Energy, Power Bills, and The Noise Machine

So, I tend to blog about DT-related stuff only here, but I used to blog politics all the time, the bug has never left me.

Today one of the top stories on is all about Al Gore's power bill. It's high. Like 20 times that of average Americans. Gracious me! That's terrible! What a hypocrite! We should immediately disregard every word this man has ever uttered about the environment!

Heh. So, this news was brought to us by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. "The wha?" you ask. Right. Never heard of it before, and you'll likely never hear from it again, at least until the next smear on Gore. I mean, come on, how great a need is there for a think tank researching Tennessee policy? That is, if raising a shitstorm about Al Gore's power bill can be called policy research.

Okay, so, the TCPR punts the story to the Drudge Report. Drudge hyperventilates. Drudge punts to Fox News. Fox News hyperventilates. CNN, wary of ignoring what the right-wing press has insisted is he top news story of the day, does a hit piece of its own.

But look again at the CNN video. Sure it starts off with the accusation and then cuts to the suspiciously young "president" of TCPR (read: junior right-wing operative making his bones before moving up to the big time on K Street.) Then, there's the actual explanation: the Gores pay more for their electricity, per kilowatt/hour, because it's purchased from the Tennessee Valley Authority which generates it with wind and water turbines. And they also purchase carbon offsets to reduce their environmental footprint. So the story is... what exactly?

Here's the kicker and the thing they really pushed me over the edge. Smarmy TCPR guy says he has no problems with anybody racking up a huge power bill, except Al Gore. That is, he really doesn't give a damn about the environment at all. At all. He's just serving up grist for the mill. He pretty much comes right out and says it.

This stupid pattern of the noise machine bumping up their weird little grudge pieces into the mainstream media is really tiresome. I'm not as angry about it as a was a few years ago-because it's so old hat now. It's so easy to do a Google search and track the story from little bullshitter to medium bullshitter to big bullshitter to CNN. Or the New York Times. Or Newsweek. Or all of them plus everyone else who takes the bait during that news cycle.

But do the right wingers actually have anything to say about global warming? I mean, now that they're furiously backpedalling on nearly a generation of claims on their part that there was no global warming? No. They have nothing left. The scientists they "funded" (or paid off) have lost their credibility. The public distrusts their counterclaims. Scientific evidence has mounted to the point where no sane person without oil money in hand can dispute it. So what's left? Tall tales about power bills. That's it. That's their side of the debate.

I suppose that's good. I suppose that means we're winning. When the other side has to resort to pumping up "research" from the treasurer-emeritus of the Young Republicans club at Tennessee Mountain College (or wherever he's from,) we can take comfort that maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of the end. Or at least the end of the beginning.

Just the same, it's really, really annoying.

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