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Al Gore's Carbon Footprint Is Big.


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February 27, 2007

Al Gore's Carbon Footprint Is Big.

Bruce Nussbaum

I've wanted to write a piece on the carbon footprints of famous people who are for sustainability and against global warming because I've noticed that many of them live in many very big houses, drive many very big cars and fly in private jets. The World Economic Forum in Davos was "carbon neutral," despite all these folks flying it to attend, because in large part, people donated money to third world countries to plant trees or build hydoelectric dams for electricity. The upcoming TED conference is supposed to be carbon neutral as well and I am curious to see how they do it. Will people be flying into the TED conference in Monterey, CA in their private jets and paying peasants to plant more trees in the Amazon to stay carbon neutral? And does it matter as long as the planet keeps its cool?

But before I could write my story, Al Gore got an Oscor for An Inconvenient Truth and someone did some analysis of his carbon footprint and found it was pretty big. I don't know much about the source.

Here's the story:

MONDAY • FEBRUARY 26, 2007

A VERY INCONVINIENT TRUTH: POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER 'TRUTH':

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore's mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] 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.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore's energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore's extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore's mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

"As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use," said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006."

OK. We need to do carbon footprints of lots of people--but how do you measure it? House/houses size, cars, private jets--what else should we include. And how do you offset these with hybrid cars, solar heating, wind turbines, etc.?

We need an algorithm folks. Got one out there?

***

07:49 PM

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Al can help offset his carbon footprint by installing a portable windmill in front of his podium. When he talks, the green energy generated can be pumped back into the power grid.

Posted by: woody at March 2, 2007 08:50 PM

This story has been completely debunked long before you published it.

Whenever you see something promoted by a right-wing organization, you should assume it's false until proven otherwise.

Posted by: Michael at March 2, 2007 09:10 PM

Gore's publicist responded that he purchases energy credits and donates to various places to offset his carbon footprint (such as what you were talking about in the intro to this post).

I guess you just have to believe who you want to believe.

Posted by: JC at March 4, 2007 10:49 AM

Debunked?? His energy bill is public record and it is exactly what they claimed it was. Why is it some Hype-Master like Al Gore has defenders when it is proven hes a total hypocrite?

Buy 'offsets'? Yeah, from his own company which btw is tax exempt. Al runs around telling everyone they need to conserve, starts his own 'Carbon Offset' company, and tells everyone they can buy carbon offsets for their energy usage. So if everyone were to believe Al Gore's theory, who will end up making a lot of money? Al Gore.

Now thats Convenient.

Posted by: Rich K at March 6, 2007 10:17 PM

Right because Left-Wing news sources tend to be completely objective and neutral about what they report. If only those right-wing liars would learn...

Posted by: Chris at March 12, 2007 05:05 PM

Al just needs us to use less power so there is more for him. So, I cut off my power and have to use the computers here in the public library. I am doing my part for you Al Gore my hero.

Posted by: Joe Mackenlly at March 15, 2007 03:02 AM

Al Gore is the typical liberal, do what I say not as I do. Does anyone believe that Barbara Streisand air-dries her clothes like she tells people to do on her website? Why hasn’t Al Gore converted his house power to wind power? He has told all of us to do it. I don’t believe anything that the libs say. It saves me a lot of time and effort. But I am still really scared by people that freely believe the manure spewed by the left because it makes their feelings tingle. When you grow up and stop making decisions based on your feelings you will be amazed by what you can accomplish. This post has been made by an evil conservative. I believe in teaching people to help themselves instead of giving a free handout. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for live, give them a fish you feed them for a day.

Posted by: Jennifer at March 15, 2007 06:01 PM

What we REALLY need is an "Al Gore ithm" to calculate just how much hot air is being spewed forth every time this hypocrite opens his mouth!!! Not that we'll ever hear much about this due to the fair-and-balanced approach of the liberal media; kind of like the coverage (what coverage, when did this happen) of Sandy Berger stealing classified documents relating to investigation of the 911 terrorist attacks vs. the "outing" of CIA operative Valerie Plame by Scooter Libby (which apparently was not really much of a secret, as her husband Joe Wilson "outed" her at nearly ever cocktail party they attended). End result, nothing has been done to Sandy Berger, and Scooter Libby may be going to jail for lying to the FBI (not for the "outing", but trying to cover it up). Seems fair, huh?!?!

Posted by: David at March 17, 2007 04:56 PM

I believe these 'offsets' are more commonly known as 'indulgences'.

This is the ultimate scheme of all time dating back at least to the Romans. Pay his website (him) to have your carbon score reduced. (???)

Posted by: Larry Schadler at March 19, 2007 01:20 PM

Today 27 th of March an article was published by The Miami Herald Metro & State section that discloses the findings of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The study's lead author and geographer Jack Williams warns that if Co2 and other greenhouse gases go unchecked temperatures in tropical and sub-tropical areas could rise by 5 to 7 degrees bt the end of the century.That will mean less rain carrying ominous implications for a region already impacted by water-use restrictions.The study, released Monday states that Florida weather as we know it could boil over and be replaced with warmer,dryer and unknown conditions in today's world.

Posted by: Rene Volpi at March 27, 2007 08:16 PM

You'd think if he was smart enough to invent the internet that he could figure out a way to use less polution @ his two homes,at his Zink mine & also on his plane.

Everyone should have more "energy awareness" including him (maybe him more than others)!!!

Posted by: kate at April 3, 2007 04:35 AM

When Al moves into an energy efficient 3,000 sq ft home on a 1/3 acre lot, drives a Toyota Prius, and starts flying commercial airlines rather than in a private jet, I will worry about my energy consumption.

Posted by: Haha Guy at April 9, 2007 07:06 PM

Yep he pollutes and so do you and I. Now that you all feel better by exposing a fellow polluter, how are you going to change your ways about the factual data concerning global warming? Feel good that you don't like Gore, but shouldn't you stop pointing and get off your duff and do something to contribute? I am sure you are all just yapping your jaws to hear your voice. Action means results.

Posted by: Tman at April 11, 2007 07:03 PM

Instead of ranting you may want to check out Snopes.com's take on Al Gore's energy consumption. http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/gorehome.asp

Yes, it's bigger than it should be and it's too bad he isn't Amory Lovins. But it would appears that the group that put out the information is also having some fun with statistics.

Meanwhile, what are YOU doing about your home energy and auto energy consumption?

Posted by: Dave Brook at April 16, 2007 12:13 AM

Dave,

You ask the right question. Living in NYC, I'm trying to take the subway more often instead of taxis,walking a heck of a lot more, turning the lights and heat out when I leave the apartment, using a bit less and reusing a bit more.

I spend a lot of my time birding so much of my energy goes to saving habitat.

Keep asking that question.

Bruce

Posted by: bruce nussbaum at April 16, 2007 12:28 AM

I equate buying carbon credits as buying penance to get into heaven - money is not a cure-all. Why can't Al and Tipper shut off a few lights, turn down the thermistat and "suffer" like the rest of us. I say "suffer" because we, as Americans, enjoy a lifestyle of exuberance above and beyond the rest of the world yet are unwilling to make small sacrifices for the good of all man-kind.

Posted by: Bakada at April 18, 2007 02:20 AM

Numbers for a house shouldn't be compared to numbers for a house plus two offices minus daily commutes. The average house isn't used during the day, the workplace isn't listed on the footprint calculator, and the daily commute is a HUGE number. And they pay extra to buy from renewable sources, so that large power bill actually means LESS carbon output.

Posted by: Jack at April 20, 2007 04:16 PM

Whether we love Al or George or Hilary or Rudy, the bottom line is that we have a responsibility to our children to conserve, and try to reduce our "carbon footprints" Shoot the messenger if you must, but at least listen to the facts. Don't use the them vs us position,cuz as far as I know, we all live on the same planet.

Posted by: debbie at April 25, 2007 04:08 AM

This information about Al Gore may well be true, but what kind of information are you giving readers to decide whether they believe it or not? I'm shocked you don't seem to know anything about the source and don't even cite the source. That's the kind of shabby rumor-mongering I'd expect from Gawker or The Enquirer. If you want to make a point, then do the legwork to support it.

Posted by: Douglas at April 29, 2007 04:19 PM

All I can say is that. yes we all have the responsiblity to conserve. I just wish people would get off their high and mighty chairs and do something about it (Gore). Also if people would just tell the truth instead of always lying about things then the world would be a better place (Hillary, Bill, Bush). Also if people would stop pulling out the don't judge others card. Come on people we all need to make a million judgements a day. I have to judge if I will wear a style of cloths, if I will hire a certain person, etc etc. So stop saying we can't judge others hipocrites.

Posted by: Bob Elod at May 2, 2007 05:41 AM

I think it is appalling, the leader/spokesperson for the GW movement energy records indict him as an abuser. These are facts, his utility usage showing he does not conserve energy. The problem I see is, the left with not hold their leaders accountable for their actions. I am a conservative and believe in conservation, the only incandesant lights in my home are in the frig, oven and other appliances. I bike to work, weather permitting, 12 miles each way. Forget carbon credits, just tools of the upper-crust. We all should do make strong efforts to protect the environment and if a leader’s hypocrisy is exposed, send him packing.

Posted by: Tim at May 2, 2007 03:06 PM

I'm an environmental activist and I'm appalled by Gore's consumption. The buying of "credits" by him (his defense) only further emphasizes that conservation is only for the poor, and the rich can buy whatever they want, without having to make any sacrifice.

I live in a very small house, heated by solar energy. I grow my own vegetables and eat only small amounts of wild caught animal protein. When the rich guys start living like I do, maybe I'll consider they have something to say to me. Until then, I say "Shut the f*ck up!"

Posted by: Amy at May 6, 2007 06:30 PM

Even if I believed everything I hear from right-wing think-tanks, Al Gore's apparently profligate energy consumption does nothing to change the fact that energy conservation will be necessary to the future survival of our civilization. Should Mr. Gore use less energy? Absolutely. But of greater concern to me is the number of SUVs I see in the NY/NJ area. This is one of those "he who is without sin" issues, and I know of very few who should be casting stones.

Posted by: Alec at May 7, 2007 04:38 PM

Not only is Gore a hypocrite who must believe that only the self-appointed elite should be able to live the good live. The rest of us peasants must scale back and stop asking questions. He is also profoundly wrong on man-made global warming. If global warming is man-made, what accounts for all the warming trends in the long history of Earth? Did cavemen have SUV's and factories? If you want to find a culprit for warming, look to solar activity trends and their correllation to heating and cooling. It is the ultimate in arrogance to believe that we puny humans have the ability to utterly save or destroy the planet. We could all disappear and Mother Earth would barely notice. Yeah, lets not waste and cut pollution as much as possible. We are to be good stewards after all. However, we should not buy into every trend ju-jour and run around like chicken littles.

Posted by: Patrick at May 7, 2007 05:30 PM

Due to these global warming idiots I have had to leave my diesel pick up idling in the drive way every night. If these idiots keep this up we will slip into the ice age they were warning us about back in the 70s

Posted by: Publius at May 8, 2007 02:31 AM


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