Friday, April 27, 2007

A Green Haze - There is a reason why the language is called English. Leave it to our friends across the pond to stand out as some of the best practitioners of communicating simple yet resonant truths. In this case, the truths pertain to global warming, an area where truth is in short supply and hysteria is rampant. An excellent "for instance" comes to us by way of a documentary recently broadcast on Britain's Channel 4, entitled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." (The documentary can be seen in its entirety on YouTube.)

Through interviews with internationally prominent thought leaders in climate science, documentarian Martin Durkin takes a balanced look at the available data regarding climate change and CO2's supposed impact thereon to confirm that changes in the temperature of the earth's atmosphere are far too complex to be governed primarily by human activity. The feature then goes on to describe the origins and activities of the environmental movement; some of the most damning testimony against the "green lobby" comes from a co-founder of GreenPeace, Patrick Moore. To be sure, this movie serves as a powerful counterweight to "An Inconvenient Truth," and we can only hope that there will be an opportunity for the film to receive wider international release.

But global warming's assaults on prudence and reason stem not only from the intellectual dissociation required to accept the "science" behind it, but from the confused behavior such dissociation induces. In order to reduce their so-called "carbon footprint," corporations have taken to purchasing carbon "credits." These credits allow companies to pollute above a certain threshold, with the understanding that the money that the companies pay would be spent on projects that balance the environmental impact of the company's CO2 production. But as reported at, much of the money spent yields much that is of questionable value.

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on "carbon credit" projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.
The article goes on to describe a U.S.-based offsetting company, Blue Source, which allowed its customers to offset their carbon emissions by investing in pumping CO2 into depleted oil wells to help secure the remaining oil. But due to the high price of oil, "this process was often profitable in itself, meaning operators were making extra revenues from selling 'carbon credits' for burying the carbon."

The kicker to all of this is that one company that purchases offsets, Generation Investment Management LLP, is chaired by none other than Dr. Doom himself. Al Gore is a co-founder of the London-based GenerationIM (as it is known by insiders), and has served as chairman since its founding in 2004. I'll leave it to my new best friend Bill Hobbs to describe how Mr. Gore's involvement in the purchase of offsets for "personal" use serves to enrich himself and his partners.
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.
And to be sure, as Gore's operation invests in companies that are supposedly environmentally responsible (and thus more in vogue), and as his own efforts to heighten the public's awareness regarding climate change bear fruit, the profits of GenerationIM - and by extension his own renumeration - will grow considerably. All this while he does next to nothing to reduce his own footprint by way of reduced energy consumption, as reported in The Tennessean.

So if all of this seems to be more than be bit - to use a British aphorism - "dodgy," it should. Global warming evangelists bend "science" to their advantage to create undue panic, then unscrupulous companies play upon those gullible enough to buy into the anthropogenic climate change fable in order to enrich themselves. We might turn to the Brits once more for a ray of hope; perhaps if the upper lips of Mr. Gore and his confederates were a bit stiffer, they would not be able to create the "green smokescreen" that obscures their questionable activities.

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