The day after Al Gore won an Oscar for his crockumentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, which warns that the earth is threatened with horrific catastrophes unless we all cut our energy consumption instantly, it turned out that the real inconvenient truth is that he, like the celebrity eco-warriors is a hypocrite
Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.
Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.
But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.
I'm trying to figure out why Norman Lear with a 26 car garage insists we cut our driving and Barbra Streisand from her well-staffed mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean advises her fans to air dry their laundry outside. And Teresa Heinz and John Kerry, who use a private plane to travel to their 5 mansions and SUVs, warn us all to cut back on our energy use.
Of course, it is laughable.
It is unworkable for most people. We use a lot of energy because it makes us a more productive society and a more productive society is one which makes a higher standard of living available for more people. The technologies we invent make life easier and more productive for the less fortunate of the globe.
Goat herders in the Sahal use little energy but their lives are hard and their way of life unenviable. And they contribute nothing to the rest of the world's welfare and progress.
I think I've figured it out what this naked hypocrisy is really about. It's not just scientific and economic illiteracy on their part: It is a narcissistic desire to widen even further the gulf between themselves and those beneath them on the economic and social ladder, while clothing their desires in some moral purpose. This is nothing new of course. At various times and places throughout the world, what one wore-including colors, fabrics, length of swords, how much the tips of your shoes could curl -were set by law to make sure no one mistook the milkmaid and yeoman for the lord and lady.
Because ample energy supplies are critical, and continued economic growth is vital to the health of the nation and the only significant way to help the poor and starving of the world, this movement, if successful, would add to the tragedies already wrought by the combination of stupid celebrities and scientific ignorance. They spearheaded the destruction of the nation's nuclear power industry and the immiseration and death of people throughout the world by the banning of DDT to fight malaria. (Some of the eco-warriors are changing their minds on these two issues but only after they caused enormous damage for no reason. They naturally would like us to forget altogether what listening to their idiocy has already cost us)
So, I have a modest proposal for the eco-celebs. We'll give you the exclusive right to wear certain colors, shoes, swords and clothing and you can pick what these are. Only those of you who have won OscarsTM, married ketchup queens or created hit TV shows, inherited substantial wealth or whose earned income exceeds by some substantial degree that of the upper middle class-say $10 million a year --will be in this class. In exchange, you have to promise to confine yourself to staying out of politics, pretending you know beans about energy or the environment and leave the rest of us alone.