28 Feb 2007

Unconstrained Energy Consumption for Me, But Not for Thee

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Al Gore’s light bill is $1200 a month.

Wow! And I thought I left too many lights on all the time. Memories of my father finding a superfluous light on in my childhood, and demanding indignantly: “What do you think? Have you got shares in the PP&L?” often bring a smile, and I’ve sometimes thought of buying a few shares of PPL, just so I could rhetorically justify my irresponsible habits in my own mind.

A day after a film about his efforts to combat global warming won an Oscar, former Vice President Al Gore was called a hypocrite by a Tennessee group that said his Belle Meade home is consuming too much energy.

The home’s average monthly electric bill last year was just under $1,200, according to bills that The Tennessean acquired from Nashville Electric Service.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk (the) walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, identified as a free-market think tank.

Al Gore’s house.

But Al Gore is rich enough, you see, to justify himself in even better and more creative ways.

Gore purchased 108 blocks of “green power” for each of the past three months, according to a summary of the bills.

That’s a total of $432 a month Gore paid extra for solar or other renewable energy sources.

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

But this greenie site points out that Gore is buying those credits from his own firm.

So, where does Gore buy his ‘carbon offsets’? According to The Tennessean newspaper’s report, Gore buys his carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management. a company he co-founded and serves as chairman:

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

As co-founder and chairman of the firm Gore presumably draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper. In other words, he “buys” his “carbon offsets” from himself, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to himself. To be blunt, Gore doesn’t buy “carbon offsets” through Generation Investment Management – he buys stocks

Cool! Albert Gore takes some money out his right pocket, buys some carbon offsets from himself, and then puts the money in his left pocket, and voila! he has saved enough of the planet by that clever transaction to immunize himself from Don Surber‘s description of him as some kind of an alleged:

born-to-the-manor, overfed, limousine liberal who consume(s) 22,000 kilowatts of electricity each year* in just one of his three homes.

* More than 20 times the National average.

2 Feedbacks on "Unconstrained Energy Consumption for Me, But Not for Thee"


Seems as though you have a problem with capitalism and its ability to provide the structure for a solution to a critical problem. Gore doesn’t call for sacrifice or donning the hairshirt – rather he claims the solution lies in altering behaviour. One of the ways is alter how one invests one’s money. Do you have a problem with this?


I don’t believe there is a problem, and selling solutions to non-existent problems is a con game.


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