Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
The following appeared in an early draft of my forthcoming book. It has since been removed because, on reflection, it seemed gratuitous and inflammatory – an unnecessary distraction from my larger point:
Anyone who thinks [that the first concern of green groups is not the paying of their own bills and salaries]… should ask themselves why, five years later, Al Gore’s 2006 book An Inconvenient Truth and the documentary film it inspired are still being sold for serious money on Amazon.com. Both have already been huge bestsellers, and the book’s subtitle insists it’s a planetary emergency.
If saving the world were really Gore’s top priority shouldn’t his video be freely available on YouTube by now? And shouldn’t he be seizing every opportunity to address live audiences – rather than demanding a speaking fee of $170,000?
Here is a link to a 2007 magazine article reporting that Gore’s speaking fee four years ago was indeed $170,000. Here’s a link to a Washington University newspaper article dated today that says his speaking fee is currently $145,000 (backup links here and here).
Today’s article points out that the university has never before paid more than $100,000 to a single speaker. It observes that Gore’s $145,000 fee is equal to the amount that was divided amongst eight speakers last year.
Gore likes to compare the climate change fight to the 1960s US civil rights movement and to World War II (backup links here and here). But his speaking fees reveal that no such parallel actually exists in his own mind. Such comparisons are nothing more than a nasty rhetorical trick that allow him to equate people he disagrees with with racists and mass-murdering Nazis.
Martin Luther King Jr. did not demand to be paid before he delivered a speech. Nor did Winston Churchill. Those great men campaigned tirelessly because it was the right thing to do.
Not once did they pass up an opportunity to be heard because the cheque wasn’t big enough.
h/t Tom Nelson