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Published on: June 24, 2011
The Failure of Al Gore: Part One

It must be as perplexing to his many admirers as it is frustrating to himself that a man of Vice President Gore’s many talents, great skills and strong beliefs is one of the most consistent losers in American politics. “All political careers end in failure,” said Enoch Powell; Gore has not won an election on […]

It must be as perplexing to his many admirers as it is frustrating to himself that a man of Vice President Gore’s many talents, great skills and strong beliefs is one of the most consistent losers in American politics.

“All political careers end in failure,” said Enoch Powell; Gore has not won an election on his own since his 1990 re-election to the Senate from Tennessee.  His 1988 presidential bid ended well short of the nomination.  Many observers felt Gore was headed for defeat in a third Senate campaign as the south continued to swing Republican; Clinton’s offer of the vice presidential slot in 1992 gave Gore the opportunity to reach a national audience as his home state cooled.  On his own again in 2000, gifted by the departing Clinton with the most bubbliciously expanding economy in American history and a comfortable budget surplus, and insulated from the innuendo and scandal of the Clinton White House by his still-vibrant marriage, he found the elusive road to defeat against a flawed and inexperienced challenger.  Tennessee voted for Bush; Florida or no Florida Gore would have gone to the White House if those who knew him longest and best had rallied to his support.

Once out of office, he assumed the leadership of the global green movement, steering that movement into a tsunami of defeat that, when the debris is finally cleared away, will loom as one of the greatest failures of civil society in all time.

Gore has the Midas touch in reverse; objects of great value (Nobel prizes, Oscars) turn dull and leaden at his touch.  Few celebrity cause leaders have had more or better publicity than Gore has had for his climate advocacy.  Hailed by the world press, lionized by the entertainment community and the Global Assemblage of the Great and the Good as incarnated in the Nobel Peace Prize committee, he has nevertheless seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next.  The most recent, failed global climate meeting passed almost unnoticed last week in Bonn; the world has turned its eyes away from the expiring anguish of the Copenhagen agenda.

The state of the global green movement is shambolic.  The Kyoto Protocol is withering on the vine; it will almost certainly die with no successor in place.  There is no chance of cap and trade legislation in the US under Obama, and even the EPA’s regulatory authority over carbon dioxide is under threat.  Brazil is debating a forestry law that critics charge will open the floodgates to a new round of deforestation in the Amazon.  China is taking the green lobby head on, suspending a multibillion dollar Airbus order to protest EU carbon cutting plans.

It is hard to think of any recent failure in international politics this comprehensive, this swift, this humiliating.  Two years ago almost every head of state in the world was engaged with Al Gore’s issue; today the abolition of nuclear weapons looks like a more hopeful cause than the drafting of an effective international treaty that will curb carbon emissions even a little bit.

The plunge from the brink of victory to the pit of defeat must be as unpleasant as it is familiar to the winner of the 2000 popular vote; in his latest essay in Rolling Stone he gives his own best analysis of why he keeps losing.  Few American politicians could write an essay this eloquent or this clear.  Few people in the world can command this kind of attention for their thoughts.  Even so, the results of all this talent and effort are exactly the opposite of what the former vice president would wish; the essay illuminates his shortcomings more than his strengths and makes crystal clear that if global climate policy is going to change, then Al Gore must get out of the way.

Al Gore on the presidential campaign trail in 1999 (Wikimedia)

Let us begin with a basic question of judgment.  The former vice president has failed to grasp the basic nature of the kind of leadership the global green cause requires.  Vice President Gore, like all who aspire to lead great causes, must reconcile his advocacy with his conduct — that is, he must conduct himself in a way that is consistent with the great cause he seeks to promote.

Not all character flaws are inconsistent with positions of great dignity.  General Grant’s fondness for whiskey did not make him unfit for command.  Other statesmen have combined great public achievement with failure in their personal lives.  Franklin Roosevelt was neither a good father nor a good husband; Edward VII was a better monarch than man.

But while some forms of inconsistency or even hypocrisy can be combined with public leadership, others cannot be.  A television preacher can eat too many french fries, watch too much cheesy TV and neglect his kids in the quest for global fame.  But he cannot indulge in drug fueled trysts with male prostitutes while preaching conservative Christian doctrine.  The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence.  The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat.  The most visible leader of the world’s green movement cannot live a life of conspicuous consumption, spewing far more carbon into the atmosphere than almost all of those he castigates for their wasteful ways.  Mr. Top Green can’t also be a carbon pig.

You can be a leading environmentalist and fail to pay all of your taxes.  You can be a leading environmentalist and be unkind to your aged mother.  You can be a leading environmentalist and squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle, park in the handicapped spots at the mall or scribble angry marginal notes in library books.

But you cannot be a leading environmentalist who hopes to lead the general public into a long and difficult struggle for sacrifice and fundamental change if your own conduct is so flagrantly inconsistent with the green gospel you profess.  If the heart of your message is that the peril of climate change is so imminent and so overwhelming that the entire political and social system of the world must change, now, you cannot fly on private jets.  You cannot own multiple mansions.  You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.

It is not enough to buy carbon offsets (aka “indulgences”) with your vast wealth, not enough to power your luxurious mansions with exotic low impact energy sources the average person could not afford, not enough to argue that you only needed the jet so that you could promote your earth-saving film.

You are asking billions of people, the overwhelming majority of whom lack many of the basic life amenities you take for granted, people who can’t afford Whole Foods environmentalism, to slash their meager living standards.  You may well be right, and those changes may be necessary — the more shame on you that with your superior insight and knowledge you refuse to live a modest life.  There’s a gospel hymn some people in Tennessee still sing that makes the point:  “You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine.”

St. Francis of Assisi understood the point well.  Taken by the Pope on a tour to see the treasures of the Vatican, St. Francis was notably unimpressed.  “Peter can no longer say, ‘silver and gold have I none,'” smiled the Pontiff, referring to the story in the Book of Acts that recounts what St. Peter said to a crippled beggar asking him for alms.

“Neither can he say, ‘rise up and walk.'” replied St. Francis — quoting what St. Peter said as he miraculously cured the beggar of his affliction.

You can sit on ivory chairs with kings in their halls of gold, participating in the world of politics as usual, or you can live with the prophets and visionaries in the wilderness, voices of a greater truth and higher meaning that challenge the smug certainties and false assumptions of the comfortable, business as usual elites.  You cannot do both.

Al Gore cannot say “silver and gold have I none and no excess carbon do I spew,” and neither can he say to the paralyzed global green movement “rise up and walk.”  He speaks, he writes, he speaks again, and the movement lies on the ground, crippled and inert.

A fawning establishment press spares the former vice president the vitriol and schadenfreude it pours over the preachers and priests whose personal conduct compromised the core tenets of their mission; Gore is not mocked as others have been.  This gentle treatment hurts both Gore and the greens; he does not know just how disabling, how crippling the gap between conduct and message truly is.  The greens do not know that his presence as the visible head of the movement helps ensure its political failure.

Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.  The peril is imminent, he says.  It is desperate.  The hands of the clock point to twelve.  The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun.  The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman’s leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.  He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry.  A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation.  Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption.  This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

Al Gore giving a lecture on global warming at the University of Miami (Wikimedia)

What this tells the skeptics is that Vice President Gore doesn’t really believe the gospel he proclaims.  That profits from his environmental advocacy enable his affluent lifestyle only deepens their skepticism of the messenger and therefore of the message.  And when they see that the rest of the environmental movement accepts this flagrant contradiction, they conclude, naturally enough, that the other green leaders aren’t as worried as they claim to be.  Al Gore’s lifestyle is a test case for the credibility of his gospel — and it fails. The tolerance of Al Gore’s lifestyle by the environmental leadership is a further test — and that test, too, the greens fail.

The average citizen is all too likely to conclude that if Mr. Gore can keep his lifestyle, the average American family can keep its SUV and incandescent bulbs.  If Gore can take a charter flight, I don’t have to take the bus.  If Gore can have many mansions, I can use the old fashioned kind of shower heads that actually clean and toilets that actually flush.  Al Gore looks to the average American the way American greens look to poor people in the third world: hypocritically demanding that others accept permanently lower standards of living than those the activists propose for themselves.

There are gospels that can be preached by the comfortable and the well fed.  But radical environmentalism is not one of them.  If you want to be Savonarola, you must don the hair shirt.  If you want a public bonfire of the vanities, you must sleep on an iron cot and throw your own cherished treasures into the flame.

That is how you change the world.  That is what you do if you believe that humanity’s future hangs in the balance, and Providence has appointed you a leader in the fight.

The Vice President thinks he can square this circle, but he can’t. Sometimes the truth is inconvenient.  Mr. Gore must find either a new cause or a new way to live.

Al Gore’s 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (Wikimedia)

I am not one of those who thinks him a hypocrite; I think rather that he shares an illusion common amongst the narcissistic glitterati of our time: that politically fashionable virtue cancels private vice.  The drug addled Hollywood celeb whose personal life is a long record of broken promises and failed relationships and whose serial bouts with drug and alcohol abuse and revolving door rehab adventures are notorious can redeem all by “standing up” for some exotic, stylish cause. These moral poseurs and dilettantes of virtue are modern versions of those guilt-plagued medieval nobles who built churches and monasteries to ‘atone’ for their careers of bloodshed, oppression and scandal.

Mr. Gore is sincere, as the fur-fighting actresses are sincere, as so many ’causey’ plutocrats and moguls are sincere.  It is perhaps also true that the fundraisers who absolve them of their guilt in exchange for the donations and the publicity are at least as sincere as the indulgence sellers in Martin Luther’s Germany.

I don’t judge, dear reader, and neither should you.  May we all find mercy when we stand alone, naked and ashamed before the judgement seat of God.

But whether or not Vice President Gore’s lifestyle will pass muster on the Day of Wrath, it does not pass muster in American politics. Worse, by hanging out with the glitterati and identifying himself so clearly with the elite against the Great Unwashed, Gore does irreparable harm to the cause he seeks to lead.   The Achilles heel of environmentalism in politics has always been its association with upper crust ‘starve the peasants to save the pheasants’ thinking.  Gore’s lifestyle and the way he positions the issue strengthen that fatal association rather than undermining it.  The more the rich and the well bred applaud his heroism and swoon over his courage, the more sullen and resistant the peasants grow.

Add to this that the Vice President persists in partisanship — taking pot shots not simply at Republicans and conservatives who disagree with him on climate issues, but mocking and scorning precisely the values and views of the people he (ostensibly) hopes to persuade — and he presents the inescapable impression among skeptics that he is not serious.

If Al Gore really wants to understand why the global green movement has tanked, he should start by taking a long hard look in the mirror.  Gaia, too, can be betrayed by a kiss.

show comments
  • stephen b

    Gore took Clinton’s “stand and fight” pretty hard. He never recovered. Of course, if Bill had resigned, Gore likely would have served Bush’s two terms. However, his condescension, and hectoring lecture style when he speaks only appeals to people with great respect for the academy.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Global Warming will become known as the Greatest Scientific Fraud in human history.

  • WigWag

    Mead says,

    “If you want to be Savonarola, you must don the hair shirt.”

    Fair enough, but it seems to me that if you want to be Torquemada donning the hair shirt might be a good idea as well.

    I can’t really disagree with anything Mead says in this post; my only real criticism is that it’s trivial. But as long as Mead thinks that it’s perfectly appropriate to have open season on the way that Gore lives his life, he shouldn’t mind having it pointed out that he is a member of the same elite and narcissistic class that Gores belongs to.

    Mead may serve on fewer corporate boards and have fewer shekels in his bank account than the Vice President, but like Gore he has more than one home (the Mead Mansion and his home in Dutchess County). Like Gore, Mead hobnobs with the rich and powerful. Perhaps the greatest similarity between Mead and Gore is that they both seem to become intoxicated not by what goes into their mouths but by what comes out of them.

    I don’t doubt that Gore is both a hypocrite and twisted. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I suspect that if Gore swallowed a nail, he would defecate a cork screw. But ultimately, why should anyone with a brain care? Doesn’t Mead’s strange post suggest that he’s bizarrely obsessed with Gore’s personal circumstances? What’s with the voyeurism Professor Mead?

    Does the Professor really think that this post provides anyone with news we can use? Isn’t pointing out the hypocrisy of politicians a completely banal enterprise? Don’t we see evidence of the point Mead is making every morning when we open the newspaper? What’s next from Professor Mead, a post on Oprah and how her girl’s school in South Africa is a fraud? A post on Madonna or Angelina Jolie’s adoption plans?

    Let’s stipulate for a moment that Gore is a creep. So what?

    If Mead wanted to write something interesting and pertinent about Gore, he could have written a post on how things might have been different had Gore won the election instead of Bush (assuming that Bush actually “won” which may or may not be true).

    When Bill Clinton left office the U.S. public debt was less than 60 percent of GDP; when George Bush left office it was almost 70 percent of GDP.

    When Bill Clinton left office, he left a budget surplus of more than $86.5 billion. After multiple surplus years during the Clinton Administration the discussion was what the ramifications would be for the Federal Reserve if the U.S. public debt was completely paid off. So strong and sustained were the surpluses that the U.S. Treasury actually stopped issuing 30 year T Bills. Needless to say, all of this was frittered away by George W. Bush. When he left office, the budget surplus that Clinton gave us became a budget deficit of $407 billion.

    Where did things go wrong? Bush significantly reduced marginal tax rates, he eliminated the estate tax, he wasted hundreds of billions on an unnecessary war in Iraq and an arguably unnecessary war in Afghanistan and he enacted a Medicare Prescription Drug bill that a Democratic President never would have been able to get passed.

    Had Gore been President, there almost certainly would have been no war in Iraq, not tax cuts and no Medicare drug coverage. It is entirely possible, even likely, that the entire debt of the United States Government would have been paid off during a Gore Administration.

    Had this occurred, when the inevitable recession finally arrived, the fiscal stimulation needed to fight it might have raised federal debt to 20 or 30 percent of GDP; an entirely manageable level.

    Al Gore may have been a creep but he was a creep who worked in an Administration whose economic stewardship was the most remarkably successful stewardship in decades. Had the Supreme Court handed the election to Gore instead of Bush, there is simply no doubt that today we would be in a dramatically better economic position than we are.

    But Professor Mead prefers to lecture us on how terrible it is that Gore lives and opulent and decadent life style.

    He calls this post “Al Gore: Part 1.” I can’t wait to see what will follow in Mead’s “Life Styles of the Rich and Famous” series.

    I’m betting that his next target is Lindsey Lohan.

  • vanderleun

    Well you are a better man than I. I do judge and I damn him in the here and now trusting that God’s judgment will reflect a more heavenly being than I am.

  • Luke Lea

    Look at it this way: If you believe the global warming alarmists are misguided, you should be thankful Gore is their leader. :)

  • WigWag

    Besides the utter banality of Mead’s post on Al Gore, the other problem with it is that it is almost certainly wrong.

    Like Marshall McLuhan, Mead is convinced, (at least in the case of Al Gore and global warming) that the “Medium is the Message.” Mead is incorrect about this.

    McLuhan’s point was that the presenter of an idea and the idea itself existed in a symbiotic relationship that changed both and ultimately determined the manner in which the idea was perceived by any given audience.

    I tend to think that Woody Allen playing Alvy Singer in Annie Hall gets McLuhan’s idea right; it’s hogwash. But then Alvy Singer was correct about alot of things. When Annie Hall tells Alvy how clean Los Angeles is, he replies,

    “That’s because they don’t throw their garbage away, they turn it into television shows.”

    Perhaps in Dutchess County they sometimes turn the garbage into blog posts.

    Man made global warming may or may not be a real phenomenon. I certainly don’t know whether it is or not; the hype may be right or it may be wrong.

    But one thing we can know for sure is that the veracity of what the scientific community says about global warming is not changed one way or the other by Al Gore’s lifestyle, his hypocrisy or his foibles.

    Suggesting that Al Gore represents some type of metaphor for everything wrong with environmentalists actually tells us exactly nothing. It’s laziness masquerading as thoughtful analysis.

  • Randy

    Wonder what the Goracle will say when the State Department approves the Keystone XL pipeline.

  • chuck

    Round its hilt was a frill of paper, on which was scrawled:

    “Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques.”

  • Peter

    Gore is a walking, talking, breathing ‘shambol.’

    And Mr. Mead, the reason the man-made global warming hoax tanked is not because Al Gore and his ilk were exposed as hypocrites. It’s because reality never did support their hypothesis no matter how many self-serving government funded ‘scientists’ they lined up on their side.

    The mystery is not really how fast the air came out of the ballon of Al Gore hype but rather how his hoax ever got so far advanced in the first place.

  • Rockyspoon

    I actually feel sorry for this misguided, evil man. He’s been the cause of more misdirected efforts both in his own life and as he’s influenced others with complete lies about the climate and what should be done about it. He’s tried to profit from his own lies, and that should be grounds for imprisonment. And the saddest aspect of this whole sordid affair is that apparently Gore believes his own tripe and feels it is just fine and dandy to make money from his scare-mongering. I’m not at all surprised that his reputation is worthless, that he’s no longer the recipient of accolades as he once was; rather, he’s the subject of ridicule, and deservedly so! May his name forever be associated with fraud and deceit.

  • realheadline

    Yes, and Bernie Madoff’s ponsi business also failed because of leadership. Give me a break, it failed because it’s a con game.

  • JohnR22

    Climatology is a science in its infancy with virtually no models able to predict future outcomes with accuracy. The science simply isn’t firm enough to convince billions of people to make such a huge sacrifice in their standards of living. Even if the science was rock-solid, IMO people would utterly reject the costs.

    As for Gore, he’s an opportunist. After 2000 he risked becoming an irrelevancy, so he grasped what appeared to be a growing issue and wormed his way into the movement’s global spokesman. The AGW movement has utterly collapsed, and Gore with it. I wonder what he’ll pull for his next trick?

  • bartok

    Careless readers here seem to think mr. Mead is criticizing Gore’s lifestyle and calling him a hypocrite. That’s not really Mead’s main point. What mr. Mead is saying is that Gore’s lifestyle is actually bad propaganda and bad symbolysm for the environmental movement, that it is seen/perceived as hypocrite by the larger public, being thus counterproductive to the cause he defends/leads.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Exactly so.

  • Svendsky

    Well we’re going to have to get the message out to the National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, all MSM, Romney, the progressives, General Electric, much of Corporate World, the Environmentalists, etc. ,who are all IN, that man made global warming is a fraud cause they are all working overtime on pet projects to save the world.

    Personally, for me, I can’t stand Gore, who I once respected for the most part. I don’t know for sure what to think of ‘Climate Change’, but one thing I do know is that short of riding bicycles, using dung for cooking and heat, shutting down the world economy, especially China and the U.S. (that should be interesting) humans aren’t going to stop it with a cap and trade law or with scolding from Al Gore or by seeding clouds with canon bursts of confetti. Learn to live with it. If it kills us, so what, somethings going to eventually. Buck Up old man.

  • 1200FPS

    Wow, someone’s getting out all his best syllables and wearing them like a kid in his first rental tuxedo.

    Hey Wag, I’m gonna take this down a notch. Your posts are stupid. Mead’s opulent lifestyle is irrelevant, unless he’s leading some hugely hypocritical global movement I’m unaware of. (Whoo! Didja see what type of word I ended that sentence with?)

    This what you get with pointy-headed liberalism. Mead has made a nearly airtight argument: Gore’s preaching is totally inconsistent with his lifestyle. Some Manhattan liberal comes along and attacks the messenger with irrelevant accusations and fanstasy “what if I re-write history” situations. Yawn. But here’s the best part: “Why didn’t you write an article attacking Bush?” I suppose it would be unsophisticatd to actually type “hahahaha,” but dang, that was pretty funny. If this this is what passes for persuasive argument with these people, that is one argument we simply can’t lose.

    BTW, no list of Gore failures is complete without mention of his TV channel that nobody watches.

  • JPhoto1

    The mystery is, or should be, why did so many intelligent people not see through this obvious scam from the start. Scientists argue incessantly over the exact mechanisms of obscure chemical reactions. This is why the scientific method works so well.
    In this case, a very shaky hypothesis was never contested, even though the basic raw data supporting it were hidden. In the real world this theory would have never made it to the first rank of scientific thought. Grant money makes otherwise brilliant scientists charlatans.

  • Marilyn Jackson

    Peter, “how this hoax got so far advanced”, is that the Liberal Mob will believe anything if it has a good slogan.

    The Liberal Mob is completely incapable of rational thought. They still believe that it was Marie Antoinette who said, “Let them eat cake.” Why? Because that is what they want to believe.

    The Liberal Mob does not care about truth.

  • harkin

    Al Gore is the best thing that ever happened to the AGW crowd until the climategate emails surfaced. Hypocrisy combined with fraud have destroyed the movement (the purpose of which was to transfer as much $$$ from the producers to the socialist elites to buy votes) even with the msm providing cover-up. I say give him another Nobel to diminish its value even more!

  • LaneyB

    Gore was a sniveling fool before he latched onto climate nonsense, and just as the rest of history’s hysterics, when proven once again the fool, is shown to have profited mightily from those who need a cause, any cause, to feel relevant. I trust we will hear little of his exploits in the future. Let the world be spared.

  • Mary Wilbur

    I can’t take the global disaster hysteria of the greenies seriously because it’s so selfish. I’ve even read in comments to environmentalist blogs hints of the necessity of some sort of mass genocide will be necessary to save the planet. The earth is not now and never has been stagnant. Its climate and geography have always changed. Homosapiens showed up during a brief warming spell — a very short timespan in the life of this of this planet. Environmentalists seem to want to take a snapshot of a moment in time and preserve it forever. It will never happen.

  • urbangreen

    The reason that for the increased skepticism is not that Gore is a hypocrite, but that the scientific evidence for AGW is falling apart. For every piece of evidence trumpeted by the media as proof of AGW, there is about 5 or 6 other scientific counter arguments that rarely see the light of day. AGW is a cottage industry- evidence be damned!

    I am convinced that you cannot rationalize with the environmental radicals because every issue is hysteria, in which no contrarian debates are allowed; obviously, the science is “settled”. When this type of approach is taken, no rationale solutions can be derived. Environmentalists are not so much interested in the environment, only in stifling debate. The conclusions of the IPCC are far, far from being settled, but every spineless salivating politician is now seeing dollar signs from all the potential taxes they feel they are now morally obligated to collect, in the name of the environment. There is a distinction between environmental issues and Global warming, but you would be hard-pressed to identify that nuance among the press, or the many governments and institutions all jumping on the GW bandwagon. It would be naive to believe that altruism is the only motivating factor for theses parties, i.e. international governments whose only interest is in Uncle Sam dispensing out checks, every time an American turns on the lights. It shocks me at the willingness of many scientific organizations (not the rank and file scientists) to compromise their scientific integrity, by issuing hyperbolic statements about the peril of the planet that they know to be BS and borderline absurd. Again, its the money.

    We want to seek cleaner alternate energy sources- I’m all for that! But this religious fervency, with which the press has framed this issue, is morally repugnant, and bordering on McCarthyism. It is unfortunate that this brand of fear fanaticism has spread to the masses of people, whose unfortunate circumstances in life are now given a new focal point for their disenfranchisement. It is especially vile when the message is intended to magnify the fears of children, who are the most vulnerable to this propaganda. Because the majority of people cannot or are not inclined to delve in the specifics of the science, we are left to the mercies of mercenary organizations, who are paid handsome sums of grant money to perpetrate the climatological status quo”. Many are not even aware, that the IPCC report has downgraded their original assertions from the catastrophic scenarios originally espoused, to the more moderate predictions, which really should cause one to wonder- OK- what is the fuss all about? More and more, there is published data from other sources, other than IPCC, which show evidence that the causes of the warming have been incorrectly assigned toward humans. Again, do not count on the many members of the fourth estate to highlight these contradictions, since they are both lazy and complicit in the misdirection.

    The way the argument is framed, rather obnoxiously I would say, is “How can you not accept that the earth is warming?” Well, the argument should be positioned to ask “How can you not accept that earth is ever dynamic?” It is apparent to most scientists by now, that the claims from that ridiculous Gore movie, are way over the top, and most, sheepishly shy away from the outlandish claims made by Mr. Gore. He will perhaps find a better audience among the mis-informed pop culture icons and their worshipers. The unfortunate part of all of this, is that legitimate environmental concerns will not be properly addressed, while solutions to non-existent problems are approached with the typical politically correct demagoguery of the few, with no consideration of the consequences, intended or otherwise, to the lives of the billions of inhabitants of this planet. America is complicit in this hyperbole, by acquiescing to the diatribes of the more radicalized factions of greenies, bent on stifling scientific debate, and feeding the hysteria with messianic overtones. Our politicians are totally gutless, and adverse to any position, regardless of principles, that will make them appear as though they are questioning the tenants of AGW. The greenies and the radical left have succeeded in shaping the argument to make it seem that debating AGW is akin to questioning the purity of mom, apple pie, or the loyalty of a fine dog. Long Live Political correctness.

  • ThomasD

    Al Gore may not be a frank hypocrite who tells tales he does not believe. But he most obviously does not walk the walk that would match all of his talk. That would seem quite a connundrum if we did not already have knowledge a well established history of his origins, goals and aspirations.

    While Gore may superficially believe what he espouses, he only does so because he needs to believe as a means to obtain what he truly desires – the public affirmation and power of high office.

    Seeing his avenue of ascent in traditional American politics closed off he went in search of the next best thing, and he found it in the modern green movement. yet, since his adoption of the enviro faith was less spiritual than pragmatic he has never felt the need to actually live it, but has merely contented himself to tell others how to live it.

    Al Gore has always been a career politician, and nothing more.

  • DL

    WigWag – You haven’t addressed Prof. Meade’s main point, that Mr. Gore bears a large share of personal responsibility for the collapse and failure of the environmental movement as a result of his conspicuous hypocrisy. If you want to engage in counterfactual speculation, try to imagine how the environmental movement would have fared had Mr. Gore led a life that demonstrated to the world his belief in the cause he espouses.

  • limboaz

    Ha Ha…. great article!

    Al Gore is a hypocrite for sure, but the shakey, biased science used to support the thesis that global warming is caused by humans was bound to be exposed eventually. The only proof that ever really existed was the output of highly speculative computer models.

  • http://www.southernmanblog.com Southern Man

    “The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat.”

    Apparently, he can.

  • xrayjack

    Overpopulation is the problem. Unfortunately, there is no solution.

  • Craig Purcell

    I like Gore’s new internet book “Our Choice”. Get the app version it is a great format for presentation in digita; format.

    http://ourchoicethebook.com/

    Conservatives need to bone up on Environmental Science a bit because you can’t burn all the “Drill Baby Drill” fossil fuel and expect no consequences. The world is not a dump.

    The biosphere is more delicate than you think and dumping all the outfall is called pollution.

    ver hear of that ?

    Carbon offsets are better than no offsets at all — at least from a planetary perspective. Check out REDD.

    http://www.un-redd.org/

    Coming soon to a city near you + Eco-Cities too boot! It is time for the US to catch up or we’ll be leap frogged.

    Regards,

    Craig Purcell, LEED

    P.S. – Check out Tianjin Eco-City

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/13/tianjin-eco-city_n_806972.html#s

  • Randy

    One principle overlooked in the debate is the simple distinction between ‘is’ and ‘ought’. Even if AGW ‘is’ true, it is by no means certain what ‘ought’ to be done about it. Gore and his disciples attempt to use the badge of Science and Reason as sanction to prescribe ‘solutions’ to the problem while failing to realize that policy discussions are fraught with competing concerns. Their diagnosis may well lie in the realm of Science, but the prescriptions are far more messy. To put it another way, scientists often make terrible engineers.

  • mark l.

    old liberal lament:
    people look at the weather and see god.

    new liberal lament:
    people look at the weather and refuse to see man.

  • senor

    Thank God somebody had finally called out Al Gore for the dangerous fanatic he is. I grew up in Tennessee, watched his political career unfold with increasing extremism. He is not only a hypocrite (see his ties to Armand Hammer and Occidental Petroleium) but one with a saviour complex as well.

  • patrick

    To Wig Wag, Al gore and people like you claim carbon burning is a crime therefore his burning is more criminal then the average mans. Nothing lazy or non analytical about that. Were not talking about drinking soda and eating french fries while preaching an organic diet, Al Gore and you claim the world will end and billions of people will die,,,,and soon. So he should stop causing the outcome he predicts and NOW. LIve in a hut and grow vegetables isn’t that what will stop the warming?

  • sinz54

    The only way that greenhouse gas emissions are going to be curtailed in America is if there is a sustained, long-term, bipartisan (or even non-partisan) commitment to it.

    Just as we had a bipartisan commitment to funding the Interstate Highway System and the race to land a man on the moon. Otherwise, it will become a political football, ready to be trashed the moment the opposition party regains power.

    And for that role, Al Gore is totally unqualified. He was and still is a Democratic Party partisan, the Democratic Party attack dog who went after Ross Perot, and a reminder to all Republicans of the disastrous 2000 election recount mess. Thus to anyone who is not a liberal and not a Democrat, having Gore advocate for something makes it look like that thing is just yet another liberal scheme. The only ones who will accept what a liberal Democrat partisan like Al Gore is saying, are other liberal Democrat partisans.

    If someone like General Petraeus became an advocate for capping greenhouse gas emissions, folks on both sides of the aisle would have to listen. And that’s not as far fetched as you would think, because the Pentagon has already been studying the effect that global warming might have on world geopolitical stability.

    Finally, note that all this enviro stuff was more fun when it was the United States that was the world’s biggest consumer of energy. Criticism of that fit neatly into the general anti-Americanism of the vast majority of environmentalists who are also political left-wingers.

    It’s not as much fun now that China has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest consumer of energy. Because when Al Gore opens his mouth about THEM, the Chinese are going to tell him to go pound sand, as they are doing here:

    http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE75N04520110624

    and here, where China is building one new “clean coal” plant every MONTH, defying Gore and the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace and the rest of their ilk:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html

    Hey, Mr. Craig Purcell: Would you like the U.S. to catch up to the Chinese in “clean coal” plants too?

  • JEM

    WigWag – the supposed veracity of the ‘climate science’ community is the OTHER reason that the public has thrown the climate scare in the garbage.

    They’ve been caught, over and over and over again, doing very bad and dumb things. There is no scientific method in ‘climate science’ as currently practiced.

    If we are going to have honest science done in the field, the IPCC must first be put to death and individuals like the serial dissembler Mann must be rooted out for good.

  • Ed Joyce

    As a person who lived in China for four years, I had to laugh at Mr. Purcell’s weblink to the “Tianjin Eco-City.” Believe me, the Chinese government is great at symbols and Potemkin villages, but it’s only for PR. Instead, check out the reality of Chinese “pollution control.”

    http://pollutionpictures.blogspot.com/2011/01/woww-most-polluted-cities-are-in-china.html

    http://cargocycling.org/tag/air-pollution-china

    http://chinadigitaltimes.net/china/air-pollution/page/2/

  • CWWJ

    Wig Wag(among other inanities)says:

    “Al Gore may have been a creep but he was a creep who worked in an Administration whose economic stewardship was the most remarkably successful stewardship in decades. Had the Supreme Court handed the election to Gore instead of Bush, there is simply no doubt that today we would be in a dramatically better economic position than we are.”

    These tropes had their day long ago. Bill Clinton’s “successful stewardship” was the direct result of three things: (1) a briskly growing economy that had already climbed out of recession but was portrayed as dismal by the Clinton campaign; (2)the “peace dividend” he inherited from the end of the Cold War (a triumph of Ronald Reagan)that enabled him to cut defense spending, and (3) six years of a Republican congress that dragged him, kicking and screaming, toward the center into the fiscal responsibility that produced a brief surplus. One might suggest that trying to pass a health care plan cobbled together behind closed doors by his wife was not a stellar example of “stewardship,” but the American people slapped that down quickly.

    As for the Supreme Court “handing” the election to Bush instead of Gore, it was quickly forgotten that the Florida Supreme Court had flaunted the state’s election law by allowing a recount in the first place. But it all became moot when a later media recount of the votes in Florida found that Bush would have won anyway.

    Why would anyone without a working crystal ball assume that the economy would have fared much better with Al Gore as president? Gore would have inherited the same recession Bush did, and the same 9-11 attack, and faced the same collapsing housing market and financial crisis. What courageous steps would this wonky blowhard have taken?

    Wig Wag’s assertion that we would not have had a costly Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors under Gore is just wacky: both Bush and Gore promised such a benefit in their 2000 campaigns. The Bush plan that offers seniors choices rather than mandates has come in 40% under projected costs — something of a miracle for a government program.

    But I do agree that Gore has failed in his radical environmentalism not because of his hypocrisy in demanding that we ride bicycles while he jets around the world in his Gulfstream, but because of rising skepticism about the causes, severity, and outcomes of global warming. Gore’s initially hailed, award-winning PowerPoint presentation has proved to contain so many inaccuracies and exaggerations that today its credibility is virtually nil. As is Al Gore’s.

  • TomH

    He purchased carbon credits to offset the excesses and ummm he’s creating jobs with his lifestyle too. jk

  • Noah

    The elections Gore Jr won on his own were seats previously held by his father.

  • senor

    It is true: Gore has been a gift to those who doubt global warming. Maybe he’s been a mole all the years.

  • Locomite

    Hey, Wig Wag, the Democrats had a much more costly prescription drug bill than the one Bush eventually signed.
    And…I’m a Clinton fan, but the economy during his terms were helped enormously by the surge in technology, whereas Bush came in when the bubble broke, not to mention 9-11.

  • http://www.theglitteringeye.com Dave Schuler

    But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world. He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry. A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation. Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption. This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

    The problem is actually worse than simple hypocrisy. Carbon production increases with income greater than linearly at n log n. In simple terms that means that we can’t reduce carbon production materially here in the United States unless the top two income quintiles change their behavior. Unfortunately, the policy prescriptions fall heavier on the lowest three quintiles than they do on the upper ones.

  • JungleCogs

    The writer could have saved a lot of time by saying, “AlGore’s is a hypocrite and everybody knows it”.

  • Chris Maxwell

    Blah Blah Blah and how many so called Christians don the robes of Christ forsaking all earthly possesions.

    Global Warming is real no matter how many Exxon paid so called scientists deny it. Of course the anti-science ingnorant Republicans will continue to insist that the world is flat and at the center of the universe. Alas what can one say but Meade when reading such nonsense!

  • http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/ TBogg

    This is the same Walter Russell Mead who supported the Iraq war?

    Yeah. Good call on that one Walt.

  • MaxMBJ

    You don’t judge, Dr. Mead? Well I sure do. Gore is an absolute hypocrite. No rich tapestry of nuance can blur that line. Consider this: Gore’s the same man who sealed his 2000 Democratic presidential nomination with a giant, family-oriented, wife-loving, Clinton-slapping KISS of his wonderful wife.

    I don’t know if Tipper was onto this “crazed sex poodle’s” true nature at that point in time, but I’m pretty sure hypocrites as megalomaniacal as Gore don’t sprout from pure soil overnight.

    Please, dear and gentle readers, do judge this man. The same Bible that tells readers not to judge lest they be judged says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    Gore is an absolute, unrepentent hypocrite. Period.

  • Konyok

    This was a truth that Mahatma Gandhi understood well. Although the ultimate beneficiaries of satyagraha were the Indian elites, Gandhi grounded his resistance to the order of things in the common people – and played the part masterfully. Not so with Mr. Gore …

  • aallison

    In an effort to hasten the demise of the AGW myth, I’d like to change the subject. Let’s shift the focus from carbon emission to net carbon transfer. Turns out that, as published in the October 1998 issue of Science, North America is a carbon sink. It’s the photosynthesis, stupid!

  • jazzycmk

    “…gifted by the departing Clinton with the most bubbliciously expanding economy in American history”.

    That’s a bit much. By most economists’ assessments we went into recession in March 2001 (although some place it as early as Nov 2000). While the timing was convenient to blame Bush, it is not possible to drive the economy into recession in the 1.5 months Bush had been in office. The dot com boom had ended and the bubble was close to bursting when Clinton was leaving office. I’m not assigning blame here. Just pointing out that the author’s recollection of the economy in Nov 2000 is a bit rosy.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    The problem with Gore is that he has, with his books and movies, made himself the most visible representative of the “science” of global warming. Though not a scientist, he is to AGW advocacy what Carl Sagan was to UFO skepticism, and then some. So if he really believes that AGW is true and the world is in trouble, he is doing all of us a GREAT disservice by acting contrary to that belief in his private life. And if he doesn’t believe it, he is just a miserable con man.

  • Jan v J

    It mattereth not whether Gore be symptom or cause. The cAGW scam is dead.

  • James King

    Gore lost all credibility for human-caused global warming once it was revealed he was using his lectern to enrich himself to the tune of becoming the first Green billionaire. I believe in capitalism, but con-men like Gore and Kevin Trudeau are 2 peas in a pod.

  • Cousin Dave

    Craig, more of the same propaganda isn’t going to convince anyone anymore. It’s a fact that the Earth has actually been cooling since 1998, as demonstrated by John Christy, and the urgency to keep up with political correctness cuts no ice with any American who isn’t a Marxist.

    Wigwag, you are trying to use the old leftist non-morality argument in favor of Gore and against Mead, and it isn’t going to work. In fact, I’m going to turn that very argument against you and Gore. It’s Gore who has preached of the necessity of living the green lifestyle, not Mead. Since Mead does not hold that there is anything moral about the green lifestyle, there is no public expectation for him to live by it. I live a lifestyle that a lot of Third Worlders might consider opulent, but since I don’t accept that there is anything immoral about doing so, I don’t care. And as far as Gore not practicing what he preaches, what you’re doing is like the leftists who are trying to defend Anthony Weiner by claiming that what he’s doing is okey-dokey by leftist standards. Maybe the leftists themselves really believe that, but as a matter of practical politics, the argument “I never claimed to have any morals” is unlikely to cut ice with most American voters.

    Having said all that, realheadline has a point: even if Ed Begley Jr. was the movement’s leader, it’s likely that it still would be discredited today. The Climategate emails have exposed the AGW movement as being not just wrong, but fraudulent. AGW is no longer a scientific inquiry; it’s now a criminal investigation. The political damage has set climate science back decades. The only part that has survived is the skeptics’ branch that attributes all (or nearly all) climate variation to solar variation, which remains untouched by the scandal because it was so forcefully excluded by the movement, and so never got wrapped into the political spoils loop. Michael Mann will go down as the Lysenko of this generation. I personally accept the solar variation theory, but it’s not good for science that it stands as the default theory simply because the advocates of the other theories have shamed themselves.

  • chemman

    The agreed upon temperature change for the 20th century was .7C. The error bars for this change was +/- 1-2C. The change actually falls in the area known as noise it might be real but we can’t know. That is why AGW is failing its data and predictions are not coming to pass. Mr. Gore and his lifestyle don’t have a bearing on why I am a skeptic.

  • tipper gore

    The debate is OVER, Al Gore is a mosquito.

  • http://moneyrunner.blogspot.com/ Moneyrunner

    Walter Russell Mead takes Al Gore to task for failure to live the lifestyle that corresponds to the rather hysterical predictions he has made about global warming … that is caused by the Gore lifestyle. In doing so, he blames Gore for the failure of the Greens to advance their cause. In the end, we don’t know whether Mead is like the atheist who mocks the fallen evangelist or the believer who is angry that his idol has feet of clay.

    But Mead is wrong in blaming the failure of the Global Warming crowd on its spokesman, Gore. Gore is simply a convenient symbol to people who never bought into the hyperbole or who had the scales removed from their eyes when opponents of the theory exposed its flaws. No thinking person took Gore, a failed theology student, for a scientific guru. He was always a front man, as politicians most often are. His language was so Manichean that it was repellent. In his Rolling Stone article he says: “In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.” I was waiting for some indication that this was a bit of self-effacing hyperbole, but it was not. This is actually Al Gore in his entire Green splendor: the purest good fighting the basest evil. This is not a scientist making his case: this was Billy Sunday blasting the Devil incarnate.

    Mead begins his essay with: “It must be as perplexing to his many admirers as it is frustrating to himself that a man of Vice President Gore’s many talents, great skills and strong beliefs is one of the most consistent losers in American politics.” It doesn’t take much more than that single sentence in that Rolling Stone article to cause you to ask not why he’s such a loser but why he has so many admirers.

  • slowerlower

    I stopped listening to the guy, let alone taking him seriously, when he was busily (busybodily?) trying to save my then teenaged self from heavy metal music.

  • Noterdoter

    Mr Mead gets one thing wrong about Al Gore. He questions his judgement. Actually, Al Gore seems to be crazy as a loon. We’ve all known this ever since we saw him tongue his wife during his 2000 Presidential run. So does being a fruitcake somehow mitigate the charge of hypocrisy against him? I don’t know, but often I find him funny, scary, and pathetic at the same time. A year from now he will be just plain boring and we won’t be having these discussions. Fine article.

  • http://epsilon-power.blogspot.com Epsilon Given

    Wag, I don’t get your point. Mead is making the case that certain lifestyles don’t go with certain causes. In particular, if you are calling for everyone to wear sackcloth, you cannot be wearing silk suits!

    Mead is merely pointing out that Gore’s actions don’t match his message–living in a mansion does *nothing* to affect this point. If Mead were to take up the mantle of Global Warming, then yes, Mead’s mansion suddenly becomes relevant.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      The stately Mead manor in glamorous Queens, let me say, is VERY green.

  • C.Olivas

    Most climate scientists and luminaries such a Mr. Gore continue to laugh in the face of those they feel superior to. The whole green movement is not about living a life where the carbon footprint is minuscule, just the opposite, it’s about money, power and control. The moment our educated elite (yes, this means you Dr. Mead) realize it, it will be a huge milestone in American history.
    Most people fail to see and fully grasp the huge amounts of money being made by the so-called green movement.

  • george

    Al Gore’s message fails for the same reason John Kerry’s war hero narrative failed. It..Is..Utter..[you know what — ed].

  • Belinda Gomez

    Actually, I think the most telling detail about Gore is that his kid has a drug problem. Shouldn’t that have been his main priority, rather than Current TV or getting Americans to give up light bulbs?

  • Steph

    You write,

    “These moral poseurs and dilettantes of virtue are modern versions of those guilt-plagued medieval nobles who built churches and monasteries to ‘atone’ for their careers of bloodshed, oppression and scandal.”

    If only it were so. At least we still have the churches and monestaries they built to expeate their sin. What will future generations be left with of these posers penance.

  • Harold Seneker

    With his record, I can only hope that Gore will continue to support Obama.

    But more importantly, with all due respect – and my respect for you is enormous = you give far too much credit to the AGW argument and movement. The problem with that argument is the Anthropomorphic part.

    The fact is, there is global warming, but the contribution of human activity is necessarily so minuscule as to be nearly undetectable. Here’s why:

    Carbon dioxide, considered the main vector for human-caused global warming, is 0.039% of the atmosphere- a trace gas. Water vapor varies, but averages around 1%, and is about ten times more effective a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So water vapor is about 25 times more prevalent and ten times more effective; that makes it 250 times more important to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide. The TOTAL contribution of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect is therefore about 0.004%. The total human contribution to carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution has been estimated at about 25%. So human greenhouse effect is a quarter of 0.00%, works out to about 0.001%. Since TOTAL greenhouse effect on temperature is estimated at around 63 degrees Fahrenheit, that would come to human-caused warming of about 0.063 degrees Fahrenheit.

    But that’s only the beginning. We’ve had global warming for at least 10,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. Whatever caused that, it was not human activity. It was not all those power plants and factories and SUVs being operated by Stone Age cavemen while chipping arrowheads out of bits of flint. Whatever the cause was, it caused the glaciers, which once extended south to Long Island and the northern suburbs of New York City, to not only melt back, but completely disappear (except for a few mountain remnants). That’s one big greenhouse effect! If we are still having global warming – and I suppose we should presume we are, given a 10,000 year trend – it is as close to a certainty as one can get that it is still the overwhelmingly primary cause of continued warming, rather than our piddling 0.001% contribution to the greenhouse effect.

    Yet even that trend-continuation still needs to be proved. Evidence is that the Medieval Warm Period in the 1200s was somewhat warmer than we are now, and the climate was a lot colder in the Little Ice Age in the 1600s than it is now. So we are within the range of normal up-and-down fluctuations without human greenhouse contributions that could be significant, or even measurable.

    The principal scientists arguing for human-caused global warming have been demonstrably disingenuous, and now you can see why. They have proved they should not be trusted.

    For an entertaining and devastating critique of the alleged “science” behind the AGW argument, check out this video:

    http://blog.american.com/2011/03/climategate-youre-not-allowed-to-do-this-in-science/

    Richard Muller is a physicist at the University of California campus at Berkeley (!). He is a bit of a showman, but he is also a serious scientist.

    The idea that we should be spending billions upon billions of dollars to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is beyond ludicrous in light of the facts above; it is insane. The true motivation underlying the global warming movement is almost certainly ideological and political in nature, and I predict AGW, as currently preached, will go down as the greatest fraud of all time. It makes Madoff and Ponzi look like pikers by comparison.

  • Luke Lea

    @ThomasD: “Al Gore may not be a frank hypocrite who tells tales he does not believe.”

    Well, I was once at a political rally at the Hamilton Co. Democratic headquarters here in Chattanooga, TN. Gore was on the platform speaking to local party activists, a secular, well-educated audience, and in the middle of his remarks, apropos de bot, casually stated that the world was created 6000 years ago. It was not even during election season. Go figure.

  • Yahzooman

    Apparently his wife had reached her “tipper-ing” point and bailed out on Mr. Green genes.

    I hope she’s penning a tell-all now.

    I met Al Gore in the 1980s and he was a sincere, sober gentleman. Somewhere along the line he took a path of self-righteousness, egotism and now greed. It’s a sad tale, told well by Professor Mead.

    Thanks.

  • Victor Erimita

    The basic premise of the piece is true: Al Gore is a singularly unsuited leader for the global “green” movement, because of his own flagrant violation of everything he preaches. But Mead is wrong saying Gore is not a hypocrite. A hypocrite is someone who thinks he is uniquely exempt from living according to the very principles he espouses. That is precisely what Gore is.

    In a perverse way, though, Gore is the perfect figurehead for what the “green” movement has become, a combination of (1) political and money interests seeking to cash in on a world wide scam, from the Saudis to GE to the “carbon credits” futures pirates, (2) the credulous underinformed true believers like Craig Purcell, who evidently reads too much Tom Friedman, who serve as useful idiots for the first group, and (3) the bad science government grant whores and their stenographers in the media. All these forces are diverting valuable resources, ingenuity and public credulity away from real environmental, social and economic problems to chase the chimera of AGW. Gore is unfortunately the perfect sort of figurehead for this degraded state of what used to be an honorable environmental movement.

  • WBC

    Mr. Mead has it almost exactly wrong. Let’s review the facts:
    1. Al Gore is not very bright, hugely egocentric, and very greedy.
    2. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hoax. Politicians were willing to pay it lip service if it enhanced their power. In a global recession/depression, it a a luxury nobody has time or money for.
    3. The American Public is a bit tired of being preached to about their “carbon footprint” regardless of whether those doing the preaching practice their own asinine religion. If Congress will not repeal the ban on incandescent bulbs there will be massive public resistance and a black market in them.
    4. The repeal of the corn ethanol tax credit is a good start in routing the fascists of the “environmental” movement.

  • ReConUSMC

    I am completely convinced that the Green controversy is 100% politically motivated and not based on good science. The promoters of either view are either extreme socialists or extreme communists. Their sole primary purpose in promoting either view is to destroy Christian capitalism and replace it with extreme socialism/communism based upon the religion of Secular Humanism. Those who advance this agenda want to force us into bigger government, higher taxes, and loss of all personal freedoms, liberties and property rights.

    Is “Global Warming” True?

    No! We are simply experiencing normal weather and climate fluctuations.

    We are living at the end of the “20th Century Warm Period.” The “20th Century Warm Period” followed a time called “The Little Ice Age” that lasted from approximately 1250-1300 through 1850-1900. Prior to “The Little Ice Age,” the earth experienced a period referred to as the “Medieval Warm Period” (MWP) or “Medieval Climate Optimum.” The earth was significantly warmer during the MWP than it is today!

    Even evolutionary climatologists have proven scientifically that the earth has experienced three periods of time much warmer than today’s warming trend. The various periods of warm and cold, that have been named, have been determined to be approximately:

    The Minoan Warm Period – 1450 to 1250 BC

    The Roman Warm Period – 250 BC to AD 1

    The Dark Ages Cold Period – AD 1 to AD 800

    The Medieval Warm Period – AD 800 to AD 1200

    The Little Ice Age – AD 1250 to AD 1900

    The 20th Century Warm – AD 1900 to AD 2010

    Source: Grootes, P.M. (et. al.), “Comparison of oxygen isotope records from the GISP2 and GRIP Greenland ice cores,” Nature, 366 1993, pp. 552-4.

    What is the historical evidence?

    We have significant historical evidence with which to trace the major fluctuations in climate change over the past few millennia. These sources include, but are not limited to:

    The thousands of years of records of the Nile floods

    The 1st-century Roman wine production in England

    The thousands of museum paintings that portray sunnier skies during the Medieval Warm Period

    The thousands of museum paintings that portray the cloudier skies during the Little Ice Age

    The physical evidence from oxygen isotopes, beryllium ions, tiny sea and pollen fossils, ancient tree rings, polar ice cores, sea and lake sediments, cave stalactites and stalagmites, glaciers, etc.

    These and many other sources illustrate that the earth has had periods of climate much warmer than today.

    Is there scientific consensus that “Global Warming” is true?

    NO! Consensus is not the same as truth. Consensus is not data, and it is not the same as a scientific fact.

    NO! Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, former lead author of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC), wrote about global warming: “… the consensus was reached before the research had begun.”

    NO! The current promotion of the global warming scare is purely a far left political agenda.

    NO! “Global Warming” is simply the new home of socialism and communism.

    NO! The earth’s temperature has been fluctuating up and down for thousands of years because of well established and documented variations in solar activity. These are:

    The Schwabe Cycle: Sunspot activity follows an eleven year cycle that causes the sun’s temperature to fluctuate up and down 0.1%.

    The Gleissberg Cycle: A cycle every 75 to 90 years.

    The Suess Cycle: A cycle every 200 to 500 years.

    The Bond Cycle: A cycle every 1,100 to 1,500 years.

    NO! Dr. Timothy Patterson, Canadian geologist, wrote in the Canadian Financial Post, June 20, 2007:

    “Climate stability has never been a feature of planet earth. The only constant about climate is change; it changes and, at times, quite rapidly. Many times in the past, temperatures were far higher than today, and occasionally, temperatures were lower.”

    NO! Dr. Bert Bolin, Swedish meteorologist, for eight years the Chairman of the UN IPCC, noted: “The climate issue is not ‘settled’; it is both uncertain and incomplete.”

    NO! Dr. Dennis Bray, Emeritus Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Cambridge, submitted the following to Science for publication on December 22, 2004 (but not accepted):

    “The most recent survey [2004] of climate scientists … found that while there had been a move towards acceptance of [man-made] global warming, only 9.4% of respondents ‘strongly agree’ that climate change is mostly the result of [man-made] sources. A similar proportion ‘strongly disagree.’ Furthermore, only 22.8% of respondents ‘strongly agree’ that the [UN] International Panel on Climate Change reports accurately reflect a consensus within climate science.” [Emphasis added]

    NO! In an “open letter” to the Canadian Government entitled “Open Kyoto to Debate,” published in the Canadian National Post in 2006, 60 scientists said:

    “When the public comes to understand that there is no ’consensus’ among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change, the government will be in a far better position to develop plans that reflect reality and so benefit both the environment and the economy.” [Emphasis added]

    NO! Dr. Bob Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Australia, wrote:

    “[Al] Gore’s circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commending public attention.” [Emphasis added]

    NO! As reported in PRNewswire-USNewswire, Washington, DC, September 12, 2007:

    An analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen warmings similar to ours, 2) present Modern Warming is linked strongly to the variations in the sun’s irradiance.

    The list of these scientists may be found in the recent Avery and Singer book, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.

    The public needs to understand that there is no consensus among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.

    Is there scientific consensus that “Global Warming” is true?

    NO! Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte examined all research papers on climate change published between 2004 and February 2007. The results were submitted to the scientific journal Energy and Environment.

    NO! Of the 528 papers, only 38 (7%) strongly endorsed consensus. The total for implied endorsement was 45%.

    NO! Only 32 papers (6%) strongly rejected consensus.

    NO! However, 254 papers (49%) were neutral, neither accepting nor rejecting consensus.

    NO! Only 1 paper (0.2%) made any reference to climate change leading to catastrophic results.

    NO! THIS IS NOT CONSENSUS!

    Avery and Singer note: “… we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1,470 years (plus or minus 500) … The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds, and humans have quietly adapted.”

    Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” – Is there any truth in it ?
    No ! There are 32 % more Polar Bears today than when Gore said they were dying off quickly .

    The East Coast Water level it up .00781 of and Inch in 12 years .
    Alaska has not shrunk and The mass Ice Pack in ANTARCTICA is 3000 sq. miles Larger .
    Chicago just had it’s Coldest 3 Winters since 1904 .

  • Snickers

    Whether it is AGW, his ” let them ride bikes” attitude or his treatment of massage therapists, it is clear that Gore has a credibility gap. It seems that he is preaching to a choir that is ever decreasing in size.

  • Peter Dellas

    Prof. Mead, you have out-done yourself (not an easy task)! The “preacher” in your genes is coming out, my friend. The historical allusions and word pictures you have drawn here have made this piece speak to the heart, not just the head.

  • Dan

    “I am not one of those who thinks him a hypocrite; I think rather that he shares an illusion common amongst the narcissistic glitterati of our time: that politically fashionable virtue cancels private vice.”

    Is not your description of Gore’s “illusion” the verbatim entry for “hypocrisy” from Webster’s dictionary? Common illusion of the glitterati or not, it remains nothing other than your garden variety hypocrisy.

  • Reed Coray

    “5.Luke Lea says:
    June 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm
    Look at it this way: If you believe the global warming alarmists are misguided, you should be thankful Gore is their leader.”

    I am. And I’m doubly glad that Senator Barbara Boxer is in a ‘global warming’ leadership role.

  • Scott

    The fallacy in Professor Mead’s argument is that the message is failing because of the messenger. The belies the notion still present in the Professor’s own addled brain that the message is true. It is not.

    The whole AGW argument was always flawed. It was a reasonable theory that was proven wrong no later than 1995 by available scientific data. No problem there. Theories are often proven wrong in legitimate scientific inquiry, and serve the purpose of eliminating possibilities so that we can arrive at a theory which proves to be true. How many people before the Wright Brothers proved the numerous ways manmade crafts cannot fly? It was usefule to know which paths to avoid.

    But I sense in Professor Mead’s argument a latent desire to find a better messenger thinking that this will cause the rest of us to buy what is a fallacious argument. But those of us who are engineers and scientists, and have honestly looked at the data, and considered the possibility that the AGW theory was true, have come to the inescapable conclusion that not only was the argument honestly wrong, but that those pushing the argument after it became clear it was wrong were frauds who used the argument to pad their bank accounts with monies stolen from the public treasuries, and power taken from the people who have the God-given rights to self-determination.

    The results of the AGW movement is the biggest fraud perpetrated on the worldwide public in recent history. It may have started as an honest inquiry, but instead of concluding as a failed theory, it morphed into the biggest money and power grab in my lifetime. And those who knowingly perpetrated the fraud should have their fortunes confiscated and their own personal freedom forfeited. Hang ‘em all!

  • John Hurst

    Bravo – Walter Russell Mead! – One of the best posts and insights I have read in a long time. Again, Bravo…

  • Peter Dellas

    PS. I can almost always look forward to getting a kick out of Wig’s non sequitur comments. Somehow any discussion that ruffles the Left’s feathers always degenerates into a George W. Bush diatribe.

    Thanks for the comic relief, Wag!

  • Brackets Obama

    Exactly right, Walter Russell Mead, except the part where we can not judge Gore for his hypocrisy.

    If the Earth is on the precipice of destruction due to man made CO2, you do not jump on a private jet – the commercial jet will get you there. Everyone recognizes this and yes, a judgement can be made from that contrary action.

    Over the years concern for environmental climate change has shifted from cooling to warming and is probably getting ready the shift to cooling. Whatever, the ‘solution’ to this change is always more power to the elites to control energy, taxing, and reduced lifestyles for the rest of us. If keeping Gore at the head of the environmental movement stops any of those ‘solutions’, I hope he has a long and prosperous (for him) reign.

  • hondr

    If you asked Bill Clinton what was his biggest mistake, and he was honest, he’d say it was selecting Gore as his running mate. For electoral reasons, Clinton wanted to double down on the Southern New Democrat schtick, and algore had been masquerading as that, so he was chosen. Big mistake. It was an impossibility that Clinton’s VP would have lost the 2000 election, in time of peace and prosperity, but Gore managed to do it. He’s a nincompoop.

    Much like Reagan’s biggest mistake was selecting G. H.W. Bush for VP, except Bush managed not to blow the one election that Reagan laid in his lap (and his son’s as well, some years later). Gore wasn’t even smart enough to play a pat hand.

    He’s smart enough to get rich off this global warming scam though, so I give him that much.

  • Nancy Johnson

    T he saddest ending to all his lies is all the young people who believed him and when he told them they were smarter than thier parents, they actually thought they were. He should go back to all the schools and tell them he is just a greedy, wrong old man, but really rich and has no shame.

  • SeanNC

    This whole column can be summed up by the Blogfather: “When the people who are telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis then I’ll believe it’s a crisis.” Until then, not so much.

    Heh.

  • NikFromNYC

    The LA Times featured cold fusion in ’89 before its debunking.
    Environmentalists were aghast!
    “It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich
    (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of “Climate
    Change Denial”)
    “Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could
    knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul
    Ciotti (LA  Times)
    “It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to
    growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited
    sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
    “Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that
    mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura
    Nader (sister of Ralph)

    CLIMATEGATE 101: “For your eyes only…Don’t leave stuff lying around
    on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have
    been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is
    a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the
    file rather than send to anyone….Tom Wigley has sent me a worried
    email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his
    model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind
    that.” – Phil “Hide The Decline” Jones to Michael  “Hockey Stick” Mann

    Here I present A Global Warming Digest:
    Denial: http://bit.ly/m6xySt
    Oceans: http://oi53.tinypic.com/2i6os4y.jpg
    Thermometers: http://oi52.tinypic.com/2agnous.jpg
    Earth: http://oi56.tinypic.com/2reh021.jpg
    Ice: http://oi53.tinypic.com/wmav6g.jpg
    Prophecy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/30bfktk.jpg
    Psychopathy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg
    Icon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY
    Thinker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92YenWfz0Y

    -=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

  • Ken Smith

    As much as I dislike Al Gore’s overbearing demeanor and glaring hypocrisy, I am rather glad that he, and not Bill McKibben, has taken the post as de facto leader of the global green movement. I hope WRM will find the time to do a profile on McKibben (head of 350.org), who really _is_ a modern-day Savonarola.

  • Mister Tibbs

    This is probably the most well written drop-kick to the [tender parts] of the power brokers I have ever seen. It should be taught in schools.

    PRICELESS.

  • guyderaux

    I didn’t even know Al Gore was still alive.

    If he is still around, why isn’t he in a cell with DSK swapping “elite” techniques on molesting wage earners? I especially like the one known as “caring for the little people”.

    This is a great piece, but it is too bad it wasn’t written back when people knew who Al Gore was.

    I used to think that the movement had some credibility despite the misfortune of having spokespeople like the greedy, gluttonous, hypocrticial and IQ-challenged Mr. Gore. Funny how the “movement” discredited itself as corrupt and misguided all on its own. Evil will out- whether we’re talking Gore, DSK or the AGW movement.

  • SWB

    I am really tired of people who obviously don’t believe, understand, or know any better than to investigate the original meanings of the words of the Bible constantly misusing it to make their points!

    The Bible also says that: When you do judge, to judge rightly! And: that we will know people’s true character by their fruit.

    So, an intelligent person will rightly discern, that when the Bible says to Judge not, lest ye be Judged, that there was another meaning in there somewhere. It would really be better translated as Condemn not least ye be condemned. The Bible does not intend for us to suspend all common sense discernment! So, we are Biblically allowed to, and ardently should shout it from the rooftops, whenever we see hypocrisy!

    As for Mr. Mead not judging Gore as being a hypocrite, I can only conclude that he is as morally impaired as Mr. Gore, and just dosen’t want to be labeled a hypocrite, for pointing out someone else’s hypocrisy. But, it dosen’t work that way. The way I see things, is that Mr. Gore is the very type of person being talked about when the scripture says: Remove the log from your own eye, before trying to take the speck out of someone else’s! If Mr. Gore is NOT the very definition of hypocrite, then no one qualifies!

    You judge your little hearts out, just don’t set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner, and keep your heart pure! You do your judging by the only perfect human standard who ever lived – Jesus, and you will be safe come Judgement day!

  • John Smith

    It is interesting that the most forceful global warming spokesmen — Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm — all represent the worst kind of blowhard. That this issue has become a political one is a disgrace.

    On the other side, the logic and style of Michael Crichton helped him present his message. With his death, no one stands out in my mind as a spokesman for the skeptic side. To me, James Inhofe and others like him seem no more worthy of credibility than Al Gore and his ilk.

  • Craigpurcell

    I am told each google search puts 10 grams of carbon into the atmosphere. Can anyone verify the breath of the beast?

  • http://ex-lefty.blogspot.com/ Jeff Mitchell

    The problem with Gore and so many of our political class these days is MORAL VANITY — self-regard passed off as concern for others. It explains much of the preening that passes for thoughtful policy and which is driving our country off the cliff.

    WRM: you are on a roll — please keep thinking and writing — you are honest, critical, and yet your writings leave me with hope that we will muddle through the mess we are in. Hope being crucial in these seemingly darkening times.

  • LeftCoastCurmudgeon

    I would take exception with only one point … that the head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. As the Secretary of the Treasury, TurboTax Timmy Geithner IS the head of the IRS, and he is most definitely a tax cheat.

  • Claude hopper

    What WRM says about Albert Gore is true. But one thing that help precipitate Gore’s fall was not mentioned. It was posting of the East Anglia University Climate Research Unit’s FOIA directory on a public server in Russia. That unknown poster allowed others to look at 1073 CRU emails that revealed duplicitous activities by certain climate scientist. Who is Deep Throat II?

  • http://(none) Upgeya Pew

    This tone of this article remains me of Antony’s lines in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”. Antony manges to condem Brutus and Cassius and turn the crowd against them by repeatly claiming that “Brutus is an honourable man”, while offing reasons why the death of Caesar was dishonorable. In clever turnabout of this effective persuasive technique, Walter Russell Mead attempts to cast aspersion on one all-to-human man, claiming he is the leader of the “global green movement”, all the while making the case for why that that movement is “dead” by assuming it so.

    So, instead of talking about something substancial, like how our lifestyle is killing the planet – Walter Russell Mead distracts us by getting personal – and talking about the human failings of onehuman being.

    And in doing so, Walter Russell Mead seems to ignore more important truths.

    Like Al Gore won the presidential election of 2000, polling more than 500,000 votes than Bush. The supreme court was stacked against him in its outrageous ruling regarding that election. A fair recount in Florida? We can’t have that! No, instead we must ignore all the voting irregularities!

    The so called “failure” of Al Gore is the success of a man who has an essentially moral message. Such a man can not be elected president of the US now. Only during periods of real crisis can such a man or woman be elected. Only then will the American people choose integrity and substance over image.

    Despite ambiguities of his personal lifestyle, he is well liked. Is that not success? Ah, but we are talking about a very narrow version of success here: political success. Getting others to do what you want. Getting elected. Having political power. “Changing things”.

    “Once out of office, he assumed the leadership of the global green movement, steering that movement into a tsunami of defeat that, when the debris is finally cleared away, will loom as one of the greatest failures of civil society in all time.”

    So we go from a weak (and unstated) definition of success to a falsehood. Al Gore didn’t “assume leadership.” There are many leaders of the “global green movement”. And, to believe Walter Russell Mead, none of them “seems” to be having much “success.” And that movement has not been “defeated”. It cannot be defeated, because it is aligned with the truth of what is happening on the planet, and this truth is making itself felt more and more every year. [note: John Christy, like many climate deniers, ignore ocean acidification]. And finally, the failure of civil society is not Gore’s responsibility, but that of each and every person on the planet. The hubris of this article is awesome to behold.

    “seen the movement he led flounder from one inglorious defeat to the next”
    This is not the “fault” of the advocate, but of a society addicted to cheap energy.

    This article is full of subtle propaganda. The article makes it appear that winning and loosing is all about playing the political game. Note, the earth and it’s ecosystem is not interested, and has no response to politics. It only cares about how much CO2 is in the atmosphere and dissolved in the ocean. Our puny politics and our judgments of whether someone is “winning” or “loosing” are as nothing to the earth’s response to our behaviour. And it is responding. With more warming. With more severe winter and summer storms. With more violent weather. With increasing species extinction. The earth will be the final arbiter of Al Gore, Walter Russell Mead, and all the rest of us.

    Each adjective, interpretation, sarcasm, and judgment is chosen and designed to create an emotional and negative response in the listener:

    “loser”
    “elusive road to defeat”
    “tsunami of defeat”
    “greatest failures”
    “turn dull and leaden”
    “movement he lead flounder”
    “inglorious defeat”
    “failed global climate meeting”
    “shambolic”
    “withering on the vine”
    “die”
    “humiliating”
    “pit of defeat”

    Perhaps winning means not playing the political game. Maybe success has more to do with integrity, values and morals than in who wins power. Success, yes, in spite of our apparent hypocrisies.

    “the Great and the Good” [dripping with sarcasm – clearly the Nobel Peace Prize committee had no idea what a looser they were choosing!]

    The criticism regarding investing in green enterprises that actually make money is disingenuous. This is the American way, isn’t it? Make money! Only, heaven forbid that you make money doing what is right! And heaven forbid that Walter Russel Mead tell us what Al Gore says in his defense against such criticism: that he is “simply putting his money where his mouth is”. Or is it not ok with Walter Russel Mead that people make money investing in what they advocate? Or is it not ok with Walter Russel Mead that people be both wealthy, with its trappings, and advocate for green causes?

    Now, would I prefer that advocates for environmental responsibility have “modest” lifestyles. Yes. But I’m happy if some have immodest ones, if only to get the attention of those with wealth and power.

    “exotic low impact energy sources the average person could not afford”

    One of the major contributors to global warming is all the carbon fuels we consume heating and cooling our houses and buildings. In fact, the cheapest way to offset this is to super-insulate our dwellings. The average person in our country, before the middle class was destroyed by the “successful” politicians and banking interests, could afford such insulation far more than 3 ton SUVs and flat screen TVs. The real question, unasked and unanswereed by Walter Russell Mead, is whether we can afford not to engage in such attempts, given the cost of climate change (think drought, flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes that take out whole towns, flooded nuclear power plants, environmental refugees, collapsing ocean food chains – and that’s just the beginning).

    “You are asking billions of people, the overwhelming majority of whom lack many of the basic life amenities you take for granted … to slash their meager living standards.”

    A “straw man” argument, designed to deflect attention from what is really being asked: that WE alter our living standards, that WE conserve in every way, that WE commit to a lifestyle that is at once more fulfilling, less polluting and less taxing on our planetary ecosystem. That means huge changes in how we live, not deprivation. But, change is hard, and to most people such change seems like we are being deprived. Well, we are being deprived already – we are depriving ourselves and our children and their children of a safe, productive planet.

    No, the reason Al Gore has not be very successful with getting our entire civilization to reverse it’s disastrous course regarding global warming is not his wealth – it’s our resistance to change and our addiction to apparently cheap energy [cheap only so long as you can externalize the costs]. It’s all the money that the big greedy oil and coal corporations would loose, and the tremendous amounts of money they spend trying to convince us that black is white – that global climate change is not happening, that its not anthropomorphic (caused by humans), or that we can easily adapt.

    The argument that Al Gore’s larger carbon footprint (and this is debatable) has either lead to or contributed to less movement of the “green movement” might have more cogency if any environmental leader had had more “success”. Walter Russel Mead takes the easy way out by faulting our leadership rather than understanding the herculean momentum of our civilization toward overshoot and collapse. Walter Russel Mead, the shame, if any, is on you.

    “Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.” The skeptics are not skeptics – nor do they remain skeptics – because of how Al Gore looks, or because he has 4 kids, or because he has an affluent lifestyle, or even because of his perceived hypocrisy. We remain skeptics because we don’t want to change. It’s not about Al Gore – it’s about us.

    “But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.” More disingenuous argument, also designed to deflect attention. Most of us here in the U.S consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world. What are you doing about that, Walter Russel Mead?

    “That is how you change the world.” Maybe. Or maybe the world will change, because, finally, the choice of change or die will become so stark that we won’t be able to ignore it any longer. Will you choose life or death? The world is changing on it’s own, and to our detriment, as long as we fail to act, decisively, regarding our carbon pollution.

    Remember, Jesus Christ failed too. And his poverty lead to no political success. He had his inglorious tsunami of defeat too. And was crucified to boot. Perhaps it’s time to stop crucifying our moral leaders for being all to human, pay attention to what they are saying, and get committed to finding solutions and bridging differences rather than finding fault.

  • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

    I could not have hypothesized any circumstances where I would defend Al Gore but here we go. No, Gore didn’t steer Global Warming into the ditch as an issue, the simple falsity of that fraud, now with the slippery appellation Climate Change. It would be the Hansens and Manns of the world with their acolytes who torpedoed this bark and then, most calamitously, allowed that fact to leak! Now with solar science predicting extended cooling it seems the threat is over. Gloating Day will never come and like chocolate, we can live without it, although we do not want to.

  • CleDog

    “The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat.” — Right. They send the tax cheats over to Treasury.

  • Jeff

    Actually Al Gore, like Cindy Sheehan was to the anti-Iraq surge movement, is a gift to all of us who suspect that global warming at the end of the day will be a tempest in a teapot. Mr. Gore’s blindness and zealotry perfectly captures the movement’s flaws. Grotesque overselling, which fortunately has helped avoid a global depression at the hands of global warming avoidance policies.

    Though we are far from sane objectivity. Mexican President, Calderon, on Charlie Rose stated he was absolutely certain of climate change and pointed to the Mississippi flooding and our bad tornado season. “That’s why they call it climate change!”, he said. Here is a leader of a country citing examples are NOT examples of changes of climate — the Mississippi floods, has flooded, and tornadoes, the same. In fact scientists say tornadoes have nothing to do with global warming, even if it were occuring. If we find in years to come it that is was a really terrible threat, Gore gets the blame again for selling it incorrectly.

  • Joe in N Calif

    And this double standard of his is supposed to be a surprise how? Look up Gore, Elk Hills, and Oxy Oil. Seems that while he was railing against ‘big oil’ as VP, he was also working to sell the Elk Hill reserves to Oxy at a discount. Oxy Oil, a company that his family had a fair financial stake in.

  • Liz

    Beautiful….Al Goreleoni, I thought I was the only one that saw this or felt this way….YAY, thank you so much

  • MoreCo2

    Gore is the quintessential huckster and flimflam man, and he learned it all from his mentor Slick Willie.

  • jimbo

    Oh that was a sweet evisceration of the Gore blowhard.

  • newport kid

    Dear Walter: How many times has Al Gore used private jets? Before you accuse him, should you not have the answer? Also, if you actually read his books you would know he believes profoundly in developing new technologies which would raise living standards as well as cut carbon outputs. It is a lie to argue that he asks others to live modestly while he lives lavishly.

  • Bruce B

    It is difficult to understand why Dr. Mead does not view Gore as a hypocrite. He is the epitome of a hypocrite. You tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, Dr. Mead. You are much too charitable to Gore in an essay that rightfully skewered him.

    BTW, another raging hypocrite is Tom Friedman who lives in a huge mansion. Mansions are fine and I don’t even think his taxes should be raised. Just don’t lay your environmental sanctimony on me Tommy boy. Throw in the Hollywood left and you’ll see why the movement is failing.

    Whether you believe in warming or not, there is nothing endearing about emissions. Hopefully, technology will solve this for us. Windmills and toxic solar panels won’t.

  • ReConUSMC

    Too Quote My Life Long Farming Great , Great Grand Father who dies at age 98 full of life in his sleep totally sane to his last hours I witnessed in his life and his last moments ..
    His long Lasting WORDS :
    Until man can made it Rain , Snow or stop both .
    I shall hear him not on Whether change of anything .
    Knowing 62 % of the Earth’ surface is not Fertile and in Desert’s where no flowers , Vegetables or Fruits grow .
    He once Said within One Mile high within Earth’s orbit .
    Man is smaller than a Pin Head .
    Who’s power is less than a grain of sand .
    Watch out for Those who say a grain of Sand are Mountains .

  • Adam B

    AL GORE IS A FRAUD! Should be in jail.

  • Larry in Fl

    Hurrah for Walter Russel Mead unmasking of one of the most inept political posers ever on both sides of the political aisle.

    Al Gore has been an opportunistic buffon since he was handed the safest of safe House seats in TN by his family in the 1970s. No struggle, no development of deeper poltical philosophies prior to entering the House….just a spoiled rich kid from Tn. who served in Vietnam as a ” photographer ” and couldn’t even finish a soft graduate degree.

    Throughout his elected career he has postured the loudest on so many issues of the moment that he embodies the very hollowness of the modern day politician. Gore was version 1.0 to the modern versions of Anthony Weiner(Gore & he must be related) and Larry Craig. It is the utter shamelessness of the Gores, Weiners and Craigs of the world that continue to undermine the core values of this great country. They are fakers and narcisstic non-leaders and it is a key time where we need real people and real leaders.

    Bill Clinton for all his faults ran circles around Al Gore before Gore even got up at 6 in the morning to have his roman bath. Gore rode Clinton’s political talents and coattails and then marred his legacy and blew a most winnable election by incomptently losing his home state of Tn.

    Al Gore is a huge insecure hack and the next award he should be given is the ” Greatest Pseudo Intellectual “.

    Please Walter Russel Mead stay on this hypocritical buffon until there is enough exposure of his hypocrisies that he leaves the public eye for good.

  • mike restin

    LeftCoastCurmudgeon says:
    June 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm
    “I would take exception with only one point … that the head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. As the Secretary of the Treasury, TurboTax Timmy Geithner IS the head of the IRS, and he is most definitely a tax cheat”

    I believe it was tongue and cheek because:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/compost/2011/02/madd_president_arrested_for_du.html

  • Jack Dodge

    Or, as the villainess in the movie The Art of War put it so well, “Appearances are everything, Miss Fang. Politics and deception are built on it.”

  • Frank Gerber

    You global warming denialists are whacked in the head. The anti-science ideology you promulgate will come back to bite you in the [rear end], not in your children’s lifetime but your own.

  • Brian H

    Gore’s ability to pull down any cause or process he’s associated with even extends to Nature: the “Gore Effect” has now passed into common currency.

    If you want really bad weather, invite Gore to visit.

  • Brian H

    The literal-minded are a plague on all good writers. E.g.:
    “#39, LeftCoastCurmudgeon says:
    June 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I would take exception with only one point … that the head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat. As the Secretary of the Treasury, TurboTax Timmy Geithner IS the head of the IRS, and he is most definitely a tax cheat.”

    It was irony, LCM. YCLIU. In fact, I recommend you do “Look It Up.” Same for every other witless wonder who objected to the comment.

  • Ellen K

    Gore played political gadfly by pushing soaring rhetoric over cold hard facts. His theories were embraced by the political arm of the environmentalist movement and as a result the socalled “facts” were pushed onto a willing population. Unfortunately the “facts” were based on cooked data. The result was that British courts banned his movie from schools citing that its misinformation was scaring children. But the problems are deeper than that. Gore pushed an agenda based on acquiring grant money. That little scheme was duplicated at various university research facilities around the world. It was a type of extortion where energy companies could placate environmental groups. But it goes yet further with Gore. He has a palatial estate and has amassed millions in wealth by basically lying about the findings. While he lives in a house that has a carbon footprint the size of a small town, former President Bush has a house and is building a library that truly embraces new technology that is intended to minimize impact to the environment. Given the way the media portrayed Bush vs. Gore and the way that Gore has abjectly failed in his self-proclaimed goal, not to mention his trainwrecked personal life, doesn’t it make you wonder about the validity of the criticisms aimed at Bush?

  • Steve

    Great Post! We’ve been all over this topic on our blog Common Cents…

    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

  • Bob

    Mr Mead, you are one great writer. Thanks for writing what I have been trying to say.

  • rationaltruth

    “It is interesting that the most forceful global warming spokesmen — Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Joe Romm — all represent the worst kind of blowhard. That this issue has become a political one is a disgrace.”

    That this issue has become a political one is a disgrace, yes, but it also underscores its ironic flaw – it is devoid of true science. As the Japanese have said, Climate Change, Global Warming, whatever you want to call it, is closer to Astrology. It is this true inconvenient truth, absence of indisputable data, that allows the politicians to hold so much sway over such a pipsqueak issue.

  • GarandFan

    At the very least, Fat Man should stay away from the cheeseburgers and fries.

    As for the current ‘uniform’ he wears, black shirt, black trousers. The least he could do is wear white loafers.

    Just like any other used car salesman.

  • pnkearns

    I do judge, dear writer, and so should you.

    Al Gore is a hypocrite. Nothing more. Nothing less. His hypocrisy does great harm to the environmental movement. The environmental leaders who give him a “free pass” also do great harm to the environmental movement.

    The environmental movement would be much further along if it purged both Al Gore and the leaders that tolerate him. A return to talking the talk AND walking the walk is what is needed. However, the eco-leadership have all sold out for 30 pieces of silver, silver no doubt stripped mined.

  • JimK

    The Green movement is a watermelon, green on the outside and Red on the inside. When the Glorious Revolution died with the Soviet Union the Reds took up Green as their cause. Al Gore is their prophet.

  • John Leighton

    I am blown away by the writer. Fantastic style, great depth of understanding of the principles behind movements and message. Wonderful quote about St. Assisi. Sums up the whole concept. Congratulations

  • maryo

    Wo – first time I have read Walter Russell Mead. This is a brilliant takedown of Mr. Al Gore. Regardless of what Upgeya Pew has written in his manuscript above the majority of Americans are grateful that Gore was not our president on September 11, 2001.

  • Bob Acker

    All very interesting–Gore certainly is egregious, and frankly, I pegged him as a stooge from the moment fo that phony-baloney kiss at the 2000 convention. But it’s not of the essence. The US is not about to enact carbon controls unless the rapidly growing economies of India, China and Southeast Asia do, and thy’re not about to enact them at all. There’s simply no way around this. In other others, Copenhagen was doomed to be a fiasco from the start, no matter what sort of personality Gore has or pretends to have.

  • Judester

    Please be so kind and inform me of the talents of this man. I see absolutely none. Previous posts to mine shows me he fools none.

  • fdf

    jjs said: “So now what do Dr Hansen tell all the kids in the world that have been propagandized, lied to and made feel guilty becasue they may have a thought of having a full and productive life here on earth?”

    I wouldn’t worry about that. What they have learned is to lead an affluent lifestyle and make a few symbolic gestures. The new car at 16, the high-fashion tore up clothes, spring break in Cancun, the IPod, the IPad, the INext, whatever. They have learned to be consumers and they will consume with carefully placed bandaids for their consciences. They will do less damage that way. The big damage will be done they are 50 and are running the show. It will be very nutty.The combination of rich and consumptive on the one hand and symbolic puritanism on the other hand will make for some pretty fancy public policy.

    I predict a lot of puritanism will be prescribed by them for “that guy over there behind the tree.” It will not be fun to be the guy behind the tree. Then, they will discover that, either they stay strictly symbolic, or they ARE the guy behind the tree.

  • dave smith

    laugh, scoff, poke fun, whatever you denialists say – you simply cannot change what we are doing to the earth. Al Gore may not be the man to spread the message. Don’t believe him. But in the next breath,,,you should believe the scientific data that proves without a doubt that our climate is warming. We are already seeing the early affects. If you think for a minute that the billions of tons of pollutants that we put into the air every year have no effect on our climate – you just are not thinking. It is shameful that the religious right can believe in something as foolish as the bible,,but discount what scientists have been proving for years.

  • Gayle

    Extremely well written. Wow!

  • Richard P

    Mr Smith,

    I realize this may come as a shock to you but the “Data” does not support “Science” you speak of. According to the IPPC predictions in 1999 we should now be significantly warmer than we are now. At this point the planet’s climate is outside the lower error bars of the predictions made. Thus if this was science and not a religion the theory would be falsified. If anything there is a distinct possibility that we may be entering either a Dalton, or possibly worse Maunder minimum for solar activity. This is bad, for cold kills far more people that heat. Short growing seasons reduces food production, increases heating needs, and causes other issues that are far worse than “AGW”. The last Maunder Minimum had people ice skating on the Themes, and hundreds thousands dieing of starvation. It doesn’t take a computer model to demonstrate this, it is history.

    Talk to a geologist and that person will tell you that CO2 has never driven climate and that the climate has been both much hotter and colder than today. They will also tell that the climate has always changed, stasis is the exception, and warm periods are shorter than cold. Where I am typing this post during the last ice age there was 2 miles of ice on the ground of where my house sits. The results of those moving glaciers has shaped the land throughout the area leaving proof of their existance. SUV’s nor Exon Oil were around to cause the warming that occurred, and is still occurring to this day. However, some think that all of that CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels less than 3% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere (within the measurement error) is the root cause of the warming in the mid 70’s to 1998? Even Al’s own graphs show that CO2 concentration lags temperature. The temperature changes first then the CO2.

    For me as an engineer a theory is a guess till the data supports it, and it must be falsifiable. Thus, if I make a prediction and the data doesn’t support it or the event doesn’t happen the theory goes not the data. The problem is that global warming theory is not predicting what is happening. The public may not be scientists, however when a person is told that the were be no more snowy winters, and they have 10 ft drifts in their back yard, having a “scientist” tell them they are too stupid to understand falls flat.

    What is happening to the environmental movement is that they hitched their wagon to the wrong pony of global warming. A pony that is dieing and along with it what little credibility they had left.

  • MJ

    This essay should be required reading in all high schools. Mr. Mead re-defines “wordsmith”. Fantastic piece. What I would like to see is an essay by the author on the similarities between the elites of the green movement and the leaders of totalitarian -socialist regimes.

  • LittleDixieChuck

    Thank you for a superbly written essay, Mr. Mead.

  • Mike

    You are kind to grant him sincerity. I do not. Recent revelations have revealed lots of deception about this whole movement unrelated to Gore but it had to have been known by him.

    Gore is not the only one that is enriching themselves and/or their power over others using the carbon footprint as an excuse.

    It’s a practice of most at the top of the movement.

  • http://shakeypete.blogspot.com Peter

    Gore would have been a success if he were not dumb as a post. The folks who knew him when he was flunking out of divinity school say that he could have passed if he’d have not been smoking pot all the time.

    The only reason he wasn’t a used car salesman for the high point in his life is he was lucky enough to have been born into a southern political family, just as crooked as that Boston Kennedy clan. And, like the Kennedy clan, the blood ran mighty thin once Joe Kennedy was killed in WW2.

  • WigWag

    More on the mendacity of Professor Mead’s post.

    The Professor says,

    “But while some forms of inconsistency or even hypocrisy can be combined with public leadership, others cannot be. A television preacher can eat too many french fries, watch too much cheesy TV and neglect his kids in the quest for global fame. But he cannot indulge in drug fueled trysts with male prostitutes while preaching conservative Christian doctrine. The head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving cannot be convicted of driving while under the influence. The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat.”

    History suggests that Mead is wrong about all of this.

    The author of the words, “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” was a slaveholder who fathered more than one child with a women who was lawfully his chattel. The hypocrisy associated with this fact is not only acknowledged now, it was widely discussed during Jefferson’s run for the Presidency and was specifically commented upon by his opponent, John Adams. Does Jefferson’s hypocrisy disqualify him as one of the most sophisticated advocates for liberty that the world has ever known?

    In his post, Mead mentions that Franklin Roosevelt was “neither a good father nor a good husband…” True enough. In fact, Franklin Roosevelt was a Brahman. Did that disqualify him from being a hero to working class Americans? Speaking of his wealthy opponents Roosevelt famously said, “They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” Does the fact that he belonged to the same class as his detractors make his words any less stirring?

    Mahatma Gandhi, the father of satyagraha, is widely recognized as the role model for all the pacifists who came after him. His model of non-violent civil disobedience is widely admired in the West. Yet as Professor Mead surely knows the British had no more fervent ally in recruiting both South African and Indian men to serve in the armed forces of the British Empire during World War I. Does the fact that thousands of soldiers entered the war at the urging of Gandhi disqualify him as one of the greatest pacifists that the world has ever seen?

    Ronald Reagan ran on a platform of restoring American greatness and one form this restoration took was an increased reverence for the importance of family values. Millions of Christian conservatives considered Ronald Reagan to be a leader without peer for the standards of behavior they believed in. But Reagan was the first divorced President, he rarely attended church services and he had a family that was in many ways clearly dysfunctional. Would Professor Mead suggest that Ronald Reagan, because of his lifestyle was unable to serve as a role model for Christian conservatives?

    Mead’s reasoning falters even if we leave the realm of politics and enter the sphere of the personal.

    When my doctor tells me that smoking might very well make me sick, should I examine the data he presents to prove it or should I follow his example and if he is a smoker, eschew his advice?

    When my doctor tells me a low fat diet will keep me healthier and that I am better off not to be obese should I take his advice or should I take stock of his girth and ask him what he ate for dinner last week?

    Man made global warming may or may not be real. Al Gore may or may not be an effective leader for the movement. The one thing that we can be sure of is that Mead’s contention that Al Gore’s lifestyle makes it impossible for him to be an effective leader against man made global warming is not only wrong; it’s contradicted by history.

  • M Stamm

    What a terrific article, Mr. Mead. You have absolutely boild down the stinky green essence that is Al Gore.

    C’mon all of you flying green monkeys, don’t you know how silly you look? You can’t possibly put your trust in the preordained results of scientific studies from which many of the world’s so-called climate scientists became obscenely wealthy. We all remember the email exchanges between these snake oil salesman. The main goals have always been: 1) How can we continue to get rich from this ruse while hiding the true results of our flawed studies, 2) How can we simultaneously promote ourselves and violently push down our critics, 3) How can we foment anarchy through the manipulation of the most naive and malleable people in society, 4) How can we instill fear in the govenments and corporations of the world, which will ultimately lead us back to #1. Al Gore was the leader of this whole movement because he thinks that he’s a natural leader, and what the hell, you gotta lead something. Lucky for him he became fat and rich before we all collectively woke up and realized that we’d been had. So Al Gore is now and always will be a national joke. Fortunately no serious long-term harm has been done yet.

  • http://basmanroselawblogspot.com itzik basman

    Mr. Mead has a point but it gets lost in his repetitive ranting, which finally marks him in this post as slightly off his nut.

  • vivianclare

    Great writing. I’ve always thought Al Gore a pompous self-important bore, brought up in an atmosphere of admiration for Communism. And in that milieu, it has ever been the province of a few people at the top who remain privileged and powerful, while enforcing an inhuman deincentivizing regime on the unfortunate masses underneath them. Armand Hammer was a close family friend of the Gores, and he is known to be a Communist sympathizer who donated much of his fortune to the Soviet Union for the spread of world Communism. Communism has never actually had any leaders who ever denied themselves anything–it’s always a theoretical matter than involves OTHER people making the sacrifices. By nature, it’s a hypocritical stance, at the very least. Gore was never the great candidate for the Democrats, but a tedious stuffed shirt posing as an academic who lucked into this presidential candidacy. Then, when he failed in that bid, his drive to be in front of a camera and address an audience as a supposed “authority” led him to make that silly film, having already embarassed himself by claiming to have invented the internet. I think he’s a textbook modern day American leftist, and the less I hear about him as well as environmentalism, the better I like it. The REAL purpose of environmentalism is the destruction of private property. There are always constructive things individuals can do, using their OWN money, time, and energy, to conserve wildlife, and “save the planet”. Even that latter term “save the planet” evokes the gigantic arrogance inherent in the environmental movement.

  • Mike

    @19

    Then Dave, ask your movement to come up with a plan that will really cool the Earth, instead of demanding that we send trillions of dollars from mostly transparent Western democracies to most corrupt Eastern autocracies, demands made with an almost audible snicker from the left. No one can truly believe this giant, global redistribution of wealth will result in stopping global warming.

    If you really believe that a gas that is talked about in the parts per million, a gas that makes up less than a 10th of 1% of the atmosphere is responsible for all that ails us, stop talking about moving little pieces of green paper.

    Until then, if Al ain’t worried, I’m not either.

  • http://weekendlibertarian.blogspot.com/ Ben (Australia)

    Well put.

  • Dave72

    Mead –
    Hilarious. One fool who believes in global warming criticizing another fool. BTW, Algore keeps losing because he is so wrong-headed as well as inept.

  • doug lominac

    Actually, the problem for Gore is mostly a case of bad luck for him and good luck for free citizens everywhere. The planet was warming due to natural reasons but by the late 90s the trend had reversed and of course, we have had many cold winters in the last decade.

    The global warming cause was also used too much as a political football by the left and that cost them credibility. The Kyoto Protocol was defeated 98-0 in the US Senate but within a year or 2, the left had somehow forgotten that and spent years pummeling Bush and the Republicans over the issue. The left wanted the West to unilaterally de-industrialize, while giants like India, China, et al continued their industrial growth, but were stopped by Bush and the conservative majority in the United States.

    Of course the battle continues between the statists and the conservatives. Many people have forgotten about Clinton’s BTU tax, which was defeated by the conservatives. They will have more schemes coming, and I hope we continue to stop them and come up with a few schemes of our own to get the government yoke off the back of the people.

  • http://curmudgeonlyskeptical.blogspot.com/ TRKOF

    Now I can sleep.

  • Richard

    Dave smith, please, can’t you show us the evidence then? The IPCC includes a chapter called “validation” that contains no validation at all. If there is proof, why not show it instead of appealing to authority?

  • Mike C

    even the EPA’s regulatory authority over carbon dioxide is under threat

    Thank God for small mercies.

    Climate scientists haven’t proven anything. The data are crap. All these clowns have proven is their ability to write GIGO computer programs.

    In the pharmaceutical industry, we do real science. If a pharmaceutical company sought approval for a new drug, and presented to FDA with the kind of “data” that Michael Mann has published, the company and the new compound would be laughed out of the hearing room.

    No data = no science.

  • SicSemper

    dave smith, unless you claim to be a climatologist you’re probably only exposed to the same propaganda that I am, the difference between us is that it’s sticking to you and you’re relying on it. I claim to be nothing more than an individual able to think for himself, but to the best of my understanding the climate of Mars has been warming at a very similar rate. I do suppose the arrogant thinking of the humanist Left permits the assumption that we’re destroying Mars’ atmosphere from way over here.

    There’s talk in the scientific community that we may be entering a new Ice Age; I suppose that would be a consequence of my lawn mower too. BTW, what ended the last Ice Age? Global warming.

  • Turn MD Red

    If you really, truly believe that there will be a catastrophic rise in ocean levels in the very near future, would you buy a multi-million dollar mansion within a few miles of the Pacific Ocean? Really? How stupid is this man? More to the point, how stupid does he think we are?

  • jdallen

    I rarely think this, but you said it better than I could ever hope to say it.

    99% of the environmental groups and the agendas they espouse are populated with people who have no scientific background, no scientific knowledge, and no ability to obtain either, because they are functionally unable to understand the rudiments of logic and the scientific method.

    Mostly, the environmental science they have, they got from Captain Kangaroo’s “Pow-Wow, the Indian Boy.”

  • Ken

    Beware those whose wealth, power and prestige are based on the causes they advocate. This entire “green” movement is underpinned by a strange “Gaian/ Marxist” theology that goes back to the seventies. Those expousing this cultish mythology want control and wealth….period.

  • Sherlock

    All the science….all the data….the proof of Jones and Mann….Obama to give 50 billion for research, and it was ALL A HOAX!

    This is the story of a LOSER! So it is the best thing for all people to keep this man at the top of all that green.

    Madoff ripped off the greedy, while Gorey hopes to continue to rip off the taxpayers.

  • Turn MD Red

    BTW – if you’re up on the lastest education news from my state (aka “The People’s Republic of Maryland”), you know what an uphill climb my screen name signifies.

  • Pop

    Well written article sir!

  • Garry

    The column states: “You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.”

    Al Gore became a paid consultant to Google in Feb. 2001, and it is widely believed that he was compensated with pre-IPO stock options. He joined the Apple board a few years later.

    It’s highly doubtful that Gore’s “green” investments have paid even remotely as well as his Apple and Google stock.

  • Chris Parker

    It is not “denial” to observe that the whole of human (and earth) history is replete with examples of “extreme” weather of one kind or the other – long before humankind’s dalliance with fossil fuels.

    It is not “denial” to expect the IPCC to stop putting exaggerated, non-peer reviewed, non-foot noted “proofs” of man-caused global warming in all of their reports.

    Even in the most recent report, they pretty much just allowed Green Peace to write whatever they wanted.

    I don’t care how strongly all of the sanctimonious warmists “feel” about their cause.

    If they are not willing to be honest, and obey the rules of science (where ever they lead) – then they are dead in the water.

    The corruption in the IPCC led global warming movement is far, far bigger than just the obvious flimflam behavior of the repugnant con man – Al Gore.

  • Farmer

    There’s only one thing wrong with zealotry.

    We have entirely too many zealots.

  • Mean Granny

    Sorry, I disagree. Al Gore is a HYPOCRITE who is only interested in making a buck. I have been walking carefully on this earth for many years. Stop begrudging me my private vehicle, my incandescent light bulbs, and my dishwasher. When I see you walking the greenie talk, it will be easier for me to think that you actually care more for the earth than I do.

  • Nate

    So… It took near 12 years post “hanging chad” to figure out that Albert Gore Jr. is a fraud?

  • Kissmygrits

    Algore is a carbon pig because he knows agw is a fraud, money making scheme. He’s a failure at everything he touches in his public and private life. We perceive him to be a big fat phoney because he is.

  • floridavet

    A news article last year noted Hollywood stars use of private jets and other extravagant means of transportation, not to mention their luxurious lifestyles. One writer noted that at a Barbara Streisand concert, it took 50 (that’s “fifty”) tractor-trailers to bring in all of her cast, crew, and entourage.
    Until people like her, a noted liberal greenie, and people like Al Gore begin to live the lifestyles they insist they rest of us have to in order to save the world, they remain just a bunch of elitists whose watchword is “do as I say, not as I do.” No, thanks. Well done expose, Mr. Mead.

  • Eliza

    Not written in the article is that one of Gore’s mansion, bought by his ill-gotten gains,is parked right by the ocean. If the seas are rising due to GLOBAL WARMING why would anybody buy a multimillion dollar mansion in California.

    Gore is a worst kind of hypocrite and politician. Oh sorry that is a redundant phrase.

    Another thing not mention, trying to govern emission increases the price of fuel price leading to loss of jobs because it cost more to ship goods and equipment which increase price of goods which has a detrimental effect on economy because the more money taken out of the pocket of the middle class for gas the less they have to spend (resemble anything now).

    It doesn’t matter how charismatic or how much that person lives by his believes. Effect a person who is barely making it with additional costs they can’t afford and that movement will be destined to fail in the long run. Look at poor England who can’t afford energy to warm their houses during a long, hard winter, many died from exposure because of fuel prices (Daily Mail UK – Nine Pensioners Died from Cold Every Hour).

    Really how popular is that with the general population. Grandma and grandpa died because the Environmental Protection increase price of fuel. Please, you picked an unpopular cause and wonder why it is not gathering traction.

  • Adam Washington

    A wonderful polemic. I wish I could write like that.

  • http://www.amvets.org/ Karl Magnus

    I compliment you sir on yet another incisive and thorough de-bunking of “conventional wisdom”; an oxymoronic account when addressing Albert Junior and his job-killing pyramid scheme. Hypocrisy seems to be too kind of a description for his actions.
    Throw in the “proud tobacco farmer” who allegedly tilled the fields himself (for the cameras only of course), and you’ve got a trifecta!
    Albert, Jr., the penultimate silver-spoon-fed, D.C. hotel-living progeny of a rabid segregationist, still doesn’t get it. Like typical white-collar offenders, Sir Albert believes that HE’S okay – it’ the WORLD that’s screwed up.

    EXIT QUESTION: How much money did the Gore family make off of the deaths of millions who have died via the Gore tobacco business?

    ~(Ä)~

  • Jack Rail

    Adam B got it right: Gore is a fraud. An unlikable fraud. A stupid-looking fraud. A hungry-for-the-spotlight fraud. An arrogant fraud. An insecure fraud. A jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none fraud.

    All this comes across every time Gore opens his fat mouth.

    Al, you a born carney barker. Get on back to the honest circus of Barnum & Bailey rather than the fraudulent circus of politics.

  • John.in Georgia

    I have read where lil’ Lord Al’s net worth has grown to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars since his 2000 election defeat. Seems to me that he is having the last laugh. This AGW/Climate Change scam has always been, and always will be, about the money. Period.

  • LetUsHavePeace

    Ulysses Grant was not “fond” of whiskey; he preferred wine. That, and his belief that viciousness was stupid, made him vulnerable to the accusation that he “could not hold his whiskey”. The libel continues to this day.

  • John Samford

    I have known algore since he was 8. My Uncle and his father were in business together.
    He (litl’ al) is stupid. Big Al wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he made up for it by being clever and having excellent people skills.
    algore was fooled by the wacko greens into being their stalking horse.
    AGW is a scientific non-starter. Climate change was ongoing at least a million years BEFORE anything remotely human walked this planet.
    That FACT pretty much blows a big hole in the AGW theory.

  • walt

    Know-nothings, anti-science cranks, and stooges for Big Oil can hyperventilate about Al Gore, but Al Gore has a tremendous advantage over them: he’s smart, well-read, consistent, and sober. Climate change denialists are, by contrast sociopathic [ill-bred vulgarity deleted –ed].

  • Thx1138

    While Al Gore still has some mild standing with the elites in Washington and Hollywood, with the great unwashed, Al is a wealthy baffoon on a quest to raise awareness of the elusive Man-Bear-Pig.
    20,000 years age my home would have been covered by a mile of ice, 20,000 years from now it will be again. If humans set the whole world on fire and detonated all of our nuclear weapons at once, most would conclude we had destroyed the earth. Yet if a visitor came to the earth 20,000 years after that event, that visitor would be hard pressed to find any evidence such an event ever took place. The idea that human influence can in any way match the forces of geologic and solar processes is beyond insanity.

  • Karl Koehler

    Enjoyed that article immensely. It’s hilarious to see Al get his just desserts at least to some minor extent. But the real reason he’s lost credibility? Simple. He’s wrong. Always has been; still is.

  • teapartydoc

    I just don’t get it. This is a well-written and well-thought-out post, but why did you feel the need to write it? Are you working through something in your own mind that this issue is relevant to? The last thing on earth that i would give such a prodigious output of effort in is this guy what’s-his-name. To me he is a non-entity, and his project is moralizing grandiosity on stilts. The circus comes to town once in a while. Pretty soon it is gone. So what.

  • Arnold ziffel

    Clasic denialism, not one shred of science.

  • boqueronman

    Algore is a fraud because the radical environmental movement is itself a fraud. In the 1970s it was Global Cooling. In the 1980s it was overpopulation and resource depletion. With little or no traction for the “we know best” elites, the theme moved to anthropogenic global warming alarmism. That one also has hit the brick wall of “where’s the beef?” And now the movement has morphed into something called Climate Change, which appears to mean the tautological “the weather varies.”

    It’s a mystery to me where the unscientific religious fervor that is the radical environmental cult originates from. My own opinion is that a large mass of the West’s population really don’t believe that they are morally fit to live in McMansions, use hot and cold indoor plumbing, turn on glass globes of 100 watt light, speed in personal transport at 60 mph at the spur of the moment, see the world on demand in real time, etc., etc., without paying for some inchoate sin. Somehow we didn’t actually earn this; thus we don’t deserve all this.

    Our materialist culture has created a kind of monster of the id, much like that in the movie “Forbidden Planet.” The amoral elitists are more than happy to use this sense of unease to remove more and more decisions and choices from the individual and give it to the State structure – be it communist or “democratic” – which they dominate. Where will it end? Will we regain a sense of societal worth and reclaim a right “to strive, to seek, and not to yield?” Stay tuned.

  • ice9

    Wait…so Gore was right, but he’s bad anyway? The people who lied and delayed and applied their high-octane stupid to this debate (yes, y’all) are not responsible for the ‘failure’? The people who profited on purpose from the denialism and the fossil-fuels economy–they’re not responsible? Jim DeMint, he of the “Al Gore’s House” igloo on the Mall, mocking Gore with weather that was actually evidence of AGW? Those idiots and grifters, they aren’t responsible?

    I guess you are running out of ridiculous cases to make, because this one is beyond and above. And long, too–your commentors’ lips are certainly very tired.

    ice9

  • Koozebane

    “You global warming denialists are whacked in the head.”

    This too is why they fail. The prophets of doom sourly blame skeptics for their own inability to provide credible, conclusive evidence, and their own dismal failure to convince.

    Enjoyable read, Mr. Mead. Well done.

  • http://www.freereublic.us Brian Richard Allen

    Lost me at:

    …. gifted by the (recidivist treasonous perjurious justice-obstructing suborning lying looting thieving mass-murdering predatory convicted fined and dis-barred co-serial-rapist) departing Clinton with the (Reagan-Economy Gingrich-Republican Congress-created) most bubbliciously expanding economy in American history and a comfortable “budget surplus” ….

    Al-Fredo Gore-leone was a failure from birth because he is about as close to being retarded as a Human may get away with and not be in locked facility care. He was chosen as the Billy Bubbah Blythes’ running mate for the reason he was indeed required: To provide insurance that, the world’s most dangerous dullard waiting in the wings, Billy-Bubbah would never be booted.

  • BMF

    While I agree that Al Gore has been a spectacular failure within the Green movment, I do not agree it has been because of his life style.

    Everyday of the year, successful politicians demand that the people make sacrifices that they would not and could not make themselves. The examples are too many to list. Al Gore is no different.

    Nor do I think that Al Gore is even a minor cause of the collapse of the Green movement.

    The Green movement is in disarray because it was built on a flawed foundation–one that could not withstand the most basic of scientific principles–honest review and validation of its theories.

    There is a reason that warmists work in secrecy, manipulate data, cherry pick proxies, conspire to sabotage skeptics, attempt to prevent criticism in scientific publications, ensure their peer-reviews are done by like minded ideologues, and embed assumptions in their models that ensure the outcomes they are seeking. There is a reason why the IPCC agressively used gray literature to substantiate their claims of global doom. There is a reason why the warmist ignore FOIA requests and are using every legal means at their disposal to prevent their data, manipulations, and model code from becoming public. There is a reason why CRU destroyed the original temperature data, ensuring that no one could ever replicate or validate their theories and findings–we would simply have to take them at their word.

    The list goes on.

    The IPCC is supposed to have been the gold stardard of the Green movement, yet it’s reports are so riddled with errors, propaganda literature, and political agendas that it has become a joke within the greater scientific community. The hockey sticks have been discredited. The IPCC’s claims have all been debunked as nonsense.

    The unraveling of the Green movement actually began with the predictions of the first Earth Day in 1970. The problem for people in the 1970s is that there was no way to disprove the amazing claims that seemingly respected scientists were making then:

    “We have about five more years at the outside to do something” Kenneth Watt.

    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation” Denis Hayes.

    “Civilization will end within 15-30 years unless immediate action is taken agains problems facing mankind” George Wald.

    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” Kenneth Watt (NOTE: Anyone know what happened to nitrogen killing us all?)

    “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson (NOTE: that would have been 1995 that 80 percent of all species were to be extinct)

    None of these amazing predictions ever came close to being true. But each year brought ever more dire predictions of doom. IPCC report after IPCC report warned of the exponential increase in unimaginable horror for man and animals alike.

    The problem has been that it was difficult to investigate those claims when the people making them would not share their data and methods.

    You would think that if the science was settled to the degree they wanted us all to believe, they would not have hesitated a second to lay it all out on the table and demand someone prove them wrong. But just the opposite was happening.

    Try as they might to plug the leaks in their AGW dam, the cracks began to grow and weaken the foundation. As more data became available on the Internet, skeptics were able to begin to try to reconstruct those dire predictions–and they discovered that something didn’t smell right.

    The dam finally broke when Climate Gate revealed what many had already begun to suspect.

    The intellectual curiosity of many more scientists was piqued by the revelation of Climate Gate and one by one the scientific bases for all the doom and gloom in the IPCC reports were brought into question.

    Sea levels were not rising after all. No warming recorded in over ten years. The Arctic and Anarctica were not melting. The Arctic Ocean had been ice free before the industrial age. No increase in violent weather. We were told that our children would not know what snow was–yet we experience record snow falls and cold temperatures. We were told that drought would cause mass starvation–didn’t happen. Glaciers melting–no. Kilimanjaro–not caused by AGW. Increase in misquitoes–no. One after another the predictions were found to be nearly or completely baseless.

    Not a single prediction has been substantiated by independent studies.

    And many of these were not predictions for the future. May were clamities that warmist told us should have already occured before the year 2000.

    And the evidence against AGW being of any signficance is growing day by day. In a panic, AGW became Climate Change and every change in the daily weather report became the basis for proof that the world would come to an end if we did not hand over every dime we make to a world government to save us from ourselves.

    No, Al Gore had a lot to do with promoting the hoax. Al Gore profited enormously from it while it was popular. But he had very little to do with the collapse of the Green movement.

    The Green movement became a self-licking ice cream cone and billions of dollars in grants and studies fueled it for decades. Afterall, who gets a multi-million dollar grant to discover that everything is OK?

    It was and is their baseless claims that cannot withstand the light of honest review and validation that is destroying the credibility of the Green movement.

    Al just enjoyed the ride while he enriched himself. He was just a barker in the AGW carnival. Personally, I don’t think he gives a rat’s flying potato for anyone but himself.

  • You must be joking

    Wig Wag.
    You seem to be out on a lonely limb there.
    Perhaps you can join Gore and saw it off between you and the tree.
    It’s time to bury this stupid AGW rubbish and join the rest of the sane world.
    The planet has not warmed since 1998, despite CO2 increasing (though I have serious doubts that measuring CO2 while surrounded by active volcanos is a wise place to be doing it).
    Your cause was false from the beginning, it is false now, and the world is increasingly aware of the fact. So shut up and get a brain.

  • JLK

    Dr Mead

    It gets better and better all the time for those of us multi year “denial” veterans.

    Dr Mead’s beautifully written (but too kind to the “Sex Poodle”: I am from Portland and that is the local nickname among us few conservatives) piece has only two kinds of negative replies.

    One uses the usual epithet hurling (deniers are stupid etc) with ZERO congency to back their faith-based beliefs up with any credibility. The second use pompous prose to show everyone how smart they are through verbosity that only ends with splitting hairs and counting angels dancing on the pin head. (Play on words with serious intentions)

    The ever shrinking band of the faithful should realize that telling people the science is finished or they are morons for not being members of the faith (like 16th Century Spain)is so….yesterday.

    The above was always a bad strategy anyway. Insulting those who disagree as a debate technique ALWAYS dooms the insulter to the losing side of the argument.

    To win people to your side you must start with common ground and respect for your opponent; screaming “stupid moron” at the slightest hint of disagreement ain’t gonna get it done.
    JLK

  • Russell

    Gore’s personal hypocracy is not what bothers me as an enviro-skeptic. It is the universal prescription of the green movement of a cure with no hope of affecting the alleged disease. If they were serious, why not get behind nuclear power and electrified transportation which could at least in principle halt a rise in CO2? Instead they promote windmills and curly-que lightbulbs that will no significant impact even if pursued. This is what give credance to the charge that they have another agenda, the old agenda of global socialism ruled by an elite secular caste.

  • Hut Lee

    You may not like the the messenger, or even the message, but one thing that can not be disputed is the fact that the global ice is melting, and only rising temperatures can cause it. So, starting from that point we have to admit that climate change is indeed happening.

    It matters to a degree what just is causing this change, man made or not, but even more disturbing is we don’t seem to know what should do about it. What are the short and long term effects, and what are we planning on doing to meet a changed world. We can argue all day about what is causing the change, but while we’re busy doing that, nothing is being done to meet this real challenge for mankind.

  • MrPete

    So sad that a few commenters have bought into the mirage.

    “We have to admit that climate change is indeed happening.” Of course it is! That’s not the question. The important question: is today’s climate unusual?

    The best scientific evidence says today’s climate is most likely not that unusual. For example: compare the final *scientific* input vs the political edit of the last IPCC report to understand. Google: AR4 LOSU. (LOSU is Level Of Scientific Understanding.) Read p. 11 of McKitrick’s summary if you don’t have time to dig in for yourself. (quick google: henderson mckitrick losu)

    I’m not here to argue the whole thing in a paragraph. Just realize that this post has a serious point… and if you think the author is crazy… well perhaps you too need to look in the mirror.

  • Nora

    This is an ad hominem attack. You are trying to discredit the science by discrediting the messenger. It is a very weak and dirty trick. You may complain all you want; it will not stop climate change. It is real in its consequences, whether one chooses to believe it (this is a religion?) or not.

    BTW, folks, do not confuse “weather”, which is what you see out your window, with “climate”, which is long term aggregate data. The longer we dither with whether or not to “believe”, the quicker we will be toast.

  • Lex

    Gore’s a eugenicist trash running around with bags of blood, not for transfusion.

  • TonyM

    AGW is not science as its claims cannot be falsified. Projections of catastrophe come from mathematical climate models based on what is a poor understanding of all of the factors involved in climate and their relationships to each other. Many of the variables are left out or poorly estimated either because their impact is not understood, they are too complex to model (like rain and clouds), or because including them will not give them the their desired predetermined result that humans are causing warming. (And by the way, there hasn’t been any unusual warming for the last 10-15 years.) A prime example is the sun that the IPCC declared had no impact on “radiative forcing”, the mechanism by which CO2 is theorized to absorb heat and radiate it back to earth to make verything warmer -also anunproven hypthesis. The mathematical equations that are used to define the climate models are complex systems of non-linear differential equations. These equations have no deterministic solution. That is you cannot write a formula for,let’s say, the temperature as a computable function of the other variables involved. The equations can only be solved by approximation methods. Mathematicians who are expert in this field, say that the approximations have no chance of predicting anything with any degree of accuracy. Thermodynamicists say that the basic physical assumptions of the model are not valid. Other mathematicians and physicists have explained that the whole idea of a “global average temperature” is fallacious and has as much meaning to physics and in particular, climate, as averaging all of the telephone numbers in telephone books has to telephone networks.

    Gore and James Hansen, the primary cheerleaders for AGW, should be in jail for perpetrating this hoax on the world.

    For those who still believe in AGW, ask yourselves this question:

    If scientists cannot accurately predict the weather more than about three days in advance using the most sophisticated computers, mathematical methods, well accepted and tested mathematical formulations, and good data, how can they predict temperature, sea levels, CO2 densities, etc. 50 or 100 years in the future with these same computers, but with highly questionable assumptions, poor data, and untested and incomplete mathemetical formulations that modelers refuse to release for independent review?

  • HJ

    “The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat.” You mean like Tim Geithner Secretary of the Treasury? So much for that theory.

  • Mike

    Well-written as usual but kind of beside the point. If people trusted the science,then Gore’s hypocrisy would be merely embarrassing. It is because the AGW science is so speculative (winter as we knew it is still pretty much as we knew it), that his hypocrisy is taken as the final proof that the alarmists may be safely ignored.

  • RickD

    You guys are weird.

    A person has to live in a van down by the river or he’s not allowed to talk about air pollution?

    I’m sorry – global warming isn’t a moral issue. It’s an issue whose solution will require government action.

    I always wonder why people with no scientific training feel qualified to talk about scientific issues. Do you perform your own surgeries, too? A lot of you guys are just talking way above your heads. Sorry if you feel that’s insulting, but it’s simply the truth.

    Climate science really isn’t a giant scam to devour funding dollars. People really are doing good work in the field.

    And all of the nonsense that is put out to counter the science is funded by energy industry billionaires who don’t want to lose their cash cows.

  • Kyle Michel Sullivan

    Walter Russell Mead and his ilk (and the trolls who love them) sound more and more like the people who made fun of Noah as he built his ark. And we know what happened to them. The science concerning global warming is irrefutable. Making fun of Al Gore does not change that.

  • Will o’ the Peeps

    It’s quite amusing to see the delusional warmers cast their projected demons onto strawmen. Al Gore was the one who funded realclimate.org specifically to oppose climateaudit.org and the brilliant one man gang of Steve McIntyre. DOA’s and MIA’s include James Hanson, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, the CRU, and the IPCC. Hey, if you can’t hide the decline, then just hide behind AlGore, there’s plenty of room in his dark shadow.

  • http://www.cominghomecatholic.com Cominghomecatholic

    Although I do agree with your criticism of hypocritical environmentalists, I am also concerned by the anti-Catholic sentiments expressed in your reference to indulgences. I am a Catholic woman who has been attacked for the sins if a few men that occurred over 500 years ago. Indulgences are important aspect of my faith that has been consistent with doctrinal teaching for the past 2000 years.

    The Catholic Church defines an indulgence as “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.” The Church teaches that, although God forgives the sin, we will still undergo a period of purification to remove the effects of the sin. An indulgence can shorten the period of purification later.

    Indulgences are one way to engage in good behavior for the purpose of learning to avoid the bad behavior in the future. They also help us focus on healing the wounds caused by our sin, not just avoid any future punishment associated with it.

    About 500 years ago some unscrupulous priests sold indulgences, encouraging people to “buy their way into Heaven.” Although the Church condemned this simony, i.e. the buying or selling of spiritual things, the sin of a few bad people helped spark the Protestant Reformation and contributed to the divisions that still exist among the faithful Christians today.

    The Catholic Church is still attacked for the long-ago abuse of indulgences. However, an indulgence is definitely not an encouragement to sin, a forgiveness of all future sins, or a “Get out of Hell Free” card. It is the recognition that a person can be very sorry for committing sins, and is willing to actively make up for the sins during his lifetime.

    Catholics accept the gift of indulgences, and the challenges that go with them, as part of our spiritual journey toward a complete conversion to God. As with every facet of our journey, indulgences can help us live our faith in every aspect of our lives.

  • hapa

    once upon a time, respectable right-wingers dreamed of winning a nuclear war.

    now they’re supportive of disarmament, and their supercharged faith in movement & country has them picturing mild climate change that pays dividends to resource-rich america.

    when decades of unavoidable climatic counterevidence finally put to rest their latest anti-scientific glory dream, maybe they’ll try taking credit for mitigation efforts & new technology, even as they advocate whatever new gasbag junk serves purpose at that time.

    it will never stop. there will always be lawsuits pending against large corporations, always be smallholder claims on public spending to dismiss in favor of fat political contributors’ desires; and so, always be brazen lackeys vilifying facts.

  • Pete H

    “and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.”

    Oh yes, Gore loves to lecture but he runs like the wind when challenged to face to face debate on AGW.

  • Jason Lewis

    Al Gore is a canker on a [very unsightly spot].

  • Tertius

    Walt above said “Al Gore has a tremendous advantage over them: he’s smart, well-read, consistent, and sober.” But the disadvantage Walt, is that on this issue, Al Gore is also wrong!

  • Tom M

    Gosh – Gore and the Green’s movement having problems might actually be tied to the fact that there is a few grains of truth that do not cover a steaming heap of lies.

  • Mark

    “I always wonder why people with no scientific training feel qualified to talk about scientific issues.” Are you saying Al Bore has scientific training? Right and I’m a heart specialist.

  • Michael

    Some problems are large enough that collective action is needed. Al Gore owning a large house does not change this; it just makes rightwingers feel better about being wrong.

    And on the science, it apparently bears repeating, you’re still wrong.

  • Denythis

    I think it is funny that some people take this article as “Global Warming Denial” , and used their comments to preach their gospel. The article is about Al Gore, not global warming.
    Hapa, I can’t decipher which side you are on? But I have survived five decades already of impending doom, .

  • Jim Cohen

    Bravo for taking this on! For your next column, can I suggest a similar expose on Thomas Friedman, who lives here: http://wonkette.com/413811/this-is-literally-thomas-friedmans-house

  • Steve S

    Gore has also killed “science”. He preaches science endlessly, mocks naysayers as ignorant rubes, yet will never ever debate a scientific issue with anyone. Nor will he or anyone in the movement address the many scientific concerns raised by academics and yes scientists who absolutely scoff at his conclusions. He has harmed us for generations to come in the sense that now there is no more “science”…there is only politics.

  • Drik

    I do not judge.
    Niether do I stand to be judged by someone so obviously hypocritical.

  • Vilmos

    A comparison of Al Gore’s and George W. Bush’ house:

    http://deathby1000papercuts.com/2008/03/als-inconvenient-truth-a-tale-of-two-houses/

    Vilmos

  • LEO

    i recently saw footage of a scientist asking to debate him as he was leaving one of his speaking engagements. surrounded by an entourage of gophers and security guards, he didn’t so much as give the gentleman a glance. the camera followed him to a large cavalcade of limos and suv’s. i was a little put off by the arrogance.

  • John G

    The head of the IRS cannot be a tax cheat???
    Gietner, as treasury secretary IS head of the IRS, and he IS a tax cheat

  • Mike M.

    He has become so utterly ridiculous in recent years that even Tipper (who had a few issues of her own) finally couldn’t stand to be around him any longer. Need I say more?

  • Russell

    Another science-free critique from Meade- perhaps he should aim his stinger the falstaffian Fred Singer

    Meanwhile radiative forcing continues its unabated rise:
    http://takimag.com/article/a_vast_mass_of_gas

  • forparity

    Excuse me..

    “On his own again in 2000, gifted by the departing Clinton with the most bubbliciously expanding economy in American history and a comfortable budget surplus, and insulated from the innuendo and scandal of the Clinton White House by his still-vibrant marriage,”

    Let’s address the lack of scandal first – Gore had his own scandal, as VP, let’s not forget.

    Now – OK – in the 1st 3 months of 2000 – yes the Tech sector of the economy was still dangerously bubbilistic – the broad market had peaked out in 1997, FTR (not the DOW – the broad market.

    The irrationally dangerous and greedy fraudulent dot.com bubble (the Enron bubble) collapsed in March of 2000.

    That marked the end of most everything. First, most every leading economic indicator that had not already turned on it’s head – then did so.

    Second – with this collapsing economy would come crashing employment, opportunity and ..

    ..and..

    crashing federal (and state) tax revenue.

    As of March, 2000 – the brief little bout of nice annual budget surpluses began their reversal – until the budget stood $378 billion in the red, at yrs end in 2003.

    All in all, from 2001-2003 (three years) the shift in fortunes would be $1.3 Trillion.

    Yes, in the short term, President Bush’s stimulus to get us out of that recession, would add up to $325 billion (far short of Obama’s $800 bill stimulus) and by the end of 2003, the Iraq war would cost some $54 billion.

    9/11 had added to the woes of the economic recession that Bush inherited – but none of this mess was created by Bush.

    Over time, Bush can take on his share of the blame for not addressing these shortfalls and getting us set on a path for sustainable responsible growth and budget management – but to suggest that in 2000, as Gore ran for president with a strong economy going forward, and massive budget surpluses in the next term, is a complete re-write of history.

  • Otis McWrong

    Walt: You state that Al Gore is “smart, well-read…”. Based on what do you make this claim, specifically that he is “smart”? I concede he most likely has an IQ above 100, but would be surprised if his IQ was much above 120. Far from stupid, but of pedestrian intelligence.

    Rick D: You complain about people “with no scientific training talking about scientific issues”. Are you not aware that the Gump-like Al Gore has no scientific training? His education consists of a BA from Harvard, some courses at Divinity School prior to failing out, and some courses at Vanderbilt law prior to dropping out. Of course, if this passes muster as “scientific training”, the legions of “scientists” convinced they can predict weather patterns 100 years in advance now makes more sense.

    Now for the ad hominem: Al Gore is really nothing more than a short (I’ve met him, I’m 5’10” and he came up to my nose), fat, spoon-fed, hypocritical mediocrity. The fact that large numbers of people fawn on his every word is as powerful an argument against mass suffrage as I can think of.

  • Thomas Hauck

    Re Al Gore’s scholarship.
    Mrs. Richard Cheney had a PhD, Richard Cheney, George W. Bush, Mrs. Bush, Mr. and Mrs. Lieberman and Mrs. Gore had Master’s or Law degrees and Al Gores’ highest achievement was a bachelors degree.

    Mr. Gore might have failed at every environmental and political effort but he did get rich.

  • K Smith

    Mr. Gore is laughing all the way to the bank. He is worth over $100M and it’s not clear he really cares about the success of the “green” movement. He started a network (Current), is on the board of Apple, and also launched a green investment fund and of course invests in the cap and trade business…he’s fat for a reason.

  • Max Young

    Spotted Al could not fool the people that knew him best…the voters of Tennessee. Thank God! We knew he was inept and could not believe that he was a step away from the White House. The truth has come out and you would think the man would be ashamed to show his face….but that is Spotted Al…we knew it here in Tennessee. Just focus real hard and you can see the spots…what took you guys so long.

  • Independent Texan

    I’ve met him too, at a private fundraiser in 2000 at the Georgetown mansion of Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

    Sen. Rockefeller was warm and welcoming … not exactly a “normal” guy, but he was certainly friendly.

    VP Gore, however, was unfriendly. I paid the legal limit to be there — $2,000 at the time — not because I was going to vote for him but because it was in the interest of my employer for me to be there. You’d have thought he would have been polite to me, but he was an ass. During my two minutes with him, he was looking over my shoulder for someone “more important” to talk to, and it was clear the only thing he cared about was that my check cleared. Hell, I know that’s what all politicians care about, but at least most of them make you feel appreciated. He didn’t.

    More to the point, he is the worst kind of liberal — the kind who wants to make a thousand laws but exempt himself from them. He believes his message is the modern equivalent of scripture, and he cannot bear to be questioned. The fact that he is personally invested in businesses that benefit from his lobbying would be comical if it were not so corrupting.

    Gore is a tool. Thanks for pointing out his narcissistic need to be loved. The truth is, nobody loves him. Others on the left are just using him when it is convenient to do so, and distancing themselves from him when it’s not.

  • http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/moversandshakers/dominic.html?start=2 Ryan

    While I agree with much of what you say, I must confess that as a Catholic I get irritated that the only saint non-Catholics seem to like is St. Francis, a conclusion I am forced to draw in this case because you attribute a quote from another saint — Saint Dominic — to Francis. Francis is popular enough; let Dominic’s story reach people, too.

  • Paul M. Neville

    Al Gore is as corrupt as they come. His father was known as Occidental Oil’s stooge in the US Senate. Al did not fall far from the tree. When Clinton put him in charge of reducing the size of government he sold off the US oil reserves in California to Occidental Oil in a no bid deal that directly enriched his family. His father’s estate had as its largest asset stock in that company.

  • Spawn44

    Though what you say about Al has many truths I do not believe that is the reason for his many failures and the collaspe of the AGW/IPCC scam. The science was nothing but a political scam from the beginning. When it was exposed from the emails it collasped faster than al gore can side step a debate. If he rode a horse it would not have mattered in the total demise of this fraud that was pushed on the american people by the socialist infested democrat party.

  • Steve-0

    Let’s check Gore score card.

    Promoted and invested in the internet. Which makes it possible to ill-informed morons like yourself to publish this [disagreeable material] +1

    Won the 2000 election. Popular vote +1 (lost in court because time ran out)

    Is 100% correct about Climate Change. The green tech he promoted in the 90s are working and getting cheaper. It’s a given fact in the rest of world and policy is changing. +1 Because a few idiot refuse to accept this doesn’t mean the green movement is failing. It’s not

  • Chet

    You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.

    Wait, what? Since when is legislative self-dealing out of bounds in American politics? Somebody tell Eric Cantor, who’s put over $15,000 into bets against Federal treasury bills.

    When somebody stands to make a fortune if the policies he advocates are put into place, don’t we usually say how that makes him more trustworthy, since he has “skin in the game”? Why is Al Gore, uniquely, the one man in American politics who can’t ask the government to do something in his personal interest?

  • Patrick

    Rich Whole Foods environmentalists simply assume that others should sacrifice for the common good, but never themselves. They believe their lives of privilege and luxury proceed naturally from their exceptional gifts, and they live secure in the knowledge that they are entitled to everything they have and want. The only persons I know who own a Prius also own a top of the line Mercedes or BMW along with a Escalade or Range Rover. They also live in 10,000+ square foot houses. Often enough they fly in private jets, and when they don’t they fly first class. If they are embarrassed by any of this I haven’t seen it. They are, I should add, intelligent and lovely and solidly liberal. Of course I don’t take them seriously on these matters, as their hypocrisy is source of some amusemnet. I only become annoyed when they criticize the last President Bush’s environmental policies, and use the opportunity to inform them how environmentally progressive his own house is. How delicious that Mr Bush’s personal environmental virtue is greater than that of Mr Gore!

  • James

    I have not had the pleasure of meeting Mr Gore but my former boss worked with in Congress. He called him “the meanest man on Capitol Hill.” No more telling remark have I ever heard from someone whose opinion counts to me.

  • ed gallagher

    Steve O just continues to push the big lie. While perception can change, the truth is immune. It simply is. Gore lost the election, plain & simple. CO2 is a trace gas of which only 15% is generated by human activity, and it only makes up .0025-.0035% of the atmosphere but incipherable numbers get passed along as important to prop up an agenda that has nothing to do with the environment but everything to do with imposing a social order that would establish an elite, above the rules and impose a standard of living to rival the dark ages based on shortages and high cost while the societal glitteratti of the left reap huge profits. There are no free market folks among the leaders of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I call it a church as all of the scientific underpinnings of AGW have been exposed as incorrect, exxageratted, or simply made up so the AGW movement must be based on faith rather than science. Odd that while most on the left scorn religion they pray to this golden ram of AGW with a fervor to rival the great crusades of the middle ages while the world wastes uncountable billions on so called “green” technologies that use up more resources than the energy they could ever hope to produce. Their “solutions” pollute the landscape with acre upon acre of inefficient solar panels and scar mountain tops and plains with raptor killings windmills. Lost in the environmental fervor is the realization that this “clean” energy must be backed up by spinning reserve in order to maintain a reliable and consistent source of energy. If the real goal were cleaner air & water through the use of so called clean energy sources then we could simply retire the bulk of fossil fuel plants and replace them with nuclear plants and just keep enough fossil fuel plants to make up for down time among the primary generating plants. More people died in the U.S. yesterday in clean energy generator accidents than have ever died here due to radiation exposure in the entire history of nuclear power in the U.S. even if that number were only 1. The goal of the left in the debate about energy is not about the environment, it is about a level of control of society that they cannot win at the ballot box so they seek to impose that control through the use of scare tactics and environmental regulations imposed by unelected bureaucrats appointed by the likes of BHO. The problem of course is that now that the AGW hoax has been exposed for the fraud that it is, genuine environmental concerns are being dismissed as being as much a fraud as AGW and real damage to the environment can occur as a populace becomes immune to leftist social engineers constant cries of “wolf, wolf” and dismisses genuine threats to our environment.

  • Jeb

    Ugh. The premise of this article is ridiculous. The author misses the point entirely. Personal virtue has nothing to do with addressing climate change. That may offend your conservative beliefs, but it’s the truth. (It will also offend smug liberals who think they’re doing something noble when they take out the recycling.) Large-scale changes in policy are what’s needed to address climate change. That’s it. Arguing about one person’s carbon footprint is beyond idiotic.

  • Boo Humbug

    In 2010 Al Gore purchased his second large house. It is reported to be an $8.8 million ocean-view villa with 6 fireplaces and 9 bathrooms. It also has a swimming pool, spa and fountains.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/photos-al-goree-new-8875_n_579286.html#s91230

  • beejeez

    Yes, there’s so much more money to be made crusading against climate change than in supporting whatever oil and coal industries want to do. That poor 5% of climate scientists who say don’t worry, be happy simply must be too darn principled to jump on the environmentalist gravy train.

  • Phantomorphan

    A major part of Gore’s fortune comes from stock in Occidental Petroleum; devotees should look it up rather than railing at Fox News or the Koch Brothers. When Albert Sr. died, he was vice chairman of the board of Oxy Pete. The Gore family also did a lot of lucrative extraction in TN, but I guess that was before they realized their activities were hastening the end of the world.
    Also, for the record (not that any Democrat will ever admit it), Gore lost Fla. by 537 votes — as reported by none other than The New York Times (“All the Slant That Fits”) itself, much to its own chagrin. He lost the election not because he “ran out of time” to run his deeply cynical vote-manufacturing operation in FL, but because he actually lost the election. Not by much, but he lost. And, as the good professor points out, he lost his own state. He also lost Clinton’s home state, Arkansas. Inconvenient truths indeed!

  • Paul Gross

    Have you considered his message does not resonate with a majority of the voters? In the end is that what it takes to win?

  • http://thewaitingtime.org Evan Miller

    The article completely misses why Al Gore failed to lead the green movement to greatness. His first failure was promoting junk science instead of finding an actual problem grounded in scientific fact. The uncanny ability he demonstrated is a complete lack of understanding of the earth’s ecosystem.

    1. CO2 is not a poison. CO2 is the #2 most important molecule for sustaining life, second only to water. CO2 is plant food! With less of it, plants grow slower. With more of it, they thrive. In fact, more CO2 could mean increased global biomass and food production. http://www.plantsneedco2.org/

    2. The levels of CO2 we’re arguing about changing are minuscule. Less than .039% of the atmosphere is CO2 by volume. It’s not poisonous to animal life until it reaches 1%, or 25X higher. The amount of man-made CO2 is 2.75 of total CO2, or .001% of the atmosphere. If we succeeded in cutting half of all man-made CO2 by spending billions and stopping all forward human progress, we might reduce CO2 in the atmosphere from .039% to .0385%, doing nothing to effect the climate.

    3. There is 50X more CO2 dissolved in the oceans than in the atmosphere. If we were to spend billions and make the earth’s nations universally backward, poor, and starving, the oceans would release CO2 into the atmosphere, nullifying our efforts.

    4. One volcano eruption can wipe out years of efforts to reduce CO2.

    5. Natural CO2 increase is a result of increased global temperatures, not a cause.

    6. The leading cause of global warming is … (drum roll) … the big hot ball of burning gas in the sky. We are still emerging from the little ice age a few hundred years ago.

    7. There is ample evidence that CO2 levels were several times higher in the past, which is why we see huge fossil plants and have vast amounts of oil. It wasn’t made made, and the planet thrived.

    I could go on and also mention the embarrassing problem that much of the evidence against CO2 was also man-made, but you get the point – Al picked the wrong problem. What the science does support are many other problems:

    1. The rise in heavy metals that are poisoning humans and animals alike, especially mercury and lead. Mercury is implicated in the dramatic rise of autism spectrum disorders in the last 25 years, and is implicated in the poisoning of ecosystems.

    2. Corrupt governments that fail to both help their population and fail to protect endangered species.

    3. The halt of electrical production in 3rd world nations in the name of the environment is keeping the people backward, poor, and starving, resulting in them having to burn wood, farm inefficiently, and kill endangered species for food.

    4. Stupid programs like ethanol subsidies that waste taxpayer dollars in order to increase the cost of food so we can burn that food as fuel, all caused by the government’s refusal to allow enough oil drilling and refining capacity, which also makes us pay billions to foreign despots who murder people and abuse the environment.

    In fact, there are hundreds of actual problems Al could have helped to solve. But the one he picked did one have one great benefit – it made him very rich.

    In the end, he didn’t lose anything. It is the working people of the planet, the ones who create the global economy, who were ignored again.

  • james

    Jeb says: “Personal virtue has nothing to do with addressing climate change.”

    The essayist is not claiming that addressing climate change depends on personal virtue. His point is that if Gore, and by extension the AGW alarmist movement, want to gain the political clout necessary to effect meaningful change, they can’t afford to be viewed as not serious about what must be done. There is a big difference–it is Jeb who misses the point entirely.

  • Roger Cohen

    I would not shed too many tears for AlGore.
    It is said that he left the Vice Presidency with only a couple of million, yet has now amassed a few hundred mil. He sits on numerous BoDs (e.g., Apple) and advisory groups (e.g., Deutsche Bank) and is thus positioned to profit on current and future taxpayer-funded mandates and subsidies. He will not suffer for want of future body massages. As for recognition, yes, he missed the Presidency by a hair, but among the adulating crowds, he has transcended that office to become a combination of Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. You have to have witnessed to believe the sight of 2,000 AAAS members rising to give him his standing ovation. And life style be damned, he covers his excessive footprint by buying carbon credits in his own company, thus giving us a modern parallel to the Civil War draftee’s opting out of the fight for a payment of a mere $300, proving that global warming is merely yet another “rich man’s war and a poor man’s battle.”

  • Peter Keefe

    Bravo Ed Gallagher and Evan Miller. I wish that statements such as yours would see wider distribution to counter the media and pseudo-scientific claptrap about climate change.

  • kendrick1

    A backwoodsman was drafted for military service during WWII. He left for the appointed place, but was seen back at home a couple of days later. When asked why he wasn’t chosen by the military to stay with them, he replied, “they said I was too narrow between the eyes!” Take a look at Al Gore!!

  • Rich

    “I am not one of those who thinks him a hypocrite; I think rather that he shares an illusion common amongst the narcissistic glitterati of our time: that politically fashionable virtue cancels private vice.”

    Most hypocrites rationalize their behavior. You have repeatedly demonstrated Gore is in fact a hypocrite, and here only conjecture about his particular rationalization.

  • Werbaz Neutron

    The real issue to me is not Gore: it is the great number of otherwise dull-normals and above who believe in such a “cause.” They are stunningly arrogant in that they believe they – acting in concert – can change what they believe they can. At the base, these people are tyranny itself, waiting to hatch.

  • Dean

    14.Jeb says:
    “Ugh. The premise of this article is ridiculous. The author misses the point entirely. Personal virtue has nothing to do with addressing climate change.”

    We know that Gore doesn’t believe what he is preaching, because he doesn’t try to hide his behavior, he flaunts it. When people do things that they know are wrong, they try to keep their behavior a secret.

  • Steve Meikle

    the author said:

    “I am not one of those who thinks him a hypocrite; I think rather that he shares an illusion common amongst the narcissistic glitterati of our time: that politically fashionable virtue cancels private vice”

    BUT this is absurd, for it is merely yet another reformulation of the term “hypocrite”. IOW the attempt to cancel private vice with fashionable public virtue is the very essence of hypocrisy.

    Besides: AGW is a crock, a pseudo scientific fantasy. It is so soundly refuted that the science can be said to be settled: there IS no human caused Global warming

  • Gentian Violet

    “AGW is a crock, a pseudo scientific fantasy. It is so soundly refuted that the science can be said to be settled: there IS no human caused Global warming”
    Any scientists who ever say, in any context, that “the science is settled” should hand in their PhDs and live out their lives in shame and humiliation. Science is NEVER “settled”. Science works on hypotheses, theories that are always open to modification or refutation by new evidence.
    This is the real catastrophe: the utter betrayal of the scientific method by scientists themselves, who drink the Koolade of AGW because it so perfectly fits their personal belief in the irredeemable depravity of the human species, and hence in the need for a global government that micromanages the lives and controls the carbon use of every soul on the planet.

  • Andreas K

    If anyone in here respected science, there would be more sources in the comments section.

  • Brandon F.

    For Gore it is about personal ambition far more than saving some polar bears. And for the global warming alarmism community, it’s about redistribution of wealth; it’s an ideological and politcal vision for the future. It’s not about belief in the science, which has shown to be not just “unsettled,” but greatly flawed and then overstated to the point of simply being dishonest.

  • Paul Nyman

    Why is this not printed in the New York Times or the Washington Post.

  • Kevin

    It is interesting that Grant’s drinking is mentioned, because of all Civil War figures McClellan comes to mind when considering Gen’l Gore. The messianic egoism of both is breath-taking.

  • JC in KC

    All I can say is, “Thank goodness for Al Gore.” AGW is a crock, and if Al has played any part in its demise as a cause celebre, we should be thankful.

  • Ed Duncan

    I respectfully but loudly taunted and heckled Algore during his 14-hour Houston fundraiser stop in 2000, wherein he raised $1.3 million … and generated at least a 500-gazillion ton carbon footprint in the process, with his HPD motorcycle motorcade, the 10,000 lb armored limos, the HPD helicoptor leading the motorcade, and a security detail numbering about 100. I taunted him from just 60-80 feet away about being a Southern Baptist who just voted to break the Senate tie on partial-birth abortion, about God being the “controlling legal authority” regarding the obvious money laundering at the LA Buddhist temple, etc., etc. He was visibly agitated, as the security detail conspicuously left me alone to continue. In fact, after the carbon nuclear bomb of a motorcade began to roar off after the 35-minute fundraiser, the chief US Marshal of the security detail came up and applauded me for criticizing the VP.

    Always remember: Algore literally flunked out of Vanderbilt Divinity School after two semesters with a D-/F+ average (in the standard, basic MDiv courses), abruptly switched to Vanderbilt Law School, and finally dropped out of that after about 1.5 semesters with a D average. The transcripts used to be posted on Google.

    Also remember: The National Review cover story from about early 2001, “Al Gore, Head Case”, authored by a Stanford medical professor who argued Algore apparently suffers from mental illness.

  • Parorchestia

    Thank God Gore never became President of the greatest and most influential country on earth. Hypocrisy and error do not make a good leader.

  • Carl Wolf

    @Parorchestia
    I agree with your last sentence. But you think it was so much better that we got hypocrisy and error from the other mediocre guy who ended up in office instead? The 2000 election was certainly a example of a lesser-of-evils choice. It’s moronic to think Gore would have been a remarkably worse leader, he would have just been awful as well, and who knows whether it would be more awful or a little less awful, though I think bungling environmentalism is possibly better than bungling the economy and wars…

  • David W.

    Albert Gore would succeed if only he weren’t such a scam artist. For all of you climate change “believers”; acknowledge the financial aspects of Albert Gore’s postulation, name its pushers and extrapolate their vested interests for all of us to see, then tell me you still believe in the context.

    We’re moving into a time of less and less freedom, thanks to the very people who insist in foisting the “liberal” mantle high into the air. Just like Gore and his climate change context, you’re a bunch of frauds!

    “Freedom of” doesn’t entitle you to go fishing on someone else’s dime. “Freedom of” means you toil for progress in your individual life, within a nation of reasonable law. Give me freedom — REAL FREEDOM! Get Gore and his charlatan ilk out of our lives in all corners!

  • Russell Seitz

    Mr. Mead should persevere, and perhaps invest in an undergraduate climate science textbook.

    Though the scientific worth of this article may fall a pitcher of warm spit short of the vice presidential standard , it’s still gallons ahead of The American Thinker.

  • rob nelson

    Al Gore is Chicken Little yet he lives in houses with no roofs. That pretty much clarify this for all of you who choose to critique the author while ignoring the issue?

  • shkelzen

    and I bet Walter Russell Mead would dream to achieve as much as Al Gore has done.
    Fortunately most of us wont fall in your level, mr Walter !

  • Chaya Gilburt

    Al Gore, I am convinced, is unconvicing as a poster boy because he is merly a figurehead chosen by his party to drum up just enough concern for the environment in order that the right investments can be made to the right companies, and no one will be the wiser when the money disappears or the company goes belly up and nothing was really done to help the environment.

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  • Bernal

    Kevin 232, I think Al is more like Gideon Pillow, a southerner and somebody that everybody wished would just go away, but didn’t because he was best friends with I don’t remember which president. He looks like a pillow too.

    Mead, you have called down the thunder. Prepare yourself for a “You’re dead to me now Fredo” moment.

  • jon frodsham

    “Lenin left us a great legacy and we [messed] it up”-Joseph Stalin ” Gore has done the same thing. I think it is too late to save AGW now. They told too many lies.

  • Doug Sorabella

    GLOBAL WARMING IS NOT REAL AT ALL!

  • Jered Johnson

    Algore is a total hypocrite. His carbon footprint is as gigantic as his ego. He lives in a massive mansion that uses the same amount of energy to heat/cool and power in one day than most homes use in a month. He jets around everywhere in a private jet that consumes thousands and thousands of gallons of jet fuel and scoots around in a massive limo that sucks gallons and gallons of gasoline. Then he makes millions of dollars by selling phoney carbon trading credits. Al Gore is the biggest fraud this country has ever known.

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