Saturday, March 03, 2007

Al Gore's Energy Usage

Tigerhawk neatly deconstructs Vice President Gore's "carbon offsets" rebuttal to recent criticisms of his energy usage:

"If, as Al Gore would have us believe, investments in carbon-negative businesses offset one's personal carbon footprint, then wouldn't investments in carbon-producing businesses increase one's personal carbon footprint? And, since most businesses spew out more carbon than they sequester in the process of creating wealth, doesn't this mean that under the Gore logic most investments are a big personal carbon "debit"? Doesn't that then mean that rich people -- such as Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, and virtually everybody else with a ticket to the Oscars -- who do not invest all their money in carbon-negative businesses have an even larger personal carbon footprint than is indicated by their electricity bill or frequent trips by private jet?

If you buy Gore's "offset defense," the obvious implication is that all rich people -- no matter how green in their personal lives -- have a far bigger personal carbon footprint than even the most profligate working stiff simply by virtue of having invested their money in the global economy. Is that really the point Gore intended to make? Somehow I doubt he would have been so welcomed on the stage Sunday night if it were."

And as usual, Vice President Gore's supporters are either unwilling or unable to reason through the economic ramifications of their positions - an all too common situation since many of them have little or no idea how our economy actually works. Instead, they frequently labor under the misconception that the economy is at fault because it doesn't work the way they think it should.

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