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Unconfirmed: Al Gore doesn't pay for his own carbon credits??

Global Warming Al Gore Carbon Footprint 2007

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:16 AM

To forestall the inevitable objection: The personal integrity of Al Gore has no bearing on the validity of the theory of global warming.

When the private jet controversy came down, I grumbled a little. It's a little odd that Mr. Global Warming flies around in a private jet, but the justification was carbon credits: He pays somebody else not to pollute for him, so it all evens out.

Then, it came out that just one of his mansions uses 10x the kilowatt hours of an average home (perhaps as 'low' as 4X if you factor in region). Again, the same justification was used: He pays other people not to pollute for him, via carbon credits.

Now, there's this, which came in an investigation that debunked a rumor that Al Gore was profiting from carbon credits: http://www.cnsnews.c...T20070307a.html

Along the way, we found this:

Quote


"We do not invest in any activity of carbon offset. That's nonsense. We are a fund management business that does sustainability research," he added.

The confusion, Campbell said, arose because GIM pays to offset the energy use of its operations and the personal emissions of its 23 employees, including Gore.

So, the firm will cover the cost to offset the energy use at Gore's home, or his global jet travel, as it would the offset cost of any other employee, Campbell said.

I'll grant that this could be ambigious. 'Will' is ambigious, and could mean that the firm simply would pay for it if Gore asked. If the common-sense interpretation is true, though, then it means that Al Gore off-sets his private jet consumption and power consumption at his mansions across the country... with a company he works for paying other people not to pollute on his behalf.

I hope this gets followed-up on. A quick search through google news didn't turn anything up, but this just broke yesterday. If it's true, though, representing that he bought the credits himself during past controversies was an act of unmitigated gall.

Amusingly enough, I had more to say, but I'm going to go get my poor *** to school via the university shuttle...

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#2 G1223

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:32 AM

Sorry I am trying to get over laughing at LA LA Lands finest going on about their "Carbon Neutral" Ocars aAwards. I guess they must hve bought up the part unused by the homelss of LA. After all the Limos (Known for their being green friendly ability)and the amount of other pollution give off by the ELITE.

It makes one wonder how much more BS can we count on getting from the fawning mantra chanting 'leaders' of the green crowd. It was odd that the Producer of A Inconvient Lie after being caught on the fact she was flying around in a Private jet rather than going commercail and there by reducing her 'footprint' promised to reduce such things.

I gather Al Gore is giving us another round of. Do as I rant Not as I do.

You would think that the Democrats would learn but hey Gore had a enviromentally friendly drink or two on his own private jet flights.
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#3 Zwolf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:42 AM

"Green"-ness isn't one of my big issues, so I don't know what "carbon credits" are... but, just for info, there's a kos thread about this that might provide some additional useful info.  

Cheers,

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#4 Palisades

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:30 AM

View PostG1223, on Mar 8 2007, 09:32 AM, said:

Sorry I am trying to get over laughing at LA LA Lands finest going on about their "Carbon Neutral" Ocars aAwards. I guess they must hve bought up the part unused by the homelss of LA. After all the Limos (Known for their being green friendly ability)and the amount of other pollution give off by the ELITE.
If you're going to diss people, at least get your facts straight. Becoming carbon neutral cannot be achieved by buying carbon credits. Being carbon neutral has to do with offsetting your carbon emissions through carbon offsetting, for example planting a sufficient number of trees, buying green energy certificates (such as those issued for wind power), or helping poor people to buy energy efficient appliances, light bulbs, and insulation. [I'd rather people focused on reducing their carbon emissions instead of offsetting them though.] Also, a lot of the Hollywood types drive Priuses or other hybrids (although part of the reason for that is that in Hollywood it's getting to the point where driving a Prius is de rigueur). Although I really don't see your point here; AFAIK, very few people in Hollywood have asked people to reduce their carbon emissions. Those who haven't asked others to reduce their carbon emissions and go around driving Hummers aren't being hypocritical, just short sighted.


Quote

It makes one wonder how much more BS can we count on getting from the fawning mantra chanting 'leaders' of the green crowd.
Can you name three people who have asked others to reduce or offset their carbon emissions and have not done the same? BTW, Al Gore has installed solar panels for his house so he doesn't qualify.


Quote

It was odd that the Producer of A Inconvient Lie after being caught on the fact she was flying around in a Private jet rather than going commercail and there by reducing her 'footprint' promised to reduce such things.
Someone who flies a private jet can reduce her carbon footprint without switching to flying commercial. One way is the aforementioned carbon offsetting. She could also install solar panels at her house, purchase green energy, or switch to a hybrid car. Even keeping it to 65 mph when she's driving or reducing the amount of heat and air conditioning she uses would reduce her carbon footprint. BTW, if you wish to claim that Al Gore is lying about global warming it falls upon you to provide the proof. Ideally, the evidence you provide would be at least as compelling as the follwing:

Quote

Scientists have found the first unequivocal link between man-made greenhouse gases and a dramatic heating of the Earth's oceans.

The researchers - many funded by the US government - have seen what they describe as a "stunning" correlation between a rise in ocean temperature over the past 40 years and pollution of the atmosphere.

The study destroys a central argument of global warming sceptics within the Bush administration - that climate change could be a natural phenomenon. It should convince US president George Bush to drop his objections to the Kyoto treaty on climate change, the scientists say.

Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said: "We've got a serious problem. The debate is no longer: 'Is there a global warming signal?' The debate now is: 'What are we going to do about it?'"

The findings are crucial because much of the evidence of a warmer world has until now been from air temperatures, but it is the oceans that are the driving force behind Earth's climate.

Dr Barnett said: "Over the past 40 years there has been considerable warming of the planetary system and approximately 90 percent of that warming has gone directly into the oceans."

He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington: "We defined a 'fingerprint' of ocean warming. Each of the oceans warmed differently at different depths and constitutes a fingerprint which you can look for. We had several computer simulations, for instance one for natural variability: could the climate system just do this on its own? The answer was no.

"We looked at the possibility that solar changes or volcanic effects could have caused the warming - not a chance. What just absolutely nailed it was greenhouse warming."

<snip>

The study involved scientists from the US department of energy, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Met Office's Hadley Centre.

They analysed more than seven million recordings of ocean temperature from around the world, along with about two million readings of sea salinity, and compared the rise in temperatures at different depths to predictions made by two computer simulations of global warming.

"Two models, one from here and one from England, got the observed warming almost exactly. In fact we were stunned by the degree of similarity," Dr Barnett said.

"The models are right. So when a politician stands up and says 'the uncertainty in all these simulations start to question whether we can believe in these models', that argument is no longer tenable."

To repeat: The models for natural variability, solar changes, and volcanic effects strongly rejected these as primary causes for the warming trend. Moreover, the research teams independently created two computer simulations that are among the best available for modeling warming from greenhouse gases, and both correlated stunningly well with the observed warming of the oceans.

Edited by Solar Wind, 08 March 2007 - 11:02 AM.

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#5 QueenTiye

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:41 AM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Mar 8 2007, 09:16 AM, said:

Along the way, we found this:

Quote

[/font]
"We do not invest in any activity of carbon offset. That's nonsense. We are a fund management business that does sustainability research," he added.

The confusion, Campbell said, arose because GIM pays to offset the energy use of its operations and the personal emissions of its 23 employees, including Gore.

So, the firm will cover the cost to offset the energy use at Gore's home, or his global jet travel, as it would the offset cost of any other employee, Campbell said.

I'll grant that this could be ambigious. 'Will' is ambigious, and could mean that the firm simply would pay for it if Gore asked. If the common-sense interpretation is true, though, then it means that Al Gore off-sets his private jet consumption and power consumption at his mansions across the country... with a company he works for paying other people not to pollute on his behalf.

I hope this gets followed-up on. A quick search through google news didn't turn anything up, but this just broke yesterday. If it's true, though, representing that he bought the credits himself during past controversies was an act of unmitigated gall.

Amusingly enough, I had more to say, but I'm going to go get my poor *** to school via the university shuttle...


I don't get the controversy at all.  What person doesn't pass along costs if they can, and assume them if they can't?  When I travel on business, I have to eat, same as if I weren't traveling on business.  Lots of time I eat at business functions - but some of the time, I pay for food at the hotel.  It costs only slightly more than if I had ordered take out from the chinese food place at home.  BUT - it gets bundled into my expenses anyway - because that's the way my job works.  If they didn't pay for my food expenses - I'd still have to, but it's nice that they do...

In fact - the idea that one can work for a company that pays carbon credits for suitably high-up employees is a very good perk.  IF the rich can start thinking about ways for rich people to be more effective in fighting global warming - we all win.  I LOVE the idea of CEO's around the country asking for carbon credits as part of their benefits package, right up there with their golden parachute deals, etc.

Instead of fetching at straws, let's ask Mr. Gore what his personal efforts at sustainable living ARE.  The real proof of hypocrisy would be if there weren't some of the little everyday things one might expect.

QT

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#6 Dev F

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:11 AM

Yeah, I don't get why this is outrageous, either. Isn't it sort of like saying, "So-and-so supports universal healthcare, but he doesn't pay for his own family's health insurance; the hypocrite has health benefits through his employer!" It just seems like a total non sequitur.

#7 Spectacles

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:44 PM

I'm confused, too.

Isn't Gore part-owner of the company? As such, he'd be buying his carbon credits through his investments in his own company. Is that the way it works? If so, what's wrong with that? (There may be something wrong with it but I'm too ignorant to know about it.)

Doing some googling, I came across a ton of rightwing sites flaying Gore for his "hypocrisy" and for, of all things, his entrepreneurship. He's actually investing in environmental technology! And here I thought he was a great big socialist.  :rolleyes:

Mainly, though, I just don't get the far right's antipathy toward the notion that CO2-caused global warming is a real and serious problem. Is it because the right's propaganda outlets are funded by carbon-based industries? (Genuine question; I really don't know.) I actually found one WorldNetDaily article assailing Gore's energy use that stated, falsely, that "many" mainstream scientists thought that CO2-based global warming was a hoax.  :wacko:
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:49 PM

View PostDev F, on Mar 8 2007, 08:11 AM, said:

Yeah, I don't get why this is outrageous, either. Isn't it sort of like saying, "So-and-so supports universal healthcare, but he doesn't pay for his own family's health insurance; the hypocrite has health benefits through his employer!" It just seems like a total non sequitur.


Thank you.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Talk about *reaching* for things to criticize.
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#9 Palisades

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:08 PM

Former CIA chief R. James Woolsey recently spoke about how US dependence on oil threatens the nation's national security and finances terrorism (link). He says it is of paramount importance that we shift to renewable energy.
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#10 G1223

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:45 PM

View PostSolar Wind, on Mar 8 2007, 10:30 AM, said:

Someone who flies a private jet can reduce her carbon footprint without switching to flying commercial. One way is the aforementioned carbon offsetting. She could also install solar panels at her house, purchase green energy, or switch to a hybrid car. Even keeping it to 65 mph when she's driving or reducing the amount of heat and air conditioning she uses would reduce her carbon footprint. BTW, if you wish to claim that Al Gore is lying about global warming it falls upon you to provide the proof. Ideally, the evidence you provide would be at least as compelling as the follwing:

Yet this same producer when confronted had a spokeman say she was ging to actually do more with commerical flights.

Sorry the idea that I have to draw up proof which then gets tore to ribbons because you dislike what ever I came up with. Why be so lazy you ask? Simple you made up your mind that the end times are comming. Just like the guys in 70's who said an Ice Age was comming and we had all better be prepared to see our northern cites buried under glaciers.

Same kooks new doom.
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#11 QueenTiye

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:00 PM

I haven't made up my mind - if there is scientific evidence to the contrary of global warming, I'd be interested in seeing it.  However, several known conservatives have stood behind the science that says that there is indeed a human factor to the global warming problem, and that this isn't just a natural cyclical thing.

The likely conservative/liberal split will be on what to do about things, but the argument that global warming isn't a problem, and isn't profoundly exascerbated by human activity is losing ground, so far as I can tell.  If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd be interested in seeing it - including dates, since much of the scientific consensus is coming from research that is very current.

QT

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#12 Lover of Purple

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:00 PM

Never mind. Sorry

Edited by Lover of Purple, 08 March 2007 - 03:52 PM.


#13 Palisades

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:31 PM

View PostG1223, on Mar 8 2007, 02:45 PM, said:

View PostSolar Wind, on Mar 8 2007, 10:30 AM, said:

Someone who flies a private jet can reduce her carbon footprint without switching to flying commercial. One way is the aforementioned carbon offsetting. She could also install solar panels at her house, purchase green energy, or switch to a hybrid car. Even keeping it to 65 mph when she's driving or reducing the amount of heat and air conditioning she uses would reduce her carbon footprint. BTW, if you wish to claim that Al Gore is lying about global warming it falls upon you to provide the proof. Ideally, the evidence you provide would be at least as compelling as the follwing:

Yet this same producer when confronted had a spokeman say she was ging to actually do more with commerical flights.
Good for her. I don't see the problem though. Promising to reduce her carbon footprint isn't the same thing as promising to fly commercial. If she does decide to fly commercial, so much the better.


Quote

Simple you made up your mind that the end times are comming.
I may have said that we'll likely face extremely hard times if we don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to moderate global warming; however, I've never said that it's certain that things will be so bad that civilization will collapse. I know I've never said that the "end times" are coming.

Regarding whether I've made up my mind, I'm not like you. I don't hold onto positions that are untenable and try to make myself feel better about it by dissing people and engaging in vitriol and pretending that these personal attacks constitute a valid argument. If presented with compelling evidence that human activity is not the primary cause of global warming, I'll change my position.


Quote

Just like the guys in 70's who said an Ice Age was comming and we had all better be prepared to see our northern cites buried under glaciers.
I debunked this claim of yours already in the thread about Al Gore's Nobel Prize nomination. The scientific community noticed a cooling trend [which it turns out was a brief dip in the warming trend]. One segment of the scientific community [not nearly enough to qualify as a broad consensus] said a glaciation might begin within a few thousand years; however, they admitted that a relatively small amount of data had been collected and the causes of the cooling trend weren't understood and as such predictions couldn't be made with confidence. Contrast this with today's wealth of data, reconstruction techniques, and computer models. BTW, one hypothesis that has moderate support in the scientific community is that the Earth would still be experiencing a cooling trend if not for the effects of greenhouse gases.

Edited by Solar Wind, 08 March 2007 - 06:04 PM.

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#14 Zwolf

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 03:31 PM

Quote

G, I'm asking you to edit out the last line. Calling posters names is not allowed, even if it is in a round about way. Thanks

Not wanting to play second-guesser too much here, but I didn't take it that G was calling any posters a kook - just Al Gore and the glacier-guy from the '70's.   It didn't look aimed at anyone here... at least, that's not how I read it.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#15 Rov Judicata

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:33 PM

Quote

I don't get the controversy at all. What person doesn't pass along costs if they can, and assume them if they can't?

I object to the hypocrisy of asking common citizens to give up their clothes dryer and then, when it comes time for him to make sacrifices, he instead has a company pay other people not to pollute on his behalf. I don't really begrudge him his rockstar lifestyle-- I would too, if I could afford it. I do begrudge him apparently making no-to-minimal sacrifices while he whines about the evil of cars that don't get enough MPG. It's the hypocrisy. It's a bit like being told to work hard by an unemployed guy who adamantly refuses to take any sort of job. Even if the advice is good, it's impossible not to resent the inconsistency.

Quote

Dev F: Yeah, I don't get why this is outrageous, either. Isn't it sort of like saying, "So-and-so supports universal healthcare, but he doesn't pay for his own family's health insurance; the hypocrite has health benefits through his employer!" It just seems like a total non sequitur.

More like, "So-and-so constantly warns us that obesity is an epidemic, that it's urgent that we deal with now, that's 300 pounds overweight and eats nothing but bacon cheeseburgers.". Even if the message about obesity is good (which it is), so-and-so has what can only be deemed unmitigated gall.
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
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#16 QueenTiye

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 05:12 PM

OK - resentment I get, though I'm not clear that it's deserved in this context (I note the solar panels that Solar Wind said he had - I wish I could afford to get them, but I can't.  There's a flip side of the same coin - him doing more because he can afford to do so).

I still think he does potentially more good living the high life in a green-conscious way, so that rich folks can follow suit without feeling or being made to feel like they were "liberal kooks and nutjobs." ;)

QT

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#17 Palisades

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 05:16 PM

View PostJuris Rovvius, on Mar 8 2007, 04:33 PM, said:

I object to the hypocrisy of asking common citizens to give up their clothes dryer and then, when it comes time for him to make sacrifices, he instead has a company pay other people not to pollute on his behalf.

How is it a huge sacrifice to use a clothesline instead of a dryer when the weather permits? The first couple times I used the energy-efficient setting on my dryer, I was annoyed because the clothes came out damp. Then, I noticed that being hung up while still damp markedly decreased the wrinkles in my clothes so that now I can get away without ironing some clothes that previously required ironing. When spring comes, I might experiment to see if I can get a clothesline to work on my apartment's balcony. I doubt it'll happen though because the balcony is enclosed on three sides, which really cuts down on wind and air circulation, and the terms of the lease agreement stipulate that I can't attach anything to the outside walls or structure of the apartment.

Al Gore has done things to reduce his carbon emissions. He's installed solar panels for his house. He drives a hybrid car. According to some sources, he flies commercial quite a bit. Those measures would reduce his carbon emissions somewhat, perhaps substantially. The carbon offsetting is applied on top of his reduction in carbon emissions to result in being "carbon neutral."

Technically, not paying for his carbon offsets (if this story turns out to be true) would only make Al Gore hypocritical [not quite the right word since his carbon emissions are being offset] if he had asked others to offset their carbon emissions and become carbon neutral. What Al Gore actually asked people to do is to reduce their carbon emissions, and then he listed several measures that don't entail a whole lot of sacrifice. These measures, if implemented by most people, would help, but we're kidding ourselves if we think they'd come close to reducing total greenhouse gas emissions by the required 60%. They'd directly reduce carbon emissions to be sure, but the real benefit would be getting people working together to reduce global warming. Really whipping this problem requires a national and worldwide commitment to research non-carbon energy sources and build the required infrastructure.

Edited by Solar Wind, 08 March 2007 - 06:40 PM.

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#18 Spectacles

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 05:54 PM

Quote

Rov: More like, "So-and-so constantly warns us that obesity is an epidemic, that it's urgent that we deal with now, that's 300 pounds overweight and eats nothing but bacon cheeseburgers.". Even if the message about obesity is good (which it is), so-and-so has what can only be deemed unmitigated gall.

I agree. That would be "unmitigated gall."

Gore, however, drives a hybrid, has installed solar panels and energy-efficient lights in his home, pays considerably extra to purchase electricity from renewable wind and solar sources, and uses carbon offsets, whether he pays for them out of his checkbook or out of his company's checkbook. That's hardly the equivalent of eating nothing but bacon cheeseburgers.

Could he do more? Probably. We all could. But I suspect that even if Gore stops using electricity altogether and walks or bicycles to his destinations, Drudge, Rush, CNS, WorldNetDaily, and others will still find something irksome about him to hawk. :)

And to put this in perspective, Gore has a 20 room mansion with offices and a security staff. In comparison, Cheney's electric bill for the VP's 33 room mansion in 2001 was $186,000--that taxpayers footed.

http://seattlepi.nws...2695_vp26.shtml

I bring this up not only because I detest Cheney (:)) but because I, like most people, can't fathom the general costs of living in such a large home. (Now that I know this much, it's one more reason to stay put in my little Cape Cod.) But when you consider this, Gore's electrical consumption seems pretty modest for the size of his home. Add to that his use of electricity from renewable sources (at considerable extra cost), and I just don't see plates and plates of bacon cheeseburgers.

To the original point, though, does anyone know if Gore is an employee of the company that pays his offsets? Or is he an owner? And does that make a difference to Rov's concerns?
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#19 Palisades

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:15 PM

^ According to Rov's article, Gore started the company with former Goldman Sachs executive David Blood. The company is employee owned, and Al Gore is one of the employees. Al Gore could presumably just have set a higher salary for himself and use that to buy his carbon offsets. The way Al Gore is doing it though the company purchases all the carbon offsets for itself and its 23 employees in one fell swoop. This likely makes things less complicated and saves on paperwork.

Edited by Solar Wind, 08 March 2007 - 06:47 PM.

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#20 Rhea

Rhea

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 06:26 PM

View PostG1223, on Mar 8 2007, 11:45 AM, said:

View PostSolar Wind, on Mar 8 2007, 10:30 AM, said:

Someone who flies a private jet can reduce her carbon footprint without switching to flying commercial. One way is the aforementioned carbon offsetting. She could also install solar panels at her house, purchase green energy, or switch to a hybrid car. Even keeping it to 65 mph when she's driving or reducing the amount of heat and air conditioning she uses would reduce her carbon footprint. BTW, if you wish to claim that Al Gore is lying about global warming it falls upon you to provide the proof. Ideally, the evidence you provide would be at least as compelling as the follwing:

Yet this same producer when confronted had a spokeman say she was ging to actually do more with commerical flights.

Sorry the idea that I have to draw up proof which then gets tore to ribbons because you dislike what ever I came up with. Why be so lazy you ask? Simple you made up your mind that the end times are comming. Just like the guys in 70's who said an Ice Age was comming and we had all better be prepared to see our northern cites buried under glaciers.

Same kooks new doom.


I wasn't expecting you to provide proof. In the years you've been posting here, you always take swipes at folks or at the Democrats but never produce any facts to support your accusations. I suspect I'd faint if you actually posted a decent link to ANYTHING supporting any assertion you make. :p

According to this, GIM is an employee-owned firm, which would make Gore a part owner:
http://www.cnsnews.c...T20070307a.html

Quote

Al Gore is not profiting from his crusade against global warming, a spokesman for an investment firm co-founded by the former vice president said Tuesday.

Gore's London-based employee-owned company, Generation Investment Management (GIM), purchases -- but isn't a provider of -- carbon dioxide (CO2) "offsets," said spokesman Richard Campbell.

GIM is strictly an investment firm that considers how eco-friendly corporations are in assessing long-term sustainability, Campbell told Cybercast News Service by phone from London.

After Gore came under fire last week for high energy consumption in his Tennessee mansion, one explanation offered by his defenders was that he pays for carbon offsets.

The Tennessean newspaper then reported that Gore's company invests in projects to reduce energy consumption around the world, sparking accusations in other media outlets that Gore is making money off global warming by essentially paying himself for the "offsets."

(Climate campaigners have established a procedure which allows an individual, business or institution responsible for high levels of CO2 emissions to buy "offsets." They pay a levy that will go towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power or for planting trees - so-called "carbon sinks" that remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Thus, according to advocates, high energy users can be considered "carbon neutral," because they are making up for the amount of CO2 they produce by funding eco-friendly projects elsewhere.)

"That's a serious accusation of illegal activity," Campbell said Tuesday of the profiteering allegations.

"We do not invest in any activity of carbon offset. That's nonsense. We are a fund management business that does sustainability research," he added.

The confusion, Campbell said, arose because GIM pays to offset the energy use of its operations and the personal emissions of its 23 employees, including Gore.

Thus spake CNS, who I am ten times more likely to believe than Rush Limburger or Fox News.

Edited by Rhea, 08 March 2007 - 06:47 PM.

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