I am glad he is doing well and embracing capitalism, seriously! He grabbed an idea and marketed the hell out of it and some people ate it up. I don't even begrudge him his home energy usage, other then the hypocrisy of the Goracle being the King of Carbon, after all he buys carbon offset credits from his own company, right?
What I don't understand is why he doesn't actually do something that would not only help solve his signature green issue but would actually improve and prepare America as well? Of course helping America could impact his image and his, "citizen of the world" standing, but I think he could spin the issue to his advantage.
As Mr. Gore knows from the recent upgrades to his home, solar energy is very expensive -- to the point of still being too expensive to be practical for the average home:
FindSolar.com, operated by solar industry interests and the DOE, has a handy Solar Estimator that calculates an estimated cost for a home solar PV system and provides a list of contractors in your area. It uses some curious formulas that I don't quite understand to calculate positive ROI, but it provides some interesting insights. (...)
Conclusion: While good for the environment (assuming "green" manufacturing practices), residential solar PV systems are still too expensive and not yet cost effective. Expect this to change, however, as R&D produces better and cheaper solar panels and manufacturing ramps up.Middle class America simply can't afford to install these units, even after tax credits, they are just too expensive.
If Mr. Gore were serious about saving us from ourselves, his carbon offset company would stop paying to plant trees, saving the Rain Forest, or preventing third world advances by pressing green only advancements.
Rather, if Mr. Gore, as the former Vice President of The United States, wanted to do his part for every aspect of American life, from energy independence, to economic stability, and even national security he would use those carbon offsets to purchase and install solar panels here in the states.
Wouldn't the overall impact of such a program be far greater then planting a tree? Of course it wouldn't encourage the sweeping changes the environmentalists want, but is the goal really the changes or the environment?
He could start with schools and then pledge to have a panel installed on each and every home (that wanted one, not mandated!) by a date certain. I would sign up for that! Imagine the impact a lower electric bill would have on the poor each and every month!
The impact would not only be felt today but would help to ensure that our nations electric production capacity were prepared for the demand of the electric vehicles of the future, something that really needs to be addressed if electric ends up being the solution.
I like the idea and would start a company myself if I had the money. Mr. Gore has the money, how about he put it to work helping rather then just blowing hot air.