A story posted on the Drudge Report Monday, stating that Vice President Al Gore's Nashville, Tenn., mansion consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, has sparked lively debate among bloggers of all stripes and political affiliations.
The story was basically a reposting of a press release from a self-described "independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan" Tennessee research organization, which said: "Last night, Al Gore's global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy."
The press release went on to say, according to the Nashville Electricity Service, Gore's 20-room, 8-bathroom home "devoured" nearly 221,000kWh per year, more than 20 times the national household average. His average monthly bill topped $1,359, the report said.
Bloggers responses have run the gamut. Some have been spreading Gore's retort, that his family has taken many steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their home, such as signing up for green power, installing solar panels, using compact fluorescent bulbs and buying carbon offsets. Other bloggers have chalked the study up to a larger right-wing campaign to discredit Gore and the work he's done on global warming.
Still, many agree that the report shows Gore isn't practicing what he's been preaching. For some, that revelation is incredibly disappointing. For others, it is simply politics as usual.
Bloggers also joined Blogma in wondering how the research agency obtained Gore's electricity bills in the first place.
Blog community response:
"The right-wing is angry that Al Gore has won so much public attention and goodwill for his work on global warming...These are the lengths that climate skeptics must go to suppress action on global warming. There is no meaningful debate within the scientific community, so the right-wing busies itself with talk about how much electricity Al Gore??s house uses--and even then they distort the truth."
"What I can't overlook is that such a high-profile spokesman on Global Warming would plead with Americans to conserve and yet demonstrate an inability to do this himself... Must it be a radical right-wing agenda to challenge what appears to be rank hypocrisy? I am certainly not a radical right-winger, but this doesn??t smell right to me...Set an example, Mr. Gore. Walk the talk. You have been in politics long enough to know that this is exactly the sort of thing that will diminish the impact of your conservation message."
--R-Squared Energy Blog
"Yet dismissing Gore as a hypocrite isn't entirely appropriate for a few reasons. First, for what it's worth, Mr. Gore buys carbon offsets and runs his home off of entirely green power. So, technically, he is probably entirely carbon neutral, because for every bit of CO2 he puts into the air, a forest is built with his money to sequester that CO2. Secondly, how are people getting his energy bill? Isn't that private information? Thirdly, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, seems to have a grudge against Gore in writing this article."
"Yikes! Gore is an energy glutton. Now compare this to President Bush's comparatively modest home in Crawford, Texas, which is a model of environmental friendliness...George Bush lives environmentalism whereas Al Gore only gives it lip service, yet he's is hailed as God's greatest gift to the environment. Meanwhile, he greedily consumes far more energy than the average American who, by the way, would be footing the bill for Kyoto if we hadn't pull out of it."