the tennessee center for policy research spouts bullshit about al gore

Fresh off his Oscar for Best Documentary and nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize—I’m at a loss to say which is the greater honor—Al Gore has come under attack by a conservative Tennessee think tank. Hilarity ensues.

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is claiming that Gore’s mansion uses twenty times the electricity of the average Tennessee home. Therefore, they say, Gore is a hypocrite. Alright, technically they don’t use the word “hypocrite.” Their press release says, “Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.” One is a noun, the other is an adjective (and mentions a gold statue!). I’m just trying to be as fair and accurate as possible, unlike the TCPR.

Surely, if the TCPR were fair minded, they’d mention that Gore is planning to install solar panels to power his residence. Surely, they’d mention that he’s already purchasing enough renewable energy to offset his houses’ energy consumption. And, oh yes, I’m sure they’d mention that the average Tennessee home is not a ten thousand square foot mansion. These things have just got to be on the TCPR site somewhere. I just haven’t found them yet.

The ambiguously named Tennessee Center for Policy Research (as these “research foundations” always are) seems to be confusing a lot of media outlets into mistakenly billing them as an environmental organization. They are not. From the TCPR’s own FAQ:

TCPR concentrates on four primary areas: tax and budgetary issues, education, healthcare and property rights. We occasionally address other topics including government transparency and technology policy.

At no point does the word “environment” ever come up. I suppose “property rights” is kind of, sort of, close, but these people aren’t exactly Greenpeace. Or even Exxon.

Like all these dubious research groups, the TCPR feigns objectivity while twisting the truth and carefully spinning every aspect of itself to look credible. Three of the TCPR’s PhD “scholars” (I use quotes only because it’s their word, not mine) are listed as hailing from Belmont University in Tennessee. To its credit, Belmont University is a perfectly respectable and academically neutral institute of higher learning. The problem is, the only advanced degrees offered at Belmont are related to teaching and physical therapy. TCPR misleading gives the impression that these scholars received their doctorates at a Tennessee university to increase its local credibility. I picked one scholar, Dr. Amy Sturgis, at random (I swear), and found that most of her writing concerns mythology and literature, such as the entertainingly titled, “Harry Potter is a Hobbit”. The closest she gets to policy-making are some analytical papers on Native Americans in the 1700s. I don’t mean to pick on Dr. Sturgis, really, but in all honesty, her academic work is barely connected to the work of the TCPR. The fact that the TCPR is willing to associate with just about any accredited scholar that crosses its path (and does so in deceptive ways) shows what kind of dishonest organization it really is.

How can anyone trust a single word of the TCPR’s press releases? Why are major media outlets giving them any airtime at all? I, like many, am calling bullshit.

Nothing, however, can beat the deranged propaganda that comes from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (apparently they’re an institute for competitive enterprises). Please watch the hilarious videos titled, “Energy,” “Glaciers,” and “Al Gore: An Inconvenient Story,” in which the CEI claims that Al Gore is killing the world with emissions from the air travel to and from his Inconvenient Truth presentations. “CO2: Some call it pollution. We call it life.”



  1. GDeeeeZL wrote:

    Was that carbon dioxide graphic in the Inconvenient Story short pasted in from a video game? It looks like somebody just had fun with Photoshop and scribbled a bunch of white on a map of the US. The other two videos I find particularly hilarious. “We call it life.” Plants breathe carbon dioxide so it’s OK that there’s an overabundance….I guess they chose to leave out scenes of forest cutting and burning that “light up our lives.” Anyway, there’s the “Inconvenient Truth” perspective and there will always be opposition. Still, if you look through the bios of the staff at CEI you will find many backgrounds in economics….free enterprise….well, it all seems to add up to dollars and cents, and more dollars. No matter what, I don’t see the harm in having your local mob of soccer moms and rustic father figures trade in their SUVs and Dodge extended cabs for something a little more efficient. If you have one kid and one soccer ball, you don’t need a Range Rover. If you moved that one birch stump from your front lawn last season, you don’t need to maintain a 6mile/gallon fire engine red oversized pickup. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Well, I’m gonna go makeout with an oak tree now…or whatever it is we “ecofreaks” do.

  2. E Reed wrote:

    “Ecofreaks?” I still prefer the term, “leaf people.”

    But you have to wonder why anyone would try to maintain a “think tank” operation without a Logic & Reasoning Dept. to point out things like this.

    Good show, Jon.