First hanging chads, now an energy pig

03.01.07 | 3 Comments

Al Gore can’t win – even when he does win as evidenced by the 2000 US Presidential Election and now the Oscars, he seems to somehow lose in the court of public opinion.

I’m no Al Gore lover, I thought he was the lesser of two evils in the 2000 election (I’m still steamed about Gore “inventing the Internet” and the music ratings advanced by his spousal unit in the 1980s.) The attention given to “An Inconvenient Truth” is annoying, but helpful in raising awareness about climate change.

Now Tennessee Center for Policy Research alleges Gore is an energy pig, reporting the consumption of 221,000 kilowatt hours in the past year. OK, it turns out that it was really 191,000 kilowatt hours (there’s that new math instruction hitting home again,) that the Center didn’t ever contact the utility for the information, and that the Center declines to state their electric power consumption for their executive leadership. Let’s just stipulate that Gore is a rich guy with a big house, 10,000 square feet. He’s got a heated pool, an electric gate, and gas lamps lining his driveway (though I fail to see the electric connection on the latter issue.)

Could he conserve more? Undoubtably. We all could – I suspect the Tennessee Center for Policy Research could as well. What is he doing? He’s paying a premium for “green energy” adding $432/month to his power bill. The house is in the process of solar panel installation. Because Gore is a rich guy with a big house that consumes lots of energy, does that mean climate change is a myth? Does that mean he’s a hypocrite given that he’s offsetting his consumption with available green options?

Rather than spending time and resource attacking an admittedly easy target in Gore, why not actually advance a policy that advocates the replacement of coal powered electric generation with renewables. Nah. That’s boring, no one would blog about it, there wouldn’t be any press releases. That sounds like work…..and there we have it. Work. We’ve all got to conserve as we can (I’d like to see Gore make a little progress on that but people in glass houses….) and work to use the renewable technologies available to start closing the gap now as well as work to improve and invent new technologies to make it happen.

Here’s your challenge Tennessee Center for Policy Research: Advance a policy that solves the problem. When you can do that, even if it’s a stupid policy, you’ll earn some airtime. Until and unless you do that, you’re part of the problem.

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