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Thread: Breaking news: Al Gore uses electricity

  1. #1
    Chana3812 Guest

    Breaking news: Al Gore uses electricity

    Breaking news: Al Gore uses electricity, and other Great Moments in right-wing issue avoidance

    I didn't have a lot to say on this blog when the prominent socially conservative minister Ted Haggard has his, ahem, sexual identity crisis. In fact, this is the first time I've ever mentioned Haggard, period, even though a lot of liberal bloggers were all over the story.

    Now, you could say that's because I tend to narrowly pick and chose my battles here, and that's true...but that's not the main reason. The main reason is that, while Haggard is undoubtedly a hypocrite, I didn't really feel like his hypocrisy said a lot about the human condition, other than the condition of a certain Ted Haggard.

    Sexual politics hasn't been a big issue here, but when I do write about hypocrisy, I prefer (imperfectly, I admit) to stay focused on the hypocrisy of government, of which there is much to write about, rather than that of individuals. For example, the Bush administration's policy of funding abstinence-only sex education, even for 29-year-olds, when scientific studies suggest that such programs ultimately create more unwanted babies and STDs.

    Issues, not gotchas. Government abuse, not personal peccadillos.

    All of which leads to the burning issue of Al Gore's electric bill.

    You've probably seen the stories, the screaming Drudge headlines, all the "Inconvenient Truth" jokes, because our leading spokesman against greenhouse gases has a much larger electric bill than the average American.

    Here's the truth, as best as we've been able to read up on the topic. It's a fact that, as the nation's best-known spokesman for energy reduction, Gore could have personally done more, sooner. For example, a New Yorker profile just a couple of years ago said he still drove a gas-guzzling Cadillac.

    But the question -- as it always should be in politics -- is, is he doing all that he can now, and the answer appears to be yes. As Gore's electric bill (and yes, it's public record -- strange but true) shows, he and Tipper voluntarily pay the higher cost for something called Green Power Switch, which uses more expensive energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power. He purchases offsets for carbon fuel use.

    Yes, he uses more electricity than you or me, but the house of this former Vice President and his wife has offices and staffers and security needs that we don't have either. His car today is an SUV, but it's also a hybrid.

    So at the end of the day, what does it all mean? When you peel away all the layers, it means that when it comes to greenhouse gases and climate change -- one of the three great interlocking issues of our time, along with Peak Oil and war and peace in the oil-producing regions -- that the conservative movement has absolutely zero to say.

    Because, think about it -- if global warming isn't really a problem, then they shouldn't care how much electricity he uses, and if it is a problem, then there's bigger fish to fry out there than one man in Tennessee and his mansion and SUV, right? Why can't conservatives argue THE ISSUE of global warming, rather than this crap.

    There are, after all, some legitimate experts who don't think global warming is a problem, or at least not a manmade one. I even wrote about one of them -- Penn prof Robert Geigenback -- here on this blog, just to help you people out. I happen to think you'll lose the argument, and lose it badly, since you'll be going against most of the world's scientific community.

    But at least try!!!

    Instead, it's this same crap, again and again and again. There's a speech on global warming, and it's cold outside! Don't debate John Kerry's plans for Iraq, question his medals from Vietnam. It's not the war that's going badly, it's some freelance photographer for the AP who has a cousin that's an insurgent. Who cares whether Israel's assault on Hezbollah made the problems in the Middle East worse, when there's a picture with too much smoke. A serious debate on issues in Congress? Look, up in the sky, it's Nancy Pelosi's plane -- what was that all about?

    What does any of this trivial BS have to do with the things that need to be debated in 2007, like our future policy in the Middle East, or reducing our dependence on fossil fuels? Has the conservative movement in this country really become this bankrupt, intellectually and morally? Even this liberal finds that very discouraging.

    Look, hypocrisy abounds, and it knows no surely ideological bounds among us majorly imperfect humans. Even beyond that, I'm happy to concede that in the arena of American politics, there are certain areas where hypocrisy rules the day.

    On the liberal side -- painful as it is to admit -- it can look pretty darned silly sometimes when the advocates for fighting poverty or environmental frugality are all filthy rich millionaires like Gore or Kerry or John Edwards. On the conservative side, the prophets of moral purity can't keep their flies unzipped any better than the rest of us, as Haggard or Newt Gingrich could tell you. really shouldn't be about this. And because hypocrisy abounds, both sides probably play the hypocrisy card more than they should. but in recent years (and feel free to try to prove me wrong about this) that has become the only card in the right-wing deckl, while liberals seem more worked up about...actual problems.

    Right now, I'm looking at Daily Kos, a pretty good bellweather of what the American left is thinking. The most recent diaries posted there (this will likely change by the time you read this) are about Nancy Pelosi's latest comments on Iraq, responses to the attack on Gore, what you can do to reduce emissions, climate change policy in the state of Florida, and urging Democrats to do more on Iraq. Not a single, silly anti-GOP "gotcha" among them.

    I know a lot of conservatives like to come to this blog and post comments, so I challenge you and your buddies to come here -- and talk about what matters, not these overhyped diversions, any time of the day or night.

    We'll leave the lights on. :-)

  2. #2
    Chana3812 Guest
    Olbermann on Gore’s Energy Use: Setting the Record Straight
    By: SilentPatriot on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007 at 5:05 AM - PST
    You knew after his big night at the Oscars Sunday, the far right would come out in full force against former Vice President Gore. Since these single-minded sensationalists never let those pesky "facts" get in the way, Keith breaks down the utility bill.

    Download (10) | Play (8) Download (1) | Play (6)

    I have no problem with "think-tanks" scrutinizing Al Gore, but (a) for The Tennessee Center for Policy Research to call itself an independent and nonpartisan organization is laughable and (b) if they want to maintain that facade, try getting the full story at least.

    (Nicole: Do you suppose that they are equally up in arms by the fact that taxpayers are paying Dick Cheney's electric bill at the Vice President's mansion? You know, the one that had an $186,000 electric bill in 2001? Nah, that probably doesn't bother them in the least.)

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