For years, Al Gore has been criticised for the pop-green environmentalism he espoused in the epic documentary, The Inconvenient Truth.
Here’s an example of the many reasons why.
In late November, when he backtracked on his support of tax breaks for ethanol, Gore admitted that he hadn’t really done any research on the alternative fuel, and that his support of the tax breaks was in large part because he was running for President, and there are a lot of famers – and electoral votes – in Iowa.
Gore said in a speech:
“One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”
There are also just a lot of corn farmers who can vote, and ethanol can be created from corn sugar, so that’s worth noting.
But anyway, billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer says Gore should have known years ago that his stance on ethanol was wrong, because all it takes is simple maths.
“I saw in the paper the other day that Al Gore was saying that maybe he shouldn’t have been for ethanol. It’s kind of like duh! Did you ever take out your calculator on that one?”
Gore pretty much admitted he didn’t when he said in the same announcement last week:
“First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Fortune asked Steyer, “Do you see environmentalism differently because of your business background?”
I know I can see it with other people who are business people—they’re numbers people. All the people who have met payrolls made investments, there’s a very sharp and ruthless measurement system for people like me. It’s just completely different.
And then he delivered the blow (bolded above) to Gore and his mistaken understanding of the energy available in ethanol.
As we’ve said before, Farallon’s billionaire hedge fund manager, Tom Steyer, is a big environmentalist. And although he does care about the environment, as an investor, Steyer’s also gone green to make some money; he’s got some skin in the game.
But it’s embarrassing that a hedge fund manager — who loves government — knows more about the environment then Gore, even in hindsight.
Luckily, he and Gore are now on the same page. Gore also said in November:
Gore said the lobbyists have wrongly kept alive the program he once touted.
“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol.”
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