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27 February 2007
New York-- Al Gore secretly profited from personal investments calculated to reap the economic rewards of global warming--a discovery the American Acadamy of Motion Pictures called "shocking" and "repugnant" in an unprecedented public letter released simultaneously to Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, and Granta. The Acadamy today rescinded the Oscar awarded to the former Vice President just last evening for his part in the celebrated documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth", and called for immediate return of the statuette.
Acadamy spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres said the action came after the Acadamy received "incredibly credible information" that Mr. Gore employed a labyrinthian scheme to invest in a carbon offset futures market for his own personal gain while promoting the practice of "carbon neutrality" as an enviro-ethical imperative. Mr. Gore's apocalyptic warnings of climate change and global warming are part of a calculated campaign to enhance his personal wealth, Ms. DeGeneres said. By deliberately shaming people into believing their reliance on fossil fuels is ethically untenable, Mr. Gore gulls them into adopting "carbon neutrality" as a lifestyle choice. "It's hard to imagine anybody being so crass, but it looks like the whole movie idea came out of a desire to make money", said Ms. DeGeneres.
An active market in "carbon offsets" or "credits" has arisen as Mr. Gore as well as other environmentalists and some public officials have engaged in a vigorous campaign to persuade individuals to compensate for their personal carbon dioxide emissions, such as daily use of fossil fuel burning automobiles, airline travel, commuting on diesel buses, and similar reprehensible conduct.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that two forensic accountants traced an unusually large transaction in the common stock of a Venezuelan start-up company, "Futuros Del Aire Caliente", to a Merrill Lynch account held in the name of Mr. Gore's housekeeper, Zoe Baird. Several cash transfers into the account had originated in Al Gore's wife Tipper Gore's bank accounts. Ms. Baird failed to declare the cash advances on her income tax returns in 2004 and 2005. Eventually she acknowledged to the investigators that she was holding the investment for Mr. Gore.
It is unknown whether this Ms. Baird is the same Zoe Baird who was nominated as Attorney General by President Clinton.
Mr. Gore's investment is said to have quintupled in value since release of the movie. The potential for fees generated by the company for structuring, marketing and servicing carbon offset transactions are said to be "billions and billions of dollars", according to Ms. DeGeneres. Speculation is that the Acadamy Award nomination had enhanced Mr. Gore's credibility. According to James Cramer of TheStreet.com, the value of shares in "Futuros Del Aire Caliente" should increase even further as a result of the award. "It's only right that Al should back up the truck and haul something away from this House of Pain", said Mr. Cramer.
The announcement that the Acadamy was pulling Mr. Gore's Oscar came as no surprise inside the Beltway. Rumors had swirled for months suggesting that Mr. Gore's own mother, Pauline LaFon Gore, an oil and gas lawyer who practiced in Texarkana, Arkansas, and Washington D.C., originally structured the investment scheme for her son soon after his unsuccessful bid for election to the presidency in 2000. Prior to her death in 2004, Ms. LaFon Gore had been associated with Hillary Clinton, another expert in futures trading, although Ms. Clinton's relationship to the Gores' investment scheme is unknown.
One of the most commercially successful documentaries ever, Mr.Gore's film is widely credited with helping shift U.S. public opinion on the question of curbing man-made emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming. "It's too soon to tell whether these revelations about Mr. Gore's investments will reverse the momentum toward fictional documentaries in film", said one Hollywood insider. Sources say the Acadamy's management learned of Mr. Gore's profiteering from global warming just before the awards program began, but allowed the presentation to continue as planned in order to avoid embarrassing the assembled Hollywood gliterati, many of whom have personal and political connections with the environmental movement and with the Clinton and Gore families.
Acknowledging that the Acadamy was reviewing its procedures after an embarrassing failure of internal cross-checking failed to reveal an obvious conflict of interest on the part of the award's recipient, Ms. DeGeneres said "we tried, but we just didn't make the connection".
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|