Needless to say, the sketchy descriptions tell only a small part of the story. Although the 10,000 square foot Gore residence does use considerably more energy than the average Nashville residence , the home is not just a part time residence, like the Crawford ranch. Both Al and Tipper Gore have their offices there, eliminating commuting. If the average person added costs of energy used in commuting plus the energy used while at work, and added both those figures to the residential energy bill, that comparison would be far more accurate.
Here’s another thing that sets Gore’s energy usage apart. He purchases -- and pays a premium for -- green energy which comes from non-carbon dioxide producing sources, such as wind. The result: a carbon neutral lifestyle.
Gore is also installing solar panels at the home, something he could not do until recently because his community had regulations restricting the panels.
The distortions depicting Gore as someone who failed to “walk the walk” were noted by all the conservative outlets, including Faux News, and were largely based on Gore’s testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, when Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), a right-wing nut job who has been called “maybe the dumbest senator of all,” repeatedly asked pointless questions and then failed to give Gore an opportunity to answer.
Of course, the real reason that the right wing is gearing up to go after Gore is most likely the nerve-wracking possibility of him running for the Presidency. After all, he’s already won the popular vote in 2000. Now his popularity is off the charts, “An Inconvenient Truth” was honored with two Academy Awards, and there’s the very real possibility of a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work. And as for Mitt, Rudy, Fred and the rest -- well, they’re not nearly as accomplished.
In fact, you might say they’re much more Bush league.
THIS JUST IN: 9/19/2007
The IPCC said yesterday that the effects of global warming are being felt sooner than anticipated with the poorest countries and the poorest people set to suffer the worst of shifts in rainfall patterns, temperature rises and the viability of agriculture across much of the developing world.
In its latest assessment of the progress of climate change, the body said: "If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, the substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding."
THIS JUST IN: 10/2/2007
IMPACT OF ARCTIC HEAT WAVE STUNS CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCHERS
Unprecedented warm temperatures in the High Arctic this past summer were so extreme that researchers with a Queen's University-led climate change project have begun revising their forecasts.
"Everything has changed dramatically in the watershed we observed," reports Geography professor Scott Lamoureux, the leader of an International Polar Year project announced yesterday in Nunavut by Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl. "It's something we'd envisioned for the future – but to see it happening now is quite remarkable."
One of 44 Canadian research initiatives to receive a total of $100 million (IPY) research funding from the federal government, Dr. Lamoureux's new four-year project on remote Melville Island in the northwest Arctic brings together scientists and educators from three Canadian universities and the territory of Nunavut. They are studying how the amount of water will vary as climate changes, and how that affects the water quality and ecosystem sustainability of plants and animals that depend on it.
The information will be key to improving models for predicting future climate change in the High Arctic, which is critical to the everyday living conditions of people living there, especially through the lakes and rivers where they obtain their drinking water.
From their camp on Melville Island last July, where they recorded air temperatures over 20ºC (in an area with July temperatures that average 5ºC), the team watched in amazement as water from melting permafrost a meter below ground lubricated the topsoil, causing it to slide down slopes, clearing everything in its path and thrusting up ridges at the valley bottom "that piled up like a rug," says Dr. Lamoureux, an expert in hydro-climatic variability and landscape processes. "The landscape was being torn to pieces, literally before our eyes. A major river was dammed by a slide along a 200-metre length of the channel. River flow will be changed for years, if not decades to come."
Comparing this summer's observations against aerial photos dating back to the 1950s, and the team's monitoring of the area for the past five years, the research leader calls the present conditions "unprecedented" in scope and activity. What's most interesting, he says, is that their findings represent the impact of just one exceptional summer.
"A considerable amount of vegetation has been disturbed and we observed a sharp rise in erosion and a change in sediment load in the river," Dr. Lamoureux notes. "With warmer conditions and greater thaw depth predicted, the cumulative effect of this happening year after year could create huge problems for both the aquatic and land populations. This kind of disturbance also has important consequences for existing and future infrastructure in the region, like roads, pipelines and air strips."
If this were to occur in more inhabited parts of Canada, it would be "catastrophic" in terms of land use and resources, he continues. "It would be like taking an area the size of Kingston and having 15 per cent of it disappear into Lake Ontario."
The Queen's-led project is working with other IPY research groups including: Arctic HYDRA, an international group investigating the impact of climate change on water in the Arctic; Science Pub, a Norwegian group working on broad research from science to public education about the impacts of global warming; and CiCAT, a University of British Columbia-led group of 48 researchers investigating the impacts of climate change on tundra vegetation.International Polar Year (IPY) is the largest-ever international program of coordinated scientific research focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions and the first in 50 years.