To his credit, Gore Sr. was at least honest about cashing in: “Since I had been turned out to pasture,” he told the Washington Post in 1980, “I decided to go graze the tall grass.”

If all of this was inconvenient for his son the environmental crusader, as documented in a Gore biography by my husband, Washington Post reporter Bill Turque, well, it wasn’t as if Al Jr. bore personal responsibility for his father’s decisions. Until he repeated them, that is. …

He’s been well and rightly compensated for doing so — rewarded with an Oscar, a Grammy and a Nobel Prize, among other things — and while lecturing us on our carbon footprint, has also made a fortune in various investments. There’s nothing wrong with getting rich, either, mind you, or in turning a turkey like Current TV into a big payday; on the contrary, doing well by doing good is a nearly universal goal. …

How does raking in $100 million petrodollars fit with his life’s mission? In an interview last year, he said the goal of “reducing our dependence on expensive dirty oil” can really only be understood in light of the “main reason for doing this, which is to save the future of civilization.” Is that all?