Monday, March 24, 2008

A Tale of Two Homes Becomes an Inconvenient Truth

I received this interesting email the other day and I thought it would be a great way to begin the week after a busy holiday weekend. The message started off this way:

A Tale of Two Houses

House number one is a 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern “snow belt” area. It’s in the South.

House number two was designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (four bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prarie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area surround the home enabling the property to blend into the rural landscape.

Hmmmm….I wonder who lives in these houses? I kept reading and the email soon told me.

House number one is outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and it’s the abode of the “environmentalist” Al Gore. Yes, that Al Gore.

House number two is located in Crawford, Texas. Today it is known as the Western White House and belongs to President George Bush. Yes, that president!

Now to be totally honest about Mr. Gore and his not so green home. He and his staff have stated that the home is much larger than the average American home and of course it will use a larger amount of power. Also the Gores pay an extra premium to make sure their power comes from green sources other than the $2400 big green ones they ante up each month. Mr. Gore has also concluded that his carbon footprint works out in the end because his home is also an office for both he and his wife, Tipper.

Who knew Bush was so green!?

More information can be found at the wildly entertaining

You can find out more about your own personal carbon footprint here.


Ms. Longhorn said...

Have you ever been to Crawford? LOL Lucky to have running water out there! ;)

Good post!

EHT said...

No, I haven't been that far west, but I have heard it's interesting. I had often wondered why the Bush home looked a little different from what I would expect. After receiving that email I realize now the design of the home is part of its green features.