A villa overlooking the ocean — I can’t think of a better way to spend my carbon offset earnings, can you?

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, former vice president Al Gore and his wife Tipper, recently spent $8.9 million on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains. The Italian-style house is located in Montecito, Calif., and has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

I’m assuming that the home is at least 20 feet above sea level.

If you recall, in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, former vice president Al Gore states that the melting of ice in west Antarctica and Greenland would cause sea levels to rise by 20 feet, putting many parts of the world, including Manhattan and the Netherlands, under water, in all displacing over 50 million people.

In 2007, a judge in England ruled that Gore’s assertion was misleading, at best. It stated, “This is distinctly alarmist, and part of Mr. Gore’s ‘wake-up call.’ It is common ground that if indeed Greenland melted, it would release this amount of water, but only after, and over, millennia, so that the Armageddon scenario he predicts, insofar as it suggests that sea level rises of 7 meters might occur in the immediate future, is not in line with the scientific consensus.”

That wasn’t Gore’s only misstatement. The judge ruled that scientific consensus disputed Gore’s claims that global warming caused Hurricane Katrina to be more powerful than it otherwise would have been. There was also little scientific consensus that global warming would shut down the Gulf Stream and cause cooling in northern Europe. The judge also ruled that global warming had nothing to do with Gore’s report of a rash of polar bear drownings. The only evidence presented to the judge was that four polar bears once drowned in a storm.

Gore claimed that the ruling was in his favor, but the other side, which was trying to prevent the showing of Gore’s film in English state schools, claimed victory because of nine inconvenient untruths the judge found.

It makes no difference to Gore. He lambasts mankind for not doing enough to minimize its environmental footprint, while he uses money made off his carbon credit schemes to live an extraordinarily opulent lifestyle. His 10,000-square foot home in Nashville, by the way, is about as energy efficient as a screen door on a refrigerator.

Conversely, Gore says he leads a “carbon neutral” lifestyle through his purchase of carbon offsets. But according to several sources, he buys these from Generation Investment Management, of which Gore is chairman and part owner.

It goes to show that Gore’s true conviction isn’t the green of the environment. It’s the smell of money.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com