Friday, May 16, 2008


Bad Gas

Noel Sheppard, writing at NRO’s Planet Gore, decries the ‘gross negligence of adoring media when tiptoeing around the blatant vested interests of the exalted Al Gore.

In the midst of an emerging global food crisis greatly exacerbated, if not caused, by increasing production of bio fuels, reporters remain too emotionally attached to their environmental prejudices to start asking questions. Case in point courtesy of Sheppard: the May 6 interview of Gore on Terry Gross’s National Public Radio show, “Fresh Air.”

Gross in the interview tries to touch on a link between biofuels and the global food crisis, but all Gore had to do was blame any agricultural shortages on drought, caused of course by global warming, and Gross is blissfully off to other bromides.

Sheppard highlights what main and lesser stream media won’t: Al Gore is heavily invested, both from an historical policy perspective, and in lots of real dollars, with ethanol and other biofuel industries. According to Sheppard, Gore is an investor in Amyris Biotechnologies and AltraBiofuels, and cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate 14 years ago mandating the use of ethanol.

Nice work, if you can get it. Too bad media only concerns itself with business connections and dealings that concern Republicans, not sainted sycophants trying to control the means of production for the greater good.

So how bad is the food crisis, made worse by AGW-inspired public policy. Sheppard’s reporting suggests: bad, and if the likes of Gore get their way, certain to get much, much worse:

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Marlo Lewis wrote in his May 5 NRO article “Food for Fuel Is No Laughing Matter,” a number of key international organizations are expressing dire concern as such grain demand sends prices soaring:

Both World Bank President Robert Zoellick and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Domenique Strauss-Kahn warn that the increase in world food prices could force 100 million people back into absolute poverty (defined as a household income of $1 a day or less), wiping out all the gains the poorest billion people achieved during the past decade.
The price of wheat jumped 120 percent in the past year, hitting a 28-year high in February. The price of rice, the staple for billions of Asians, is up 147 percent over the past year, hitting 19-year high. The price of corn tripled in the past two years, increasing from $2.00 a bushel in January 2006, to $3.05 in January 2007, to $4.25 in January 2008, and hitting $6 a bushel in April 2008.

Anti-humanist Environmentalists might argue that all this amounts to a price we should be willing to pay, to reduce AGW. But do biofuels help, or hurt? Sheppard’s quotes a

Wall Street Journal report:

Now scientists are showing that ethanol will exacerbate greenhouse gas emissions. A February report in the journal Science found that "corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years . . . Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%."

Can you imagine that? An environmental public policy prescription that achieves the opposite of its desired intent. You’d think these people were unscientific, or stupid, or had ulterior motives, or something.

Sheppard concludes, and indicts:

Think about it:

·         Gore and his business associates have now admitted their investments in biofuel companies

·         Grains prices are soaring all over the world as many countries experience food shortages

·         Multiple international entities including the United Nations are pointing fingers at ethanol and biofuel for adding to the food crisis

·         Biofuels actually emit more GHGs than conventional gasoline

·         Gore travels the globe spreading climate hysteria while blaming every natural disaster on global warming

·         Some of the so-called “solutions” Gore recommends to eradicate global warming will increase the international usage of biofuels thereby benefiting companies he and his business partners are invested in.

Yet, to date, no mainstream press member has publicly connected the dots, or questioned Gore about any of this. Is someone going to have to turn a slideshow presentation into an award-winning Hollywood documentary for media to start recognizing and reporting Gore’s really inconvenient truth?

That wouldn’t help. There’d be no funding for that kind of film, and surely, no Nobel Prize or Academy Award.

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