By Chris Queen
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-Ã -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?