Former Vice President and failed Presidential Candidate Al Gore has been a poster boy for the environmental movement especially as it relates to global warming and climate change. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. He does give all the rest of us hope, however, having won an Oscar for what was essentially a Power Point presentation.
In more recent years he purchased a digital television channel (from CBC no less) renamed it Clear Channel and it is this story’s end that is this story’s beginning. Somewhere before the stroke of midnight at the end of December (to avoid any of the recent US tax increases) Mr. Gore sold the television station and he netted $100 million. It’s not so much that he worked hard build a business and sell (good on him) it but who he sold it to and what that represents. He wouldn’t sell it to Glenn Beck (too right wing) but he would sell it to Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera is much maligned by the Americans because of what they believe is its subversive message. However, the American first amendment guarantees that they can say whatever they like and its audience will tune in or tune out depending on how its message resonates. There are enough other competing voices out there- might as well add them to the mix- its no different than CNN being virtually everywhere. They just represent another view point. (They may spend a bit too much time fawning over its owners based on recent news reports).
What’s troubling is that Al Jazeera is owned by the Qatari crown prince’s. Qataris primary business is oil: That nasty liquid that has fuelled the progress that allows dissenters the time and means to rail against it. It was the use of that liquid that drove Gore’s slide show. While on the one hand he can chastise all those that don’t drink his preferred flavour of kool-aid he will happily accept the proceeds that literally flow from it. No to Glenn Beck, but yes to oil.
Rather than belabour this much more it is fitting to share a few of his quotations:
• “As I have said for many years throughout this land, we’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization. Every bit of that has to change.”
• “Today we’re dumping 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the environment, and tomorrow we will dump more, and there is no effective worldwide response. Until we start sharply reducing global-warming pollution, I will feel that I have failed.”
His new book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change includes the following:
• Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies not just during campaign seasons, but all the time, year in and year out — with messages designed to soothe and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened, and the carbon companies are working diligently to further develop renewable energy sources.
His actions really call into question his true motivation, as it relates to climate change. You can’t go around preaching and chastising the world and then live in a way that certainly appears to be counter to those ideals.
It’s like he has created an environmental caste system. There is the average caste inhabited by most of us. We are urged, if not hectored, to comply with his supplications. Then there are the self anointed elites that include himself (and the James Camerons and Leo DiCaprios of the world) that are given a free pass because presumably they believe the environmental benefit they provide far outweighs their need to actually do what they say. Its not as if there is not lots that needs to be done.
If you’re going to preach you should really consider living by your words.