28 August 2007

Is there a large sucking sound?

I'm not a fan of politics. Well, maybe that's not true. I'm not a fan of politicians. If it wasn't my religious and civic duty, I might just skip the whole voting thing since so much of voting isn't voting for something as much is it is voting against something or someone. Being an optimist, modern politics just doesn't square with me too well. Yes, sometimes I have to convince myself I'm an optimist. Kind of defeats the purpose.

But, I digress and am on my way to sinking into that stream of consciousness stuff that can either bore folks or get one in trouble. Can you tell I haven't had hardly any sleep in the last two days? Between the entire family being hit with diarrhea and the storms waking my son up every night, I'm just not on top of my game lately.

I did manage to get the bathroom painting done. Ahh, no nails holes, complete paint coverage. It's a beaut.

So, speaking of things that irritate your intestinal tract, here's something of an Inconvenient Truth. From an e-mail I received. I checked into it and it is from Snopes.com.

I'm not so concerned about the argument about who's a better environmentalist, just that the fellow who claims to be single-handedly saving our planet, is such a dork.

LOOK OVER THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO HOUSES AND SEE IF YOU CAN TELL WHICH BELONGS TO AN ENVIRONMENTALIST.

HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow belt," either. It's in the South.

HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.

HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON'T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it's truly "an inconvenient truth."

Glass Houses
Claim: E-mail compares George W. Bush's eco-friendly ranch with Al Gore's energy-expending mansion.

Status: True.

Origins: This e-mail comparison between the homes of President George W. Bush and former vice-president Al Gore began circulating on the Internet in March 2007 (shortly after the latter's film on the global warming issue, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Academy Award as Best Documentary). Short and sweet, there's a fair bit of truth to the e-mail: Al Gore's Nashville mansion is something of the energy-gobbler the e-mail depicts, while President Bush's Crawford ranch is more the model of responsible resource use the juxtaposition portrays it to be.

According to the Associated Press, the Gore's 10,000 square foot Belle Meade residence consumes electricity at a rate of about 12 times the average for a typical house in Nashville (191,000 kwh versus 15,600 kwh). While there are mitigating factors (further discussed in our article about the Gore household's energy use), this is still a surprising number, given that the residence is approximately four times the size of the average new American home.

The Prarie Chapel Ranch ranch home owned by George W. Bush in Crawford, Texas, was designed by Austin architect David Heymann, an associate dean for undergraduate programs at the University of Texas School of Architecture. As the Chicago Tribune described the house in a 2001 article: The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude.

Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.

A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.

6 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

well, it's not like people really expect to be told the WHOLE truth.

[Gore is right top portion of my list of "Idiot politicians the US has produced.]

Ronald Reagan's ranch was also very modest (smaller than Bush's ranch as far as sq. footage. There's a nice video about the Reagan ranch.] Reagan personally did a lot of the improvements over the years with his own hands.

swissmiss said...

The funny thing is when I was searching for the source of the information, I found a democratic website that had this on it and was looking for folks for a rebuttal. One guy said that Al and Tipper live at their mansion and work there 365 days of the year, but Bush, well, goodness look where he typically lives and works, in the White House! What a rocket scientist.

tara said...

Al Gore has what I call the "special syndrome" He want's everyone else to conserve and keep the enviornment clean, but he's special--conservation does not pertain to him, for Heaven's sake.

Al Gore's environmental concerns are just lip service--he preaches but does not practice.

Entropy said...

Pres. Bush's home sounds awesome!

4000 sq ft. Holy cow! I think I could fill that. :)

Thanks for the info, it'll give me some fodder for the liberal relatives... heh.

Anonymous said...

And here I thought the President lived in the White House! Thanks for the update! ...moron.

swissmiss said...

Dear, dear anon:
Maybe you should get a job where you aren't wasting tax payer dollars making inane comments on blogs when you should be hard at work for the State of PA.

164.156.117.# (Commonwealth of PA - OA / Integrated Network Manag)
Harrisburg, PA