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Practicing what you preach

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–“A hypocrite,” someone once observed, “plays one tune while dancing to another.” Per this description, Al Gore deserves the unflattering designation. While he conducts an arrangement of global doom urging drastic action, he does a jig to conspicuous energy consumption.

The former vice-president turned film-maker recently testified before congressional committees concerning his beliefs about global warming. He described the situation as a “crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization.” Gore further emphasized that climate change represents a “true planetary emergency.”

“The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor,” Gore told members of Congress. “If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, ‘Well I read a science fiction novel that told me it’s not a problem.’” He added, “If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action.”

Gore maintains that the chief culprit contributing to global warming is mankind. Hence, he argues, human beings must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they produce. One way of achieving this reduction is by consuming less energy.

In the final frame of Gore’s Academy Award-winning film on climate change, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the following question appears on the screen: “Are you ready to change the way you live?”

Gore is all too ready to play his dirge of climate catastrophe for anyone who will lend an ear. However, when no one is looking he is busy boogying down to a beat of excessive energy consumption.

Reports have shown that Gore’s 10,000 square foot home consumes 20 times the amount of electrical power and natural gas as the average American household. His energy bill is more than $14,000 a year, according to records cited by the Associated Press.

Gore has attempted to justify his voracious appetite for energy by explaining that he purchases carbon credits to offset his excessive consumption. However, carbon credits -– most often a donation to an environmentally friendly project that “might” reduce future carbon emissions -– do nothing to reduce existing emissions. Further, it was discovered that Gore was purchasing credits from a company he set up to help celebrities and environmentalists find “green” projects to fund. Hence he was purchasing credits from himself.

The Nashville Tennessean reported in February that a zinc mine on Gore-owned property was one of the worst polluters in the state prior to its being shut down in 2003. The mine, from which Gore has earned almost $800,000, is scheduled to re-open some time this year.

According to Gore, the earth is experiencing global warming due, in large measure, to mankind’s excessive use of fossil fuels. He argues that the only way to thwart a planetary melt-down is for all of us to change the way we live in reference to energy consumption. This being the case, you might think that Gore would lead the way by practicing what he preaches, wouldn’t you? Well, if that is what you think, you are wrong.

During his recent visit to Capital Hill, Gore was asked by Sen James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment of Public Works Committee, if he would sign a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge.” Gore declined.

The energy pledge states: “As a believer that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical and spiritual issue affecting our survival; that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use; that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse emissions and that leaders on moral issues should lead my example; I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.”

“There are hundreds of thousands of people who adore you,” Inhofe told Gore. They “would follow your example by reducing their energy usage if you did.”

Gore does drive a hybrid vehicle and has attempted to install solar panels on his house (a move blocked by zoning ordinances). But if global warming poses such an ominous threat and humans are the most significant aspect of the equation, why does he continue to use energy like there’s no tomorrow? If climate change truly is a “crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization,” why does he refuse to take more steps to reduce his own energy consumption?

Only Al Gore knows the answers to the aforementioned questions. However, could it be that he is not nearly as concerned about the crisis of global warming as he would lead us to believe? “He does not believe who does not live according to his belief,” said historian Thomas Fuller.

Someone has said, “Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over.” When Gore is not sermonizing about global warming his religion of climate change is nothing more than empty rhetoric. Quite simply, he does not practice what he preaches.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears Fridays in Baptist Press, is editor of the Louisiana Baptist Message, online at www.baptistmessage.com.

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  • Kelly Boggs