- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

LeBron James is electing to have an enormous carbon footprint in the 35,440-square-foot home he is having built outside Akron, Ohio.

No word yet whether James plans to buy environmental penance through the purchase of carbon offsets, the approach of Al Gore, the green movement’s high priest who delivers his sermons from the don’t-do-as-I-do, do-as-I-say pulpit.

James is opting to indulge in his fantasies with his dream castle. It will come with a bowling alley, casino, theater, recording studio, barber shop, aquarium, sports bar, outdoor swimming pool and six-car garage. Why he left out a shopping mall is anyone’s guess.

A first-floor master suite will feature a walk-in, two-story closet. The suite will be about 40 feet wide and 56 feet long, which is larger than half the homes in the township.

All this just goes to show you that the wealthy do not behave or think like the masses, which perhaps explains the disconnect among the sky-is-falling cacklers.

James, of course, has the money to build whatever he likes, which is the conundrum and the hypocrisy before Gore and many of his disciples.

John Travolta recently sounded the global-warming refrain while promoting his new flick, “Wild Hogs.” He asked his fans to cut their carbon emissions and make the sort of sacrifices that apparently are beyond his grasp.

He made this curious plea after showing up to the red carpet on a Harley Davidson, that noted beacon of energy conservation.

Travolta using a Harley Davidson as a prop is the least of his environmental problems.

Travolta, after all, owns five planes and a home in Florida that comes with a runway.

Travolta suggests he is in no position to fly commercial because of the demands of the movie business, which is the last refuge of the hypocritical.

You see, their personal needs are somehow more important than yours.

Besides, they can pay to have a few trees planted or invest in wind/solar energy projects, which washes away their environmental sins.

That self-serving thought process could work for the person who picks up trash and spare tires along the shore of a river after dumping a quart of motor oil into the water.

That is wrongly assuming that one good deed cleanses a bad one.

James probably has not given the carbon footprint/carbon offset mumbo jumbo a whole lot of consideration.

He is immersed in the business of basketball with the Cavaliers, and it is doubtful his priority list goes like this: get others involved in the offense and find a way to stop the icecaps from melting.

If one of his representatives ever suggests it would be good public relations on his part to appear eco-friendly, James no doubt will go about purchasing those carbon offsets that clear the conscience of the wealthy.

They can afford the massive carbon footprints and carbon offsets that go with their extravagant lifestyles.

Yet in the end, they are not unlike the preacher who urges his flock to be true to the Lord before excusing himself to meet his paramour.

Barbra Streisand can lecture mightily on the threat of carbon emissions from her oceanfront home in Malibu, which comes equipped with eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, not to mention an energy-guzzling swimming pool.

She advances the environmental cause with a straight face, no doubt after hanging her unmentionables on a clothesline, letting her dishes air dry and making certain to keep the thermostat in her estate on an energy-friendly 78 degrees.

Those are a few of her energy-preservation ideas, as if she actually tends to these mundane chores.

The ostentatious dwelling of James would make John Edwards blush.

The presidential candidate declared on CNN last month that the energy consumption of his 28,000-square-foot mega-mansion is “actually not bad,” possibly depending on the meaning of bad.

He insisted his home is “carbon-neutral,” the same as his campaign.

That is the old wishy-washy spirit, not evident yet in a township outside Akron.

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