The blogosphere has been all atwitter over charges and counter-charges about Al Gore's energy consuption. I won't try to get to the bottom of the issue because I don't care about the former veep's level of personal virtue. I will say that if he doesn't turn out the lights and do other easy things to conserve energy, then shame on him.
What interests me about the whole matter is how it resembles the "chickenhawk" issue. In the lead up to the Iraq invasion, I wrote in Liberty, "the point is . . . that those politicians and pundits and intellectuals who think the U.S. should attack dozens, if not hundreds, of countries, yet failed to serve when they had the chance, are hypocrites. Their failure to serve indicates a lack of seriousness about their values, and members of the political class attack each other on this basis all of the time."
Hypocrisy is the cheapest, and probably most common of political attacks. The fact is that a person's prior military service has no bearing on the quality of his or her arguments for war, although it makes a fun fact to know and tell. Likewise, Mr. Gore's personal virtue, or lack thereof, have no bearing on the seriousness of the global warming issue; even though his political enemies get great pleasure from pointing out his failings.