Energy saving tips for Gore |

Energy saving tips for Gore

Jim Shea
The Hartford Courant

To: Al Gore

Subject: Utility Bills

Dear Al:

First off, congrats on the Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth.” I haven’t actually seen the movie, but I did come really close to watching it the other night.

The reason I am writing has to do with your utility bills, which recently were made public by one of those right-wing, global-warming denier groups.

Now, I understand their motivation for releasing your electric and natural gas bills right after the Academy Awards was to embarrass you. And in that regard, it was a cheap shot. But let’s face it, Al, you set yourself up.

I mean, even if you are purchasing some “green power,” $1,200 a month for electricity and another $1,080 a month for natural gas is … well, let me put it this way, Al:

If we start talking about carbon footprints, you’re like Bigfoot.

The major problem, of course, is that one of the three houses you own is a 20-room, 10,000-square-foot Nashville, Tenn., mansion that includes a pool house, a heated pool and gas lamps along the driveway.

It’s all about perception, Al. Ten-thousand square feet is a lot of space for just two people, no matter how long you have been married.

The other thing that sticks out about your electric bill is that half of it is for the pool house and heated pool. What you have to ask yourself about pool water temperature, Al, is this: Is your shrinkage more important than that of the polar icecaps?

Although your credibility has taken a hit here, Al, you can still salvage your reputation if you take some steps aimed at practicing what you preach. (Hey, here’s a thought: You could even make a movie out of it. You could call it “A Really Inconvenient Truth.”)

Anyway, I thought I would pass along a few of the measures people here at Planet Birkenstock might take if we were in your situation:

Immediately close off a portion of your house ” you know, like maybe 7,000 or 8,000 square feet.

Drain the pool for the winter.

Buy a chain saw and a woodstove. (We have a saying up here in New England that cutting your own firewood warms you twice.)

Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater. No more walking around in your boxers like you are in a production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Use those squiggly fluorescent bulbs in all your lights. They take awhile to warm up, but that can be a good thing if you are going to be looking in the mirror.

Don’t fall asleep with the television on, so definitely no more Larry King after dinner.

Finally, given that you’ve put on a few, watch yourself in the kitchen.

In particular, avoid using the microwave. Also, don’t stand in front of the fridge with the door open for a half hour looking for the ketchup or something. If you don’t see what you are searching for right off, ask Tipper to find it.

Oh, almost forgot: Get rid of the gas lamps along the driveway.

Where do you think you are living, London?

Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service.

Support Local Journalism