He loses his ass in a presidential election, goes off into a self-imposed undetermined location like Thoreau-cum-Kazyinski, self-actualizes his Grizzly Adams fetish, and jumps back into the limelight as the champion of all things ecological (seemingly forgetting that he had his office paneled in rare wood (not the Bob Dole kind of wood, like his former boss.) Now he is the champeen of Global Warming,
Oops. Seems that the planet's not warming. At least it isn't warming because of anything we are doing to it. seems that the centrally located mass of incandescent gas, the gigantic nuclear furnace some 93,000,000 miles away from the green hills of Terra.
It would seem that among other things, his eco-hypocrisy runs deep.
One example is the Pigeon River in North Carolina and east Tennessee. The Champion International paper mill has pumped tons of chemicals and byproducts into it for years, turning it the color of coffee and adding a sulfuric smell. Gore campaigned hard against this pollution and lobbied the EPA to crack down. But in 1987, as Gore started running for president the first time, he was pressured by 2 politicians whose support he craved for the North Carolina Super Tuesday primary. Terry Sanford (then a Senator) and Jamie Clarke (North Carolina congressmen) lobbied him hard to ease up on Champion. Gore did, writing to the EPA again and now asking for a more permissive water pollution standard. Sanford and Clarke endorsed him, and Gore won the state handily.
Another example is a Gore family property that has been mined for zinc and germanium for decades. The Vice-President and his dad, the late Senator Albert Gore, Sr., obtained the land in a very favorable deal with the late Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum. Gore, Sr. was heavily supported by Hammer financially, and carried his water in the U.S. Senate.
Back in 1972, when zinc was discovered across the river from the Gore family land in Carthage, TN, Hammer sent engineers out and offered $20,000 per year for a mineral rights lease on some property owned by a church that had been willed the land. Instead, they wanted to sell and Hammer won a bidding war to buy the land for $160,000. He then sold it to Gore Jr. and Sr. for the same amount, and immediately started leasing the land back from him for the same $20,000. Lynwood Burkhalter, who in the 70s was president of the company that assumed this lease from Occidental Petroleum, called the payments "extraordinarily large."
Mining is, of course, a very messy business environmentally. The mine itself hasn't been that bad. Republicans have claimed that it's polluting the local drinking water, but according to the Wall Street Journal those problems "are actually very minor." However, the Journal notes that the plant in Clarksville TN, which processes the Gore minerals, is a federal Superfund site contaminated with cadmium and mercury, posing "a threat to the human food chain."
"The Pacific Yew can be cut down and processed to produce a potent chemical, taxol, which offers some promise of curing certain forms of lung, breast and ovarian cancer in patients who would otherwise quickly die. It seems an easy choice -- sacrifice the tree for a human life -- until one learns that three trees must be destroyed for each patient treated, that only specimens more than a hundred years old contain the potent chemical in their bark, and that there are very few of these yews remaining on earth." - Gore, in "Earth in the Balance", p. 119 (Three trees? That's all it could have taken to save your sister's life, when she had lung cancer? and you're against it? I suppose you didn't mind killing all those tobacco plants you raised and sold as a farmer though.)
"From Al to Zinc: Story of a Mine Shows How a Fatherly Favor Still Haunts Gore", by Glenn Simpson, Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2000 pA28
"Gore's Pollution Problem", Newsweek, November 24, 1997
"Earth in the Balance," by Al Gore (Houghton Mifflin, 1992) p119 (Yew tree) and generally. "How Would Gore fare if he were called on to serve?," by David Ridenour, Austin American-Statesman, August 16, 1998
As for me, I think I'll go get a tank of CO2--it's only $50 or so, and just let the gas go into the atmosphere. It'll prolly do less damage to the environment than someone's Gulfstream, but I will try to do my part.