Thursday, March 01, 2007

Correction: "Does Al Gore Use Twenty Times More Energy Than The Average U.S. Household?" Misstated An Obvious fact

When I posted Does Al Gore Use Twenty Times More Energy Than The Average U.S. Household? on Tuesday, I characterized The Tennessee Center for Policy research as "an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization." Right.

Jeff, a/k/a Dogbowl, a friend, and astute political analyst wrote—without even looking it up—that this was clearly a hit piece. He was, of course, right. They may be nonprofit, but they are indeed partisan—something my defective BS detector should have picked up. They are known for stirring up trouble with the left. The timing alone should have rung my bells.

I stand corrected.

Ed Begley and long time friend Bill Clinton - click to enlarge

That being said, I still have some doubts about people buying green offsets to make everything right. Yeah, I get how it works, but I still have to wonder if it wouldn't be better not to use the energy in the first place.

As a former poor kid, I have a knee-jerk reaction to rich people buying their way out of the various pickles they create. Do you remember from your history of the middle ages how people would pay for "sin-eaters" to erase their sins? Or how at various points and places in history, people were able to buy their way out of military service by paying a poor kid's family to send him in their stead? This has that same sort of vibe for me.

Yes, I get how it works, and how buying offsets helps a great deal. On the other hand, I have to totally admire the likes of Ed Begley, Jr.— about as green as you can be without living in a tent—who has to hop on his electricity generating stationary bicycle and ride a few minutes whenever he wants to make a couple pieces of toast!

1 comment:

hira said...

I also take issue with buying our way out of the carbon emission thing - i mean, i think it's great that there are places that you can give money to that support sustainable energy, however, I feel it encourages people to do whatever the hell they want if they think they can offset it somehow.

I think if it were phrased differently - give us money to make good energy - instead of fixing your sins...