(Playing of EIB carbon offsets spoof.)
RUSH: We are entrepreneurs here at the EIB Network. We see an opportunity, we seize on it. That's right, the can-do spirit. When we see a trend, folks, we get out in front of it. All right, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This is Steve. You are next, sir. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Rush, it's really an honor to call you.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Rush, in your ongoing admonition for us to follow the money trail, I wanted to ask you if you knew who sells these carbon offsets, who has the right to sell them, and where do I get a distributorship?
RUSH: There?s an outfit in California. I'm going to have to reconsult the Schwarzenegger story on his jet, because there?s a company that sells carbon offsets in California. TerraPass. It's sort of a strange name.
CALLER: Okay, Rush --
RUSH: I don't think they're offering franchises, though.
CALLER: Listen to this phrase: "Since there's no controlling legal authority." Who's to say that I can't counterfeit these things and start selling them on eBay?
RUSH: Nothing. Go out and sell them! All you gotta do is say you're going to go plant some trees.
CALLER: Yeah. Hey, now --
RUSH: Just realize, if somebody says, ?What trees are you planting?? Well, the lumber companies are planting trees every day because they chop 'em down every day for paper and a number of things. So...trees are being planted every day and we're taking care of your carbon footprint for X-amount. This is a way to make sure you do not have to sacrifice any of your precious power usage.
CALLER: Now, if this isn't an affront to the whole world, does the whole world get a piece of the action? Like if Algore burns his lights a little bit too long one night, does he send the aborigines a check for it?
RUSH: No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I've got a story from the AP. This is an incredible story, by the way. It is a rewrite of the first story on his power usage at his house, and even by the standards of the Associated Press it's just off the wall here. ?Group skeptical of global warming notes his home is big energy user. Following criticism by a conservative group of Al Gore's large home energy consumption, a Gore spokeswoman defended the former vice president's lifestyle, saying he invests in enough renewable energy to make up for the home's power consumption.? So now this think tank or this watchdog group has become conservative since the story was first reported. ?The Tennessee Center for Policy Research issued a statement saying Gore was not doing enough to reduce his own electricity consumption, and hence emissions of carbon dioxide. The group disputes that global warming is a serious problem.?
Now, this is the big kicker. ?Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home. The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press. The typical Nashville household uses about 15,600 kilowatt-hours per year.
The group said that Gore used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours last year and that his average monthly electric bill was $1,359. Johnson said his group got its figures from Nashville Electric Service. But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information.?
Now, the Gores have not denied any of the figures because you don't have to get permission from the utility company for the figures. They are public. They are available. Those records are public, and the Gore camp has not even disputed them. Now, this is the pi?ce de r?sistance, to get to your question: ?Gore, who also owns a home in the Washington area, has said he leads a 'carbon-neutral lifestyle.' To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption,' said his spokeswoman Kalee Kreider." Now, nowhere in this article is a shred of proof that Gore is carbon neutral. In fact, I would submit to you that "carbon neutral" is impossible. As long as you are breathing it's not possible to be carbon neutral. This whole thing is a scam. So his carbon neutrality comes from solar panels and compact fluorescent bulbs. If he were doing all of that his bills wouldn't be so high.
CALLER: Since this environmentalism is the religion of the left, doesn't this sound an awful lot like the selling of indulgencies during the Middle Ages?
RUSH: Yeah. I've had a bunch of people make that comparison. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but you could basically go to the church and get permanence to sin.
CALLER: For money.
RUSH: For money. Just give the church money, and they would absolve you of the sin.
CALLER: Another thing is, if you speak against the environmentalism, they will bring you up before the inquisition.
RUSH: Yeah. We are called by those people global warming deniers.
CALLER: Yeah. Now, if you bring this all to light and nail these people to the door of the church, you know what that makes you?
CALLER: A modern day Martin Luther.
RUSH: (Laughing.) Fine. We'll start the new religion of Rushism.
RUSH: I appreciate the call, Steve. I've gotta run here. But, the whole thing is plastic banana, good-time rock 'n' roll. It's phony bologna. It's a house of cards. It's a bunch of mirrors. But, yeah, go on eBay and sell some carbon offsets.
RUSH: Here are the details on offsets. This is a good story from December 19th of 2006, to show you how old the program is. San Francisco Chronicle: ?The fight against global warming has created its own odd market, one in which companies sell their ability to remove greenhouse gases from the air. Some of these companies plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide. Others create systems to capture methane produced by dairy cows. Some build windmills to generate electricity that otherwise would come from power plants burning coal or natural gas.? Do you people realize how absurd that paragraph is? They plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide. This is what Schwarzenegger did. He put his private jet on the carbon registry, and this outfit called TerraPass promises to go out and plant X-number of trees for every carbon footprint that Schwarzenegger's plane leaves. The second aspect of the paragraph: ?Others create systems to capture methane produced by the dairy cows.? What this means, ladies and gentlemen... May I be blunt? What this means is that somebody, somewhere claims to have a system to go out and extract the methane from cow farts.
Now, do you people know how many head of livestock there are in this country? Would somebody explain to me the system whereby this is done in such a way that it makes an iota's worth of difference? That's what I'm asking. How do you know when it has happened? Obviously I guess you can smell it, but... (interruption) No, don't give "the sly look of the cow." Cows don't give you a sly look when they do that. That reminds me of another silly story. Somewhere in Pennsylvania some cow fell through a lake that had a thin sheet of ice. A farmer called a rescue team that brought a tow truck out and they're dragging this cow out of there and the reporter writes that, ?other cows were looking on with concern and fear.? The other cows had no clue what was going on. They're not that smart. They're sitting around chewing their cud, trying to figure out what all the commotion is about.
Just imagine: What is the machine? What is the machine that traps methane from cow gas? Do you understand how preposterous this is? And then, windmills. ?To generate electricity that otherwise would come from power plants burning coal...? Would somebody show me the evidence -- somebody tell me, somebody show me anywhere -- where one windmill has reduced one watt of power output from any power plant anywhere? The Dutch don't even use windmills for anything anymore other than for portraits. Now, who buys these carbon offsets? ?Companies or individuals who want to offset the amount of carbon dioxide they pump into the atmosphere as part of their everyday lives.? This a December 19th, 2006 story. ?That market got one of its biggest boosts last week when Pacific Gas and Electric Co. jumped in. The utility, California's largest, announced a program that will let its customers calculate and offset the amount of carbon dioxide their power supply produces.?
That's right! There's a website you can go to now and calculate your own carbon footprint. ?The average residential customer who volunteers for the program will spend an estimated $4.31 each month, with the exact figure based on how much electricity and natural gas the person uses. Businesses that buy power from PG&E also can participate.? So you volunteer to calculate and offset the amount of carbon dioxide that your power supply produces, and if you volunteer to do this, you will get charged an estimated $4.31 every month for the privilege -- and if you care more, you can give more. That's absolutely right. If you care more you can give more than the $4.31. ?Executives at San Francisco's PG&E expect about 4 percent of their customers to sign up in the next three years, generating about $20 million. That money will be spent restoring or conserving California forests.?
Is this not a scam?
Is this not one of the greatest scams you have ever heard come down the pike? And now the power companies are in on it so they can get the benefit of caring as well. ?Nothing compels people to join the program, which is scheduled to begin in spring. Like all companies participating in this new market, PG&E is betting on the altruism of its customers.? They're not betting on that. They're betting on the stupidity of their customers falling prey to all these horror stories. If you people do this, here's what I want you to do. You people out in California buying this program, I want you 00 after a certain passage of time -- to call PG&E and go see your trees. Demand to see your trees. The trees that they have planted in your name, demand to see them. You are going to be paying $4.31 to offset your carbon footprint. You demand to see the tree. You demand to see the machine that's extracting the methane and doing what with it -- by the way, from cow farts. You demand to see all of this. You're paying for it. Then, while you're at it, demand that you have your power in an account with no Social Security number. This is big in banking now. There are any number of potentials.
Now... ??The average consumer wants to be part of the solution. They want it to be easy, and they want it to be clear,' said Tom Arnold.? Tom Arnold started a company in Menlo Park called TerraPass, which ?gives people a way to calculate how much carbon dioxide they pump into the environment. They can then pay money, through TerraPass, to fund projects that will offset those greenhouse gases. In the two years since it formed, TerraPass has signed up 26,000,? suckers, ?customers and funded 11 projects involving wind power, energy efficiency and the capture of methane from cows. The small company, privately held, has not yet turned a profit, although it hopes to do so in the first quarter of 2007.?
No, it's not the Tom Arnold.
?'We like to say that, in theory, we're for-profit,' Tom Arnold said.?