This shows the power of the “new media” – that is blogs and such. In a case of pure irony, Al Gore’s financial/social/ecological trickery has been brough to light by his own invention: the Internet. ;)
Aside: Thanks to the Internet, any inspired (bored) person can research (dig around) and find all kinds of interesting (embarrassing) information. Take for instance a blogger that also happens to be an attorney. With the aid of lexus nexus, tremendous amounts of public info filed away in courthouses around the country are a few keystrokes away. Your typical blogger doesn’t have that technology advantage but what they lack in tech they make in sheer numbers. And since blogs feed off each other, one random blogger finds a connection… the blogosphere picks up on it… one mainstream org picks up on that…. and suddenly one random guy has shaped the national news cycle. Pretty sweet eh?
So here’s the scoop: Al Gore is loving the attention his war against Global Warming has brought him. One problem though: his jet-setting lifestye, the big mansion, etc. – well, they aren’t that eco-friendly. The solution: Carbon Offsets. A carbon offset is the expending of money to offset your polution. Now that’s a little vague ’cause offsets abound and vary. The best offsets do things like take your money and plant trees (minus an admin fee of course), but they get much less practical. The next level promises to “research” or “invest” in “green” products or companies. These promises could be a lot of things in practice – ah, the power of vague marketing speak. The BEST level promises to send to a certificate complete with decorative ribbon saying that you bought offsets from them. NO word on what those offsets entail, but you’ve got a clear conscience AND a way to show off to your friends. What could be better?
So now that you understand the “industry” here’s what Gore is doing he is buying “offsets” from a company called Generation Investment Management, LLP. Can you guess who the founder and Chairman of this investment group is? That’s right: Al Gore.
This is BRILLIANT. Al Gore makes his eco-buddies happy through purchasing “offsets” to balance out his uneco-friendly lifestyle. But in a deft finacial move, he buys them from himself. His “offset” company then invests in green companies that will benefit if people start believing global warming is real. So Gore gets to not only use Global Warming to be a star, but also to increase the value of his portfolio.
I am actually so inspired, I want to get into selling these indulgences -er- offsets myself. Anyone feeling guilty for living like an American? Send me money and it will make you feel better. I promise. I’ll even whip you up a nice cert to hang above your pollution-neutral natural gass fireplace. :D