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Going green. Somewhat hypocritically.
February 26, 2007 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Awesome: Gore "emphasizing the nonpartisan nature of the climate change threat," and his movie, An Inconvenient Truth netting a Best Documentary Oscar. Not so awesome.
posted by allkindsoftime (153 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I heard Jim Inhofe sleeps in a ditch and shovels dirt over his head to keep warm.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 4:49 PM on February 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


An unattributed smear from a conservative organization. What a surprise.
posted by basicchannel at 4:51 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is old stuff, isn't it? I at least seem to remember people (his political enemies) criticizing Gore for the pollution created by his jet.

Anyway, I'd like to see another source besides some Conservative think tank.
posted by brundlefly at 4:52 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or, what basicchannel said.
posted by brundlefly at 4:53 PM on February 26, 2007


Also, what the hell is up with the formatting of this post?
posted by brundlefly at 4:53 PM on February 26, 2007


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

Wow, that's hardcore.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2007


Also:

Gore said he and his wife, Tipper, who was in the audience, had adopted a "carbon neutral lifestyle."

"We've fallen into this pattern of consuming more and more and more and I'm part of it, I understand," he said.

posted by basicchannel at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2007


The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions.

When you can't attack the message, hit the messenger...
posted by vorfeed at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2007


Yeah, sorry about the html - hit post a little too quickly.

Regardless of the source, I think it speaks to the fact that if Hollywood and DC's elite are going to lead social change, they should do a little more than make a "show" green, whatever the hell that means.

I don't even want to think about the global footprints the neighborhood of Beverly Hills leaves on this planet.
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:55 PM on February 26, 2007


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

Yes! He must live under an overpass, or the information he disseminates is completely useless and patently false!
posted by gurple at 4:56 PM on February 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


Golly. You mean conservatives believe that everyone should use and buy and spend the same (socialism?) or that the wealthy ought not have big homes and lots of goodies? I guess I will try to live modestly and not have wealthy family background or strice to get ahead. That way I can be like the average family.
posted by Postroad at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Best of the web?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:57 PM on February 26, 2007


The real measure of his energy usage would have to factor in the number of people at the estate, size of the estate, any businesses run from there, etc etc. Seems like a very poorly constructed smear.
posted by nomisxid at 4:58 PM on February 26, 2007


Even if it's true, it seems misleading to some extent. I don't really know, but I would assume that Al Gore does more in his estate besides live there... like constantly meets with and entertains high-society people of all stripes, mostly to promote the cause. Inviting them over to his 1-room shack probably wouldn't have the same effect. I do think we should all do our part to conserve, including Al Gore. But I would guess that his estate is also his headquarters for all the things he does, so it's like a business as well as his house. I feel the same about all the plane flights he's supposedly been taking to promote the cause -- it's an "energy investment" and by spending it, there is a possibility for a much greater return on "energy savings". How many people could he really influence in a caravan traveling by camel? We need energy to do just about everything we do, including good things. That is the sad but unfortunate truth of the matter and I think Al Gore has a complex enough understanding of the situation to realize that. It's also not like the action points suggested at the end of An Inconvenient Truth are too terribly burdensome either.
posted by crackingdes at 4:59 PM on February 26, 2007


[this post sucks]
posted by fandango_matt at 5:00 PM on February 26, 2007


Yeah, heaven forbid he should actually spend all that money he's making on actually building a big "green" house in which to entertain his masses.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:01 PM on February 26, 2007


Slanted or not, Al Gore has gotta talk the talk if he wants people to actually listen to him and make some changes.

And when presented with statements of his energy usage, what does it matter who's criticizing him? The facts speak for themselves, regardless if the source is biased.

It's rather disappointing to see, but I'm not surprised. He's like any other citizen 'concerned' with global warming -- only willing to change their lifestyle to the extent that it doesn't affect their comfort... too much.

I personally think it shows that Gore's using An Inconvenient Truth as a platform for his current celebrity. If the guy who made the movie can't spend a minute to figure out how to cut back the electric bills, then how are we supposed to?

But of course, show me the overall trend. Has his energy consumption, despite its amount, been significantly reduced in comparison to say, last year? If so, fine, he's doing more than the average citizen. If not, then it sort of... uh... devalidates him. Entirely.
posted by ageispolis at 5:02 PM on February 26, 2007


Damn, Al Gore has a big house. That must mean that there is no global warming. This is a moronic post.
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 PM on February 26, 2007 [10 favorites]


allkindsoftime writes "Regardless of the source, I think it speaks to the fact that if Hollywood and DC's elite are going to lead social change, they should do a little more than make a 'show' green, whatever the hell that means. "

Until it's something other than a press release with no attribution on a conservative website, it doesn't speak to anything.
posted by brundlefly at 5:03 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


fandango_matt writes "[this post sucks]"

If only there were a place where we could discuss this without crapping in the thread.
posted by mullingitover at 5:03 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


No one is allowed to even mention any environmental issue unless they live a life of Voluntary Simplicity.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:04 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


In case allkindsoftime missed it: Carbon Neutrality/Carbon Offset.
posted by basicchannel at 5:04 PM on February 26, 2007


Gore Responds To Drudge’s Latest Hysterics
posted by taosbat at 5:06 PM on February 26, 2007


Yeah, heaven forbid he should actually spend all that money he's making on actually building a big "green" house in which to entertain his masses.

Have you done it? Do you believe in doing it? No?

Then shut the hell up until you know what you're writing about?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:08 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is a disgrace. When we have the likes of George Bush de-arming roadside bombs in Fallujah and Rumsfeld into his 8th month overseeing the laying of water pipelines in southern Iraq, stuff like this is enough to make the stomach turn.
posted by fire&wings at 5:09 PM on February 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


please ... being a patrician has its privileges, you know ... or did you people think al gore grew up in a log cabin somewhere?

what this really illustrates is the distance between the political elites' lifestyles and how some of them tell us how we should live

go on ... tell yourself he's a man of the people and he's just like you ... but he ain't
posted by pyramid termite at 5:12 PM on February 26, 2007


If I remember correctly, Gore's estate is something like a 300 acre family farm that could very well have several residences on site and support a lot of people.

Still, a $30k annual energy bill is pretty crazy, regardless of the source saying it.
posted by mathowie at 5:13 PM on February 26, 2007


You can't do any better than this?
posted by MythMaker at 5:14 PM on February 26, 2007


The facts speak for themselves, regardless if the source is biased.

Uh, what facts? Why on earth should I believe this sort of unsubstantiated smear?
posted by grouse at 5:15 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Do utilities just give out info on people's energy consumption, or something? It's not so much that the source is biased, but that I don't understand where they got their info.
posted by brundlefly at 5:15 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


That dirty sunofabitch prolly flushes every time he goes!

Let's take 'em down boys.
posted by washburn at 5:16 PM on February 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mathowie, with all respect, I'm real sorry to interject a rural input here, but $30 K for a working farm (ranch), given the circumstances of the owner, ain't all that much. Now if you could show evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it. Otherwise, you're banking on conjecture ... just like Drudge.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:17 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Still, a $30k annual energy bill is pretty crazy, regardless of the source saying it.

You should talk, mathowie, considering that your annual energy bill is $438 million. Hypocrite.

Oh wait, I just totally made that number up, oopsie.
posted by grouse at 5:18 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Whoever thought asking "what should others do" would answer humanity's pressing issues?

How about... say.. what can I do? Living carless, biking to work even through winter, carrying my recycling blocks to the drop off, replacing all bulbs with energy efficient ones in rented spaces even tho I eventually abandon them, buying locally grown food, using the grimiest of old water bottles instead of buying more plastic, and clandestine planting greenery, are not things I do for any reward more than just trying.

The guy is making coal companies think about their pollution; he can applaud himself while frying whale blubber on styrofoam grills for all I care.
posted by sarcasman at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


And thanks to the admins on high for conserving space by reformatting this nightmare. Seriously.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2007


grouse: nonetheless $438m is a lot and I think mathowie hasn't adequately addressed this inexcusable waste of resources.
posted by basicchannel at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yeah, heaven forbid he should actually spend all that money he's making on actually building a big "green" house in which to entertain his masses.

Even if such a house ended up being LEED rated platinum, that's going to use a metric fuckload more energy than just keeping his current house. If anything, he could modify the current place (I say this having no idea what his current house looks like...just like you!) to include more "green" features, but in the end the most sustainable thing you can do with a building is re-use an existing one. Please stop being an idiot.
posted by LionIndex at 5:29 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Slanted or not, Al Gore has gotta talk the talk if he wants people to actually listen to him and make some changes.

How do you know he's not? I mean, here we see how much gore spends on energy resources, and we do not see how many carbon credits or offsets he buys. If he purchases carbon offsets, then he can use as much energy as he wants without emitting greenhouse gasses.

Also, they don't even say what kind of electricity he's using. Lots of places now allow energy consumers to choose their generation method, and purchase energy from 'green' sources. Does he do that? We don't know.

Reducing greenhouse emissions has nothing to do with how much your monthly electricity bill is, in fact being green may raise your bill in some cases.

I mean really, no offense people but if you buy that idiotic smear job you really need grow up and stop being so credulous.

Still, a $30k annual energy bill is pretty crazy, regardless of the source saying it.

Well it would be crazy if it were true. Is it? We have no idea, really. I think it's a half truth (strictly true, but missing a lot of information) but it could be entirely false.
posted by delmoi at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't even want to think about the global footprints the neighborhood of Beverly Hills leaves on this planet.

Nothing compared to the pollution created by pre 1980s cars driven by generally poor people, but i guess that truth is a bit... inconvenient.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:32 PM on February 26, 2007


LA LA LA LA LA I AM NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA YOU ARE WRONG
posted by Krrrlson at 5:32 PM on February 26, 2007


what this really illustrates is the distance between the political elites' lifestyles and how some of them tell us how we should live

yes.

I remember the day I met Al Gore. he attempted to physically force me to share an apartment with nine other people in East L.A.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:34 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


From taosboat's link upthread:
"1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.

2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero."
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on February 26, 2007


Slanted or not, Al Gore has gotta talk the talk if he wants people to actually listen to him and make some changes.

the public has routinely ignored people who don't have mansions who have the same information al gore does. unfortunately, in order to get into the old gentleman's club, you have to play golf, drive a fancy car and enjoy the lifestyle.

it's nice to think that hippies would fit into washington based on their good ideas but since when has politics been more about the good ideas than the popular, easy ones?
posted by dflemingdotorg at 5:36 PM on February 26, 2007


And, as someone pointed out, this article indicates gore buys carbon credits. Meaning the amount of money he spends on greenhouse emitting energy is not $30k, but $0. Not a lot by any measure.
posted by delmoi at 5:36 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


‘Proud’ Polluter Sean Hannity Launches Pathetic Smear Attack Against Al Gore.
posted by ericb at 5:37 PM on February 26, 2007


What part of purchasing carbon offsets is so damn hard for folks to understand?

Oh! they don't *want* to. Silly me.

(I'm thrilled that locally I have the oppty to purchase green energy. Wish everybody did.)
posted by deCadmus at 5:39 PM on February 26, 2007


Boy -- the wingnuts will get really wiggy if Gore walks away this year with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on February 26, 2007


And what the fuck is with all these doctors, huh? They look at people and tell them they're sick, but they're healthy! Hypocrites! Hey, Michael Moore is rich too M I RITE, PEOPLE?

I love the show, but the one thing I'll eternally hate South Park for is establishing the mainstream idea that "stupid and wrong, but clever in a ha-ha gotcha way" is an acceptable counter to actual facts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:46 PM on February 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


"The guy is making coal companies think about their pollution; he can applaud himself while frying whale blubber on styrofoam grills for all I care."

Wow, not only a water-spitting winner but a perfect response given your name, sarcasman. I bow.

Anyone here who eats meat (or any other food), drinks water from tap or bottle, uses electric power, operates a motor vehicle and heats their dwelling should probably deal with the plank in their own eye before giving Al Gore crap, especially since he buys carbon offsets. Do you? No? Then hush. At least he's out there working for change, even if imperfectly.

That includes me, although my footprint is about 1/4 of the average American's. I should buy some offsets.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:51 PM on February 26, 2007


!!! EXCLUSIVE BOMBSHELL MUST CREDIT THE DRUDGE REPORT !!!

President of the Fecal Waste Hazard Awareness Association discovered to have taken bowel movements every day for the last 57 years, contributing to the very presence of waste-laden shit his own organization wishes to alert people to. Unnamed sources predict the hand-washing and anus-wiping advocate to resign by the end of the week.

POSSIBLE TIES TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, JOHN EDWARDS CAMPAIGN. DEVELOPING.....
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:51 PM on February 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Of course, its not realistic to assume that the ex-President, er, Vice President of the US might be using more energy due to the significance of his role in public life. Why should he use more than your average family of four that just spend the night in front of the TV watching American Idle.

A energetic swift-boating if I've seen one.
posted by sfts2 at 5:56 PM on February 26, 2007


Huh. I don't know Gore's place, but I've seen the Bush family compound on Walker's Point. One thing that rich people do is consume more than poor people do. Stop the presses!

Is there supposed to be some sort of point to this post?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:01 PM on February 26, 2007


If he purchases carbon offsets, then he can use as much energy as he wants without emitting greenhouse gasses.

That's bullshit. There's nothing about "using as much energy as you want" that is part of living an ecologically friendly lifestyle. Throwing money at the problem to make yourself feel better about your own misdeeds is a pretty shitty strategy, not to mention morally nebulous.
posted by kyleg at 6:02 PM on February 26, 2007


kyleg writes "There's nothing about 'using as much energy as you want' that is part of living an ecologically friendly lifestyle."

If you can do it without polluting, I say knock yourself out. Can you explain how the use of solar power is not ecologically friendly?
posted by mullingitover at 6:07 PM on February 26, 2007


I'd love to see the Gore working ranch energy costs vs. the Bush Crawford, TX working ranch energy. I bet Gore does a lot better.
posted by mathowie at 6:07 PM on February 26, 2007


At the Tennessee Policy site, click on About, and then Tax Burden. They think the tax burden of a TN resident is coming entirely from their property taxes and gas consumption (missing the nearly 10% sales tax). Not to mention that they only care how many cars you own, not how much you drive - when you're supposed to be comparing your tax burden vs what it would be if you moved to another area of TN, as though all areas of TN are equidistant to all others. They seem pretty badly math-challenged to me.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:13 PM on February 26, 2007


Al Gore has gotta talk the talk

Um. Al Gore is talking the talk. The debate is whether he is walking the walk as well.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:13 PM on February 26, 2007


I'm with Wulfgar! Assuming the $30k figure is real, it's a lot for a house, but don't they run a farm? You'd need power for all sorts of things there.
posted by carter at 6:15 PM on February 26, 2007


I'd love to see the Gore working ranch energy costs vs. the Bush Crawford, TX working ranch energy. I bet Gore does a lot better.

Probably, but it doesn't matter. Once again the right wing noise machine has gotten everyone talking about bullshit personal trivia and not about the central issue. As soon as the conversation get changed from "is there global warming and do humans cause it" to "does Al Gore have a bigger house than George Bush", they've won the argument already.

This thread is just a text book example of how well that technique works.
posted by octothorpe at 6:17 PM on February 26, 2007 [10 favorites]


Quite true, octothorpe. I stand abashed.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:18 PM on February 26, 2007


If Metafilter has taught us nothing else, it's that you only win an argument when you've persuaded the opposition into admitting that they are wrong. This is a minor distraction that in no way nullifies the global warming debate.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:26 PM on February 26, 2007


Speaking of hypocrisy, it amused me somewhat to see a clip of the audience - surely, a collection of the ten thousand people with probably the most enormous combined ecological footprint in the entire planet - nodding along sanctimoniously to Gore's speech at the Oscars.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:26 PM on February 26, 2007


They're comparing the energy use of a large and expansive estate with (at least) a mansion and guest house, and the 'average' American household? Compare it with Crawford or Walker's Point instead (as noted above), and maybe we're getting somewhere. Similar charges about Gore's personal energy use were debunked when brought up last year by conservatives attempting to discredit An Inconvenient Truth.
posted by SenshiNeko at 6:27 PM on February 26, 2007


MeTa
posted by grouse at 6:30 PM on February 26, 2007


Bloomberg Radio Uses Fake Group To Attack Al Gore
"This evening, Bloomberg Radio will fail even the most basic level of journalistic ethics when they take part in the right wing smear of Al Gore.

The 'Tennessee Center For Policy Research' is reporting they will be interviewed by Bloomberg Radio tonight.

Only one problem. The Tennesse Tax Department does not consider the Tennessee Center to be a 'legitimate' organization.

So why didn't Bloomberg look into that?

Well, maybe having Al Gore receive an Oscar last night just wasn't too convenient for them, and the smear machine is firing on all cylinders.

I am going to call and ask why they would give credence to a lie and a fraud. You should too."
posted by ericb at 7:01 PM on February 26, 2007


Whoever thought asking "what should others do" would answer humanity's pressing issues?

just about every 20th/21st century politician you can name

What part of purchasing carbon offsets is so damn hard for folks to understand?

which part of the rich buy their way out of things the little people just have to put up with don't you understand?

They're comparing the energy use of a large and expansive estate with (at least) a mansion and guest house, and the 'average' American household?

people really hate it when class is brought up in this society, don't they?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:05 PM on February 26, 2007


But of course, show me the overall trend. Has his energy consumption, despite its amount, been significantly reduced in comparison to say, last year? If so, fine, he's doing more than the average citizen. If not, then it sort of... uh... devalidates him. Entirely.

Devalidates!? Is that even a word? What the hell does it mean? Al Gore uses more electricity than the average american (he also does a lot more than the average american, is a lot more wealthy, a lot more famous and a lot more active, but nevermind..) So what, he and all those thousands of climatologists are hypocritical know-nothings and global warming is not happening? Or, if it does, no one should do anything about it until Al Gore moves into a cave? There are a lot of stupid comments in this thread, but I think we've got ourselves a winner.
posted by c13 at 7:06 PM on February 26, 2007


Well, this is exactly the problem with associating a cause with a person. Both sides will resort to criticizing/supporting this person, when this is not the issue at all. We should not care what Gore is doing, he is a self appointed spokesperson afterall. We should care whether his arguments are valid, to what point, and whether suggestions towards solving a problem are viable. Furthermore, Gore (and anyone really) is perceived differently by different people which could greatly undermine the effectiveness of their effort. Therefore, I personally would rather see several political and other figures endorse this cause, than one becoming its de-facto spokesperson.
posted by carmina at 7:06 PM on February 26, 2007


"Who are these people [the Tennessee Center for Policy Research]? Well , a quick check of Alexa reveals their web site gets no traffic. Are they legitimate? Well, again, they claim to be non-partisan but only link to far-right and conservative groups so regardless of what their status is with the IRS, this is a conservative, strongly-leaning Republican organization.

We will be digging through IRS documents tonight because if you follow the money, you always find the answers. We will let you know who their donors are as soon as we can.

This group drops the pebble in the lake and now the machine really goes to work.

....In the last twenty minutes, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has updated its website TWICE - both with radio interviews. The damage is being done as we watch.

....The echo chamber is engaging. Instapundit, Hot Air, Free Republic, WorldNetDaily, TownHall and several others are echoing and amplifying the $mear.

A comment at DailyKos: "Hannity got the memo as well and he and Annthrax Coulter are hammering Gore for the same thing tonight."

Tennessee Center's President Drew Johnson comes straight out of the right's network, coming from Exxon-funded American Enterprise Institute and the right-wing-funded National Taxpayers Foundation.

They are part of the right's State Policy Network. According to PFAW,
'SPN is a national network of state-based right-wing organizations in 37 states as well as prominent nationwide right-wing organizations. Through its network SPN advances the public policy ideas of the expansive right-wing political movement on the state and local level.'
As of Feb. 16, the Tennessee tax dept. considers them 'not a legitimate organization' because of their misrepresenting themselves involving questions about the group's opposition to a state crackdown on drug dealers."*
posted by ericb at 7:07 PM on February 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


What an outstandingly pathetic post.
posted by uosuaq at 7:11 PM on February 26, 2007


brundlefly: Do utilities just give out info on people's energy consumption, or something? It's not so much that the source is biased, but that I don't understand where they got their info.

Well, here in Canada, yeah. You can just call up the utility say you are considering buying the property and they will tell you the average energy bill per month over the last year on that property. I have done it. If it's a famous person's place, that might not work, though.
posted by Listener at 7:12 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean really, no offense people but if you buy that idiotic smear job you really need grow up and stop being so credulous.

And you need to leave your polarizing ideals at the door and look at the issue at hand. Is Al Gore practicing what he preaches? This particular link says he isn't. Show me one that says he is.
posted by ageispolis at 7:20 PM on February 26, 2007


Gore Gets Heat For His Electric Bills
”A day after receiving Oscar glory for a documentary on global warming, former Vice President Al Gore was called a hypocrite by a Tennessee group saying his Belle Meade home is using too much energy.

The home’s average month electric bill topped $1,359, according to the group.

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

Electric bills obtained by The Tennessean, however, showed that Gore is paying a premium on his bills to be part of the ‘green power’ program. Gore purchased 108 blocks of ‘green power’ for at least each of the last three months, according to a summary of bills from Nashville Electric Service.

That’s a total of $432 a month spent to pay extra for solar or other renewable energy sources. NES power – outside this program - is derived largely from coal, which emits carbon, a green house gas.

The green power purchased by Gore in those three months is equivalent to recycling 2.48 million aluminum cans, or recycling 286,092 pounds of newspaper, according to comparison figures on the utility's Web site.

Gore’s movie details how greenhouse gases are trapping heat next to the earth, causing a changing climate with melting ice caps and more violent storms.

‘Every family has a different carbon footprint,’ said Kalee Krider, a spokeswoman for Gore.

The Gore’s 10,000 square foot house on Lynnwood Boulevard doesn’t have a small one.

The Green Power Switch program, however, isn’t all he and his wife, Tipper, are doing, Krider said.

They use compact fluourescent lights and are in the midst of a renovation project that includes having solar panels installed on their home to reduce fossil fuel consumption more, she said.

Their car? A Lexis hybrid SUV.

They put money into an investment company that Gore co-founded with a man named David Blood and it, in turn, sends the money to pay for solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe.”
from The Dickson Herald's Tennessean.com.
posted by ericb at 7:21 PM on February 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hm. I guess he really is walking the walk.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:24 PM on February 26, 2007


There it is.
posted by ageispolis at 7:26 PM on February 26, 2007


Nashville Electric Service's Green Power Switch Program -- in which the Gore household is enrolled.
posted by ericb at 7:29 PM on February 26, 2007


but but but but CLINTON!!
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:30 PM on February 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


The Gore’s 10,000 square foot house on Lynnwood Boulevard doesn’t have a small one.

heh ... which walk is that he's walking? ... the elephant walk?

40 years ago it wouldn't have been people on the right who would have questioned gore for this ... it would have been people on the left

and THAT is the problem with american politics today
posted by pyramid termite at 7:33 PM on February 26, 2007


I'd love to see the Gore working ranch energy costs vs. the Bush Crawford, TX working ranch energy. I bet Gore does a lot better.

It would be interesting. To be fair, though, the main residence building at the Bush's Crawford ranch (which was designed to be eco-friendly and completed a few years ago) is "walking the talk":
"The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home."*
posted by ericb at 7:40 PM on February 26, 2007


and THAT is the problem with american politics today

Ok, fine. Now, what about the global warming and the things that should be done by *everybody* about it? In short, his message? What's the problem with THAT?
posted by c13 at 7:42 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's bullshit. There's nothing about "using as much energy as you want" that is part of living an ecologically friendly lifestyle.

That's not bullshit. If I spend $400 million dollars building hundreds of megawatts of hydroelectric, wind, tidal, and solar power, then use all that energy powering supercomputer research because I'm crazy and I want to upload my brain onto the internet, then the net greenhouse emission result is as if I had done nothing at all. Similarly carbon credits and buying clean energy on the grid has the same result. Gore isn't specifically asking people to live an 'ecologically friendly' lifestyle, whatever that is. He's asking people to watch their Carbon Dioxide emissions. And, he seems to be doing that. So what exactly is the problem?

which part of the rich buy their way out of things the little people just have to put up with don't you understand?

What does this have to do anything? Take your proletariat mewling somewhere else comrade! Al gore never claimed to be anything other then a died in the wool capitalistic Kool-Aid drinker. There is nothing contradictory in his buying his way out of making more difficult sacrifices. The question is how much CO2 is he putting into the atmosphere, and the answer is zero.

Again, and again. it does not matter how much energy Al Gore uses, what matters is how that energy was produced, and what effect he has on atmosphereic CO2 levels

And finally, does gore really spend $30k on electricity anyway? So many people in this thread have assumed that because someone wrote it down somewhere, it's true. That is just incredible. Obviously there are people who want to discredit him, and most likely those people own computers, and some of them might even lie once in a while.
posted by delmoi at 7:45 PM on February 26, 2007


heh ... which walk is that he's walking? ... the elephant walk?

Way to cherry pick your quote from the very post that refutes whatever point it is you think you just made.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:46 PM on February 26, 2007


40 years ago it wouldn't have been people on the right who would have questioned gore for this ... it would have been people on the left

40 years ago, gasoline cost .60 a gallon, and people were driving cars the size of small european countries. No one gave a second thought to wasting energy, not even the pinko commies on the left.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:51 PM on February 26, 2007


Correction. .33 a gallon.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:53 PM on February 26, 2007


I don't know if it's been mentioned in thread, but the profits of the book and the film are all being funneled back into furthering the educational effort. Gore could be raking in millions for himself and living a totally self-indulgent lifestyle -- and I wouldn't blame him if he were after the public humiliation and ridicule he has faced -- but he has instead chosen to devote his considerable energies and time to this cause.

The swiftness and viciousness of this attack says something about how threatened many powerful people are about both the message and the messenger.

Thanks to those who have rallied with some quick debunking in this thread. Now if only the media could learn to ask questions instead of always taking the bait.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:18 PM on February 26, 2007


ABC News:

"The press release from Johnson's group, an obscure conservative think tank founded by Johnson in 2004 when he was 24, was given splashy attention on the highly-trafficked Drudge Report Monday evening, and former Gore aides saw it as part of a piece, along with an Fox News Channel investigation from earlier this month of Gore's use of private planes in 2000. Last year, a seemingly amateurish Youtube video mocking the 'An Inconvenient Truth' turned out to have been produced by slick Republican public relations firm called DCI, which just happens to have oil giant Exxon as a client."
posted by ericb at 8:29 PM on February 26, 2007


Believe it or not: carbon offsetting really doesn't solve the problem. Even these environmentalists agree.

It's a nice start but it really isn't doing anything in the long run.

Just saying...
posted by champthom at 8:30 PM on February 26, 2007


The swiftness and viciousness of this attack says something about how threatened many powerful people are about both the message and the messenger.

Scoffed a former Gore adviser... : "I think what you're seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They've completely lost the debate on the issue so now they're just attacking their most effective opponent."*
posted by ericb at 8:31 PM on February 26, 2007


In related news...

Western State Governors Announce Global Warming Agreement
"Fed up with federal inaction and convinced of the dangers from global warming, five governors from Western states agreed Monday to work together to reduce greenhouse gases.

Their promise to target global warming was the latest of a rush of new ideas shared this week as states push ahead on climate change and clean or alternative energy."
posted by ericb at 8:34 PM on February 26, 2007


I think the global warming skeptics have changed focus slightly, but are still there. There is a lot of noise about the co-factors of earth systems and human systems being really to blame for the drastic increase, [sarcasm] y'know, so it isn't really our fault. [/sarcasm]
posted by edgeways at 8:36 PM on February 26, 2007


Western State Governors Announce Global Warming Agreement

An agreement affecting the whole of five states is irrelevant. What is relevant is the personal electricity bills of those five governors. After all, if they spend more money on electricity than me, they have no business trying to save the planet.
posted by grouse at 8:39 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Unless your house is overrun with troll chow--
STOP FEEDING TROLLS
just pat them on the head and say "Hate gives my life meaning , too."
80+ messages. sheesh.
posted by hexatron at 8:40 PM on February 26, 2007


Al Gore, and many of the hypocritical enviro-fascist elite, are answers to the hypocritical homo-fascist Christian Right.


Vote Ron Paul in 2008
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 8:54 PM on February 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


*rolls eyes*
posted by y2karl at 9:09 PM on February 26, 2007


I wrote: "There's nothing about 'using as much energy as you want' that is part of living an ecologically friendly lifestyle."

mullingitover replied "If you can do it without polluting, I say knock yourself out. Can you explain how the use of solar power is not ecologically friendly?"

Nowhere did I attack Gore or attempt to discredit his efforts in the cause of increasing awareness of global warming. I fully endorse solar power and other alternatives to fossil fuels. In fact, I support such efforts even without the looming specter of global warming. Being aware of what your actions do to harm the earth and then doing all you can do to reduce that harmful impact is simply good stewardship of the planet, and shows respect for the future and for your place as a member of humanity.

However, when people tell themselves that simply by purchasing carbon offsets that they are "good enough" or somehow better than those who don't, they are delusional. Gore is doing an excellent job at going the extra mile in raising awareness and doing what he can to educate people, regardless of what I or anyone else thinks about his politics or him as a person.

Upthread I referenced delmoi's comment: "If he purchases carbon offsets, then he can use as much energy as he wants without emitting greenhouse gasses."

When you emit greenhouse gases, either directly or indirectly, it is impossible to erase that pollution. You can't physically reverse it. Individuals purchasing carbon offset credits should not be doing so under the misguided notion that they are better people for having done so, or that what they have done has erased their own harmful impact on the earth.

Nearly every product you buy in some way has greenhouse gas emissions associated with it. Unless you ride your bike to and from the field where your organic produce has been hand-picked and then rinse it with filtered rainwater before eating it, then pollution has been built into the supply chain. "But it is impossible to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, no matter how hard we try" (David Suzuki Foundation).

My central protest is that the purchase of carbon offset credits is essentially equivalent to giving to charity, and should be treated as such. When you donate to Sweatshop Watch, it doesn't erase the impact of your purchase of a t-shirt made by a mistreated and underpaid child in Indonesia, it helps you feel better about yourself and that's about it.

Corporations purchase carbon offset credits because it's more economical for them than reducing their own carbon output and helps them meet regulations and cultivate a better public image. These are now becoming traded like other commodities on international markets. When individuals buy these credits, it effectively takes them off the market in an effort, futile as it may be, to make it more expensive for companies to evade their social responsibility by trading on the work of others.

When you purchase carbon offset credits that rely on additionality, they "are only used to fund projects that would not have happened without additional Carbon Offset Credit funding" (RECOV). It's a nice gesture, but why should individual consumers be funding what industry should be doing (or should be mandated to do in the best interests of the public) in the first place? I'm not saying it's cheap to be ecologically or socially responsible. But if reducing emissions by implementing cleaner power sources or other methods of conservation is supposedly so uneconomical and cuts into profits, whatever happened to passing on the increased cost to consumers?

Buying these credits and using them to justify your own lifestyle of consumption, or allowing yourself to overlook your own waste because you're doing better than others, that's what's bullshit. It's no different than Christians who believe themselves to be saved and look down upon those who are not, making no real effort to make a difference in their lives. Throwing money at the problem has never solved anything. Actions, whether in energy conservation or anything else, are always what will make a difference. Encouraging others to join you in those actions and educating them as to why they are important, which is what Gore has been doing, will matter even more.
posted by kyleg at 9:12 PM on February 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


I agree with champthom and kyleg, carbon offsetting is a catchy but very problematic concept. Although having a more environment-friendly lifestyle *is* a choice each one of us can (and should) make not only with regards to global warming, the real breakthough on that end will happen when the main contributors i.e. industry, large scale land-use, transportation etc decide to take measures. Al Gore both in the movie and in the "volunteer presentations" puts disproportionately a lot of weight on the individual vs the organized interests factor.
posted by carmina at 9:28 PM on February 26, 2007


I think it's a shame MeFi was trolled with this excreable front page post. It dumbfounds me that there is a politically active force trying to discredit the fact of global climate change. The shortsightedness of such an act is mind-boggling.

That said, it doesn't really matter what the anti-conservation nutters do and say. Our habits and wastefulness are going to change, come hell or high water.

A pissy little smear about Gore isn't going to slow this train down.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 PM on February 26, 2007


Does anyone really think that Gore consumes the same amount of energy as the average person? Look, the richer you are, the more resources including energy you consume, with few exceptions. If you live in a fucking mansion, you're going to use a lot of energy.

Signed,

Someone who believes global warming is very, very real.
posted by serazin at 9:53 PM on February 26, 2007


Gnostic Novelist, as much as I'd love to see Ron Paul as President, he's the Republican Party's Dennis Kucinich.

The day he gets elected will be a very cold day in Hell.
posted by champthom at 10:02 PM on February 26, 2007


meh.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:12 PM on February 26, 2007


Even if Gore were a hypocrite, which he isn't...oh, never mind.

Some threads just deserve being crapped in.
posted by facetious at 11:25 PM on February 26, 2007


Oh, he drives a Lexus Hybrid SUV. And here we were worried that he was wasting energy!
posted by subclub at 12:06 AM on February 27, 2007


Great, Lexus Hybrid SUV.

So he can contribute to the smelting wastelands in canada from the nickel factories that make the batteries...

If he was a real environmentalist he would have gotten himself a greasel powered Tourag or something. And or atleast biodiesel, and processed WVO in his back yard.

*end snarky comment*
posted by mrzarquon at 12:48 AM on February 27, 2007


pyramid termite writes "and THAT is the problem with american politics today"

*boggles*
posted by brundlefly at 1:27 AM on February 27, 2007


What Futurama never told us was that The Mighty Moon Worm is more environmentally damaging than 1200 Escalades, all the Ford Explorers used on 24, and approximately 300 coal-using power plants.
posted by sparkletone at 2:17 AM on February 27, 2007


I think this criticism of gore is a sign of a pretty sick mind...and a real problem with the way most western countries approach problems. Someone advocating a solution doesn't have to be Sister Theresa. Al Gore lives carbon neutral.....that is the point we all are supposed to be reaching for.

More rebuttal here.
posted by odiyya at 2:24 AM on February 27, 2007


I think it's a shame MeFi was trolled with this excreable front page post.

I think it is fantastic that MeFi is trolled. I've heard new arguments, read some great debunks, learned some stuff about carbon offsetting I didn't know and more. I don't want to hold a position because I am never exposed to opposing arguments - even if they are lame.

This kind of thing would be bad on the front page of a news site where nobody reads the comments. Here the trolling post is subjected to some stunning vivisection providing insight into both the content and the motivation. This is what I come here for.

If anything this troll makes me like Gore even more.
posted by srboisvert at 2:28 AM on February 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Someone advocating a solution doesn't have to be Sister Theresa.

That's a good thing, considering that she ate puppies for breakfast.

I also enjoyed this from your link, odiyya:
On a more fundamental level, the issue points to a core difficulty westerners have with any good act. Somewhere in our cultural history we drew a very strange line in the sand that in essence says, "You are free from any allegations of wrong doing or immorality, unless you endorse improving a wrong, or the state of the world at large. In that case, you need to be a saint or else you're a hypocrite."
posted by grouse at 4:00 AM on February 27, 2007


This thread is just a text book example of how well that technique works.
posted by octothorpe


Yeah, Josh Marshall calls it the "Bitch Slap Theory" of GOP politics. No doubt it works by diverting attention from the real issues.
posted by nofundy at 8:21 AM on February 27, 2007


Al Gore educates millions about climate change, but he uses more electricity than the 'average' (you probably do too), says some shadowy non-organisation, so therefore...

Rubbish post.
posted by Blip at 8:24 AM on February 27, 2007


As a card-carrying left-wing quasi-socialist big-government-believer-in who accepts th evidence on global warming and applauds everything that Gore has done for the environment, it seems entirely germane to point out that his own energy footprint exceeds what would be considered responsible for someone concerned about the impact of carbon emissions on global warming.
What people are upset about, justifiably, is that the conservatives are trying to use this information to discredit Gore's underlying message. That's just ridiculous, since his own personal energy use has nothing at all to do with the reality of global warming or the role of human carbon emissions on it. However, if they are using it to point up the hypocrisy of those who argue for reducing carbon emissions yet continue to lead lifestyles that require the consumption of lots of carbon-emitting fuels, I'd say they have a point. I'd also say it's not really the point they want to be making, since it leads inevitably, I think, to discussions of whether there should be mandatory limitations on carbon use (be they credits, strict limits, mandating energy-efficient bulbs, etc).
But honestly, the basic argument in favor of Gore's large carbon footprint appears to boil down to "he's special, so it's OK". Not sure that flies with me.
posted by haricotvert at 8:44 AM on February 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nearly every product you buy in some way has greenhouse gas emissions associated with it. ...
My central protest is that the purchase of carbon offset credits is essentially equivalent to giving to charity, and should be treated as such...it helps you feel better about yourself and that's about it.


You're not really being consistent here. You say yourself it's impossible for any of us to actually reduce our emissions to zero, so aiming for that is a pointless exercise. But we can fund programs that look for large-scale ways to reduce overall emissions through new technologies and systems. "charity" does not just make someone feel better about herself. It actually goes to fund things which are needed and which will ultimately be useful.

Gore lives in a world where carbon neutral in the direct, don't-use-anything- that-has-greenhouse- gas-emissions- associated-with-it way, is not really an option. However, he does have the option to invest in furthering the transition toward an alternate system, and he does this in direct proportion to his use of energy. That's as carbon neutral as you're going to get until we've implemented some major overall structural changes in the way our society works (which is what his money is intended to help do).

I think this is an unfortunate side effect of the "thou shalt not" approach to morality: it becomes a default assumption that the best thing one can do is nothing at all, because then you never do anything wrong, at least. I think we do better to act with good intentions and honestly assess our actions, and try to balance out some of our shortcomings by devoting resources to good things. Obviously I'm not suggesting that you can do anything you want so long as you offset it by doing some good in return, but it's worth recognizing that if we have unintended negative impacts, then yes, it absolutely does help to do what you can to make up for them.
posted by mdn at 8:48 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:01 AM on February 27, 2007


Did anyone else notice the thousands of goldish plastic/paper confetti pieces thrown at the end of the Oscar show? Isn't that just a bunch of useless, pointless trash? Green show? Huh?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:16 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

So, I guess when attacking the issue doesn't work, and then attacking the banner bearer for the issue doesn't work, the next step is to attack the defenders of the banner bearer.

What's next?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:33 AM on February 27, 2007


I guess when attacking the issue doesn't work, and then attacking the banner bearer for the issue doesn't work, the next step is to attack the defenders of the banner bearer.

Yes. And the crime is simply defending the banner bearer, apparently.
posted by grouse at 9:39 AM on February 27, 2007


I just made a chart, and if I work it out logically, I'm pretty sure that the next step is to attack the attackers of the defender of the banner bearer for the issue.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:43 AM on February 27, 2007


When you emit greenhouse gases, either directly or indirectly, it is impossible to erase that pollution. You can't physically reverse it.

That's simply not true. You can reverse it, and you can directly remove CO2 from the air.
posted by delmoi at 9:58 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

So you admit to purposefully trolling MeFi then, huh? Now that your post has been thoroughly debunked and repudiated, you are going to pretend that all along, you had some stupid, ulterior motive.

Nice.
posted by malocchio at 10:14 AM on February 27, 2007


So I did the carbon impact calculator that ericb linked to a few feet up the page and it says I'm at 11.7 tons per year while the average is 7.5. WTF? And it evidently isn't from the 20K miles I drive a year. It looks like since my electric bill averages out to $26 and my gas bill is an average of $28, I go from 7.9 to 11.7. Seems like a low resolution brush they're painting with with that calculator.
posted by effwerd at 10:17 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

You didn't actually raise any real issues with this post, allkinds. You made a posts smearing someone and now you are whining that people are defending the target of your smear.
posted by octothorpe at 10:51 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

Who did? Did you bet a dude five bucks or something? I hope so, since you really blew that much trying to be a valuable member of MetaFilter.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:51 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

Uh, by attacking the reputation of a "leftist elite" instead of presenting anything resembling an argument about an actual issue? Congratulations. I hope this "they" is very happy and that you won some money off that bet or something.
posted by Durhey at 10:58 AM on February 27, 2007


Preview is a tool of the liberal media and I for one won't fall prey to its temptation.
posted by Durhey at 10:59 AM on February 27, 2007


If you bothered to see the movie, you'd have known that the Gores buy carbon offsets. It's a weak attack, and typical of rightwing smear artists - inaccurate information. The right will be quoting these inaccuracies for years to come.

I've never understood how Gore can get beyond the bitterness of the 2000 election debacle. That he has done such a great job of getting us to look at Global Climate Change is impressive as all get out.
posted by theora55 at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2007


Jerry Falwell on global warming: it's a myth
posted by homunculus at 11:26 AM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

They were right. This thread is an excellent example of concern over the issue of bullshitery and how it can be so easily uncovered and discredited.

Thank you for contributing even more of it.
posted by juiceCake at 11:39 AM on February 27, 2007


If I remember correctly, Gore's estate is something like a 300 acre family farm...

30 K for a working farm (ranch), given the circumstances of the owner, ain't all that much.

The article is not talking about the usage of his 88-acre Carthage, TN farm/zinc mine (across the river from the 250-300 acre family farm where his mother lives). This is his Belle Meade, TN mansion purchased in 2000. They still own the house in Arlington, VA where they resided while he was in office.

Gore's message is right, but most people including him are willing to not consume as much as the possibly can. Carbons offsets as mathematically sound as they are completely out of the reach of the average American. We don't have the money to spend more to get the same things done, if you're going to lead us, show us a way to live we can emulate. Show us how to live with our means that has a significant carbon reduction.

Does anyone have any information by what exact mechanism Gore's carbon is offset, I can't find anything?
posted by betaray at 5:47 PM on February 27, 2007


And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

Prove?!? What the fuck are you talking about, asstroll? As if typing something on a website & addressing actual issues are somehow mutually exclusive!

Personally, I'm trying to do my bit at the moment for the upcoming election, where the Australian Greens Party - the only political party here to take climate change seriously - stands to pick up more seats in the NSW State Parliament. If you want to put your money where your mouth is, feel free to donate.

(and they said I couldn't prove allkindsoftime is more concerned with violently attacking the reputations of the MeFite elites than with the actual issues themselves...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2007


From the New York Times:
The Associated Press, however, apparently asked a spokeswoman from the Nashville utility company, Laurie Parker, if the policy group had actually obtained the information from them, and she said the utility never got a request from the policy center and that no information was ever turned over to them.
Upon reviewing the utility bills, the AP found that the Gores used tens of thousands of kilowatt hours less than the fabricated numbers reported by the right-wing smear group. Brilliant!
posted by grouse at 7:37 AM on February 28, 2007


Also, a reminder that Cheney racked up a $186,000 power bill in 2001 - before the post-9/11 energy hikes- and then demanded the Navy (translated: U.S. taxpayers) pay for it. Apparently Gore spending too much of his own money on power is a huge crisis, while Cheney billing Americans to waste power isn't.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:15 AM on February 28, 2007


The Associated Press should be smacked upside the head for contributing media attention to the asshats at the Tennessee.

This has been a perfect example of the vulgar idiocy of American media, in which "balanced reporting" means providing voice for loons, creeps, and liars whenever facts or expertise rear their heads.

Even after discovering that Tennessee damn well invented their numbers, they ran the smear article. Disgusting.

Kristin M. Hall, you are the worst sort of reporter. I sincerely hope you lose your job: your style of work harms our society. And both AP and Wired should be shamed for their role in promoting the story. Fuckwits, all.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on February 28, 2007


Atmosphere of Pressure: Union of Concerned Scientists Finds Widescale Political Interference in Global Warming Research
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on February 28, 2007


Olbermann on Gore’s Energy Use: Setting the Record Straight.
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2007


Breaking news: Al Gore uses electricity, and other Great Moments in right-wing issue avoidance.
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on February 28, 2007


Thanks for those posts, ericb. The best part is where Olbermann points out that part of the reason Gore's electric bill is so high is because he voluntarily added on about $491 each month to pay for green power—increasing his bill by more than 50 percent.
posted by grouse at 3:07 PM on February 28, 2007


I wasn't going to bother posting this until I found out that NES denies releasing the records. I emailed the think tank, asking them where/how they got their info. Their prompt response:
All the information that we referenced in our press release, “Al Gore’s Personal Energy Use is His Own ‘Inconvenient Truth,’” was collected through public records requests. We used public information requests often in out work.

In this case we requested – and received – the information from public utilities.

A great resource for anyone interested in open records laws is the Investigative Reporters and Editors website. This site has resources about open records and the federal Freedom of Information Act. You can check it out at www.ire.org/foi.

One of the missions of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research is greater open government and better access to open records. We encourage voters and taxpayers everywhere to use their right to access government records – which are your records.

We are available to assist any Tennessean who seeks access public records or who has questions about the state’s public records laws.

Contact Trent Seibert at trent@tennesseepolicy.org.


Nicole Williams
VP of Operations
Sticking to their guns, I guess.
posted by brundlefly at 3:18 PM on February 28, 2007


This is a major coup for conservatives because the right-wing voting base is trained to never judge facts for themselves, but rather to judge the source of the information. It's the oldest way to con people, and is a thought reform conveyed from religion into politics.
posted by Brian B. at 7:04 PM on February 28, 2007


No, the oldest way to con people is to train them to dehumanise or demonise the other, eg by attributing to the other some kind of fictitious "training" that removes their ability for critical thought, thereby rejecting their earnest position without actually countering it, but by denying their right to hold any valid position through an attitude akin to racist stereotyping.

This is a thought reform conveyed from religion into politics.

Going by the name of an ad-hominem argument, it's also self-defeating, as it causes you to misunderstand & misunderestimate their position.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:42 PM on February 28, 2007


UbuRoivas, misunderestimate? The average religious conservative is dumber than a petshop and damn proud of it. It isn't a crime to be average, and it's certainly not evil to lack smarts. Feel free to prove me wrong anytime.
posted by Brian B. at 8:01 PM on February 28, 2007


You might be right about that. I might even agree. But I don't think it helps anything much to stereotype a whole class of people as too gullible to understand or address facts. Better to play the ball, not the man. For a start, this at least allows the possibility of dialogue & eventual agreement.

(The bushism was deliberate. I quite like it, and any word uttered by the most powerful chimpanzee on the planet is perfectly cromulent in my books)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:11 PM on February 28, 2007


Better to play the ball, not the man. For a start, this at least allows the possibility of dialogue & eventual agreement.

UbuRoivas, try reconsiderating this one. It is not helpful to insult stupid people with fake patience and condescending arguments. (Note that I define stupid as pride + ignorance here). This just feeds their ego and it automatically fails to convince an undecided third party that you even have a point. And it's just downright dishonest. You will probably end up fooling yourself in short order.
posted by Brian B. at 9:06 PM on February 28, 2007


But it *is* helpful to insult people by saying that they're so stupid they will believe anything, based on its source alone? I don't think I would misreconsiderify it in that way.

It sounds like you are using the argument that it is not always a good idea to present "both" sides of an issue, if one of those sides is just plain factually incorrect, if not altogether loony, right?

Incidentally, I note that "Gore's Inconvenient Truth: A Whopping Power Bill" is currently the #1 most-read article in The (Melbourne) Age online, where the headline & the claims of the think-tank are presented first, only to be rebutted in the final paragraph, for those who bother to read that far, but by then the damage has been done. Perhaps a good example of the "no airtime for idiots" principle...?

Speaking of which, it's interesting that - yet again - a reputable news source's article (actually, syndicated from The Guardian, FWIW) focuses almost as much on the claims & counterclaims within the blogosphere as it does on the facts themselves.

News at eleven: freepers & mefites lock horns - at a distance, as they don't visit each others' sites - in a virtual metabattle, the ever-increasing, fractured, fractal metaness of which that nobody else cares much about, let alone has any hope of following.

* disappears up own metahole *
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:51 PM on February 28, 2007


UbuRoivas: Here, re: "by attributing to the other some kind of fictitious "training" that removes their ability for critical thought."

It's not that they're trained, it's that they're not built for critical thought. That's why they can persist in misconception and misperceptions and distorted thinking, even in the face of as grand a disaster as global climate change.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:26 PM on February 28, 2007


It's not that they're trained, it's that they're not built for critical thought.

and people on this site are? ... i keep hearing that this has been "rebutted" ... and yet

1 it remains a fact that al gore has in a 10,000 sq ft house, which is far greater than what the average american has

2 it is reasonable to assume that this house has a much higher electricity and heat bill than the average american home

3 and although it is good that he offsets this with additional "green" payments, the $491 a month he is paying for this happens to be more than my monthly rent, heat included ... he can live a profligate energy life style and can afford to pay "guilt" payments ... and needless to say, he managed to be able to do this by being a selfless public servant?

yeah, right

no, of course this little revelation does not discredit "an inconvenient truth" or the seriousness of the global warming problem

but if you really think about it, it does say something about our political system ... what we're willing to ignore ... what we're (or SOMEONE with lots of money) is willing to reward ... and what level of personal sacrifice our politicians are willing to ask of us, while not sacrificing themsevles

i don't know what's stranger ... conservatives making arguments that unintentionally bring up class issues or liberals deliberately ignoring those issues to shout down the conservatives

but there WAS a point here ... and most of you missed it

And they said I couldn't prove MeFites are more concerned with violently defending the reputations of the Leftist elites than they were with the actual issues themselves...

hmmm ... what's really odd is that 20-25 years ago, he was just some semi-righty democratic senator who wanted to put warning stickers on records and was disregarded by a lot of the leftist crowd

my god, we must be getting desperate these days

and before there's any outrage ... just remember that the same corporate elite who spread this little story are the same elite that al gore would have willingly done deals with if he'd been elected president
posted by pyramid termite at 5:09 AM on March 1, 2007


You're upset because he has a huge house? You're mad because he's wealthy? What are you? A communist?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:11 AM on March 1, 2007


i'm just a person who questions things if they seem questionable to me ... for that i've been called a conservative, a liberal, a fascist, and now a communist

obviously, i'm asking the right questions

mad? ... no, i'm amused, in the same way p t barnum was when he said there was one born every minute and two to take him ... and people thought he was talking about HIS business and not politics ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:29 AM on March 1, 2007


You know, you could probably house the entire population of a third world country in Gore's mansion, with room to spare.

So he uses green power sources? That's nice. But the problem facing us is not just overconsumption of oil & electricity. It is overconsumption itself, and a house large enough that Gore could probably sleep in a different room every night of the year is but a symptom of this rapacious overconsumption.

Can you imagine how many near-redundant products that place is built from & crammed full of? Furnishings, doodads, cleaning products, electrical goods, the building materials themselves - a full inventory would amount to more than what an extended middle-class family in a developing country would see in an entire lifetime.

Those things don't grow on trees, although I would guess that a fair number of trees were sacrificed to make many of those superfluous status symbols, not to mention the energy consumed in producing & transporting them.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:48 PM on March 1, 2007


The overall effect is not unlike, say, Himmler arguing for the preservation of the Jewish people & culture, and demonstrating his Star-of-David credentials by pointing out that he rescued a bunch of hawt jewesses from the gas chambers, in order to serve as his own personal harem.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:26 PM on March 1, 2007


You know if you invoke Godwin's Law on purpose to end a thread, it will be unsuccessful.
posted by grouse at 4:37 PM on March 1, 2007


You know, you could probably house the entire population of a third world country in Gore's mansion, with room to spare.

P'shaw. It's a measly 10,000 square feet in size.

Ya' wanna see a big house with a huge footprint? -- Prince Bandar bin Sultan's Aspen Compound on the market for $135 million. It's a 56,000-square-foot mansion and has 15 bedrooms and 16 baths.
posted by ericb at 4:46 PM on March 1, 2007


A delegation of Inuit has travelled to Washington to argue that the US government's climate change policies violate human rights.
posted by homunculus at 11:39 PM on March 1, 2007


But it *is* helpful to insult people by saying that they're so stupid they will believe anything, based on its source alone? I don't think I would misreconsiderify it in that way.

UbuRoivas, you're catching on, but slowly. Reconsiderify the subject of moral superiority and who really has it. This may help: Gore isn't the one guilty of special pleading, but his critics are. I suppose you would disagree with your bible eyes, hence my point that some people will never care if their argument is fallacious, they just think it refers to sodomy anyway.
posted by Brian B. at 8:52 PM on March 2, 2007


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