August 06, 2008

Environment > Al Gore's Owning a Houseboat Would Be Like Ghandi Owning a Burger King

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“I’ll start acting as if it’s a crisis when the people who are telling me it’s a crisis start acting as if it’s a crisis.”
 -- Glenn Reynolds

Via Steve Gill via Dirty Harry's Place. Here's the alternative point of view from Nashville is Talking (yeah, I didn't realize they were still online, either):

The solar panels for Al Gore's new boat (Bio-Solar One) will be installed at Hurricane Marina tomorrow. It's just a hunch, but I bet you won't find a single one of the following conservatives there taking pictures for their follow-up blog posts.

It's likely you won't hear much about the fact that the boat carries enough fuel for a year's use and is called the Toyota Prius of boats by the company that sold it to Gore. Those facts, it seems, have a distinctly liberal bias.

So Gore is planning to install solar panels on his oversized houseboat, presumably after the state of Tennessee assigns it a new Zip code. That's nice. Thing is, solar panels have a long payback period, not only in terms of price but in terms of the environmental resources that went into building them. It's hard to imagine getting that environmental payback on an infrequently-used pleasure craft. In other words, it seems unlikely they'll generate enough power over their lifetime to offset the energy that went into building them.

Biodiesel makes environmental sense when it's made from fryer oil that would have been thrown out. When made from virgin oil there's probably no environmental benefit due to the massive petroleum inputs in modern agriculture. In any case, that biodiesel could have been used for necessary transportation, rather than weekend entertainment.

Honestly, though, I wouldn't care and neither would anyone else if Al Gore weren't a world-class environmental scold and hypocrite who thinks sacrifice is only for people who are too poor to buy solar panels.

Previously:
- So Much for Al Gore's Solar-powered Salvation
- Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize
- Megan McArdle on Al Gore's Carbon Offsets
- Environmental Hypocrisy

Posted by lesjones | TrackBack



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