Distorting the Inconvenient Truth
by guest blogger Joh Padgett aka Fini Finito
image courtesy of www.climatecrisis.net
Peter Schweizer wrote a piece on August 10th in USA Today full of inaccuracies, innuendo, half truths and exaggerations in his effort to paint Al Gore not quite as green as he's led the world to believe . Schweitzer's attack is the latest in a series of op-ed hit pieces and columns from persons affiliated with a network of think tanks (such as Schweitzer's employer Hoover Institution) funded by ExxonMobil. The Hoover Institution has received $295,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998 according to Exxon Secrets .
The fact that Al Gore has struck a nerve with the oil barons is an open secret. The pushback by guys like Schweizer against the former Vice President and once and possibly future contender for the Oval Office was inevitable and includes the sort of “gotcha” rhetoric we've come to expect from the Republican Mighty Wurlitzer noise machine. There is even a weird subculture in wingnuttopia that create their own anti-Gore movies.
In his USA Today piece, Schweizer claims that Gore receives royalties from a zinc mine on his property. This charge is false.Ã‚Â Gore receives no royalties from the mine, which shut down in 2003.Ã‚Â Like many owners of small farms in Smith County , Tennessee , the Gores received royalties on their mineral rights when the mine operated.Ã‚Â A correction ran in USA Today on page 10A, as did a letter to the editor from Gore's Communication Director.
Schweizer and others over the years have made the false assertion that Gore controls stock in Occidental Petroleum. This claim is also false.Ã‚Â Gore has never owned stock in Occidental.Ã‚Â His late father, Albert Gore Sr., did work for a number of years at Occidental.Ã‚Â At the time of his death, he owned stock in the company, all of which was sold almost six years ago.Ã‚Â The former Vice President's mother had a small number of shares in her own name at the time of her death; that stock was also disposed of by the trustee of her estate.Ã‚Â Mr. Gore is not the trustee.
Schweizer attacks Gore for not using green energy alternatives at his home.Ã‚Â Gore recently added solar panels to his home before this childish attack.Ã‚Â The Gores have shown tremendous personal leadership on this issue and have taken the steps all reasonable families can take to leave as small of an ecological footprint as possible and more, including signing up for every green alternative available to them from their utilities providers.
Schweizer asserts that Gore does not offset his carbon emissions because Paramount Classics pays for the offsets. The Gore's personal carbon offsets are achieved independently of and in addition to the carbon-neutral leadership shown by Paramount Classics, Participant Productions and Rodale.Ã‚Â
An Inconvenient Truth: Ã‚Â “An Inconvenient Truth” is the first carbon neutral documentary ever .Ã‚Â Paramount Classics and Participant Productions have worked with Native Energy to offset 100 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions from air and ground transportation and hotels for production and promotional activities associated with the documentary. Ã‚Â In addition, with the book “An Inconvenient Truth,” Rodale became the first publisher to produce a carbon-neutral book.Ã‚Â The offsets for “An Inconvenient Truth” will support New Native American and Alaskan Native wind turbines and new family dairy farm methane energy projects will deliver clean, renewable energy to the power grid and displacing power that would otherwise come from burning fossil fuels.
Generation Investment Management: Ã‚Â In addition, Gore co-founded Generation Investment Management, which invests in companies that are part of the climate solution.Ã‚Â Not only does Generation offset the carbon emissions of its London and DC offices and business travel through purchases on the Chicago Climate Exchange to permanently retire carbon credits, it also offsets the personal home and travel emissions of all its employees through the CarbonNeutral Company.Ã‚Â These offsets support two projects: 1) a dam-less, “run-of-river” hydro power project in Bulgaria forecast to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 10,000 Ã¢â‚¬“ 13,000 tons per year, and 2) a rural solar electrification project in India and Sri Lanka to replace the use of dangerous kerosene lamps that produce high levels of CO2 emissions to light homes with solar powered lighting systems that produce no CO2.
Current TV : Current TV ( www.current.tv ), an independent media company co-founded by Gore that features viewer created content, approved going carbon neutral at the beginning of 2006, while still in its first year of operation, and will have completed the process by the end of the fiscal year.Ã‚Â
Reducing CO2 Emissions: Ã‚Â Recognizing that we all inevitably emit CO2, Gore sees offsets as one way to keep total global CO2 emissions in check and to support alternative “green power” programs in the process.Ã‚Â That said, he believes that the first line of defense is to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible.Ã‚Â Gore works to reduce his overall energy use by: switching to compact florescent light bulbs, driving a hybrid vehicle, using green power, adjusting the thermostat a few degrees, using clock thermostats to make sure no portions of the house are kept warmer or cooler than needed throughout the day, installing sensors to ensure that no lights are inadvertently left on in rooms that are not in use, making a point of flying commercially whenever possible, and telecommuting when he can.
Al Gore has worked for 30 years to raise awareness about global warming and to advocate for meaningful solutions.Ã‚Â In addition to the very important role that government (at all levels) and companies must take to cut emissions of pollution that cause global warming, he urges each of us to take individual responsibility for our carbon dioxide emissions.Ã‚Â However, he has not asked more from the public than he is willing to do himself.
Al and Tipper Gore are donating 100-percent of the profits from both the “An Inconvenient Truth” book and movie to fight against global warming pollution. Would Peter Schweizer donate the profits from his book project to fight global warming? Would any of Al Gore's critics?
In an era of out of control gas prices, exorbitant salaries and bonuses paid to oil company chief executives and global warming affecting radical changes on our environment, wouldn't it be more productive to criticize the Federal government for its inadequate leadership on the subject than to try to denigrate one of the few people willing to put their reputation on the line to discuss the issues that serve as pink elephants in the living room of public discussion? I suppose we will not be seeing any such opinions held by the likes of Schweizer and his friends.
As part of that leadership Al Gore and others have formed the Climate Crisis Coalition to better educate and inform how everyday people like us can contribute to the fight against global warming. For more information about the Climate Crisis Coalition please visit their website at http://www.climatecrisiscoalition.org/. For more information about An Inconvenient Truth please visit the movie's website at http://www.climatecrisis.net/ where you can check showtimes in your city and learn more.