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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Monday, April 09, 2007

A tale of two houses



Read the descriptions of the following two houses and see if you can tell which belongs to an environmentalist:


HOUSE #1

A 20-room mansion with 8 bathrooms heated by natural gas. In addition, there's a pool, a pool house, and a separate guest house, all also heated by gas. In one month, this 20,000 square feet mansion consumes more energy than the average American household does in an entire year.

The average bill for electricity and natural gas for this mansion runs over US$2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which is 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 David Heymann, a professor and associate dean for undergraduate programs at the University of Texas, School of Architecture, this house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The single-level 4-bedroom house covers 4000 square feet 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 F / 19.4 C) 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. Waste water from showers, sinks and toilets flow 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 the 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.

Snopes confirmed the authenticity of this comparison.

And we haven't even began talking about Al Gore's Pasminco Zinc mine yet:
Over the years, toxic waste products ended up in a "tailings pond," from which water flows into the adjacent Caney Fork River, of which Gore frequently waxes eloquently about its pristine waters, and then subsequently into the larger Cumberland River. Recent tests revealed that zinc levels in the pond exceed EPA and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation mandated levels. Last May, state officials issued a notice of violation, ordering Pasminco Zinc Co., which currently operates Gore's zinc concessions, to clean up the mess. To date, Pasminco Zinc Co. has not cleaned up the reported violation and the state has taken no further action to pursue the matter.

In 1996, during the same time Gore was running for reelection as vice president, claiming to be an environmentalist, the zinc mining operation on his property twice failed tests designed to protect water quality in the Caney Fork. The Wall Street Journal recently commissioned two independent laboratories to test the water in the Caney Fork, both of which concluded there were large quantities of barium, iron and zinc in the water, as well as smaller quantities of arsenic, chromium and lead.
         (Source: World Net Daily)

[S]ome Tennessee residents say Mr. Gore becomes testy when questioned about the zinc mine. Tom Gniewek, a retired chemical engineer from Camden, Tenn., has studied the zinc mine for years and tried to question Mr. Gore about it at town-hall meetings. "He gets real angry," Mr. Gniewek says. "Instead of answering the question, he attacked my motives and accused people like me of vandalizing the earth."
         (Source: Wall Street Journal)


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found Tennessee's water pollution to be the second-worst in the nation. The state of Tennessee has cited Pasminco Zinc Co. for leaching large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River. The zinc mine on Al Gore's property closed in 2003.

Keywords: hypocrite, alarmist, limousine liberal, champagne socialist.

Extras:
Liberal reaction to the truth: Liberal tolerance, diversity, and sensitivity.

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