Tuesday 19 September 2017

Nikhil Kumar: A tale of two Als - Why Al Gore sold out to Al Jazeera

Well insulated: Al Gore. Photo: Getty Images
Well insulated: Al Gore. Photo: Getty Images

One's a former Vice-President turned environmental activist, the other's a fast-growing media brand owned by one of the world's biggest oil exporters. So why has Al Gore sold his TV channel to Al Jazeera?

In 2008, Al Gore, US Vice-President under Bill Clinton and climate change crusader, posed a question during a speech at an energy conference in Washington. Referring to renewable energy sources such as solar power, he asked: "What if we could use fuels that are not expensive, don't cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home?"

One answer, in light of Mr Gore's decision to sell his Current TV channel to Qatar-financed Al Jazeera, is that it would cause sleepless nights for his new friends in Doha, who make their money by selling fossil fuels to the world. Their success had made them very, very rich – and also given Qatar the largest per capita carbon footprint in the world.

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