Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Two-faced ?greenies?

Regarding the Aspen Times story, "Green-Talking Columnist Attacked as Hyproctical," which appeared in the Aug. 1 issue, the Al Gore home that's mentioned in passing really is a monstrosity.

It's a 20-room Southern mansion complete with eight bathrooms, an Olympic-size pool, pool house, and guest house. In one month alone, Gore's trophy home consumes more energy than the average American household consumes in an entire year. Its average electric and gas bills total more than $2,400 a month, and the natural gas consumed is more than 20 times the national average.

Granted, the Gores get a few points for using green power (wind- and solar-provided), which typically costs 50 percent more than from conventional energy sources, but it still begs the question: What does someone who fancies himself an environmental crusader need a 20-room mansion for? Perhaps it's to house his colossal ego.

It doesn't come as any surprise to me that yet another self-important and self-serving "environmental crusader"—i.e., New York Times writer, "The Earth Is Flat" author Thomas Friedman—is now gallivanting around the country in private jets (and living in a palatial, 11,400-square-foot home).

It seems like every time there's a book-signing, lecture or fund-raiser for some "crucial environmental cause" in the Wood River Valley, the parking lot is filled with gas-guzzling SUVs or sports cars owned by people whose own dwellings that are often every bit as hypercritically ostentatious as Gore's and Friedman's.

It kind of makes you wonder if these people actually can see the forest for the trees.

John Pluntze


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