An Inconvenient Word about Laurie David

Something a little different today, but you’ll see the connection.

Laurie David (aka Laurie Lennard) is the ex-wife of writer/producer/actor Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) and devoted mother of Cazzie & Romy David. She is also a liberal/progressive activist, particularly for the (perceived) dangers of catastrophic man-made Global Warming. (Does that make her a global warming activist, or an anti-global warming activist? I’m never sure how that works.) Hailed by Bobby Kennedy, Jr., as a hero for the cause, she has produced such notable documentaries as An Inconvenient Truth and Too Hot Not to Handle. She owns and operates StopGlobal-Warming.com.

Laurie David & Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow (l) & Laurie David (r)

She is a member of the Hollywood elite and quite wealthy, since her divorce settlement from Larry should net her a healthy 9 figures (i.e., hundreds of millions). Her extramarital relationship with the contractor working on their 76-acre compound in Martha’s Vineyard looks like the primary cause of the divorce (2007), and it has been alleged that she had an affair with Al Gore for the past couple years. (Can’t say I’d be too surprised if it was proven true, since she’s been such an outspoken fan/cheerleader for her eco-activist friend & mentor.)

But, my purpose here isn’t to knock the former Mrs. David’s rich lifestyle, per se, nor her affairs. Rather, I want to point out something else she shares with Gore and so many of the liberal elite, from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. Namely, inconsistency & hypocrisy! (See Peter Schweizer’s Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy.)

Laurie David is what they call a “true believer” in the environmentalist cause, with all the usual talking points and “indisputable” scientific facts. Sure, she worries about leaving the lights on, drives a hybrid, and forces her family to use “scratchy” toilet paper. (I wonder if she only uses one square per, um, sitting, like her pal Sheryl Crow.) But, it’s more than that.

In an interview with Treehugger, she explained:

Human beings are causing the climate to change…. In particular, the United States is the world’s biggest cause of global warming position and we’re doing the least about it. It all has to do with our consciousness; it has to do with how we’re living, and how we’re going to live in the future. My whole thing is the solution is you; we have to change the way we think, we have to change the way we act, we have to change the way we behave. And then we’re going to demand… if we change ourselves as individuals, we’re going to demand that our families change, then we’re going to demand that our businesses change, and then hopefully country changes. That’s sort of the path that I’m on, and that’s what I’m hoping will happen.”

She has also been known to confront perfect strangers and accuse them of funding terrorists, because they drive an SUV. (Meanwhile, her children cringe, embarrassed, in the backseat.)

Ongoing development of the Davids’ compound (aka “Camp David”) has caused quite a stir in the Martha’s Vineyard town of Chilwick. According to neighbor Jackie Mendez-Diez,

Her disgusting and ostentatious trophy building has been virtually ceaseless for about 6 years now [as of 2007]. The trucks and pollution stop only when Mrs. Carbon Sasquatch is here for her summer vacation, making herself the center of everyone’s attention.”

One specific incident was her attempt to build a firepit inside the buffer zone for wetlands without permits. Even with the required permits, this doesn’t seem like something someone worried about their “carbon footprint” would do, does it? Not clear if it was a matter of ignorance or ambivalence on Laurie’s part, though.

“Camp David” includes a 25,000 sq ft house — bigger even than Gore’s mansion — and that’s just one home. Gore’s place in Tennessee uses 20X the energy as the national average. Makes you wonder what kind of “carbon footprint” the David compound leaves. Once asked why she doesn’t live in a smaller home, Ms. David replied,

Everybody has to strike their own balance between how they want to live and how they can reduce their impact [on energy consumption]. If the environmental movement wants to be mainstream, it has to lose it purer-than-thou, all-or-nothing attitude.”

I see. So, if my self-determined balance is to recycle, to turn off lights & appliances when no one’s in the room, etc., but still drive my car that averages 17mpg, is that OK, in her book? If she rolls up next to me at the traffic stop — as if I’m ever anywhere near Martha’s Vineyard or Pacific Palisades — and yells at me for being a “terrorist enabler” and keeping America beholden to the Saudis, can I quote that back to her? What do her friends at Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc., think of that approach? Just wonderin’…

Laurie David - Force of Nature

Laurie David - Force of Nature

Another egregiously hypocritical example is her commute between Martha’s Vineyard and her second home in Los Angeles. Ms. David doesn’t like to fly commercially, you see. First class isn’t good enough, I guess. So, she charters a private jet. Gregg Easterbrook did the math at New Republic Online. A mid-sized Gulfstream G200 burns between 1200 & 1500 gallons of (expensive) jet fuel on a ~3,000 mile, Rhode Island-to-L.A. flight. By comparison, a Hummer uses up about 1250 gallons of gasoline to drive 15,000 miles (the average annual mileage for a U.S. vehicle). So, each cross-country flight for Ms. David represents as much “Persian Gulf dependence and greenhouse-gas emissions” as driving one of the biggest SUVs for a whole year.

I don’t know how often she actually makes those trips, but here’s Ms. David’s excuse…

Yes, I take a private plane on holiday a couple of times a year, and I feel horribly guilty about it. I probably shouldn’t do it. But the truth is, I’m not perfect. This is not about perfection. I don’t expect anybody else to be perfect either. That’s what hurts the environmental movement – holding people to a standard they cannot meet. That just pushes people away.”

I agree. Nobody’s perfect and no one should be held to unreachable, or unreasonable, standards by their fellows. I’m sure she never holds people to such standards, either. Still, as a high-profile activist for the radical environmentalist movement, wouldn’t you think she’d make a few more sacrifices to be consistent with her ideals and a model to the rest of us? Does this jibe with what she told Treehugger?

As Ms. Mendez-Diez put it,

[Laurie David] is the prime example of a spoiled, selfish, rich girl who says, ‘do what I say, not what I do’. She is a narcissist and a hypocrite to the nth degree.”

That about sums it up.

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