Monday, July 21, 2008

Op Ed Piece: What to do if you are Al Gore

Think about it. You were Vice President of the United States for eight years, playing second fiddle to Bill Clinton. Then you ran for the presidency and failed by a chad or two to George W. What can you do for the rest of your life?

Answer: Be an evangelist, find a cause that can win you a Nobel prize.

And the cause, of course, is saving the planet. Planets will always need to be saved so it is a fail-proof cause that can only enhance a reputation, win over huge support from people who will believe (almost) anything, and ultimately win the Nobel prize.

The movie “An Inconvenient Truth” may only be the beginning. We now learn that the Gore-Save-the-Planet scheme is to move with Kennedy-like urgency to put the United States on a renewable energy diet. No more hydrocarbons, no more pollution, no more cost effective solutions to economic growth.

Yippee!

Saving the Planet is indeed the new ideology, the new religion. And being a planetarian evangelist is no different from being another sort of evangelist - you, know, like the one who preached the Pentecostal Dream and then was found in a motel room with a prostitute. Hypocrisy is so easy when you keep telling others to do as you do not.

Gore has already got into trouble over his huge utility bills. But he then claimed that he was carbon offsetting his electricity usage so everything was all right. OK? Not really, he is part owner in the company that sells the carbon offsets, a very profitable concern conveniently promoted by the gospel according to the Inconvenient Truth. He may be a net loser in his own household but think of the profits being generated selling all those carbon offset schemes!

Gore has become a single-issue politician and this is a frightening thought given all his amassed experience in Washington. Surely an ex-VP (8 years on the resumé) must have realized long ago that single-issue politics are self-serving and . . . . .

So, we will save the planet, don our collective hair shirts (sold by the Gore Clothing Emporium, no doubt) and look around for economic salvation that may or may not be “blowing in the wind”.

Was that what Dylan was thinking when he wrote the song? I doubt it.