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Generic Confusion

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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Model homes and model hypocrites

Things aren't going well for Al Gore. First came the revelation that his 10,000 square foot home in Tennessee uses more energy in a month than the average American family uses in a year. Sure, he uses energy offsets, but then, it was revealed that the energy offsets came from a company he founded. Finally, we learn that the energy offsets are provided by this company, and bought from another company, at no cost to its employees. Thus, we end up with a former Vice President who demands sacrifice from everyone, but uses far more than his share of energy while paying no personal cost.

It's been said that Al Gore has additional energy needs. For example, there's the Secret Service presence, and he does work from home. But regardless, there's an easy way to test that hypothesis. Check out Al Gore's kitchen.

I live in an area where former cornfields have been converted to new housing, a process that's been ongoing for some years. I can walk to several model homes of different sizes, designed for different consumers, and one recent warm weekend day, I did just that. One can find smaller condominiums and homes of nearly 4,000 square feet, with up to six bedrooms and furnished basements, all within an easy walk.

The latter homes don't simply have more functional space. The kitchens are nicer, with upgraded appliances. They are larger, with a central island and more counter and cabinet space. And it goes beyond the kitchen. The larger houses have formal living and dining rooms, larger bedrooms, and the like. Even without seeing Al Gore's house, I'm going to say it has two ovens in the kitchen, a hallmark of larger houses.

The man is wealthy enough to design a modest and energy-efficient home with enough functional space for the Secret Service and his work needs. If he didn't, he is simply a hypocrite. Alternately, he is concerned about resale value of his home. But shouldn't he be willing to accept this cost in order to save the planet?

I guess it could be worse, like the 40 acre estate with a 25,000 square foot manor house and 15,000 square foot Sports Palace at 1143 West 116th St, Carmel, IN.

For additional fun, check out the carbon offset ideas at the bottom of this issue of Best of the Web.

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