Al Gore's Own Inconvenient Truth: He Uses Lots of Electricity!

After Al Gore's documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar last week, Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a conservative think tank, blasted him as an environmental hypocrite and pointed out that Al Gore wasn't as green as his image:

From ABC News:

Armed with Gore's utility bills for the last two years, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research charged Monday that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president's 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours. ...

The Center claims that Nashville Electric Services records show the Gores in 2006 averaged a monthly electricity bill of $1,359 for using 18,414 kilowatt-hours, and $1,461 per month for using 16,200 kilowatt-hours in 2005. During that time, Nashville Gas Company billed the family an average of $536 a month for the main house and $544 for the pool house in 2006, and $640 for the main house and $525 for the pool house in 2005. That averages out to be $29,268 in gas and electric bills for the Gores in 2006, $31,512 in 2005.

The blogosphere was abuzz, as it is wont to do, about this: The conservatives pointed out that Al Gore uses twice the electricity in one month than the average household does in an entire year. (I haven't done the math myself).

The left shot back, saying "oh yeah, that's nothing compared to Dick Cheney's $186,000 electricity bill, which the US Navy footed."

more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours.

Yes, national average. He's above average, and I reckon he has a lot of pool parties.
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This is a non-story. An utter BS rightwing smear to distract from the global warming issue at hand. Dude wins an Academy Award and some small minds go apoplectic.
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What the suppsedly 'neutral' TCFPR fails to mention is that Gore & fam attempts to offset their home's "carbon footprint" by purchasing green credits to account for the energy usage; he has also been working hard to utilize as much 'green power' as possible in the home such as installing solar panels on his roof. Additionally, he and his wife both work from home - they do not fall into the category of an 'average' household. Like maps says, it's just a smear campaign, satisfactory to only those who want to make Al Gore into a villain in the first place.
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I wouldn't call this a non-story. He put himself out there telling all of us to conserve. I'm sorry but if he uses 20 times the national average for electricity he needs to explain himself. Right wing, left wing, I don't care. I'm not a wing person.
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"Natural gas bills for Gore's mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year."

umm this smacks of bs to me there is no friggin way any house can use that much natural gas in one month!

one would literally need to have a 10 foot tall flame burning nonstop to really come close to over a grand a month in natural gas usage.

btw im NOT a natural gas expert. if im way wrong then please, please, set me straight I would love to see how any mansion can use that much!
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For true irony, Bush's home uses passive solar heating, geothermal heat pumps and an underground waste-water purification system to irrigate his lawn.
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Gore lie like a dog??? Nah... LOL

What gets me is when his followers are presented with cold hard facts, they blame the source as "rightwing smear". He is a public figure, that information is there in black and white.
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Whether Al Gore is a hypocrite doesn't change the fact that climate change is happening. It only makes us feel better if we can pull him off the pedestal and into the mud with the rest of us. But we'd still all be in the mud.

Accusations of hypocrisy always distract attention from what's important.
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Wow, I can't believe the bias I'm hearing.

The fact remains he spends more than what a hell of lot of people in the US earn per year on his energy bill. Maybe if the ultra-rich did set an example for everybody to live by, we'd actually get somewhere.

Don't care what wing he is either; guy's a hypocrite.
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My fucking utility bills here in CA re 750.00 for a 3 bedroom house, so Gore's 20 bedroom house isn't that out of line. As well, this is just a bunch of right wing slander.
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Wow, this thread is so "Teh Internet" - loaded with blowhards who haven't bothered to do any research. Try this story:

With video. Keith Olbermann lays down the smack.

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Hypocrite indeed. Gore is known to fly to his $170,000 a pop speaking gigs in a private jet (using God only knows how many gallons of JP4 in the round trip), where he then demands to be driven to & from said gig in a hybrid vehicle. Wiktionary should have a mug shot of AlGore heading up the entry on hypocrite.

As for Gore's global warming schtick, if we're all so sure that the global climate is warming, what happened to the impending ice age that the same so-called scientists were warning of 25-30 years ago? If the earth is really billions of years old, the few hundred years' worth of records we currently have isn't enough to predict any kind of trend.
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Doesn't seem unusual that a "20-room home and pool house" would use more energy than the average American home. This is a bit like saying Gore's campaign bus used 20 times more fuel than the average American car. Well, duh.

Wouldn't it be more helpful to compare Gore's house with similar 20 room mansions?
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He spends more because he has more to provide for. What, ya want him to go all hermity like Howard Hughes? If the man lived in a cave, he wouldn't get invited to all the cool speaking engagements, rendering any message meaningless. He kinda has to walk the walk to travel in influential circles, which you'd see is kinda what makes the truth "inconvenient" if any of you hypocrite-callers actually bothered to pay so much as a bit of attention to his documentary.

Plus, good luck explaining to a wingnut what "green" energy is. It only takes ignorance to see any bias here.
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Mokuwai: no, it doesn't. He's worked for it, he's earned it, and he provides for all the people there. It's his spoils and he can do whatever he damn well wants to.

B was correct, when all the blowhards on the internet don't do their research and take spin at face value. Fucking think people. No wonder Hitler was able to convince all those people; most people don't think and do their own research.

Ted: get off your plebian ass and save energy yourself as well as convince your fellow mid to lower class demographic. There are a lot more of you vs. the rich.

Dave: keep thinking that because I really hope your children and grandchildren suffer for it. Small minded moron.

Tim: black and white facts? Did you research the facts and hear the opposing arguments? Or did you buy into the Tennesse Center for Policy Research? Wow, that was a leap of faith.
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Al gets his energy ultimately from the dirty ol' TVA, just like most everyone else in Tenn. He buys "carbon offsets" (through a company he created, so he profits) which are intended to be invested in renewable energy. The offsets don't literally reduce his "carbon footprint." And, yes, the planet is warming up, but we don't really know how much long-term change is attributable to human impact or how much global climate can be changed.

None of this would be an issue if Gore weren't demanding that others live an energy-austere life which he does not hold himself to. I'm not even so concerned about America. We're rich. Gore's economically disastrous policy ideas will make life more expensive and difficult for Americans. But his ideas will unquestionably increase suffering and limit economic opportunity for the poorest people on the planet. And yes, Cheney jets around on Air Force 2 -- but neither is he working to deny the rest of the world access to the most abundant and efficient sources of energy.

That's why it matters.
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I'm embarassed for Neatorama that it's buying into this right-wing BS. Gore's house does use a lot of energy, but it's all comes from wind, solar and geothermal energy sources. See the TVA's "green switch" program here:
It costs $4 per 150 kW/hour to subsidize investment in 'green' energy.

The energy of the jet that Gore uses is balanced by carbon off-sets. Think that's bull? Why do you think acid rain has decreased so dramatically in the US? Because the system of off-sets and credits used to regulate sulfuric acid emissions from coal plants worked. The truth is that off-sets and credits work for pollution that doesn't come from a point source (i.e. pollution that diffuses rapidly into the environment, rather that pooling near where it is released).

When blogs like Neatorama uncritically report bullshit like this smear of Gore, they do a disservice to anyone who cares at all about truth. It's not even as though it would take much research to see that the "news story" is in fact a press release created by a right-wing smear group.
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And, um, define "practice what he preaches", since you do not believe nor, I would therefore assume, understand what he preaches. Undefined standards are impossible to meet, which makes these attacks so easy. If your house/family/business is larger than mine, can I automatically accuse you of conspicuous consumption, while blatantly ignoring any efforts you have made to the contrary? "Ignoring" being the impetus behind most conservative battles.
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When I wrote this post, I expected a discussion and I got it - so first of all, thank you for all of the comments. I find many of them well thought out.

In the past, Neatorama has been accussed of taking on a liberal bias, and now, a conservative one. It is not my intention to smear anyone or push any agenda - regular readers of the blog know this by now.

This story (whether it's newsworthy or not) is interesting: we have a public figure who just won an Oscar for his documentary about the environment and how we should do more (and consume less) for it being attacked for extremely high consumption of energy by a conservative think tank. Note that I did write that TCPR is a conservative think tank, even though it billed itself as an independent organization.

Now, on to the point of this comment:

While carbon-footprint and all that are fine and dandy, us regular folks don't know what the heck you're talkin' about.

But we know this: preaching conservation when you don't practice it yourself sounds hypocritical. Buying carbon credit, however valid the market theory (and practice) of it is, sounds like buying your way out of jail.

Some people said Al Gore has a big house, so he uses more electricity. To this, I said sure - but twenty times the national average? For a guy who espouses conservation? I may be wrong, but it simply sounds too high.

For those who said it comes from renewable source: electricity is electricity. Once it hits the network, you can't distinguish whether that kilowatt is coming from a gas-fired coal power plant or a wind turbine. You can't *choose* where that juice comes from. At times, there is no wind to power the turbine. But electricity still flows from your outlets. Plus, the act of generating that electricity is not 100% efficient, so even if that energy comes from renewable
source, it doesn't mean it's an all-you-can-eat buffet.

All in all, I think Al Gore's environmental crusade is to be applauded. He probably does more good jetting around in a (wasteful) private jet talking about the environment than sitting in a dark room doing nothing.
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Why not twenty times the national average? Like I said already, a fair comparison would be comparing his energy consumption with a house of the same size. NOT with the national average.
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Herbert.... that's my point exactly... he can do whatever he want's because he earned it... the rest of us are the ones who are supposed to pick up the tab and be conservative with energy. What about me or you for that matter? Don't we deserve it too?

If he wasn't so busy telling everybody to be conserving energy and leading a green lifestyle he wouldn't be such a big target.
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Try spending more than 2 seconds reading the site and you might actually learn something. It posts papers that are published in the royal journal of science as well as others. There's a lot of scientists that don't agree with the "consensus". If there's consensus there is no true science. Try broadening your myopic view of life.
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People, this is a blog for reading neat and fun facts. I don't want to hear your half-baked and insult-laden political hackery no matter what side you're on.

The second you post political thought here it's a safe assumption that you are less able to make dispassionate judgments than average folk and more likely to blindly follow whatever your favorite talk show host/blogger/magazine editorial is telling you.

If you spent a tenth as much time venting your passion in the political arena in terms of activism and donations of time and money as you spend verbally eviscerating each other on teh intarweb, we might actually see some progress and compromise on the important political issues of the day. (Compromise being the soul of progress, not beating the losers into a bloody mass.)

But no, instead it's pick your side and hurl invective at the others. After all, we know there are two and only two possible sides to every issue, and once you pick one you have to follow it blindly to the grave. And one side or the other has to be totally right. There can be no in between, it's all or nothing.

Congrats on being distracted sheep complaining and yet doing nothing to change the system. I'm sure your venerable leaders are all paying close attention to this blog...

Neatorama, more puppies and kittens and chocolate sushi (scored major points with the gf with that one.)
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Good post, Alex.

What's with the whole Plebeian *** comment? Because I said the guy spends more than many, many Americans make in a year just on his energy bill?

So, $29,000 on his electricity bill in one year is okay, while us "plebeians" gnash our teeth in the darkness because "we're" killing the planet.

It's funny to see how you Americans are distracted by the whole right-wing/ left-wing thing, when both sides are screwing you over royally, and then blaming you for everything!
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Mokuwai is correct.

sean is retarted, but loves to see himself type long messages that offer nothing constructive.

We are a people of different views. We voice these views. For fun we ad insults to one another. The global warming issue has not real science. It won't stand up in a court of law.

There is no money in proving something wrong, but billion in giving fund raisers to fight something that isn't there.

The sky is NOT falling chicken little.
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To Alex:

The major problem with your front-page post was that you simply repeated the right-wing talking points on Gore and reduced the rebuttal to simple finger-pointing (as though the entirety of the debate were about whether Gore or Cheney is the worst offender, rather than the deliberate half-truths of the right's smear machine). You're not fostering much of a debate on the issues if you just uncritically repeat press-releases.
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Jimbo, I fail to see how any of this thread has been constructive. That was my entire point. People should go be constructive in the appropriate venue, not on a non-political blog.

And I'm not retarded, I just had a lot of lead paint as a child. It's not funny to belittle the disabled.
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I'm entertained at everyone taking snipes at Al, but completely ignoring the bit about Dick Cheney, which the taxpayers are paying for, where Al is paying for his energy usage himself and offsetting it by decreasing his carbon footprint and using renewable energy sources, as other posters have said. There are the cold hard facts, laid out in black and white. Interesting which of those facts people choose to ignore.

Like the second comic says, it's a tempest in a teapot. Every major scientific publication and climatologist refers to global climate change as a reality and something that's happening right now. It's only "scientists" and pseudoscientists like the folks behind "junkscience" and those being paid elaborately by energy interests who are claiming there's a "debate." There's critical analysis and peer review, of course, it's necessary for scientific review and publication, it's necessary for the scientific process, but the "other side of the debate" is interested less in science and more in politics. A court of law? Since when does science need to convince politicians and lawmakers that what they say is true in order for it to be true? That enough should be all the warning flags we need.

It amuses me how easily people choose to stick their heads and in the sand and their fingers in their ears, call others "chicken little," and then go on fighting against (heaven forbid) common sense practices like energy conservation, clean air and water, and a richer natural environment, all because they don't care for the politicians who are involved, not because they dispute the facts.
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As an addendum, I'd advise anyone interested in global climate change or a healthier environment, regardless of their political affiliations, to read a blog that was set up a few years ago by actual climatologists conducting research into global climate change:

It's an excellent website, full of actual data and interesting information.
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Actually, there's more money in proving global warming wrong than there is in proving it right. Exxon and other oil companies are paying any scientist they can get big bucks to manufacture the science they need to say global warmng is fake:

It's pretty funny - reminds me of how the tobacco industry tried to bribe doctors to say nicotine wasn't addictive and cigarettes didn't cause lung cancer...same political debates too....
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That's very interesting phoenix.... The British Royal Academy of Science, The Danish National Space Center, The Ministry of Science, The Neils Bohr Institute of Geophysics, The American Scociety of Geophysics, Isaac Held of NOAA (he's the one working up the models), and many many more are all hmmmm how did you say it.... "pseudoscientists" ?

For those that actually want to try to understand the other side of the debate here's an article summarizing the findings of two award winning Danish scientists for their work in Geophysics and the effect of muons and cosmic rays (i.e. activity from the sun) in creating cloud cover.

Phoenix... don't read it... these "psuedoscientist" (which were published this month in a review for the Royal Astronomical Society in London) have no input whatsoever according to you, who's published in Neatorama (I know it's much more prestigious).
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if you have spoken negatively or believe this story in any way shape or form, then you are either a repugnican or a complete brain-dead moron.

Don't believe me just look at the link above. Don't believe that, do your own research and stop being a brain-washed opinion gobbler

P.S. THIS IS AN ENTERTAINMENT CITE, why is it spreading bad propaganda???? Leave that job to FOX NEWS!!!!!!
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# Jim Says:
March 2nd, 2007 at 12:17 pm

if he uses all these renewable energy resources.. shouldnt his energy bill be lower because he is not using electricty from the power company..


*1* when only a few families had computers, they sucked and cost $7,000 dollars. Today everyone has them and you can get a full dell system for less that $400 with an LCD. (if everyone purchased reusable energy sources, not only would they be cheaper, but almost 1/4 the cost of destructive energy sources)

*2* the oil companies who own the decision making power in this country will NEVER LET YOU HAVE IT that cheap. They will buy Bush's private Army for hire (last state of Union address) and force you to make them money at gun point. We will see who is laughing or being paranoid when Bush's 3rd term is under Martial Law. Don't blame me, I didn't vote for a tyrant!!! IF you don't think it will happen, then it will... it will...
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The thing what makes this topic worthy of Neatorama is seeing how bonkers some posters get when the "truth" they've bought into is challenged, just a little. Gotta love it when the name-calling starts; shows the true colors.

You can count it as a job well done, Alex, when you pi$s off both sides. Keep up the good work!
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Brian said:
"The energy of the jet that Gore uses is balanced by carbon off-sets. Think that’s bull? Why do you think acid rain has decreased so dramatically in the US? Because the system of off-sets and credits used to regulate sulfuric acid emissions from coal plants worked. The truth is that off-sets and credits work for pollution that doesn’t come from a point source (i.e. pollution that diffuses rapidly into the environment, rather that pooling near where it is released)."

As I rap, rap, rap on Brians head, I say, "Hello McFly is there anyone in there???" You can't really believe the tripe you typed here can you??? Acid rain reduction has absoultely nothing to do with that feel-good crap, carbon-offsets.

You want to know what led to the reduction of acid rain in the US??? It was EPA mandates that cole producing plants, industry, and automobiles be outfitted with technologies that either filtered pollutants out, or broke down those pollutants into their base elements before being released back into the atmosphere.

That's right McFly, that catalytic converter that has been on every car produced in the country since 1975 converts carbon monoxide and other nasty pollutants into non-pollutant base elements like hydrogen, oxygen, water, and dare I say, carbon dioxide, before being released into the atmosphere.

The same type of technology is used on a much larger and more complicated scale for smoke stacks in industry and cole burning and producing facilities. This has been going on for years and acid rain has not been much of a problem in the US since the late 1980's. Long before this stupid feel-good carbon-offset idea came about.
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Maximillion says:
"Actually, there’s more money in proving global warming wrong than there is in proving it right. Exxon and other oil companies are paying any scientist they can get big bucks to manufacture the science they need to say global warmng is fake"

Actually, that is not quite true. Most research dollars come from government. When H.W. Bush was in office $185 million annually was dedicated to researching climate change, today that number is well over $2 billion annually.

What is the difference in having one group that you perceive as having an agenda funding research, like the oil companies - as opposed to another group that you perceive having an agenda funding research, like the "Global Warming is mans fault crowd." In reality both camps have an agenda and will pull funding from scientists that show results other than the ones they are looking for.

The notion there is a consensus of scientists that support Gore's theories that increased CO2 levels in our atmosphere cause global warming is not true for one, there is no consensus, there are plenty of scientists that do not believe man is causing global warming.

But, just for a moment let's say there really is a consensus of scientists that say man is causing global warming. Does this automatically make it true.

Not, exactly. There was a time when there was a consensus of the leading minds on the planet that believed the earth was flat.

Life was tough for those few minds that bucked the view of that consensus, they were ostracized and in some cases tried as heretics.

I see the same thing happening today to scientists that buck the trend of the "global warming is mans fault" consensus. Any scientist that disagrees with the norm, is ostracized and accussed of being in the pocket of Big Oil, when in fact many of them have never received a penny from Big Oil. The funny part is that many in this blog have accused scientists that don't believe man is causing global warming of being in the pocket of Big Oil, yet not one of them has offered one iota of proof to these allegations.

One example, is a UK Produced Documentary called "The Great Global Warming Swindle" There are plenty of award winning scientists that offer Good, Strong, scientific evidence that Gore has it wrong, with regards to his contention that Global Warming is caused by increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

According to this film and some independent data I've viewd from other sources, Gore correctly identifies there is a correlation between global temperature increases and increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the problem is, he has backwards.

If you study the charts of global temperatures and CO2 levels in the atmosphere over a given period of time, it is quite apparent that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere have traditionally followed increases in global temperature. If Gore's contention that increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere is the driving force behind global warming, just the opposite would show on the charts. It would show increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere then increased global temperatures over a given time.

I found one major thing lacking about Gore's documentary, anything showing the effects of the suns effect on global warming. Could it be that it didn't fit into his agenda, so it wasn't showed.

Having watched both documentarys, frankly I found the UK documentary to be more convincing.

In closing, I would like to quote a few paragraphs from lecture given to at Penn from Penn professor of geology Bob Giegengack, says of Al Gore's film, 'An Inconvenient Truth', "It's a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008." And he added, "The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and appeals to public fear as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a particular ideology." This from a guy who voted for Gore in 2000 and says he’d probably vote for him again. In other words, to gain political power.

Giegengack clicks a button on his powerpoint presentation, and three charts come together. The peaks and valleys of the Milankovi´c cycles for planetary temperature align well with the ocean-floor estimates, and those match closely the records of carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature indications from ice cores. So, the professor maintains, these core samples from the polar ice and ocean floor help show that the Earth’s temperature and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been in lockstep for tens of thousands of years.

Of course, that was long before anybody was burning fossil fuels. So Giegengack tells his students they might want to consider that “natural” climatic temperature cycles control carbon dioxide levels, not the other way around. That’s the crux of his argument with Gore’s view of global warming — he says carbon dioxide doesn’t control global temperature, and certainly not in a direct, linear way.

Gieg has lots more slides to show. He points out that within his lifetime, there was a three-decade period of unusually low temperatures that culminated in the popular consciousness with the awful winter of 1976-77. Back then, scientists started sounding the alarm about a new ice age.

I challenge any of you who are drinking from Al Gore's Global Warming Kool-Aid to take the time to watch this UK produced Documentary, which has several award winning scientists from all over the world disputing the Gore's conclusions on the cause of globa warming. It's 1.25 hourse long, but well worth the time it takes to watch it.
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it doesn't mater whether or not the "environment" is in treble it just matters that Al gore is Evil. if you really wanted to get people to believe you stop the lies. I'm all for using less gas but do you have to kill the United States of America to "save the environment"?
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hy i'm a student from lebanon . me my class & our professer (MR. charbel chidiak)what your film and we are very thankin' for you . we do a conversation about the film with others students and they like it soooooooo much. You are a great person in our world.
we wish that you come to lebanon & do the same pleaze & we love you soo much
from the students Of our Ladys Peace Schoool - akkar (the7 grade)
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