Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fake Steve Jobs Makes Global Warming Activism His Bitch



This is literally the funniest and most insightful post I've read in months.

I actually believe that there is a pretty good chance that releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere is likely to raise global temperatures, but I am also very skeptical of the catastrophist viewpoint (AKA ManBearPig).

That's why I loved this Fake Steve post--it's insightful and punctures hypocrisy in equal measure. South Park would be proud. Here are some of the tidbits:

"Imagine that instead of global warming what we were facing was a giant asteroid the size of the moon hurtling straight for our planet, expected to make impact in, oh, about ten years. In other words, if you really believe that global warming is about to destroy the planet, why haven't you quit your job and moved to the top of a mountain somewhere to escape the rising ocean levels? Why aren't you stockpiling food? Why aren't you going door to door, telling everyone to run for their lives? Why aren't you doing something? (And no, building a $100,000 electric roadster doesn't count as doing something.)"

"Honestly, no matter where you are, if Branson gets on board you know there's something profoundly wrong with the project. It's the business equivalent of finding out that some movie has Donald Sutherland in it."

"Every VC in the Valley has a hard-on for greentech because it's the first market they've ever seen where they can mitigate their risk by laying it off onto governments (ie taxpayers). The trick is to spread lots of hype and put pressure on governments (hence Kleiner hires Al Gore) so that governments will provide subsidies to keep these venture-funded startups alive until they can be flogged off onto the public markets. They'll sell these stocks to dentists and they'll use the same pitch that Toyota uses on the Prius -- sure it's overpriced, but think how good you'll feel"

"The great thing about this approach is not simply that it will let obscenely rich scammers get even more obscenely rich off the backs of taxpayers and suckers in the public markets, but that it also will enable these rich assholes to feel really good about themselves while they're doing it. They can run around feeling sanctimonious about doing something meaningful with their lives. They also can feel a little less weird and guilty about having so much money.

Because believe me, almost everyone who has more than a billion dollars feels really weird and guilty about the money. (Larry Ellison and I are rare exceptions.) Rich dudes always need some kind of weird hobby (ballooning; mountain-climbing; building $100,000 electric sports cars; going into outer space with the Russians) and some kind of meaningful cause. If that cause gets you lots of good press and also involves flying your jet to exotic islands and partying with hired dancing girls in bikinis, so much the better."

2 comments:

misanthropy today said...

great, great post. I linked it.

Most of these fashionable high-left environmental causes are held at bay by huge amounts of dinner party yapping and snappy bumper stickers, apparently.

Foobarista said...

I strongly suspect that greentech may well be the thing that kills the Valley. Why bother actually trying to deliver value when you can peddle save-the-world snake-oil to the Feds? You get lots of cash, plenty of fawning media coverage, and you don't have to work very hard.

And you can make pious speeches at Davos. And, if you're really connected, the UN. And you'll do all this while enjoying your CO2-offset fleet of yachts and personal jets.

What a Deal!

After all, who needs those smelly, nerdy Valley techies? NGO babes and media stars are a much more attractive crowd.