Al Gore's Epic Hypocrisy

Al Gore's Epic Hypocrisy

Milloy column on Foxnews.com
June 19, 2008

Al Gore imagines that future poets will be singing his praises 1,000
years from now. In the meantime back on Planet Earth, he may have to
settle for the slings and arrows that he deserves for his epic
hypocrisy.

A year after the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s prodigious personal use of electricity at his Nashville mansion (20 times the national average), the center reported this week that Gore’s personal electricity consumption during the past year actually increased by 10 percent.

So while he campaigns for Americans to curtail their electricity use
— you should take cold showers, forego air conditioning and dry your
clothes on a clothesline — Gore is plugging in and turning on more than
ever.

He tried to defend himself by stating that his family "has taken
numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private
residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power …,
installing solar panels and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other
energy-saving technology."

But aside from increased energy use not being consistent with Gore’s
preaching about downsizing our lifestyles, it’s worth noting that his
personal energy use increased despite using energy saving devices and
solar power.

During a time of an alleged crisis, the profile of his personal
power consumption is more akin to "greed" than "green"; moreover, the
environmental impacts of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s "green power"
program from which Gore buys high-priced energy are murky, if not
downright trivial.

Only 0.05 percent of TVA’s power is "green" and TVA acknowledges its
green power program still produces greenhouse gases. All Gore really
knows about any alleged benefits is that he pays an extra $4 for every
150-kilowatt hours of "green power" purchased.

He also says he has purchased "carbon offsets to offset the family’s
carbon footprint." It’s not at all clear, however, that carbon offsets
actually offset anything.
Carbon offsets and the industry that sells them are so dubious that
Congress and the Federal Trade Commission launched investigations of
them last year.

Gore’s electric bill is outpaced only by his amped-up rhetoric and chutzpah. In his new slideshow,
a sort of "Son of An Inconvenient Truth," Gore ironically chides those
who "talk the talk" but don’t "walk the walk" when it comes to saving
the planet.

In observing that religion is about behavior rather than belief and
citing Gandhi’s "you must become the change that you wish to see in the
world," Gore says, "… the outcome about which we wish to be optimistic
is not going to be created by the belief alone except to the extent the
belief brings about new behavior."

Well, we’ve seen Gore’s behavior with respect to his personal energy
consumption and it certainly doesn’t match up with the alleged beliefs
he continually broadcasts through a gullible media to a gullible
public. Gore’s new slideshow goes on to expand the definition of
behavior.

"As important as it is to change the light bulbs, it is more important to change the laws," he says.

Here’s where it gets more interesting. The laws that Gore is
referring to, of course, are those that would provide subsidies to and
mandates for the alternative energy industry. Gore spotlights a number
of these companies, including Smart Car; Amyris Biotechnologies; Altra
Biofuels; Mascoma (cellulosic ethanol); Great Point Energy
(biomass-to-gas and carbon capture technology); Altarock Energy
(geothermal energy); Bloomenergy (fuel cells); Missole (solar
technology); and Ausra (solar technology).

As the companies; corporate logos flash on the screen, Gore states:
"Here are just a few of the investments that I personally think make
sense. I have a stake in these."

Putting aside the questionable legality of Gore’s promotion of his
investments — conduct that could very well be contrary to federal and
state securities laws that forbid an unlicensed individual from
promoting unregistered securities to the public — it seems that it’s
important to change the laws so that Gore can expand the $100
million-plus fortune he’s already accumulated since leaving public
service in 2001.

Without laws that either mandate the adoption of alternative
energies or subsidize their use, society has little use for these
inefficient and not-ready-for-prime-time alternative energy
technologies. While showing an image of the founding fathers signing
the Declaration of Independence, Gore calls for a new "hero generation"
to save us from the "planetary emergency."

He apparently sees himself as a 21st century Ben Franklin. But while
the founding fathers risked their lives and fortunes in the pursuit of
political freedom and self-government, Gore risks just a small part of
his vast fortune in pursuit of potentially huge profits that will come
at the expense of our pocketbooks and freedoms.

He can hardly be called heroic. Even more grandiosely, Gore sums up
his slideshow by stating, "I think we ought to approach this challenge
with a sense of profound joy and gratitude that we are the generation
about which a thousand years from now, philharmonic orchestras and
poets and singers will celebrate by saying 'they were the ones that
found it within themselves to solve this crisis and lay the basis for a
bright and optimistic human future.'"

Move over, Achilles and Hector. Make room for Gore-acles, the hero of the future epic "The Iliad (Global Warming Edition)."

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.