Beginning in 1988, and until a Republican Congress approved mandates and subsidies for biofuels in 2005 (at which point every Democrat and environmental activist irrationality extolling ethanol must have realized there was something wrong), Al Gore insisted despite a lack of evidence that it was a viable solution to the fossil fuel issue. He saw 'renewable' and didn't look any farther but he is older and wiser now.
What the non-agenda-based section of science (people in the actual energy industry that is, science bloggers fawned over the stuff) knew all along was this would be an expensive boondoggle and accomplish nothing.
And now Mr. Gore, former Vice-President, Oscar winner and Nobel laureate, agrees. "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank. "First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small."
Here's the kicker, and I am shocked he admits it; "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."
He was advocating an energy policy and only accepting certain science he wants to get elected? What a shock.
Yes, I am being critical of him but I always was - and now I am going to stop. When this site first started, the science blogosphere was willing to believe anything Al Gore said, even when they knew it to be scientifically flawed and even when his supporters attacked real scientists who disputed errors he made, like implying that global warming caused Hurricane Katrina and got death threats and calls to be fired over it. No one outside here came to their defense.
Today, Gore has nothing more to prove to anyone, his place in history is set because he at least spearheaded climate issues, so he has the ability to be completely honest now and he is taking it, but it brings home a point I have often made; the War on Science is not banning certain types of research and claiming it is one particular political party, the War on Science is politicians who engage in promotion of some data over other data because it suits their political or cultural agenda. That is bad for everyone.
So it isn't just Republicans or Democrats in a War on Science, it is any politician who is using science as a cultural resource to exploit.
Al Gore accepts science at last: Corn ethanol "was not a good policy"