An inconvenient truth: Gore's energy bill
Mick Swasko ColumnistDeanne St. John ColumnistEric Strand ColumnistMary Yurgil Editor in ChiefThe think tank, Tennessee Center for Policy Research has accused former Vice President and star of the Academy Award winning documentary, "An Inconveniet Truth," Al Gore, with what many would consider to be a massive monthly energy bill.Records show that last year Al and Tipper Gore paid a monthly average of $1,359 in electric bills and $1,080 in gas bills for their 20-room Nashville mansion and poolhouse. Averaged together, the Gores paid almost $30,000 in gas and electric bills in 2006, the equivalent of 221,000 kilowatt-hours and more than 20 times the national average.The news of the Gore's above-average energy consumption comes in the wake of Gore's Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles the current and future environmental destruction caused by global warming.While a spokesperson for the Gore's did not deny the figures, she said that "the bottom line is that every family has a different carbon footprint. And what Vice President Gore has asked is for families to calculate that footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it."The spokesperson also said that the Gores are in the process of installing solar panels on their home and taking other measures to reduce their carbon foortprint.The issue at hand here is whether the former Vice President's energy consumption constitutes a contradiction in the face of his now rampant environmental activism. The president of the Tennessee Center believes that it does."If this were any other person with $30,000-a-year in utility bills, I wouldn't care," said Drew Johnson. "But he tells other people how to live and he's not following his own rules."Social and political activism has become very popular amongst celebrities recently.It is not uncommon for award show acceptance speeches to now include a brief overview of a hot-button issue such as global warming or AIDS. And while it is commendable that celebrities use their power to address subjects that concern us all, it does seem hypocritical that those who literally embody excessive consumption should preach to millions about conservation.Just by attending the Oscars, Al Gore is in a way supporting this excess. The Academy Awards are well known for stretch limos, elaborate and expensive parties, and of course, the goody bag consisting of dinner reservations, cell phones and iPods that every attendee recieves upon arrival.None of this is to imply that Al Gore must give up his mansion or stop dabbling in the Hollywood lifestyle.But if he wants to be a legitimate spokesperson for global warming like he claims he does then he should take drastic measures to cut his level of energy consumption. He cannot have it both ways. He must choose between being an activist or being a celebrity posing as an activist.
© Copyright 2007 The Daily Vidette
Articals of interest to the coal industry.