I just read Al Gore’s piece on sustainable capitalism in the Wall Street Journal, a subject I’m sure is near and dear to your baby boomer clients. It appears next to a story entitled “Business braces for cooler climate.” While that headline refers to the business climate in light of a Democrat takeover and cooling economy, it’s an interesting juxtaposition none-the-less. Given the state of the economy, Gore senses (correctly) that timing is everything. While chock-full of vague, high-minded rhetoric, he makes yet another impassioned plea to take action against man-made climate change.
“We need to internalize externalities — starting with a price on carbon,” he writes. Gore has a significant stake in a carbon credit business, so it’s easy to understand this urgency. But it’s his repetition, yet again, of one of his more fanciful goals that undercuts his remaining credibility — that America generate 100 percent carbon-free electricity within 10 years. Even his supporters have told him to back off this one. At best we’re estimated to produce about 4 percent of our electricity needs from renewable resources by 2018, according to Energy Information Administration statistics reported by the always indispensible Bret Stephens.