From Al Gore’s article “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change” in today’s NY Times:
“It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.
Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.
But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.
I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.”
MP: In 2007, Al Gore’s mansion in Nashville burned through an average of 17,720 kWh of electricity per month (see Al Gore’s energy bills from 2005 to mid-2008 here, via the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, which first reported on Al Gore’s energy usage in 2007), which is almost 19 times as much as the monthly electricity consumed by the average U.S. household (936 kWh), and almost 3 times as much electricity as the average U.S. commercial customer (6,408 kWh), see chart above (Dept. of Energy data here). So it’s just a little hard to take Al Gore’s preaching about climate change too seriously when his own household’s contribution to the “climate crisis” is almost 20 times greater of the average American household, and almost three times greater than even the average commercial user of electricity.
So it’s classic Al Gore. He talks about a “criminal generation that selfishly and blithely” dumps “global-warming pollution into the atmosphere as if it were an open sewer.” However, if personal energy usage was “criminal,” Al Gore might be at the top of “America’s Most Wanted List,” see chart above. Terms that come to mind to describe Al Gore’s carbon footprint include “Bigfoot,” “Paul Bunyan,” “Brobdingnagian,” “Sasquatch,” or “the elephant in the room.” To paraphrase blues pianist Mose Allison, “If polluting was criminal, he’d live a life of crime.”
Maybe the article could have been titled, “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change, But We Can Reduce Our Personal Carbon Footprint, But Only If We Really Want To: I’m Not Willing to Change My Lifestyle, But the Rest of You Should.”