TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Is Al Gore A Hypocrite?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Skotty, May 7, 2017.

  1. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    Is Al Gore A Hypocrite?

    I see this type argument a lot. Most often, it is used as an attempt to discredit people who advocate for environmental protection.

    Al Gore lives in a large home that uses a lot of energy but preaches for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    Leonardo DiCaprio flies around the world in jets while advocating for CO2 reductions.

    Some random person advocates for sustainable wood use but is building a giant wooden gazeebo in their backyard.

    Those types of arguments.

    The mistake being made here, be it intentionally or unintentionally, is conflating two separate issues. Those two issues are:

    1) The need for clean, sustainable use of the environment.

    2) The choice of how significantly to reduce personal use of modern utility and conveniences while waiting on solutions to the first issue.

    The first issue is a serious issue. The second issue is more of a stop-gap measure to reduce negative impacts while waiting on a solution for the first issue.

    It is a mistake to suggest that issue 2 is the solution to issue 1. It's not. That would be like expecting personal restraint from murdering people to be an adequate solution to people murdering other people. It's not. A law enforced by law enforcement is.

    We have a similar issue going on with Al Gore. Is Al Gore going around the world advocating that people shouldn't live in large homes? No, he's not. That would be hypocritical. He's advocating for clean energy, energy efficiency, and other measures that will help us achieve sustainability and address the issue of climate change. He is advocating for issue #1. And if issue #1 is solved adequately, issue #2 no longer has relevance. That said, despite living in a large home, Al Gore has taken measures to make his home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, such that his home is now Gold LEED certified. You can argue that he should still live in a smaller home. Go ahead. Make the argument. It's a fair argument. But understand you are arguing over issue #2, which is separate from issue #1, and there is no hypocrisy involved.

    I've seem some similar arguments in online sources regarding travel habits of climate change advocates, like Leonardo DiCaprio flying to Europe for a climate summit. Again, these arguments are over issue #2. Not issue #1. You can argue that Leonardo should have traveled to Europe in a paddle boat, or simply not attended, but that is issue #2, and you can just as well argue that his making an appearance at the climate summit will do more to solve issue #1 than staying home would, and #1 is really the bigger issue.
     
    • Like x 7
    • Love x 4
  2. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2016
    Messages:
    259
    Location:
    Houston
    Nicely put. Helps logically navigate a tricky minefield. Another way to think of it, is to live well, but to spend the extra effort to make some of your individual extravagances take a smaller toll on the environment then such items would normally take, e.g., throw solar cells on top of it, arrange for offsetting CO2, etc. In other words, live well and efficiently.
     
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    825
    A tangent of that thought is something I heard Michael Picker say on Friday. Picker is President of the California Public Utilities Commission and was on a panel discussion. He reminded the audience that in California the goal is GHG reduction. All the talk at that symposium had been about renewables and his point was over 60% of GHG are produced by transportation and natural gas consumption. Fortunately most on this forum are helping reduce the transportation component.
     
  4. commasign

    commasign Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    Good logical argument distinguishing sincere advocacy from I'm-doing-my-reasonable-best personal behavior/choices.

    On a related note, I would suggest that EVs are reaching price, range, and convience parity with gas cars such that our non-EV driving green friends (those that are vegan for carbon emission reasons, those that go out of their way to recycle every scrap of anything, etc) are running out of excuses for buying a brand new gas car instead of an EV.
     
  5. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,461
    Location:
    NE Tennessee
    You might want to also add Al Gore does drive an EV and added solar to his home so he is personally taking some steps to lessen his impact.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. McRat

    McRat Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    3,551
    Location:
    Norco, CA
    Al Gore has made a almost quarter billion dollars personally since leaving office off of 'energy'. Sometimes more than $200,000 per hour.

    He has not had any measurable effect on the environment.

    He has made a measurable effect on his personal wealth.

    He assumes 'green' advocates are stupid, and that pays handsomely whether or not it's true.
     
    • Like x 6
    • Disagree x 3
  7. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Messages:
    3,601
    Location:
    florida.
    is this a trick question?
    imho he is full of crap.
     
    • Like x 4
    • Disagree x 4
  8. T34ME

    T34ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    California
    As an EXTREME environmentalist tree hugger, and in the spirit of being transparent, I was disappointed to see that Al Gore was driving a MBZ in the Inconvenient Truth. However I will take the help wherever I can get it to make incremental changes in society and attitudes. I refuse to wear the label of hypocrite. To label me as a hypocrite (you have no idea of my involvement and personal commitment in the environmental movement) is hypocritical.
     
    • Like x 2
  9. PtG62901

    PtG62901 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Carbondale, IL
    Gore was an early board member of Google.
     
  10. ggies07

    ggies07 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,573
    Location:
    Ft. Worth, TX
    It's also that they are writing on false assumptions because they have not taken the time to do their research. Elon's doc that he made states at the end that they paid back their travel emissions:

    adfad.png
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like x 1
  11. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    973
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I know a lot of people that don't believe in global warming and certainly don't make any personal sacrifices to cut back on their carbon emissions. Some use the Gore and Leonardo excesses as examples of why they don't care. I have no hope for the pollution/global warming issue being solved at the individual level. Luckily we have people like Elon Musk willing to do all they can to make the transition to sustainability, comfortable for the selfish human race.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. T34ME

    T34ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    California
    I disagree with these statements. The ONLY way to solve the pollution/global warming issue is at the individual level. We can do this by being adopters of new technology, being advocates for the earth in an outspoken manner, challenging the deniers, purchasing goods that may not save you money but because it is the right thing to do, and making a commitment to change habits and preconceptions at a personal level. As an individual, we are either part of the solution or we are part of the problem. Elon can build all the electric vehicles and solar panel he wants, but unless people purchase them for the right reason, nothing will change. @electroman, you are obviously on the right path. Do not give up hope, we can do it!
     
    • Like x 2
  13. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,025
    Location:
    California
    Are humans innately materialistic? If so, we need to create sustainable materialism. If not.... nah, never mind, they are.
     
  14. PowerSource

    PowerSource Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    how come people conveniently leave out factory farming... it is one of the largest contributors to global warming
     
    • Like x 1
  15. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Some folks are simply unwilling to accept truth from a politician who plays for the wrong team. The only difference is that when everyone in Boston says "A-Rod Sucks", everyone (including those making the claim) know that's not what the Red Sox fans really mean.

    The problem is that 'of the people, by the people, for the people' is not a game. Sadly for Americans, it is those who engage American Democracy as us-vs-them that are the least patriotic and that do the most damage...representatives, constituents...Commanders in Chief...
     
    • Like x 2
  16. T34ME

    T34ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    458
    Location:
    California
    AND air pollution! The air in the San Joaquin Valley is now officially more polluted than the L.A. Basin! When driving through that area, best to roll up the windows and turn on the Bio Filter. Happy I left that area for good, decades ago,
     
  17. hockeythug

    hockeythug Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,876
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Just remember he is a partner at Kleiner Perkins and has a financial interest in everything he talks about and "stands for".
     
  18. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I agree completely with what you are saying here. While I greatly appreciate everyone who makes an individual effort to combat environmental problems, I don't believe there will ever be enough people who will do it to make the level of difference that is needed. It will take government and/or the private sector to either force people to make the world a better place (legislation, regulation) or, better yet, make it immediately desirable to do so (increasingly affordable and desirable products/services).

    Too many people just won't do the right thing without forces on them encouraging or forcing them to. That's why we have laws and police forces.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,845
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    People gotta eat.

    This should probably be split into a couple of categories. By specifically mentioning "factory farming", you are bringing an animal welfare concern and mixing it in with an environmental protection concern.

    I'm going to leave the animal welfare issue aside and just address farming in general.

    There are legitimate concerns over farming impact on carbon emissions and other environmental issues. People want to eat what they want to eat, and I'm not a big fan of taking enjoyment away from people. We need to move to sustainability, but I think we want to do it in a way that minimizes any negative impact. So the questions I think are as such:

    1) How much can we improve existing farming processes to minimize environmental impact? For example, switching all farm machinery to be powered by renewable energy. Sustainable planting practices. That kind of stuff.

    2) Once you have reached the best case scenario from question 1, Is that enough to achieve environmental balance? If not, are there other non-farming sectors of society where the difference can be somehow offset?

    3) If answers to questions (1) and (2) still aren't enough, then we can look at implementing dietary restrictions on people.

    Farming/food is probably the last sector of society I would want to tackle, because we just don't have good substitutes yet for good eats. We already have good sustainable solutions for energy, transport, and other areas that we can implement without any significant impact on quality of life. It's going to be a lot harder to do that with food. Maybe someday there will be lab created proteins that are as good as steaks, for example, but we are still a long way from that right now. This is why I like to focus on energy, transport, and other low hanging fruit. Lets nail that stuff down first, and see how far it gets us. That is my approach anyway.

    We should really have sustainability scientists that advise government to figure out what exactly we need to do over time to achieve stability and sustainability. It's not really a simple subject, but it's vital in the long run.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,947
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    #20 Canuck, May 15, 2017
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    In my opinion, there is hypocrisy with Al Gore: 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.
    And with DiCaprio (those yachts we see him on with his supermodels don't burn fairy dust), and with Bono, and the list goes on and on. We should not be blind to that hypocrisy, or try to defend it by saying Gore has made his house more green since the above article was published. He's a human like the rest of us who likes nice things like mansions. And who could refuse supermodels on a yacht? Not me! I'd probably let the earth warm a little for that pleasure.

    When people make comments about that hypocrisy we should admit it rather than dodge and deflect. The best way to admit it is to show the flaw in the argument -- by saying: "Someone can be smoking a cigarette and tell you smoking is bad. The message is still true, regardless of who says it.". Then they will likely say the message is not true, that global warming is a hoax started by the Chinese or something like that, and you can get down to the real issue which is why they called out the hypocrisy in the first place.
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page