March 01, 2007

Al Gore: Profiting from his own "carbon offsets"?

There was much controversy and debate about the planet's #1 hyper of global warming -- Al Gore -- and how energy INefficient his home is. Now, Bill Hobbs notes that the "carbon offsets" Gore purchases to supposedly ... well, offset his carbon emissions are from a company which is headed by none other than ... Al Gore:

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.

My emphasis. Hobbs has much more, including whether "carbon offsets" really are effective. He notes a segment from a Wikipedia article which says

The intended goal of carbon offsets is to combat global warming. The appeal of becoming "carbon neutral" has contributed to the growth of voluntary offsets, which often are a more cost-effective alternative to reducing one's own fossil-fuel consumption. However, the actual amount of carbon reduction (if any) from an offset project is difficult to measure, largely unregulated, and vulnerable to misrepresentation.

As I've argued elsewhere, all these "offsets" do are allow the privileged to go about living as they normally do -- that is, extravagantly and emitting countless amounts of carbon via flying in private jets, or using a year's worth of power in one month in their home -- while us Joe Six-Packs are supposed to actually do what King Gore scares all of us about. Affording these "offsets" ain't for the little guy.

(h/t: Taranto.)

Posted by Hube at March 1, 2007 05:56 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

You know I never understood Enron's business model even though I work as a financial analyst And when I don't get it, I figure it's bullshit. That is how this "carbon offset" program strikes me.

It's a "fountain of youth for the earth" aka lame scheme that tree-huggers rush to embrace.

Call me a cynic but I think it's the liberal version of Enron.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at March 1, 2007 07:38 PM

Carbon offsets or no carbon offsets, does he consume more than ten times the average household? He may think he's doing the right thing but I still believe he's a hypocrite.

Posted by: Al at March 1, 2007 08:37 PM

Wow, do I have a great idea for Scott Adams - "Dogbert's Carbon Offsets! Guaranteed 100% to negate rich liberal guilt over flying around in private jets!"

Too bad he's not doing the strip anymore.

Posted by: G Rex at March 2, 2007 11:58 AM