Sometimes we just want to believe. It is part of the human condition. It causes all sorts of bother - religion, susceptibility to 'brandstories' and evangelism. The more someone else seems to believe something the easier it is to follow. It would be fair to say that Al Gore has done a fine job of positioning himself as the Mother Theresa of global warming (if you're not hearing alarm bells at the mere mention of M. Theresa, you should be). Gore's performance at the Oscars was probably worthy of an Oscar itself. The build up and anticlimax of an announcement that he might stand for nomination in the U.S. presidential race for the Democratic party was quite a charade. I'll wager that he will throw his hat in the ring, but for now he is keeping his powder dry (possibly allowing the two known contenders to wear each other down).
But there is a problem with Mr Gore and his evangelism - it would seem to be hypocrisy.
This from BusinessWeek:
MONDAY • FEBRUARY 26, 2007
A VERY INCONVENIENT TRUTH: POWER: GORE MANSION USES 20X AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD; CONSUMPTION INCREASE AFTER 'TRUTH':
The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:
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.
Gore's mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).
In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.
The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh--more than 20 times the national average.
Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh--guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore's average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.
Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore's energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.
Gore's extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore's mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.
"As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use," said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.
In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006."
It all makes watching this kind of creepy: