These days, it seems that everyone -- even those elusive "super-rich" billionaire moguls -- has lost a tremendous amount of money due to the current world-wide financial meltdown. But at least one creative entrepreneur has managed to enrich himself handsomely over the last eight years and even keep his future money-making prospects sky-high.
It is Sir Richard Branson? George Soros? Oprah?
Nope. Al Gore.
According to the blog Pro Patria, Gore's "Big Green" business ventures and personal appearances have put nearly $100 million in his pockets during the last eight years:
So just what has Al Gore gained from his Big Green escapades? According to public disclosure information, Gore was worth somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in 2000. Not quite eight years later, Gore is estimated to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. While I ordinarily would applaud such financial gains from such a short period of time, I can't help but to question just how it happened. When you look out at what Al Gore has done, it's evident that he figured out on a way to capitalize on the creation of Big Green while becoming the official doomsday prophet that has helped to build Big Green into the monetary powerhouse that it has become.
How did he do it? The workings of Generation Investment Management are a bit too complex to explain briefly, but Gore and former Goldman Sachs executive David Blood founded GIM as a money management and venture capital firm that invests its portfolio in businesses that place a high priority on environmental responsibility and sustainability. GIM also facilitates the trading of carbon credits; in fact, Gore buys his personal carbon credits through GIM.
Al Gore is also on the board of directors of the World Resources Institute. I'll let Pro Patria fill in the details:
This organization is an environmental "think tank" worth over $55 million and has a donors list that includes Generation [Investment Management], Google, and the United Nations. Interestingly, aside from the $10 million that went into salaries and benefits (plus another million in travel), I can't actually figure out how they spend their money. According to their 990 form, they spend a whole lot of time developing strategies for climate and pollution programs, ecosystem and people programs etc. But they do have nearly $40 million in investments, which includes $18 million in LLC partnerships (which means they have $18 million invested in private companies) which they do not disclose. Personally I am dying to know what that $40 million is invested in, but they do not disclose those details nor do they have any SEC filings (which means they hide their tracks).
And finally there is Gore's pet project, the Alliance for Climate Protection, which has the least amount of transparency of any organization I have ever seen. They do not provide any information on their website regarding their donors or finances nor have they responded to any of my requests for information or for a copy of their 990 form. I do know this much, though: Not only does Al Gore chair this organization, he also donates to these guys and gets to deduct the donations from his taxes. So when he donated his Nobel prize money (wasn't that nice of him?) he was actually getting not only a tax write off, but the money went right back into his own organization!
So while the rest of us face the very real prospect of toiling away under the burden of President Obama's proposed "cap and trade" carbon tax scheme, Al Gore and his banking kingpin partners will be making out like bandits. Must be nice. Pro Patria sums it all up:
In any other industry this would be considered a severe conflict of interest. In essence, Al Gore has helped to create a fictitious catastrophe, then told everybody what the solutions have to be, and then put himself in a position to capitalize on the hype. It's not only seriously dishonest, but many people and industries are going to suffer in the wake of this hype while Gore and Big Green bring in millions (and in some cases, billions) of dollars in green money.
(h/t Gateway Pundit)