Yesterday on Fox News’s Hannity’s America, host Sean Hannity attempted to blame Al Gore for skyrocketing global food prices:
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.”
Fox News also promoted the segment on its website with the headline, “Gore’s Grocery: Blame Al Gore for your rising food prices.” Watch it:
Hannity pins ethanol production — and hence, the entire food crisis — on Gore by pointing to a 1998 statement in which the then-vice president said he was “proud to stand up for the ethanol tax exemption when it was under attack in Congress.” But as Ellen at News Hounds points out, Hannity failed to mention that more recently, Gore has endorsed cellulosic ethanol over corn-based ethanol.
Additionally, there is no one cause for the food shortage. Biofuel production has been a factor but is not solely responsible. The real culprits are: changing diets, global warming and drought, high energy costs, and investors fleeing the dollar and going into commodities.
Later in the segment, Hannity once again attempted to smear Gore by falsely stating that he said Tropical Cyclone Nargis was a consequence of “global warming.” As The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson pointed out, this allegation is based on a doctored clip of an NPR interview with Gore.
HANNITY: 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.”
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: 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? [...]
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 bear.
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.