Hannity Exposes Gore’s Connection to Ethanol and Higher Food Prices
Since media began recognizing the international food crisis and its ties to biofuels, NewsBusters has been wondering when press members will expose how intricately linked Nobel Laureate Al Gore is to this controversial issue.
On Sunday, Fox News's Sean Hannity finally did just that.
In a segment on "Hannity's America," the host addressed much of what NewsBusters has been reporting for the past several months about this matter, and established a template that hopefully others in the media will emulate if they are indeed interested in helping to solve this growing problem (video embedded right):
HANNITY: This year, nations all over the world are feeling the effects of a global food shortage which has driven the price of basic crops like corn, rice and wheat to an all-time high. So how did this happen? An unfortunate act of nature? Not hardly.
HANNITY: The U.N. World Food Program calls it a silent tsunami that's threatening millions of people on every continent - it's hunger. The price of food staples like rice, wheat and corn are suddenly going through the roof because there are not enough crops to go around. Economists fear this new global food shortage will get worse before it gets better and could result in massive malnutrition all over the world.
JOSETTE SHEERAN, U.N. FOOD PROGRAM: This is something that knows no borders and that is rolling through the world and really increasing the misery index of the world's most vulnerable.
HANNITY: Now, here in the United States, we are just beginning to feel the pain of high food prices. But in low income countries where 50-80 percent of a family's income is spent on food, the shortage is already having a devastating impact. In order to help those nations, President Bush has called for another $770 million in emergency foreign food assistance.
But how did the food shortage become so acute so fast? The growing consensus is that the crop deficit is directly related to the increased demand for production of, quote, "earth friendly" bio fuels, an effort pushed by none other than the vanquished vice president Al Gore and all in the name of quote, "saving the planet."
Now, this is how it works. Global warming alarmists preach that filling our cars with bio fuels like ethanol that that's the answer to protecting the environment. Then, larger portions of food crops are set aside for fuel production which cuts into the amount of corn, rice and wheat that make it to families all over the world. In the end, less available food causes sky rocketing prices. And it's low income families that are hurt the most. Al Gore himself took credit for the increase in the ethanol production in a speech that he delivered to the Third Annual Farm Conference back in 1998.
"I was also proud to stand up for the ethanol tax exemption when it was under attack in congress; at on point, supplying a tie-breaking vote in the senate to save it. The more we can make this home-grown fuel a successful, widely-used product, the better off our farmers and our environment will be."
HANNITY: But a recent study by two professors at the University of Minnesota who specialize in economics and food policy, says misguided policies like that one are to blame for the food shortage that we are all feeling now.
BEN SENAUER, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: With all of this attention bio fuels is getting, it's supplying about three percent of the transportation fuel needs in the United States. If we use the entire corn crop, leave any of it to feed livestock and export, we could supply about 18 percent of our transportation of fuel needs. So in that sense of the word ethanol in and of itself is not the answer.
HANNITY: The connection between bio fuel and the food shortage is so clear that last week, 24 Republican senators sent a letter to the environmental protection agency suggesting a change to the current mandate on ethanol production.
SENAUER: So if you work out the math and you are going to fill up a 25 gallon tank of a big luxury car SUV with pure, 100 percent ethanol, that's going to take about 450 bushels of corn. That corn contains enough calories, something in the order of 2,000 calories a day to feed a person for a year.
HANNITY: But the fact is, Al Gore has a financial stake in spreading global warming hysteria. He's admitted to investing in the kinds of companies that will profit from his plea, to, quote, "Go green." Was Al Gore thinking about saving the planet or perhaps lining his pockets?
So here we have Professor Gore making the rounds to college campuses with his inconvenient documentary convincing impressionable kids that the U.S. is a country full of irresponsible gluttons with giant carbon footprints. The urged the world to conserve energy, turn to bio fuels like ethanol and cut down on air travel.
By the way, did he mention his mode of transportation? No, his private jet usage never came up. Of course, Al Gore's friends in the liberal media jumped on the global warming bandwagon, sounding the alarm on rising sea levels, melting glaciers and demise of the polar bears.
But they continue to ignore the fact scores of scientists all over the world say human activities are not heating up the earth at all. In fact, some studies indicate is poised to begin a period of global cooling. But the network news outlets - well, they never seem to report on that.
So did Al Gore blatantly disregard climate information that he didn't help his bottom line? Or is he just terribly wrong? Instead of making room on the mantel for his Academy Award, maybe Gore should have been looking a little bit harder at the impact of the shortsighted, quote, "go green" agenda. Now that the wheels are coming off of Al Gore's global warming bandwagon, well, even some of his loyal supporters may have to make a choice, "Should I follow Al Gore's half-baked notion to save the planet or feed my family?" The answer should be obvious.
We can only hope -- now that Hannity has let this cat out of the bag -- other media members around the nation will follow suit and start reporting the really inconvenient truth about Nobel Laureate Al Gore.