Prior to serving as Vice President of the United States from
1993-2001, Albert Gore, Jr. worked as a journalist with the Nashville
Tennessean (1973-1976), served as a member of the U.S. House of
Representatives (1976-1984) and as a member of the U.S. Senate
(1984-1992). In 1988, he ran unsuccessfully for the Democrat Party's
presidential nomination. During the campaign, Gore had to respond
to numerous allegations that he "padded" his resume
by implying in campaign materials that he served in combat in
Vietnam when in fact he had been a reporter for the Army's 20th
Engineer Brigade. He was also criticized for claiming -- in error
-- that his work with an investigative newspaper had resulted
in indictments and imprisonment of several Nashville city officials.
Perhaps most damaging to his 1988 presidential bid, however, was
his admission that he smoked marijuana while attending Harvard,
while serving in Vietnam and while a reporter in Nashville. He
quit just four years before he was elected to the U.S. House.
Although Gore has enjoyed a reputation as "centrist,"
his voting record suggests otherwise: In 1990, Gore received a
78 rating (out of a possible 100) from Americans for Democratic
Action, a 95 from the League of Conservation Voters, and an 87
from the AFL-CIO's COPE. By contrast, Gore received a 0 from the
National Taxpayers Union and only an 11 from the American Conservative
Union. Gore's public statements -- particularly those on the environment
-- have been equally intemperate. For example, Gore has equated
our current environmental practices with the Holocaust. He has
also suggested that a sacrifice of three Pacific yew trees to
save a human life may be too high of a price to pay. Although
Vice President Gore is widely considered to be a champion of the
environmental cause, he and his family apparently have difficulty
practicing what they preach. During the 1992 election campaign,
for example, Nashville television station WTVF obtained footage
proving the existence of dump -- a dump Al Gore insisted did not
exist -- on property owned by Gore's father. The footage showed
that the dump was filled with aluminum cans, old tires, filters
full of waste oil and containers for a pesticide called MH-30.
The close proximity of the dump to a river suggested that it was
an environmental hazard. But environmental insensitivity has not
limited to the Vice President's family members. While representing
Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, Al Gore showed ambivalence towards
environmental problems affecting his state, according to press
accounts. He was remarkably quiet, for example, when it was alleged
that Champion International of Canton, North Carolina -- a large
employer in the state -- was polluting the Pigeon River. As Vice
President, Gore's hypocrisy has continued: Shortly after Gore
took office as Vice President in 1993, a verandah made of old-growth
redwood and Douglas fir was added to the Vice President's residence.
"Environmentalist Al Gore, it seems, has not been practicing
what he preaches," said a Newsweek column. "Although
he has long been a foe of logging the old-growth forests of the
Pacific Northwest, the vice president used old-growth timber to
refurbish parts of the vice presidential mansion earlier this
year." More recently, in March 1996, the Denver Water Department
released an extra 96 million gallons of water -- enough for 300
families for a year -- to improve the backdrop for a photo-op
for the Vice President in front of the South Platte River.
Selected Albert Gore Quotes
Al Gore defining a tree as one-third of a human being...
"The Pacific yew can be cut down and processed to produce a potent chemical, taxol, which offers some promise of curing certain forms of lung, breast, and ovarian cancer in patients who would otherwise quickly die. It seems an easy choice -- sacrifice the tree for a human life -- until one learns that three trees must be destroyed for each patient treated, that only specimens more than a hundred years old contain the potent chemical in their bark, and that there are very few of these yews remaining on earth." - Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Al Gore on how free speech and honest debate just get in the way...
"[The] fact that we face an ecological crisis without any precedent in historic times is no longer a matter of dispute worthy of recognition... And those who, for the purpose of maintaining balance in the debate, take the contrarian view that there is significant uncertainty about whether it's real are hurting our ability to respond." - Albert Gore quoted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, August 5, 1990
Al Gore possibly revealing the Clinton Administration's real motivation for U.S. military intervention in Haiti...
"In the Western Hemisphere, for example, it was the deforestation of Haiti, perhaps as much as the repression of the Duvalier regime, that led to the sudden arrival of 1 million Haitians in the southeastern United States." - Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Al Gore straddling both sides of the compassion issue...
"[The Bush Administration is] blinded to the suffering and pain of bankruptcies and people who are unemployed." - Albert Gore quoted by the Associated Press, October 143, 1992
"...[The loggers'] jobs would have been lost anyway as soon as the remaining 10 percent of the forest was cut. The only issue was whether they would shift to new employment before or after the last remnant of forest was gone." - Albert Gore explaining his support for restrictions on logging in the Pacific Northwest, in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Al Gore equating Americans' use of natural resources with Nazism and fascism...
"...the environmental crisis is so serious that I believe our civilization must be considered in some basic way dysfunctional... In this terrible century... we have witnessed some especially malignant examples of dysfunctional civilization: the totalitarian societies of Nazi Germany under Hitler, fascist Italy under Mussolini...in psychological terms, our rapid and aggressive expansion into what remains of the wildness of the earth represents an effort to plunder from outside civilization what we cannot find inside." - Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Al Gore demonstrating that he follows the Oliver Stone school of facts...
"There probably was more than one person, Lee Harvey Oswald, involved [in killing John F. Kennedy]. I believe that. I think most Americans believe that." - Albert Gore quoted by Reuters July 20, 1992
Al Gore arguing that we lash out at the environment because we have been rejected by our Mother -- Mother Earth, that is...
"Just as the children in a dysfunctional family experience pain when their parent leads them to believe that something important is missing from their psyches, we surely experience a painful loss when we are led to believe that the connection to the natural world that is part of our birthright as a species is something unnatural... As a result, we internalize the pain of our lost sense of connection to the natural world, we consume the earth and its resources as a way to distract ourselves from the pain, and we search insatiably for artificial substitutes to replace the experience of communion with the world that has been taken from us." - Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Albert Gore equating the dangers to the environment to the dangers of nuclear war...
"Nuclear war is an apocalyptic subject, and so is global environmental destruction... [We must sound the alarm] loudly and clearly of imminent and grave danger." - Albert Gore in a speech before the National Academy of Sciences as quoted in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, August 5, 1990
Albert Gore shifting the blame for drug use to consumerism and disconnection to the environment -- possibly to avoid responsibility for his own experimentation with marijuana before being elected to Congress...
"We seem increasingly eager to lose ourselves in the forms of culture, society, technology, the media, and the rituals of production and consumption, but the price we pay is the loss of our spiritual lives. Evidence of this spiritual loss abounds... The three leading causes of death among adolescents are drug- and alcohol-related accidents, suicide, and homicide." - Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance, 1992
Version Date: March 21, 1996
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