Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Gore-Milken Connection: Global-Warming Junk Bonds?

In April 2005, Al Gore gave an "engaging and accessible presentation" about the trends and implications of global warming to a rapt audience at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills.

In addition to touting his now-infamous global warming predictions, Gore also stated, "We can’t sell our cars in China... We don’t meet their environmental standards."

In so doing, Gore ignored some inconvenient truths regarding China:

The World Bank has warned that China is home to 16 of the Earth's 20 most air-polluted cities. The World Resources Institute reports that, "air pollution in some Chinese cities is among the highest ever recorded, averaging more than ten times the standard proposed by the World Health Organization... In Beijing, 40 percent of autos surveyed and 70 percent of taxis failed to meet the most basic emission standards."

The Guardian calls Beijing, China the "air pollution capital of the world."

Gore's Company: Generation Investment Management

The question remains: whether he's simply wrong about China's emissions or global warming in general, what is Al Gore really after?

In 2004, Gore created a U.K. business called Generation Investment Management (GIM). GIM was established to take investments in technologies and processes that ostensibly combat global warming. In other words, Gore has a major interest in an organization that is poised to generate windfall profits should global-warming hysteria spread. Talk about a conflict of interest!

Writing at Newsbusters, Noel Sheppard distills Dan Riehl's brilliant work. Riehl, aided by The Tennessean, has exposed a fascinating grift at the heart of Al Gore's panic-mongering:

  • First, Gore sets up a company that will invest in other companies that will benefit from global warming alarmism

  • Second, Gore gets some Hollywood types to fund and produce a movie designed to scare the c-c-carbon out of the population

  • Third, Gore travels the world promoting this movie, while pushing the view that a cataclysm is imminent if the world doesn't immediately act

  • Fourth, an adoring media falls for the con hook, line, and sinker. Rather than debunking the flaws in the theories, the media promote every word of it while advancing the concept that Gore's views represent those of an overwhelming majority of scientists

  • Fifth, scared governments and citizens across the globe invest in alternative energy programs driving up the shares of companies Gore's group has already invested in

  • Sixth, Gore and his cronies make billions as they laugh all the way to the bank at the stupidity of their fellow citizens
America -- what a country!

Dan Riehl concludes his piece with a wonderful and accurate sentiment: If Al Gore is successful with this latest scheme, Gore and his cronies are going to be much more $green$ than most of the earth.

Carbon Offsets

Records show that Al and Tipper Gore paid a monthly gas-and-electric bill of $2,400 for their 20-room mansion and related outbuildings. That includes $500 a month for their poolhouse. Gore claimed that he bought "carbon offsets" to make up for his $30K annual energy tab.

So what is a "carbon offset"? Bill Hobbs explains that it's "a payment someone makes to an environmentally friendly entity to compensate for personally using non-green energy." And where exactly does Gore buy "carbon offsets"? You guessed it, from GIM, which coincidentally names Gore as its Chairman.

Even the New York Times is rightfully skeptical about carbon offsets:

...Climate Care, for example, has linked up with Land Rover, a maker of sport utility vehicles, to help the company offset its own emissions. As part of a promotional program, Climate Care also helps purchasers of new Land Rovers offset their first 45,000 miles of driving.

In that way, the program may actually help sell “larger cars with higher emissions” and thus contribute more to global warming, according to Mary Taylor, a campaigner with the energy and climate team at Friends of the Earth...

Michael Milken and junk bonds come to mind.

Michael Milken, Junk-Bond King

Remember how we started? April 2005 and Al Gore speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills?

Let's recall Michael Milken for a moment. Milken was the notorious junk-bond dealer who was charged with 98 counts of racketeering and fraud in 1989. After a plea bargain, Milken pled guilty to securities and reporting violations including unlawful security transactions, tax fraud, trading crimes, income tax violations, etc.

Judge Kimba Wood recommended a 10-year prison sentence, but Milken served only about 22 months. Though he paid around $900 million in fines, Milken's current net worth is around $2 billion.

Milken's junk-bond business involved making markets and controlling trading information for a huge volume of lower-quality, high-yield debt. James Stewart's best-selling Den of Thieves described the heady world of leveraged buyouts and takeovers. The stock price of companies involved in these activities could swing wildly. And advance knowledge of this information led to a huge insider-trading operation that illegally enriched Milken and many others.

Why do junk bonds come to mind whenever "carbon offsets" are mentioned?

The Gore-Milken Connection

At a 2006 global warming summit hosted by The Milken Institute -- and chaired by Michael Milken -- economist Gary Becker stated:

...[a] potential solution [to global warming] is technological advance. Many scientists think there is a technological fix. Climate change is not irreversible if you can devise methods to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere. That is the real challenge. Profit-motivated businesses are working on that...

Perhaps Becker was thinking of GIM and its investments.

Tony Coelho and Michael Milken attend a fund-raiser at Pier Sixty (2005)

In 1999, Tony Coelho was named campaign chairman for Al Gore. The National Review put it this way:

You might think Al Gore would hold an infamous bagman at arm's length. After all, this is the vice president of Buddhist temples, dialing-for- dollars, and "no controlling legal authority." But Gore, perhaps recognizing a kindred spirit, has clasped him to his bosom.

On CNN, Chuck Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity called Coelho, "a walking ethical cloud for the last decade, ever since he resigned in disgrace from the House of Representatives."

Coelho resigned from Congress amid charges that he was involved in a sweetheart deal with Michael Milken, the notorious junk-bond dealer. In 1999, Time Magazine described Coelho's relationship with Milken this way:

...The Justice Department is reportedly in the preliminary stages of a criminal investigation of Coelho's investment in a $100,000 junk bond sold by indicted inside trader Michael Milken's firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert. Late Friday, after Common Cause asked the ethics committee to determine whether the bond deal was a favor, Coelho could see what lay ahead. He announced that he was quitting his leadership post immediately and resigning from Congress on June 15...

...In 1986 Coelho was catapulted to majority whip in gratitude for his astonishing success in extracting large sums from conservative businessmen by convincing them that Democrats could help them as much as Republicans. Tirelessly, he made new friends for the party. He turned up at a Drexel- sponsored conference in 1988, just weeks prior to Milken's taking shelter behind the Fifth Amendment before a House subcommittee. "I am here tonight to show my respect . . . for Michael Milken," he said. "He is constantly thinking about what can be done to make this a better world..."

Just like Al Gore.

Carbon Offsets: Global-Warming Junk Bonds?

Perhaps it's just me, but the Gore-to-Coelho-to-Milken connection smells of rot. When "carbon offsets" are put into the context of a Drexel Burnham Lambert operation, I get the whiff of a high-class junk bond scam, but updated for the 21st century.

Just as Milken's Drexel made the market for junk bonds, Gore's GIM presumably helps make the market for "carbon offsets". And the value of said offsets could be, like junk bonds once were, easily swayed using the standard tools of mass hysteria. These include movies like An Inconvenient Truth, books, and panic-inducing newspaper articles.

Many questions come to mind. Is this Gore's attempt at a Drexel-style operation that literally mints money? Why was GIM founded in the U.K.? Did it have to do with the scrutiny the SEC applies to U.S.-based companies? I need to rent Boiler Room to refresh my memory.

No matter what, there's little doubt that Gore stands to profit handsomely, as Milken once did, with carbon offsets. But I prefer to call them global-warming junk bonds; that sounds more accurate to me.

One can only hope that an enterprising investigative reporter picks up the gauntlet. So far, the media has been eerily silent on Al Gore's incestuous relationship with "carbon offsets" and GIM. Dare to dream, eh?

Oven-baked good readin', just like Mama used to make:
American Thinker: A flim-flam of epic proportions
Hyscience: Gore's 'Carbon Offsets' Paid To Firm He Owns
National Geographic: Solar Heat Warming both Earth and Mars?
The Onion: "Al Gore Caught Warming Globe To Increase Box Office Profits."
IowaHawk: "eco-salvation the quick and easy IowaHawk way."

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