Guest essay be Leo Goldstein
The story of Silicon Valley’s embrace of climate alarmism and all things hard Left went from mystery to crime thriller. In fact, Al Gore played an enormous role in Silicon Valley’s transformation from technological marvel into marketing/finance/software/censorship hub, animated by Leftist passion for destruction and deep-ecology anti-humanism, both amplified by artificial intelligence.
No, this is not because Al Gore invented the internet. In fact, he has never said he did. Al Gore made a much stronger statement: “I took the initiative in creating the Internet …” (1999 video). Inventing is only a small part in creating. Thus, Al Gore pretended to be almost a Creator of the Internet. Of course, it is not true. But he has done a lot to remake the technological industries and the whole U.S. economy in his own image.
Al Gore has been involved in the tech since his vice presidency and after that. From Forbes, 2013:
“Along with cultivating Current [TV], Gore, 64, joined the board of Apple in 2003 and served as a senior adviser on green issues to Google beginning in 2001, three years before the company went public. As of February, Gore, who is still an Apple director, held more than $35 million in stock and options in the Cupertino, Calif. technology firm.”
Al Gore made more than $30M on Apple options alone (1). The eBay billionaire Jeffrey Skoll financed his 2006 movie The Inconvenient Truth. But probably the most important among Al Gore’s connections to Silicon Valley was his role in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) venture capital firm, which he joined as a partner in 2007. He probably is not active today, but his name still appears on KPCB website. He probably retains interest in some of the KPCB investments, and is still liable to the investors as a general partner (VCs are not limited liability corporations). Al Gore remained politically active after he lost 2000 elections. He considered running for President in 2008 and participated in the launch of the notorious “Attorneys General for Clean Power” witch hunt in 2016. His party comrades also remained in the federal and state governments, especially in California and Washington. KPCB is a legendary venture capital firm. Its investments include Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and countless other successful companies in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
In 2013, Larry Bell wrote in Forbes:
“In 2004, Gore co-founded London-based Generation Investment Management (GIM) with Senator Feinstein’s husband, former Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Managing Director David Blood to invest money in businesses that were “going green”. Public filings show that GIM raised profits of nearly $218 million between 2008 and 2011, split among 26 partners. By 2008 Gore was able to put together $35 million into hedge funds and private partnerships through Capricorn Investment Group, a Palo Alto company founded by his Canadian billionaire buddy Jeffrey Skoll, the first president of EBay Inc.
It was Skoll’s Participant Media company that produced Gore’s feverishly frightening science fiction 2006 film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’”
“Gore also found himself to be a sought-after star among elite Silicon Valley investors. In late 2007, he became a senior investment partner at one of the world’s most successful venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins. He was combining forces with longtime friend John Doerr in a joint mission to spur clean tech.
Doerr had won legendary status at Kleiner by betting early on the meteoric rise of Internet start-ups Google and Amazon. But by 2007, he had switched his bets to green energy and vowed to raise $500 million to invest in what he called the next ‘mother of all markets.’” – carbon credits.
“Commissioner Bart Chilton, … has predicted that within five years a carbon market would dwarf any of the markets his agency currently regulates: “I can see carbon trading being a $2 trillion market. … Richard L. Sandor, chairman and chief executive officer of Climate Exchange Plc, agrees and predicts trades eventually will total $10 trillion a year.”
Silicon Valley VCs did not want to miss such investment opportunity, and it is not hard to imagine them investing or divesting from unrelated tech companies based on the former vice president’s wishes. The current crop of the “tech” tycoons seems to be a beneficiary of crony capitalism to a larger extent than it was thought. Support for the Internet and internet businesses has been bipartisan, but Al Gore and his accomplices apparently abused their power to aid their investments in seriously unfair ways. I can also speculate that they also influenced the internal politics of the companies in which they invested. In 2012, before being acquired by Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Washington Post wrote (4):
“Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.”
“In last week’s presidential debate, Romney criticized the $90 billion that went to promote green technology, saying a number of businesses owned by Obama campaign contributors were winners.”
“Gore’s investments coincided with the government’s largest investment in clean tech. A full 10 percent, estimated at $80 billion to $90 billion, of the 2009 stimulus package was devoted to clean energy.”
Gore’s investments did not “coincide” with the government’s ones – he and his accomplices caused flow of the taxpayer’s money into his and his buddies’ pockets. But the focus of this article is on the GFTM and other Silicon Valley “successes” that threaten our freedom now. This is how Charley Munger, the right hand of legendary Warren Buffet, described Al Gore’s investment strategy:
“So his idea when he went into investment counseling is he was not going to put any CO2 in the air,” Meager [Munger] explained to the investors noting that Gore’s simple strategy of buying only service company stocks enabled the former Vice President to become very rich.
Meager [Munger] explained: “So he found some partner to go into investment counseling with and says we’re not going to have any (carbon dioxide). But this partner is a value investor and a good one. So what they did is, is Gore hired staff to find people who didn’t put CO2 in the air. Of course that put him into services. Microsoft and all these service companies were just ideally located. And this value investor picked the best service companies. So all of a sudden the clients are making hundreds of millions of dollars and they are paying part of it to Al Gore. Al Gore has hundreds of millions dollars in your profession. And he’s an idiot. It’s an interesting story. And a true one.”
Munger might think that Al Gore won by chance, betting on a single sector despite the ordinary wisdom of diversifying investments. But, he is only half-right. Al Gore and his fellow Democrats actively stifled and damaged other economic sectors. This made Gore’s investments stand out compared to the broad market. Democrats used government power to persecute almost all economic sectors, making physical goods and services: energy industries (including oil and gas exploration, extraction, transportation, and refining; coal, nuclear, and hydro-power), mining, manufacturing, pharma, health care, even staple foods. Excuses for persecution included environmental protection, affordable health care, employees’ benefits, anti-discrimination, etc. (the effects include $20T debt, vulnerable electrical grid, losses of jobs and health insurance, but this is out of scope of the article). The means were legislation, regulations and, the worst of all, litigation. Silicon Valley has obviously benefited from the forced divestment from energy and infrastructure sectors – something that Trumps has vowed to fix, incurring Silicon Valley’s wrath. Within the hi-tech sector the effects were offshoring manufacturing and the wealth redistribution from technology and infrastructure builders all over the country to the content and app providers in Silicon Valley and Hollywood.
The Al Gore’s logic in preferring companies producing digital services to those producing physical goods was that former ones consumed energy, thus contributing to “climate change” while the latter did not. In the high school, Al Gore scored 488 out of a possible 800 in physics (5), and comments on his reasoning is unnecessary. I guess that some scientists and engineers from manufacturing companies did not know that and argued with Gore on global warming, unknowingly sealing their fate.
Our hi-tech has been gored almost as badly as the academic science. The technology-intensive industries have been replaced almost entirely with the software mono-culture. Physicists, chemists, mathematicians, and manufacturing engineers with various specializations have been replaced with programmers who are being replaced by ‘app developers’ and people whom Eric Schmidt calls “smart creatives.” They are also ardent globalists, and oppose any assertion of the American sovereignty. This combination of ignorance, anti-patriotism, and corruption leads them to sedition.
I don’t intend to lay all the blame at the feet of Al Gore and his buddies. But I hope that this crime thriller will have a happy ending: perp walks, indictments, trials, and convictions.
- The term Silicon Valley is used here broadly, including “similar” corporations, especially Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia, located in the Washington state.
- The attribution to Al Gore of the “inventor of the Internet” phrase became a strawman argument and probably spread through repetitive debunking by sundry “fact checkers.” Internet technology was invented in 1969. The internet prototype known as ARPANET was deployed in the Department of Defense. The word internet was coined in 1974 (RFC 675). By 1991, the Internet already had about a million hosts.
- I cannot get used to how quickly the Left rewrites history, and how uncritically the public accepts this re-written history. In the fake net neutrality “Battle for the Net”, a number of special interest groups and content producers, most of which ride the Internet like fleas ride a dog, are depicted as “the team Internet”. The companies that have built up a large portion of the Internet, such as AT&T and Verizon, are depicted as enemies of the Internet. See also Who’s behind “Battle for the Net” and Net Neutrality Realism.
- Al Gore’s GIM claims $17B under management and describes its investment strategies as follows: “We are one Firm with four high-conviction strategies – Global Equity, Asia Equity, Growth Equity and Global Credit.” It’s no surprise that Al Gore is against putting America First.
Disclosure: I hold short positions in GOOG, AMZN, FB, and TWTR.