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March 19, 2007

More on Al Gore and Global Warming - From the WSJ

I hate to rant about Global Warming and the environment, but it has become such a hot topic with the Oscar nominations, Nobel Price Nominations, etc., as well as the constant "skiing is doomed" rhetoric. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting read on Al Gore-mania and the Environmental reality of Gore's own policies as well as the scientific reality of his scare tactics:

The media are finally catching up with Al Gore. Criticism of his anti-global-warming franchise and his personal environmental record has gone beyond ankle-biting bloggers. It's now coming from the New York Times and the Nashville Tennessean, his hometown paper that put his birth, as a senator's son, on its front page back in 1948, and where a young Al Gore Jr. worked for five years as a journalist...

The Nashville-based Tennessee Center for Policy Research was skeptical that Mr. Gore had been "walking the walk" on the environment. It obtained public records showing that for years Mr. Gore has burned through more electricity at his Nashville home each month than the average American family uses in a year--and his consumption was increasing. The heated Gore pool house alone ran up more than $500 in natural-gas bills every month.

Mr. Gore's office responded by claiming that the Gores "purchase offsets for their carbon emissions to bring their carbon footprint down to zero." But reports that Mr. Gore doesn't purchase carbon offsets with his own resources, and that they are meaningless in terms of global warming.

The offset purchases are actually made for him by Generation Investment Management, a London-based investment firm that Mr. Gore co-founded, and which provides carbon offsets as a fringe benefit to all 23 of its employees, ensuring that they require no real sacrifice on the part of Mr. Gore or his family. Indeed, their impact is also highly limited. The Carbon Neutral Co.--one of the two vendors that sell offsets to Mr. Gore's company, says that offset purchases "will be unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions . . . in the short term."

$500 per month just to heat your pool? Ah, but his company provides carbon offsets so Al can sleep well at night and continue flying his private jet around the world to tell us common people what we need to do to save the earth.

I keep pointing these things out because the common theme lately is that Global Warming is going to destroy skiing as we know it. The truth is that skiing truly has become a sport that only the wealthy like the Gore's or Kerry's or Kennedy's or Schwarzenegger's can afford and they continue to fly to resorts in their Gulfstreams and drive their H2's. If the world is at the point that the powerful elite treat the environment this way, destroy our sport by pricing it out of reach, and preach to us about the "Environment" and "Global Warming", maybe the destruction of the sport as we currently know it isn't such a bad thing.

Wind power and green tags and so on have no impact on the habits of those that can afford the higher price tag attached. Paying an extra $5 for a wind powered lift ticket when you are already paying $80 isn't a big deal. Fact is that these "save the Earth" feel good policies are driving prices up further, which prices the middle class out of skiing that much more. And the folks that are purchasing the happy nice nice wind powered green this or are not changing their lifestyles and can readily afford a higher price. There is nothing green about buying your way into environmental compliance by purchasing some fake offset credit.

Now I don't want to say that the money going into wind power isn't a good thing, but how do we know how much of the green tag proceeds fund wind power and how much go to overhead or profits (and even non-profits make a profit for their administrators). It is a big scam that lets the wealthy preach to the rest of us and justify how they live their lives as they price us out of our great sport.

Posted by Justin at March 19, 2007 01:33 PM