Thursday, March 1, 2007

An Inconvenient Doof

Now I've never exactly been one to defend Al Gore. Heck, I spent 36 days in Florida six years ago thanks to his campaign - still one of the most scarring experiences of my young life.

But knocking the guy for his environmentalism? That's just silly.

To bring the uninitiated up to date, The Tennessee Center for Policy Research hit the Oscar winner the day after his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" nailed the Academy Award for documentary. It was the height of political do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do, they said. Gore preached but didn't practice in his home - emitting a huge carbon footprint on his sprawing Carthidge estate.

Turns out the group was basically right in their main fact - that the Gores use a lot of electricity in their home. But they took one fact and drew some pretty startling conclusions - which, of course, got them headlines.

“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 Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

They should be smart enough to realize that's only part of the story.

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told the Associated Press: "Sometimes when people don't like the message, in this case that global warming is real, it's convenient to attack the messenger."

Kreider said Gore purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity costs. The former Veep has reportedly said he leads a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To balance out other carbon emissions, the Gores invest money in projects to reduce energy consumption, Kreider said.

Ok, ok, the guy's got a mansion and uses a ton of juice. Get in line. Even those of us in small homes probably use too much. But who among us can say they use a lot of solar, wind and methane gas and invests in projects that reduce consumption? Hmm, hmmmm?

I'm not naive enough to think Gore isn't a target on the environment, he surely is. But to knock a guy who does this with his free time for not being Green enough? Now that's just silliness.

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