Last year the Tennessee Center for Policy Research made quite a splash with a press release on Al Gore’s energy usage:

In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh–more than 20 times the national average.

They’ve just released figures for the past year

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

Feel free to check my calculations, but I think that 213,210 is less than 221,000. Honest folks who report this but want to criticize Gore might write something like: “Gore doesn’t reduce his energy consumption very much.” But the TCPR aren’t honest folks. Here’s what their report said:

Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations

And when Drudge linked, the text he used was “REPORT: Gore’s personal electricity consumption ‘up 10%’…” Naturally all the Gore-hating bloggers repeated this false claim, including, of course, Glenn Reynolds(“Lots of talk, but more bloated than ever. It’s almost like a metaphor.”) and Don Surber, who was fooled by the TCPR’s deceitful comparison of a year of Gore’s consumption for his home and office with just month for an average home.


The multi-millionaire “environmentalist” no longer consumes the electricity consumed by 20 normal people.

He now uses the electricity used by 232 mere mortals.

A commenter pointed out his error and Surber changed 232 to 19.333, but apparently without noticing that ithis meant that Gore’s energy use had gone down.

And that’s using the numbers from the TCPR. Gore’s spokeswoman Kalee Kreider says the real numbers are rather different:

In fact, over the past year the Gores’ utility bills have dropped 40 percent, thanks largely to the house’s spanking new geothermal heating and cooling system, which has reduced the Gores’ natural gas bill by 90 percent in the past year. …

Kreider pointed out that the renovations weren’t complete until November, so it’s a bit early to be attempting before-and-after comparisons. In addition, the Gores participate in the Nashville Electric Service’s Green Power Switch Program, which allows them to buy their electricity from renewable sources like wind power, solar power or methane gas from landfills (the house’s 33 solar panels only supply 4 percent of its power needs, per Kreider.) So any energy they burn won’t be burning them a bigger carbon footprint.

Comments

  1. #1 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    I love Wingnuttia’s thrashing around for totems to hate.

    Best,

    D

  2. #2 bi -- IJI
    June 18, 2008

    Lambert, you can quibble on the detailed figures, but you’ve yet to address the substantial central claim:

    > Lots of talk, but more bloated than ever. It’s almost like a metaphor.

    Yes, that’s it: Al Gore is fat!

  3. #3 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    Frank, you latte-lovin lib’rulll idiots never get it right. Its ‘Algore’, you AGW religion-loving moron.

    HTH.

    Best,

    D

  4. #4 Mark P
    June 18, 2008

    Let’s see … if I understand the argument, Gore uses a lot of energy, so global warming doesn’t exist. I think there’s a name for that argument, but I like “stupid” best.

  5. #5 ben
    June 18, 2008

    Wow, that was sure dumb. What I like is how he waited until there was nobody left to endorse, and then he endorsed Obama. I was very surprised when I saw that! Like, I was even biting my fingernails in anticipation!

  6. #6 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    I’d agree that the contention that Gore’s electrical usage increased is a bit deceptive…it increased until 2006, but has apparently decreased about 3.6% in 2007. This, however, is quite insignificant and may be attributed to a slightly-cooler billing year (and 2007 was indeed a cool year).

    The real story here is Gore’s continued profligate use of electricity and natural gas. I checked my previous year’s usage and, on a per-square-foot basis, I’m sitting at around 6 kwh/sf. Gore is sucking back 3.5 times that. If global warming is such a crisis, I think it’s not too much to ask Al Gore to cut back to what I’m using, given that he’s saying I need to cut back, too.

  7. #7 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    So, Jeffersonian, how many employees do you run out of your house? What were your receipts for revenues and expenses?

    Close to Algoreisfat!!!!!’s revenues?

    No? Is your house built to modern code with R-values or is it a large antebellum mansion? No?

    Smarter clowns, please.

    Best,

    D

  8. #8 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    He IS cutting back and renovating and doing what he should to use less energy. But go ahead and ignore what’s in the post.

  9. #9 cce
    June 18, 2008

    A few inferences:
    Gore’s heating is now 90% Geothermal, 10% Natural Gas
    The electricity is 4% solar, and 96% renewable from the local utility company. Seems to me that the carbon footprint of the house/office is very low.

    The geothermal heating, solar, and efficiency upgrades have lowered utility bills by 40%.

    It will be interesting to see if they report the bills next year, although I’m sure the headline will be, “Gore’s home/business uses enough carbon free energy to power a village of starving Africans!”

  10. #10 cce
    June 18, 2008

    Forgot the requisite disclaimer that a geothermal heat pump is not “real” geothermal.

  11. #11 bi -- IJI
    June 18, 2008

    Dano:

    > Its ‘Algore’, you AGW religion-loving moron.

    Aww crap. Maybe it should be written “Al-Gore”, much like “Al-Qaida”. Heck, let’s write that in the Arabic script: الجور.

    Anyway, he is fat, and that’s what matters.

  12. #12 Ben Lankamp
    June 18, 2008

    Jeffersonian: ‘2007 was indeed a cool year'; just .84°C above the 1951-1980 baseline which makes it the coolest since, ehm, 2005.I guess cool ain’t as cool as it used to be.

  13. #13 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    So, Jeffersonian, how many employees do you run out of your house? What were your receipts for revenues and expenses?

    Close to Algoreisfat!!!!!’s revenues?

    No? Is your house built to modern code with R-values or is it a large antebellum mansion? No?

    Smarter clowns, please.

    Perhaps you’ll tell us all how many employees Al Gore runs out of his home and what equipment they’re operating. I have several computers I run here, probably what Gore’s employees do (perhaps even a bit more energy-intensive, even). I don’t see what revenues would have to do with it – being a lecturer with a small staff is not exactly an energy-intensive activity.

    As for the home itself, I think you’ve put your finger on it. There are ways to upgrade even antebellum homes to modern R values, but Gore didn’t even begin to implement them until it became an embarrassment. Why did such an environmentally-aware guy buy such a BTU-chugger?

  14. #14 Wolf Corlett
    June 18, 2008

    It was pointed out to me that “In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.” is technically correct, but is comparing apples to oranges.

    In the past year, the average American household used enough electricity to power 12 average American households for a month. How shocking!

  15. #15 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    Gore’s residential energy use until Nov. 2007:

    Home and business utilities + renovation energy use.

    After renovation, the first is down by 40% and the second down by 100%.

    Can Jeffersonian disaggregate? Doubtful.

  16. #16 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    I’m still waiting to hear what the size of Gore’s staff is.

    If his electrical usage is down 40%, he’s still at almost 13 kwh/sf, more than twice the usage of this amoral right-wing madman.

    And I might add that you don’t gauge cooling load by mean annual temperature, but number of cooling degree-days. Using that measure, I’ll agree that 2007 was a hot one that would increase AC usage.

  17. #17 pough
    June 18, 2008

    I’m still waiting to hear what the size of Gore’s staff is.

    Is there a method for getting that data that everyone on the planet can employ except you, or do you just like to boss people around?

  18. #18 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    Not everyone can live in mom’s basement like Jeffersonian.

  19. #19 bi -- IJI
    June 18, 2008

    The real story here is Gore’s continued profligate use of electricity and natural gas.

    but Gore didn’t even begin to implement them until it became an embarrassment.

    What’s Jeffersonian’s latest excuse for bashing Gore? I forgot. Maybe that’s because it keeps changing.

  20. #20 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Is there a method for getting that data that everyone on the planet can employ except you, or do you just like to boss people around?

    Apparently Dano has access to that information given the implication of his post that Gore’s profligate electrical usage is due (at least in part) to the large number of employees he has. I’m just asking him, or anyone else, what that number is. I’ll even take a ballpark, say, within five, and a guess as to what this power-draining equipment they have might be.

    Not everyone can live in mom’s basement like Jeffersonian.

    Does this policy:

    Personal atttacks on other commenters will be disemvowelled.

    apply to everyone, or just folks you disagree with?

  21. #21 bi -- IJI
    June 18, 2008

    Jeffersonian:

    Yawn.

  22. #22 trollhattan
    June 18, 2008

    According to Tipper, Al’s staff is muy, muy grande.

    The do-nothing brigade will never run short of excuses, diversions, prevarications as to why we should sit on our collective hands. It’s the ultimate asymmetrical warfare.

  23. #23 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    What’s Jeffersonian’s latest excuse for bashing Gore? I forgot. Maybe that’s because it keeps changing.

    On the contrary, I’ve been quite consistent in my criticism. In my first post I called the claim of a 10% increase in usage “deceptive.” The real story here, as I said, is Gore’s insouciance about using so much energy until it became politically embarrassing to him. This suggests that his recent efforts at economy are motivated by public relations more than any concern for the environment.

    At any rate, it’s good to see Al finally get his kwh draw down to something just ridiculous as opposed to absurd.

  24. #24 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    The do-nothing brigade will never run short of excuses, diversions, prevarications as to why we should sit on our collective hands.

    I’m not sure who the “do-nothing brigade” is, but personally I’ve done the following in the last few years:

    * Gone to all CFL lamps in standard-base, non-dimmable fixtures (about 50 lamps overall)
    * Refitted my entire home with double-paned, high-R windows with low-E glass
    * Swapped my old furnace for one that’s 92% efficient
    * Junked my old A/C for a 15-SEER unit
    * Installed a high-efficiency water heater
    * Planted several trees to shade the house, reducing summer cooling bills
    * Installed motion-detecting porch and deck fixtures to reduce unneeded exterior lighting

    I did this all without government compulsion, but I’m still the enemy because I did it for one reason only: Greed.

  25. #25 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    It’s a frickin joke!

    Unless of course you want to present a schematic of your home and provide copies of your electric bills for 2007.

    And it’s pretty clear that the Gore home doesn’t function as just a residence. How many of our homes are consuming energy all day because it’s full of people working in it?

    Why don’t we compare Gore’s home to say… Cheney’s Wyoming home or Bush’s Texas ranch.

    Not that they would ever let the public know.

  26. #26 ben
    June 18, 2008

    Careful Jeffersonian, with that kind of language they might start calling you a racist, sexist and homophobe.

  27. #27 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Why don’t we compare Gore’s home to say… Cheney’s Wyoming home or Bush’s Texas ranch.

    Not that they would ever let the public know.

    Ask and ye shall receive. Bush-Gore Home Comparison

    This is really just too easy.

  28. #28 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    Fix the link

  29. #29 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Hmmm…my HTML-fu isn’t working. It’s a Snopes page about Bush’s eco-friendly ranch and Gore’s power-whore. I’ll try the HTML once more, but include the URL below for a quick C&P: LINK

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/house.asp

  30. #30 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Here’s some text from CommonDreams, hardly an organ of the vast right-wing conspiracy:

    The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.

    Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this “eco-friendly” dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

    A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

    No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.

    This is President George W. Bush’s “Texas White House” outside the small town of Crawford.

  31. #31 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    I’m still waiting to hear what the size of Gore’s staff is.

    Please, no more discussions about hung juries or Tipper’s a size queen or how it ‘bends to the right’ or shoe sizes or anything like that. This is a family blog, d&mmit.

    Best,

    D

  32. #32 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    BTW, the beginning of an HTML tag is not [a], it is [a href=""]. [/a] is the correct close. The URL goes in the quotes and the text between the > and the /a is what gets highlighted.

    Best,

    D

  33. #33 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Unless of course you want to present a schematic of your home and provide copies of your electric bills for 2007.

    And it’s pretty clear that the Gore home doesn’t function as just a residence. How many of our homes are consuming energy all day because it’s full of people working in it?

    Huh? What good would schematics do?? I’ll give you a hint of the wiring, Steve: All 120V loads are connected between one of two incoming legs, each 180 degrees out of phase with each other, an neutral. Large loads are connected to both incoming legs and the same neutral. That’s about it!

    You’re the second to claim that Gore’s electrical usage is due to the number of people, and also the second to fail to tell us how many that might be. To be on par with my place, Gore would have to have 24 people there 24 hours a day. Think that he’s got that many?

  34. #34 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    Nice. So why don’t you try to do at LEAST what Bush does.
    I think it’s obvious why Gore’s old mansion uses so much energy… Gore is really an evil reptilian who wants to secretly warm the earth to better suit his natural preference.

  35. #35 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Thanks, Dano, that’s what I was using, but the <> instead of squared brackets.

  36. #36 Kristjan Wager
    June 18, 2008

    I would guess that the above is a link to a comparison between Bush’s Crawford ranch, and Gore’s home, which ignores a number of issues, not least the fact that Gore lives in his home, while Bush at least occasionally spends time in the White House.

  37. #37 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Nice. So why don’t you try to do at LEAST what Bush does.

    I might, but I’m going to depreciate these assets first. We had a pretty hot summer last year and my electric bills went down by about 11%.

    I think it’s obvious why Gore’s old mansion uses so much energy… Gore is really an evil reptilian who wants to secretly warm the earth to better suit his natural preference.

    Really? I just assumed it was because he’s wealthy and only interested in the environment as a means to expansion of that wealth (not to mention the power of the state, that magical elixer upon which the port side swills so drunkenly). But don’t reptiles like it hot?

  38. #38 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    I didn’t mean electric plans.. I meant floor plan. Square footage, amount of closets, bathrooms and windows.

    It’s OBVIOUS why Gore’s mansion consumes more energy per square foot… IT’S A BIG OLD HOUSE.

    Let it go.

  39. #39 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    My home is 2780 square feet, about 28% the size of Gore’s. I have plans, but they’re C-size hardcopies and I’m not having them scanned to refute what is, in essence, an ad hominem argument.

    It uses less than 16,000 kwh per year of electricity, less than what Gore runs through is wires in a typical summer month. On a per-sf basis, I’m using less than 1/3 of what Gore does.

    And let’s not forget, larger homes tend to be more efficient than smaller home on a per-sf basis for the simple reason that energy-intensive areas like laundry rooms and kitchens are not generally duplicated in larger homes. Or will you now contend that Tipper is doing laundry of those daily throngs that traipse through Chez Gore?

  40. #40 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    I might add that the 2780 figure is exclusive of a finished basement. Including brings the footage to well over 4,000 and greatly adds to the already huge disparity in energy usage. But I didn’t want to pile on.

  41. #41 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    Uhg. I was making a joke about you living in your mom’s basement. I don’t really want proof that you don’t.

    You’re reasoning for why a 20 room mansion would use less energy per square foot than a 2 or 3 bedroom house doesn’t add up.

    Are you really trying to say that Gore uses a lot of energy because it makes him feel powerful? Your logic doesn’t really add up.

  42. #42 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    Sigh…I see killfile coming soon.

    I suspect Jeffersonian’s house may be built to IBC, which IIRC is R-19 walls and R-35 roofs. The cooling of the Algoreacleisfat!!! house is likely much harder with the R-8-11 walls.

    And I suspect Algore is purchasing carbon offsets.

    Best,

    D

  43. #43 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    You’re reasoning for why a 20 room mansion would use less energy per square foot than a 2 or 3 bedroom house doesn’t add up.

    Sure it does. How many refrigerators, ranges, washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc. does a 10,000sf house need as opposed to one that is 2,800sf? (I have two, BTW, a 48″ Kitchenaid built-in in the kitchen and a standard fridge in the garage for soda and beer). Do you think the Gores have eight full-sized refrigerators? I also have a low-water, low-power LG front-loading washer and dryer…do the Gores have four of each? Ditto cooktops, ovens, ranges…well, you get the point.

    Furthermore, lighting should be a lower draw in a large home as opposed to a smaller one just by virtue of a smaller percentage of the rooms being occupied at any one time. Is this imaginary multitude at Big Al’s staying the night, leaving all the lamps burning?

    Are you really trying to say that Gore uses a lot of energy because it makes him feel powerful? Your logic doesn’t really add up.

    No, I’m saying he’s actually indifferent to the environment based on the priorities he’s actually set in his life. Just out of pure common sense, one would seek to reduce one’s energy costs so long as payback is reasonably anticipated. Yet it never occurred to Gore to have an effect in the one realm where he had the unequivocal power to do so: His own home.

  44. #44 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    And I suspect Algore is purchasing carbon offsets.

    He does…from his own company. Like taking money from one pocket and putting in another, really.

    But wouldn’t it be more eco-conscious not to have all that carbon being generated in the first place?

  45. #45 Steve_C
    June 18, 2008

    Yeah. You just don’t like Al Gore.

    Even if Al biked everywhere and never flew on an airplane again, you’d find an angle to call him a hypocrite.

    It’s boring.

  46. #46 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    “No, I’m saying he’s actually indifferent to the environment based on the priorities he’s actually set in his life. Just out of pure common sense, one would seek to reduce one’s energy costs so long as payback is reasonably anticipated. Yet it never occurred to Gore to have an effect in the one realm where he had the unequivocal power to do so: His own home.”

    “In fact, over the past year the Gores’ utility bills have dropped 40 percent, thanks largely to the house’s spanking new geothermal heating and cooling system, which has reduced the Gores’ natural gas bill by 90 percent in the past year.”

    Can Jeffersonian see the contradiction between his statement and the actual facts? Doubtful.

  47. #47 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Can Jeffersonian see the contradiction between his statement and the actual facts? Doubtful.

    As I said before, these energy-reduction projects became a priority only after the reality of Gore’s profligate energy consumption became public. Up to then, Gore was perfectly content to use gas and electricity in vast quantities.

    What does that say about his priorities?

    Me, I did all my energy-saving stuff to save money, not to impress anyone. But that’s me.

  48. #48 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Even if Al biked everywhere and never flew on an airplane again, you’d find an angle to call him a hypocrite.

    Good point…we haven’t even touched on the amount of carbon Gore releases into the atmosphere from his jet-setting.

    Will I get to gad about on private jets once Al’s policies are in place?

  49. #49 jodyaberdein
    June 18, 2008

    Is there some kind of troll tag team going on here? Why do we get only one wingnut at a time? It gets dull after a while.

    My total CO2 emissions are probably just a tiny bit below the UK average thanks to our carbon intensive economy. None the less I don’t fly, don’t own a car, bicycle to work, buy organic food if I can, wear largely second hand clothes, and i live in a tiny boat whre our total energy burn i about 3 tonnes CO2 per anum. Quit sniping at Gore and spend the energy doing better than I have. Low energy bulbs my arse.

  50. #50 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    (not to mention the power of the state, that magical elixer[sic] upon which the port side swills so drunkenly)

    You mean like using the power of the state to invade and interfere in the internal sovereignty of foreign countries to control their resources, while simultaneously increasing domestic police powers against their own citizens?

    Oops! That’s the magic elixir of state power which the rightards swill so drunkenly.

    Sorry.

  51. #51 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    “As I said before, these energy-reduction projects became a priority only after the reality of Gore’s profligate energy consumption became public.”

    Gore bought his house 3(three) years ago and immediately began renovation with the priority of building a showcase of energy efficiency (It’s his thing). His so-called ‘profligate energy use’ became a public issue less than 2(two) years ago.

    So unless Jeffersonian lives in an alternative universe where time runs backward, he is just plain wrong.

  52. #52 pough
    June 18, 2008

    I think Jefferson’s main problem is that Al Gore never personally paid him a visit to divulge his plans to buy a home and renovate it to be a “showcase of energy efficiency” and so the only fair thing to assume was that Gore cared nothing for the environment. What else could one possibly assume? And then assert.

  53. #53 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    I can’t confirm the Gore’s 2005 purchase of their home, LB. Can you provide a link?

    Also, I was able to get new windows and doors in a matter of weeks for my home, new A/C and furnace even more quickly. A trip to Sam’s took less than an hour to get all the CFLs I needed, too. What took Gore so long to do these things?

    As I said, it’s all about what one’s priorities are.

  54. #54 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    I’d say a complete renovation of a 80 year old home in an historical district of Nashville might require a little more planning and political jockeying with the local zoning board than a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

    The Gore’s apparently bought this place in 2002. They immediately hired one of the nation’s premier green architectural firms to design the renovation. It wasn’t until 2005 that they got zoning permission to begin work.

    Politics, eh?

    They’d already changed out the light bulbs.

  55. #55 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    Again, link?

    I understand they needed zoning variance for the solar panels, but an A/C condenser? Plus solar panels are a generation device…they don’t have anything to do with consumption.

  56. #56 Ryan Somma
    June 18, 2008

    You are so #$%@ing awesome!!! Thank you for blasting this nonsense!!! Unfortunately, the dittoheads have dugg it way up in popularity. No wonder they don’t believe in Global Warming, they can’t do basic math! : )

  57. #57 Boris
    June 18, 2008

    and 2007 was indeed a cool year

    Yeah, I think half of August was over 100 in Nashville (it was in Memphis). And if it was cooler as a whole last year, that means more money on heating in the winter. Here in Tennessee, our utility bills are higher in the winter than in the summer.

  58. #58 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    What A/C condenser?

    Jeffersonian apparently has no knowledge nor experience working with zoning boards in historical districts.

    Nor what happens to one’s utility bills when one brings in a construction crew to do a major renovation.

    Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

  59. #59 JimR
    June 18, 2008

    While you guys have shifted the focus to Jeffersonian and his energy use what about Al Gore? Regardless of the article getting it’s facts wrong the issue is that Mr. Gore is a super consumer and there is no question about that. Is it really significant that he reduced his electricity use at his Nashville home to only consumes the electricity of 19 average homes? And this is one of his many houses/condos. If the idea is that we should reduce our emissions by living extravagant lives while opting for all the green options along the way as Mr. Gore does I doubt we will see any decrease in emissions.

  60. #60 George Darroch
    June 18, 2008

    The point is, and it is a very good one, that Al Gore has no right to tell others to make sacrifices when he refuses to do so himself. Of course he makes next to no impact in the scheme of things – but the point is that his message asks the ordinary person who is using far less energy than him to use less.

    And he owns a private jet? What unbelievably hypocritical person.

  61. #61 z
    June 18, 2008

    “The point is, and it is a very good one, that Al Gore has no right to tell others to make sacrifices when he refuses to do so himself.”

    Well, put it like that, and I can definitely see that global warming is over and the earth has cooled since 1998.

  62. #62 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    What A/C condenser?

    I’m aware that Gore has geothermal climate control now, LB, but that was only after a mad scramble to repair the PR disaster of his obvious energy gluttony. Prior to his heat pump(s), he surely had in place a conventional A/C system that could have benefitted from a high-SEER condenser.

    Jeffersonian apparently has no knowledge nor experience working with zoning boards in historical districts.

    Nor what happens to one’s utility bills when one brings in a construction crew to do a major renovation.

    Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

    Perhaps you can enlighten us with your vast knowledge on the topics, right after you provide the link to validate your assertion regarding the purchase date of Gore’s home. And what effect would a construction crew working in 2007 have on Gore’s 2005 and 2006 energy bills?

    I see a lot of assertions, LB, with little support.

  63. #63 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    And let’s not forget that the sump-pumping you southpaws are so valiantly engaging in here is in defense of a guy who is reducing his electrical usage to roughly 12 times what the average American home uses, more than twice what it uses on a per-sf basis.

    I think our understanding of the psychology at work here will be enhanced if we think of Gore Manor as a “dacha.”

  64. #64 Davis
    June 18, 2008

    …that was only after a mad scramble to repair the PR disaster of his obvious energy gluttony.

    So, Jeffersonian, where’s your source demonstrating that this modification was due to public outcry, and not already-planned?

    My money’s on the proposition that Al Gore is not responding to the “PR disaster”, seeing as no one outside the Gore-Derangement-suffering wing of the Right even gives a rat’s posterior about the matter.

    Personally, I don’t understand this obsession with showing him to be a hypocrite, as hypocrisy does not invalidate an argument.

  65. #65 bi -- IJI
    June 18, 2008

    More in Jeffersonian’s list of Main Excuses for bashing Gore:

    we haven’t even touched on the amount of carbon Gore releases into the atmosphere from his jet-setting.

    I think our understanding of the psychology at work here will be enhanced if we think of Gore Manor as a “dacha.”

    Yeah, that’s the main point, like all other main points. Al Gore is a crypto-commie!

    Not only that: he’s a fat crypto-commie too.

    Therefore AGW is a scam.

  66. #66 luminous beauty
    June 18, 2008

    Time doesn’t just run backwards in Jeffersonian’s universe, it organizes itself positionally and extensionally in accord to his a priori assumptions.

  67. #67 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    Personally, I don’t understand this obsession with showing him to be a hypocrite, as hypocrisy does not invalidate an argument.

    Posh tosh! Do your fancy-schmancy math and see, sir, that my flying all over for conferences and out west for a nice backpack on Vancouver Is makes my carbon footprint large! Large, I say! Huuuuuge! Ginormously humongous!!! Wow! What a hypocrite!

    This, therefore, negates any argument I may make in the near future about how global cooling is a bogus argument. Therefore, there is global cooling, despite more CO2 in the air!!! Brrrrrr!

    It is simply the best denialist logic evarrrr. Because it must be true, else their ideology is invalidated.

    Best,

    D

  68. #68 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    if we think of Gore Manor as a “dacha.”

    Oh, yes:

    I see we’re getting dangerously close to calling GoreWins Law on this thread. Pity, too, as this thread is a hoot. Hoot, I say.

    Best,

    D

  69. #69 Bernard J.
    June 18, 2008

    Jeffersonian.

    I am a little surprised.

    My use of electricity averaged under 2.5 kw.h.f-2, in an Australian house built in the 50s to very dodgy eco-standards. This was as a partying postgrad student with an average of three people at any one time in the house, in a climate that varied from 0º to 42ºC.

    My next house, of strawbale/adobe and in a climate that varies from -3.5º to 40ºC, should average, at the most, no more than half of my previous home, and will do so purely on solar HW and PV. This for 3-4 people, and I don’t think that we live as do hermits in a cave.

    What’s sucking your power the most?

  70. #70 Jeffersonian
    June 18, 2008

    So, Jeffersonian, where’s your source demonstrating that this modification was due to public outcry, and not already-planned?

    My money’s on the proposition that Al Gore is not responding to the “PR disaster”, seeing as no one outside the Gore-Derangement-suffering wing of the Right even gives a rat’s posterior about the matter.

    The fact that the most vigorous defense of the Gores’ gluttony was, at the time the original revelation was made, that they were going to get a zoning variance for the solar panels. Not a word about the supposed architect firm, nothing about having just bought the joint, no pointing to a geothermal heat pump. All of those things sprung to the fore afterward.

    Like Glenn Reynolds says, I’ll start taking AGW more seriously when the proponents start taking it more seriously.

    Yeah, that’s the main point, like all other main points. Al Gore is a crypto-commie!

    My comment, for the more obtuse here, was about Gore’s slavish defenders, not him in particular. But I’ll defer to your judgement.

  71. #71 George Darroch
    June 18, 2008

    Al Gore has nothing to do with the validity of the science of global warming. I’ve been convinced of the science behind global warming for many years, and an activist on the issue since at least 02. I don’t see any suggestion from either myself or Jeffersonian disputing the science, and I find Dano’s comments particularly offensive, as if criticising Al Gore is disputing climate change.

    He does however have a lot to do with convincing people to take urgent and meaningful action against global warming. His hypocrisy is damaging to the latter. And that really pisses me off. Fuck him and his private jet.

  72. #72 Dano
    June 18, 2008

    that they were going to get a zoning variance for the solar panels.

    Right. Energy sources had to be near the ground, to abate noise, and the code didn’t think about solar panels being a source (or someone didn’t want to look at them).

    So what. I work with architects all the time, and many of them miss sh*t like that. All the time.

    You are thrashing about. You got nothin’.

    and I find Dano’s comments particularly offensive, as if criticising Al Gore is disputing climate change

    Oooh! Victim bully!

    Algore is fat!!! Eat the rich!

    Best,

    D

  73. #73 Ian Gould
    June 18, 2008

    I’m fasicnated by the attitude of Jefferssoni8an et al that Al gore (who is aftert all a Democrat and therefore guilty of treason) MUST provide complete details of every aspect of his personal life.

    While we’re at it’s let demand daily drug tests for the rest of his life.

    Gore isn’t just “a lecturer” – he’s Chairman of the Board of at least two company, a director of several others (including Apple); acts as a business consultant and has various obligations as a former VP.

    Since 9/11 it’s been reliably reported that ALL living ex-VPs and ex-Presidents are under 24-hour Secret Service guard. (Of course, if that was the case and Gore pointed it otu he’d be endangering national security and exposing those brave men and women to danger in order to make himself look good according to the wing-nuts).

    Oh and let’s ignore the fact that the power bill includes not jsut the main house but the guest-house.

    I’m sure that as a former VP who was heavily involved in foreign affairs, Gore is never expected to host foreign dignitaries or THEIR security details.

    But that’s absurd – like asking how much energy went into the construction of that low-energy use House of Dubya’s. (which is the ONLY house he owns, right? right?)

  74. #74 Bernard J.
    June 18, 2008

    Jeffersonian.

    At #70:

    Like Glenn Reynolds says, I’ll start taking AGW more seriously when the proponents start taking it more seriously.

    To repeat the thoughts of others, aren’t you shooting the messenger?

    If you have problems with the data on AGW, what are they?

  75. #75 Sam-Hec
    June 18, 2008

    “He does…from his own company. Like taking money from one pocket and putting in another, really.”

    He would only be able to pocket his share of the profit from the sale of the offsetting. Likely he just gets discounts, so no other partner gets to profit from it. Offsetting still has to occur and be certified.

    “But wouldn’t it be more eco-conscious not to have all that carbon being generated in the first place?

    It’s called Return on Investment.

  76. #76 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    “He does…from his own company. Like taking money from one pocket and putting in another, really.

    But wouldn’t it be more eco-conscious not to have all that carbon being generated in the first place?’

    More lies.

    Gore is one of the shareholders in Generation Asset Management, a director of the company and a major investor.

    Generation Investment Management is an investment company not an offset company.

    http://www.generationim.com/about/values.html

    Generation Investment Management purchases offsets for ALL its employees – including Gore. It does so from an entirely unrelated company.

    This is according ot that notorious fan-left pro-Gore eco-greeny site Cybercast News Service

    http://www.generationim.com/about/values.html

    Oh and why is Al purchasing green power in the first palce if instead he could “purchase offsets from himself”.

    The level of paranoia and economic illiteracy here is extraordinary. (For example , Al Gore’s company presumably manufactures these offsets out of thin air at zero cost.)

  77. #77 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    “And he owns a private jet? What unbelievably hypocritical person.”

    Got any proof for that?

  78. #78 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    Oh and let’s not forget that according to the utility company that actually supplies power to the Gore residency the Tenessee Centre for Privacy Invasion’s claims about Gore’s 2006 consumption were wrong in the first place.

    But when one’s battling traitors like Gore, lies and invasion of privacy are entirely justified. Right Jeffersonian?

  79. #79 George Darroch
    June 19, 2008


    Like Glenn Reynolds says, I’ll start taking AGW more seriously when the proponents start taking it more seriously.

    Which is exactly the point – how many people are swayed of taking action by this kind of refusal to take climate change really seriously? If it is even a few, that’s too many – we need urgent action to cut emissions now, not some half hearted response and offset trickery.

  80. #80 Ian Gould
    June 19, 2008

    “Which is exactly the point – how many people are swayed of taking action by this kind of refusal to take climate change really seriously”

    You mean like paying thousands of dollars a year to source your electricity from renewable sources?

    Yeah, why doesn’t gore do that?

  81. #81 jodyaberdein
    June 19, 2008

    Re: 79

    (but also for all who would seek to hide behind anyone who emits more CO2 than they do before they even contemplate the need for serious reductions)

    ‘I’ll start taking AGW more seriously when the proponents start taking it more seriously’

    Why don’t you read about Mayer Hillman then? Or better still read his book:

    http://tinyurl.com/5trztx

    Or alternatively you could read about Jeremy Leggett, particularly how he used to find oil for BP but now does something rather less polluting. Or you could read his book:

    http://tinyurl.com/54tlls

    This would have the advantage of somewhat showing you up against the high standards of professional obfuscation that USA negotiators have been practicing at climate talks for decades. They could certainly teach you a thing or two.

  82. #82 Tim Lambert
    June 19, 2008

    Glenn Reynolds will take AGW seriously when the solution involves a massive space program.

  83. #83 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian writes, of Al Gore:

    he’s wealthy and only interested in the environment as a means to expansion of that wealth

    And you know this how? Telepathy?

    Al Gore was one of Roger Revelle’s students. He knew about the greenhouse effect long before global warming was an issue.

  84. #84 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian writes:

    My home is 2780 square feet, about 28% the size of Gore’s. I have plans, but they’re C-size hardcopies and I’m not having them scanned to refute what is, in essence, an ad hominem argument.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!

    You’re opposed to ad hominem arguments, are you? Except when they apply to Al Gore?

    Don’t you think these things through before you post them?

  85. #85 Boris
    June 19, 2008

    Gore haters like Jeffersonian and Glenn Reynolds always the most uninformed? They ignore:

    1. Gore pays for TN’s Green power switch, which means he pays extra to use green energy AND his paying extra allows the program to expand.
    2. Gore has offices in his home.
    3. TN has higher than average energy consumption.

    And then the old “Gore buys offsets from himself” idiocy that rightwingers can never figure out is wrong.

    Anyone care to bet that Gore sells carbon offsets?

  86. #86 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian posts:

    Like Glenn Reynolds says, I’ll start taking AGW more seriously when the proponents start taking it more seriously.

    Good idea, Jeff. And start taking black holes seriously when Stephen Hawking actually starts orbiting one. And Einstein — did he ever make any effort to travel near the speed of light? No? Then why should I take relativity seriously?

    Remember, folks — scientific theories stand or fall, not on the empirical evidence, but on the personal characteristics of people who talk about them.

  87. #87 Dano
    June 19, 2008

    I say again:

    I love Wingnuttia’s thrashing around for totems to hate.

    Best,

    D

  88. #88 ponte
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian,
    As far as I’m concerned, Al Gore is welcome to use as much energy as he likes, as long as it’s generated by renewable, non-CO2 generating energy sources like solar panels or recovered methane combustion. You’re confusing the topics of energy consumption and carbon footprints. It’s neither an original argument nor a valid one.

  89. #89 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    My next house, of strawbale/adobe and in a climate that varies from -3.5º to 40ºC, should average, at the most, no more than half of my previous home, and will do so purely on solar HW and PV. This for 3-4 people, and I don’t think that we live as do hermits in a cave.

    What’s sucking your power the most?

    Without putting a meter on specific branch circuits it’s hard to know for sure, but just looking at the seasonal cycling of my bill, it’s fairly heavily loaded to air conditioning. Other major load classes would probably include cooking (we’re all electric, aside from the BBQ) and computers.

    I’m going from memory here, but we’re about 45% over the national average in terms of per-household electrical consumption, but about 10% under in terms of per-sf consumption.

  90. #90 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    Oh and let’s not forget that according to the utility company that actually supplies power to the Gore residency the Tenessee Centre for Privacy Invasion’s claims about Gore’s 2006 consumption were wrong in the first place.

    But when one’s battling traitors like Gore, lies and invasion of privacy are entirely justified. Right Jeffersonian?

    If the Tennessee Center had really invaded Gore’s privacy, wouldn’t they have gotten the numbers right? As I recall, the accurate numbers were on the order of 191,000 kwh for the period the Center cited. Of course, if we use those numbers as a basline, then Gore’s usage did go up to 213,000 kwh the subsequent year and the Center is indeed correct.

    Take yer pick, folks.

  91. #91 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    Oh, and as far as the Gores jumping right on the green energy thing at their home(s), that does not appear to be the case:

    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.

    That was late 2006, after the revelation of Gore’s gigawatt gluttony. As I said, it wasn’t a priority until it became an embarrassment.

    And, unlike the poster who made that apparently false claim, I’ll provide a link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-08-09-gore-green_x.htm

  92. #92 Dano
    June 19, 2008

    Sigh…

    191,000 kwh for the period the Center cited. Of course, if we use those numbers as a basline, then Gore’s usage did go up to 213,000 kwh the subsequent year and the Center is indeed correct.

    The old, pre-completed numbers were right around average kwh per per sf for the area.

    This argumentation is similar to, oh, “Ten Trilllll-yun dollars to fix AGW!!! OMG!!!!!”, when the cost per unit of GDP is small.

    I provided, above, a piccie of the Gore Mansion. It is huge. So we must get down to a common unit, which is kwh/sf.

    Now it is just so wonderful that Mr Perfect Jeffersonian has such a low kwh/sf in his home, built likely to IBC and thus much more energy-efficient than a three-quarter century old Mansion, so let’s look at average kwh/sf for the climate region, and the GoreacleHypocriteMansion is right in there with the rest of them.

    Profligate my *ss. Unless one means profligate use of green energy and credits and offsets.

    We are continuing the smear campaign by rebutting this bullsh!t. Jeffersonian, you are full of sh!t.

    [killfile]

  93. #93 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    Thanks for the fun, folks. It’s been, well, if not enlightening, at least interesting. It doesn’t take a weatherman to see which way the wind’s blowing here…environmentalism as as much to do with the actual environment as straw does with strawberries.

    Tchau, palhaços.

  94. #94 ponte
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian, you ignored my post about the distinction between energy consumption and CO2 footprint. And that article about Gore is an outdated EDITORIAL which presents no actual evidence that Gore isn’t signed up for the TVA Green Power Switch program. Troll.

  95. #95 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    I provided, above, a piccie of the Gore Mansion. It is huge. So we must get down to a common unit, which is kwh/sf.

    It’s right around 10,000 sf. Do the math, idiot. It’s nowhere near the “average” of the area and I defy you to support your baseless assertion. Put up or shut up.

  96. #96 Jeffersonian
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian, you ignored my post about the distinction between energy consumption and CO2 footprint. And that article about Gore is an outdated EDITORIAL which presents no actual evidence that Gore isn’t signed up for the TVA Green Power Switch program. Troll.

    Indeed, it’s an editorial, but the cited passage is not opinion, but an assertion of fact.

  97. #97 dhogaza
    June 19, 2008

    And Einstein — did he ever make any effort to travel near the speed of light? No? Then why should I take relativity seriously?

    Hey, he married his first cousin, didn’t he? Isn’t that relative enough?

  98. #98 ponte
    June 19, 2008

    Jeffersonian,
    Actually, that’s hearsay, not an assertion of fact. And given that author’s record, “Correction: In this column that appeared Aug. 10 on the Forum Page, writer Peter Schweizer inaccurately stated that former vice president Al Gore receives royalties from a zinc mine on his property in Tennessee despite his environmental advocacy. He no longer does, as the mine was closed in 2003.”, you would be well-advised to take it with a grain of salt.

  99. #99 AtheistAcolyte
    June 19, 2008

    I’m confused after reading all this. The claim is that Gore does not consider global warming dangerous because he uses more energy than most.

    I remember reading somewhere (Can’t remember if it was a book or a blog comment — my shoddy memory) that someone making that sort of argument would have claimed that since FDR had fresh tires on his presidential limo and all the food he wanted/needed, they wouldn’t have to ration for the war effort themselves. Or that since Churchill was being chauffeured all over the UK to make speeches, he had no business decreasing common access to gasoline.

    I find your usage of tu quoque fallacious:

    Al Gore makes criticism “We should not live energy-irresponsibly”
    Al Gore is guilty of living energy irresponsibly.
    Therefore, “We should not live energy-irresponsibly” is dismissed.

    However, if you wish to use Tu quoque legitimately, you will need to provide the following elements of the syllogism:

    Al Gore makes criticism P (cite source)
    Al Gore is guilty of P (again, cite source, and provide definitions where ambiguity exists)

    From these we can conclude that the criticism is confused, and that Al Gore is not a good critic, not that P is false or ill-advised.

  100. #100 bi -- IJI
    June 19, 2008

    Remember guys, the real problem with Gore is that he’s a crypto-commie. And a fat crypto-commie at that.

    Yes, that’s the real problem. And once Gore earns wads of money by conjuring up carbon offsets with Satanic demon fluff, he’ll use them to finance the machinations of THIRD WORLD KLEPTOCRATS!!!!!!!!!! who will then, with the collaboration of Silicon Valley Alternative Energy Impresarios™, bring about a full resurrection of the Soviet Union.

    It’s all foretold in the Great Book of the Climatati.

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