When President Bush receives protests as he travels abroad, it’s front-page headline news. Yet, when former Vice President Al Gore is so protested, the media couldn’t care less.
Although the Associated Press did report Gore’s visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to speak at a biofuels conference Friday, virtually no American media outlet picked up the story:
As Gore spoke, outside the hotel demonstrators on bicycles and wearing surgical masks chanted slogans against multinational agribusinesses, saying the biofuel boom will cause deforestation and turn arable land into deserts.
Sadly, there wasn't a lot of details in this piece about the actual protests. Thankfully, I received the following La Nacion article by e-mail yesterday with a translation that offered a lot more insights into the matter:
(DyN) – Environmental militants, from the left and from the Quebracho group protested this afternoon in the neighborhood of Hotel Alvear, where the former US vice president Al Gore is the stellar guest at the 1st American Biofuels Congress.
The demonstration against Al Gore’s presence was in the corner of Ave. Callao and Callao, where the police had installed barricades preventing the access to the hotel, one block away.
The protest started with a group of environmentalists, some of them disguised as victims of pollution, remembering that during Bill Clinton’s administration –from whom Al Gore was his vice president- the USA refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, proposed by the UN for reducing carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.
They also took a big sign reading: “Stop spraying”, referring to spraying flights against coca leaves crops in Colombia.
After the advance of the environmentalists that praised Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez because they consider that corn and soybean are needed for food and not fuel for the big countries, Quebracho arrived with huge flags and banners.
It is indeed a highly-kept secret that as corn prices have skyrocketed across the globe due to the use of ethanol, the world’s poor are being negatively impacted. As reported in paragraphs ten and eleven of the aforementioned AP article:
But a quarter of Argentina's 38 million people remain in poverty five years after an economic crisis, and the middle classes are also squeezed by two years of double-digit inflation. Harvesting the forests and switching ranchland from beef to soybeans for biodiesel will drive up consumer prices even more, they fear.
"Biofuels will bring big business here that will make the rich richer and only bring more hunger and misery to the poor," said Ramon Garcia, a farmer at the protests. "They want to buy up Argentine farmland to damage it and produce biofuels that they'll take back to the United States."
Unfortunately, a Google News search identified that so far, only Forbes.com has published this AP article. This despite the AP making its first edition of the piece available at 3:29 PM EST Friday.
Furthermore, from what I can tell by also doing a LexisNexis search, no other American media outlet has covered this matter.
Yet, foreign press representatives aren't so shy. As reported Friday by Ireland On-line (emphasis added):
Argentina’s government is hopping on the biofuels bandwagon by offering tax incentives for new initiatives and saying five % of the nation’s fuel supply must be biodiesel- or ethanol-based in three years.
But many Argentines are worried that diverting farmland for biofuels – made from corn, sugarcane, palm oil and other agricultural products – will drive up food prices even higher.
Sadly, this is a negative ancillary impact of the new rush to biofuels folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his sycophants in the media not only ignore, but want to hide from the American people as they advance their manmade global warming alarmism.
Maybe this is why the Buenos Aires protests will largely be ignored by America’s press.