Double Your Standards

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By now, you might have heard rumblings about Al Gore’s robust use of electricity at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. It seems that the place has a rather healthy appetite for power–twenty times the annual rate of Joe Sixpack’s average home, which adds up to around $30,000 per year give or take. Now I’m not sure how that compares to your normal millionaire’s energy consumption, but I would probably guess that it’s in the same neighborhood as a Bill Gates or a Rush Limbaugh–so there’s really nothing too shocking about this revelation, unless you’re one of those wonks who likes to keep track of these things just for giggles.

However, given Gore’s crusade against climate change–not to mention his recent Oscar win for An Inconvenient Truth–there are those who would consider this the perfect gotcha moment. As for me personally, I take a pretty libertarian attitude about the whole thing. The man has his own money, after all, and if we wants to blow it on enough juice to make Reddy Kilowatt blush then that’s his own business. I also thought the same thing back in 2003, when Bill Bennett–a prominent conservative and the author of several books, including The Book of Virtuesgot outed for dropping a few million at tables in Atlantic City and Vegas.

Which brings us to tonight’s rant. You might recall that newspapers everywhere spilled a lot of ink over this outrage, pointing out how terrible it was that Bennett would dare preach to us mere mortals about virtues when he was cutting some hefty checks to pay off his bookie. Fair enough. But where’s the same outrage when it comes to Al Gore and his power bill? I don’t know about you, but I just haven’t seen a lot of that in the mainstream press–certainly not my local paper, which did its best to knock Bennett down a notch or two.

The name of the game, my friends, is intellectual honesty–and if you want to know why the MSM is taking lumps for bias, this is a clear case in point: Al Gore’s global warming agenda fits into their worldview, the virtues of Bill Bennett do not; so the media hype Bennett’s moral vanity while giving Gore’s a pass.

I got news for you newspeople, though–you ain’t helping things. By covering for Gore, you’re actually allowing him to engage in behavior that undermines his cause. That leaves ordinary average guys like me shaking their heads, wondering why I should listen to someone who tells me to stop spewing carbon while his home is a veritable Disco Inferno. After all, if Al had to face the same tough questions as the right-wingers, he just might think twice about his own lifestyle and try leading by example.

Because if you really believe madmade activity is causing climate change, you need to start demanding some hard answers.

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