Quote: “Talk about inconvenient truths.” Peter Schweizer, research fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, in USA Today.
Figure of Speech: antistrephon (an-TIS-tre-phon), the boomerang figure. (From the Greek, “turning to the other side.” Alt. spelling: antistrophon.)
Al Gore, the globe’s global warming evangelist, flies around in a corporate jet to preach the “carbon-neutral lifestyle.” (Paramount Classics, the studio that distributes the Gore film An Inconvenient Truth, buys renewable energy credits in compensation.) He owns three big houses, none of which uses the utility companies’ more expensive “green energy” option.
Peter Schweizer, who wrote a book of “Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy,” nicely emphasizes Gore’s hypocrisy with an antistrephon, a figure that uses the opponent’s argument against him: “Talk about [insert opponent’s hypocritical words here].”
Gore’s lifestyle doesn’t make him any less right about the planet, but it does make him less persuasive. Aristotle said that character is even more important than logic in an argument. And practicing what one preaches is an essential part of a persuasive character.
So forget the melting ice caps and glaciers, ignore the record temps, the bug infestations, the hurricanes, floods and drought. It’s a character thing.
Snappy Answer: “You’re off the hook, climate-change deniers. Al Gore is a hypocrite!”