Monday, April 2, 2007

Conservative Conservationist?

A liberal friend (yes I do have some) introduced me as a conservative to another liberal. We had some good natured banter back and forth. There was one joke this person said that struck me as odd. He said, "Do you idle your car all day so it's nice an warm when you are ready to head home." I guess he assumed that since I am a conservative I must not care about the environment and I needlessly waste resources.

I grew up in the 70's. The well informed teachers of the day were talking about the world running out of oil. That was 30 years ago. Oh yeah, they were also talking about global cooling too. No oil and global cooling the inconvenient half-truth of the day got our attention. So we were taught to conserve energy. There was also a long draught period in New Jersey when I was younger. We had to conserve water - If its yellow let it mellow. But if it is brown, flush it down.
So I am familiar with conservation. Well I must admit that I flush every time and wash my hands. I also turn out lights that are on when not needed.

Just because Conservative Kids do not believe that global warming is caused by humans does not mean that we give polluters a free pass and waste costly resources.

The same day that I had this conversation, I got this info in an email (author unknown).

A tale of two houses

House 1:

The four-bedroom single-story house is a paragon of environmental planning. The passive-solar house is built of honey-colored native limestone and positioned to absorb winter sunlight, warming the interior walkways and walls of the 4,000-square-foot residence. Geothermal heat pumps circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground. These waters pass through a heat exchange system that keeps the home warm in winter and cool in summer. A 25,000 gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof urns; wastewater from sinks, toilets, and showers cascades into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is then used to irrigate the landscaping around the four-bedroom home. This house consumes 25% of the energy of an average American home.

House 2:

This 20-room, 8-bathroom house consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year. The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, this house devoured nearly 221,000 kWh, more than 20 times the national average. Last August alone, the house burned through 22,619 kWh, guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of this energy consumption, the average monthly electric bill topped $1,359. Also, natural gas bills for this house and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year. In total, this house had nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for 2006.

House 1 belongs to George and Laura Bush, in Crawford, Texas.

House 2 belongs to Al and Tipper Gore, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The email checked out as true on

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