Monday, February 26, 2007

Al Gore's Electric Bill

Looks like Al Gore is using enough juice to warm a fair portion of the globe himself.

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.
Via Glenn Reynolds.

More at Captain Ed's, with discussion of "carbon credits" in comments. Concerning which Ecototality points out a Nashville Tennesseean article which mentions that

Gore helped found Generation Investment Management, through which he and others pay for offsets. The firm invests the money in solar, wind and other projects that reduce energy consumption around the globe…

Translation: Gore isn’t just buying carbon offsets - he’s buying them through his own investment firm, perfectly demonstrating how the rich will get richer via “cap and trade” by posing as friends of the earth.

Gore uses polluting energy and then “punishes” himself by investing in his own green-energy investment fund. [But see update, below.]

Al Gore has been using the environment as a hobby horse, and he has ridden it pretty far. Some of those who arrived at the party sooner are leaving, now that it's become a riot. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, now runs Greenspirit and Greenspirit Strategies. An article in the NY Times today about Stewart Brand, Mister Whole Earth, shows that he like Moore has become an advocate for nuclear power, no longer an opponent. Via Glenn Reynolds, who says
Environmentalism should be about good planetary hygiene and honest science, not romantic Luddism.
I agree. On nuclear power, a persuasive book that should be right next to Helen Caldecott's Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer, is Petr Beckmann's The Health Hazards of Not Going Nuclear. There was also an Ace edition with a much prettier cover.

Update March 7 2007: Well, maybe he's not exactly buying them from himself. This story just has me more confused:
Gore's Company Says He's Not Profiting from 'Carbon Offsets'

… Al Gore is not profiting from his crusade against global warming, a spokesman for an investment firm co-founded by the former vice president said Tuesday. … The confusion, Campbell said, arose because GIM pays to offset the energy use of its operations and the personal emissions of its 23 employees, including Gore.

So, the firm will cover the cost to offset the energy use at Gore's home, or his global jet travel, as it would the offset cost of any other employee, Campbell said.

But Iain Murray at NRO seems able to make sense of it:
So he, himself, personally is not actually paying for any carbon offsets at all.

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