The Question of the Day: Is Al Gore's "carbon bark" bigger than his carbon bite… er… "footprint?"
"All of us can do something in our own lives to make a difference."
That's what Mr. Gore said upon receiving an Oscar for his documentary that's the environmental equivalent of Poltergeist. And he sure does his part in making a difference. He uses as much energy in a month as you do in a lifetime – and that's just getting out of bed!
And besides that, his Nashville home uses way, way, way more energy as the average American house does (after you read what follows, let me know if that last line needs another "way," will ya?)
So let's have a look at some interesting numbers: 36 – 24 – 34.
OK, sorry about that, let's look at some interesting numbers if you're a wonk: 895 – 1738 – 1359.
Now I know what you're probably saying, "Yikes, that's a big girl!?!"
Shame on you. And no, that's not Gore's Social Security number either, those are his low, high, and average monthly energy bills in dollars for 2006. That's twenty times the average person's bill, and infinitely more than VInce Foster's.
A Democratic spokeswoman said that Gore buys what's called a "carbon offset," a term which, by the way, better describes Gore himself, I think.
Anyway, I went searching for the meaning of "carbon offset" so you wouldn't have to, and it turns out, it's a popular fountain drink from the fifties. No, seriously, I came upon something that should clear it all right up:
"Manaca has partnered with 500 PPM to deliver a unique service to you; the carbon offset program. For every travel arrangement that you book at Manaca, the company dedicates a portion of the proceeds to neutralize the emissions that are caused by your flight (and accommodation, if desired). Hence…"
First of all, I thought Manaca was what got George Allen in trouble? And second of all, I can't trust anyone who says "hence." It feels like I'm being patronized. You know, as If Gore himself were talking to me.
And it goes on:
"… Manaca takes care of all aspects of your environmental impact to let you just enjoy yourself and our beautiful planet."
Now I don't know about you because I don't get out much, but I think I could just enjoy myself and never give a thought to my environmental impact!?!
So if I had to guess, and believe me, our "beautiful planet" is thankful that I don't, I'd say that a "carbon offset" is where we take perfectly good words and twist them into something to do with homosexuality – like "gay," "puce," and "marriage."
But I'd be wrong. According to the site, Whatyoucando, "When you buy a carbon offset you are investing in a project that reduces emissions, for example by planting trees (which absorb carbon dioxide) or building new renewable energy facilities (which replace use of fossil fuels). Projects have to be verified by experts and must be "additional" – which means they wouldn't have happened anyway."
Got that? You can use as much energy as you want as long as you buy shares (I guess) in some scam… wait, make that… some entity that's going to do something that might help reduce -future- carbon emissions – possibly, presumably, probably, particularly, primarily (pick your favorite "P" word), long after Al's gone from our beautiful planet.
And also, can I get some of those trees planted in my yard, because I live in the desert, and I need shade even more than I need carbon?
This afternoon I saw a headline on Drudge: "Gore Responds," and I don't mind telling you I was dying to see what he had to say. I present the link it in its entirety, from it's title to the stunning conclusion…
Gore Responds to Charges His House Uses Too Much Electricity
Last Edited: Tuesday, 27 Feb 2007, 11:00 AM EST
Created: Tuesday, 27 Feb 2007, 9:00 AM EST
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Sounds about right. Now my girl and me, we're gonna hop in my souped-up, pollution controls deprived '57 Chevy V-8 and swing on over to the malt shop to get us a couple of those delicious, real old-time carbon offsets…