March 1, 2007
Tennessee blogger Bill Hobbs picks up the story of Al Gore's voracious household energy use, which we noted Tuesday:
The Tennessean reported that Gore buys "carbon offsets" to compensate for his home's use of energy from carbon-based fuels. As Wikipedia explains, a carbon offset "is a service that tries to reduce the net carbon emissions of individuals or organizations indirectly, through proxies who reduce their emissions and/or increase their absorption of greenhouse gases." . . .
But how Gore buys his "carbon offsets," as revealed by The Tennessean raises serious questions. According to the newspaper's report, Gore buys his carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management:
Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe . . .
Gore is chairman of the firm and, presumably, draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he "buys" his "carbon offsets" from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn't buy "carbon offsets" through Generation Investment Management--he buys stocks. . . .
Meanwhile, Gore runs around the country and the world trumpeting "climate crisis" and blaming man's use of carbon-based energy--burning thousands of gallons of jet fuel as he goes. His efforts have served to put climate change at the top of the national and even global agenda, driving up the value of the stocks and companies viewed as "green" or environmentally friendly. Companies like those his investment management firm invest his own and other peoples' [sic] money in. (You can see a list of Generation Investment Management's holdings here, courtesy of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.)
Another Volunteer State blogger, Bob Krumm, looks at Gore's demands for the suppression of dissent. Yesterday's Tennessean reported on a speech the erstwhile veep gave in Murfreesboro:
"I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore said. "There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly--and I say 'rejected,' perhaps it's the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen . . . balance as bias.
"I don't think that any of the editors or reporters responsible for one of these stories saying, 'It may be real, it may not be real,' is unethical. But I think they made the wrong choice, and I think the consequences are severe.
"I think if it is important to look at the pressures that made it more likely than not that mainstream journalists in the United States would convey a wholly inaccurate conclusion about the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced."
Gore would not answer any questions from the media after the event.
Krumm notes that Gore was complaining as early as 1992 about excessive balance in the media. Yet in a speech at the October 2005 We Media Conference, Gore seemed to urge government-mandated balance, at least on other topics:
As early as the 1920s, when the predecessor of television, radio, first debuted in the United States, there was immediate apprehension about its potential impact on democracy. One early American student of the medium wrote that if control of radio were concentrated in the hands of a few, "no nation can be free."
As a result of these fears, safeguards were enacted in the U.S.--including the Public Interest Standard, the Equal Time Provision, and the Fairness Doctrine--though a half century later, in 1987, they were effectively repealed. And then immediately afterwards, Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.
Gore is mistaken on two out of three points: Although the Federal Communications Commission abolished the Fairness Doctrine (which regulated the presentation of "controversial issues of public importance") in 1987, the Public Interest Standard (which is part of the law that created the FCC) and the Equal Time Provision (which applies to political candidates) remain in force.
So, let's sum this up: Here we have a major American politician who is calling for policies that would impose huge costs on society but appears to be profiting handsomely himself; who is leading an extravagant lifestyle while demanding sacrifices from ordinary people; and who is calling on the media to suppress the views of those with whom he disagrees, while at the same time urging more government regulation in the name of "fairness" to his partisan and ideological allies.
Why is it left to think tanks and bloggers to investigate and expose all this? Why aren't the mainstream media all over the story? Could it be . . . bias?