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April 4, 2007

A Tale of Two Houses

LOOK OVER THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO HOUSES AND SEE IF YOU CAN TELL WHICH BELONGS TO AN ENVIRONMENTALIST.

HOUSE # 1: A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,? either. It’s in the South.

HOUSE # 2: Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green? feature current home construction can provide. The house contains 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on an arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as “the Texas White House,? it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON’T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it’s truly “an inconvenient truth.?

And, yes, this is true. If you don't believe it, maybe you'll believe Snopes.com.

Posted by Rob Kiser on April 4, 2007 at 7:47 AM

Comments

verrry interesting......

Posted by: sl on April 4, 2007 at 5:20 PM

This stuff about Gore's energy use has been going around the 'net for a while, but there are always some facts inconveniently left out such as --

* The Gore home is NOT an average home. It is four times larger than an average home, it is used as an office for both Al and Tipper, and this is a 70-year old home! They were not built energy efficient back then. (The Bush residence is relatively new.) HOWEVER --

* This year Gore was finally given the green light by city planners to install solar panels and other green additions at his mansion. Previously, town zoning laws did not permit residents of the upscale neighborhood to install solar energy technology because they were considered generators, and therefore, unsightly. Gore had been quietly protesting these laws for some years, but when an audit of his energy use surfaced in February he was raked over the coals, even though plans were underway to make his home more efficient and eco-friendly. Now he's able to make green renovations in addition to the solar panels; he is also upgrading the furnace, windows, and light switches, as well as installing new floor radiant heat and solar vents, to improve the home’s energy standards
(ref: http://www.ecorazzi.com/?cat=21&paged=3)

* Gore pay a premium in order to get some of their electricity from Green sources. He purchases enough energy from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and methane gas to balance 100 percent of his electricity use.

Sometimes when people don't like the message -- in this case that global warming is real -- it's convenient to attack the messenger. Should Gore work on the energy consumption level of his house? Yes, of course, and he IS doing so! Should the CURRENT energy consumption of his home obscure his efforts to alert the country and the world to an impending crisis, as this sniggering account tries to do? Of course not!

Individual homes aside, this is a scurrilous attempt to divert attention from the fact that Al Gore (as a private citizen without any responsibility to lead the world) has worked very hard to draw attention to and to find solutions for the problem of global warming. Meanwhile George Bush (as President of the greatest country on Earth and thus the person with the greatest responsibility of anyone on Earth to lead the world) has dragged his feet in getting our country to pay attention to this impending global crisis.

Posted by: Rick on August 22, 2007 at 1:36 PM

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