So it seemed fitting to applaud Gore's completed renovations on his Tennessee mansion - we talked about his plans here. What's new is that Gore has gotten LEED gold certification from the Green Building Council - the 10,000-square-foot home is one of only 14 in the U.S. to achieve this rating, and the only home in Tennessee that's gotten any certification at all, according to the Associated Press. (There is also a platinum standard) Solar panels, solar roof fans, a rainwater collection system, and geothermal heating were all installed at the house. All incandescent lights - including those on the Christmas tree! - were replaced with either compact fluorescents or light-emitting diodes. And according to AP, energy use at the home decreased 11 percent during Tennessee's sultriest months, when the area was also hit by a heat wave. Good going, Mr. Gore. Photo from a portrait series by Anton Corbijn now on view at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
A few treehuggers were chagrined that we would question Al Gore's worthiness as a Nobel prize winner, pointing out that the good that's he's done in raising the issue of global warming to the global public far outweighs any CO2 emissions from his personal travels, either by commercial or private jet. OK, point taken. In a CNN interview from Oslo, Gore noted: "The only way to solve this [climate] crisis is for individuals to make changes in their own lives."