Andrew Bolt is still trying to revive the bogus “Gore is a fat hypocrite” story. His main points are:

  • Gore is fat.

And:

Here he was, receiving film’s highest honour for his smash documentary, in which he warns that within a century the seas will rise up to 6m while monster hurricanes tear through what’s left of our cities.

Gore didn’t say that would be 6m of sea level rise within a century. Nobody knows how long it will take, so Gore didn’t give a figure. And the scientific consensus is that global warming will likely increase hurricane intensity.

And that is Gore buys his offsets through Generation Investment Management, whose chairman is . . . Al Gore.

What’s more, GIM’s business is not to itself remove carbon from the air, but, it says, to “buy high quality companies at attractive prices that will deliver superior long-term investment returns”.

Oh, and by the way, those companies have to be green. Some are even wind farms, although even they — don’t kid yourself — produce some greenhouse gasses.

So Gore isn’t so much buying offsets as investing in fashionable companies for profit. Lucky him. Rich him.

From August 2006

An Inconvenient Truth: “An Inconvenient Truth” is the first carbon neutral documentary ever . 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. In addition, with the book “An Inconvenient Truth,” Rodale became the first publisher to produce a carbon-neutral book. 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: In addition, Gore co-founded Generation Investment Management, which invests in companies that are part of the climate solution. 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. 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 10,000-13,000 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.

So he’s offsetting his personal, home and travel emissions with offsets purchased from CarbonNeutral via GIM. This was made clear back in August, but don’t expect accuracy from Andrew Bolt.

And all right, Bolt’s is no longer the latest desperate attack. There were probably another eleventy-dozen while I was writing this post.

Comments

  1. #1 Ian Gould
    March 1, 2007

    At this point it seems unclear whether Gore buys his personal carbon offsets via Carbon Neutral or via Native Energy.

    So he’s either subsidising wind farms on Native American land and providing Native American communities with much-needed rental income or he’s paying to get rid of dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps in rural India.

    The swine!

    But he is still fat.

  2. #2 eric
    March 2, 2007

    There is something that bugs me every time I hear the argument against tree planting as carbon offsets. The rebuttal is always that the tree will eventually die, and will release the carbon it consumed anyway.

    But, and maybe I’m missing something here, don’t trees reproduce on their own? Are they planting “seedless” trees? Or maybe it is just that the reproduction rate of the trees being planted is very low? Anyone know?

    I understand the problem of forest fires. And trees do take a while to grow. But I always thought that part of the benefit of planting a tree is that it can potentially reproduce and continue indefinitely (theoretically).

  3. #3 Michael
    March 2, 2007

    Eric,

    RE: Carbon offsets

    Yes, when the trees die, they will break down and most of the carbon will be released as CO2. So if you plant 100 trees as an offset and they die unreplaced, then it is only a temprary offset.

    The important thing is the addition to the world’s carbon sink, and it must be ongoing. Depending on the offset, the next generation might be automatic due to the trees merely reproducing. Otherwise, the trees have to be replanted.

    Alternatively, this carbon offset which is invests in solar energy is better becuase it only has to happen once!

    But make no mistake, carbon offsets work! But they only work for CO2.. so if you burn a bunch of dirty oil and offset it with only CO2, then all the other filthy compounds that have been released will still be there..

  4. #4 Dano
    March 2, 2007

    Yes, when the trees die, they will break down and most of the carbon will be released as CO2.

    Except the significant fraction that enters the carbon cycle and goes into the soil. The issue is the faster C cycling in NE US soils due to invasive earthworms…

    Best,

    D

  5. #5 Mark
    March 2, 2007

    Well, the obvious step if you don’t like the message is to attack the messenger.

  6. #6 Ben
    March 2, 2007

    He’s fat, but I doubt that he is fatter than the average American. They’re a hefty bunch down there.

  7. #7 ben
    March 2, 2007

    Alternatively, this carbon offset which is invests in solar energy is better becuase it only has to happen once!

    Solar panels last forever do they? How much pollution is produced in the fabrication of solar panels and all the additional components required to make a solar energy system? It’s not zero.

    I rarely see any analysis of the negative aspects of alternate energy technologies. Now, it could be that the positive aspects outweigh the negative, but I’ve seen no evidence one way or the other.

    On the name calling, nobody seemed to mind when Al Franken called Rush Limbaugh a “big fat idiot”. What’s the difference?

    Lastly, yes we are fat as a nation. We do overindulge in everything. How much money, energy and the rest could be saved by passing a calorie consumption law? Seriously. Don’t “they” estimate that our fuel consumption is significantly higher because we’re so fat?

  8. #8 No Longer a Urinated State of America
    March 2, 2007

    “He’s fat, but I doubt that he is fatter than the average American. They’re a hefty bunch down there.”

    Hey, that fat is sequestered carbon, dotcha know.

  9. #9 rob
    March 2, 2007

    >I rarely see any analysis of the negative aspects of >alternate energy technologies. Now, it could be that the >positive aspects outweigh the negative, but I’ve seen no >evidence one way or the other.

    Ethanol fuel made from corn is perhaps one of the instances
    where the negative aspects outweigh the negative.

    >On the name calling, nobody seemed to mind when Al
    > Franken called Rush Limbaugh a “big fat idiot”.
    > What’s the difference?

    As I recall from reading the book, Franken claimed the title was meant as satire. (The excuse being that Limbaugh had said on his TV show “The Whitehouse has a new dog” and then followed up by putting up a picture of 13 year old Chelea Clinton.)

    Rob

  10. #10 QrazyQat
    March 2, 2007

    Not to mention that the title of Franken’s book was entirely accurate. Limbaugh was undeniably fat then and Franken showed in the book that Limbaugh was also an idiot.

  11. #11 Eli Rabett
    March 2, 2007

    Ben, once more your ignorance is your problem. It is easy enough to find an analysis of the energy costs to produce all kinds of solar electric and solar heating systems. It would be a good thing if you did some reading before ranting.

  12. #12 ben
    March 2, 2007

    Fair enough, but I didn’t think it was much of a rant. Just asking for info where claims were made about how great solar is. I wanted the claim maker to answer the question.

  13. #13 chew2
    March 2, 2007

    Tim,

    I think that we enviromentalists and believers in global warming should, in fact, ask Gore to justify and explain his seemingly disproportionately high energy usage. It really does make him look like a hypocrite. And if he can’t justify it, he should change his lifestyle to walk the walk. Websites like yours should undertake to do some independent investigation to explain why or why not Gore’s usage appeared to be so heavy even for such a large mansion as he is living in. He can live in a large house, but his energy usage should not be wasteful.

  14. #14 ben
    March 2, 2007

    Right. The problem isn’t that he’s not paying “his fair share”, it’s that he’s asking us ordinary shmucks to make sacrifices while he makes none. And don’t tell me that his buying carbon credits constitutes a sacrifice, it doesn’t.

  15. #15 Dennis Williams
    March 2, 2007

    Chew, apparently you haven’t heard.

    Carbon offsets in, conservation out.

    It’s the new environmentalism.

  16. #16 chew2
    March 2, 2007

    Ben and Dennis,

    Are you free lunch no sacrifice borrow and spend type republicans?

    Time for a little belt tightening, and Gore can do some too. But he is speaking out and that’s good.

  17. #17 Ian Gould
    March 2, 2007

    “Chew, apparently you haven’t heard.

    Carbon offsets in, conservation out.”

    And apparently you haven’t heard that “carbon offsets” include paying people who can’t afford to buy energy-conserving goods to do so.

    I know the voices in your head tell you that Al Gore wants to take your house and give it to fifty Mexicans to live in and herd you and your family into work camps were you’ll be repeatedly sodomised by dozens of huge-membered black men as part of you “racial-sexual re-education” but that doesn’t make it so.

  18. #18 Ian Gould
    March 2, 2007

    Ben, asking how much pollution solar cuses is like asking how much pollution IC engines cause.

    “Soalr” covers a huge range of technologies from passive solar architecture and solar hot water systems to solar thermal power to traditional crystalline silicon solar cells to the newer polly-crystallien silicon; organic and gallium arsenide photo-electric cells.

    All the solar technologies pay for themselves in energy terms (i.e. they produce more power than it takes to make them) although the payback periods vary widely.

    When peopel say “solar” trhey’re usually thinking of the crystalline silicon PV sector. Making solar cells out of silicon wafers is very similar to making computer chips (in fact the two processes use the same feedstocks and much of the aame equipment).

    These cells are relatively expensive and the manufacturign process is both energy-intensive and polluting (although in volume terms it’s dwarfed by the computer IC industry).

    That’s why there’s been huge interest lately in PV cells using other, cheaper materials like polycrystalline silicon and gallium arsenide.

    There’s a lot of potential to imporve the efficiency and environmental impact of the PV industry and serious money is going into this area now.

  19. #19 Dennis Williams
    March 2, 2007

    Chew, my house uses 1000 Kwh per month, sometimes I’m embarrassed by how much the AC is on. I’ll take your belt-tightening suggestion to heart.

    Ian, stereotyping never serves an argument. The only thing that the voice in my head tells me about Al Gore is that, all things considered, he’d probably have been a better president than Bush.

    The argument exists that carbon offsets enable gluttony.
    I’d be curious to find out how many of the middle and lower class are in the business of purchasing carbon offsets. I’m not going to dismiss the practice out of hand, obviously there is good that can come of it, but how many individuals (and corporations) do it because they feel guilty about their gluttony? It’s a worthwhile question.

  20. #20 Ian Gould
    March 2, 2007

    Yes, that was uncalled for and I apologise.

    I’m afraid I’m getting very frustrated dealing (on this blog and others) with flat-out lies about global warming.

  21. #21 Dano
    March 2, 2007

    Ian,

    Step back.

    The wingnutosphere is getting more shrill and desperate by the day as corporations, businesses and decision-makers all move away from wingnut wanking fantasies and seek action.

    Mockery or ignorage is the proper response. Don’t get your blood pressure up over a loud loser fringe growing more marginalized by the day.

    Best,

    D

  22. #22 Eli Rabett
    March 3, 2007

    First time I ever heard anyone call gallium arsenide cheaper than silicon. Have to inform the guys down the hall.

  23. #24 Michael
    March 3, 2007

    >>Solar panels last forever do they?

    Of course not, but the carbon emissions you save by using solar do not return to the atmosphere like a tree breaking down does.

  24. #25 ben
    March 3, 2007

    True, Ian. In fact, solar even covers fossil fuels and hydro electric, does it not? Didn’t all the bio material that was turned into “fossil fuels” get its energy from the sun in the first place. It’s just solar energy stored in the form of chemical bonds. Hydro is solar energy in the evaporation/condensation cycle, coupled with gravity.

  25. #26 ben
    March 3, 2007

    Dang, I forgot to finish with… the vast majority of our energy comes from the sun in one form or another. Pretty much everything but fission, and hopefully in the near future, fusion.

  26. #27 Chris O'Neill
    March 4, 2007

    “Didn’t all the bio material that was turned into “fossil fuels” get its energy from the sun in the first place. It’s just solar energy stored in the form of chemical bonds.”

    Fossil fuels: just burn away, it’s only solar energy anyway.

  27. #28 z
    March 4, 2007

    “the vast majority of our energy comes from the sun in one form or another.”

    Reminds me of the guy who built a fusion powered watercraft. For safety’s sake, he put the reactor 93 million miles away, using radiative transmission to transfer the energy to the working fluid, ordinary air, which then transfers the energy to the craft using a system of vanes of variable configuration.

  28. #29 Dennis Williams
    March 7, 2007
  29. #30 Hans Erren
    March 9, 2007

    There are free viewings of AIT in cinemas in Holland.

    I now realise why he didn’t call it “the inconvenient truth”

  30. #31 John Cross
    March 9, 2007

    z: I hadn’t heard that one before. I’ll have to quote it in the future. Thanks.

  31. #32 JB
    March 9, 2007

    “Gore is fat
    And that’s just that!”
    (said the Cat in the Hat)

    He’s also a rat,
    And did I mention he’s fat?
    (and smelly as scat?)

    But worse than that,
    He’s fat fat FAT!
    (Just look where he sat!)

  32. #33 Ian Gould
    March 11, 2007

    “The troll notes that the folk who are the authors of this abuse are all from priviliged Western culture and may well not be alive today if not for the very thing that now threatens our planet.”

    Whereas the troll obviously grew up in an African refugee camp and had to cycle the exercise bike for an hour to get the power for that post.

    “Anyone – please comment on the expected gains from biofuels.”

    Yeah because they’ve been such a catastrophic failure in Brazil.

    I know that the “the world” and America are largely synonymous to you, but biofuels aren’t limited to the corn-based ethanol folly so beloved by the guy who stole Gore’s rightful place in the White House.

  33. #34 Ian Gould
    March 11, 2007

    “Ian Gould – I note your assertions above with regard to the positive carbon balance anticipated from the various forms of solar power. Could you please explain when these various forms are expected to achieve carbon neutrality – is it years or decades – just give me an average. I look forward to your response. I will take your word for it so please spare me the Here Here Here thing in blue.”

    Sorry troll, I’m a compulsive fact-checker and source provider.

    “Crystalline silicon PV systems presently have energy pay-back times of 1.5-2 years for South-European locations and 2.7-3.5 years for Middle-European locations. For silicon technology clear prospects for a reduction of energy input exist, and an energy pay-back of 1 year may be possible within a few years. Thin film technologies now have energy pay-back times in the range of 1-1.5 years (S.Europe).[16] With lifetimes of such systems of at least 30 years, the EROI is in the range of 10 to 30.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaics#Energy_return_on_investment

    The energy payback period for solar thermal systems is shorter.

  34. #35 stewart
    March 11, 2007

    By the way, if someone really wanted to compare Gore’s energy use, wouldn’t it be helpful to compare with his peers?
    How much energy do the Quayle or GHW Bush households use, as prior sitting vice-presidents? And when was the geothermal installation done on the vice-president’s residence? Was that during or before Gore’s tenure?

    Working in a hospital, I have ample opportunity for historical research – yesterday, I was reading a 1976 National Geographic on solar power and energy conservation, and shaking my heads at all the missed opportunities since then. Basically, we’re where we hoped to be in 1980.

  35. #36 Ian Gould
    March 11, 2007

    “By the way, if someone really wanted to compare Gore’s energy use, wouldn’t it be helpful to compare with his peers? How much energy do the Quayle or GHW Bush households use, as prior sitting vice-presidents? And when was the geothermal installation done on the vice-president’s residence? Was that during or before Gore’s tenure?”

    I can’t answer those specific consequences but it should be pointed out that George W. Bush’s Texas ranch is pretty energy-efficient using geothermal heat-pumps and passive solar design.

    That’s largely because it was built from scratch in 1999 whereas Gore has been renovating an older building.

  36. #37 Hans Erren
    March 12, 2007

    I am using 2300 kWh per YEAR and I walk to my work.
    I challenge Al Gore to do as I do, the average household in Holland uses 3255 kWh, so Mr Gore thinks he can come to Holland and teach the dutch about energy conservation?

    Let him do his homework first!!

    Anyway, his “science”is cr*p:
    Here are three issues well spotted in AIT (8 mins youtube):

    The scare tactics of Al Gore
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_21b7mdJz2M

  37. #38 Hans Erren
    March 13, 2007

    The difference between the rich world and the poor world can be expressed best in hurricane casualties:
    Haiti vs New Orleans. Although the damage was higher in the us the casualies were less.

    So what do you want: 1) a richer world that is warmer and has less hurricane casualties or 2) a poorer world that is colder and has more hurricane casualties?

    I choose #1. Furthermore environmental problems in the third world are caused locally by poor management and corruption, not climate change, as tropical climate is extremely monotonous. Droughts are the result of local deforestation or El Nino which is not antropogenic.

    So a best case solution is get the poor people rich as fast as possible, and of course go nuclear immediately.

  38. #39 Tim Lambert
    March 13, 2007

    I’ve never seen hurricanes described as monotonous before.

  39. #40 John Cross
    March 13, 2007

    Hans: I have a confession to make. I am one of the few people who have not seen AIT. Where I live in a fairly small city and probably see at most 2 movies a year I never got around to it before it left. And to be honest I thought it would be a little bit on the boring side. However I looked at that link you gave and it looks like a much better and more interesting presentation than I thought. The move that is, the points that the U-tube clip makes are actually pretty trivial if not wrong.

    I am picking up popcorn and stopping by the video store on the way home. Movie night at the Cross’s tonight (you are welcome to drop by if you wish).

    Thanks.

  40. #41 Hans Erren
    March 13, 2007

    Death by hurricane in the US is a monotonously sinking number.

  41. #42 Tim Lambert
    March 13, 2007

    That’s untrue, Hans.

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