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Bill Steigerwald Bill Steigerwald, 7/14/2007 [Archive]

Peak Al Gore - Opinion Column

Peak Al

By Bill Steigerwald

Saving the planet and producing a 24-hour entertainment extravaganza on seven continents is really hard, sweaty work.

That could be one reason Al Gore looked a little less polar bear-like when he appeared on stage and on satellite at Live Earth concert sites around the world last weekend. Or maybe he’s shedding the pounds because he's decided to take a crack at the White House in 2008 after all.

After the often-derisive, critical bashing Live Earth received, Gore should seriously consider running for president again.

Live Earth -- which Gore dreamed up, organized and promoted to raise environmental consciousness about the world's supposed climate crisis -- was by all honest accounts an artistic and political dud that may have actually hurt the anti-global warming movement.

Featuring scores of leftover 1990s talents such as Duran Duran, Genesis and Madonna, the concert broadcasts probably came nowhere near attracting the 2 billion viewers Gore’s PR machine predicted.

For example, NBC’s concert-highlights show Saturday night drew only 2.75 million -- which means more Americans watched Peru and Argentina play soccer on Spanish-language Univision.

More important than the disappointing TV ratings -- and more damaging to the future of the crusade on which Gore has bet his career and the family zinc mine -- was the reaction Lame Earth got from the mainstream media.

Most media types agree with Gore’s exaggerated warnings about the apocalyptic effects of man-made global climate change. But the hypocrisy of seeing Live Earth’s celebrities burning up oceans of private-jet fuel, generating huge mounds of stadium trash and consuming gigawatts of electrical power while pontificating about the joys of carbon-neutral lifestyles was so outrageous that even biased news reporters couldn’t help but point it out.

And what was Gore Inc. thinking when it booked the size-15 carbon footprint of Madonna, whose lifestyle includes eight homes and a fleet of fancy cars? Hopefully, Live Earth backfired big-time on Gore, his elite co-religionists and the entire global-warming industrial complex. It reminded everyone that Gore is still goofy Ozone Al, not the sincere political science professor he played in "An Inconvenient Truth."

Live Earth also further exposed to the whole globe the hypocrisy and immorality of the environmentalists' war against fossil fuels, which effectively calls for a halt in the spread of modern civilization when two-thirds of the world’s humans are still living like it’s 1200.

Live Earth's tips for cutting carbon emissions or saving energy by planting more trees, using cloth diapers or hanging the wash on clotheslines instead of using the dryer must have been greatly appreciated by all the mothers in Africa who were cooking Saturday dinner over a dung fire and wondering if their village would ever get electricity.

If the world gets lucky, historians will someday look back and say that Live Earth was the beginning of the decline of both global warming fever and Gore's influence as the purveyor-in-chief of exaggerated climate catastrophes -- "Peak Al," if you will.

Meanwhile, the Green Guru should drop his nutty quest to save the whole planet. Instead he should serve all of humanity by doing what probably he and only he can do -- run for president and save the country from eight years of President Hillary.

Bill Steigerwald is a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. ©Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, All Rights Reserved E-mail Bill at steigerwald@caglecartoons.com.

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