“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” ~AndrĂ© Gide

Gide’s observation came to mind in the context of Al Gore’s latest hypocrisy. The man who pontificated endlessly about the hazards of global warming and the need for the world to act responsibly in terms of the environmental impact of fossil fuels is now just another hypocrite!

Gore was a visionary when it came to his early warnings about global warming and climate change. He was way ahead of the times. Sadly, like many other public figures there is a huge chasm between his convictions and sermonizing and what he has done in practice.

I used to give Gore the benefit of the doubt when it came to some of his more questionable actions but his latest move to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera has caused me to conclude that Gore is just another self-serving hypocrite. He is really no different than some right-wing politicians who preach endlessly and self-righteously about the importance of “family values” and then express their regrets when it comes out that they have been less than stellar about their own personal lives.

Criticism of Gore’s double standards is nothing new. After he lost the 2000 presidential election, he built a mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the upscale Belle Meade area of Nashville, TN – a house that consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

Yes, there are those who defend Gore by citing the buying of carbon credits as a mitigating factor but it still does not change the reality that his consumption of electricity is many multiples of what the average American consumes. Of course, this would not matter if Gore were not pontificating endlessly that Americans need to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

This is quite apart from the fact that he flies around the country in a private jet as opposed to using commercial aircraft – not exactly the most efficient use of those fossil fuels he rails about.

However what took the cake was Gore’s sale of his station CurrentTV to Al Jazeera! Some in the right wing chose to criticize the sale on the grounds that Al Jazeera is anti-American. I give little credence to this charge because Al Jazeera’s English language channels have actually been fairly objective and accurate. In fact, the reporting by Al Jazeera’s Arabic channels were appreciated by many in Egypt and Libya who protested against dictatorial regimes in what came to be known as the Arab Spring.

My issue is that he sold his station to an entity that receives most of its funding from Qatar – a country whose entire revenues are from the sale of fossil fuels – which, of course, is what Gore has been ranting about as having been the primary cause of global warming! So Gore’s stance appears to be that the use of fossil fuels should end but, in the meantime, there is nothing wrong with enriching himself to the tune of $100 million from a country that is a major source of fossil fuels. It would be analogous to Michelle Obama who has done an admirable job in terms of educating the country about childhood obesity and following a healthy nutritious diet then becoming a multi-million dollar lobbyist for Coca Cola after Obama leaves office in 2016!

Gore’s own defense of the sale is laughable: essentially he says that Al Jazeera has done a better job than network television in spreading the message that climate change poses a great threat to the future! He feels that this justifies the sale to Al Jazeera!

The right-wing media has not surprisingly taken Gore to task for his hypocrisy but what I am especially pleased about is that the mainstream and liberal media and commentators have also challenged Gore for his blatant hypocrisy, as he goes on a book tour to promote his latest book:

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Gore has been willing to shade the truth when it suits his purpose whether it was his claim to have invented the internet or his extraordinary defense of those who falsified information regarding global warming. Consider the statement that Gore made defending those scientists: “Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”

The fact that Gore owns a huge mansion, can afford to fly using private jets and has made a killing on the sale of his TV station is not the issue ….. all power to him. It is the rank hypocrisy that a man who pontificates endlessly about energy conservation and not being dependent on fossil fuels talks the talks but does not walk the walk.

In this clip, Gore is skewered by liberals Mika Brezinski, John Stewart and David Letterman and all he can say is that he disagrees with them!

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Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” on global warming won an Oscar to much acclaim. The sequel should be named “A Convenient Hypocrisy”

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One Response to “Al Gore and “A Convenient Hypocrisy””

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