Al Gore Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is…Well, 3% of It, Anyway




Former Senator and Vice President Al Gore is quite the environmental crusader. For years he has loved to hector Americans about how the modern Western lifestyle is allegedly destroying the planet – including the insufferable documentary An Inconvenient Truth and its forthcoming sequel, and his tireless efforts have made him a hero to the radical environmental movement.

So you’d think that someone who has campaigned so hard for a green lifestyle with such urgency would put his money where his mouth is, right? Well, that’s where you’d be wrong. Drew Johnson of the National Center for Public Policy Research has just released a report sharing some statistics about Gore’s power usage that reveal mind-blowing hypocrisy.



For starters, let’s look at Gore’s home. He lives in a beautiful, century-old mansion in Nashville’s tony Belle Meade neighborhood. It’s a 10,070 square foot home on two acres in the eighth richest neighborhood in America. In 2007, right after Gore won his Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, we learned that the home used a whopping 20 times the electricity of the average American house.

That expose prompted Gore to undertake some green renovations to the property. He spent a conservatively estimated quarter million dollars on environmentally friendly upgrades that included solar panels and the necessary equipment to convert the sun’s rays into power, along with energy efficient windows, a rainwater collection system, special green insulation, and a new heating and air conditioning system.

None of it made enough of a difference. The solar panel system only provides enough energy to power the home for less than three weeks a year, and the Gore mansion still consumes about 20 times the average. In fact, after the upgrades, Gore burns through 10,000 kilowatts a year more than before he spent all that money on a green makeover.

You may also think that Gore lives in such a large house because he has a large family, right? Umm…about that:

In 2010, Gore announced that he and wife Tipper were divorcing after 40 years of marriage. According to media speculation, Tipper likely lives in the $8.9 million California home the couple purchased weeks before the separation. The Gores have four grown children who no longer live at home. That leaves the former vice president as presumably the only occupant of the home, making his energy consumption even more staggering.

Gore also owns at least two other homes, a pied-à-terre in San Francisco’s St. Regis Residence Club and a farm house in Carthage, Tennessee.

That’s right. Al Gore likely lives alone in a home that burns through 20 times the energy of yours, and it’s not his only house! Let that sink in for a minute.

Since the solar panels don’t do much to provide power to Gore’s mansion, where does the rest of the energy come from? Nashville Electric Service gets its energy from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Gore’s massive power bills to the NES include $432 per month to a green energy program, but the vast majority of the power flowing into the mansion isn’t “renewable” by any stretch.

The NES breaks down its energy sources like this:

39.8% comes from nuclear power plants, 25.8% is generated at coal–fired power plants, 21.5% is produced by burning natural gas, 9.7% is powered by hydroelectric dams and just 3.2% is from wind and solar sources.

The bottom line? Gore isn’t doing much of anything to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to the electricity at his Nashville home.

In truth, the energy pouring into Gore’s house is the electricity that all TVA customers receive – the majority of which comes from nuclear and coal–fired power plants. Only 3% of the electricity going into Gore’s home comes from a renewable source such as solar or wind power.

Some truths really are inconvenient, aren’t they?

The New Environmental Puritans Don’t Want You to Enjoy Your Summer





Summertime – most everybody loves it. It’s the perfect time of the year to go to the beach or the mountains (or both). Sure, the heat can be oppressive, but we can beat it with the modern miracles of air conditioning and swimming pools. Summer is also a great time of year for hanging out with family and friends. On Sundays after church, my family gets together and grills out by the pool.

But there’s one group of new Puritans who don’t want you to enjoy your summer – environmentalists. That’s right, the climate change folks want to drain the fun out of your life for the sake of the planet. A new study from Sweden’s Lund University suggests the measures we must take to rid the globe of that dastardly CO2 – and it’s going to drain the fun from your summer.

Want to drive to the beach, the lake, or the mountains this summer? Don’t – you need to live car-free. And don’t even think about a vacation that requires air travel.

Thinking of slapping some hamburgers on the grill? Sorry, you need to give up meat and switch to a plant-based diet.

Love relaxing in the air conditioning? Too bad, because the A/C has to go.

Looking forward to family time with the kids? We’ve gotta talk, because the number one climate-saving act you can undertake is to have fewer kids. (Parents, I’ll give you a minute to decide which of the kids you want to bump off.)

Other suggestions include forgoing mowing the grass, keeping chickens in the yard (free range, of course), and hanging the laundry out to dry – not to mention writing letters to corporations and elected officials and getting involved in environmental causes. Yes, exciting summers await!

As Julie Kelly puts it over at National Review:

So your life, according to the Merchants of Misery, should look something like this: stuck at home without a car, washing laundry in cold water and then clipping it on a clothesline while chasing down chickens and preparing locally grown vegetables for dinner. It’ll be just like Little House on the Prairie!

The people who make up the radical environmentalist movement truly are the new Puritans. They want to strip away all of our modern conveniences and take us back to the days of the pioneers, if not further back. The 21st century Luddites believe that the only way to ensure our future is to live in the past.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: the environmental movement is based on the assumption that God does not exist; therefore the planet becomes a god. Instead of enjoying the planet we’ve been blessed with and simply being good stewards of it, the climate change crowd thinks it’s up to us to turn back the clock on innovation and convenience in order to protect their idol.

My advice to you as summer winds down: enjoy it and make the most of it. Have a great time swimming, grilling, and traveling with all of your kids, and make more of them if you want. Thank God for the amazing gift of His creation, and help take care of it, of course, as you enjoy the benefits that modern technology affords us.

Don’t let the new Puritans tell you what to do, and by all means, don’t let them steal your fun this summer!

#OurOcean Will Endure If Fishing Access Isn’t Cut Off

Another sweeping move to “protect” marine life disguised as conservation has just passed, as denoted by the trending hashtag #OurOcean.

This comes at the heels of the Our Oceans Summit currently taking place in Washington, D.C.–which announced the designation of the first marine monument off the coast of New England:

The United Kingdom also announced that it’ll ban fishing from one million square kilometers of ocean:

The UK is to ban commercial fishing from a million square kilometres of ocean around British overseas territories, the government said on Thursday.

In total, the government is creating marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, including the designation this week of one of the world’s biggest around the Pitcairn Islands.

Commercial fishing will be banned in all of Pitcairn’s zone and half of the 445,390 sq km Ascension protected area. Fishing will be allowed in the other areas, but activities such as oil drilling will be prohibited.

This sweeping action from Britain’s government can incur serious problems for those whose livelihoods depends on commercial fishing since they are already burdened by E.U. fishing restrictions.

The question beckons: Why weren’t commercial fishermen consulted and invited to engage in dialogue? How come voters couldn’t decide on this? Why the haste to pass this?

 

This radical policy proposal shouldn’t surprise you. After all, there’s a sister law in effect stateside in California. The Marine Life Protection Act was first enacted in 1999 on the pretext of protecting and conserving marine life and habitats–boasting 120 protected areas that cover 16% of California. Here’s more about California’s Marine Life Protection Act:

This Act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) designed, created, and managed using sound science and stakeholder input.

MPAs protect the diversity and abundance of marine life, the habitats they depend on, and the integrity of marine ecosystems. The Marine Life Protection Act recognizes that a combination of MPAs with varied amounts of allowed activities and protections (marine reserves, marine conservation areas, and marine parks) can help conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities. MPAs can also provide scientific reference points to assist with resource management decisions, and protect a variety of marine habitats, communities, and ecosystems for their economic and intrinsic value, for generations to come.

As a result, anglers feel targeted and alienated. California Sportfishing League Executive Director Marko Mlikotin believes MLPA is hurting the relationship once held between anglers and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. He called the law the biggest “bait and switch” ever. (Emphasis is bolded):

 

There is no question that the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) has been the most controversial environmental issue California’s angling community has ever faced. It signaled the state’s shift from a shared philosophy of conserving California’s natural resources to outright protectionism, with little regard to the interests of outdoor recreation, tourism and all of their economic benefits.

The bottom line is the state did not recruit recreational anglers to serve on stakeholder groups to seek their advice on how best to deny them access to some of California’s finest fishing, permanently. That would have been a none-starter. Rather, stakeholders were assured that environmental mitigation was required to protect the ocean’s natural resources, and their participation aimed to balance the interests of responsible environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation.

The commission would be wise to abandon their current course of action of denying the truth, thereby enshrining the Marine Life Protection Act’s legacy as the greatest bait and switch act ever. It will only further damage their relationship with those who were once their partners in conserving our state’s natural resources. What’s more, their actions have economic consequences. Recreational fishing contributes over $4.9 billion in economic activity each year, and its economic value will only decrease as the state continues to deny access to some of the nation’s finest fishing.

Fishing and protection of marine species should co-exist, not be at odds. However, pushing preservation over conservation will ultimately hurt both parties. In my January 2016 interview with Wicked Tuna star Dave Marciano, he stressed the important role commercial fishermen play in protecting the ocean :

I’ve been a commercial fisherman my entire life. It’s one of the most highly regulated things in the world…It’s a cool little thing to put a face on the fishing industry. In the past, the environmental community at times working against us to get their message out and obviously sometimes I tend to disagree with. They can paint a pretty harsh picture of what commercial fisherman are. So it’s nice to kind of be able to put a face on that commercial fishing industry so people can start to understand where their seafood comes from because folks like me and others, as many guys like me out there, simply make a living from the sea–similar to farming except we’re out there in the ocean. We do care about the resources. We do care about the health of the ocean. We do care about our kids having a future in fishing.

The majority of people–fishermen included–desire to protect and preserve the ocean. In fact, fishermen are the biggest advocates for clean oceans and continual preservation of marine life. Restricting access to fishing may protect the environment in the short term, but will have devastating economic AND environmental effects long-term.

Fishermen are not the enemy of conservation; big government is.