debunking a rather lame debunking

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Since the Tennessee Center for Policy Research broke the story about Al Gore’s energy consumption Monday afternoon, a predictable pattern of counter-stories followed: the TCPR is illegitimate, the information is a lie, it doesn’t matter because the underlying story of global warming is still real, his energy consumption isn’t really that bad . . .

It’s on this latter point that I can lend some background. An example of that line of thinking is this from The Anonymous Liberal:

The press release claimed that Al Gore’s home in Nashville consumed 221,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity last year compared to a national average of 10,656 kWh per household. . . . The 10,656 number comes from data published by the Department of Energy. But it’s an average of all households nationwide (including apartment units and mobile homes) and across all climate regions. As it turns out, the region in which Gore lives–the East South Central–has the highest per household energy usage of any climate region in the country, a good 50% higher than the national average quoted in the press release (I assume this is due to the combination of cold winters and hot, muggy summers). So that’s misleading in and of itself.Moreover, Gore lives in a large home (10,000 sq. ft.). If you look at the data, it’s clear that Gore’s energy usage per square foot (even assuming the 221,000 kWh number is accurate) is well within the average range for his climate region. . .

But is that true?

The Krumms are fortunate enough to live in a relatively nice section of West Nashville, just like Al Gore. We moved in to our house in late 2002, just like Al Gore. We then began a major renovation of our home, just like Al Gore. We also have a large home, although it’s only about half the size of Al Gore’s. So let’s do some math.

Rather than taking the TCPR at its word about the Gores’ energy consumption, lets rely instead upon documentation provided by Nashville Electric Service just today. It shows that in the last twelve months he consumed 194,250 KWH of energy, ranging from a high of 22,619 KWH in August to a low of 12,098 in December. That compares with our annual energy consumption of 35,215 KWH. Accounting for home size, the five members of the Krumm household consumed 7.34 KWH per square foot over the last twelve months. During the same period, Mr. and Mrs. Gore used 19.43 KWH per square foot–nearly three times our family’s energy consumption.

Okay, so maybe he has electric heat. We should then compare gas bills to get a complete picture.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to his gas bills, but since the TCPR has proved itself worthy with its accurate portrayal of the electrical data, let’s just take their numbers.

They claim (via Drudge) that the Gore household used $6,432 worth of gas in 2006, ranging from a monthly high of $990 to a low of $170. By contrast our gas bill was only $1,137 last year, with a monthly range from $33 to $205.

Again, accounting for size, in 2006 the Krumms spent 24 cents per square foot to heat our home and water, and to cook our meals. The Gores spent nearly triple that amount: 64 cents per square foot.

But wait there’s more. That’s just the main house. When you add in the Gore’s pool and pool house ($6,528 last year) they paid $1.30 per square foot for gas–more than five times what we spent during the same period just a few blocks away.

I mentioned the renovations that both the Krumm and Gore houses recently underwent. Mary Mancini called the Gore’s home improvements “modest.” Umm . . . from someone (in the construction industry, btw) who lives in the neighborhood and daily ran by his house, let me just tell you that there was nothing modest about the renovations to the Gore household.

According to public records the Gores have pulled 13 construction permits since buying their home in June of 2002. Firms pulling the permits include: a swimming pool company, an audio-visual installer, and a number of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing firms.

We pulled ten permits during the same period. But even that’s misleading, because while we pulled all of our permits through the city of Nashville, since the Gore’s live in Belle Meade, they only pulled sub-permits through Nashville. Their construction and demolition permits would have been generated in Belle Meade, making their total number of permits even larger. I say all this to say that the Gore’s home renovations were NOT modest.

Still, in spite of the fact that the entire Gore home was under renovation for over a year, they didn’t apparently incorporate significant energy-saving ideas into the design–at least not until now. The result is that they spent several hundreds of thousands of dollars on home improvements but still have a house that will consume a million dollars worth of energy over the length of a thirty year mortgage–a cost which is three to five times higher than what it should be, even accounting for the size of his large home.

I think that you have to go back to the forged 60 Minutes documents to find another example of a story that broke so quickly and so thoroughly, but was so viciously denied–against all evidence–by partisans who refused to believe the facts.

And the facts are this. Four and a half years ago Al Gore bought a large home and made it larger, but did very little to reduce his own energy consumption. Instead, he spent the same time telling you how to reduce yours.

UPDATE:

See this to read more about Al Gore’s one consistency: he is consistently for censorship. And another hypocrisy: he advocates censorship for only one side.

2nd UPDATE:

The Anonymous Liberal commented below with this:

The Department of Energy lists the average nationwide energy consumption per household as 10,656 kwh and the average consumption per squarefoot as 13.7 kwh. But for the East South Central region (Tennesse, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi), the average is 15,447 kwh per household and 19.83 kwh per square foot. As you state in your post, Gore’s consumption is 19.43 kwh per square foot, less than the average.

Well, if you do the math that means 10,656 KWH divided by 13.7 KWH per sf means that the average household is 778 square feet. Using the numbers for the East South Central region, 19.83 KWH per sf into 15,447 KWH means that the average household is 779 sf.

Huh? Clearly, those numbers are wrong, but that hasn’t stopped them from being spread around by the innumerati.

Better numbers come from the 2006 Buildings Energy Data Book which shows that the average American single family home is 2,047 square feet. Dividing that into the 15,447 KWH of average annual usage in the South East Region, and we find that the average energy user in this area annually consumes 7.55 KWH per square foot of home–not the 19.83 KWH that Anonymous Liberal erroneously claims.

Be sure to also visit here for a thorough debunking of a HuffPo Talking Points Memo that feebly attempts to rebut this analysis.

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138 Responses to “debunking a rather lame debunking”

  1. CosmicConservative Says:

    Very excellent post. The last paragraph is the whole story. The fact that Al Gore is basing a Presidential run on the morality of energy conservation while ignoring well-known energy conservation and “green” building techniques on his own home is the height of hypocrisy. Even more so when you check out GW Bush’s home in Crawford, which is tiny in comparison, and incorporates solar power, geothermal heating and recycling of rainwater, all well within the reach of the budget of Al Gore, who chose not to do any of those things.

  2. JorgXMcKie Says:

    Don’t forget that he makes up for his enormous home energy use (not even counting his other 3 (I think, if you count the San Francisco apartment) domiciles) by flying hundreds of thousands of miles every year in CO2 spewing jets, many of them private jets carrying only a very few people.

    In ‘Algore Farm’ “all energy-consumers are equal, but some energy-consumers are more equal than others.” As soon as you integrate this law into your thoughts you’ll understand the Gorecal and feel better.

  3. Anonymous Liberal Says:

    Shame on me for not basing my analysis on the Krumm family heating bill. How sloppy of me. I took my numbers for the Department of Energy (which is what the TCPR press release cited).

    The Department of Energy lists the average nationwide energy consumption per household as 10,656 kwh and the average consumption per squarefoot as 13.7 kwh. But for the East South Central region (Tennesse, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi), the average is 15,447 kwh per household and 19.83 kwh per square foot. As you state in your post, Gore’s consumption is 19.43 kwh per square foot, less than the average.

    It’s great that your family has such low energy consumption, but you clearly did not “debunk” anything. Nice try, though.

    You also seem to have missed the entire point of my post, which had little to do with energy numbers.

  4. Charlie Says:

    What you ignore, Anonymous Liberal, is that Mr Gore is on the road six months out of the year, meaning that his energy consumption is then actually double what you cite as the regional average.

  5. DJ Says:

    AL: Remind me again about why Gore’s energy usage really isn’t so bad because he lives in such an enormous house?

    Why should anybody who cares about energy use, carbon footprints and the like be concerned with a statistic that discounts for extravagently sized mansions?

    Isn’t that a bit like saying his private jet gets good gas milage *per seat*?

    Face it: the guy’s fantastically rich, he lives large, and he uses a whole lot of energy. While hectoring the rest of us about the coming global warming apocalypse, and how we should be changing our lives to prevent it.

  6. Tim Says:

    I thought the real question is whether Gore energy use is “carbon neutral.” Is he or isn’t he?

  7. Sean Neves Says:

    Anonymous Liberal: Your argument semms to suggest that if I build a 40,000 square foot home, I’m okay as long as my “per square foot” stays in check? Think again. Living fat on a “per square foot” basis is still living fat, even if you purchase some polution credits…

  8. Anonymous Liberal Says:

    What you ignore, Anonymous Liberal, is that Mr Gore is on the road six months out of the year, meaning that his energy consumption is then actually double what you cite as the regional average.

    Look, there are all kinds of variables that go into this sort of thing. Being the former Vice President of the United States, Gore probably has a number of security needs that John Q. Citizen doesn’t. There’s likely a significant security presence at the home in the form of a energy-sucking high-tech alarm systems, full time security personnel, etc. There may well be year-round tenants. Plus, even when you’re not home, you need to have the heat and air conditioning on to some extent to prevent damage.

    All of this is entirely beside the point, though. The point is we don’t know what all the factors are. And even if we did, who cares? If Gore were to leave his backdoor open all winter, thereby wasting thousands of kilowatts of energy, would that somehow make his slide show less convincing? If it were demonstrated that Gore’s house is not as energy efficient as it could be, would that somehow render his tireless efforts to bring attention to this important issue less meaningful? Of course not. This entire line of attack is just a meaningless sideshow, an effort to distract the American people from the substance of the issue itself.

  9. Don Says:

    Anonymous Liberal – “You also seem to have missed the entire point of my post, which had little to do with energy numbers”

    And there you have it, the liberal mind at work ignoring the facts to justify their hypocrisy.

  10. Anonymous Liberal Says:

    I thought the real question is whether Gore energy use is “carbon neutral.” Is he or isn’t he?

    He is. And DJ, you might want to actually read more than just the quoted portion of my post. It addresses your question. There’s some further back and forth in the comment section of my blog, if you’re interested.

  11. Ned Williams Says:

    Great post, Bob.

    AL: Who said Gore’s slide show was “convincing”?

    And “tireless efforts” look a lot like “tireless self-promotion” if Gore isn’t tirelessly practicing what he’s preaching, don’t you think?

  12. bob Says:

    Mr Anonymous,

    In your defense you brought up the idea that the DOE averages all households “including apartment units and mobile homes.” What I provided in response was a like comparison: large homes in the same neighborhood, both newly renovated. But you didn’t want to hear that.

    Actually, the point of your original post was quite easy to follow. Allow me to summarize:

    1. The information about Al Gore is a lie. (Debunked)
    2. The organization providing the information is illegitimate. (Irrelevant, since the information they provided is legitimate, as proven by NES records.)
    3. His energy consumption really isn’t that bad. (Debunked not just for the aforementioned reasons, but because no new home or newly renovated home should be anywhere near the average of energy consumption–it should perform vastly better than average)
    4. It doesn’t matter because even if Al Gore is a hypocrite; the underlying message is still real.

    The last of your points is the only one of the four defenses not yet rendered completely moot. However, you damage your own credibility on this issue when you argue against an ad hominem “smear” attack on Vice President Gore, while dismissing his critics as a “mindless swarm”. Furthermore, if Al Gore’s global warming data is still relevant even if he drives “around the country in a fleet of Hummers that run on solid coal,” then by the same token the TCPR’s data about the Gores’ energy consumption is also equally credible no matter who may provide their funding. It works both ways.

    Oh, and let me lastly ad that, as opposed to the two-member Gore household, the Krumm family includes three kids who can’t ever close a door, a mother who never turns off a light, a father who never turns off the house’s three computers, an incontinent aged dog that always needs to be let out, and a cat that actually is energy efficient. If that motley band of Krumms are energy saints compared to anyone, then they’ve got big energy problems.

  13. The Anchoress » Watching Couric, Gore, and Clintons Says:

    [...] While many are looking at Gore’s home energy consumption, I’m wondering if anyone has bothered to think about the carbon footprint of the two working mines on his property, and how they are being “offset” but to me this is smelling more and more like a scheme: Be noble, be green, send your money here and you’ll be alright. [...]

  14. Horst Graben Says:

    AL is Right On. His last sentence says it all:

    This entire line of attack is just a meaningless sideshow, an effort to distract the American people from the substance of the issue itself.

    So true, the entire global warming attack is a meaningless sideshow in an effort to distract the ‘merican people from the substance of the “reforms” that the global tax promoters want to wallow in.

  15. Chris Says:

    Watched Olbermann tonight. Turns out Gore uses some alternative energy plan at his house – the idea is that the energy he uses comes from alternative sources, and he pays more for it. To the tune of $6000 a year more. Then he buys the carbon offsets as well. Maybe he has a big house, and maybe he has extra security needs, and maybe he has two home offices, and maybe he uses a bunch of energy… but he’s doing what he can to support alternative energy sources and offset the damage he does. Is it perfect? No, but it’s better than what the vast majority of people are doing. He’s not a solar-panel-on-the-roof hippie, but he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

  16. Anonymous Liberal Says:

    In your defense you brought up the idea that the DOE averages all households “including apartment units and mobile homes.” What I provided in response was a like comparison: large homes in the same neighborhood, both newly renovated. But you didn’t want to hear that.

    Bob, thanks for responding. What I bristled at in post was the suggestion that I was somehow making these numbers up, when in fact, I clearly cited and linked to my source of information, the Department of Energy, which is the very same source cited by the TCPR. And with due respect, Bob, I suspect that the DOE data is a little more comprehensive than your one-house sampling technique.

    But this is neither here nor there. As I point in my post, Gore does in fact do everything he asks others to do: he has taken efforts to reduce his residential carbon footprint and he purchases carbon offsets to reduce the remaining footprint to zero. He’s not asking people to sell their homes or radically change their lives. He just wants people to pay some attention to their own carbon footprints.

    As for this:

    However, you damage your own credibility on this issue when you argue against an ad hominem “smear” attack on Vice President Gore, while dismissing his critics as a “mindless swarm”.

    Look, even intelligent people can act like a mindless swarm at times. What I was referring to was the way the Right simply parroted the TCPR attack, without bothering to check its accuracy or consider how dumb an argument it is. How many post on this subject today devoted even a line to addressing the substance of Gore’s message? None. They were too busy trying to expose Al Gore as a Big Hypocrite, and for what? Even if he was proven beyond doubt to be an enormous hypocrite, where does that get us? Does that somehow prove that the threat of global warming isn’t serious? Gore is just a messenger. He’s not a scientist. Discrediting him does absolutely nothing to advance anyone’s understanding of anything. It’s just a meaningless scalping behavior designed to distract people from having any substantive discussion of the scientific and policy issues Gore raises.

  17. Eric Says:

    A-Lib and Bob, thanks for both putting in the time and stating your views well. Enjoyed both.

    As a young fella I don’t have a lot of the same concerns that many kid-rearing adults have in terms of political leanings so my viewpoint generally stems from one thing only; personal accountability. And on this issue I see very little accountability by Gore.

    That’s not to take away from, as Annon-Lib says, the light he’s shined on the issue of global warming. They are two very different entities. One shouldn’t discount his good work because of his own reckless consumption and one shouldn’t discount his own reckless consumption because of his good work. I think EVERYONE interested or serious about going green and clean should live smaller (much, much, much smaller) and make serious lifestyle changes — until they make those changes they need not blame anyone but themselves.

    It’s that high and mighty, all-knowing blame-ism that Al Gore and many of his supporters participate in — which is, to me, the worst kind of political mongering. Blaming, always blaming. You have to be accountable for the one thing you can control; yourself.

  18. LongHairedWeirdo Says:

    1. The information about Al Gore is a lie. (Debunked)
    2. The organization providing the information is illegitimate. (Irrelevant, since the information they provided is legitimate, as proven by NES records.)
    3. His energy consumption really isn’t that bad. (Debunked not just for the aforementioned reasons, but because no new home or newly renovated home should be anywhere near the average of energy consumption–it should perform vastly better than average)
    4. It doesn’t matter because even if Al Gore is a hypocrite; the underlying message is still real.

    1) Anonymous Liberal did not claim that the information about Gore was a lie.
    2) AL didn’t claim that the organization wasn’t legitimate, just that this was its first appearance, and it was assumed to be legitimate.
    3) AL claimed that Gore’s usage per square foot wasn’t bad given the region.
    4) Al Gore is not a hypocrite until he is violating some standard he has set; he has not set a standard of “don’t use energy”.

    You’re claiming to have “debunked” points that AL (and Al Gore) never made.

    Al Gore has not, to the extent of my (admittedly limited) knowledge ever claimed that one should not use energy; his message is to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

    Conservation is one way of doing this; it’s not the only way.

    If Al Gore is carbon neutral, he’s not being a hypocrite. He might not be a very good example of how the average American should act to reduce their own carbon footprint to zero, but he has more means than the average American. Unless he would deny folks of similar means the right to reduce their carbon footprint to zero using the same methods he’s using, he’s being perfectly consistent.

  19. Jim Treacher Says:

    Being the former Vice President of the United States, Gore probably has a number of security needs that John Q. Citizen doesn’t.

    Well, the Wendy’s salad bar does have a sneeze guard…

    If Gore were to leave his backdoor open all winter, thereby wasting thousands of kilowatts of energy, would that somehow make his slide show less convincing?

    Nothing could make his slide show less convincing.

    he has taken efforts to reduce his residential carbon footprint and he purchases carbon offsets to reduce the remaining footprint to zero.

    It might be quicker to just say “Abra Kadabra!”

  20. Eric Says:

    A-Lib: I agree with your point, though you have to agree that Gore is regarded as the leader of this movement, and, if serious, should lead by example (and I get your point that he is doing his part-ish, but I think that the living large is the problem, not how efficiently large, maybe that’s just me).

    My big problem with the ‘movement’ in general, at least with the people I interact with, is that no one is making serious lifestyle changes. Offsets, organic food, CF bulbs, it’s all just a sort of small effort approach to it…very American. A recent letter to Popular Mechanics pointed out that if everyone went back to hanging clothes to dry on a line it would make a decent impact over a long period of time (and how about that vitamin D, huh?) but I can say unequvocably that my friends who bemoan suburbanites as a plague upon the earth would never make this simple sacrifice. Carbon offsets however? Sure, what the hell.

  21. mcg Says:

    I thought the real question is whether Gore energy use is “carbon neutral.”

    Not to me it isn’t. The whole carbon offset concept is nothing but a shell game that rich limousine liberals get to play to feel better about their consumption. It also drives the cost of carbon-based energies higher, which penalizes only those who aren’t as fortunate as the Goracle. So the carbon fuels are still getting burned, and he’s done zilcho about it.

    If we are to take people like Al Gore at their word, then the problem is that we collectively consume more energy than we can cleanly produce. The solution ought to be, then, to reduce consumption, not to buy your way out of guilt.

  22. tyree Says:

    “How many post on this subject today devoted even a line to addressing the substance of Gore’s message?”
    OK, I will address Gore’s message. I rode a bicycle to work for 15 years. I have recycled aluminum cans for 40 years. I pour the first two quarts of cold water from the shower into a pitcher and use that to flush the toilet, instead of running it down the drain. I salvaged insulation from a dumpster and layed it in my attic to help keep my family warm.
    Then Al Gore took one trip in his private jet and blew out all the carbon I had saved in my entire lifetime. The substance of his message? Do as I say, not as I do. My reply: Follow my lead Mr. Vice President, you have a long way to go.
    I laughed at the part in “An Inconvienient Truth” where Mr. Gore compared Chinese automobile fuel economy to the US. I read an article that some of the highest MPG cars in China are built at the GM plant there. They can’t be built in the US, the safety regulations would add to much weight. I am sure Mr. Gore means well, but, after seeing all the ecology I tried to save as a kid trampled into the ground by waves of illegal immigrants I need a leader with answers that will work.

  23. Cliff Says:

    “Gore does in fact do everything he asks others to do: he has taken efforts to reduce his residential carbon footprint”

    I think this is the point that bothers people. For someone who claims to have taken efforts, he obviously hasn’t made very much of one. Most people’s houses are more efficient than this and I think that most Greens are and should be offended by this.

    It should be pretty simple to beat the average and you would expect a true leader especially one who was renovating his house to have made sure he was beating the average to a large degree.

    I think most people who aren’t college students and actually pay an energy bill were shocked by this information.

  24. Robin Goodfellow Says:

    Anonymous Liberal, check your math. The implication of averaging 10,656 kwh per year per home and 13.7 kwh per year per square foot in the home implies that the AVERAGE home is about 780 square feet. I find this a bit hard to believe (it would imply that about half of all homes are smaller than this). Available figures indicate average square footage of households in the US are more than 2.5 times this number. There may just be something a bit wonky with those figures you’re quoting.

    P.S. This is AL’s “argument”:

    “Could Gore use less overall energy if he and Tipper moved into a one-bedroom apartment? Of course. But he’s not asking people to move into smaller homes. He’s asking them to reduce their carbon footprints, which is exactly what he has done. He practices what he preaches.”

    Indeed, this is Gore preaching to the world “let them eat cake^H^H^H^H get rich and buy carbon offsets”.

  25. Steve Says:

    AL said: “He just wants people to pay some attention to their own carbon footprints. … Gore is just a messenger. He’s not a scientist. Discrediting him does absolutely nothing to advance anyone’s understanding of anything.”

    Fine. I’m a dedicated Republican, live in a SMALL 2-bedroom apartment, and for years have paid my utility district extra money every month for the “Greenergy” program. I may even have a negative carbon footprint, for all I know.

    I still think Gore is a pandering fool, and the “message” that comes through is “do as I say, not as I do”. You don’t have to be a scientist to know just how ineffective that message is.

  26. Ron T Says:

    Mr. “Anonymous Liberal”:

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe that you are chewing your fingernails as you wait for each and every response to the exposure of AlGore’s fat lifestyle (and corpus, too – send him directions to the nearest Curves. Please!).

    It’s OK to be rich. And almost every American makes his/her home to be the biggest, best and most comfortable that he/she can afford. But you can write 135 more paragraphs here and never be able to justify how AlGore can consume this much electricity and natural gas and be so Holy to preach that the average shmoe should give up his ATV, bass boat, gasoline lawnmower and barbecue grill to save the planet. When you add in Fat Al’s private jet trips, this one man alone emits more CO2 than many small towns in middle America.

    Get your head out of your … and face reality.

    Ron T

  27. John Dunshee Says:

    The issue isn’t the energy his homes consume, it’s that he thinks he can buy absolution from the very sins that he is excoriating the rest of us for.

    During the Civil War the wealthy could pay others to take their place rather than going to war themselves. This is what Gore is doing while at the same time he is preaching abolition.

    As for the “offsets’, why should he be allowed to use more energy just because he paid someone else to conserve for him? And are the companies that are planting these trees, or whatever it is they do, doing so in a Liberally Approved manner? Are the employees paid a living wage? Do they have medical care? How about a retirement plan?

    We have to make sure that the wealthy Gore family is not taking advantage of the less fortunate for their own benefit.

    AL is correct, this doesn’t discredit “global warming” in any way. It should remind us to take a good hard look at those who are trying to sell us this stuff. This includes scientists. There is nothing about being a “scientist” that makes you any more honest and trustworthy than anyone else. Proponents of global warming are always quick to let us know that many of the scientists that do not buy global warming have connections to “industry”. Meaning organizations that drive our economy, provide us with jobs, and allow us to maintain the highest standard of living in the world. But the scientists that they like to trot out to support their theories all have connections to the environmental industry and if connections to “industry” are enough to discredit the opinions of scientists, then connections to the environmental industry should be equally discrediting.

    At any rate, all I’m seeing is calls for a reduction in carbon emission without any information on when we are going to see results. Or even a way to measure results. I mean, using florescent light bulbs and all that is all right, but if we all do that is global warming going to stop? If not, what else do we need to do?

    Alternative energy is fine, but if it is not cheap and plentiful it’s not going to make much of a difference.

    This global warming thing looks a lot like Mencken’s endless series of imaginary hobgolins, which leads me to another Mencken quote that I find fitting.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.

  28. mcg Says:

    The alternative is to increase carbon-neutral production. But with only a few key exceptions the global warming alarmists seem quite unwilling to give on the obvious short-term solution: nuclear. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m a technogeek and I really get excited about things like electric cars, solar power, geothermal, even biodiesel (though I doubt that’s practical). But I just don’t see any real solutions being offered besides moving back into caves and burning carbon-neutral firewood.

  29. Harry Eagar Says:

    ‘Would that somehow make his slide show less convincing?’

    You can’t get to less than zero in the convincing bracket.

    Face it, Liberal, Gore’s a phony. A rich phony who squanders electricity and got caught.

    I see what he’s getting out of it, but I don’t see why you are expending so much effort to make yourself out to be Gore’s fool.

  30. Robert McConnell Says:

    Fellas, fellas, fellas, you’re missing the point. The Goracle is also chairman and a founding partner of Generation Investment Management LLP, an international boutique investment fund that places other peoples’ money, for a fee, into the stocks of ‘green’ companies. (Check their website for details.) When Al is beating the drum about possible future global warming, he’s also drumming up business. And the definition of ‘carbon offsets’ is a rather elusive one.

  31. Robert Says:

    Discrediting him does absolutely nothing to advance anyone’s understanding of anything.

    Not quite. It serves quite well in advancing our understanding of Mr. Gore’s motives.

    When people actually believe something, they generally live their life in a way that underscores or is compatible with the belief. Pacifists who oppose the death penalty don’t usually go out and get concealed carry permits. Writers who believe in a free exchange of ideas don’t usually go out and write super-restrictive comments policies for their blogs. Environmentalists who really believe in treating the planet well don’t usually live in power-sucking mansions and fly everywhere in private jets.

    And – oops! – there’s the problem with Mr. Gore. If he believed what he was saying on its own merits, then he would be behaving differently. Since his behavior and his rhetoric do not match, we learn something about him: that there is some other motivation for his policy preferences.

    Those policy preferences all seem to entail increasing governmental control over the economy. Mr. Gore’s actual motivation would appear to a fair-minded observer to be a desire to increase government power – and environmental concern over global climate change is simply the convenient rhetorical tool to flog in the service of that agenda.

    Mr. Gore is of course free to advocate for whatever policies he wishes. However, those of us who would bear the burden of his policies are also entitled – in our mindlessly swarming way – to think that his rhetorical flourishes are so much organically-composted, locally-grown, carbon-neutral BS. He doesn’t believe what he says.

  32. RIch K Says:

    AL:

    So the botton line to this whole argument is to continue to live your life as you are living it but buy some carbon credits to offset it? Why didn’t Gore just say that from the beginning? Here I thought he was talking about conservation of energy. You know, taking mass transit, light rail, using less electricity and such. It was all right there in his Oscar Award winning screen saver!

    I shall look forward to the 3am infomercials with guys selling fancy certificates labeled ‘One Carbon Credit’. Maybe they will package the deal with people selling the ‘Lose weight while you sleep’ pills.

    Sounds like another bogus industry created out of thin air to reach deeper into our pockets.

  33. E. Nough Says:

    I would argue it at least proves that Al Gore does not himself believe that the “climate crisis” is as bad as he claims on stage. Clearly he has weighed the alleged needs of the environment against his and his family’s personal comforts, and the latter has won. Gore sacrifices nothing; he just throws some of his abundant money at whatever enviropope promises him absolution. Fair enough — it’s his money after all — but this behavior is inconsistent with Gore’s alleged belief that the world is on the verge of an ecologic catastrophe.

    Does this invalidate the scientific argument for global warming? Of course not — but Gore is not out to defend a Climatology Ph.D. thesis. His gospel is that all of us must repent and be more frugal with our energy consumption. That particular message is most definitely undermined by Mr. Gore’s gluttony for kilowatts. After all, if the Cotton Mather of Climate Change thinks commuting by Hummer is hunky-dory, surely my skipping the bus to drive to work is acceptable?

    What I find particularly entertaining is Gore’s apologists saying that all of his carbon-spewing sins are absolved by his preaching the Climate Sermon to the masses. If this is true, then I submit that any Chevy Tahoe owner can claim the same exemption by decorating their 4×4 with a Fight Global Warming sticker.

    Related: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38644

  34. Tman Says:

    Gore does in fact do everything he asks others to do.

    Will he give me a mansion so I can put geothermal water heaters in it too?

    Face it, you’re making excuses for the Goracle. Instead of him taking the bus like he wants the rest of us to do, he pays someone else to plant some trees. That’s like saying “hey, I don’t want to diet, I think I’ll pay someone else to do it for me”.

    Sorry, doesn’t work that way.

    Al Gore is a hypocrite. Period.

  35. Ric Locke Says:

    Sorry, AL, it won’t wash.

    If I believed what Gore is telling us, I would be taking extreme measures to save energy in the hope of surviving when the crunch comes. You’ll notice Bob has done some fairly comprehensive things. Have you?

    Since Gore clearly doesn’t believe a word of it himself — as evidenced by the fact that he has taken no, repeat no, measures to protect himself from the Apocalypse he so confidently predicts in public — why should I believe him? It’s not just that he’s a hypocrite; as you point out, hypocrisy or otherwise isn’t the big question. It’s that if he believed his own bullshit he would have a powerful incentive to act in a certain way. His actual, observable actions are directly opposite to that. People’s actions are generally a much better indicator of their real opinions than their words, and that goes double, perhaps triple, for politicians.

    As for scientific and policy issues, we’ll get to that — and it’ll be a lot easier without Al Gore and the Warmists. [Eminor chord, drum riff] He and his followers have not so much introduced scientific and policy questions as decreed them, handed down the Only Possible Solution from On High. There are some fairly important scientific details, and some big choices in policy, that up to now could not even be discussed because the Faithful shut down debate. Now we get to address them. Who knows? He might be right.

    Regards,
    Ric

  36. Pink Pig Says:

    The significance of Gore’s lifestyle is that the global warming movement has chosen him as their spokesman and advocate. There is nothing mindless at all in pointing out that he is not exactly a good poster child. If you don’t think that he is much different from Elmer Gantry, and you want to separate the global warming debate from the personalities, then you should abandon him as a spokesman. It’s up to you, but if you continue to cite him, it will only discredit your position.

    As far as I am concerned, the global warming theory can be compared to the Ptolemaic system. A lot of people, no doubt well-meaning and competent, worked for many hundreds of years to tune the Ptolemaic system so that it had good predictive value. They did a fine job. The argument of Copernicus was that the Ptolemaic system was just an ad hoc, jerry-rigged collection of mechanisms that had no underlying principle, except perhaps to reinforce the non-scientific urge to justify Biblical teachings. Copernicus proposed instead a much simpler structure that also more or less fit the known data, and for this he was denounced as a heretic. It is worth noting that for the better part of the 16th century (until Kepler came along) the Copernican system was much more inaccurate than the Ptolemaic system, mainly because Copernicus thought that the planetary orbits were perfect circles. We now know that Copernicus had the right idea, and that planetary movements can be accounted for by a few simple principles which no longer need to be tuned to make them fit the data.

    The glaringly obvious fact is that we have almost no idea of how climate works. Putting together computer models based on the limited concepts that we currently have is very much akin to the Ptolemaic approach. If someone comes along with a better idea, it would not be a good thing to shout him down. It’s certainly not scientific, at the very least.

    You might start by thinking about a simple question. If the world is going to hell in a handbasket because of climate change, what does it matter whether humanity had anything to do with it? There are certainly a lot of potential disasters, e.g. an asteroid collision, that cannot sensibly be blamed on the past history of humanity. Why are these disasters less relevant? Shouldn’t we instead be evaluating comparative risks and searching for ways to avert them? Isn’t this a debate in which all ideas should be welcome?

  37. Barry Says:

    How is this any different from the Ted Haggard thing? Liberals jumped all over that one for the “hypocrisy.” Can they really not see how silly this makes Gore look? Sorry, but defending Gore here against the VRWC just makes one look idiotic. There’s really a point where one needs to step out of their partisan bubble and look at things objectively. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see why most people who hear of this story will think Gore looks foolish. Him and Edwards alike. They want all of us to behave a certain way but it’s okay for them because they can buy “carbon offsets?” What about those that can’t afford the indulgences? Should they get into heaven too?

  38. jr565 Says:

    Taking advice from Gore on keeping our carbon footprint low is like hearing from King Midas about how we have reduce our desire for shiny extravagances. For you see, anyone on the conservative side of the sphere would not begrudge Gore a nice house. But, as he stated at the acadamy awards just two days ago, global warming is not a political issue but a moral one.
    As the dems are fond of class warfare and love talking about two americas and the discrepancy between rich and poor, and how evil america is for using the majority of the earths resources how does Gore justify having 8 bathrooms in his house when its just him and Tipper morally? Not to mention his frequent travel on private jets. From a moral perspective that is.

    Ah, he’s Al Gore see. Therefore his carbon footprint needs to be bigger than others. But King Midas was a king. Surely then he had need to turn everything he touched into gold, because you see he was a lord and therefore needed such extravagance, whereas the lowly serfs and commoners who similarly lust after gold but can afford a fraction of what Midas turns to gold in a day in a year, they need to have a finger pointed in their face beacause money is the root of all of evil and earthly possessions will cause the world to be destroyed.

    I’m giving Al the Middle Finger salute for being head cheese hypocritical bastard. Him along with his hollywood cronies. Us city dwellers who live in small apartments and in my case don’t even drive don’t need lectures from the ultimate destroyers of the environment, rich fat cat liberal swine, private jet flying mansion dwelling hypocrites, who’s very gaseous prognostications probably produce more methane than a field of cows farting. The Academy Awards, was beamed to how many hundreds of milions of tv sets around the world? Last I heard tvs ran on electricity. If Hollywood was so concerned about conservation and clean energy, you’d think they’d at least try to keep the show under 4 hours. Because 100 million tv sets on for 4 hours is a lot of power being consumed. Especially to witness such banality. Next year, in the interest of maintaing a small carbon footprint keep the show to an hour and have all the actors escorted to the show on rikshaws.

    Does Gore need to fly jets everywhere? I saw him at an apple keynote when Jobs introduced iChat with its great video conferencing functionality. In fact, one of the first people he called was Gore. You would think that the concept of video conferencing might be worked in his repertoire when he tried to get the message out. He did invent the internet after all. Embrace the technology Al.

    Fat cat libs who engage in class warfare who talk about the oncoming end of the world, and the fact that America is the prime producer of waste etc etc etc – hows about living in houses that are not mansions? Small apartments are perfectly functional and don’t produce half as much waste. Public transportation is cheap and doesn’t cause smog or nearly as many traffic jams. I have a small carbon footprint, and I don’t even believe in the crap youre peddling. But if you do, you should be utterly ashamed to get up on the stage and talk about how we have to reduce our carbon footprints, when yours are the size of godzillas.

  39. Gene Says:

    Armed Lib. I read you fairly often. You’re generally quite sane and informative. Listen, don’t go down with Mr. Gore’s ship. Anyone who tells me how not to live yet refuses to hold hihmself to the same requirements is a hypocrite, period. That he made a docudrama/report telling the same message with an even louder horn in front of a crowd of hybrid renting disciples makes his hypocracy more offensive.

    Alternatively discuss the issue not the pathetic self annointed standard bearer. DIscuss, perhaps, some of the weaknesses of the work of Mr. Gore in this regard. One deficiency might how be he ignores scientific discussion of the historical correllation of changes in the strength of solar radiation and global warming/cooling. Oddly this rarely gets mentioned but seems (I’m no scientist) plausable. Rest easy as such discussion will not refute the proven fact that an increased CO2 presence in an atmosphere blocks/absorbs light energy more.

    Indeed such discussion might promote real public debate removing lingering fear on both sides that we all are relying on research performed by scientists paid by big oil or funded by the now almost monolithic funding grants and commissions provided by those less inclined to favor “big oil”.

    Mostly it will show that you’re willing to debate seriously this seemingly ominous problem. Perhaps then you’ll see the folly in defending someone I think is an embarrassment to the Democratic party.

  40. Barry Says:

    Another thing, I keep reading that, “It’s not important what Gore does, the important thing is the message and that’s what the VRWC is trying to silence.” Can anyone please list which conservative (or non liberal) said with regards to Ted Haggard, “It doesn’t matter what he does on his own time with a male prostitute. What’s important is that the message he has been a proponent of is correct.”

    I think most rational people on the center right saw Haggard and said, “Wow. That’s pretty bad. That guy certainly didn’t practice what he preached. No defending that.”

    Can’t liberals be adult enough to admit that the data surrounding Gore looks pretty bad? Can’t there be a consensus on that?

  41. Rich Vail Says:

    Mr. Gore like many of his ilk, have pretensions of telling you how to live your life…while buying indulgenses (oh, I’m sorry “offsets”). Where I come from that’s called hypocracy. Mr. Gore is a hypocrit, plain and simple. There is no defense. What pisses me off is that Mr. Gore concept is do as I say, not as I do…

  42. Robert Crawford Says:

    It’s just a meaningless scalping behavior…

    Hey, look! It’s the latest talking point!

  43. EvilTim Says:

    Even if he was proven beyond doubt to be an enormous hypocrite, where does that get us? Does that somehow prove that the threat of global warming isn’t serious?

    It doesn’t necessarily prove that the threat of global warming isn’t serious. What it looks like is that Al Gore, who claims to take global warming so very seriously, doesn’t truly think global warming is a serious problem; he just SAYS he thinks it’s a serious problem.

    (After all, does it not logically follow that if Al Gore thinks global warming is such a concern that he would do as many things as he reasonably could to not waste energy? I have to wonder, does he have energy efficient doors and windows? How thoroughly is this huge house insulated? What, in the process of remodeling, did Gore pay to have done to his new house with an eye to energy conservation? etc.)

    Talk is cheap. Gore can talk himself hoarse about what others should do to conserve energy to attempt to slow down global warming, but his actions will speak much louder than his voice. If Gore doesn’t think this problem is serious enough to make sure his house isn’t a huge energy sink, then why should I take his supposed concerns seriously?

    The heart of the matter is this: if Gore cares so much about global warming, why isn’t he setting a good, clear example for the rest of us? His bad example makes him look un-serious about the issue, which makes the issue itself look less serious, which is detrimental to his cause. If Gore doesn’t care enough to make big changes in his own energy consumption, why should I – the average American – believe he’s really committed and concerned for the earth, rather than just taking a particular stand for political purposes?

    Bottom line: Gore undermines his stance by his apparent failure to follow his own advice.

  44. rhodeymark Says:

    Meaningless scalping behavior Hmmm… where have I read that before? Did Gore hire Amanda Marcotte to run his blog or something? It’s like this AL – my wife and I have installed multiple CFL bulbs throughout our 3 story colonial, bought new krypton gas 2x paned windows, improved our insulation and installed 2 programmable thermostats. As a reward (beside the warm and fuzzy of helping to “save the planet”) I read that our power company is going to need permission to jack our rates so they can go greener. They can kiss my backside, and I will let them know when a hearing comes about. BTW – how ’bout that warming on Mars? Anthropogenic, ya think? http://tinyurl.com/gljgz

  45. Julian De faria Says:

    Anoynomous Lefty’s arguments are patent nonsense, even if Al Gore’s (leaving aside any rationalising effect of property size)usage was commensurate with the average citizen in that particular geographic location, how is this acceptable! Quite obviously he is not your average citizen, if the best that the self styled ‘eco warrior’ can do is to match the average then something is very wrong. Hardly the Churchillian spirit of scarifice being demonstrated there. Additionally the ‘Gore is just a messenger’ argument is equally dubious, from what I understand Anonymous Lefty proposes that the credibility of the messenger in no way impinges upon the message he conveys. Therefore a campaigner against racism who actively practices discrimination is excused on the grounds that the message is correct. What a boon Anonymous Lefty is for hypocritical politicians of the right political persuasion.
    Incidentally, given that Al Gore apparently did not consider the consumption of almost 200,000 Kwh a year an issue this begs two conclusions:
    1. He is an imbecile, or
    2. He thinks the general public are imbeciles

  46. Tryptich Says:

    Anonymous Liberal … the point is that Gore doesn’t practice what he preaches. And he does preach. Incessantly. Pompously. Self-importantly. If he really, truly believed in his moralizing, he wouldn’t be consuming power on the scale he does. You know that. You just don’t want to admit it. Sure, you can come up with theories of heretofore unknown energy sucking security systems. Or claim its all politcal theater. But at a base level, you have to admit Gore isn’t living the carbon neutral life – and apparently doesn’t care – despite preaching it to the rest of us.

    The same goes with John Edwards. If he truly believed in the “Two Americas” screed, then he wouldn’t build an obscenely ostentatious palace (I’d like to see that heating bill come November).

    When the lives of two such prominent liberals are at such a disconnect with their moralizing, the only rational inference is that they really don’t believe in what they say; thus, the “message” is simply pablum for the weak minded. And why debate the “message” when its most visible proponent (an Academy Award winner, no less!) fails to live up to his so-called principles?

    Yes – I know many on the Left treat the issue of Global Warming something akin to a secular religion (in much the same vein as they did ZPG a generation ago). So, her Gore is like a preacher caught with his pants down in the pews and just as worthy of opprobrium. If Al didn’t have a recurring history of blowing in the direction of whatever political wind he felt was most advantageous at the time, I might buy your argument. But it’s more of the same from Al.

    So, tell me again, why should I believe if the ‘Goracle’ doesn’t?

  47. C-141 Crew Dog Says:

    Anonymous Liberal: “Look, even intelligent people can act like a mindless swarm at times.”

    – Except, of course, the Anthropogenic Global Warming Consensus Community (AGWCC), who no doubt represent many intelligent people but _never_ act like a mindless swarm. Because they said so.

  48. PaulD Says:

    “If Gore were to leave his backdoor open all winter, thereby wasting thousands of kilowatts of energy, would that somehow make his slide show less convincing? If it were demonstrated that Gore’s house is not as energy efficient as it could be, would that somehow render his tireless efforts to bring attention to this important issue less meaningful? Of course not. This entire line of attack is just a meaningless sideshow, an effort to distract the American people from the substance of the issue itself.”

    If Gore’s purpose is to persuade people to take action, then he looses his effectiveness if he fails to heed his own message. I think a typical person learning of his energy usage would reasonably conclude that Al Gore has failed to persuade himself to take the type of actions he is advocating. Why should I cut my energy consumption if Al Gore is a major energy hog. I don’t think many people will look at the situation differently because Al Gore has sufficient wealth the purchase carbon offsets.

  49. Daveg Says:

    They were too busy trying to expose Al Gore as a Big Hypocrite, and for what?

    Because I, for one, find it interesting that by either accident or design, the loudest Chicken Little screamers about the imminent (and my, how you people hated that word when Bush used it) Climatic Armageddon are also the ones that benefit the most from the drummed up hysteria. Scientists get grants, the media gets easy stories, and Daddy Albucks gets another shot at the Presidency.

    When your motives are that easily questioned, perhaps the better approach is to lead by example.

  50. Daveg Says:

    I keep hearing about these ‘carbon offsets’ and how wonderful they are. Yeah, right. Secure your wallets, folks, because the currently voluntary carbon offsets are the precursor of yet another mandatory tax. We’re exactly one Democratic president away from tripled or quadrupled energy taxes, all in the name of the environment. Of course, that’s not where the tax revenue will go, is it?

  51. David Pinto Says:

    Back during the 2000 election, gasoline prices were on the rise. If you remember, the Clinton administration (of which Gore was a member) released supplies of oil from the strategic reserve to lower the price of gasoline. This was done simply for political reasons during an election. That’s when I decided Al Gore was a hypocrite.

    Anyone who truly wants people to use less fuel should welcome a huge run-up in prices. The fact that Gore’s buddies set off to lower prices to help win an election, and Gore didn’t criticize it showed me how little Gore was willing to put his money where his mouth is. So I’m not at all surprised by his energy consumption.

    I also want to say as someone who believes in free markets, carbon offsets are a good thing. It’s usually my left leaning friends who argue against them, saying that they do nothing to clean up a local environment. If you live next to a coal burning plant, the air is still foul no matter how many carbon offsets the plant owns. So I’m somewhat surprised to see that debate flip poles over Gore.

  52. Bandit Says:

    Hey conservation is for little people – not the true and rightful President. All this Global Warming started the day Bush stole the election – non of it happened during the 8 years big Al was VP.

  53. Mister Snitch! Says:

    “Nice try, though.”

    My, my. For a post that was merely a “nice try”, ‘Anonymous Liberal’ is sure spending a lot of time in this forum. Perhaps he meant “nice success, you really showed me up for the clown I’ve always known myself to be”.

  54. Mister Snitch! Says:

    “If Gore were to leave his backdoor open all winter, thereby wasting thousands of kilowatts of energy, would that somehow make his slide show less convincing?”

    If the point of his slide show is to convince the rest of us that he is serious about the problem, the answer to this question can only be… yes.

  55. Cecil Turner Says:

    I think the most effective part of the message is that it underscores the hypocrisy in the global warming Cassandra crowd. The constant carping (and scare tactics like NYC gondolas) is notably bereft of any workable proposals. “Back to nature” is obviously unworkable with current population pressures, and “renewable resources” won’t support the increase in energy demand, let alone replace the GhG emitting stuff. And offsets are a marvelous way to encourage others to do something whilst studiously avoiding taking any positive action oneself.

    The only proven technology in this area is nuclear powerplants. The UK met its early emission goals by transitioning from coal. Ditto for France’s heavy reliance on nukes. And the same group of folks who carp about global warming deter construction of new nuke plants. You want me to take the global warming crowd seriously? Start lobbying for new nuclear powerplant construction.

  56. Alan in Louisville Says:

    “Reducing your Carbon Footprint” is a new concept to me, but I’m suspicious of it. It seems similar to buying indulgences from the Catholic Church.

  57. John Schulien Says:

    Gore’s “carbon credits” excuse is a complete joke. Sure, there are a smattering of windmills and hydroelectric dams supplying power to the grid in Gore’s general vicinity, and he has apparently paid a special “green electric bill” in order to associate his name with some of those kilowatt-hours, but it doesn’t matter.

    It doesn’t matter because the windmills and dams run all the time. It’s the coal, oil and gas burning plants that provide the bulk of our electric power, and it’s the coal, oil and gas burning plants that regulate the exact amount of electricity being generated at any given time.

    In other words, if Al were to disconnect his home from the grid, the grid would need less power, and the electric company would generate less electricity.

    Would they turn down a windmill? No!
    Would they turn down a hydroelectric dam? No!
    Would they power down a nuclear reactor? No!
    Would they turn down a carbon-burning generator? Yes!

    Because all of the “green” power sources listed are fixed-overhead, power sources. You don’t save any money on a windmill or dam or reactor by running them at less than full capacity.

    However, you definitely save money by reducing the fuel input to a carbon-based fuel generator.

    Now let’s say that Al reconnects his home to the grid. What is the electric company going to do to generate the extra power needed to supply electricity to his home?

    Are they going to turn up a windmill? No. All of the windmills on the grid are always producing as much power as they are capable of.

    Are they going to turn up a dam? No. The dams are all running at full capacity.

    And they aren’t going to push an extra fuel rod into a reactor.

    Are they going to turn up a coal, oil or gas generator? Yes, because once the power companies run out of “green” power, they are forced to use expensive carbon fuels to generate electricity.

    So it doesn’t matter that Al is paying for “carbon offsets” in his “green” electric bill. When he turns on the lights, TVA has to turn up the throttle on a carbon-burning reactor.

    And the worst part of it is that Gore seems to not have the slightest comprehension of this fact. He thinks that his “whole foods” green electric bill is helping save the earth somehow.

  58. Eduardo Alvarez Says:

    Gore now carbon neutral??

    I thought he had been neutered already in the 2000 election !!

  59. Bigwig Says:

    Moral crusades require moral leadership. Gandhi knew this, which is why he lived as simply as he did. Al Gore wants to assume the same mantle of leadership, but rather than living like Gandhi, or even Ralph Nader, for God’s sake, he’s instead chosen the lifestyle of a Vanderbilt.

    Either lead by example, or quit hectoring us, Al.

  60. Kay Brooks Says:

    Really excellent post, Bob. And thanks to the comments, folks. It’s been an interesting read with morning coffee.

  61. Jim Treacher Says:

    Instead of him taking the bus like he wants the rest of us to do, he pays someone else to plant some trees. That’s like saying “hey, I don’t want to diet, I think I’ll pay someone else to do it for me”.

    Carb offsets!

  62. Roger Arango Says:

    Damn you, John Schulien–you are probably some electrical or power engineer who actually understand power generation and the electrical grid! How dare you bring facts into this discussion. (great job of speaking truth to idiocy, BTW).

    On a related topic, does anyone else see the apparent hypocricy of the GW Swarm adopting a libertarian, free-market approach like carbon credits? Isnt that what government regulation is for? Milton Friedman(PBOH) is probably rolling over in his grave.

  63. Bob Krumm » carb offsets Says:

    [...] Jim Treacher is having trouble with his diet and wants to know where he can buy some of those “carb offsets”. [...]

  64. Steve Says:

    Let’s see if we can concisely sum up what The Anonymous Liberal and others seem to be really saying about Gore –

    Al Gore can pollute more than 20 times (at least) the average person because –

    1. He is rich
    2. He is important

    I’m rich, although perhaps not important (as defined by the Anonymous Liberal). So if I merely give some money to Carbon Credits, me and the other rich folks are entitled to do as we please? Is that what you are saying?

    According to Gore via his spokespeople, and folks like the Anonymous Liberal, rich folks merely need pay their way out of responsibility for polluting the environment. Fantastic, sign me up! And the rest of you, start living a little more responsibly, will you?

    Now, to work on making myself important too….

  65. Gunga Says:

    No matter how you cut it, Albert is very much like a man who, upon finding himself on fire, starts lecturing everyone else to stop, drop, and roll…while he stridently insists upon his right to self-immolation.

    I love how the drone (anonymous libtard) wants to argue the per-square-foot figures while totally ignoring that Queen Bee Gore seems to need “way yonder” more square footage than those of us he seeks to humble.

    Hey lib! Take a look at Gores energy-use/square-foot/resident figures and get back to us.

    One more ting that someone could clear up for me…when he says he’s purchased “carbon reserves”…is he actually referring to all the carbon stored in his gut?

  66. ech Says:

    Being the former Vice President of the United States, Gore probably has a number of security needs that John Q. Citizen doesn’t.

    What security does he need that I don’t? He is a private citizen of the USA. His security should be of no more interest to any US government agency than mine. This whole worship of former elected officials has got to stop. Just because someone used to be our hired hand in government doesn’t give them any life-long entitlement to be fawned over or lord it over the rest of us. There is no higher earthly title than “citizen of the United States”, and it’s high time the former ruling classes learned it.

  67. Katherine Coble Says:

    Treacher’s line is the best one yet. ;-p

  68. VRWC drone Says:

    Gore frequently claims to have a zero carbon footprint. Can anyone provide a link or quote where he explains exactly how he calculated his carbon footprint so that he would know just how much “offset” to purchase in order to become carbon neutral (despite the fact that formal standards for quantification of offsets have yet to be even be determined)?

    According to the website (www.tva.com) for the Tennessee Valley Authority, the power company that currently provides service to Al Gore’s home, the vast majority (60%) of the power they generate comes from fossil fuel (i.e. carbon spewing) plants. The rest comes from nuclear energy (30%) and hydroelectric (percentage not given, but less than 10%). So the majority of Gore’s enormous (20x the average household) electricity usage came from plants emitting carbon. So Gore is personally responsible for generating 12 times the amount of carbon than the average person (who he is also simultaneously lecturing to “use less”).

    And regarding that ‘Green Power Switch’ that Gore proudly claims to participate in? It’s comprised of wind turbines, solar power and methane gas plants. Per their web site, it also provides only 7% of TVA’s power generation capability. And when the green power resources aren’t operating — for instance, when wind speeds are too low to generate energy (which the web site notes are the major contributors) — TVA’s other resources (i.e. including those fossil fuel plants) kick in to supply electricity. So even ‘Green Power” isn’t 100% green.

  69. Tim Says:

    This AL guy accidentally opened a giant can of ‘WHUP-ASS’, and now he’s trying to get the stuff off of himself. How much environmental impact is there in a 200 lb. can of that stuff anyway? Gore is an imbecile!!

  70. Auditor Says:

    I’m waiting for someone to audit the carbon offsets. If the money is supposedly going to plant trees in some third world country, has anyone actually confirmed how many trees have been planted? 10 to 1 says a portion of the money is lost through expenses, graft and fraud and the trees that are planted may be sticks in the ground or “sold” multiple times.

  71. Longhairedweirdo Says:

    In other words, if Al were to disconnect his home from the grid, the grid would need less power, and the electric company would generate less electricity.

    Would they turn down a windmill? No!
    Would they turn down a hydroelectric dam? No!
    Would they power down a nuclear reactor? No!
    Would they turn down a carbon-burning generator? Yes!

    Because all of the “green” power sources listed are fixed-overhead, power sources. You don’t save any money on a windmill or dam or reactor by running them at less than full capacity.

    Actually, turning down a hydroelectric dam is a real possibility since holding back waater for future use increases capacity.

    The windmills probably aren’t owned by the electric company, and the electric company probably simply refuses to buy electricity from the owners past the amount that its customers have offered to purchase. And yes, running windmills does cost money; the second law of thermodynamics doesn’t care what you think.

    But don’t worry… that’s not important. The important thing is, Al Gore is a hypocrite, because he told everyone to… uh… well, he *must* have told *everyone* that the *must not use electricity*, but, hang it all, I can’t find it.

    Oh, wait… he told people to reduce their carbon footprint to 0, so as not to contribute to global warming. Well, since he hasn’t… oh, heh, wait, he has.

    Well, he *must* be a hypocrite, because if he’s not a hypocrite, people would have to accept that he’s done something good, and that’s just not acceptable! It’s not! Because a whole bunch of you people are going to stomp your foot and hold your breath until you turn blue!

    Gads. Critical thinking won’t kill you, people. Really.

    Yes, it will stop the anger at Al Gore, but anger isn’t really *good* for you, either, so there’s no real loss there.

    Al Gore hasn’t said “don’t purchase offsets”; he’s not a hypocrite for purchasing them. He’s said to have a neutral carbon footprint; he does.

    Yes, he has suggested that people conserve. Why? Because most people *can’t* just buy offsets to reduce their carbon footprint to 0. They can buy CF lightbulbs, carpool to work or take the bus, etc., and these will pay off right away. Have you got a better way to reduce the amount of carbon your life puts into the atmosphere? Great; do it, he’ll appreciate it.

  72. Mark Says:

    I realize I’m just a common rube, but how in the world can some one who consumes gas and electricity at the rate Gore (whatever his status or the line he’s pushing on the rest of us) possibly be considered “carbon neutral”. I don’t even know what that means.

    I drive an SUV, fly once or twice a year, spend about $300 per month in gas and electric combined. And I have a lot of trees in my yard. Does that make me carbon neutral?

    This carbon neutrality nonsense seems like a slicked up version of “do as I say, not as I do”. Gore does not need to consume the energy he does – I don’t care who he is. He lives extravagantly. Period.

  73. Jim Treacher Says:

    Critical thinking won’t kill you, people.

    Proven by the fact that you were able to post this comment!

  74. Jim Treacher Says:

    Wait, that didn’t make sense, even by my standards. Never mind. Go Gore!

  75. Steve Says:

    Longhairedweirdo said -”Oh, wait… he told people to reduce their carbon footprint to 0, so as not to contribute to global warming. Well, since he hasn’t… oh, heh, wait, he has.”

    Has he? Prove it. Who did he buy “Carbon Credits” from? (There are numerous such outfits). What did they do, specifically, to offset Gore’s carbon output? Are you sure it is enough?

    Basically as I said before, what Gore’s defenders are saying is that rich people can buy their way out of their obligations not to pollute.

    If you are rich, you can continue to fly in your private plane, live in large (and likely multiple) houses, and pollute like dozens of “ordinary” Americans, as long as you pay some dollars to a new and unregulated industry that sells “carbon credits”.

    I went to one of these sites to see what it would take to offset my own admittedly affluent lifestyle. http://www.carbonfund.org/site/

    I own 2 “large houses” per the site (2500-4000 square feet – they don’t even have one it Gore’s league available). Cost for 2 “large” houses – $110 a year, or $220.

    I have 4 cars. 3 are in the highest gas using capacity (though one is a little sports car!), and one in the full size category. 3 at $49.89/yr, 1 at $/yr 29.92, or $179.59.

    Oh yeah, and I fly quite a bit – almost always commercial, but occasionally private. We will take the 100,000 mile plus category to be safe, and say $104.50.

    So, total it up. For my affluent lifestyle of 2 houses, 4 cars, and a bunch of flying = $504.09 a year to make myself carbon neutral.

    So I am to understand that for the relatively modest amount of $500 a year I can live guilt free? I can be equal in my personal life to the great Gore?

    That is all there is to it – great! We can stop all this “hot air” and teeth gnashing about global warming, and all give a little money to some random outfit (and the carbonfund.org is considered one of the top ones, at that), and all is good?

    Because that is exactly what you defenders of Al Gore are saying. Pay your way out.

    Done then. Now shut up. How’s that for critical thinking?

  76. Ben Says:

    For A-L and other Gore defenders, “carbon offsets” are the magic wand of guilt-free high living. Let the trees clean up our mess! Oops… seems Gaia isn’t cooperating. Everyone has evidently forgotten this little news item from last year:

    Everyone knows trees are “A Good Thing”. They take in the carbon dioxide that threatens our planet with global warming and turn it into fresh, clean oxygen for us all to breathe. But now it seems we need to think again. In a discovery that has left climate scientists gasping, researchers have found that the earth’s vegetation is churning out vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent even than CO2. This is not a product of trees and plants rotting, which everyone already knew was a source of methane; it is an entirely natural side-effect of plant growth that scientists had somehow missed. Yet it is by no means trivial: preliminary estimates suggest that living trees and plants account for about 10 to 30 per cent of the methane entering the atmosphere.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/08423a00-83da-11da-9017-0000779e2340.html

    Seems this is an “inconvenient truth” the global warming pantywaists would rather just ignore. So thanks, Al, for single-handedly destroying the planet, first with CO2, and then with the extra methane you bought.

    Save the planet: Kill all the trees!

  77. Anchoress BLASTS the two-faced perfidy of the Gorist/Chicken Little lobby « Nothing Says:

    [...] FINAL UPDATE: Bob Krumm takes an additional hack at the Goracle and his keep. You need to read it all, but the keeper quote is at the very end: And the facts are this. Four and a half years ago Al Gore bought a large home and made it larger, but did very little to reduce his own energy consumption. Instead, he spent the same time telling you how to reduce yours. [...]

  78. dsmith Says:

    This is almost a little sad. Gore was the hero of the far left. Did you see the Academy Awards? Those prominent Hollywood gurus were actually *starstruck* by Algore.

    And now, it’s like their hero has fallen. And I find that just a little sad.

    I’ve had Gores number since “low flow toilets”. What a waste these things are. You have to flush 3 times just to get the paper to go down.

  79. The Ace Says:

    If Gore were to leave his backdoor open all winter, thereby wasting thousands of kilowatts of energy, would that somehow make his slide show less convincing? If it were demonstrated that Gore’s house is not as energy efficient as it could be, would that somehow render his tireless efforts to bring attention to this important issue less meaningful?

    Um, yes. Because obviously the situation is not that dire nor is it an emergency becuase even the person claiming these things doesn’t act in a manner consistent with his rhetoric.

    In other words, you’re trying to ignore the elephant in the room.

    It is clear why.

    To say your “defense” of Gore is pathetic is an understatement.

  80. The Ace Says:

    Oh, wait… he told people to reduce their carbon footprint to 0, so as not to contribute to global warming. Well, since he hasn’t… oh, heh, wait, he has.

    Because you say so?

    Al Gore is a hypocrite, because he told everyone to… uh… well, he *must* have told *everyone* that the *must not use electricity*, but, hang it all, I can’t find it.

    Those goalposts have wheels.
    What is funny is that even you won’t bother pretending Gore doesn’t tell people to conserve energy.

    He’s said to have a neutral carbon footprint; he does.

    Except you can’t prove this.

  81. The Ace Says:

    Well, he *must* be a hypocrite, because if he’s not a hypocrite, people would have to accept that he’s done something good

    Er, he is a hypocrite.

    Ask yourself something, if he really is “carbon nuetral” which would invlove solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs for example, why are his electric and gas bills so high?

    What is funny is you mentioned “critical thinking” in your post.
    You didn’t think of that one, funny enough…

  82. holdfast Says:

    The Goracle is being attacked as a hypocrite because he is one – just like it is fun to attack the born-again preacher who gets caught with the hooker (when he get caught with a little boy it stops being fun and becomes a serious crime). Sure Gore purchases his “carbon credits” (the whole thing strikes me as a cross between papal indulgences and a ponzi scheme, but put that to the side for not), which allows him to live his extravegant lifestyle in a “carbon neutral” fashion, but by doing so he is saying to middle class America “SUVs for me but not for thee” – i.e. even if you can afford your Ford Explorer, you mayn’t drive it unless you can also afford the new morality tax. Gore needs to realize that being a leader – actually motivating people to follow you and make real sacrifices – requires that he do more than write another check to the carbon pope. If he wants people to sacrifice (and serious CO2 reduction will involve a lot of personal and macroeconomic sacrificie (which is why it won’t really happen IMHO)) he has to sacrifice AND BE SEEN TO BE DOING IT. Flying his fat ass around the world in a Gulfstream and then paying some dude in Brazil to plant a tree is not going to cut it with middle America (red, blue or otherwise).

  83. PaulD Says:

    “I’m waiting for someone to audit the carbon offsets. If the money is supposedly going to plant trees in some third world country, has anyone actually confirmed how many trees have been planted? 10 to 1 says a portion of the money is lost through expenses, graft and fraud and the trees that are planted may be sticks in the ground or “sold” multiple times.”
    Take a look at this publication, The Carbon Neutral Myth. (Free download at http://www.tni.org/) It is written by someone who takes global warming seriously and it does a good job of dissecting this issues. It will confirms your suspicions and more. I am not in anyway associated with the publication or the website, but would highly recommend the publication for anyone who wants to understand carbon offsets.

  84. Jim Treacher Says:

    Somebody was saying he’s been buying the carbon offsets from his own “ecofriendly investment firm,” Generation Investment Management. Is that true? If so, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation for that too.

  85. Katherine Coble Says:

    “Somebody was saying he’s been buying the carbon offsets from his own “ecofriendly investment firm,” Generation Investment Management.”

    Bill Hobbs has more on that at Bill Hobbs dot com.

  86. John Says:

    One has to wonder if the name connected with this entire fiasco were, say, Dick Cheney, if the lefties would be defending it with the same mental gymnastics they have performing for the last 72 hours on behalf of Al Gore

    I’m guessing not.

    And to see them absolutely stampeding toward the defense of “carbon offsets” is hysterical — they may as well be shrieking that rich people have more of a right to pollute than poor people.

  87. Robin Goodfellow Says:

    The story of Gore’s excessive CO2 emissions is so interesting and so damning for several reasons. It implies a fundamental unseriousness about the threat of global warming on Gore’s part. Gore is telling everyone the big bad wolf is in the neighborhood and ready to blow everyone’s houses into oblivion. And yet while he’s shouting this he’s also busy building a huge new mansion made entirely of straw. This implies he doesn’t believe his own BS. This does not and cannot possibly undermine the scientific debate (such as it is) about global warming, but it damned sure undermines Gore’s credibility. Gore is also preaching to everyone to reduce their Carbon footprints, yet the way he goes about doing so for himself is completely unsustainable as a model for everyone else. More so, Gore eschews even very easy methods of making his home more efficient (such as those used by *gasp* Dubya’s Crawford residence), choosing instead to just dump money on the problem to make it go away. This shows just how out of touch Gore is with the public.

    Gore is preaching to the world “the world is in trouble! follow my lead!” and yet looking at Gore’s lifestyle one wonders if he seriously believes that the world is in trouble and one finds it impossible for average folks to follow his lead. These are not good qualities for a man who pretends at being the spokesmen for some new movement.

  88. Sandy P Says:

    We want to purchase these carbon offsets, but want them to be printed on a card so we can pass them out to “offenders.” We need coupons to pass out. We “rich” republicans can have a lot of fun w/this….But the Stupid Party won’t.

    Even better, I wish I had an SUV so I could put a “carbon neutral” bumpersticker on it.

    Appearance over substance is sooooo 90s. But as long as it makes me “feel good,” after all, that’s what it’s all about, yes????

    And buying one’s way out of it is so….republican, yes?

    Talk about Prince Al being a target-rich environment……

    Hey, if we’re donating to plant more trees, is this tax deductible? Cos let’s face it, we’re not really getting anything tangible out of this. But we’re getting a lot of laughs.

  89. mhw Says:

    Anonymous Liberal’s calculation of Kwatthours/sqft has a hidden assumption; namely that energy use would increase linearly with the size of the house.

    This simply is untrue. The Gore mansion is 5-10 times as large as the average house but doesn’t need 5-10 refridgerators, 5-10 dishwashers, 5-10 washer/dryers, 5-10 water heaters, etc. It may require 5-10 times as much lighting and space heating (presumably the latter via natural gas) assuming when it is fully occupied (but it apparently isn’t occupied 6 months a year). Furthermore, one would expect the Gore mansion to have relatively new appliances which would thus use far less than the per capita per square foot KWH.

    It would be instructive to see what the electricity is powering in the Gore mansion. Does Mr. Gore have a big computer complex in the basement (which would account for some of the electricity). Is the security system (which I’m assuming is very robust) a big electricity requirement?

  90. Donna Locke Says:

    If Al and Tipper spend time at their other homes, that means their Nashville dwelling uses a lot of energy overall even though unoccupied some or much of the time. Don’t they turn the lights out when they leave?

  91. mcg Says:

    Anonymous Liberal: here’s another problem with your defense. Who, exactly, does Gore buy his carbon offsets from? Are you ready? From a company he co-founded and chairs. And what does this company do: carbon sequestration, tree planting, renewable energy construction? Well, no, not exactly: it invests money in such projects. So basically, he’s not buying carbon offsets, he’s investing in his own damn company.

    And that’s assuming that the carbon offsets are actually effective, which is another disputed topic altogether.

    Source: http://www.ecotality.com/blog/?p=350

  92. Mark Says:

    “Anonymous Liberal’s calculation of Kwatthours/sqft has a hidden assumption; namely that energy use would increase linearly with the size of the house. This simply is untrue.”

    This all begs the question: What the heck is Gore doing in that house? My guess is that he’s got a huge hydroponic marijuana farm in the basement. All those heat lamps really suck up the juice.

    And if Gore’s piddly little palace uses that much power, imagine the carbon being put out at Chateau Edwards.

  93. Synyx » If carbon were pixels Says:

    [...] Within a day of his overblown Powerpoint presentation officially receiving the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature (because let’s face it – it really won a long time ago and the voting was just pro forma) reports about the energy usage at his Tennessee mansion set off a volcano of criticism, followed by an equivalent eruption of defensive posturing all around. [...]

  94. Why Al Gore’s House Matters « Creative Destruction Says:

    [...] I was reading some comments on a post over at Bob Krumm’s site where one of the other commenters opined that conservative criticism of Gore is pointless because it doesn’t advance our understanding of anything. I responded at the Bob Krumm site, but want to cross-post my comments here in slightly edited form. [...]

  95. Nashville is Talking » More Gore: A Round-Up Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm: The Krumms are fortunate enough to live in a relatively nice section of West Nashville, just like Al Gore. We moved in to our house in late 2002, just like Al Gore. We then began a major renovation of our home, just like Al Gore. We also have a large home, although it’s only about half the size of Al Gore’s. So let’s do some math. [...]

  96. Serial dumper Says:

    So does this mean I can take a dump in the river if I pay someone else not to?

  97. holdfast Says:

    Mark 92 – that was my first thought as well – of course, I am from Vancover, Canada, where that sort of thing is common. Seriously, the sheer scale of these numbers almost makes me think that it HAS to be an exageration. Is Gore Running a looped tape of his movie non-stop on 12 giant plasma TVs?

  98. Bob Krumm » then and now . . . and “equal time” is for the other guys Says:

    [...] Al Gore’s nonchalant personal energy consumption supports only one of those conclusions. [...]

  99. InMuscatine » Blog Archive » Debunking Gore’s Defenders Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm » debunking a rather lame debunking: I think that you have to go back to the forged 60 Minutes documents to find another example of a story that broke so quickly and so thoroughly, but was so viciously denied–against all evidence–by partisans who refused to believe the facts. [...]

  100. Longhairedweirdo Says:

    Ace et al:

    I know they don’t teach critical thinking much, but here’s the deal.

    You make a positive claim, you back it up. You prove it’s true.

    Got that? It’s really pretty simple. No one believes you just because you stamp your feet and declare yourself right; you have to actually provide evidence.

    Al Gore’s statements about buying carbon offsets are out there. They’re quite public and quite well known. Now, if the base point under discussion was “Al Gore is certainly carbon neutral” then, yes, I would have the responsibility to prove that he is, in fact, buying the offsets and that the offsets are accomplishing his goal.

    But I’m not the one putting forward the positive assertion… the positive assertion being made is that Al Gore is a hypocrite for not doing what he asks of others.

    If you want to prove that he is a hypocrite, because he is not carbon neutral the onus is on you to prove he is not actually offsetting his carbon usage.

    That’s critical thinking. You don’t get to uncritically accept the claim that Gore is a hypocrite until you have established it. That’s where the “critical” comes in; you dig in, you criticize your thoughts and arguments, until you know if they hold up to scrutiny.

    Well, you’ve got some evidence: a high electric bill. Good; that’s better than most folks in this position manage.

    Now, is there any way that he could be carbon neutral regardless?

    Why, yes, there is.

    Therefore, if you want to say he’s *not* carbon neutral, you have to demonstrate that he’s not. Because you know full well that he could be offsetting his carbon emissions. He has certainly claimed to do so, and it’s certainly possible that he does.

    (And to those who asked: yes, if you purchase offsets, the carbon *does* get sequestured, and yes, you are being carbon neutral. Buying offsets doesn’t just make the money go away; it places other people under obligations to see to the sequestration.)

    Anyway, I know, and I suppose I could sympathize… It’s a lot more fun if you can just say “HIGH ELECTRICITY BILL! You talk about critical thinking but you don’t do it yourself!”

    But “fun” and “critical thinking” are not synonymous, though they do intersect (especially when watching folks pretend they’re engaging in it).

    No, first you gather the facts, and show they support your statement. You have not done so. Ergo, you have accepted a statement without concern for its truth. You’ve failed in critical thinking.

  101. brittney Says:

    100!

    (Sorry, but I love doing that.)

  102. The Ace Says:

    ou make a positive claim, you back it up. You prove it’s true.

    Comcial.

    You mean like saying you are carbon nuetral?

    Game
    Set
    Mach

  103. The Ace Says:

    But I’m not the one putting forward the positive assertion…

    Uh, yes you are:
    told people to reduce their carbon footprint to 0, so as not to contribute to global warming. Well, since he hasn’t… oh, heh, wait, he has.

    Facts, those pesky things.

    If you want to prove that he is a hypocrite, because he is not carbon neutral the onus is on you to prove he is not actually offsetting his carbon usage

    He’s not.
    He can’t possibly be.
    Even the New York Times noted this:

    “These companies may be operating with the best will in the world, but they are doing so in settings where it’s not really clear you can monitor and enforce their projects over time,” said Steve Rayner, a senior professor at Oxford and a member of a group working on reducing greenhouse gases for the International Panel on Climate Change. “What these companies are allowing people to do is carry on with their current behavior with a clear conscience.”

    Oh, and here is how carbon offsets are defined by Wiki:

    carbon offset “is a service that tries to reduce the net carbon emissions of individuals or organizations indirectly, through proxies who reduce their emissions and/or increase their absorption of greenhouse gases.”
    The intended goal of carbon offsets is to combat global warming. The appeal of becoming “carbon neutral” has contributed to the growth of voluntary offsets, which often are a more cost-effective alternative to reducing one’s own fossil-fuel consumption. However, the actual amount of carbon reduction (if any) from an offset project is difficult to measure, largely unregulated, and vulnerable to misrepresentation.

    You lose.

  104. The Ace Says:

    No, first you gather the facts, and show they support your statement. You have not done so.

    This is classic projection.
    You accept Gore’s statements uncritically.

  105. The Ace Says:

    You don’t get to uncritically accept the claim that Gore is a hypocrite until you have established it

    And you don’t get to say Gore is “carbon nuetral” until you have established it.

    Have you even read what you’ve posted here?

  106. Harry Eagar Says:

    Not so logical as you think, Longhair.

    If Gore can afford the (apparently trivial) cost of offsets, and if he really thinks the world is about to burn up, then he ought to be buying as many offsets as he can AND ALSO REDUCING HIS CARBON EMISSIONS.

    Because if he is carbon neutral and the other 6 billion of us are not IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. THE EARTH STILL BURNS UP.

    Therefore, he ought to live in a smaller house. In fact, in strict logic, he ought to live in a cave.

    Let’s put it in terms of being a German in the 1930s and ’40s. Was in enough that you personally didn’t murder any Jews? Well, no. Even Hitler didn’t personally murder any Jews.

    I didn’t believe in Gore’s stupid movie. Now it turns out he didn’t either. As Rodney King said, can’t we all just get along? It seems we are.

  107. Julian De faria Says:

    “Actually, turning down a hydroelectric dam is a real possibility since holding back waater for future use increases capacity.

    The windmills probably aren’t owned by the electric company, and the electric company probably simply refuses to buy electricity from the owners past the amount that its customers have offered to purchase. And yes, running windmills does cost money; the second law of thermodynamics doesn’t care what you think.”

    The ignorance of these comments is breathtaking, electricity retailers do not purchase electricity like a person obtains petrol, ‘filling up’ when more is needed. They will not, unless under the direst circumstances purchase energy on the spot market due to the incredible range of cost at any given time. The option taken by a prudent retailer is to hedge energy cost over the long term, this is achieved by entering into long term contracts with generators (of all types). Long haired weirdo should bear in mind that electricity cannot be stored and retrieved from the back when necessary. Where large usage affects overall energy supplies can be seen in the increase in air conditioning units in recent years whereby the need to match sharp peaks requires increasing long term contracts of electricity from all sources. If the demand is such (as occurs sometimes during the summer) that supply does not match demand then load shedding may occur and it will not matter whether you have paid for green energy or not, there is not a special line from a wind generation facility that gets turned on when you pay for green energy. Basically Al Gore’s use gets lumped in with all other uses with regard to long term projections and purchasing given these peak periods and whilst purchasing green energy is to be commended and allows for retailers to contract further with green energy sources the fact remains that purchasing green energy and reducing consumption are both key elements in becoming more environmentally friendly with respect to energy use.

  108. Roger Arango Says:

    Julian–you mean we DONT have a huge capacitor that stores excess electricity and releases it when needed? Who KNEW?

    On the point about “carbon neutrality,” I suppose it is conceptually possible to be carbon neutral via offsets (as, I think Mr. Longhair is arguing.) The devil, of course, is in the details about how the offsets work–and that isnt even addressing the issue that Gore is supposedly purchasing these offsets through his own company!). I don’t think anyone can say with any degree of certainly what the long term effects of offsets are–especially if they are used for reforestation schemes. Alternative power generation may be measurable. At this point in time, purchasing carbono offsets seems to more akin to buying indulgences.

    And please spare us all the lectures on critical thinking! Especially citing the second law of thermodynamics! Gag! Seems to me the bottom line is this: Al Gore is engaging in conspicuous consumption and even if he IS purchasing offsets, and even if offsets worked perfectly, his egregious consumption should not go unremarked.

  109. Longhairedweirdo Says:

    Julian:

    The ignorance of these comments is breathtaking, electricity retailers do not purchase electricity like a person obtains petrol, ‘filling up’ when more is needed.

    Irrelevant; they will not purchase more expensive energy from windmills and solar panels unless they are compensated for doing so. They will use the cheaper methods at their disposal.

    They might well buy wind and solar generated power when necessary to meet demand (thus buying more than their customers have obligated them to buy), but they will burn more coal, natural gas, etc., before going to wind and solar *unless people have obligated them to buy this more expensive energy*, or unless demand is so high that they have no choice but to take the financial hit.

    Now, if you have some facts that counter this, I, for one, would love to hear them. Argument by assertion just doesn’t fly.

  110. Longhairedweirdo Says:

    Poor Ace… trying so, so hard…

    (Y)ou make a positive claim, you back it up. You prove it’s true.

    Comcial.

    You mean like saying you are carbon nuetral?

    If you wish to ask Gore to prove that he is carbon neutral, I’m sure he will comply. There’s probably a press packet illustrating exactly what steps he’s taken to be carbon neutral.

    No, first you gather the facts, and show they support your statement. You have not done so.

    This is classic projection.
    You accept Gore’s statements uncritically.

    No, I do not accept your assertion that he is not. This is a key difference.

    The claim on the table is, Gore is a hypocrite for preaching carbon neutrality while using lots of energy.

    If we did not know about carbon offsets and non-carbon-emitting power generation, his usage would be damning evidence (NB: but our lack of knowledge would make that evidence point to the wrong result!) of hypocrisy because we would assume that these things *must* cause carbon emissions. But not only do we know about “green” generation and carbon offsets, we know that Gore claims to have purchased them.

    The unqualified claim that he is a hypocrite is thus a vile and despicable thing to those who care about the truth. People who care about the truth will not take such an accusation lightly; it must be proven.

    I have pointed out the holes in the argument claiming he is hypocritical. I have done so in a positive manner (“he is carbon neutral due to offsets) rather than in a speculative manner (“he claims to be carbon neutral due to offsets”) because the original, unproven statement (“he is a hypocrite”) has already been made in a positive manner.

    Was this a good idea? Obviously, it was… it gave me the perfect opening to illustrate the massive failure in critical thought that has occurred among those who claim that Gore is a hypocrite.

    If you want to believe that, you have to prove it (assuming you care about the truth, of course). You can’t prove that until you account for the possibility of carbon offsets. (His electric bill already shows that he buys renewable electricity.)

    Now, if I had advanced the original positive assertion that Al Gore was carbon neutral, rather than advancing that claim in the face of a positive assertion that he is a hypocrite, the burden of proof would be upon me. But I brought that up, not as my own proposition, but as a defense against the unproven claim that he is a hypocrite. The burden of proof always lies squarely with those who make the initial positive claim, not those who point out the holes in it.

    That is: you don’t get to claim he’s a hypocrite, and then try to shift the burden of proof to me to prove you wrong. If you’re making a responsible claim he’s a hypocrite, if you’ve engaged in critical thought on the issue, then you’re already supposed to have researched the carbon offsets, and found out the truth.

    Sorry, Ace, I’d say “thanks for playing” but it’d be insincere. There’s lots of web pages that go over the basic logical fallacies and they can explain the burden of proof in an argument to you. Try reading a few; it might do some good.

  111. Matternhorn Says:

    Interesting posts back and forth, pro and con. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned enough is what makes Gore’s bills so high?

    Could it be because he has staffed offices in his home for both him and his wife? Maybe security detail? If that’s the case, if we’re to make a somewhat fair comparison, we should take into accounting our own energy consumption at our offices(cubicles!) and then see how we stack up against the Gore household.

    Comparing the Gore household to the average citizen is ridiculous.

  112. holdfast Says:

    Even if one were to accept all of Longhairedweirdo’s assumptions and assertions about the Goracle’s “carbon neutrality” at face value, it still does not change the fact that Gore is an awful leader and a terrible spokesman for his cause. A real leader must act and must also be seen to be acting – and the ostentatious nature of Gore’s mansion makes that flat-out impossible. If the state of the world is really so dire, wouldn’t it make sense to move into a mere 4,000 sf home with conspicous power-saving refinements. God knows the guy can afford it and it is literally the least he can do to convince the masses of his sincerity. After all, leadership is at least 50% showmanship and acting – convincing others by doing – but Gore isn’t willing to make that sacrifice – so why should I have to sacrifice my mid-sized SUV?

    I’m not saying that the guy has to live in a shack, but burning that much gas to keep the poolhouse warm is insane. Sure he is purchasing his carbon credits, but at the end of the day using all that gas means that somewhere in the ‘States some utility is generating power by burning coal instead of the natural gas that might otherwise have generated that electricity but for the fact it was burned heating a pool house that Gore clearly doesn’t use to keep in shape.

  113. barbq ranch Says:

    If the wind blows, the wind generator will be running generating electricity. It is not as if they have one, high, price they sell the power for. Most of the expense of the wind farm is a fixed expense, it goes on day by day regardless of any power you sell. About the only additional cost of running it is the periodic maintenance (ie, lube and oil every so many running hours.) So, if someone doesn’t pay a high price for the electricity, they will sell it for a lower price, but still make more money than leaving it fallow. On the other hand, a lot of the cost of a coal plant is the coal, so it makes sense to only run it when there is demand.

    The only way Al G. paying more per kwh for electricity offsets carbon is if it encourages the construction of another windmill. Far better he puts uses his “carbon money” to up a solar array somewhere. Far Far better he uses less.

  114. Pink Pig Says:

    Re: the bloviating of Longhairedweirdo. Even if Gore were to corner the market in “carbon credits”, he would still be a massive violator by any rational standard. He is obviously a big-time hypocrite, and since you choose to defend and justify him, common sense indicates that you are also a hypocrite. If you wish to argue (as some do) that hypocrisy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, feel free, but I and many others will remain of the opinion that in this case it is indeed a bad thing. I’ve had it up to my throat with arrogant pompous intellectualoids like you. As long as you continue to make Gore the poster child of global warming activism, you will lose credibility, and whatever useful information might come from climate science will be lost in the aftermath. Get a clue.

  115. Rudolph Bogstein Says:

    all i can say is all of you people need to get a life, and if nothing else, accept that one’s man’s meat is another man’s poison….as for Al Gore’s energy consumption, instead of worrying about some possible misrepresentation on his part, look at what he is attempting to do,….oh right, that is what you are against!! so if that is the case, why not celebrate his consumption…oh right, you just hate THE MAN HIMSELF…..as for the concept of off setting ones uses, gee, why not?

    i will stick with what i thought the first time i saw your site….simply this, you folks are pathetic…

    by the way, how much energy, waste, and pollution are creation simply making this ridiculous blog site?

  116. bob Says:

    Rudolph,

    Whatever amount of “energy, waste, and pollution” was created making this “ridiculous” blog site, just increased thanks to the addition of your “ridiculous” comment.

  117. S. Weasel Says:

    [...] Now, I have no objection to the wealthy, on principle. Even those who inherit wealth they had no hand in creating. I find it rather irritating that I’m not one of them, but I don’t advocate hunting them down like dogs or anything. In fact, I’d feel better about Al’s house if he’d inherited it; I could forgive him preserving a bit of extravagant family history in an extravagant way. But he apparently bought his manse in 2002, and added to it extensively since. Without making it conspicuously greener. [...]

  118. Gunga Says:

    Bob – You have to love the Rudolphs of the world. How intellectually lazy/dishonest/mentally-challenged do you have to be to accept the dictum: “Do as I say, not as I do” as THE appropriate moral high water mark for our leaders today? The Rudolphs run around spewing hatred for you and every electron used by your server, while accusing you of hating Al Gore…as if hatred of the man is the only reason anyone would question his moral sleight of hand. Maybe you do hate him…I have no way of knowing that…but I suspect you have better things to do with your life than hate people you’ve probably never even met. But I’ll be right down with Rudolph on ridiculing your site…right after you start jet-hopping around the world claiming that the sky is falling because my lifestyle is killing mother earth. Meanwhile, the ice-caps on Mars are melting and no-one has even drafted a Bill requiring cafe standards for those stinking Mars Rovers that are obviously to blame!

  119. RGirl Says:

    Perhaps Al Gore can be seen as a hypocrite. Just as in retrospect, Thomas Jefferson, one of the people to draft the constitution can be seen as a hypocrite. He used slaves on his sprawling plantation even as he signed a resolution that “All men are created equal”. It took many years before the constitution was (rightly) ammended to apply to people of color. And more years before women could vote.
    Sometimes people who pave the way have to take the bullet for those who come later. Do you think the Global Warming issue will go away even if Gore’s detractors succeed in silencing him? You know that someone else will take up the cause. Is there anyone that could make the idea more pallatable for you that we need to change our use of fossil fuels? How about a president that champions a change by example, and by showing the benefits to his citizens, both immediate and long range?

  120. Longhairedweirdo Says:

    Pink Pig:

    Re: the bloviating of Longhairedweirdo. Even if Gore were to corner the market in “carbon credits”, he would still be a massive violator by any rational standard. He is obviously a big-time hypocrite, and since you choose to defend and justify him, common sense indicates that you are also a hypocrite.

    You know, this is *exactly* what’s ruining this country.

    You so much want to have a nasty name to hang on Al Gore that, once you think you can use hypocrite, you won’t look for the truth, you won’t care about the truth, you’ll just say it, over and over, hoping to score points for your team.

    Well, decent people care about the truth.

    Do I think Al Gore is wasteful? Do I wish he lived his life differently? Yes.

    But he is not a hypocrite. He hasn’t said “use as little electricity as you can”. He’s said “don’t be responsible for carbon emissions; you have a moral duty to prevent global warming, and being carbon neutral fights global warming.” That’s it. That’s all he’s said, and that’s the standard he’s living up to. The label of hypocrite can’t be truthfully applied to him.

    Those who are disappointed that they can’t honestly label him a hypocrite should be ashamed, because America is great *only* when we can put aside our differences, squabbles, and hatreds, and be Americans.

    Those who’d call him a hypocrite, even if it’s false… well, hatred is an ugly thing, but the willingness to lie to smear a man over a disagreement about public policy can’t be called anything less than hateful.

    Anyone want to think he’s not a very good environmentalist? Hey, he might not be. Even with all the excuses he makes, his house might be using a lot more electricity than it should, and there are limits to what carbon offsets can do. If we all use too much energy, eventually, we’re going to run into serious problems. If nothing else, too much electricity use means too much electrical infrastructure, which means too many targets for natural or man-made disasters. (At least until the day we can all go off-grid.)

    But he’s not preaching “be the world’s best environmentalist”. He’s saying “cause a neutral carbon footprint”. And no one has shown that he hasn’t done all he should to do exactly that.

  121. Allen Selvy Says:

    Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties to Global Warming
    Posted by Noel Sheppard on March 2, 2007 – 09:58.
    As NewsBusters reported here, here, and here, there are huge dollars to be made from global warming alarmism. However, conceivably no one is better positioned to financially benefit from this scam than Dr. Global Warming himself, former Vice President Al Gore, a fact that the media will surely not share with Americans any time soon.

    Yet, if America’s press would take some time out of their busy schedules covering the earth-shattering details surrounding Anna Nicole Smith’s demise, they might find a deliciously inconvenient truth about the soon-to-be-Dr. Gore that is significantly more fascinating and diabolical than anything likely to emerge from that courtroom in Broward County, Florida.

    LINK

  122. Julian De faria Says:

    Long Haired Weirdo, do you really understand the issue I described, or indeed what conclusion you are arguing for. I am additionally confused by “Argument by assertion just doesn’t fly” what does this mean? Is this your catchprase?
    I assume that you are aware that exponents of strategies to alleviate the factors contributing to global warming propose both increased acceptance of green energy contracts by consumers and reduction of personal and business energy use. The reason why needs no assertion, as I wearily pointed out, electricity cannot be stored, the energy from current green energy sources is utilised. To properly understand the issue three points must be comprehended:
    1. The main issue for energy retailers with respect to providing power comes from dealing with peaks in electricity usage
    2. Increasing the supply of electricity requires capital and time intensive activity with additional constraints depending upon the generation activity required to increase the electricity supply (eg. Co-gen, wind etc).
    3. Sun, wind, tides and waves cannot be controlled to provide directly either continuous base-load power, or peak-load power when it is needed
    The increase in residential and business development (installation of cooling technology, renovations, business development and expansion in the short run) leads to spikes in usage, as the short term availability of green energy is limited and electricity use is increasing (on a peak to peak basis) the available supply could not provide for peak usage spikes, hence production from large coal fired generators is required. To effectively plan in the long term, one, thinking rationally, would reduce electricity consumption, especially in peak periods and enter into contracts for green energy. Al Gore is well aware of this and it is silly to think that he is not. Additionally it is foolish to discount the cost of energy to the retailer, we live in the real world and no company can exist with gross margins crunched to minimum, to deal with this the reduction of electricity use in the peak period helps reduce the cost of supply and the purchase of green energy provides an incentive for future investment in green sources.

  123. Harry Eagar Says:

    Yes, I would have explained it a bit differently, but Julian understands why, if you think carbon emissions are a problem, you must reduce total emissions, not merely provide offsets.

    However, I do not wish to reduce total emissions, because many, many people in the world do not enjoy the benefits of electricity, and I want them to do that. They and their children will be healthier and happier. Unlike Gore, I am pro-health and pro-happiness for all.

    Rgirl asks: ‘Do you think the Global Warming issue will go away even if Gore’s detractors succeed in silencing him?’

    No chance of silencing him. Money talks. But, yes, the global warming issue will go away when everybody notices that it isn’t happening.

  124. Pink Pig Says:

    OK, Longhairedweirdo, let me respond to your rhetoric.

    > You know, this is *exactly* what’s ruining this country.

    Nothing is ruining this country. Free speech is an unmitigated good thing. Too bad that so many other places don’t have it.

    > You so much want to have a nasty name to hang on Al Gore that, once you think you can use hypocrite, you won’t look for the truth, you won’t care about the truth, you’ll just say it, over and over, hoping to score points for your team.

    I don’t have a team. I don’t have an agenda. I haven’t repeated myself “over and over”. You know nothing about me. I do indeed care about truth, and I don’t use words like “hypocrite” lightly. And Al Gore is _your_ problem, not _mine_.

    > But he is not a hypocrite. He hasn’t said “use as little electricity as you can”. He’s said “don’t be responsible for carbon emissions; you have a moral duty to prevent global warming, and being carbon neutral fights global warming.” That’s it. That’s all he’s said, and that’s the standard he’s living up to.

    Oh silly me. Here I thought that Gore was a proponent of the Kyoto treaty, but it turns out I must have some other guy in mind. All Gore is saying is that global warming can be solved by buying carbon credits from oneself. He may have a point. I must admit I haven’t heard any better idea.

    > Those who are disappointed that they can’t honestly label him a hypocrite should be ashamed, because America is great *only* when we can put aside our differences, squabbles, and hatreds, and be Americans.

    Wow. If you didn’t exist, the right wing would have to invent you. I take it that by “put aside our differences”, you mean that those of us who disagree with you should shut up and concede the debate to you. I haven’t noticed much openness to compromise from _your_ side.

    Well, taking potshots at this sort of fatuosity is too easy, and I have better things to do.

  125. John Says:

    So easy to attack the messenger. News flash: Al Gore’s not perfect. He might even be…*gasp*…a little bit of a hypocrite. Well then, all right-thinking, perfect people like should not only bash him, but ignore, belittle, and pay for junk science to slander his message.

    Because that’s how we roll. Go conservatives!

  126. Bob Krumm » more goring Says:

    [...] Bill Hobbs already destroyed talking points myths numbers 2, 3, and 7. (Be sure to read his thorough deconstruction.) I already laid to rest number 4. [...]

  127. Bob Krumm » gobbling up the news Says:

    [...] Gore’s neighbors pay significantly less for power Al Gore buys “carbon credits” from self Gore wants equal time for self, but silence from opponents Gore’s green energy firm has polluted past Defenders’ claims don’t hold up to scrutiny [...]

  128. itsme Says:

    Krumm said:

    >>>Better numbers come from the 2006 Buildings Energy Data Book which shows that the average American single family home is 2,047 square feet. Dividing that into the 15,447 KWH of average annual usage in the South East Region, and we find that the average energy user in this area annually consumes 7.55 KWH per square foot of home–not the 19.83 KWH that Anonymous Liberal erroneously claims.

  129. itsme Says:

    Don’t know why my post was cut off. Anyhoo…

    Krumm has a problem with his numbers above. They are based on the usage of single family homes. The DOE averages are based on the usage of households, which of course includes apartments and mobile homes.

    So go ahead and recompute and get back to us with some usable numbers.

  130. bob Says:

    Right . . . I forgot that Al Gore lives in a 10,000 sf mobile home.

    For single family homes in this area per sf electric usage is about seven-and-a-half kwh annually. Gore’s is almost 20. His gas usage is also similarly out of whack, corroborating my assertion that something is drastically wrong, energy efficiency-wise, with his home.

  131. Doesn\tMatter Says:

    LongHaired Weirdo –
    But he’s not preaching “be the world’s best environmentalist”. He’s saying “cause a neutral carbon footprint”. And no one has shown that he hasn’t done all he should to do exactly that.

    Wouldn’t conserving energy fall under the category of “all he should to do exactly that?” Likewise with using solar panels, low watt bulbs, et al?

    You say yourself that “Even with all the excuses he makes, his house might be using a lot more electricity than it should, and there are limits to what carbon offsets can do. If we all use too much energy, eventually, we’re going to run into serious problems.” You admit that even you wish Al Gore lived his life differently. So where then is the part that proves he is not a hypocrite? Where then is he teaching us to reduce our carbon footprints by anything more than words that he does not back up with his actions?

    What causes a carbon footprint?

    Car travel, air travel, electricity, home heating, appliances that are not energy efficient.

    So, by driving a hummer, Al Gore is not doing everything he can to reduce his carbon footprint. By hopping on a jet, he is not doing everything he can to reduce his carbon footprint. By the size of his power bill, he is not doing everything he can to reduce his carbon footprint. No one held a gun to his head and told him to be extravagant in his choice of home.

    Which thereby means, LongHaired Weirdo, that if Al Gore were truly doing everything he could to reduce his carbon footprint he would not only be “buying carbon credits,” but practicing conservation. (But I guess only us poor people have to do it that way.) And the only conclusion I can draw from the fact that he does not seem to be doing those things is that he is a hypocrite.

    This does not negate his message, but it does a thorough job of negating him.

  132. SKelley Says:

    I have been reading these posts and several things have struck me.

    First, based on these posts I would say that none here really knows the situation at the Gore mansion. There may very well be full time office staff etc. and perhaps it should not be treated as a simple residence. I don’t know what the situation is, do any of you?

    I am also struck by what a shame it is that Gore didn’t do everything he possibly could have to set an example. Does that make him a hypocrite? No! However, it does provide some people with fodder to discredit him. He should have gone overboard to prevent such criticism even if they are not warranted. If you approach and issue with the fervor that Gore uses with global warming and elevate it to the highest of moral imperatives you invite yourself to be held to a higher standard than everyone else. It does not matter if this is or is not fair; it is the way things are and Mr. Gore would have been well advised to take this into consideration. He really should have gone the extra steps to avoid this kind of critisism.

    One thing that has been mentioned several times in these posts in the support of the assertion that Mr. Gore is a hypocrite is his travel. This is not fair. In order to do the work of bringing attention to the issue, the travel is necessary. Sometimes, to make a lot you have to spend a lot. The net effect of the travel on carbon emissions we hope is negative as more people become aware of the seriousness of the problem and take measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

    Another striking feature of these posts is that those who are unwilling to accept the serious nature of global warming tend to use much harsher language and be less civil than those who accept it. The name-calling seems primarily to come from the naysayers.

    I have been concerned about global warming since long before I knew that Mr. Gore was championing the issue. My father was a scientist and many of my friends are scientists from a variety disciplines and they ALL tell me the problem is real, serious, and largely man made. These are not people ‘chasing dollars’ but people who are dedicated to wringing the truth out of what the data say.

    Regardless of what Al Gore does or doesn’t do we need to focus on solutions to the problems presented by excess carbon in the atmosphere, not trying to shoot the messenger.

  133. Green as Gore Says:

    I was quite amused by those defending Al Gore’s hedonistic use of energy at his estate; which happens to total 220,000 KwH/year.

    Mr. Gore’s bill is not abnormally high due to the use of “Green power” but simply because of the fact that he consumes 20 times as much power as an average sized American home. Even more enlightening is that this “Green Gore enclave” consumes 4 times the national average per household based on square footage, or simply put an average house the size of Mr. Gore’s use 1/4 as much energy. Did someone leave (all) the florescent lights on?

    Perhaps Al can feel good about buying expensive “Green power” that most Americans cannot afford but his environmental cause would be better served by cutting back on his porcine consumption of power. In fact Al is promoting his own corporation as he’s buying he green credits from it……

    E.g. lead by example, I don’t buy into “Do as I say, not do as I do”.

  134. Wayne Davies Says:

    We all know Al too well, he studied under the biggest liar for 8 years. I don’t know if he remembered ALL of Bill’s lies but you can bet he’ll stick with the ” I lied for the good of the country” one.

  135. Z Says:

    Wayne has anyone in the Bush administration ever lied?

  136. Amy Says:

    Having a big house should not be an excuse to consume more energy anyway. And buying “energy credits” as Gore does? It offends me.

    All these excuses do is emphasize that Gore, like all rich people, thinks that he should be able to do whatever the hell he wants to do, gluttonously consume any amount of anything that he wishes, and the rest of us should be making the sacrifices to solve the problem that he is doing 20x his share in creating. Uh, sorry, but no.

    I’m a liberal, but I’ve lived in other countries and I’m disgusted at what passes for “fact” in the liberal blogosphere in this country.

    There are some rich people who do walk the walk, but Al Gore (and John Edwards, by the way) are NOT among them.

  137. Amy Says:

    Skelley says: “I am also struck by what a shame it is that Gore didn’t do everything he possibly could have to set an example. Does that make him a hypocrite? No!”

    It most certainly DOES make him a hypocrite! He’s telling us all to do one thing, while he’s doing the exact opposite, and to a much greater degree! Sorta like a gay preacher who rails against homosexuality, don’t you think?

  138. Al Gore's hypocritical Global warming and others - SpawnPoint Says:

    [...] 20 room, 8 bathroom mansion in a ritzy Nashville neighborhood. Here is a link for your pleasure. Bob Krumm » debunking a rather lame debunking Mars and Earth are experiencing similar patterns of warming and cooling. I guess the Martians need [...]