Philanthropy All-Star Team

Newsweek has named its Philanthropy All-Star Team. They list fifteen people who, “to be blunt [are] the no-brainers. In some cases, their very names have become synonymous with a cause.” The list is mostly unobjectionable but this one raised my eyebrow a bit:

Al Gore Environmentalism

His hit film has done more in a month for green awareness than his 20 years in D.C. Derided for pushing the issue as veep, his box office ($7 million so far) is sweet vindication.

While I think he’s over-the-top on this whole thing, I admire Gore’s passion for his cause. I’m not sure, however, that political activism is the same as “philanthropy.” Indeed, Gore was criticized for his rather paltry (given his sizable inheritance) charitable giving during the 2000 campaign. And, frankly, $7 million in box office receipts isn’t exactly something to write home about. Even crappy movies make tens of millions.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    I�m not sure, however, that political activism is the same as �philanthropy.�

    Liberals have just as much trouble with this distinction as they seem to have with “reporters” vs. “pundits.”

  2. lily says:

    The only thing that matters about global warming is to face it and deal with it. A couple of decades from now the carping and denying will be recognized for the moral cowardice it is. Our children and grandchildren will appreciate people like Gore. There verdict on the “It is exaggerated, let’s pretend there isn’t a problem” folks won’t be so kind.

  3. jwb says:

    Philanthropy: voluntary promotion of human welfare.

    Sounds like activism fits the bill. Also the $7m box office gross is in limited release. The film only opened nationwide this past weekend. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the trip.

  4. Steven Plunk says:

    Looks like waiting for solid scientific evidence and expecting a realistic plan are “moral cowardice”.

    Please don’t start throwing out this study or that study. The simple fact that exposes the weakness of global warming arguments is that the “hockey stick” study authors (Mann and Bradley) will not let other scientists review their methodology. What’s to hide? Perhaps the truth.

    The only consensus seems to be that anyone who questions global warming is ignorant, evil, and soon to be proven wrong. This is not good science but mass hysteria.

  5. jwb: Philanthropy: voluntary promotion of human welfare.

    You left something out. This should read:

    Philanthropy: voluntary promotion of human welfare with your own money.

    Doing good with other people’s money seems to be a requirement if you are going to be considered a good liberal illiberal utopian statist these days.

    Lily, didn’t we take some classes together in math and science at Illinois twenty-some years ago? Hmmm…, rereading your comment, I think not. I doubt you’d recognize legitimate science or mathematics since it would require setting aside your preconceived conclusions which appear to based on nothing more than political correctness. But I’ll give you double plus good bonus points on doing it not just For the Children! but also For the Grandchildren!.