Al Gore has bought another mansion. This time in California, along the ocean. The price was around $9 million. Why is this news? Because it goes to the heart of the controversy that is anthropogenic global warming (AGW). And that is, privileged elite preaching to masses about their environmental sins. I wouldn’t care one bit if Al Gore wanted to buy a $25 million mansion anywhere in the world, except for the fact that he is (or perhaps was) a cheerleader for fossil fuel restriction, part of the cabal that wants (or wanted) to artificially raise gas prices to $10 per gallon. The masses were told to conserve, to sacrifice for the good of the planet, to stop building and living in McMansions. Hasn’t Al Gore heard that the arctic sea ice is at a tipping point of no return? Hasn’t he read the news about how the Larsen B ice shelf continues to shrink, or how Greenland’s ice might melt faster than thought? If the ice is melting and the ocean is rising, then one might also ask why he bought a mansion near the ocean.
The hypocrisy is obvious.
In Al Gore’s defense, I don’t think he has been out on the environmental evangelist bandwagon too much over the last couple of years, and he claims to purchase carbon offset credits for his obscene energy usage. But this still will not do for those who are skeptical of the motivations behind AGW theory and plans to “fix” it. Most of the plans involve making life harder and more expensive for the average person. The Gore’s have nothing to worry about because they are obscenely wealthy. They can pay for carbon offsets and still afford to jet-set to exotic locations around the world to talk about “climate change”. The rest of us cannot. If the Gore’s wanted to lead by example (part of my advice in “Of Climate Persuasion“) they should have downsized and promoted the fact that they downsized. It would be nice if they used public transportation but that might be difficult since Gore is a former Vice President and requires security. How about putting a couple giant wind turbines on their property. This would be especially effective at deflecting criticism if the wind turbines blocked their view of the ocean. At the least they could exclusively drive electric cars which were charged by solar panels on their property. For all I know, maybe that is in the works.
The point is that if the bureaucratic, cultural, political, and academic elite were really concerned about AGW they would be making real sacrifices. I am concerned about fossil fuel usage mainly from an air/water/soil pollution standpoint and secondarily from potential AGW (because I am certain we will invent our way out of the problem). So I make sacrifices. Just ask my wife. I am constantly talking about reducing waste and not over-consuming. I ride a bike to work. Our house is relatively small and we have discussed moving into something smaller (easier to clean, besides saving energy). I have a few LED lights in my house and the rest are CFL. I grow a lot of my own food. We don’t have central air conditioning. We live close to work. The house temperature is set at 63 during the Winter for crying out loud! And the biggest of them all – we don’t have kids. Our carbon footprint is lower than most. I try to lead by example, but I do not force others into sacrificing a comfortable life.
On the subject of ”fixing” AGW, a recent – very unimaginative – article in Newscientist poo-pooed the idea of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, claiming that it was next to impossible by using a couple of methods that have been suggested over the last couple of years. Of course it is not impossible because we have a natural example of carbon removal that works on the giga-ton scale every year and that is plants. Growing plants for the sole purpose of removing carbon dioxide from the air (and then creating biochar and burying it) might seem like a waste, but if the entire biosphere is going to be destroyed by AGW then it would seem like an easy solution – at least to part of the problem. Just the other day I mentioned a new technique using electricity (from solar panels) to turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuel. Don’t forget that carbon dioxide can also be sequestered underground as well.
No solution would be a perfect silver bullet but each little effort would contribute to the whole without creating so much divisiveness. Using more natural gas would temporarily lessen carbon emissions. Creating biochar would remove a little carbon from the air. Sequestering a bit of gas from power plants would help. Many of these things are palatable to industry and the general public. Taxing and regulating the heck out of fossil fuels might work to some extent but it will be bitterly fought the entire way because the burden falls disproportionately upon the “small” people of the world, not the Gore’s.
Have a fine Thursday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on April 5, 2012