Al Gore is pretty much the embodiment of what we will all soon be calling the Green-Industrial Complex. The American Conservative magazine describes how Gore profits from his advocacy of green causes.
For a snapshot of the federal and business interests intertwined in the rise of green capitalism, consider the best-known environmentalist, Al Gore, director of the film that has informed so many people’s views on the future of our planet, “An Inconvenient Truth.” To many, especially those still convinced that he was robbed of the 2000 presidential election, Gore is simply a super-committed individual determined to make the planet a better place. But there is far more to him. Gore is getting rich from environmentalism, not just by being paid a whopping $175,000 per speech but by using political pressure to force government policy in a direction that benefits his business interests.
Gore is founder and chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, an outfit that seeks to “persuade people of the importance, urgency and feasibility of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.” It has launched a $300 million advertising campaign to coax Americans to embrace the carbon-lite lifestyle and to put pressure on their political leaders to lower national carbon emissions.
But Gore is also chairman of a green investment firm called Generation Investment Management, which is a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, an international collaboration of businesses and science bodies that promotes climate-change mitigation strategies and invests in companies that are environmentally friendly—including firms that produce renewable energy and low-carbon technology. So Gore uses one of his multimillion-dollar organisations—the Alliance for Climate Protection—to put pressure on government to promote the low-carbon lifestyle, which furnishes one of his other multimillion-dollar organisations—General Investment Management—with booming business.
Gore is also at the forefront of a very vocal effort to encourage the Obama administration to put a price on carbon. That is, to follow in Europe’s footsteps by creating a carbon-trading scheme whereby the wasteful byproduct of everyday manufacturing would be priced. Only those who pay for the “right” to emit carbon would be allowed to do so. When this was first introduced in Europe in 2005 under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, a “pass” cost 30 euros per ton of CO2. When you consider that a large coal-fired power station can produce 20 million tons of CO2 per year, you see how the carbon levy works as a Big Government tax.
Gore and other members of the Copenhagen Climate Council, including the world’s largest producer of wind turbines, Vestas, present their demands for carbon-trading schemes as altruistic efforts to clean up the planet. In truth, these green-leaning profit-making machines stand to gain significantly if the activities of their less green competitors are hampered by government demands.
If you want more on the Green-Industrial Complex, read the whole thing.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.