I am surprised that it lasts as long as it did. So finally the personal attack started on Al Gore. The Tennessee Center for Policy Research accuses Al Gore of hypocrisy over energy usage at his mansion.
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.
20 times the national average? OH MY GOD!
Hang on though, I believe his 20 rooms mansion is rather large and the national average home is a lot smaller than his. May be not 20 times smaller, but certainly not comparable.
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.
WOW this is getting worse!
Again, let's take the figures from this paragraph. 22619 X 12 = 271,428, which is comparable to the 221,000 kWh annual usage mentioned before.
This just shows how statistic can be phrased to make you think the figure is worst than it is. And remember, by definition 'Average' implies there are less and more in the whole data set, so picking up on the extremes are like claiming everyone is average. Life doesn't work this way.
The more important omission from their short report are:
- How many people occupy and use this mansion? How does the energy consumption per person at Al Gore's mansion compares to the 'national average'?
- How is Al Gore's mansion compares to other similarly sized, private properties?
And the question for all the people out there (critics and proponents): Even if Al Gore is a hypocrite, what have you done or been doing to reduce your carbon emission?
"In 39 years, I have never written these words in a
movie review, but here they are: you owe it to yourself to see this
film," wrote Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times.
"If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to."
Leah and I watched the An Inconvenient Truth on 4th of July with a couple of friends. It was both nothing new and revelation to me. Nothing
new because all the facts Al Gore presents in the movie, I've
previously read in New Scientist
over the course of perhaps a decade. Revelation because having Al Gore
summarised all the facts and evidences in a coherent argument brings a
much greater impact than each individual items.
As for how carbon neutral we are, using the Carbon Calculator,
Leah and I are both emitting less than the national average (9900 for
me, 13000 for Leah, US national average is 15000 pound/year). This is
still much higher than I thought we are emitting, taking into account
of us not owning a car and having a very small electricity bills. The
majority of our emission is from the trans-Atlantic flights that we
take to UK every year. I guess we just have to cut down our European
visit in the name of saving the planet!