Battlepanda: Gore the Energy Hog


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gore the Energy Hog

Is Al Gore a hypocrite?
Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

So I haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth" so I cannot evaluate whether the claims of the so-called "non-partisan" Tennessee Center for Policy Research is accurate and Gore really exhorted Americans to personally cut down on electricity usage while he splurged. If so, he is clearly a hypocrite.

However, the problem of global warming is wayyy beyond the capability of personal virtue to solve.

For instance, there is no doubt in my mind global warming is a real phenomenon, but I still fly, blast the air con, take taxis etc. etc. Why? Because I am not a sucker. Why should I deny myself my comforts when everybody else is pumping out CO2 anyhow?

However, I am in favor of a carbon tax. Sure, I'll be paying more for gas and other stuff, but so will everyone else. So, unlike unilaterally cutting my own output, my sacrifice might count for something in terms of my future well-being.

What I've seen Gore do very effectively is raising awareness about the issue of climate change and arguing that we should do something about it collectivelly. Not
because we liberals are all secretly commies and love to do things collectively but because it is the only fair and effective way to cut aggregate carbon output. The aforementioned carbon tax, cafe standards, investments in alternative fuel...

The difference between Al Gore and like Bill Bennett is that Bennet really is a hypocrite since he gambles and while telling the rest of us that gambling is an intrinsically immoral act. I've never heard Al Gore say that using electricity is somehow intrinsically immoral.