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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: who cares
By AnnihilatorX on 6/23/2011 6:42:53 AM , Rating: 3
I don't pretend to know whether man made global warming is real or not. But I'd personally want to see emission from burning fossil fuel cut, and move on to cleaner energy sources. Even if warming is not caused by fossil fuels, I'd love to see the other types of pollution especially air pollution being cut down.

You quoted only 14% of CO2 in the atmosphere is from burning of fossil fuels. You know that half of the CO2 emitted is absorbed by the ocean? That made the fact that we contributes to 28% of extra CO2 in circulation? And there is significant evidence that, never mind the warming at the moment, coral reef ecosystems are under extreme pressure due to the rise in acidity due to CO2 dissolved in ocean.

I agree that carbon dioxide alone does not account for all the warming. You realize that water vapor, which is also significant in warming contribution, is also a significant product of the combustion of fossil fuel?

I don't like your attitude that you seem to know it all. You said it's proven the sun is the [major] cause of climate change. The fact is this is not proven. It's very debatable. Several papers has the contribution figure quoted as anywhere from 7%-50%, Benestad and Schmidt even argue that in 20th century the sun is only accountable for 7% of the warming. I am not saying they are correct, I am merely saying the issue is highly debatable.

# ^ Benestad,, R. E.; G. A. Schmidt (21 July 2009). "Solar trends and global warming". Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 114. Bibcode 2009JGRD..11414101B. doi:10.1029/2008JD011639. "the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7 ± 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980.".
Scafetta, N.; West, B. J. (2007). "Phenomenological reconstructions of the solar signature in the Northern Hemisphere, surface temperature records since 1600". J. Geophys. Res. 112: D24S03. Bibcode 2007JGRD..11224S03S. doi:10.1029/2007JD008437. as PDF
Moberg, A; Sonechkin, DM; Holmgren, K; Datsenko, NM;
Karlén, W; Lauritzen, SE (2005). "Highly variable Northern Hemisphere temperatures reconstructed from low- and high-resolution proxy data". Nature 433 (7026): 613–7. doi:10.1038/nature03265. PMID 15703742.
Wang, Y.-M.; Lean, J. L.; Sheeley, Jr., N. R. (May 2005). "Modeling the Sun’s Magnetic Field and Irradiance since 1713". The Astrophysical Journal 625: 522–38. Bibcode 2005ApJ...625..522W. doi:10.1086/429689 )
Scafetta, N.; West, B. J. (2006). "Phenomenological solar signature in 400 years of reconstructed Northern Hemisphere temperature record". Geophys. Res. Lett. 33: L17718. Bibcode 2006GeoRL..3317718S. doi:10.1029/2006GL027142.

Your argument on atmospheric relative composition of the gases was pointless? If only 0.037% of the human population are millionaires, does that mean their contribution to society is negligible?

RE: who cares
By gmyx on 6/23/2011 7:41:43 AM , Rating: 4
I don't pretend to know whether man made global warming is real or not. But I'd personally want to see emission from burning fossil fuel cut, and move on to cleaner energy sources. Even if warming is not caused by fossil fuels, I'd love to see the other types of pollution especially air pollution being cut down.

While I don't believe that we are the main reason behind GW, I believe we are a contributing factor. Having said that, reducing emissions will have long-term heath impacts by reducing air-borne pollution and particulate matter.

RE: who cares
By Arsynic on 6/23/2011 9:19:22 AM , Rating: 2
This idea is on the right track. We all want cleaner air and cleaner water and want to use less fossil fuels. We don't have to make up fantastical lies to get people to get onboard. Those reasons are good enough for the average American to become eco-aware and do their part.

RE: who cares
By kraeper on 6/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: who cares
By SPOOFE on 6/23/2011 7:04:19 PM , Rating: 4
For every good cause, there's someone that takes it too far.

I grew up in LA during the '80s. I remember going for a half-mile walk and coming up with smoggy lungs, struggling for breath.

I'm all about nixing the pollution. I'm not exactly Mr. Rugged Outdoorsey type, but I enjoy a good hike or day trip to the mountains or desert or what-have-you. I think it's great that these exist, and I fully support the national/state park system and such.

With that in mind: I dislike having someone try to toy with my opinions and try to tie "general pollution concerns" with the doomsday prophecies or oft-exaggerated "the Himalayas are melting" nonsense of the anthropogenic climate change movements. The evidence showing the dangers of arsenic in the groundwater is clear; the evidence hovering around the Global Warming crowd is murky, inconsistent, and rife with politicization. We cannot derive much conclusion from it one way or the other. Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to get the politics out of the study so we can develop a clear picture.

RE: who cares
By twhittet on 6/23/2011 5:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ha - you think the average American gives a crap? I want to drive WHATEVER I want and it should use as MUCH gas as I can afford, cuz it's my damn money, keep your rules off me! Clean air kills jobs! The average American wants everything for nothing. I see that from plenty of posters here. Common sense would tell you reduced emissions is good people and the environment - global warming or no, but the "average American" just wants $1 gasoline for his SUV, to drive 3 hours total every day to work and back because he wants a huge house in the suburbs rather than actually living close to work.

RE: who cares
By B on 6/23/2011 2:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
You realize that water vapor, which is also significant in warming contribution, is also a significant product of the combustion of fossil fuel?

Do you realize that 92 quadrillion gallons of water evaporate out of the oceans every year? Luckily there's the water cycle and the water condenses out of the atmosphere within a week to ten days.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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