Is Al Gore Willing to Put His Money Where His Mouth Is?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Forecasting Bet

Last week we told you about an expert in forecasting who challenged Al Gore to a $10,000 bet over who could more accurately predic t global temperature increases.

Professor Scott Armstrong contends that most climate change forecasts use bad methodology, and that global temps will not rise dramatically as Gore predicts.

Now the professor has received his answer from Gore — thanks, but no thanks.

A Gore representative said the former vice president is too busy to take on any new projects at this time.

Environmental Concerts

Gore's Live Earth concerts are set for tomorrow at several sites across the globe.

But now thePeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is furious that the concerts will feature vendors who sell hamburgers and hot dogs.

PETA says selling meat at an environmental concert is like selling cigarettes at an anti-cancer fundraiser. PETA campaigner Yvonne Taylor says in Life Style Extra — "There's no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist. It would be hypocritical to be serving meat at an event for the environment, and if you really cared about the environment, you wouldn't be eating meat in the first place."

A U.N. report says the meat packing industry, with transportation, preparation of feed and then all the methane emitted by the animals creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, ships and planes in the world combined.

Mayor and Newscaster

We have an update on Wednesday’s story about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his romantic relationship with Telemundo newscaster Mirthala Salinas.

Her bosses have placed Salinas on leave while they investigate whether she violated ethics rules by becoming involved with someone she was covering as a reporter. Salinas used to work the political beat and traveled with the mayor on trips to New York and Sacramento.

The Los Angeles Times reports Telemundo executives are also upset with her for using an outside public relations firm to issue a statement about her relationship with the mayor — and not running that past her bosses first.

Image Building

The Chinese government is continuing its pre-Olympic image-building offensive against Beijing's taxi drivers. The latest move — male drivers will be banned from having shaved heads or beards.

This follows earlier rules that prohibit hairstyles that were called "too fancy," — whatever that means — along with sloppy clothing or earrings for women.

Taxi drivers — many of whom sleep and eat in their cars — have also been told they can no longer eat, spit, or smoke in the vehicles.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.