I have never seen anyone as completely take apart as Al Gore is in this piece by Walter Russell Mead and it is only part 1. First, Mead accurately paints a picture of an anthropogenic climate change movement that has completely failed under Gore's leadership.
Next, Meade exposes Gore for the hypocrite he really is. Meade claims he doesn't consider Gore a hypocrite. He prefers to use the term "narcissistic glitterati" to describe Al Gore's lack of character.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.
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.The article is lengthy, but well worth your time to go and read every single word. Walter Russell appears to believe in anthropogenic climate change, but believes Al Gore is a complete failure and the movement needs a new leader. I disagree with those who think the science of global warming is settled. The problem is climate scientists reached a consensus the science was settled before the research even began. Current data does not support the global warming climate models that the "settled science" is based upon. These models have proven inaccurate. The temperature rose 0.7 deg C in the last century. Since we came out of a major ice age 10,000 years ago and a "little ice age" 150 years ago, it might be a good bet the temperature will continue increase in the next 100 years. We don't know what that number will be, but, based on the 0.7 deg C we gained in the last century, the sky is hardly falling.
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.