January 10, 2013

The Four Als

FROM-Front Page Magazine

by David Solway

Who can forget Al Capone, the Chicago mobster who profited from Prohibition and murdered and swashbuckled his way to a pot of gold before meeting an untimely end? Forbidding things that people want always seems to lead to violent or insidious forms of exploitation while generating a cast of power-hungry and sometimes flamboyant characters in the process. Today alcohol flows for the taking although other manifestations of constraint, interdiction and taboo flourish as exuberantly as ever. Certain words and phrases have been rigorously proscribed under the rubric of Political Correctness and cadres of petty tyrants and bureaucrats in the media, the political echelon and the academy are raking in obscene salaries applying the rules of speech. Criticism of the reigning shibboleths—readily obtainable abortion as a subsidized right, gay marriage, social entitlements, affirmative action, the campaign against the right to bear arms, big government, the obsolescence of the Constitution—is met with sanctimonious rectitude and programmatic suppression while the enforcers are promoted to high office, social cachet or plush employment.

No less crucial, the prohibition against carbon, ostensibly to avert “climate change” and to compel industrial temperance, has now become one of the most lucrative enterprises of our time. We should make no mistake about this; the war against carbon is both a repressive imposition and big business. It is prohibition writ large. Many rather colorful if unscrupulous individuals are filling their coffers advocating carbon teetotalism—one thinks of Rajendra Pachauri who heads the IPCC at the United Nations and sits on the boards of companies poised to gain from the “climate change” hoax, including his The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Canadian climate evangelist David Suzuki who benefits from ample foundational largess, and, of course, the redoubtable Al Gore who has not allowed moral principle and practical consistency to interfere with his profiteering agenda. In the words of Ed Driscoll, “Al lives in a mansion, flies around in a private plane, and, this, along with his various business ventures, gives him an overall carbon footprint the size of, well, one giant Manbearpig.”

As I document in my recent Global Warning: The Trials of an Unsettled Science, Al has done extremely well for himself, buying carbon offsets from the company he co-owns and chairs, Generation Investment Management, partnering with the venture capital investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that is behind Terralliance, an oil wildcatter, and earning royalties from Pasminco Ltd. for a highly toxic zinc mine on his property. Then there are the tendentious books and erroneous films, and public appearances for which he charges hundreds of thousands of dollars. Al is now well on his way to amassing an indecent fortune that would make Al Capone’s stash look picayune by comparison.

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