Al Gore’s Environmental Messiah Complex

Al Gore says preaching to the choir just isn’t enough in 2017. His new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, aims to reach the “deniers” who cling to their conservative talking points about global warming- or rather, climate change.

The former Vice President has spent more than a decade warning the world about the threat of man-made climate change. Ocean waters will flood coastal cities. Hurricanes will grow in number and ferocity. Our very way of life hangs in the balance.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

If I sound cynical, perhaps it’s because after decades of watching the press fawn over his every syllable, even a quick examination of Gore’s public persona reveals hypocrisies that could fuel countless news cycles. Even liberal film critics have commented on the new film’s love affair with its subject, noting that the documentary’s “perpetual attempts to humanize Gore are built in to foster trust in his beliefs but are usually transparent in their unbridled and excessive adulation of the man.”  (Others on the left have complained that Gore never takes on the real enemy: capitalism).

Gore’s new documentary features some admittedly shocking footage: Florida streets flooded knee high. People heroically rescued from raging waters. Arid land forcing farmers to face a bleak future. Like much of the movie, and his earlier climate documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, much of the “truth” is argument-by-anecdote.

In the publicity tour he’s been on to promote the film, Gore has railed about how money corrupts the political process. “The rich have subverted all reason,” he told The Guardian recently. He went on:

I mean that those with access to large amounts of money and raw power … have been able to subvert all reason and fact in collective decision making. The Koch brothers are the largest funders of climate change denial. And ExxonMobil claims it has stopped, but it really hasn’t. It has given a quarter of a billion dollars in donations to climate denial groups.

Note that Gore conveniently failed to mention the billions of dollars that liberal activists such as George Soros have funneled into their pet political causes.

But the most inconvenient fact that viewers of the documentary will never see is something that’s long been known to those who follow the former Vice President’s crusade: Gore’s very large bank account, which has filled up rapidly thanks to his self-promotional “green technology” investments. Since 2000, Gore’s net worth has grown from $2 million to reportedly $300 million.

In 2012, the Washington Post reported:

He benefited from a powerful resume and a constellation of friends in the investment world and in Washington. And four years ago, his portfolio aligned smoothly with the agenda of an incoming administration and its plan to spend billions in stimulus funds on alternative energy.

More specifically, Gore became a rabid green energy investor, all the while promoting his particular brand of eco-alarmism. Meanwhile, his fellow Democrats poured billions of taxpayer dollars into flailing green energy companies like Solyndra and SolarCity. This means that Gore’s wallet keeps getting fatter even if his predictions keep falling flat, or even when he simply recycles them.

His personal hypocrisy is nearly as grating. For years Gore took grief from right-leaning media outlets, and an occasional mainstream reporter, for his own enormous carbon footprint. As ABC News reported:

Armed with Gore’s utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president’s 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.

That report came out after his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, won a Best Documentary Oscar.

Embarrassed, Gore later addressed the issue by “greening” his home. Evidently not enough. According to the National Center for Public Policy Research:

This year, Gore’s electricity consumption averages 19,241 kWh per month, or more than 21 times the typical usage in an American home. That is a considerable increase from Gore’s 2007 home energy consumption of about 18,400 kWh per month, which spurred a six-figure green renovation of the house.

Plus, Gore, like his fellow multi-millionaire celebrity eco-activist Leonardo DiCaprio, still constantly flies around the globe, burning fossil fuel en route to yet another environmental confab or eco-awards ceremony.

Eleven years ago, Gore famously told an AP reporter, “Unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.”

Spoiler alert: The world didn’t take “drastic measures.” We’re still here. So is Gore’s growing pile of cash, outsized ego and media-driven messiah complex. Evidently some truths are still too inconvenient for the former Vice President to discuss.

Image: Paramount Pictures

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  • Tom Hughes

    Big Gay Al. He can preach to the choir all day long, and they pour their adoration over him, but the facts keep changing in very embarrassing ways and all he can do is whistle past the graveyard. So now he’s pushing to get his $$$ before it falls apart, thus his pathetic ‘fill the theaters’ plea.

    It just seems so clear and obvious – man’s 7.5 billion member clan, with all its industrial activity, undoubtedly affects the global climate. But in what way? Does man have a responsibility to give up the gains in civilization, if you will, to prevent catastrophe some time in the unknown future? Can man figure out what exactly is happening in the ‘climate’ such that he may act confidently?

    And most important of all, even if we began reliving the 14th century, will that make one iota of difference in the climate?

    There are simply too many other well-known and powerful climate drivers to assert that ‘it’s all our fault’ and ‘we have to act immediately’.

  • Diane S

    I think he went and bought an ocean front house too, not worried much about those pesky rising ocean levels, is he.