Thursday, August 10, 2006

If Al Gore Says It, It Must Be True...

GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE!!! The recent string of thermometer popping temperatures have broken record highs across the nation! From California to Maine, Texas to Minnesota, Americans are suffering from oppressive heat! We are all going to die!!

In unrelated news, it is August.

It certainly has been a warm one recently eh? I think Al Gore had taken some advice from his political strategists and worked a bit on his timing. If you recall back in January 2004, he ranted on about how the current administration was on the cusp of singlehandedly bringing down all of civilization as we know it by ignoring the obvious threat of global warming. I was in NYC for unrelated work at the time of this speech, and the cold was nipple-shattering:

Yesterday the erstwhile veep came to New York, where he delivered one of the silliest speeches in American political history. The topic was "global warming," the temperature outside in the single digits. The sheer ludicrousness of warning of warming in the middle of an exceptionally cold winter was widely noted in the press but apparently lost on Gore, who decided against rescheduling his speech so as to make it less preposterous.

Now, Al Gore has come out with his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" during the dog days of summer. Hmmm. I wonder if Al Gore lives the "carbon-neutral" lifestyle he professes for all of us, or is he like Robert Kennedy who tells us all to drive hybrids while he buzzes from place to place in a private jet? Or is he more like Uncle Teddy, who abhors the thought of damaging his yacht's gelcoat on a windmill in Nantucket Sound? Tough to say - or at least it was until this article came out from USA Today:

But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed. For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

Of course it is easier for glass house occupants to throw stones, when you are not quite sure which glass house they are in at any one time:

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Ahh, as usual, the message from this self proclaimed leader in the effort to save the planet: "I am more important than you."

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy....

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Well, you may say that what one person does to modify their lifestyle matters little compared to the Bush-conspiring minions of BIG-OIL who systematically trash the planet and wipe out our fragile ecosystem one yellow-crested titmouse at a time. And you may very well be right:

So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

OK, maybe he just hasn't gotten around to signing up for wind power yet. And maybe he shouldn't have cancelled the mint julep social with his stock broker and financial advisor last month - but at least he isn't raping the earth!

Humanity might be "sitting on a ticking time bomb," but Gore's home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.

Oh Damn! Well I guess that Al Gore doesn't consider our planet in mortal danger after all. Otherwise he would surely be leading us by example and use wind power, divest his oil holdings, stop treating the land like a cheap elemental whore, and live in smaller (and fewer) houses. But if he refuses to do these things while he continues to wail about our imminent planetary demise, why should I change any of my habits unless it directly saves me either money or time?

If only Al Gore could create a renewable energy resource the same way he invented the internet:

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Maybe Al could figure a way to harness suction power. He certainly seems to think there are alot of suckers out there.


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