Friday, March 16, 2007

Just like the cotton gin helped end slavery

The nation's paper of record is tripping over itself this morning as it backtracks from Wednesday's apparently poorly-researched puff piece on the greening of Silicon Valley venture capital firms. It seems someone alerted the Times to the fact that many of the firms it had written so glowingly about for their support of clean energy are actually heavily invested in fossil fuels. Oops.

Here's a sampling of quotes from the article, in which the writer and the subjects continue to defend the industry as "helping to save the world:"

First up, Andrew Tudhope, CEO of Sub-One Technology, a Pleasanton company that manufactures a chemical to make oil drilling cheaper and, not coincidentally, has benefitted from millions in venture capital funding:
“We’re not trying to push an agenda. We’re trying to make money.”
Fair enough. Now how about Erik Straser, partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures in Menlo Park:
"I’m here to make the kind of green my limited partners can spend."
A terrible pun, but at least he's telling the truth. Next up: Joseph Lacob, managing partner at Kleiner Perkins, just down Sand Hill Road:
“If we can improve the efficiencies of the oil and gas exploration, in some ways that’s a green message as well."
I think Joaquin Phoenix said something like this right before he killed his emperor father in Gladiator. To wrap this up, we turn to Wes Raffel, partner at Palo Alto-based Advanced Technology Ventures:
“Is it irresponsible? That’s a good question,” he said. “The answer is: I try not to do irresponsible things. It’s improving efficiency. People are going to use these Earth-given resources to provide energy. It’s going to happen. If you can create infrastructure that helps them do it for less costs” that is a good thing, he said.
We'll take that as a yes.

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