I said, Al Gore may be the world's least green environmentalist, the world's biggest hypocrite (or not) -- but that doesn't prove that the majority of the information in his global warming talks is meritless.


It's called the genetic fallacy . The genetic fallacy is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is based solely on something's origin rather than its inherent meaning or significance. For example, that T.S.Eliot was a obnoxious twit doesn't in any way detract from his brilliant poetry; nor is Picasso's misogyny relevant when evaluating his art.

In any case, surely you know that people don't argue fact in these forums, they argue conviction. It is one of the curious characteristics of human reasoning that cherished beliefs always take precedence over fact.


RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By ekv on 6/24/2011 2:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But, shooting the messenger to avoid the message is a common tactic
A certain messenger got "shot" some 2000 years ago and the scandal is worse today than then. Today, however I'd have to say it depends on who you're "shooting". If it were the corpulent punchinello Al Gore who gets Bork'd then arrogance and hyper-politicization stands a good chance of being reduced . I have my biases but I think we all agree there needs to be a continued search for true truth.
quote:
one that fits exactly with my appraisal of humanity's chances
In the end you're going to believe what you will believe. I don't necessarily see the rabbit analogy as fitting ... though your suggestion of dire consequences is readily apparent. Indeed, there is also the flip side, in that dire consequences can result if Al's policies are enacted .


RE: Ad hominem is nice, but
By superstition on 6/23/2011 5:54:04 PM , Rating: 1
You need to understand what the ad hominem fallacy is in order to understand my post.

And, before you claim to know what it is, re-read your response to me and compare it with the definition and what I said.


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