Monday, June 11, 2007

Al Gore to Unveil Model Green Home

Renovations of Al Gore's home are almost complete, and the result will be a model of green design, technology and engineering that will put a final end to the latest round of ill-conceived and baseless smear campaign being waged by right wing pundits.

"This plan has been in the works for a long time," the former vice president said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The only thing that has changed is that we're more public about it because of the misleading attack by a global-warming denier group."

Gore's redesigned home is aiming to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and will include rooftop solar panels, a geothermal heating system, upgraded windows and ductwork, energy-efficient lighting and a rainwater collection system for irrigation and water management.

However, conservative groups and climate change deniers have been working hard over through this same time period to paint Al Gore as an environmental hypocrite who only talks green as a part of an elaborate ploy to enter the US presidential race. Like most spin jobs this one is slim on facts and long on hot air.

The initial assault on Gore's environmental reputation was a laundry list of outright lies that were thoroughly debunked here at TCE. Next came a gem of an effort from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR), a right wing think-tank of marginal credibility that, among other things, "facilitates" a three ring circus of global warming deniers. In February, the TCPR dug Al Gore's utility bill out of the metaphorical trash bin and promptly launched a southern style swift boating of the former Vice President - an equally inaccurate attack that conveniently ignored the fact(s) that:

  1. Gore pays a premium for green power options in his home,
  2. that the environmentally friendly renos listed above had been in the works well before the time of their attack,
  3. that the only reason solar panels were not installed already is because Gore has been knee deep in a municipal battle over bylaw restrictions, and most importantly
  4. that the Gore "residence" is not only a home but also an office for both Al Gore, his wife and runs a commercial kitchen for events.

But it only takes five words to say "Al Gore is a hypocrite", whereas you need a few sentences and a 10 second Google search to reveal the motivation of the TCPR and the green leading designs of Mr. Gore. If the country can't expect that kind commitment to accuracy from their pseudo elected leader, then far be it for me to ask it of the conservative press.


E. R. Dunhill said...

I think it’s equally important to stress that the dogmatism and clique-mentality of both major American political parties is fundamentally flawed. Regardless of this political values one holds, there really are very few “good guys” and very few “bad guys”. There is a spectrum of good and bad decisions.
This principal is central to the contemporary environmental movement. We can’t throw someone off the green bus or brand them a hypocrite for not starting the race at the finish-line. People learn about the environment and improve their way of life.
Regardless of the ethic we pursue, sometimes we realize that we made a bad decision in the past. Sometimes we can fix those poor choices right away, sometimes we have to wait; there are only so many hours in a day, and dollars in the checking account. I’m consistently amazed by the far-right’s unwillingness to embrace the values of personal growth and, if need be, redemption.


Odiyya said...

I totally agree. How do we do it though? The stumbling point for me is very similar to your own, namely that when it comes to the public eye people need to be an unwavering saint in order to speak for progressive change. Any perceived flaw and their message is dismissed out of hand regardless of its truth value.

The sad part is that this reaction comes from everyday people, the "you and I" crowd.

So what do we do bring people towards working pragmatically, rather than labeling others as angels and demons?

d. beetle said...

I think we can overestimate the influence that both Al Gore and his republican detractors has on the public. While Mr.Gore can help to raise awareness, individual pragmatic action is the result of personal experience i.e. fed-up with paying so much for a tank of gas? - take transit, buy a hybrid, ride a bike more. Concerned about your children's health? - buy local and organic food, reduce use of plastics for food containers. Want to save money on heating costs? - insulate home, buy a more efficient furnace. As Mr.Dunhill wrote, it is a matter of money, time and I would add "personal tipping point" when idea or intention is converted to action. People's personal experiences passed along by word of mouth is the catalyst for widespread change.

Michael R said...

The unveiling of Al Gore's new green home is great but you tend to lose credibility from this website when you ruin good actions like this to take shots at the opposition. I am not a Bush fan but I am just sick with politics (especially this decade) loading up ammunition to throw at the other party. Can't you just speak on the positive aspects without revert to slashing others. I was interested in reading about Gore's green movement and instead I have to hear about a psuedo president!?!

Odiyya said...

I appreciate the comment Michael. Perhaps what you don't realize is that this artilce was never meant as an exploration of Al Gore's house per se, but rather it was the latest, and hopefully final, response in a thread i've been covering since last summer.

That story is ad hominem attack based on lies put, being propogated by conservative groups and media, in an attempt to discredit the champion of a cause that they want to go away.

This is a political blog, not a green building site.