As media turn against ethanol due to the growing international food crisis, there's one idol they need to topple: Nobel Laureate Al Gore.
After all, this man has not only been strongly advocating the use of biofuels for years, but has also admitted to having investments in companies involved in such agri-business.
In the past couple of weeks, NewsBusters has been noting that as food prices around the world have soared causing an international crisis, typically green press members have been surprisingly reporting a rather pessimistic view of ethanol.
Without question, the most comprehensive and daring commentary I've seen on this subject to date comes from a program north of the border called The National.
Though not a household name here in the States, the CBC's Rex Murphy is willing to address the heart of this issue in a fashion so honest and unconcerned with the currently in vogue climate alarmism that it is a metaphysical certitude viewers will want to see and read more of his opinions.
Frankly, I'd doubt any American broadcaster would have the nerve to say the following with cameras rolling and microphones switched on (absolutely must-see video available here, transcript follows, enthusiastic h/t to NBer Par for the Course):
Although the economy is showing only a slow rate of growth, consumer spending actually showed an increase for the month of March. But, don't be fooled - that's a bad sign, according to "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.
"[T]he government reported today that consumer spending in March shot up twice as much as economists were expecting, and it's not because we're buying more - it's because the prices are so much higher, especially food," Couric said on the May 1 broadcast.
However, crediting consumer spending growth, up 0.4 percent according to the Commerce Department, to food inflation is not accurate, according to economist Dr. John Lott.
Some more pieces of the "How Al Gore is Going to Become Amazingly Wealthy by Selling Climate Hysteria" puzzle came together Friday when the Silicon Valley venture capital firm he's now a part of announced a $500 million investment in green technologies.
Making matters more delicious, the firm already has investments in many of the same companies Gore admitted in March he has a stake in.
To begin untangling this web, let's first take a gander at what was reported Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle (emphasis added):
Last week, NewsBusters reported the peculiar occurrence of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appearing alongside current Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a global warming ad funded by Nobel Laureate Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection.
Included in this piece was an explanation the former Speaker offered at his website regarding this matter which sparked largely uncomplimentary reactions in the rightosphere as well as from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Two days later, Gingrich appeared on Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor," and answered Rush (video embedded right):
Fresh off its controversial Iwo Jima cover with Marines raising a tree, Time magazine's May 5 issue celebrates with an Earth Day roundup. The cause for celebration? That in 2008, "every day is Earth Day," exulted Nancy Gibbs.
Gibbs celebrated, among other things, the banning of DDT, which led to millions of preventable deaths from malaria. "Back in 1970, there was ... poison in our pesticides," she said, but after the Environmental Protection Agency was created, "DDT was banned."
Perhaps she missed the fact that DDT was reinstated for use in malaria-ridden countries by order of the World Health Organization in 2006.
Another part of this year's Earth Day roundup: "Bolivia's socialist President Evo Morales told the U.N. that 'if we want to save our planet Earth, we have a duty to put an end to the capitalist system.'" Meanwhile, Gibbs wrote, "capitalists polished their image to a green sheen."
As food prices soar, and international experts as well as media members call for action, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, took to the Senate floor Tuesday calling for a Congressional review of biofuel policy, and for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive the current ethanol mandates.
Coincidentally, this occurred minutes after President Bush told reporters that he believes ethanol and biofuels are key to solving the nation's long-term energy problems.
With that in mind, given the amount of press coverage biofuels have been given in the past few weeks, it will be interesting to see which side of this story media will report this evening and in the days to come.
After all, what Inhofe called for today was for Congress to "revisit the recently enacted biofuel mandate," and for the EPA to exercise its waiver provision granted in the 2007 Energy Bill "that offers protection to consumers if corn prices or availability become unsustainable."
What follows is the full prepared text of Inhofe's speech (fvideo embedded upper-right):
In the past couple of weeks, NewsBusters has reported the media's sudden negative opinion of ethanol as a result of rising food prices and rationing of rice by certain retailors.
You can now add NBC to the list, and, in particular, the host of CNBC's "Mad Money," Jim Cramer, who on Friday's "Today" show actually blamed ethanol for the current crisis while stating emphatically, "You drop the mandate, prices plummet."
With this in mind, strap your seatbelt tightly across your waist, and prepare yourself for an alternate ungreen reality (video embedded upper right, use scroll bars to properly center):
Not surprisingly, the man who cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate fourteen years ago mandating the use of ethanol wasn't available, and a spokesman for his hysteria-driving Alliance for Climate Protection declined to comment.
Isn't that convenient?
Regardless, the good news is that press outlets continue to recognize this unholy connection, and that someone, even at the conservative New York Sun, would deign to report it (emphasis added throughout):
As food prices soar, and rationing of such things as rice begin, America's media are finally starting to wake up to the inconvenient truth that ethanol is not the energy panacea folks like Nobel Laureate Al Gore proclaim.
Leading the charge is conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck, who invited the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Iain Murray on his program Tuesday to discuss the looming crisis.
What follows is a partial transcript of this interview provided by the Science and Public Policy Institute:
In case you hadn't heard, the world is running scared about the world running out of rice.
As a result, here in America, various food retailers have actually begun rationing the amount of the white stuff consumers are allowed to buy.
Deliciously -- pun definitely intended -- the CEO of the nation's leading warehouse club, Costco's James Sinegal, blamed a lot of the problem on the media.
As marvelously reported by Reuters Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):