Theodore's World: Actor Ed Begley Jr. Environmentalist Wacko ~ LOL

« Oil Drilling Ban Sought for Alaskan Park | Main | Muslims Protest Fast Food Franchise »

January 06, 2007

Actor Ed Begley Jr. Environmentalist Wacko ~ LOL

At their home in Studio City, Ed Begley Jr. points out to wife Rachelle Carson that a curling iron is a power waster.

Actor Ed Begley Jr. Hollywood's most devoted environmentalist

STUDIO CITY – Eco-crazed actor Ed Begley Jr. and his wife just finished bickering about how much energy her hair-curling iron wastes. Now he's boiling water for soup on a sun-heated oven in the drought-tolerant backyard of their two-bedroom solar-powered home.

“Oh, he's insane!” scoffs Rachelle Carson, his annoyed better half.

The pretty, blond actress and Pilates instructor rolls her eyes again at the eccentric rumpled man of the house, clad in his “uniform” – organic cotton Of the Earth khaki shorts, white Costco T-shirt and socks.

If Begley hadn't loaned his generator-equipped stationary bike to a friend, he'd demonstrate how he both exercises and creates electricity for breakfast.

“You pedal for 15 minutes and you have enough power for the 2½ minutes it takes to toast toast,” he explains, as the manicured missus loudly groans.

Their California ranch-style home is behind a white picket fence made of recycled plastic milk jugs.

Begley has 117 solar panels on his roof since 1990, catches rainwater in a giant vat to irrigate his organic vegetable garden, often commutes by bike (he once pedaled in tux to an Academy Awards party), owns an energy-generating windmill in the desert, and sells Begley's Best biodegradable housecleaning products in between acting gigs.

When he travels, Begley prefers to drive across country – he owns a Toyota RAV4 electric car and Prius hybrid – instead of taking planes because “at 31,000 feet burning kerosene with no trees to mitigate that CO2, there's pollution from flying, folks.”

No wonder he keeps unplugging his wife's hair-curling iron in the bathroom when she leaves it heating up for 20 minutes. She, in turn, yells at her beloved and plugs it back in for another 20 minutes.

“They take two to three minutes to fully get as hot as they're going to,” Begley booms. “Do you know how much wattage they take? It's like leaving a light bulb on for a week!”
“He'll tell you the wattage for everything,” the 46-year-old Carson drolly says. “Yeah, he's fascinating at a party. He really is. A total nerd.”
“This is 80 watts!” exclaims Begley, holding a magnifying glass to read the hair curler's small print. “Let me go get the other one! You use two, right?”

There's a new countertop fashioned from recycled Coca-Cola bottles in the small kitchen with the 10-year-old Kenmore fridge, but conservationist Begley shuns more improvements. He even jury-rigged a piece of metal as a handle for their 1980s range so they can keep the appliance.

"We should throw it away,” Carson disgustedly says.
“No we shouldn't!” Begley retorts. “What will happen to this old metal, honey? Where will it go? I'm not going to have it put in a landfill.”

Besides, they have that outdoor sun oven, a catalog-ordered contraption of solar panels that heats up to 375 degrees. It's on a rolling cart Begley made from scrap wood, which comes in handy when the sun moves.

“I have to come out every hour or two to re-aim it,” Begley says. But instead of consuming gas to, say, boil water or simmer lentils, the energy is “free from the sun.”
“Better wear your sunblock,” Carson cracks, her blue eyes tearing from the glare of the oven's metallic ray-catchers.

Begley says the 117 60-watt solar panels that cost about $35,000 in 1990 provide the bulk of the home's power. His electric bill is about $600 a year. The rooftop panels hook up to 10 large batteries in the garage and an inverter transforms the sun's light to electricity for house and car.

Begley uses recycling bins for everything from discarded crossword puzzles to junk mail. Nopte the labels on the tubs.....white paper ...color paper.

Recycling tubs are scattered throughout the home, and Begley points out you aren't really recycling unless you buy recycled goods. “Exhibit A!” he announces, hoisting a 12-pack of recycled toilet paper stored in the garage.
Back in the kitchen, Carson asks her waste-not spouse if a small empty bottle with a liquid dropper from medicinal herbs goes into recycling or garbage.

“The glass part goes into recycling. The other thing you can reuse if we need an eyedropper. Leave it there. I'll clean it up.”
“Ohhh, no!” Carson protests.

Begley uses a stopwatch to time his wife in a shower, though he says he never did that before. Usually, he knocks on the door to let her know how many gallons of water she's wasting.

“He says, 'How long are you going to be in there?' I say, 'The more you ask me, the longer I'm staying.' ”

Begley has certainly raised the celebrity eco bar, at least on his tree-lined street in the San Fernando Valley. On this day, he walks out of his recycled front gate and meets former TV host Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” who lives a few doors down and is out for a walk. The two chat in another language about Nye's new solar-powered water heater.

“Got to keep up with the Begleys,” Nye says.

Wild Thing's comment.....

Recycled toilet paper??? Gag.

These lefties are all the same, NUTS! Remember Michael Moore flying around in a private plane criticizing rich people.

Posted by Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 12:47 AM


Wait 'till he ses all the paper generated by his upcoming divorce when she's had enough of this horse-hockey.

Posted by: sierrahome at January 6, 2007 07:18 AM

Conservation is a good idea, but some people take it much too far. The solar panels and such are probably more damaging than conventional grid power, due to the economy of scale issues.

Posted by: Suricou Raven at January 6, 2007 09:30 AM

Curling iron? Sure.

Posted by: Rhod at January 6, 2007 09:40 AM

He whines that the curling iron burns 80 watts, at 7 cents per kw/h if you ran the Iron for 8 hours it would cost a whopping 4.48 cents. That is 2 million 304 thousand Joules of energy. That is not a bad price for that amount of work. Try getting illegal immigrants to work that hard.

He says she is wasting energy by using the iron, when actually the energy is doing work just heating up the iron.

Solar power is a dream world made especially for nitwits like Begley. You need the panels of course but he failed to mentioned that these panels have an average efficiency of 13-20 percent. So for a 60 watt panel their output on the high side is about 12 watts. Of course the panels are used to charge the batteries during the day for use at night. Since solar panels are useless when there is no sun. Also, as they age their efficiency drops and they have to be replaced, replacements are expensive.

And he pays only $600.00 per year for electricity. What about battery maintenance, that has to be done every day, the convertor needs maintenance too. Lead Acid batteries are extemely dangerous when they are charging, when charging they emit Hydrogen, one spark and his garage and probably his house are history. Not to mention his neighbors property.

Convertors are notorious for not putting out a clean sine wave, computers and any digital equipment have a real problem with a 'dirty Sine wave'.

Finally, where do you put 117 solar panels, on top of the house ? Now that really adds to the extetics of the nieghborhood. Alot of the newer ones track the sun in order to get the full benefit, they don't move by magic motors have to move the panels, now there is another maintenance problem.

$600 dollars a year for clean electricity and how much for the maintenance, aggrivation and danger and also knowing that all your neighbors now know you are a complete friggin' Screw-ball.

I will continue to pay my $125-200 dollars per month to the electric company and burn all the energy I want. And continue to support and promote Nuclear power.

Posted by: Mark at January 6, 2007 10:44 AM

Sierrahome, hahahaha exactly.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 12:38 PM

Suricou Raven yes the cost of those panels is so high that he would have to live several lifetimes in that house to have it make a difference.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 12:41 PM

Rhod, isn't it nuts? sheesh.

I was laughing at the whole article about him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 12:42 PM

Mark, good one, thanks.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 12:44 PM

Let's see, what did those 117 panels cost, $100,000? How about the battery pack, the inverters and upkeep? Another $100,000? I use two 50 Watt panels when dry camping, that's 100 Watts on a good day in full sunshine. That's good for one night, 6 hours perhaps, of two interior lamps and the heater fan for comfort. My outlay was well over $2400 for the panels, the regulator, an inverter and twin batteries, all bought wholesale and I performed all the labor. This guy is nuts, but so are many in the 'Wood. There is absolutely no way to recoup the cost nor justify the cost environmentally if less costly means are available. Some one or all have to subsidize his lifestyle because he doesn't contribute to the common grid, talk about a horde of hazardous materials in his home, there is Lead, Selenium, Sulphuric Acid, Hydrogen fumes, and the ever present fire hazard. Recycled toilet paper??? Bwahahaha!!! Maybe Ed Sr. used a recycled condom.
In a state that loves abortion here's one that got away.

Posted by: Jack at January 6, 2007 02:59 PM

What a loon. Where does he plan on putting all those panels when they need to be replaced? And sure, you can recycle batteries, but what about the ones that can't be recycled? And the by product from recycling?

Posted by: raz0r at January 6, 2007 06:41 PM

Jack......."In a state that loves abortion here's one that got away."......LMAO true!

I asked Nick if he ever worked with him and he said, no thank God. hahahaha

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 10:53 PM

razOr, your right, I honestly think he has gone mad as in insane. hahahaha

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 6, 2007 10:54 PM

Just goes to show, even Hollywood has it's control freaks.
It's not about conservation, but his need to control everything around him, including his wife.
She should dump his butt in the recycle bin!

Posted by: Lynn at January 7, 2007 10:35 AM

He has a cause, and he persues it aggressively - people like that want to save the planet single-handed. It would work too, if they didn't get their science education from the saturday-morning cartoon. After a bit of Captain Planet level, the highly complicated field is reduced to a few simplified rules of thumb - solar panels are good, recycling is good, rubbish is bad, leaving the lights on is bad. No need for assessments or math.

The bragging rights and ego-boost are welcome too.

Posted by: Suricou Raven at January 7, 2007 11:06 AM