Sean Hannity Exposes Al Gore’s Inconvenient Global Warming Hypocrisy

Many conservatives are familiar with a marvelous book by Peter Schweizer entitled “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.” In it, Schweizer detailed how America’s top liberals are famous for not practicing what they preach.

On Sunday’s “Hannity’s America,” the host demonstrated how the country’s leading global warming alarmist, Dr. Al Gore, is a perfect example of a liberal who doesn’t come close to following the lofty environmental ideals he demands of the rest of us (video available here).

At issue was the inherent absurdity of a self-righteous politician complaining about the dangers of greenhouse gases while he flies fly around the world in private airplanes:

In short, flying in a private jet does more than four times the carbon emission damage to the environment than flying a regular commercial jet. So if you were worried about your quote-unquote "carbon footprint" on the environment, and if you are concerned about carbon neutrality, the last thing that you should be doing is flying on private jets. Sit in coach, you might save a polar bear.

How does Al Gore fit into this equation?

During the 2000 campaign when Al Gore was running to be president of the United States and along the way giving speeches about the environment, the former vice president traveled on private planes more than a few times. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the Gore campaign filed disbursement reports with the Federal Elections Commission, as required law, that document his use of private jets belonging to various businesses and corporations.

The filings, which are publicly accessible, they reveal that during the period of January of 1999 and January of 2000, Gore reimbursed five groups and corporations for 16 flights on private jets. It is two of these dates that caught our attention.

On January 27th, 2000, Gore campaign in Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, and on that very same day reimbursed the Thomas Lee Company $1,400 for the use of their corporate jet. That evening he left New Hampshire and flew back to Washington aboard Air Force Two, the vice president's official plane is a 757, which means that the flight from New Hampshire to Washington, well, the vice president emitted more than 22,000 pounds of CO2.

Hannity then chronicled more such private trips by Gore, and wonderfully concluded:

Well, that's carbon neutrality for you. And despite all of that, Gore didn't do anything illegal. And by the way, he wasn't the only candidate who used corporate jets during that election cycle. George Bush, John McCain, Bill Bradley, they all used private jets.

But the difference is, is that none of the other candidates were running as the great savior of the world's atmosphere. Now he should have known better. He had been writing about the threat of carbon emissions since he published his diatribe in 1992 "Earth in the Balance," by the way, eight years before he was bouncing around on private jets, he wrote the following, quote: "It hardly seems reasonable or even ethical to assume that it is probably all right to keep driving up CO2 levels."

Now the former vice president is the world's self proclaimed environmental champion. He could very well end up winning an Oscar, and the buzz from his movie has even reignited rumblings of yet another presidential run.

But in reality, Gore is not unlike the rest of the Gulfstream liberals, while preaching carbon neutrality his own impact on their Earth's environment isn't a footprint, well, it's more like a crater. The double standard is so thick you can cut it like the ozone layer. You see, for Al Gore, sometimes the truth can be inconvenient.

What follows is a full transcript of this segment.

HANNITY: And it brings us to our special report this evening, a "Hannity's America" investigation. The man most responsible for the tone of the current global warming debate, well, that's former Vice President Al Gore. His film, "An Inconvenient Truth," has been nominated for an Oscar and Gore has positioned himself as the man who brought the idea of climate change out of the wilderness and into your living room.

But as you will see in our special report tonight, when it comes to practicing what you preach, Al Gore, he is full of hot air.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY (voice-over): This is Al Gore as he portrays himself in his Oscar-nominated film "An Inconvenient Truth." The former vice president traveled around the world lecturing about the dangers of climate change and the catastrophic that threat global warming poses to the world. Gore has preached the virtues of being carbon-neutral, a phrase that has become so much a part of the public vernacular in the last year that the new Oxford American Dictionary selected it as the word of the year for 2006.

The idea is that individuals can deter the effects of global warming by calculating their own personal carbon emissions and doing what they can to reduce them and then offsetting the balance by planting a tree or investing in clean energy technologies. Now if you need help in figuring how much damage you are doing to the Earth, well, the Web site for Al Gore's film features a carbon calculator that will not only tell you how poisonous you are to our planet, but exactly what steps you can take to neutralize your effect.

The vanquished vice president has led the charge towards carbon neutrality and has brought some of his Hollywood friends along with him. But there's more to the story. Something that Al Gore doesn't advertise. When it comes to carbon emissions, Al Gore and his liberal friends, well, they have a dirty little secret.

Private planes, take for instance your typical commercial jet, a Boeing 737, well, it seats a maximum of 189 people, it burns 800 gallons of fuel per hour and emits 16,880 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour in the air. Now take a Gulfstream 400, one of the more common brands of private jet. Well, it seats a maximum of only 19 people, it burns 415 gallons of fuel an hour and emits 8,785 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour. That means per passenger a Boeing 737 emits 89 pounds of carbon dioxide an hour while Gulfstream and similar private jets emit 462 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger per hour.

In short, flying in a private jet does more than four times the carbon emission damage to the environment than flying a regular commercial jet. So if you were worried about your quote-unquote "carbon footprint" on the environment, and if you are concerned about carbon neutrality, the last thing that you should be doing is flying on private jets. Sit in coach, you might save a polar bear.

But that doesn't seem to stop the environmental elites. The Reuters news agency reports that Europe's largest private jet operator recently came under fire from environmentalists about the 50 flights that he booked for clients to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. Yes, that's the same forum where the, quote, "global climate change" was on the top of the agenda.

This sort of hypocrisy among environmental elites is not uncommon. The same crowd that once landed the nickname "limousine liberals," well, should be considered "Gulfstream liberals." They are those who lecture us about the dangers posed by climate change and then fly awfully close to the sun in their beautiful luxurious private jets.

During a 2003 interview on "Hannity & Colmes," for example, I confronted activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about this double standard.

(on camera): Do you use a private jet?

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., ACTIVIST: You know what? I am not going to dignify that question because it is not...

HANNITY: Because you do. And that's the point. You are going to lecture us about a car and you are traveling around the world in a private jet. And I find that hypocritical. Hypocrisy is an issue.

KENNEDY: Well, first of all, I don't travel around the world in a private jet. Have I ever been in a private jet? Yes, I have been in a private jet.

HANNITY: When was the last time?

KENNEDY: I can't tell you, I can't remember when I -- the last time I was.

HANNITY (voice-over): It wasn't until a later commercial break that I learned that Kennedy was leaving our New York studio that night to board, you guessed it, a private plane.

(on camera): By the way, where are you going after the show?

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: All right. I will let you off the hook. I don't mind if we have greater fuel efficiency. I don't mind alternative sources of energy...

KENNEDY: I told Sean on the ad that I am taking a private plane to (INAUDIBLE) -- to Florida.

HANNITY: I didn't -- I let you off the hook. That was your business to tell that, which is a little ironic.

(voice-over): So where does Al Gore fit into all of this? Certainly the man who has led the noble fight to save our very planet from its own destruction would never personally act in a way that would damage the very thing he is fighting, the man who evoked the iced tea defense could never be accused of hypocrisy, could he?

Well, guess again. During the 2000 campaign when Al Gore was running to be president of the United States and along the way giving speeches about the environment, the former vice president traveled on private planes more than a few times. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the Gore campaign filed disbursement reports with the Federal Elections Commission, as required law, that document his use of private jets belonging to various businesses and corporations.

The filings, which are publicly accessible, they reveal that during the period of January of 1999 and January of 2000, Gore reimbursed five groups and corporations for 16 flights on private jets. It is two of these dates that caught our attention.

On January 27th, 2000, Gore campaign in Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, and on that very same day reimbursed the Thomas Lee Company $1,400 for the use of their corporate jet. That evening he left New Hampshire and flew back to Washington aboard Air Force Two, the vice president's official plane is a 757, which means that the flight from New Hampshire to Washington, well, the vice president emitted more than 22,000 pounds of CO2.

Back in our nation's capital, Gore attended Bill Clinton's final State of the Union Address. And guess what topic the president addressed?

BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The greatest environmental challenge of the new century is global warming. The scientists tell us the 1990s were the hottest decade of the entire millennium. If we fail to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses, deadly heat waves and droughts will become more frequent, coastal areas will flood, and economies will be disrupted. That is going to happen.

HANNITY: We all know that Gore ran away from Clinton during the campaign in order to distance himself from his embattled former running mate, but what was going through the vice president's mind when he heard his boss pontificate on the importance of fuel efficiency?

Well, the next morning Al Gore got back on Air Force Two, returned to New Hampshire, emitting another 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide along the way. And that the same day, January 28th, 2000, the Gore campaign again reimbursed the Thomas Lee company for yet another $844 for the use once again of their private jet.

So while is president of the United States is warning the country about the perils of global warming, the vice president is flying back and forth to the Granite State, emitting more than 50,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and reimbursing corporations for the use of their dirty private jets.

Well, that's carbon neutrality for you. And despite all of that, Gore didn't do anything illegal. And by the way, he wasn't the only candidate who used corporate jets during that election cycle. George Bush, John McCain, Bill Bradley, they all used private jets.

But the difference is, is that none of the other candidates were running as the great savior of the world's atmosphere. Now he should have known better. He had been writing about the threat of carbon emissions since he published his diatribe in 1992 "Earth in the Balance," by the way, eight years before he was bouncing around on private jets, he wrote the following, quote: "It hardly seems reasonable or even ethical to assume that it is probably all right to keep driving up CO2 levels."

Now the former vice president is the world's self proclaimed environmental champion. He could very well end up winning an Oscar, and the buzz from his movie has even reignited rumblings of yet another presidential run.

But in reality, Gore is not unlike the rest of the Gulfstream liberals, while preaching carbon neutrality his own impact on their Earth's environment isn't a footprint, well, it's more like a crater. The double standard is so thick you can cut it like the ozone layer. You see, for Al Gore, sometimes the truth can be inconvenient.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.