T Nation

Gore's Inconvenient Electric Bill

From: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,257958,00.html

The March 1863 Enrollment Act permitted wealthy men to legally dodge the Civil War draft by paying a $300 commutation fee to the U.S. Government. This controversial loophole fueled public perception of a ?rich man?s war, but a poor man?s fight.?

The sight of well-dressed men during the 1863 New York City draft riots prompted angry crowds to derisively call out, ?There goes a $300-man.?

It is, therefore, somewhat odd that Al Gore has ventured to become a latter-day $300-man in his crusade against global warming, especially since he touts himself as courageously leading the charge for wide-spread personal sacrifice.

At the end of Gore?s movie, ?An Inconvenient Truth,? viewers are asked, ?Are you ready to change the way you live?? Following this line of thinking, the movie?s web site suggests many ways that you can ?reduce your impact at home,? including using less heating and air conditioning, buying expensive fluorescent light bulbs, using less hot water, using a clothesline rather than a dryer, carpooling, flying less and buying cost-inefficient hybrid cars.

Given that Gore calls the fight against global warming a ?moral imperative? in the movie, you might reasonably think that he practices what his movie?s web site preaches. But you?d be wrong.

In the wake of the movie winning an Oscar last month, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research reported that Gore?s Nashville mansion consumed more than 20 times the electricity than the national average. Last August, the Gore mansion burned more than twice the electricity in a single month as the average American family uses in an entire year. Gore?s heated pool house alone uses more than $500 in electricity every month.

These latest revelations are reason enough to rent the movie just to see Gore standing before an enormous bar-graph comparison of individual carbon emissions by nationality while sanctimoniously tut-tutting about how the average American?s energy use is greedily off the charts.

A Gore spokesman tried to deflect the charges of ?do as I say, not as I do? by stating that the Gores ?purchase offsets for their carbon emissions to bring their carbon footprint down to zero.? Gore himself has been very public about this approach to carbon neutrality, but not only is this claim not exactly true, it?s quite meaningless in terms of global warming.

First, Al Gore doesn?t purchase carbon offsets out of his own pocket and the actual economic cost, if any, to him is unknown.

The actual offset purchaser is a London-based investment firm, Generation Investment Management (GIM), that Al Gore co-founded with former Goldman Sachs executive David Blood and others in 2004.

GIM supposedly purchases carbon offsets for all 23 of its employees to cover their personal energy use, according to a March 7 CNSNews.com report. These offsets, then, would be provided to Gore more as an employee benefit, thus requiring very little sacrifice on his or his family’s part.

Trading and or purchasing carbon offsets is an emerging business, and CNSNews is also pursuing an investigative story into whether Gore or his company are making money from these offsets. It?s quite possible, for example, that GIM?s offsets actually produce financial benefits for the Gores either through tax deductions or even business profits.

A Gore spokesman refused to shed light on the personal net financial impacts to Gore, instead telling CNSNews that Mr. Gore, "as a private citizen, does not release his private income.?

Financial matters aside, what are the environmental impacts of Gore?s offsets?

I was surprised to find that even a leading advocate of carbon offsets acknowledge that they have no impact on global climate.

The Carbon Neutral Company ? one of the two vendors that sell offsets to GIM ? says that offset purchases ?will be unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? in the short term.?

Instead, they merely: (1) demonstrate commitment to taking action on climate change; (2) add an economic component to climate change; (3) help engage and educate the public; and (4) may provide local social and environmental benefits that help to encourage the use of low-carbon technologies.

The real design behind offsetting, then, is to impact the public debate, not to avert the dreaded global warming. This purpose is consistent with what I heard Al Gore say about the Kyoto Protocol following a private presentation of his climate slide show I attended at the Americans for Tax Reform offices in January, 2006.

?Did we think Kyoto would [reduce global warming] when we signed it [in 1997]?? Hell no!? said Gore. He then explained that the actual point of Kyoto was to demonstrate that international support could be mustered for action on environmental issues.

But it?s the carbon offset purchases through which Gore really validates application of the $300-man epithet to him. His company buys the offsets for their employees. There?s no cost to him. He benefits politically ? and perhaps financially, as well ? from them. He then advocates that the rest of us who cannot so easily offset are carbon production suffer myriad personal sacrifices.

While Gore relaxes in his posh pool house and heated pool, you should be taking shorter and colder showers, and hanging your laundry outside to dry. As Gore jets around the world in first-class comfort to hob-nob with society?s elites about his self-declared ?moral imperative?, you should travel less and bike to work. You should use less electricity while Al and his wife, Tipper, use 20 times the national average. Now that?s a real carbon offset.

?Are you ready to change the way you live?? Gore literally meant you ? and only you.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRWatch.com. He is a junk science expert, and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…

[quote]shamus wrote:
Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…[/quote]

Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
shamus wrote:
Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…

Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.[/quote]

This is not true. It would actually be CO2 neutral.

You can only burn what you took out of the atmosphere to grow it earlier, like in biodiesel.

The grow lamps have a terribly low rate of efficiency though.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.[/quote]

You can smoke all you like. Growing all that tobacco puts oxygen (from CO2) in the air. And when you smoke it, it uses some of it up. But there’s still a net gain.

The problem comes when you put EXTRA CO2 in the air. From the carbon deposits on the planet. The oil fields.

Yeah, but if Gore’s campaign convinces even one industrial or pre-industrial nation to completely halt it’s economic advancement, then on the Karma scale, Gore will be carbon-negative in no time! That’s even BETTER than carbon-neutral!

All of this reminds me of a quote. And I see no politician is exempt. (Maybe the younger ones.)

Q: Hom do you know when a politician is lying?

A: He opens his mouth.

I’m all for reducing CO2 and helping to stop global warming. The first thing we should do is cut the power to Gore Mansion. He’s using enough CO2 for at least 500 people.

LOL. Nice slam piece. It looks like somebody is working pretty hard to discredit the messenger.

What this means is that Gore is just like the rest of us. He isn’t living in a supposedly eco-friendly way.

However, I think things go off the track a bit when we get told that Gore expects us to take short colder showers. Does Gore really say that?

I imagine he’s going after countries, major corporate producers, automobiles, coal plants, that type of thing. I might be wrong, but that’s the impression I had.

Typical FOX crap.

Political hackery at it’s best. Now, don’t get me wrong, Gore is a bit of a nutbird at times and he probably does have a lifestyle that is not accessible to most of us, with that I don’t disagree.

What I do disagree with is the fact that politics is reduced to completely childish games. The saddest part is that many people don’t see through it all and simply take such garbage at face value…

[quote]vroom wrote:
LOL. Nice slam piece. It looks like somebody is working pretty hard to discredit the messenger.

What this means is that Gore is just like the rest of us. He isn’t living in a supposedly eco-friendly way.

However, I think things go off the track a bit when we get told that Gore expects us to take short colder showers. Does Gore really say that?

I imagine he’s going after countries, major corporate producers, automobiles, coal plants, that type of thing. I might be wrong, but that’s the impression I had.

Typical FOX crap.

Political hackery at it’s best. Now, don’t get me wrong, Gore is a bit of a nutbird at times and he probably does have a lifestyle that is not accessible to most of us, with that I don’t disagree.

What I do disagree with is the fact that politics is reduced to completely childish games. The saddest part is that many people don’t see through it all and simply take such garbage at face value…[/quote]

And here I thought in your world view hypocrisy was a huge sin?

[quote]vroom wrote:
LOL. Nice slam piece. It looks like somebody is working pretty hard to discredit the messenger.

What this means is that Gore is just like the rest of us. He isn’t living in a supposedly eco-friendly way.

However, I think things go off the track a bit when we get told that Gore expects us to take short colder showers. Does Gore really say that?

I imagine he’s going after countries, major corporate producers, automobiles, coal plants, that type of thing. I might be wrong, but that’s the impression I had.

Typical FOX crap.

Political hackery at it’s best. Now, don’t get me wrong, Gore is a bit of a nutbird at times and he probably does have a lifestyle that is not accessible to most of us, with that I don’t disagree.

What I do disagree with is the fact that politics is reduced to completely childish games. The saddest part is that many people don’t see through it all and simply take such garbage at face value…[/quote]

Nope.

The problem with Gore is that he speaks in the language of apocalyptic doom, calling for huge sacrifices on behlf of the public, but himself does not walk the walk.

It would be different if Gore merely advocated “going greener” and that we should all take steps towards sustainable energy. He does not do this - instead, he calls global warming a moral problem worthy of our strongest sacrfices lest we face global catastrophe.

Then, he heats his pool to the tune of $500 a month.

If the so-called Messenger is going to have a message like that, he can’t possibly ask - or command - the rest of the world to make the sacrifices he himself wouldn’t dare make in the name of preserving his lifestyle. If Gore gets to preserve his lifestyle, ipso facto we get to do the same.

And the idea that Gore is going after “corporate producers”, etc. misses the point - all those entities are us.

The sad part is - it actually hurts his mission. He could either tone down the rhetoric or be an example of his moral crusade. Instead, he has the look of a snake oil salesmen.

[quote]orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
shamus wrote:
Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…

Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.

This is not true. It would actually be CO2 neutral.

You can only burn what you took out of the atmosphere to grow it earlier, like in biodiesel.

The grow lamps have a terribly low rate of efficiency though. [/quote]

It is only CO2 neutral if his grow lamps are solar or hydropowered.

Isnt the idea to produce less CO2? Does he drive a Honda or Toyota? I know he uses green energy. It doesnt really matter if Gore is doing what he tells us to do. The message is a good one, we should take care of our planet.

[quote]orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
shamus wrote:
Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…

Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.

This is not true. It would actually be CO2 neutral.

You can only burn what you took out of the atmosphere to grow it earlier, like in biodiesel.

The grow lamps have a terribly low rate of efficiency though. [/quote]

No, you are wrong on most counts. 1000 watts of High Pressure Sodium is way more efficient than regular 60 watt bulbs, or even flourescents for the amount of light actaually produced. And the amounts of O2 that is produced by a big ol’ plant is about four times the 02 production as a maple tree. So, the influx of fresh air from my solar powered fans brought from the outside via ducts, were all just big O2 producers. As far as the exchange while smoking, I never smoked it, I only cooked with it, AND SOLD IT!

[quote]shamus wrote:
orion wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
shamus wrote:
Gore is such a moron. But we got a bigger one, so… Anyway, I grew shitloads of weed back in the day indoors, I used a shitload of electricity, and ac, but I figured the amount of O2 I was producing made up for the high cost of my electric bill. Maybe Tipper is growin’ some kind…

Sounds like a plan, but unfortunately you can’t smoke it or it will mess up your carbon balance.

This is not true. It would actually be CO2 neutral.

You can only burn what you took out of the atmosphere to grow it earlier, like in biodiesel.

The grow lamps have a terribly low rate of efficiency though.

No, you are wrong on most counts. 1000 watts of High Pressure Sodium is way more efficient than regular 60 watt bulbs, or even flourescents for the amount of light actaually produced. And the amounts of O2 that is produced by a big ol’ plant is about four times the 02 production as a maple tree. So, the influx of fresh air from my solar powered fans brought from the outside via ducts, were all just big O2 producers. As far as the exchange while smoking, I never smoked it, I only cooked with it, AND SOLD IT! [/quote]

I do not doubt that a HPS is more efficient than a normal light source but the majority of energy is still wasted in heat.

Stand next to one and you know what I mean.

That kind of ruins the CO2 balance of indoor growing, because the electricity running a lamp has to be taken into account.

As to the carbon in the plants:

Without the carbon in the plants (60% of dry mass) there could be no CO2 after smoking it.

So, every carbon atom used later, was taken out of the atmosphere while growing it.

So the plant itself is CO2 neutral.

I don’t understand why people hate pollution. It means that something is being produced, usually for the well-being of human beings. Where would we be with no cars, trains, chemicals, technology, and all the wonders of civilisation? The producers of such miracles are the benefactors of humanity, way more that some loudmouth Hollywood president-wannabe.

If the problem gets big enough, some capitalist entrepeneur will figure out a way to make a buck out of pollution, and it’ll then be solved. Anti-capitalists like Mr. Gore, seething with hatred for production and achievement, are about as much help as a tits on a statue.

It seemed to me the point of Al Gore’s movie was that there is a problem and right now it is being ignored.

I heard about restrictions on factory polutions being lifted during this administration, as well as other environmetally unfriendly acts.

Gore’s message seemed to me we need to realize this is happening, and start taking steps to fix it instead of acting like it does not exist and is a myth, while we fatten our pockets.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I don’t understand why people hate pollution. It means that something is being produced, usually for the well-being of human beings. Where would we be with no cars, trains, chemicals, technology, and all the wonders of civilisation? The producers of such miracles are the benefactors of humanity, way more that some loudmouth Hollywood president-wannabe.

If the problem gets big enough, some capitalist entrepeneur will figure out a way to make a buck out of pollution, and it’ll then be solved. Anti-capitalists like Mr. Gore, seething with hatred for production and achievement, are about as much help as a tits on a statue.[/quote]

Pollution is lack of disposing of the chemicals properly, that or using the wrong ones.

Just like with radioactive waste. its not really that much of a prbolem when it is carefully disposed of. You dig a very deep hole in bedrock, deposit the shit and seal it off very well. Presto! No radiactive waste polluting our food supply, or water supply!

Pollution can be handled very effectivelly. Even by current technology. The problem is cutting corners to make more money (guess who gets the extra money? hint: not the workers) by not disposing of waste properly.

You can produce and remain envirenmentally friendly. It just means you make less profit. And God forbid, less profit.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
I don’t understand why people hate pollution. It means that something is being produced, usually for the well-being of human beings. Where would we be with no cars, trains, chemicals, technology, and all the wonders of civilisation? The producers of such miracles are the benefactors of humanity, way more that some loudmouth Hollywood president-wannabe.

If the problem gets big enough, some capitalist entrepeneur will figure out a way to make a buck out of pollution, and it’ll then be solved. Anti-capitalists like Mr. Gore, seething with hatred for production and achievement, are about as much help as a tits on a statue.[/quote]

I see the light now.

Polution is good.

Peace is bad.

War is good.

And don’t forget people, this guy is actually teaching children. And he’s unionized, so he can’t be fired.

[quote]Petedacook wrote:

I heard about restrictions on factory polutions being lifted during this administration, as well as other environmetally unfriendly acts.
… [/quote]

This is mostly untrue. Bush’s environmental record is about the same as Clinton’s. Some good and some bad.

Bush has done some things that allegedly weakened Clinton’s stuff but in reality it encouraged spending on pollution control and has been better for the environment.

One good example is the Clinton EPA required that if a power plant did any improvements on their SO2 scubbing systems they had to bring the entire system up to the current regulations. It was an all or nothing approach. Almost everyone chose nothing and ended up getting hit with nominal fines that they didn’t pay anyway.

Bush’s EPA rescinded that requirement and power plants have been incrementally upgrading their systems.

He was accused of weakening the regulations but in fact he made things better for the environment.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
I don’t understand why people hate pollution. It means that something is being produced, usually for the well-being of human beings. Where would we be with no cars, trains, chemicals, technology, and all the wonders of civilisation? The producers of such miracles are the benefactors of humanity, way more that some loudmouth Hollywood president-wannabe.

If the problem gets big enough, some capitalist entrepeneur will figure out a way to make a buck out of pollution, and it’ll then be solved. Anti-capitalists like Mr. Gore, seething with hatred for production and achievement, are about as much help as a tits on a statue.

I see the light now.

Polution is good.

Peace is bad.

War is good.

And don’t forget people, this guy is actually teaching children. And he’s unionized, so he can’t be fired.
[/quote]

Wreckless,
You never fail to amuse! Isn’t Belgium the toilet of Germany? I can see why YOU might hate pollution. Seriously, if you look at a map of Europe, Belgium looks like a turd being shat out of Germany’s ass.

And I’m not a member of a union.