Between Al Gore's and President George Bush's Homes-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor: Descriptions of two homes, one
an energy-consuming mansion and the other an energy-conserving ranch
house. The eRumor says the energy-consuming one is that of Al Gore
who is the champion of the environment. The other is President George
Bush's Texas ranch.
The Truth: The comparisons are fairly
accurate, according to published reports.
by the Tennessee Center For Policy Research published in February, 2006,
focused on Al Gore's 10,000 square foot house in Belle Meade area of Nashville. The
former senator and former presidential candidate has been a leading
voice for the environment and energy conservation. His global
warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar for Best
Documentary for 2006. In the film he urges consumers to conserve
energy by reducing the amount of electricity used at home.
Using figures from the Nashville Electric service, the report says that
Gore's house used 221,000 221,000 kWh of electricity in 2006, more than
20 times the national average of 10,656 kWh. The report says the
gas usage of Gore's home is high as well and that Gore spent more than
$30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills in 2006.
An article in Cowboys And Indians magazine focused on the 4,000
square foot Bush
ranch in Crawford, Texas. It paints an entirely different picture
than that of the Gore mansion.. George Bush is described as saying
that when he bought the property, he wanted something in middle America
so he could "stay in touch with real Americans."
Architect David Heyman was asked to design the single story home.
Bush said he wanted everything on the ranch to blend with the
environment. 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,"
according to the article. "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. Laura Bush insisted on the use of indigenous grasses,
shrubs, and flowers to complete the exterior treatment of the
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
LOOK OVER THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO HOUSES AND SEE IF
CAN TELL WHICH BELONGS TO AN ENVIRONMENTALIST.
HOUSE # 1:
A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural
Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all
by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than
average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for
electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In
gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this
consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American
This house is not in a northern or Midwestern "snow
belt," either. It's
in the South.
HOUSE # 2:
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national
this house incorporates every "green" feature current
can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4
is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A
closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground
through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67
degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The
system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it
25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling
system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a
gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and
goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern.
collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house.
and shrubs native to the are! a blend the property into the
HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of
Nashville,Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned
(and filmmaker) Al Gore.
HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford,
Texas. Also known as "the Texas White House," it is the
residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.