Roger L. Simon

Gore, hypocrisy and the "politics of me"

Al Gore must be pretty embarrassed this evening seeing the headline at the top of the Drudge Report: POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER ‘TRUTH’. You almost feel sorry for the guy. He can’t catch a break the day after he wins an Oscar. (Okay, it was a gift. The movie as film was tenth-rate. But he did win.)

But there’s a deeper question beneath all this. Does hypocrisy count? Does it matter that Hollywood stars parade around in Priuses while keeping private planes and multiple homes that burn up who-knows-how much energy (in many cases enough to dwarf Al’s)? Is it just that these people mouth off that raises our eyebrows or should they actually practice what they preach ?

Now I don’t have a particularly Green Lifestyle, although I am thinking of buying a hybrid for my next car (primarily because I can’t stand to stick another dollar in the Saudi gas pump) and the next time I build something I’ll probably pay more attention to good window sealing (the code will probably make me do that anyway). But what’s with Gore? How could he be so thoughtless and, yes, arrogant to go out there banging the drum for his film at the very time, according to public records, he increased his already sizable personal energy consumption. How embarrassing and how terrible for his cause. Maybe he doesn’t really care about it at bottom – maybe it’s all about him.

In the movie business you see a lot of that, a kind of narcissistic politics in which how you appear is so much more important than what you really are. It’s as if there were two people – the private one bossing around the staffs while burning up more fuel than the Sultan of Brunei and the public one wagging a finger at the rest of us. Gore seems to have fit in well with these folks. In the long run, I suspect that doesn’t augur well for the environment.

UPDATE: In Gore defense, the ex-veep apparently did purchase some “Green Power” chits for his manse. But I was just on the Steve Gill’s Tennessee talk radio show where it was pointed out this is one of but three Gore homes – and no one seems to know how much time he even spends there. Plus… there’s always the use of Gulfstreams, etc., to ferry Al to his next (well paid) global warming extravaganza. Who knows the total of his “carbon footprint” but it’s probably bigger that 99.99% of humanity’s. Still.. it’s only hypocrisy. For the right cause, no problem. Right. Right?