Tim Lambert finds Iain Murray engaged in a contemptible bit of smearing. Previously, the CEI falsely claimed that Al Gore was producing 4,000,000 times as much CO2 as the average person in the course of his daily activities, given his heavy use of air travel. Now it turns out that Gore is trying to make his promotional tour carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets, presumably from organizations like TerraPass. Murray’s response?

Translation: I am rich enough to benefit from executive jets and Lincolns because I pay my indulgences. All you proles have to give up your cars, flights and air conditioning. The new aristocracy; there’s no other way to describe it.

Purchasing carbon offsets is of course a market-based solution to the externalities associated with individual use of cars and air travel and so on. You’d think that the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review would be in favor of that sort of thing. But if Gore is doing it, then it must be the purest form of aristocratic statist elitism.

Back in the day, Murray was the sort of person you could have a reasonable disagreement with. But then he went to work for CEI and he went rapidly downhill. Because he had to follow the CEI line, he began to make stupid mistakes, bad arguments and unsupportable smears. His trajectory is a good illustration of the principle that being paid to follow a certain political line regardless of what the evidence says will turn you into a hack. Taking empty pot-shots at Al Gore is just the latest step down the ladder.