Foreign affairs expert Walter Russell Mead wrote a fabulous piece in "The American Interest" Friday that should be must-reading for those on both sides of the global warming debate - especially members of the Al Gore-loving media.
In "The Failure of Al Gore," the registered Democrat and Obama supporter listed the reasons why the former Vice President has actually been a terrible leader for the green movement, and why a "fawning establishment press" have aided and abetted his disgrace:
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.
Indeed. As Mead noted, there was a climate change meeting in Bonn earlier this month that accomplished absolutely nothing while garnering very little press. Regardless of what the global warming loving-media want people to believe, Gore's movement is dying.
Mead explained why:
The former vice president has failed to grasp the basic nature of the kind of leadership the global green cause requires. Vice President Gore, like all who aspire to lead great causes, must reconcile his advocacy with his conduct — that is, he must conduct himself in a way that is consistent with the great cause he seeks to promote.
As NewsBusters readers are well aware, we for years have been pointing out the hypocrisy that is Gore - a man that professes imminent doom and gloom at the hands of manmade carbon dioxide as he omits more of the stuff than virtually everyone on the planet while profiting mightily from his activism.
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. If the heart of your message is that the peril of climate change is so imminent and so overwhelming that the entire political and social system of the world must change, now, you cannot fly on private jets. You cannot own multiple mansions. You cannot even become enormously rich investing in companies that will profit if the policies you advocate are put into place.
It is not enough to buy carbon offsets (aka “indulgences”) with your vast wealth, not enough to power your luxurious mansions with exotic low impact energy sources the average person could not afford, not enough to argue that you only needed the jet so that you could promote your earth-saving film.
You are asking billions of people, the overwhelming majority of whom lack many of the basic life amenities you take for granted, people who can’t afford Whole Foods environmentalism, to slash their meager living standards. You may well be right, and those changes may be necessary — the more shame on you that with your superior insight and knowledge you refuse to live a modest life. There’s a gospel hymn some people in Tennessee still sing that makes the point: “You can’t be a beacon if your light don’t shine.”
Bingo. There may never have been a bigger hypocrite than Gore, and the media are partially responsible:
A fawning establishment press spares the former vice president the vitriol and schadenfreude it pours over the preachers and priests whose personal conduct compromised the core tenets of their mission; Gore is not mocked as others have been. This gentle treatment hurts both Gore and the greens; he does not know just how disabling, how crippling the gap between conduct and message truly is. The greens do not know that his presence as the visible head of the movement helps ensure its political failure.
Exactly. Rather than recognize and report his hypocrisy, the media enabled it by withholding from the public how Gore was using 20 times the energy at his Tennessee home than the average citizen. They also failed to disclose his personal investments in companies that would benefit from the green policies he was advocating.
By doing so, they shielded Gore from criticism while preventing his dismissal as green leader. This only acted to further anthropogenic global warming skepticism:
What this tells the skeptics is that Vice President Gore doesn’t really believe the gospel he proclaims. That profits from his environmental advocacy enable his affluent lifestyle only deepens their skepticism of the messenger and therefore of the message. And when they see that the rest of the environmental movement accepts this flagrant contradiction, they conclude, naturally enough, that the other green leaders aren’t as worried as they claim to be. Al Gore’s lifestyle is a test case for the credibility of his gospel — and it fails. The tolerance of Al Gore’s lifestyle by the environmental leadership is a further test — and that test, too, the greens fail.
The average citizen is all too likely to conclude that if Mr. Gore can keep his lifestyle, the average American family can keep its SUV and incandescent bulbs. If Gore can take a charter flight, I don’t have to take the bus. If Gore can have many mansions, I can use the old fashioned kind of shower heads that actually clean and toilets that actually flush. Al Gore looks to the average American the way American greens look to poor people in the third world: hypocritically demanding that others accept permanently lower standards of living than those the activists propose for themselves.
There are gospels that can be preached by the comfortable and the well fed. But radical environmentalism is not one of them.
Indeed, and the richer and more opulent Gore's lifestyle became as he was preaching doom and gloom - while the media fawned and gushed over his every public appearance - the more Americans began to feel they were being conned.
You want to talk to the talk, you better walk the walk, and Gore refused to do so.
The good news for climate realists is that the media once again backed the wrong horse as global warming alarmism and the belief in this myth is fading all around the world.
We therefore should thank Gore and his adoring press for doing such a poor job at spreading their gospel.
We couldn't have done it without them.