Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore's energy bill Al Gore's energy bill

Captain's Quarters" The Mote And The Beam Of Global Warming slams Al Gore about the energy usage at his mansion
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.
Think Progressive comes to his defense by point out that:
1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.

2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.
Captain's Quarters responds:
First, the solar panels and the compact fluorescent light bulbs will certainly make a difference -- but the TCPR report looks at his electricity bill, which still indicates (a) a high level of usage, and (b) an increase since the movie's release. Solar panels generate electricity at the location, which should then decrease the amount of power he's buying from the utility. If it's still going up, there seems to be a serious management problem somewhere.

Second, as I mentioned above, purchasing offsets only means that Gore doesn't want to make the same kind of sacrifices that he's asking other families to make. He's using a modern form of indulgences in order to avoid doing the penance that global-warming activism demands of others. It means that the very rich can continue to suck up energy and raise the price and the demand for electricity and natural gas, while families struggle with their energy costs and face increasing government regulation and taxation. It's a regressive plan that Gore's supporters would decry if the same kind of scheme were applied to a national sales tax, for instance.
I agree with esp. that later point. We seeing more and more of this purchasing carbon offsets or the like, and I think that the idea of this being a modern form of indulgences is quite appropriate. In sort, Gore and his defenders are arguing that he can use as much energy as he wants because he is now rich enough to buy these indulgences.

We first really saw this last year when Gore flew to Cannes on a private jet and his entorage went everywhere, even a couple of blocks, in a fleet of limos. And all this prolifigate energy usage (at the showing of his movie condemming carbon usage) by the fact that he had purchased these carbon indulgences.

I should add that I work at wind powered ski area. It is part of Vail Resorts, where its flagship ski area has apparently the highest ticket prices this year in the country. And, so, its customers are well able to buy the same sort of indulgences that Gore does. And so, all the energy used to run the lifts, etc. in the five VR resorts are offset by the purchase of wind power.

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