Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gore Refuses to Take Personal Energy Ethics Pledge

The man telling the rest of us to stop using so much energy is refusing to take a pledge to use no more energy than the average American.

Former Vice President Al Gore refused to take a "Personal Energy Ethics Pledge" today to consume no more energy than the average American household. The pledge was presented to Gore by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, during today’s global warming hearing.

Senator Inhofe showed Gore a film frame from “An Inconvenient Truth” where it asks viewers: "Are you ready to change the way you live?"

The pledge reads:
As a believer:
· that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue affecting our survival;

· that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use;

· that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and

· that leaders on moral issues should lead by example;

I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.

Unsurprisingly, Gore refused to sign the pledge.

Rush Limbaugh has made the point (as have others) that the whole "carbon offset" solution is a sham designed to make certain people feel better about their energy consumption without actually doing anything about it. And, frankly, he's right. Buying carbon offsets from someone who isn't using as much energy isn't reducing anybody's energy consumption. It's just designed to make the person who consumes more energy feel better about him/herself.

I understand it would be difficult for Gore to consume the same energy as the average American simply because he's not the average American. But it's hard to take his movie seriously when he consumes so much more energy than most people. It's no different from John Edwards Rhode Island-sized home (ok, that's a slight exaggeration). It would be unrealistic to expect them to live in a 2,500 square foot house, but isn't there some shame somewhere at asking others to sacrifice without being willing to do so?