Over at Bloggingheads, Ezra Klein talks to NR’s Byron York about Al Gore and seems to lump me in with the crowd that’s knocking Al Gore for his energy-use hypocrisy (ie: calling for lower energy usage while maintaining a big, energy-hogging house of his own). Two things:
1) The post he mentions was not an indictment of Gore for his energy-use hypocrisy. My intention was to point out that Gore acknowledges that his message, at its most basic, is: Use less energy, and pay more for what you do use–a message that’s sure to be unpopular (most people, I suspect, want bigger houses, more electronic gadgets, and cheaper gas, not vice-versa) and doesn’t jibe with Gore’s friendly sell about the ease of the green lifestyle. Gore paints it as a zero or minimal cost decision, yet he makes statements that implicitly acknowledge that there will be a price in what we do and how much it costs — and I don’t think it’s a price many will be eager to pay.
2) That said, I think it is somewhat useful to consider Gore’s personal energy usage. Yes, he supposedly negates his high energy usage by buying carbon offsets, but doesn’t it say something about the practicality and feasibility of severe energy reduction when one of the most prominent individuals calling for reduced energy use hasn’t managed to cut his down to even average levels?
Still, I think Ezra’s quite right to say that the fuss over global warming won’t be stopped by conservation, but instead by new technology and infrastructure (although I’m sure we’d differ on the best ways to fund development of such technology).