Al Gore’s pool isn’t too cool

Do you consider yourself an environmentalist or at least someone who cares about the environment? IfGore
so, how many of these statements apply to you? (A) I always carpool to work, or at least attempt to, even if it means sharing rides with the water conservationist down the street who hasn’t taken a bath since the Reagan Administration. (B) I regularly use public transportation, including the elevator at work and the escalator at the mall. (C) I try to recycle as much as possible. Just ask my spouse, who’s been married before. (D) I try to keep my trash to a minimum. You won’t find me using paper towels or watching Jerry Springer.

If none of those statements apply to you, you might just be a "green hypocrite." At least that’s what Steven Milloy would call you. He has put together a list of the 10 "greenest hypocrites of 2007," which, despite appearing on, is worth a look.

1. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Lifestyle.
While the former veep and nouveau-$100 millionaire jets around the
world squawking about the “planet having a fever” and demanding that we
all lower our standard of living, his own personal electricity use is
20 times the national average, including an indoor pool costing $500/month to heat. [Link]

That may seem like a lot of money, but not compared to what Gore spends on water. Every time he jumps in, the pool has to be refilled.

4. The U.N.’s ‘Bali High’.  Early December will witness 10,000 climateers descending upon the paradisiacal island resort of Bali for the 13th annual U.N. global warming meeting.
The reason for much jet and limo travel — and other prodigious
greenhouse gas generating activity associated with such a
mega-conference — is relatively modest: setting the agenda and
timeframe for a post-Kyoto treaty. Sure seems like something that could
have been handled in a less carbon-intensive way — either by Internet
and video conferencing or, if meeting is necessary, somewhere in North
America or Europe where most key attendees are based.

Yeah, why not just meet at an Indian restaurant in New Jersey? Chand Palace, for example, has an extensive menu and, if you’re bringing 10,000 "climateers," they might just serve your meals on environmentally friendly banana leaves.

10. California’s Hypocritenator.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared in June 2005 that, “California will
be a leader in the fight against global warming…the time for action is

But just two years later, the Los Angeles
Times reported that state efforts had been derailed by the governor’s
mismanagement and deceit. Schwarzenegger even fired the state’s chief
regulator for refusing to limit the number of greenhouse gas
regulations. Columnist Debra Saunders noted that, “Schwarzenegger boasts that he is a world leader in the fight
against global warming — but his advocacy shouldn’t keep him from
flying in private jets or driving a Hummer.” [Link]

I’m glad he uses a private jet. Otherwise the pilot of a commercial airline would be using up a lot of energy making announcements: "Ladies and gentlemen, just want to let you know that there is a risk of thunderstorms in the San Diego area, and there is also a risk of groping in the first-class compartment."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Ramadas Mannattil says:

    Made me think that I as an Indian, am more environment friendly than
    most Europeans, North Americans, Aussies etc. I never use tissue paper,
    or even toilet tissue. It is always water and my left hand, with a little
    soap to go. Whenever I am in India I always eat on banana leaves or just
    teak-leaves pinned together with twigs (“thaiyal ilai”).

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