Al Gore, Working in A Zinc Mine and Going Down Down

Al Gore = fish in barrel (via Glenn Reynolds):

Al Gore Jr. received more than $500,000 in royalties from the owners of zinc mines who held mineral leases on his farm near Carthage, Tenn. Now the mines have a new owner and are scheduled to reopen later this year.
Before the mines closed in 2003, they emitted thousands of pounds of toxic substances and several times, the water discharged from the mines into nearby rivers had levels of toxins above what was legal.
State environmental officials say the mine has had a good environmental record and there is no evidence of unusual health problems in the area.
But the mine’s reopening again raises concerns about threats to the environment.
Find out more about how Gore became connected to mining, what’s happened at the mines through the years and what the former vice president is asking the new owners to do in the Sunday Tennessean and at

Stay tuned.
Hey, wait a sec…are there such things as Zinc offsets?
UPDATE:Here’s the link to the Sunday piece. Big headline, but–after press inquiries–VP Gore dashed off a letter:

Last week, Gore sent a letter asking the company to work with Earthworks, a national environmental group, to make sure the operation doesn’t damage the environment.
“We would like for you to engage with us in a process to ensure that the mine becomes a global example of environmental best practices,” Gore wrote.
Victor Wyprysky, the company’s president and chief executive officer, did not respond to requests for comment on the letter.
The letter was sent the week after The Tennessean’s Washington bureau posed questions to the former vice president about his involvement with the mine.

And further down:

In its last year of full operation in 2002, the Gordonsville-Cumberland mines ranked 22nd among all metal mining operations in the U.S., with about 4.1 million pounds of toxic releases. The top releasing mine, Red Dog Mine in Alaska, emitted about 482 million pounds that year. In 2002, Smith County ranked 39th out of more than 3,000 U.S. counties for lead compound releases and 21st for cadmium releases, according to tallies by Scorecard, a Web site run by environmentalists that compiles federal data.
Even Gore noted in his letter that, according to Scorecard, “pollution releases from the mine in 2002 placed it among the ‘dirtiest/worst facilities’ in the U.S.”

There are some who see hypocrisy:

[N]ow that the mine is reopening and Gore’s status as an environmentalist has grown, some of Gore’s neighbors see a conflict between the mining and his moral call for environmental activism.
“Mining is not exactly synonymous with being green, is it?” said John Mullins, who lives in nearby Cookeville. A conservative, Mullins welcomes the resumption of mining for the benefits it will bring the community. But he says Gore’s view that global warming is a certainty is arrogant and that by being connected to mining, Gore is not “walking the walk.”

And some who don’t:

Earthworks president and chief executive Stephen D’Esposito said Gore’s involvement with mining doesn’t bother him “in any way, shape or form.”
“We are going to have mining. The question is doing it in the right place and the right way,” said D’Esposito, who has not studied the Carthage mines.

But here’s the problem for Al Gore, as explained by Glenn Reynolds:

That said, it’s not clear that Gore himself has done anything wrong, though he’s clearly made money from a project that’s pretty environmentally unfriendly. But this will add to the perception that Gore’s green talk is hypocritical, I suspect. As I’ve noted below, if you adopt a quasi-messianic posture, people will judge your actions very differently than if you do not.

UPDATE II: {See extended entry}.

Mr. Gore is going (back) to Washington to testify before both houses of Congress. Sounds like it could be interesting (according to Drudge:

Proposed questions for Gore, which are circulating behind-the-scenes, have been obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT — question that could lead Gore scrambling for answers!
Mr. Gore: You have said several times that we have 10 years to act to stave off global warming. Was that 10 years from the first time you said that or 10 years from now? We just wanted to get a firm date from you that we can hold you to.
Mr. Gore: How can you continue to claim that global warming on Earth is primarily caused by mankind when other planets (Mars, Jupiter and Pluto) with no confirmed life forms and certainly no man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions also show signs of global warming? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the sun is responsible for warming since it is the common denominator?
Mr. Gore: Joseph Romm, the executive director for the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, has said we must build 700 large nuclear plants to stave off climate change. Where do you stand on the need for nuclear energy?
Mr. Gore: Do you think the earth is significantly overpopulated and that is a major contributor to your view of climate change. (If yes, what do you think is a sustainable population for the planet?

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Matt Jerzyk
17 years ago

Not to “shoot” yourself in the foot, but it’s “barrel.”

17 years ago

“Hey, wait a sec…are there such things as Zinc offsets?”
Don’t forget, Marc, zink-oxide is the stuff people put on their noses to prevent sunburn. Al is cashing in on global warming.

Brian Mc
Brian Mc
17 years ago

Could Cookson Ltd. be the owners of the zinc mines.We should check with Don Carcieri (polluter in cheif)

Marc Comtois
17 years ago

Matt, By using the “ll”s in barrel, I was implying that it was a double-“barrell” shotgun. Right……..Anyway, I fixed it, thanks. (The perils of posting whilst running out the door!)

17 years ago

The “Do as I say, not as I do” from the enviro-wackos is getting a little old.
Use alternative energy. Unless it obstructs my view of the ocean.
Use less energy in your home but my house uses 20 times as much as the next house.
Arrive to a screening of your new envirogasm movie with a convoy of Suburbans.
Instead of taking an 80 mile train ride, charter a helicopter (Sting’s wife…)
I’m reminded of the words of the great poet, Denis Leary, who said:
You know what I’m gonna do
I’m gonna get myself a 1967 Cadillac El Dorado convertible
Hot pink, with whale skin hubcaps
And all leather cow interior
And make brown baby seal lions for head lights
And I’m gonna drive in that baby at 115 miles per hour
Gettin’ 1 mile per gallon,
Sucking down Quarter Pounder cheeseburgers from McDonald’s
In the old fashioned non-biodegradable styrofoam containers
And when I’m done sucking down those greeseball burgers
I’m gonna wipe my mouth with the American flag
And then I’m gonna toss the styrofoam containers right out the side
And there ain’t a g#$d%@n thing anybody can do about it

17 years ago

Are you kidding me? You can’t possibly think those Drudge questions contribute anything intelligent to the debate, right?
#1 (and most of this discussion) seems to think that attacking Al Gore is the same as attacking facts about the world. The man presenting the case is not the same as the case itself. There’s a reason ad hominem is a fallacy.
#2 displays an astonishing lack of knowledge about the atmospheric conditions on other planets, and seems to be a textbook example of affirming the consequent.
#3 is nothing more than a distraction. Nuclear power isn’t the answer to climate change, and no one honest claims it is.
And on, and on. This kind of stunt doesn’t help the thinking conservative’s game at all.

17 years ago

Don’t fear the science mrh!

17 years ago

Actually, while I won’t have nuclear power plants pushed on us, Drudge asks very reasonable questions. In fact, here a few more which Mr. Gore or anyone who believes in AGW needs to answer:
– Man contributes less than 5% of global warming gases (CO2, H2O and methane). Yup, ya didn’t know that, did you? Why are we presumed to be the culprit of global warming?
– Earth is 4b years old; we have had climate since 552m years ago. (Before that, it was global warming like you could only dream about.) We have been measuring temps with thermometers for 150 years. How can we say with any certainty that this is not simply a cycle?
– How are all of the pre-industrial periods of global warming explained?
– If GW is manmade, why are China (soon to be the biggest generator of GW gases), India and other countries exempt from Kyoto?
– And the corollary. If GW is manmade, why should the United States wreck its economy (including jobs, lifestyles, IRA’s, TAXES for you Democrats) implementing Kyoto when those exempt countries are going to bring us global warming anyway?

17 years ago

No, Drudge’s questions are not good.
-Man does contribute less than 5% of global warming gases. However, every person who’s bothered to do the slightest bit of research would know that CO2, unlike water (which is the vast majority of greenhouse gases by mass and by volume), is a -forcing- greenhouse gas rather than a -feedback- greenhouse gas. Look it up at Changes in CO2 levels ARE significant to global warming.
-Once you understand the difference between water vapor and CO2,, please look into this article:
-Then, if you feel ready, read this technical NASA paper to get a better idea behind the science that studies the effects of anthropogenic gases on our climate:
-For “natural variability” and historic temperature questions, start with:
…and if you are concerned about solar cycles, follow the link in that article to the solar discussions:
-Regarding a few common misconceptions made famous by William Gray of Colorado State University:
-Check out our recent CO2 concentration history:
-If you were convinced by the “Medieval Warm Period and English Wines” argument, read this:
-If you’re still interested at this point, read the scientists’ review of Al Gore’s film here:
-To SusanD’s last two points: Um, because the United States is supposed to be a world LEADER–as in: not leading the rest of the world into an ecological disaster which could have grave consequences for our species. And, um, because climate is important for every human on the planet, including the citizens of the United States? Why are those countries exempt? Because politicians don’t listen to scientists, and because the participants of the world economy fear the repercussions of enforcing Kyoto on emerging economic powers.

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