Friday, August 11, 2006

More on the Al Gore Predicament

John Tierney is not the only columnist opining on what I've now deemed the Al Gore Predicament (the discussion on this blog begins here and continues here), which arises from simultaneously preaching carbon-conscious lifestyle choices yet continuing to live day by day in a way that can be accounted as rather carbon intensive. Yesterday, Peter Schweizer of USA Today remarked that "if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed." He went on to detail what many people see as Gore's excessive lifestyle, out of step with his concern to curtail Global Warming:
Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.
I think it is true that Gore created this type of response himself, by virtue of the success of his own movie. As I predicted, "it will be Gore's moral achievement if the audience of his movie should come to accustom themselves with the facts, and demand real action from politicians." That's what they are doing, only "they" are more or less a number of right-wing pundits who want to paint Gore as your typical liberal hypocrite, and Global Warming as a red-herring. Schweizer concludes: "The issue here is not simply Gore's hypocrisy; it's a question of credibility. If he genuinely believes the apocalyptic vision he has put forth and calls for radical changes in the way other people live, why hasn't he made any radical change in his life? Giving up the zinc mine or one of his homes is not asking much, given that he wants the rest of us to radically change our lives."

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