Conspicuous Consumption


FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Environment, Humor
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Matt T says:

    Argumentum ad hominem. Deal with the issue, not the man.

  2. lunacy says:

    It’s not an argument. It’s a joke.

    A funny joke.

  3. M1EK says:

    It’s not a funny joke – because the premise is flawed. Unless you believe the Swift Boat crap too.

  4. Steven Plunk says:

    I believe swift boat crap and I also believe Al Gore is setting poor example. Do as I say not as I do. I don’t want him telling me or anyone else how they should live. It is funny.

  5. M1EK,

    What part isn’t true? The energy bills are public record. His response was he is trying to save more and his is buying carbon offsets. Of course it leaves out that he is buying carbon offsets from himself. And doesn’t explain why with all of his energy saving advances his electrical bill went up 13% between 2005 and 2006. To put it in perspective, the amount he increased between 2005 and 2006 is more than the average American home.

    If you want to deal with the issue, please supply some facts as part of dealing with the issue. Gore is a hypocrite. He says that global warming is so important, but when he was president of the senate he couldn’t convince a single senator to support Kyoto. He wants to use the threat of global warming to impose huge controls on our economies, while ignoring third world issues. He points to energy as a key bogey man for global warming when we would do more by going meatless (and cutting out the cow farts). But he doesn’t call for us to go meatless because he knows that would not get him the economic control he wants.

    You are buying into something that says don’t dare question in anyway the “facts” and ignore that the high priest of global warming doesn’t live like he really thinks its a problem. That not science, but it is hypocrisy.

  6. stoic says:

    Amen to yetanotherjohn!!
    No response of course from the flower kids..
    They are factually challenged.. he he he

  7. Matt T says:

    I chose not to dispute whether Al Gore is a hypocrite. It is not relevant. It has no impact on the larger issue: My original comment points to the fact that many are trying to refute the proposition of global warming as a valid scientific theory based on the reputation of one of its supporters. This is simply a logical fallacy.

  8. Steve Verdon says:

    Matt T.,

    I believe it is relevant because of several factors.

    1. Gore has pitched the AGW issue as a moral one–that is, we should use less to be moral.

    2. Gore wants the rest of us to use less so he can use more, apparently.

    Because of these two factors, Gore’s own huge consumption levels of energy undercut his arguments. Suppose I were to build the world’s dirtiest coal plant, but offset the CO2 and NOX emissions with carbon credits…you are telling me this would be just fine with Gore?

    In fact, if you believe the Stern report we should all be saving so much, we should be starving (see Partha Dasgupta’s critique of the Stern report).

    For the record, I do think there has been some warming. I’m even open to the idea that human activities have contributed to the warming. However, I’m not convinced it will be the catastrophe many claim, I’m not convinced it will be as bad as many claim, and I’m even less convinced that the solutions people are suggesting will come anywhere close to working. Seriously, you want to stop global warming? Tax the sh*t out of gasoline and electricity. Triple the price and people will reduce consumption. Prices maybe inelastic in the short run, but over the long run people will use less. Nobody talks about this becuase they are all liars about doing something serious about global warming…they’d rather buy carbon credits and live life high on the hog.

  9. Matt T says:


    Again, I think Gore is irrelevant here, and I won’t debate his personal lifestyle. I’m willing to concede that he is not the ideal role model, and that his public statements & appearances are at times laughable.

    Al Gore and his electric bill are distractions.

    I think that your last paragraph is closer to the real dialogue that should be going on, one grounded in logic and a sense of objective problem solving.

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    Again, I think Gore is irrelevant here, and I won’t debate his personal lifestyle. I’m willing to concede that he is not the ideal role model, and that his public statements & appearances are at times laughable.

    How about, “Gore is actually more harmful to any dialogue on AGW than anything else and he should go sit in his ginormous house and keep his trap shut”?