Following Al Gore’s Example for Energy Use
Regardless of what Al Gore preaches about these matters, the way he lives strikes me as reasonable. He was of the manor born, to be sure, but he has earned a lot of money on his own. He has every right to a ginormous house, a fleet of cars, and to be flown around the world in private planes to speak out against the dangers of global warming. While it’s funny in microcosm, it strikes me as a perfectly defensible trade-off to use a thousand times more energy than the average guy in an effort to influence macro-level energy and environmental policy.
Where Gore and I differ is that my aim is for more people to get to live like Gore. While environmental degradation in general and global warming in particular are real problems, certainly a serious case can be made that they pale in comparison with the ravages of poverty. Further, if millions of people not starving to death isn’t its own reward, UC-Berkeley professor emeritus of energy and resources Jack Hollander explains in The Real Environmental Crisis: Why Poverty, Not Affluence, Is the Environment’s Number One Enemy, that, contrary to conventional wisdom, as societies become more affluent, they produce less pollution. That’s not particularly surprising, when you think about it, as those whose basic human needs are met have both the inclination and resources to worry about cleaning up their environment.
Much more at the link.
For further discussion, see my cross-post at Terra Rossa.