Thursday, December 06, 2007
By Steven Milloy
Green has traditionally been the color of the deadly sin of envy. But this year, a trendy upstart
mounted a serious challenge to envy’s claim.
Here are green hypocrisy’s top 10 poster children for 2007.
1. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Lifestyle. While the former veep and nouveau-$100 millionaire jets around
the world squawking about the “planet having a fever” and demanding that we all lower our standard of
living, his own personal electricity use is 20 times the national average, including an indoor pool costing $500/month
While Gore deflected criticism of his inconvenient electric bill during March congressional testimony by
saying he purchased “green” electricity, the truth is, he didn’t start doing so until 2007.
2. Google’s Sky Pig. A photo-op of Google founders Larry
Page and Sergey Brin plugging-in a hybrid car was part of the search engine giant’s June announcement
promising carbon neutrality by 2008. But how this PR-fluff squares with the so-called “Google
party jet” — Page and Brin’s gargantuan personal Boeing 767, which burns about 1,550 gallons/hour
— is any one’s guess.
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3. RFK Jr. Tilts at Windmills. Outspoken global warming activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently
coal-produced electricity because “climate change is the most urgent threat to our collective
Meanwhile, Kennedy vigorously campaigns against
a proposed Cape Cod wind farm that would generate CO2-free electricity because it would “impoverish the
experience of millions of tourists and residents and fishing families who rely on the sound's unspoiled
bounties.” Unmentioned in Kennedy’s tirades, however, is the windmill’s unfortunate proximity to his
family’s famed Hyannis Port compound.
4. The U.N.’s ‘Bali High’. Early December will witness 10,000 climateers descending upon the
paradisiacal island resort of Bali for the 13th annual U.N. global
warming meeting. The reason for much jet and limo travel — and other prodigious greenhouse gas
generating activity associated with such a mega-conference — is relatively modest: setting the agenda and
timeframe for a post-Kyoto treaty. Sure seems like something that could have been handled in a less
carbon-intensive way — either by Internet and video conferencing or, if meeting is necessary, somewhere in
North America or Europe where most key attendees are based.
5. Nancy Nukes Nukes. Supposedly concerned that “global warming and energy independence…have
profound implications for our nation’s economic competitiveness, national security, environmental quality
and public health,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and
Global Warming to take the congressional lead on those issues.
So who did Speaker Pelosi pick to chair the committee? None other than long-time nuclear power opponent Rep.
Ed Markey, D-Mass., who appeared with anti-nuke celebrities Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne at an October
Capitol Hill press conference to denounce legislation promoting the development of ultra-green nuclear power.
6. Every home a Superfund site? “Mercury is highly toxic to everyone, but particularly to children
and developing fetuses,” says the activist group Environmental Defense, a long-time campaigner against
mercury from power plant emissions and in automobile convenience lighting.
So it came as quite a surprise when the group began advocating that consumers bring the “highly toxic”
mercury into their homes in the form of compact fluorescent light bulbs in order to reduce power plant CO2
emissions. CFLs are so hazardous, according
to public health officials however, that special safety precautions must be taken for disposal or if the bulbs
7. Doesn’t everyone own a NASA scientist? In March 2007, NASA’s climate alarmist-in-chief James
Hansen criticized “special
interests” campaigning against climate regulation.
“By larding the campaign coffers of numerous politicians, the fossil fuel industry has succeeded in
subverting the democratic principle…Until the public indicates sufficient interest, and puts pressure on
political systems, special interests will continue to rule.”
Though Hansen poses as a humble civil servant, it recently came to light that his alarmist efforts have been
bankrolled by leftist billionaire and MoveOn.org sugar-daddy George
Soros. Doesn’t Soros qualify as a “special interest,” Dr. Hansen?
8. Like a Virgin’s Carbon Footprint. London’s Daily Mail reported (“What
planet are they on?, July 7) on the climate consciousness of Madonna and other Live Earth performers.
“[T]he pop stars headlining the concerts are the absolute antithesis of the message they promote with
Madonna leading the pack of the worst individual rock star polluters in the world… Madonna alone has an
annual carbon footprint of 1,018 tons… the average Briton produces just 10 tons… [her] Confessions tour
last year produced 440 tons of carbon pollution in just four months, simply in flights between venues.”
That’s one small footprint for the average Brit, but one giant footprint for celebrity-kind.
9. The NBC Poppycock. NBC-Universal kicked-off of its “Green is Universal” initiative by dimming
the studio lights — but not two giant video screens and advertisements — during a break in the Nov. 4
Candle-lit host Bob Costas then cut to video of Today show personalities Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry
reporting about climate change from the Arctic, Amazon and Antarctic, respectively. None gave even a nod to
the energy-hogging effort required to send them and crews to do such pointless broadcasts from exotic locales.
10. California’s Hypocritenator. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared in June 2005 that, “California
will be a leader in the fight against global warming…the time for action is now.”
But just two years later, the Los Angeles Times reported that state efforts had been derailed by the
governor’s mismanagement and deceit. Schwarzenegger even fired the state’s chief regulator for refusing to
limit the number of greenhouse gas regulations. Columnist Debra
Saunders noted that, “Schwarzenegger boasts that he is a world leader in the fight against global
warming — but his advocacy shouldn't keep him from flying in private jets or driving a Hummer.”
The one thing these honorees all have in common is that their real-life actions belie their carefully crafted
green public images. If they don’t take their commitment seriously, why should you?
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