Al Gore's Carbon Footprint Is Big.

Bruce Nussbaum

I've wanted to write a piece on the carbon footprints of famous people who are for sustainability and against global warming because I've noticed that many of them live in many very big houses, drive many very big cars and fly in private jets. The World Economic Forum in Davos was "carbon neutral," despite all these folks flying it to attend, because in large part, people donated money to third world countries to plant trees or build hydoelectric dams for electricity. The upcoming TED conference is supposed to be carbon neutral as well and I am curious to see how they do it. Will people be flying into the TED conference in Monterey, CA in their private jets and paying peasants to plant more trees in the Amazon to stay carbon neutral? And does it matter as long as the planet keeps its cool?

But before I could write my story, Al Gore got an Oscor for An Inconvenient Truth and someone did some analysis of his carbon footprint and found it was pretty big. I don't know much about the source.

Here's the story:


The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:

Last night, Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore's mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

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.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh--guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore's average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore's energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore's extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore's mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

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

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006."

OK. We need to do carbon footprints of lots of people--but how do you measure it? House/houses size, cars, private jets--what else should we include. And how do you offset these with hybrid cars, solar heating, wind turbines, etc.?

We need an algorithm folks. Got one out there?


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