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Al Gore today compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis.
The former US Vice President said the world lacked the political will to act and invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill by encouraging leaders to unite their nations to fight climate change.
He also accused politicians around the world of exploiting ignorance about the dangers of global warming to avoid difficult decisions.
Speaking in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by The Times, Mr Gore said: “Winston Churchill aroused this nation in he
Al Gore's net worth at $100 million, which isn't bad considering that he was supposedly worth about $1 million when he watched George W. Bush get sworn in as president in January 2001.
Al Gore is chairman and founder of a private equity firm called Generation Investment Management (GIM). According to Gore, the London-based firm invests money from institutions and wealthy investors in companies that are going green. "Generation Investment Management, purchases -- but isn't a provider of -- carbon dioxide offsets,"
GIM appears to have considerable influence over the major carbon-credit trading firms that currently exist: the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) in the U.S. and the Carbon Neutral Company (CNC) in Great Britain. CCX is the only firm in the U.S. that claims to trade carbon credits.
But if the day ever comes when federal government regulations require greenhouse-gas emitters -- and that's almost everyone -- to participate in cap-and-trade, then those who have created a market for the exchange of carbon credits are in a position to control the outcomes. And that moves Al Gore front and center. As a politician, Gore is all for transparency. But as GIM chairman, Gore has not been forthcoming, according to Forbes magazine. Little is known about his firm's finances, where it gets funding and what projects it supports.
After addressing how intimately tied to the investment firm Goldman Sachs Gore and his GIM associates are, Barnes presented further nefarious connections that make Ken Lay's Enron network in the '90s look almost amateurish:
We do know that Goldman Sachs has commissioned the World Resources Institute (affiliated with CCX), Resources for the Future, and the Woods Hole Research Center to research policy options for U.S. regulation of greenhouse gases. In 2006, Goldman Sachs provided research grants in this area totaling $2.3 million. The firm also has committed $1 billion to carbon-assets projects, a fancy term for projects that generate energy from sources other than oil and gas. In October 2006, Morgan Stanley committed to invest $3 billion in carbon-assets projects. Citigroup entered the emissions-trading market in May, and Bank of America got in on the action in June.
Some environmentalist groups disparage Gore and his investment banker friends. They say the Gore group caters to others who share their financial interest in the carbon-exchange concept. The bulletin of the World Rainforest Movement says that members of a United Nations-sponsored group called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stand to gain by approving Gore's carbon-trading enterprise. The IPCC has devised what it says is a scientific measure of the impact of greenhouse gases on global warming. In fact, the critics charge, the IPCC sanctions a mechanism that mainly promotes the sham concept of carbon exchange.
The global non-profit organization Winrock International is an example of one IPCC panel member that seeks out groups and individuals with an interest in carbon trading. Arkansas-based Winrock provides worldwide "carbon-advisory services." Winrock has received government grants from the EPA, USAID and the Departments of Labor, State and Commerce, as well as from the Nature Conservancy (whose chairman used to be Henry Paulson). Winrock argues that cap-and-trade carbon trading is the best way to prevent a climate change crisis. But consider this: When a non-profit group takes money from oil companies and advocates drilling for oil as a solution to energy shortages, it is certain to be attacked as a tool of Big Oil. So far, the groups linked to Al Gore have avoided similar scrutiny.
Why is that? Why does everything Gore is involved in avoid government and media scrutiny?
While you ponder, there's more:
In June 2006, the World Bank announced that it, too, had joined CCX, saying that it intended to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing emission credits through CCX. The bank says its credits would contribute to restoring 4,600 hectares of degraded pastureland in Costa Rica. Somehow, CCX has figured out that this is an amount equivalent to 22,000 metric tons of emission that the bank calculates are created by its activities.
A World Bank blog called the Private Sector Development Blog regularly features items touting Al Gore and the concept of carbon credits. Its articles typically announce corporate "green" initiatives in which carbon credits are said to cancel out "bad" CO2 emissions released by a company's activities.
In fact, the World Bank now operates a Carbon Finance Unit that conducts research on how to develop and trade carbon credits. The bank works with Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain to set up carbon-credit funds in each country to purchase emission credits from firms for use in developing countries. In addition, it runs the Carbon Fund for Europe helping countries meet their Kyoto Protocol requirements. These funds are traded on the ECX (half of which is owned by CCX, itself a creature of Al Gore's firm, Generation Investment Management). Can we connect the dots?
So it seems banks and investment houses are going green, eager to enter an emerging emissions market. Meanwhile, environmentalists are discovering new ways to get rich while believing they are saving polar bears and rainforests.
Add it all up, Al Gore really is perpetrating a scheme that could end up being much more costly to Americans than anything Ken Lay did. As if that's not bad enough, our media are totally complicit rather than doing their jobs exposing the scam.