Al Gores Unabomber Manifesto

This quiz was originally created by Ken Crossman. The site that hosted it no longer exists, so I have posted it here in an effort to help keep it alive.

Unfortunately I can’t get the quiz portion of this post to function, so if you would lke to be graded, please go to the following site.

Since I have begun writing on this subject, I have had many people say to me “you are only focussed on the fringes of the movement – it is unfair to target mainstream Environmentalists for their beliefs.”

But as this quiz shows quite clearly, one of the most “Mainstream” Environmenalists has views that are closely in line with what many would consider to be the ultimate in “Fringe”.

For those readers to young to remember the Unabomber, here is a link to his wiki page.

Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber?

It may be more difficult to decide than you think.


Each quote below is either from Al Gore’s Book Earth in the Balance or from the Unabomber’s Manifesto.

To be fair, I should point out that while Al and the Unabomber identify the “problems” similarly, they part on the solution. Al wants a “Global Marshall Plan” with enforcement across national boundaries while the Unabomber prefers the idea of revolution.


There may or may not be an equal number of quotes from both thinkers.


“The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human striving for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust, the invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises have led many of us to wonder if survival – much less enlightened, joyous, and hopeful living – is possible. We retreat into the seductive tools and technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates new problems as we become increasingly isolated from one another and disconnected from our roots.”

1 – Gore — Unabomber


“Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The Resistance slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories, but fascism continued its relentless march to domination until the rest of the world finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of fascism its central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945.”

2 – Gore — Unabomber


“It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries, many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating.”

3 – Gore —  Unabomber


“Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet’s ecological system. The ferocity of its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them, comprehend their global implications, and organize an appropriate and timely response. Isolated pockets of resistance fighters who have experienced this juggernaut at first hand have begun to fight back in inspiring but, in the final analysis, woefully inadequate ways.”

4 – Gore — Unabomber


“Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.”

5 – Gore — Unabomber


” All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before.”

6 – Gore — Unabomber


“The positive ideal that is proposed is Nature. That is, wild nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are independent of human management and free of human interference and control.”

7 – Gore — Unabomber


“Any child born into the hugely consumptionist way of life so common in the industrial world will have an impact that is, on average, many times more destructive than that of a child born in the developing world.”

8 – Gore —  Unabomber


“And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and technological revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational minds to create an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality.”

9 – Gore —  Unabomber


“The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things against which he is helpless: nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy by large organizations, and nationwide social or economic phenomena that may disrupt his way of life.”

10 – Gore —  Unabomber


“Industrial society seems likely to be entering a period of severe stress, due in part to problems of human behavior and in part to economic and environmental problems.”

11 – Gore — Unabomber


“What does it say about our culture that personality is now considered a technology, a tool of the trade, not only in politics but in business and the professions? Has everyone been forced to become an actor? In sixteenth century England, actors were not allowed to be buried in the same cemeteries as ‘God-fearing folk,’ because anyone willing to manipulate his personality for the sake of artifice, even to entertain, was considered spiritually suspect.”

12 – Gore —  Unabomber




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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Al Gores Unabomber Manifesto

  1. Ray

    I remember after the unabomber’s manifesto came to light, a great many journalists and commentators publicly admitted that much of what the unabomber had written in that manifesto struck a positive chord with them.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Al Gores Unabomber Manifesto « Peace, Order and Good Government -- Topsy.com

  3. Paul

    “All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The Industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before.”

    Who in their right mind could possibly disagree with this statement? Small mercantile republics (like 14th c Venice) aside, this is simply a basic historical fact.

    Which brings me to the real point–just because the Unabomber said something doesn’t automatically make it “evil” or false. On the other hand, using unobjectionable quotes from the Unabomber in order to blur the line between him and someone like Gore is a smear tactic and, as such, ethically questionable.

    One of the things I dislike about extremists (on either side of the political spectrum) is their tendency to engage in nasty smear campaigns. You can do better than that!

  4. Hello Paul
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Unfortunately I think you missed the point of this post.

    Who in their right mind could possibly disagree with this statement? Small mercantile republics (like 14th c Venice) aside, this is simply a basic historical fact.

    I don’t disagree with any of these statements on their own – I disagree with the worldview that is shared by Al Gore and the Unabomber.
    This post shows the similarities in their position, and their rhetoric.
    The only difference is in the way they would like to achieve their aims.

    Which brings me to the real point–just because the Unabomber said something doesn’t automatically make it “evil” or false.

    I didn’t say it made him evil – you did.
    Have you read his Manifesto? He has many valid concerns that are shared by many in the western world.
    I would argue that there was a fair number of the radical(and not so radical) elements of the green movement who read his Manifesto, and who consider him something of a hero or martyr.
    Earth First
    Animal Liberation Front
    PETA
    Some of the more misanthropic members of Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and the World Wildlife Fund.

    On the other hand, using unobjectionable quotes from the Unabomber in order to blur the line between him and someone like Gore is a smear tactic and, as such, ethically questionable.

    Like I said – the only thing separating the Unabomber and Gore is their favoured method of achieving this “global revolution”. Please read the “Unabomber Manifesto”, and Al Gores book “Earth in the Balance”, it is a real eye opener.
    In fact, the Malthusian Club of Rome, of which Gore is a member, released a book in 1993 titled “The First Global Revolution”
    In it they state:
    The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    You continue

    One of the things I dislike about extremists (on either side of the political spectrum) is their tendency to engage in nasty smear campaigns. You can do better than that!

    No smear campaign here – just pointing out the similarities in rhetoric. Of which there are many.
    Who is the real extremist? Al, or Ted? Or are they simply fellow travellers? Each charting their own course to a common goal?
    Best Regards
    E. A. Blair

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