Monday, April 14, 2008

He was the best of politicians. He was the worst of politicians.

Al Gore will be known throughout history for several of his achievements. He was one of the few mainstream Democratic politicians to be for the first Gulf War but against the second Gulf War instead of the other way around. He was elected to the United States vice-presidency and very nearly became one of the few vice-presidents to succeed to the presidency. He also accomplished the unthinkable dream of centuries -- becoming the very first president of the world-- through his personal charisma and leadership of the environmental movement.

He is also partly responsible for one of the greatest f**k-ups in the history of mankind:
The EU Commission on Monday rejected claims that producing biofuels is a "crime against humanity" that threatens food supplies, and vowed to stick to its goals as part of a climate change package.

"There is no question for now of suspending the target fixed for biofuels," said Barbara Helfferich, spokeswoman for EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
"You can't change a political objective without risking a debate on all the other objectives," which could see the EU landmark climate change and energy package disintegrate, an EU official said.
Even liberals are acknowledging that the global environmental movement has exacerbated a global food crisis:
The subsidized conversion of crops into fuel was supposed to promote energy independence and help limit global warming. But this promise was, as Time magazine bluntly put it, a “scam.”

This is especially true of corn ethanol: even on optimistic estimates, producing a gallon of ethanol from corn uses most of the energy the gallon contains. But it turns out that even seemingly “good” biofuel policies, like Brazil’s use of ethanol from sugar cane, accelerate the pace of climate change by promoting deforestation.

And meanwhile, land used to grow biofuel feedstock is land not available to grow food, so subsidies to biofuels are a major factor in the food crisis. You might put it this way: people are starving in Africa so that American politicians can court votes in farm states.
The wealthy, enlightened, environmental elite are watching a global food panic develop right before their eyes, yet their only recourse is spending a few hundred more megadollars on the illusion of power along with a firm pronouncement of "Let them eat cake."

The key blunder here is, of course, perfectly obvious. The environmental movement assumed that it could benevolently govern all of human civilization through a standing public relations campaign. Inevitably, it failed. Inevitably, it will continue to fail unless revolutionary change is brought to it.


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