Yellow Pages Environmental Forum

Do As I Say Not As I Do

Posted in Misc Green News by Ken C on July 31, 2008
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I’m happy to see that Al Gore has finally found some real meaning in his life as the new poster boy for the environmental movement. It had to be a crushing personal blow to know he lost the election for President to George Bush (yes, Al you did lose, no matter how many times they count the votes). To then bounce back to focus on issues that are arguably more important is wonderful, but somehow I still smell something that’s not right in this whole discussion.

So it was not really surprising to receive the following info from a now disappointed very eco-oriented buddy. It is a comparison between two homes:

House #1: In one month this fine residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. It is a 20 room mansion (not including the 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas as well as a pool, pool house, and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in the colder areas up North or in the Midwesterns snow belt area. It’s in the South.

House # 2: This home was also designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house is still a good sized one — 4,000 square feet with 4 bedrooms. I sits on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels (e.g. oil or natural gas) and it consumes one-quarter of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from shwes, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.

Want to guess who owns which houses?

HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville, Tennessee; it is the abode of the environmental evangelist himself — Al Gore.

HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas; it is the residence of the President of the United States — George W. Bush, the man whom many insist has done nothing to further environmental efforts.

As the old saying goes – “Do as I say, not as I do.”

That truly is the inconvenient truth in this case.