Saturday, March 10, 2007

Carbon cop-out

Al Gore got up on stage to accept the Oscar, looking like he had just swallowed Michael Moore. He urged us to have the will to do something about the imminent crisis of global warming. He jets around the world in his private airplane telling us regular schmucks to walk or ride a bike instead of driving, and to cut down on our energy usage. When it was revealed that he consumes 15 times as much electricity as the average American and flew more than 400,000 miles in his private jet last year, his reply was that he lives a "carbon neutral" lifestyle. He invests in "green" companies which are researching alternative energy sources, and that investment offsets the damage he argues is inflicted on the fragile climate by the millions of pounds of carbon dioxide he produces.

But does it really?

Perhaps he should invest in companies which produce tofu, bran, and bean sprouts to offset the high-fat diet which has resulted in his rather portly figure.

Perhaps a rapist could offset his rape by investing in a battered women's shelter.

Investing in companies which research alternative energies does not do anything to remove the "greenhouse gases" which Al Gore is telling the rest of us to stop producing. If Gore really believed the hysteria he is spreading, shouldn't he lead by example?

His concept of using "carbon offsets" to reduce his "carbon footprint" and achieve a "carbon-neutral lifestyle" is completely bogus.

It is even sillier than one of my favorite liberal guilt-relieving schemes of the past, the "socially responsible mutual fund".

Liberals feel bad about investing in the American stock market. You see, American corporations are the cause of nearly every evil in the world. Certainly they are far worse than Al Qaeda, and they probably even give President Bush a run for the money. Corporations pollute, destroy the habitat of snail darters, produce dangerous automobiles which cause global warming, don't provide adequate health insurance for their employees, give huge undeserved bonuses to their executives, and worst of all, make profits. Investing in these monsters is far worse than surrendering the War on Terror. Unthinkable.

Hence, the "socially responsible" mutual funds. These funds screen companies to eliminate those which carry on such horrific businesses as defending our country, producing firearms, building SUVs, providing oil, and making cigarettes. Of course they would never dream of investing in the most evil corporation of all: Wal Mart. They won't come out and say it, but the definition of "socially responsible" is always "politically correct from the liberal viewpoint".

I used to wonder why there was no "socially responsible" mutual fund based on the conservative definition of the phrase. You know, one that invested in Hummer, Lockheed Martin, Smith and Wesson, Exxon, Weyerhaeuser, and of course Wal Mart. This mutual fund would invest in the engines which drive our economy, create jobs, produce innovation, and provide the goods and services that we all want and need. And when I started to list out the companies which qualify, I recognized that the mutual fund already exists. In fact, I already own it. It is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index. It owns shares in almost five thousand companies, large and small, covering all industries and sectors.

Perhaps we should consider this investment to be a liberal offset.

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