(Updated: Welcome Instapundit readers!)
I was reading some comments on a post over at Bob Krumm’s site where one of the other commenters opined that conservative criticism of Gore is pointless because it doesn’t advance our understanding of anything. I responded at the Bob Krumm site, but want to cross-post my comments here in slightly edited form.
I think that the critique of Gore’s utilities-devouring monster house (one of three) and frequent air travel teaches us something very important. Considering the question teaches us something about Mr. Gore’s motives.
When people actually believe something, they generally live their life in a way that underscores or is compatible with the belief. Pacifists who oppose the death penalty don’t usually go out and get concealed carry permits. Writers who believe in a hyper-free exchange of ideas don’t usually go out and write restrictive comments policies for their blogs. Environmentalists who really believe in treating the planet well don’t usually live in power-sucking mansions and fly everywhere in private jets.And – oops! – there’s the problem with Mr. Gore. If he believed what he was saying on its own merits, then he would be behaving differently. Since his behavior and his rhetoric do not match, we learn something about him: that there is likely some other motivation for his policy preferences.
Those policy preferences – limit carbon, mandate the use of certain technologies, restrict land use, etc. – all seem to entail increasing governmental control over the economy. Mr. Gore’s actual motivation would appear to a fair-minded observer to be a desire to increase government power in the economic sphere – and environmental concern over global climate change is simply the convenient rhetorical tool to flog in the service of that agenda.
Mr. Gore is of course free to advocate for whatever policies he wishes. However, those of us who would bear the burden of his policies are also entitled – in our mindlessly swarming way – to think that his rhetorical flourishes are so much organically-composted, locally-grown, carbon-neutral BS.