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Al Gore: A Gun For Hire, Or A Goose

Stefanie Balogh, The Australian

What on earth possessed climate change champion Al Gore to share a stage with mining baron and — at least until yesterday — climate change dinosaur Clive Palmer?

Does the former US vice-president realise that, with his 12 minutes on stage, he has helped dismantle the toughest climate change response on the planet, leaving Australia, in all likelihood, without any carbon abatement scheme?

Gore has either been duped into thinking Palmer is an environmentalist or he has been handsomely paid for his bizarre appearance. Or both.

What is certain is that the man who refashioned himself as a cel­ebrity by embarking on a climate change crusade — earning the nickname the Goracle, an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize along the way — has endorsed a self-proclaimed billionaire who owns dirty-coal leases, a polluting nickel refinery and was hit with overdue charges on his own carbon tax liability.

The inconvenient truth for Gore is that he has become part of yet another failed stunt designed to provide Palmer with a cloak of legitimacy.

Does Gore know that Palmer claims to have a deal to export $60 billion worth of coal to China over the next 20 years from his big holding in Queensland’s Galilee Basin?

Does Gore know Palmer’s Waratah Coal was given approval late last year to build a thermal coal project near Alpha in central-west Queensland?

Does Gore know Palmer operates a polluting nickel refinery, Queensland Nickel?

Does Gore know Palmer incurred millions of dollars in penalties for refusing to pay his carbon tax bill on time?…

Does Gore know that just three months ago his new-found green ally was declaring that there has been global warming for a long time and it’s all part of the natural cycle because “all of Ireland was covered by ice at one time, there were no human inhabitants in Ireland’’.

Does Gore know that Palmer asked why carbon reduction had to focus on “the 3 per cent that’s contributed by man’’ instead of the “97 per cent that’s contributed by nature’’? …

Oh, and does Gore know that Palmer believes dinosaurs still exist?

How a man who once graced audiences alongside US president Bill Clinton found himself trying to project a statesmanlike air on a dimly lit stage next to a dishevelled Palmer is beyond ridiculous. Gore looks like a gun for hire, or a goose.

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