Friday, December 14, 2007

It's Not Called Going "Green" For Nothing

Not sure how I feel about the whole 'global warming' dealio. I'm sure the earth is getting warmer. I'm just not sure why, nor am I sure that there is anything that can be done about it. I'm rather ambiguous on this topic because, as I see it, there are more and more people that are living on this planet. People, in and of themselves, generate heat. More people = more heat = hotter earth, yes? No? I don't know either. But it's not an overly crazy argument.

Regardless as to why it's supposedly getting hotter on Earth (I say supposedly because I am freakin' freezing right now!), the big push is towards the 'green' solution. Choose things that won't hurt the Earth. Reduce your carbon footprint. All of that and more coming mainly from the mouth of Al Gore when he isn't saving whales or appearing on 30 Rock.

Al bugs me. It's not his championing of doing what is right for the planet. It's the fragmented way that he goes about it. Fragmented meaning that he tends to focus on what he wants to and leaves out what he wants to. And the part that he leaves out is the part that is really going to be the bottom line for whether anyone does anything or not.

Al just did a major redo on his too-big-for-any-good-use mansion to make it a more 'green' building. Apparently, he got a rash load of crap from people when it was leaked that his building used around 16,000 kilowatt hours a month, whereas the typical building in Nashville used about 1,300 kwh a month. So, Al installed solar panels, a rainwater-collection system and some geothermal heating, replaced all incandescent lights with either compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs. Sounds good, yes? Not so fast.

How much? That's my question. How much does all of this earth saving wonderment cost? They're not going to tell you. According to their publicist, "The Gores decided to take a series of steps over time that might be logistically or financially out of reach for many Americans." Exactly my point!

All of this 'green' stuff is expensive! Solar panels for a typical house in California is going to run the homeowner between $25K (almost never) and $40K (the low end of the high end) at best. If I'm spending $40K, I'm not feeling like I'm SAVING anything. And if I need a light bulb? I can buy 8 for 3 bucks or I can buy one swirly one for 5 bucks. I'm gonna buy the 8 for $3. So are most people. (Hey, why does it have to be swirly? Anyone? Again, it seems like just a bunch of fancy crap to make the public think that they're paying more and actually getting something for it, when in reality they're probably not.)

You know what, Al? If you're not going to tell me how much all of that stuff you did on your house cost, then please just stop talking. Or unless you're going to buy it for me, just pipe down. Don't stand there on top of your Nobel Prize and tell me to do all of this stuff if you aren't going to tell me how much it's going to cost. And if you're not going to tell me the cost because it's too expensive, then sit down and pipe down you hypocritical whale hugger you. Make it so people can actually afford it and so that companies providing this 'green' stuff aren't going to get ridiculously rich because of it and then we'll talk.

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