Greenhouse Gas Sanctimony

Al Gore was born into a wealthy family and lives high on the hog. But he is very preachy and sanctimonious about the little people needing to cut back on their standard of living in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their “carbon footprint.”

But it’s been estimated that Al Gore’s own carbon footprint includes at least 239 tons of carbon emissions every year just from his residences (he owns three homes, including a mansion in Tennessee, as well as a large home in Arlington, Virginia), not counting all the tons of carbon dioxide he emits on his private airplane flights and political junkets.

By contrast, according to a web-based carbon-footprint calculator, my family’s carbon emissions last year were about 6 tons. (My home is located in the same community as one of Gore’s homes (Arlington, Virginia), but it is much smaller, containing only two bedrooms that I share with my wife and baby daughter).

One simple way to cut back on carbon emissions would be to reduce the size of the federal government. If the government were smaller, and could dole out less favors (and extract less money from businesses and the public), there would be less reason for lobbyists to fly to and from Washington, D.C., emitting carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions on each flight. And lobbyists would be less likely to pay for Senators to travel by plane to exotic locales to be wined and dined.

But that common-sense idea wouldn’t appeal to Al Gore, who has virtually never opposed any increase in government spending. When he was a Senator, he received a worse rating from the National Taxpayers Union even than Massachusetts’ big-spending Senator Ted Kennedy, who was more likely than Gore to vote against increases in government spending. Gore also voted to fund many government programs and pork-barrel projects that resulted in pollution and harm to the environment.