Smoke, Mirrors And Al Gore

Here's an absolutely devastating analysis of the "defense" Al "Big Electric" Gore had his sycophants screeching when the news got out about his absolutely gargantuan energy usage at his home. Ecotality plants a big, old carbon footprint right to Al's cheek. So to speak.

So far, so good. So, where does Gore buy his ‘carbon offsets’? According to The Tennessean newspaper’s report, Gore buys his carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management. a company he co-founded and serves as chairman:

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…

As co-founder and chairman of the firm Gore 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.

And it is not clear at all that Gore’s stock purchases – excuse me, “carbon offsets” purchases – actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all, while the gas lanterns and other carbon-based energy burners at his house continue to burn carbon-based fuels and pump carbon emissions – a/k/a/ “greenhouse gases” – into the atmosphere.

As the news media swarmed around the story of Gore’s gargantuan energy consumption yesterday, Gore’s people touted his purchase of “carbon offsets” as evidence that he lives a “carbon-neutral” lifestyle, but the truth is Gore’s home uses electricity that is, for the most part, derived from the burning of carbon fuels. His house gets its electricity from Nashville Electric Service, which gets its from the Tennessee Valley Authority, which produces most of its power from coal-burning power plants. Which means most of the power being consumed at the Gore mansion comes from carbon-emitting power sources.

This one is a real must read. It is thorough, carefully reasoned and absolutely points out why this is a big deal. Even Al's truest believers should read this. Because there are some real questions about what, exactly, Gore is actually accomplishing. It would appear to have little to do with saving the earth.

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6 Responses to Smoke, Mirrors And Al Gore

  1. Tom says:

    He buys the credits from himself? And turns a profit too? Who said that tree-hugging doesn’t pay?

  2. Gaius says:

    Heh. Getting green from playing green.

  3. Pingback: Leaning Straight Up

  4. AllenS says:

    Algore takes money from his right pocket, and puts it in his left pocket, thereby saving the planet.

  5. cfaller96 says:

    (sigh), so I guess Gore’s carbon footprint does matter after all, something which Gaius, Drudge, and others conveniently ignored yesterday. And round and round we go…

    Ecotality said:
    As co-founder and chairman of the firm Gore 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.

    This is really just supposition masquerading as fact, vaguely hinted at with the use of the word “presumably.” Does everyone know what that means? It means that Ecotality, Drudge, Gaius, and others do not know for a fact if Gore is personally profiting from investments in Generation Investment Management. Nor do they know what Gore’s own personal investment stake in GIM is.

    But I dare say none of them care if they’re being honest or accurate- as long as Gore gets slimed, it’s all good with them.

    Ecotality said:
    And it is not clear at all that Gore’s stock purchases – excuse me, “carbon offsets” purchases – actually help reduce the use of carbon-based energy at all

    Again- Ecotality, Drudge, Gaius and others have no knowledge of Gore’s agreement with GIM. “Stock purchases” might be what everyone knows as a relationship between an investment fund and an individual, but it’s absurd to think that’s the only way an individual interacts with an investment fund.

    A willing investment firm can tailor an agreement for almost any transaction- including carbon offsets. It’s entirely possible that the agreement has some seriously strict guidelines as to what GIM can do with Gore’s money. I don’t know, Drudge doesn’t know, Ecotality doesn’t know, Gaius doesn’t know. In my mind, that makes Gore innocent until proven guilty, but not to those other guys- Gore is guilty no matter what the facts.

    It is rank speculation to simply assume Gore personally profits from giving money to GIM. It’s akin to claiming that Gore personally profited from “An Inconvenient Truth.”

    But to Drudge, Ecotality, Gaius, and others, it’s much more fun to smear the guy with speculation and ignore the larger point that Gore makes, over and over and over again. It’s just such a drag and “uncool” to heed the message that we are significantly contributing to Global Warming and Climate Change, and we should adjust our activities accordingly.

    I mean, if we really bought into that message, kicking Gore around wouldn’t really matter, now would it? No, best we live the high life, and screw our grandkids. It’s just so much easier and more fun that way. I mean, if we won’t be around to suffer for our own folly, then why should we care? Right?

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