Former Vice President Al Gore is the gift that keeps on giving to opponents of global warming alarmism and energy rationing policies. He leads what I think of as the Dream Team: Gore is the public leader; James Hansen is the go-to scientist; Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) pushed through a cap-and-trade bill in the House that killed cap-and-trade; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the main promoter in the Senate; when he dropped the ball, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was in charge for awhile; and she has now been replaced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) with help from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
I used to think that we were just incredibly lucky that the alarmist movement was led by this group of second raters. I now realize that it isn’t luck. Global warming alarmism attracts incompetents, know-nothings, and looney tunes.
We have missed Al Gore in the debate, but luckily Kerry and Graham were fully up to sinking cap-and-trade in the Senate (not that it had much chance anyway) without any help from the leader of the forces of darkness. So it was good to see that Gore returned this week on a conference call sponsored by Repower America (aka the Alliance for Climate Protection).
Gore on the conference call acknowledged that cap-and-trade was dead and that the alarmists had lost in 2010. He bitterly blamed the usual suspects: Big Oil, King Coal, right-wing media, and professional deniers (I believe that is where he would put me and CEI). This is boilerplate nonsense. Three of the big five oil companies (BP, Shell, and Conoco Phillips) support cap-and-trade, as well as most of the big electric utilities (Duke Energy, P G and E, Exelon, PNM Resources, Entergy, etc.) and many other major corporations, such as General Electric, Dow Chemical, General Motors, and Ford Motor. Cap-and-trade died when the American people found out that it was a colossal transfer of wealth from them to corporate special interests (see the list in the previous sentence).
Gore even said that our system of government was not working as the founders intended it to work. In fact, in the debate over cap-and-trade the system of checks and balances in the Constitution is working exactly as the founders intended. It has prevented an elite from hijacking the economy for its own enrichment.
I can see why Gore is bitter. His comparatively modest investments in green energy promised to make him a global warming billionaire if cap-and-trade were enacted. Unluckily for him, the American people have said no emphatically.
[This was originally posted on Politico’s Energy Arena here.]