Global warming continues to be the hottest (excuse me) topic in letters to the editor at the Idaho Statesman. Richard Renstrom of Caldwell wrote this one published in today's paper:
I live in a 1,500-square-foot home. Al Gore lives in a 10,000-square-foot home. My electric bill is $26 per month. Al Gore's bill is $1,200. My electricity comes from non-carbon hydro power. Gore's comes from a coal-fired power plant. I drive a 40 mpg Toyota Camry. Gore drives a 10 mpg Ford Expedition.
I do not own a swimming pool. Al Gore spends $500 a month on natural gas to heat his swimming pool.
I haven't been on an airplane in 40 years. Gore regularly flies on a plane that consumes 10,000 gallons of fossil fuel to get him from coast to coast. I walk 1,500 miles each year. From the looks of Gore's waistline, he doesn't walk at all.
Gore gets an Oscar for his film on global warming. Hollywood is truly the land of phony people. I think I will vomit.
Hmmm. Well, first of all, Richard, you definitely are doing your part to combat global warming, and that's great. Living in a small home, driving a 40 mpg car, and walking 1,500 miles a year are all admirable traits. I'm not so sure I applaud your not having been on an airplane in 40 years. There's a lot of world to see beyond Caldwell.
According to the great rumor-control site Snopes.com, it sadly turns out that the Gores' house does use way more energy than most American homes (but that they are working to reduce its energy footprint). But I seriously wonder where Renstrom got his claim that Gore drives a Ford Expedition. Here's what he told CNN's Larry King last year:
I drive a hybrid. Tipper and I got a Lexus hybrid. And we have a couple of Priuses in the family with our children. And I encourage people to make environmentally conscious choices because we all have to solve this climate crisis.
One more note: the memo about the Gores' home energy use, widely circulated on the Internet, was released two weeks ago - after Gore's Oscar victory - by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. The TCPR describes itself as "an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions." Emphasis mine, because those last four words are telling. It looks like the national smear campaign against Gore is less about global warming or even the Gores' hypocrisy and more about Club for Growth-style politics in which no tax is a good tax and businesses should be entirely free of government regulation.