Al Gore is relentlessly criticized for alleged hypocrisy: one one hand calling for action on the “climate crisis,” yet on the other hand consuming fossil fuels via air travel, etc. Scott Aikin, a philosopher at Vanderbilt University, makes a compelling argument that Gore’s lifestyle in fact supports his argument:
..he proposes changes in our energy consumption (instead of its eradication), and as such, he will still consume energy and travel in the pathways of the system he criticizes. The pathways may be changed in small ways, but they nevertheless are still worthy of criticism. The system needs change, and moderacy demands that change happen from the inside in small (and sometimes in medium-sized) steps. And that means that even though Gore criticizes many forms of energy use, he will nevertheless be guilty of many of the practices he criticizes. He must mitigate his transgressions (hence the energy efficiency and carbon offset defenses), but they will be transgressions nonetheless. The point here is that someone aware of, highly motivated to avoid, and possessing the best means to redress the hypocrisy charge cannot in the end avoid it.