Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Al Gore hearts electricity

Just in time for the aftermath of the Oscars, a small Tennessee think tank has released the details of Al Gore's utility bill. In 2006 Gore's suburban Nashville home consumed 221,000 kilowatt-hours of gas and electricity at a rate that has been steadily increasing, despite his well-publicised calls for others to carefully monitor their personal energy use in these apocalyptic times.

Or, to put it in financial terms, Gore's combined gas and electricity bill was 30,000 dollars last year.

That's 20 times the rate of the average household in America. A country, Al Gore likes to remind us, known for its wanton use of energy resources.

Or, to put it in scientific terms, the IPCC has calculated there is a 90 percent chance Al Gore has personally wiped out 2 to 7 previously undiscovered species of Antarctic crustacean in the past 12 to 96 hours.

Contacted last night, a Gore spokesman did not deny the utility bill and added something about carbon footprints, carbon offsets, rich people and Gore and his wife Tipper working from home -- although I would hardly call playing electric guitar as you jet around your air-conditioned backyard on a riding mower work.

Look we are all hypocrites. Every single one of us. I'm not here to bury Al Gore, I'm here to praise him.

You see I'm also someone who goes out of my way to consume as much household energy as I can. It's not to destroy the earth, per se, it is because my landlord pays my utility bills and running them up astronomically is the only way I can make up for their stunning lack of service and attention in other areas.

While I think I'm pretty good at being wasteful, I'm always looking for ways to get better.

Now that the cat is out of the bag I imagine Gore would be reluctant to share the secret behind his massive waste -- even to a fellow traveler like myself.

But I thought of an ingenious way to circumvent this.

Remember during the Oscars when they kept telling you to check out Oscar.com to find tips on "going green?"

I figured I would use these tips as a reference point and then plan on doing the exact opposite. It's like Al Gore's secret message to me!

This proved more difficult than I imagined. For what exactly is the opposite of a compost pile? I think it might be burning your garbage with gasoline soaked coal, but that doesn't really serve my objective of running up my utility bills.

The website did provide a good affirmation of the things I am already doing right: I don't use fluorescent light bulbs; I never turn off my lights; I keep my drapes closed in the winter and open in the summer and my apartment suffers from a woeful lack of weatherization.

Most importantly, I set my air conditioner to 65 degrees and run it 24/7 in the spring and summer, often with my windows open. This is not just to screw my landlords, it is also for my own comfort.

I get criticized a lot for this practice. Especially when I go out of town and leave the air-conditioner on.

Think of it this way: Let's say you've been on a grueling two week tour of speeches, personal appearances and scaring children into thinking the world is going to end. You return home to a sweltering Nashville. You know the walk from the your limo to your front door is going to be beyond brutal. But you also know once you open that door a blast of cold air -- the very cold air you are trying so hard to save for future generations -- will soothe and relax every inch of your being. That's heaven. That's what our forefathers fought for.

So don't hate me because I'm wasteful. Don't hate Al Gore either. It gets really hot in Tennessee in the summer. And the revolution isn't cooled by solar power.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This guy is a real knob.