Environmentalists like to claim skeptics are making money off hampering global warming regulations, but those same greens are making a lot of money promoting global warming alarmism. Earlier this week, the Feds even took down a green energy scheme that took $1.4 million from taxpayers.
Counting only private money, environmental groups massively outspend their opponents. Opposition to global warming activism only raises $46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks, according to analysis by Forbes. That’s almost six times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups. The undeniable truth is that global warming activists raise and spend far more money than their opponents.
1: Al Gore
The former vice president’s global warming activism has helped increase his net worth from $700,000 in 2000 to an estimated net worth of $172.5 million by 2015. Gore and the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management made nearly $218 million in profits between 2008 and 2011 from a carbon trading company they co-founded. By 2008, Gore was able to put a whopping $35 million into hedge funds and other investments.
Gore also has a remarkable record of investing in companies right before they get huge grants from the government.
2: Elon Musk
This billionaire chairs a number of companies, such as Tesla Motors and SolarCity, which rake in billions in federal green energy subsidies.
In 2014, Musk received $1.4 billion from Nevada taxpayers to build a “gigafactory” for his electric car company Tesla Motors. SolarCity also got a large payout to move to Nevada. Musk helped found SolarCity and still serves as its chairman.
When Nevada changed the way it subsidized solar power in a way that didn’t favor Musk or SolarCity, the company pulled out of of the state.
Tesla also sells lithium ion-battery Powerwalls for a mere $7,340 to store electricity for homes. The original intention of a Powerwall was to make rooftop solar panels economically viable for consumers. Powerwalls are estimated to take approximately 40 years to pay for themselves. Naturally, Tesla only offers five to 10 year warranties and predicts they will last for only 15 years.
3: Warren Buffett
Billionaire Warren Buffett has invested a great deal in electrical utilities, such as NV Energy, and has also taken advantage of lucrative green energy. Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Energy has invested up to $30 billion into green energy sources.
Buffett was instrumental in lobbying the Nevada state government to revise net-metering rules to help utilities. That single policy change caused rival billionaire Elon Musk to lose roughly $165 million in a single day.
4: Vinod Khosla
The Indian billionaire has poured over a billion dollars of his own money, as well as the government’s, into 50 different green energy startups. He has been behind some of the green tech industry’s most spectacular failures. Despite these repeated flops, he’s still pouring money into green energy, according to The New York Times.
Khosla has spent a lot of money investing in ethanol, which is heavily dependent on a federal mandate requiring gasoline sold in the U.S. contain a certain amount of ethanol. Ethanol tax credits are estimated to have cost the federal government up to $40 billion between 1978 and 2012, according to The National Review
Khosla was heavily invested in the ethanol company KiOR, even talking the company up during an interview with 60 Minutes. KiOR went bankrupt in November 2014 and devastated the state of Mississippi, which had given KiOR a $75 million, 20-year, no-interest loan after Khosla assured the state that he would build facilities worth $500 million that would create 1,000 jobs.
5: James Cameron
Film director James Cameron has also profited immensely off environmentalism and holds a long history being green, even claiming that “[w]e need to mobilize like we did during World War II” to fight global warming.
When asked about scientists who were skeptical of global warming, Cameron claimed “I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads. Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I’m not sure they could hear me.”