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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 The Raven on 6/23/2011 11:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
I think you are referring to the bicameral system and the combination of the three banches of gov't as the main vehicle of C&B.

The gov't was NEVER intended to be 2 party.

Can you see it now? "We the people...are either pro-choice and socialists or anti-gay rights and believe in the freemarket." I can't.
Frankly I find your attitude highly deplorable. So you won't vote, or participate in Government, until everything just works the way you want it to? If everyone did that, things would NEVER be the they wanted it. Did our Forefathers just sit in England and say "well, sooner or later, things will be the way we want them to here". Change requires action or force.
Yeah! Rock the vote, dude!</sarcasm>
His money does more about our gov't than his vote. But if he is going to give up his vote, I would ask that he vote Libertarian as a "big" ;-) FU to the two parties.
YOU and people like you are the reason things are the way they are. It's called "apathy", look it up.
I agree that apathy is a big problem in this country and the world at large, but your attitude re: the 2-party system sounds almost just as effectively apathetic IMHO. At least he is willing to symbolically take power from the gov't, where you propose to bolster the 2 antagonists. I'm not trying to put you down, that is just the way I see it from my point of view.

RE: who cares
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2011 12:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I just can't abide someone who complains about the way things are, then says he "refuses" to vote until things just magically fix themselves to his liking. That's lazy and apathetic.

I know a single vote is hardly a sword of light, able to cut through the darkness and despair, but it's more than doing NOTHING.

At least he is willing to symbolically take power from the gov't

What? How is he doing that, exactly? By paying taxes and NOT voting, he's GIVING them more power.

RE: who cares
By Dr of crap on 6/23/2011 12:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
First - all politicians do is blame the other side, and try and keep their elected office.

Second - they take bribes, free and legal mid you, to vote the way the money givers want them to.

Thrid - number two above keeps the politicans from voting like his constituents wanted him to when they voted him into office!!!!

By the way, not that I have to explain myself the the lowly reclaimer77, I voted for Ross Perot, and I have voted for any other party on the ballot rather than pick any republican or demacrat.

The political system we have is in no way what the ones who drew this up wanted it to be.

What have you done to change things? Easy to blame someone for not doing anything; harder to do it yourself!

And while I have your attention, Do you like to have every TV and radio comercial, every billboard covered with political ads when its election time? Not to mention the crap load of yard signs that make me want to rip them all out and build a bonfire. You know that the ones that has the most yard sign and ads gets the most votes don't you? How is that a good way to pick the best one for office.
"I'll vote for him, because my neighbors all have his name on their lawns." And don't think for one minute this doesn't happen
How is all that even sane or "green"? Hell you can't even get elected if you don't spend MILLIONS. And our govt GIVES out money to the candidates to run for office!
My take on the bulls$$t is to stay out of it all.

RE: who cares
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2011 1:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, not that I have to explain myself the the lowly reclaimer77

That's lowly Reclaimer77 to you, spell it right.

RE: who cares
By adiposity on 6/23/2011 12:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
What? How is he doing that, exactly? By paying taxes and NOT voting, he's GIVING them more power.

At any given time, he's only giving power to one party or the other...whoever has more votes at the time. I suppose that's an oversimplification, but basically, voting has a legitimizing effect on candidates. If you equally hate both candidates, you can do worse than to vote for neither.

Personally, I think you should vote for Ron Paul or Nader or something just to make a statement, but even doing that kind of suggests you support the system, and are ok with the result of the vote. On the other hand, if only 15% of the country are still voting, it sends a message that the system is broken and not accepted by the populace.

For the record, I do vote every election, and I'm not advocating not voting. But voting actually lends credence to the government, not the other way around. By voting you symbolically accept the system of choosing officials, and therefore the result as valid and fair.

RE: who cares
By The Raven on 6/24/2011 11:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I think you should vote for Ron Paul or Nader or something just to make a statement, but even doing that kind of suggests you support the system, and are ok with the result of the vote. On the other hand, if only 15% of the country are still voting, it sends a message that the system is broken and not accepted by the populace.

Good, but don't generalize about the whole system... It is the 2-party one that is the problem. And that exists because only a minority of the population seem to think that it is even a problem.

So how about this...
Personally, I think you should vote for John McCain or Obama or something just to make a statement, but even doing that kind of suggests you support the 2-party system, and are ok with the result of the vote. On the other hand, if only 15% of the country are still voting in the 2-party system , it sends a message that the 2-party system is broken and not accepted by the populace.

RE: who cares
By adiposity on 6/24/2011 2:22:08 PM , Rating: 2
Two party system exists because it is winner take all. This guarantees a two party system. We don't have proportional representation, so if you get 30% of the vote and someone else gets 31%, you get nothing. This leads to coalitions that represent approximately half the voters. A third party can never truly exist because they will get nothing, and eventually they will have to throw their support to one side or the other or their vote is meaningless. The two parties don't have to be today's two parties, but it will always gravitate towards two.

This has nothing to do with the voters. They cannot change the math of elections. It has to do with the structure designed by the founders.

RE: who cares
By The Raven on 6/27/2011 11:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
Though I agree at least partially with your explanation of why we have a 2-party system, I disagree that there is nothing that the voters can do. I mean, take local elections as examples. 3rd party candidates regularly get elected. And look at Ross Perot's run where he ate up ~20% of the vote when everyone was saying, "No 3rd party can succeed." (Just think if they hadn't said that.) And further back, look at Ted Roosevelt as a Progressive besting Taft (R) candidate [but losing to Wilson (D)].

The fact is that we are all too jaded that we continuously say, "No 3rd party can win" and then making that a self fulfilling prophesy. Look outside the box and demand change.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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