Tuesday, February 27, 2007

That's why it's called 'Hypocrisy'

Defenders of Al Gore apparently didn't take too kindly to all the commentary about his electric bill:

The right-wing is angry that Al Gore has won so much public attention and goodwill for his work on global warming...

1) Gore’s family has taken numerous steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.

2) Gore has had a consistent position of purchasing carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the right-wing fails to understand. Gore’s office explains:
What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family
calculate their carbon footprint and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero.

It’s the latest in a series of desperate attacks by Drudge to paint Gore as a hypocrite.

That was just this morning. As the day went on things got more exciting:

WOW, lots of lefty email about the Al Gore story, charging lies, "swiftboating," and smears. Hmm. Is the story a lie? Well, there's this:

Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center's figures, taken as they were from public records.

"Swiftboating" seems to mean the disclosure of truths that are, er, inconvenient for Democrats. Likewise "smears." And, actually, in lefty blogland parlance these days, "lies" pretty much come out the same way. All definitions are permitted the definer, so long as they are clear, but don't expect me to be impressed with this batch.

UPDATE: But he's got Richard Cohen.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Bill Hobbs notes that the "smears" seem to be flowing the other way. That's not unusual.

Plus, perspective from Les Jones: "Our electric and water bill was $79.68 and our natural gas bill was $75.72. Gore is using roughly 2000% of the energy of our family of four in a house that's roughly 600% bigger, so basically three times as much energy even after adjusting for square footage. Does he have a 24 hour disco or something?"

Frankly though, I thought--and still do now at the end of the day--that the Good Captain pretty much nailed it: "Purchasing offsets only means that Gore doesn't want to make the same kind of sacrifices that he's asking other families to make. He's using a modern form of indulgences in order to avoid doing the penance that global-warming activism demands of others. It means that the very rich can continue to suck up energy and raise the price and the demand for electricity and natural gas, while families struggle with their energy costs and face increasing government regulation and taxation. It's a regressive plan that Gore's supporters would decry if the same kind of scheme were applied to a national sales tax, for instance."

And that's why it's called 'Hypocrisy' Al...

UPDATE: But wait--don't want to forget this:

Now compare this to President Bush's comparatively modest home in Crawford, Texas, which is a model of environmental friendliness:

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.

I'll guarantee you that in a blind enviro-test, 9 out of 10 people surveyed would conclude that the house in Crawford was Gore's while convinced that the palatial Belle Meade estate could not be anything but the property of the best friend Halliburton ever had.

THATS why it's called 'Hypocrisy'!

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