Sunday, February 25, 2007


Al Gore Wins Oscar: Los Alamos May Have a Future, Too

"An Inconvenient Truth" won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Could it be that Los Alamos National Laboratory will have a second chance, a new future? Could it have other futures than a plutonium pit factory and a nuclear fuel reprocessing reactor? Is the wind changing? Is the Baby Boomer Generation slowly waking up?

Stay tuned. Maybe all is not lost. Maybe the tide is going out for the corporate elite. For now, give a cheer and take a sip of champagne. Atta boy, Moses! (-Best of luck in getting the Nobel Peace Prize, too.)

[Also, two "Al's" won Oscars: Al Gore (Moses) and a local Santa Fe boy who made good, Alan Arkin, the memorable grandfather in "Little Miss Sunshine" and author of the subversive children's book, "The Lemming Connection." Congratulations, Al and Al!]

On Feb 28, 2007, at 12:14 AM, XXXX wrote:

Here is the link that I meant to send:
For comparison, in 2006, we used less than 9000 kwatt-hours. Of course we live in a 3800 square-foot bungalo.

Thanks for the link, XXXX.

We used 650 kw-hr last month, which was about twice our usual amount, due to the water heater in the horse trough for that serious cold spell. That brings us in at less than 4000 kw-hr/yr. We have a 2200-sq-ft house, but then there are only two of us, four dogs, and two horses (who are NOT allowed in the house, of course; the electric heater in their trough will be replaced next year by a solar-powered system).

We also manage on less than 1/4 acre-ft of water (~70,000 gallons, but next year, our water collection system may reduce that by 25%) per year, and around 600-700 gallons of propane per year (thanks to the super-efficient new forced-air heaters from [a local electro-mechanical company], and our propane usage may go down even more once we add solar hot water).

I haven't seen comparable statistics for other mansions, like Bush's Crawford ranch or Cheney's Jackson Hole mansion, but I don't even begrudge Al's airline travel, since he's doing more good for life on the planet than Cheney is, mile-for-mile.



P.S. XXXX, you should look into replacing every single incandescent light bulb in your house with a compact fluorescent (for example, to get a 90 watt illumination, a fluorescent uses 15 watts; it costs 5 times as much, but it lasts 6 times longer). When we did that, it immediately reduced our electric bill by 1/3rd. The next thing to do is to replace your old-fashioned refrigerator by an energy-efficient one, but that can be done only by doubling its cost. In the long run, these conservation-minded investments not only will put you ahead of the dwindling energy curve, but will encourage American enterprise, especially if the US Government levels the playing field with renewable energy vis-a-vis Big Oil, Gas, and Coal.
[It may be totally irrelevant to a growingly irrelevant LANL and LLNL, as the rising muck of corporatization bubbles up into the hole we find ourselves (and which we continue digging, by not speaking up forcefully), but here is more of the continuing thread between "XXXX" and Brad Holian on the Trash Al Gore Saga. --Pat]

-----(XXXX writes:)
My problem with Gore is the hypocracy. Yes, I am sure that Bush and others use lots of energy. But, they don't lie about it. This reminds me of when Kerry said that he did not own an SUV. Well, that was a technicality. His wife's corporation owns all of the vehicles, including some really huge SUVs.

----(Brad Holian responds:)
OK. Let's take a calm look at this msnbc story:

"On Sunday, Gore's documentary film 'An Inconvenient Truth,' which chronicled his campaign against global warming, won an Academy Award. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research issued a statement saying Gore was not doing enough to reduce his own electricity consumption, and hence emissions of carbon dioxide. The group disputes that global warming is a serious problem. 'We wanted to see if he was living by his own recommendations and walking the walk,' said think tank president Drew Johnson.

"Utility records show the Gore family paid an average monthly electric bill of about $1,200 last year for its 10,000-square-foot home. The Gores used about 191,000 kilowatt hours in 2006, according to bills reviewed by The Associated Press. The group said that Gore used nearly 221,000 kilowatt hours last year and that his average monthly electric bill was $1,359. Johnson said his group got its figures from Nashville Electric Service. But company spokeswoman Laurie Parker said the utility never got a request from the policy center and never gave it any information."

It looks to me like the Tennessee Center for Policy "Research" decided to hold onto its "findings" for the day after the Oscars (why didn't they put them out before, so that Gore wouldn't get the Oscar? -you might well ask), and then felt like they had to exaggerate their "data" by 10%, just for good measure. Gee, I wonder why -- on both counts. -Hypocrisy? [Note spelling; not quite like "democracy."]

I think your hypocrisy meter is set on "hair-trigger" when it comes to Al Gore, XXXX. But it's on "squelch" when it comes to Cheney and Bush. I haven't heard you ever say, not even once, that you had any level of discomfort whatsoever with the Cheney/Bush doctrine of the Unitary Executive, which is nothing less than an ongoing violation of the US Constitution. Or their deliberate disregard for the Geneva Conventions. Or your own personal discomfort with the PATRIOT Act (let's not even mention the Iraq invasion or occupation). I could go on and on in this vein, but you get the drift, I assume.

Am I wrong about this, XXXX? Did I miss some time when you expressed libertarian sympathies? And if Gore is, in your view, hypocritical in his lifestyle, do you think he's right about the threat of global warming, nevertheless?

Just curious, as always.

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