If you watch right-wing TV or listen to right-wing radio, you'll hear this meme over and over:
Al Gore has terrified gullible citizens about global warming -- a threat that's at best scientifically controversial -- in order to consolidate his own wealth and power. He flies around in a private jet between his two suburban castles and his elite conferences, and his net worth has increased from $1 million in 2000 to more than $100 million today. When he gets his cap-and-trade or other carbon tax schemes, he'll be a billionaire.
Subtext: Gore has accumulated $100 million in wealth based on a hoax and a conspiracy he has perpetrated. His self-serving advocacy for "climate protection" is only more evidence that anthrogenic global warming isn't real, but is merely a conspiracy that enriches its main players. That scientists cannot really agree on man's impact on the climate is only more evidence that global warming is at best a wasted concern, and at worst a con job.
For example, here's Laura Ingraham interviewing the editor of Climate Depot on Fox "News." Climate Depot is a clearinghouse site for news and opinions that dispute global warming, and is owned by CFACT, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a non-profit funded by oil and automotive companies to oppose regulation or collective action on the environment.
This is just one appearance of the "Gore got rich off the hoax" meme:
Did Gore get rich after leaving office? Absolutely. His wealth expanding by two decimals was detailed in Fast Company two years ago. How did Gore make his moolah?
- He signed on as an executive adviser to Google in 2001, well before their IPO.
- He joined Apple's board of directors in 2003, well before iPhones and six flavors of iPods took over the world.
- He joined as a director of an LA investment firm, and cashed out two years later when they were acquired by Wachovia.
- He founded Current TV, which plans to IPO.
- He collects as much as $175,000 per speaking appearance.
- Finally, he founded Generation Investment Management, a firm which only invests in sustainable business models.
Why has Al Gore been such a wild success in business?
One problem he had in politics, he says, was identifying an issue too early--"'predawn' is the term I use"-- to be able to act on it. But "in the business world, particularly at a time when things are moving so swiftly, if you can see it early, you can make a business opportunity out of it." He pauses. "For whatever reason, the business world rewards a long-term perspective more than the political world does."
To serve the narrative, however, the "hoaxers" fixate on his founding of Generation Investment Management, which they claim consists of companies that stand to profit handsomely from cap-and-trade and other stringent environmental regulations.
The US taking action against carbon emissions will also create losers, both politically (Republicans) and financially (oil companies, coal companies, shipping, transportation, and heavy industry). These potential losers' best strategy is to discredit the theory of what they call "AGW" (anthrogenic global warming) by discrediting its advocates. "Global warming isn't real; it's just a scheme to make a few people like Al Gore rich and powerful," is now the accepted and assumed narrative on the Right. And as goes Al Gore, they hope, so goes future regulation.