Thursday, March 01, 2007

Al Gore and Hypocrisy

The revelation that Al Gore's carbon footprint is embarrassingly large has inspired some gleeful anti-greenery - today this from Stephen Glover. Though pro-green myself, it is clear to me that Gore had it coming. His film was highly autobiographical and, towards the end, made a very strong argument for the incremental effectiveness of taking small steps to reduce emissions, even providing, during the closing credits, a list of the things individuals should do. He put pressure on individuals as much as governments and, therefore, can reasonably be criticised for failing to live up to his own standards. And Glover is right to say the environment has become an easy political power-play. Green campaigners make this worse by issuing suspect claims. Greenpeace has a terrible record in this area notably over the Brent Spar storage buoy in the North Sea. This did not contain the oil Greenpeace said it did and, as James Lovelock pointed out, sinking it in the sea would be environmentally beneficial as iron promotes the growth of fish stocks. Also, anti- 4X4 campaigners, as I showed in my recent article, have overstated the numbers and emissions of these cars and made people think any car is okay as long as it is not a 4X4. All of which is, of course, a massive distraction from the central truth. The earth will not long tolerate our rapacious species. And, even if you doubt this, why should we persist in our dependence on tainted and risky Saudi oil?


  1. So, how can I ask for the petrol I buy to be Saudi oil free?

  2. You can't, we should just cut down consumption

  3. Rebel:

    You can't, and if you could, there would be no point.

    I'm lost in the sea of confusion created by this paradigm shift in political attitudes to global warming. It seems we have to accept that we produce a lot of carbon and that this is making the earth warmer. Ok. But it doesn't seem at all obvious that giving up nice stuff like cars and cheap flights is a sensible approach to reversing this process. Doesn't it all just boil down to a clearly-doomed attempt to guilt China into reducing industrial emissions?

  4. Just to include what Greg Palast has to say about Gore's credentials:
    NYI: What do you think about Al Gore’s recent return to environmentalism?
    Palast: "...the biggest single blow to the struggle against global warming was the institution of “crud credits” — pollution trading credits. Whose idea was that?

    Well the idea came from a guy named Boyden Gray, who was the top lobbyist for the industrial polluters. And who was the No. 1 promoter of that idea within the Clinton Administration? Al Gore. He took the idea straight from the polluters and then polluted the environmental agency with it. So the No. 1 threat of global warming was engineered by Al Gore, and that’s an inconvenient truth that he’s got to deal with."

    Never trust a politician seems to be an unfortunate necessity, and virtually everything the major players do should be questioned for whatever agendas are really at play. Gore is obviously not to be trusted in the environmental issue.

  5. River of deceitMarch 01, 2007 4:30 pm

    I get the feeling gore will run for the presidency. It would make sense, making that film has turned him into jesus.
    Although, i think the greens will get a nasty punch once gore is in and carries on much the same as bush but with the bullshit/clintonesque style rhetoric.

  6. Precisely the same thoughts had struck me, River - that he will run and that he won't be very green if her wins.

  7. If you want to buy Saudi-free petrol, buy it from a Tesco garage: it's made of sunflower oil from Norfolk!

  8. It would seem that nobody is without sin. We are all guilty. We must accept a certain amount hypocracy and double standards but carry on nonetheless and do our best to change our behaviour. However, it is time we all became seriously interested in real politics. Who knows? Ideology and political conviction might return to challenge politics of complacent, self-interest and bluster. One thing is certain, the battle will be lost if democracy dies. And it looks rather moribund to me right now.

  9. I'm not a fan of Mr. Gore but this blog entry is very misleading.(Not to mention very poorly written - "Also, anti- 4X4 campaigners, as I showed in my recent article, have overstated the numbers and emissions of these cars and made people think any car is okay as long as it is not a 4X4." - Ugh... is this an example of what you learned from reading Pandagon? Sorry - that was just gratuitous!). Back to Mr. Gore... he actually purchases power from reusable resources. Many power companies in the US allow their customers to pay extra and the power company then buys power from windmill farms and other renewable resources. Also, Gore's home is in the middle of a renovation that will include the addition of solar panels.

  10. You're quite right, Tom. Bad sentence. I have not adjusted it as that would make your comment meaningless

  11. I think Gore's home's energy is a very tiny issue compared to his key role in the institution of polluting credits. Pollution credits being where a heavy polluting part of the world can purchase credits from an area doing little polluting, and then pollute away, rather than actually do anything serious about reducnig its emissions.

  12. Last night's Question Time had a revealing moment when someone pointed out that Prince Charles's Duchy Original Cornish pasties (yuck) had less nutritional value than the Irish beef in a Big Mack.

  13. Bryan writes: "... the central truth. The earth will not long tolerate our rapacious species. And, even if you doubt this, why should we persist in our dependence on tainted and risky Saudi oil?"

    Would I be wrong to interpret this, at least somewhat, as a cause/complaint looking for a justification?

    Best regards

  14. Can I draw your attention to a telly program coming up this week, which I hope will give you some idea of quite how utterly unscientific this whole CO2 nonsense is.

    The Great Global Warming Swindle
    9:00pm - 10:35pm
    Channel 4

    Provocative documentary that sets out to challenge the widely accepted view that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for global warming. With arguments from leading scientists, the film points to recent research that solar radiation may be a more plausible factor in climate change, and suggests that reducing carbon emissions may not only have little impact on the environment, but may also have unintentional repercussions for third world development.

  15. Oh, and ref "Gore is obviously not to be trusted in the environmental issue."...
    Gore is chairman of Generation Investment Management, , an investment firm that seeks to "make sustainable investment mainstream".
    In other words, invest in companies that will benefit from massive government handouts if the warmers have their way.

  16. It turns out that Gore's monthly electric bill averages $434 a month and he pays a premium because 100% of his bill comes from wind and solar energy.

    Here's a link for you: