|Come Fly With Me|
|Written by Ann McElhinney & Phelim McAleer|
|Monday, 01 June 2009 12:48|
It is hilarious that Al Gore's electricity bill is ten times the national average. However our idea of a perfect world is when everyone in Africa and the developing world is so wealthy they are using the same amount of electricity as the former vice-president.
When the world is that wealthy it would mean the end of the scourge of needless child mortality. It would mean that people in Africa would live long and healthy lives and get to know the joy of their grandchildren and that children would know how wonderful it is to see their parents live to an old age.
So our initial reaction to Al Gore's electricity bill is that we wish it for everyone. But then we are faced with the reality that Al Gore wants legislation to force people to use less electricity and fly less. Then his electricity bill becomes an issue of hypocrisy and freedom. He wants the freedom to use and consume but wants to deny that to ordinary Americans and perhaps more tragically to the people of the developing world. So Al Gore's electricity bill and use of a private jet should be highlighted as part of a belief by the environmental movement that change and deprivation "for the good of the planet" should only be borne by other people. Private jets are essential for eco-celebrities because their work is important. The rest of us have to reduce our carbon footprint because our travel is "frivolous and wasteful."
And so we now find out that at the weekend President Obama and the first lady flew to New York to see a Broadway show. They also flew an entourage of assistants and media in separate planes.
In a statement President Obama said: “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished."
Well that's great and we hope they enjoyed the show. But isn't this the same president who said during the campaign that: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."
I know he promised his wife that he would take her to a show but if we have all to make sacrifices for the good of the planet then perhaps he should have started with their little jaunt to New York for a date.
But it seems for President Obama that sacrifice is only something other people (poorer people) make.
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