Republican think tank blasts Al Gore over his electric bill.

Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar the other night so you just know the Neo Conservatives are going to be digging around for something to discredit both it and him. The best they could come up with, however, was to get hold of Al’s electric bill where they noticed he was using a lot of electricity:

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

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

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

That does seem like a lot of money spent on electricity by someone who’s a champion of environmentalism. There’s just one little problem with this stunning revelation:

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

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

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

Oops.

The article goes on to state that the Gore’s make use of compact fluorescent bulbs in their lamps, drive a hybrid SUV, and are in the middle of renovating their 10,000 square foot home to make it even more green by installing things such as solar panels. Seems like Gore is walking the walk and the Tennessee Center for Policy Research should do a bit more research before jumping up and down calling Gore a hypocrite.

88 thoughts on “Republican think tank blasts Al Gore over his electric bill.

  1. I hate to break it to you, but that voice in your head, it ain’t me pard.

    No Consi, that voice in my head is my own. I have no spooky companions telling me what to do.

    Thanks for implying mental instability of me and other users of this board though. Going ad hominem is always an option when you’re running out of ideas.

  2. Consigliere, when you can show me a similar article from a reputable news source

    Okay, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17435875/site/newsweek/ in which Gore’s emission trading, another version of the same game he plays buying indulgences is identified as

    Current emissions-trading schemes have proved to be little more than a shell game, allowing polluters in the developed world to shift the burden of making cuts onto factories in the developing world. Too often factory owners use the additional profits banked from carbon credits to expand their dirty factories.

    That sounds vaguely familiar.

    Leave it to you LJ to mistake preexisting criticism coming from the greens (See http://www.foe.org/ which is one of the critics)  as GOP rhetoric.  The articles from the BBC and others are reporting criticisms from the Greens not the GOP.  I was pointing that out to you and others, but you either missed that rather important point intentionally or unintentionally.  Whether it was intentional or unintentional, the error reflects poorly.

  3. If MSNBC is too mainstream for ya, how about FERN?

    FERN is a European non-governmental organization focused on forests and climate change. We work to achieve greater environmental and social justice in the policies and practises of the European Union, with a focus of FERN’s work on forests and forest peoples’ rights.

    Forest people’s rights no less.

    What is their involvement?  Well, let’s see:

    In October 2004, FERN was among the principal organizers of a major international conference on “Carbon Trading: Consequences and Strategies” held in Durban, South Africa which led to the formation of the Durban Group for Climate Justice.

    That sounds like deeper thinking than you or I are doing. 

    What did they think of all this carbon trading, given how they are invested in forestation.  They wrote it down, so I’ll just quote a good chunk of their conclusions:

    · Carbon ‘offset’ schemes are a dangerous distraction from generating public support for policies that will help avoid climate crisis and lead the way into a swift and just switch to low-carbon economies;

    · Carbon ‘offsets’ are undermining efforts to educate the public about climate change;

    · Carbon ‘offset’ schemes are unable to verify their claimed contribution to slowing climate change;

    · The problems with carbon ‘offset’ schemes go beyond ‘design flaws’, ‘teething problems of an emerging trading instrument’ or fraudulence in individual projects. ‘Offset’ trading is based on conceptual incoherence, is characterized by measurement and accounting problems that are unsolvable and is giving rise to significant property rights conflicts;

    · Tree planting ‘offset’ projects are faced with an additional set of measurement and accounting issues and carry a particular risk of exacerbating local land use conflicts. Accounting and measurement issues have been discussed in many published, scientifically robust studies showing that our current scientific understanding of the carbon cycle and its impact on climate change does not permit an accurate assessment of the overall long-term carbon gains and losses form tree planting or forest conservation ‘offset’ projects;

    · Research into ‘offset’ tree planting projects by FERN and partner organisations has revealed significant shortcomings of the projects’ wider sustainability and cases of serious human rights abuses by actors involved in carbon ‘offset’ tree planting projects;

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmenvaud/carbon/uc2002.htm

    The GOP must’ve figured out how to corrupt the FERN report eh?

  4. Regarding the offsets offered by Carbon Neutral, there are 13 projects currently in the works.  http://www.carbonneutral.com/pages/projectlocations.asp

    Of the 13, 7 are forestry projects of the type specifically identified as being especially problematic. 

    If someone is claiming to live a carbon neutral lifestyle and encouraging you to do so as well, then if you bought offsets from Carbon Neutral over half the projects involved are going to be forestry projects.  That is problematic.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200601/s1545977.htm

    Until now, the mainstream belief is that atmospheric methane chiefly comes from bugs: from bacteria working in wet, oxygen-less conditions, such as swamps and rice paddies.

    But in a study published in the journal Nature, a team led by Frank Keppler of the Max Planck Institute in Germany has found living plants, dried leaves and grass emit methane in the presence of air.

    Nor is this gas just a piffling amount.

    The researchers roughly estimate the world’s living vegetation emits between 62 and 236 million tonnes of methane per year, and plant litter adds one to seven million tonnes.

    This would be equivalent to between 10 and 30 per cent of all annual global emissions of methane.

    Scientists have frequently shaken their heads at the perceived benefits of forests in the global warming equation.

    Previous research has already suggested that CO2 storage goes into reverse when a forest matures and its older trees die and rot, surrendering their carbon to the air.

    Now doubts over “sinks” have been strengthened…

    I’m not sure investing in offsets isn’t actually going to worsen the problem if the company invests primarily in forestry projects.

  5. One of the important things to consider when reviewing carbon offset programs is what type of impact will the project have on the local environment.  When it is setting up solar panels its not that big of a deal.  When it is a dam, it is a bigger deal.  When it is forestry, which consumes a lot of land, then it is a big deal.

    The impact has not been beneficial for the Benet Community of Uganda. 

    On 27 October 2005, in the Ugandan High Court in Mbale, Justice J.B. Katutsi ruled that “the Benet Community residing in Benet Sub County including those residing in Yatui Parish and Kabsekek Village of Kween County and in Kwoti Parish of Tingey County are historical and indigenous inhabitants of the said areas which were declared a Wildlife Protected Area or National Park.” Justice Katutsi ruled that the area should be de-gazetted and that the Benet are “entitled to stay in the said areas and carry out agricultural activities including developing the same undisturbed.”

    The Benet people, prior to this ruling were twice evicted from the land to make way for the tree planting to sell carbon offsets. 

    In 1993 and 2002, villagers were violently evicted from the national park. Since the evictions, UWA’s rangers have hit them, tortured them, humiliated them, threatened them and uprooted their crops.

    In one village on the boundary of the park, a villager showed us an envelope containing bullet shells, fired by UWA (Ugandan Wildlife Authority) rangers. “The bullets were shot by people trying to kill us,” he said. “Some people have died. Others have been injured.”

    http://chrislang.blogspot.com/2006_12_29_chrislang_archive.html

    This project received a good stewardship certification from SGS.  SGS suggested that

    …in order for the tree-planting project to continue, more people will have to be evicted. They even recommended that “more speed may be required to ensure the evictions are carried out successfully.”

    http://chrislang.blogspot.com/2006_12_29_chrislang_archive.html

    An example of the civil rights abuses mentioned above-Evictions of indigenous, brought to you via carbon offsets.

  6. You sound pretty fired up over this Consi.  My question would be is Al Gore tied to the above mentioned carbon offset program?  Also, are there numerous examples of this from other parts of the world?

    Anyway, maybe you should start your own blog (if you don’t already have one), you seem to have a lot to say about this and other subjects; I’m sure there are lots of people out there just dying to hear it.

    I personally believe it doesn’t matter.  The earth will continue to heat up until the population of pirates is restored, as there is a direct corellation between global warming and the number of pirates plying the oceans.  So says the one true god, the FSM.

  7. Consi, thanks for going to all the effort to give us (me) all that info. I appreciate it.
    And to think much of this type of discussion and interest would not have happened among plebes if Al hadn’t stuck his nose in this business.  LOL
    A person who invites a few million others to think about the health of the planet can’t be all bad.
    Isn’t it a pity he’s not from the right? You’d agree with me if he was, wouldn’t you?  wink

  8. Isn’t it a pity he’s not from the right?

    For some reason I cannot begin to fathom, conservation is a “liberal” issue.  As Carl Sagan asked, what, exactly, are “conservatives” conserving?  Near as I can tell, it is the very military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about.

  9. Yep, that video certainly is a “Great global warming swindle.”  TGGWS did warm the hearts of people who just don’t want to think that pumping gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere could have an effect on climate.  But ‘journalism’, it ain’t.

    A cross-disciplinary majority of scientists take a position that global warming is happening, and is caused mostly by human activity.  So forgive me if I don’t swoon over a TV station’s documentary when even the scientists who appear in it say they were quote-mined.

    Observer: Scientists ‘duped’ to deny global warming

  10. Or, since I’m still watching it, we can fairly assume that you didn’t bother to.

  11. You are partially correct. I only watched some of it, then carefully read summaries as it is quite a weak presentation.  How much time should I waste on every piece of drek?  But hey, it says what you want to hear, so never mind what most scientists say.

    BTW that video has been out for a while.  So I don’t know what you can assume from the fact that you are still watching it.

  12. BTW that video has been out for a while.

    Really?  I didn’t know March 8, 2007 airing date would make it “out for awhile.”

    Some of the material in there is highly questionable.  I found it interesting though.

    So I don’t know what you can assume from the fact that you are still watching it.

    That before I will crack on something or endorse it, I’ll make sure I’ve seen or read it first.  I wouldn’t think that would be a hard jump to make unless that is a foreign concept.

  13. Today is March 23, and the video hit YouTube just a couple days after it was aired.  I watched some of it, called sensationalistic BS, and passed on the rest.  I’m a baaaad man.

  14. I hate to bust your bubble consi, but that date that appears on Google Video is the posting date, not the date the of the creation of the document.

    I remember this same document coming out on YouTube a long time ago, at least a year.  Unless I am missing something, such as this video being an update to the one that came out over a year ago, there is nothing new here.

    But your reaction to this video reminds me a lot of my reaction to the conspiracy theory videos when I used to buy into them…

  15. Incidentally, the program itself aired originally on March 8th of this year. So, yes, the video has been out for awhile now, just not necessarily on Google Video until recently. I can recall hearing about it a couple of weeks ago.

  16. Well I think it’s high time we had a 130-comment thread diversion defining “a while”!  Where’s my Websters!!? 

    Sorry, I was not very clear.  Someone posted it on YouTube shortly after it aired, and I watched some of it then.  What I saw hardly inspired confidence. Maybe it gets a whole lot better toward the end?

  17. This is the second time it’s rearing its ugly head here. It was linked to before and there was a short discussion about it…Unless I’m losing my mind.

    PS, everyone notice how “lose” is spelled? I’m just sayin’.

  18. I was wrong, it did air March 8 2007

    Nontheless, the Wiki article is a great look at the bias of the “documentary”.

    From the wiki article:

    , one of the scientists featured in the programme, has said that he was “completely misrepresented” in the film and had been “totally misled” when he agreed to be interviewed.[11][4] He called the film “grossly distorted” and “as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two.”[12] Wunsch was reported to have threatened legal action,[12] and to have lodged a complaint with Ofcom, the UK broadcast regulator.[13] Filmmaker Durkin responded, “Carl Wunsch was most certainly not ‘duped’ into appearing in the film, as is perfectly clear from our correspondence with him. Nor are his comments taken out of context. His interview, as used in the programme, perfectly accurately represents what he said

  19. Thanks DoF, Webs, Les and Brock.
    You saved me Buku time.
    Consi, you’ll find my words among those of the aforementioned.

    DoF: As Carl Sagan asked, what, exactly, are “conservatives” conserving?

    Values from the Good Old Days … turn the clock back type stuff?
    They keep thinking knowledge and the techno age genie can be shoved back in the bottle.
    I’m just guessing.

  20. I saw the evaluation of Gore’s payment, what about the kilowatt hours?  Just because he’s paying extra which is great, his consumption is 10 times that of the average American home.  Also, did it really take him until 2007 to get solar panels, there were good ones available from South Africa and Sweden for many years!!!  He’s no more cutting edge than my neighbor 15 years ago…

  21. I saw the evaluation of Gore’s payment, what about the kilowatt hours?  Just because he’s paying extra which is great, his consumption is 10 times that of the average American home.  Also, did it really take him until 2007 to get solar panels, there were good ones available from South Africa and Sweden for many years!!!  He’s no more cutting edge than my neighbor 15 years ago…

    Dude you need to take a chill pill and stop and think for a second.  First of all solar panels are really expensive and have been increasingly expensive for the last 15 years.  Secondly Al wasn’t buying them to seem technologically savvy or cool.  It was for the purpose of offsetting the 10 times increase in electrical usage that you pointed out in your argument.

    So exactly what was it you were trying to point out?

  22. It really would have paid off, politically, if Gore had the electric company install a separate electric meter for the offices in his home.  It’s really a pretty big facility for his organization with a staff that comes in to work there.

    I shudder to think what the electricity use of my workplace would be.

  23. It’s refreshing to see you finally agree about the Gore hypocrisy Webs.

  24. I’m not clear on exactly how Gore’s grown son being wild is an example of hypocrisy.  At least he was speeding on drugs in a hybrid – grown Republican political kids on drugs usually speed in SUVs.  cool smile 

    Actually, Toyota should pay his legal expenses.  I bet he just sold five thousand Prius’ being caught going 105mph.

  25. DOF beat me to it. If we’re going to hold the father’s accountable for their children’s behavior than President Bush has a lot to answer for.

  26. Les: If we’re going to hold the father’s accountable for their children’s behavior than President Bush has a lot to answer for.

    smile (in some people’s views) When the child does something good like getting a good test score it’s because of good parenting, but when they misbehave it’s because the child is wrong. I dislike the idea that parents take pride in what their children achieve, because (though they may have supported) it’s not the parent’s who earnt it, and it should work equally in the negative

  27. I guess the difference is in whether the parent takes pride in, or credit for their children’s accomplishments.  My kids have all done well but they did the work.  I just tried to paint some reflective lines along the side of the road for them. Sometimes, I didn’t paint very good lines either and they succeeded in spite of me.

    I have sympathy for the parents when their grown children stumble.  Parenthood is something we go into with a lot of preconceived ideas, which may or may not fit those individual children to say nothing of the constantly changing times.  By the time we figure anything out, the mold is set.  Then we are left with regrets and satisfactions.

  28. I don’t know if it’s a general pattern but I seem to have made myself (on some things) the complete opposite of the environment I was in as a child, as did my sister (we also became opposite to each other, and made each other more extreme). For me I wanted to prove my worth; I studied what I did (in part) because I was told it was unrealistic, and I wanted to prove them wrong (and myself for believing it) – I even deliberately failed at certain things to prove them wrong for predicting success, because predictions feel binding, like expectation

  29. More often than not predictions of the sort you’re describing Bahamat are as much a statement of hope for your future than a true belief in the inevitable.

  30. predictions feel binding

    More often than not predictions of the sort you’re describing Bahamat are as much a statement of hope for your future than a true belief in the inevitable.

    Yep.  It’ll make a difference (and is damn near impossible to predict) which way the child takes it.  But no one tells us this stuff before we take the little bundle of joy home from the hospital, close the door, and think; “Now what?!”

  31. Les: statement of hope for your future than a true belief in the inevitable.

    I suppose – that I wouldn’t have tried if I honestly believed it, but what’s odd is that it still troubled me enough about myself. Might be that I couldn’t face it being real. – That brings us onto an interesting point that people seem to distort their perception of reality into one they can handle, creating various levels of illusion (esp god) to help them better deal with the world and what they percieve to be threatening. They don’t need to actually like their perception, just not be broken by it.

  32. President Bush has a lot to answer for.

    President Bush Senior more so because he gave life to The Junior who unleashed his stupidity onto an undeserving world.

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