Al Gore’s strategy for saving the Earth seems to be to raise enough money to be able to buy it. After selling his failing Current TV company to Al Jazeera, Gore is suddenly a super rich man. Forbes analyst Ryan Mac says, “Taking into account taxes to be paid on the deal, possible earlier debt and the fact that Gore’s representatives declined to comment, Forbes conservatively estimates the former vice president’s net worth to be at least $300 million.” And how can Al Jazeera afford to hand over sums of money like that? Why, it’s bankrolled by the medieval kingdom of Qatar – which, in turn, makes its money out of black gold. The next time you see Al Gore on TV telling us how evil fossil fuels are, remember this: that fat gold Rolex on his chubby little wrist was paid for by oil.
But there’s another twist to this tail. Ryan Mac notes that this discovery of a rich seam of cash makes Mr Gore, “wealthier than unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney … Last May, Forbes estimated Romney’s net worth to be around $230 million.” Thanks to petrodollars, the secular saint of liberalism is now richer than its devil.
There’s nothing innately wrong with being mega rich, and Gore has never criticised Romney for his wealth. But throughout the presidential election, the entire American liberal movement berated Mitt for making too much money too unethically through private equity. His “vulture capitalism” was built on outsourcing and downsizing and rationalising businesses out of a workforce. But to Romney’s credit, he never claimed to be something he wasn’t and he insisted that his free market ideology could help other people make money, too. He also built his business from the ground up.