Not that Bigfoot Al Gore's standard is a tough one to beat.
In 2001, this was in the Chicago Tribune. Of course, by the end of the article the author went on to try to cast it in the worst possible light.... (I'll make you follow the link to get to that part -- where he takes to task the idea that 4,000' is "shockingly small" for that kind of market. Hey, it's 1/7 the size of Bigfoot Al's 28,000 square foot Nashville mansion! Besides, this is about stunning hypocrisy, not about relative carbon footprints themselves.)
The 4,000-square-foot house is a model of environmental rectitude
Geothermal heat pumps located in a central closet circulate water through pipes buried 300 feet deep in the ground where the temperature is a constant 67 degrees; the water heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. Systems such as the one in this "eco-friendly" dwelling use about 25% of the electricity that traditional heating and cooling systems utilize.
A 25,000-gallon underground cistern collects rainwater gathered from roof runs; wastewater from sinks, toilets and showers goes into underground purifying tanks and is also funneled into the cistern. The water from the cistern is used to irrigate the landscaping surrounding the four-bedroom home. Plants and flowers native to the high prairie area blend the structure into the surrounding ecosystem.
No, this is not the home of some eccentrically wealthy eco-freak trying to shame his fellow citizens into following the pristineness of his self-righteous example. And no, it is not the wilderness retreat of the Sierra Club or the Natural Resources Defense Council, a haven where tree-huggers plot political strategy.
This is President George W. Bush's "Texas White House" outside the small town of Crawford.
Did you hear about any of this? I doubt it. It doesn't cast "W" in the "correct" light.
But you've heard plenty about Bigfoot Al and his selfless crusade to save the planet since then, haven't you?