Celebs Face Off in Green Arms Race

Bill Nye, Ed Begley compete for smallest carbon footprint in Calif. neighborhood

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 10, 2008 2:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – It could only happen in California—a pair of celebrity neighbors, actor Ed Begley Jr. and "Science Guy" Bill Nye, are involved in a contest of environmental one-upsmanship, the AP reports. Since Nye moved onto Begley’s block in Studio City 2 years ago, the two have been competing to see whose house can leave a smaller carbon footprint.

Both have solar panels, but Nye has newer models integrated into a system that shows when he is making surplus power. Begley has an Astroturf lawn, cooks outside in a solar stove, and lures pests away with deadly beer, not pesticides. Begley characterized the rivalry as "friendly, humorous,” but remained preoccupied with Nye’s house: "He has these great copper rain gutters that I covet."

Bill Nye watches his meter run backward as his solar electric panels feed power back into the grid at his California home.
Bill Nye watches his meter run backward as his solar electric panels feed power back into the grid at his California home.   (AP Photo)
Bill Nye the Science Guy poses on the roof with his solar water heating panel, foreground, and solar electric panels, background, at his home in Studio City, Calif.
Bill Nye "the Science Guy" poses on the roof with his solar water heating panel, foreground, and solar electric panels, background, at his home in Studio City, Calif.   (AP Photo)
Actor Ed Begley Jr. shows a sprinkler control system that electronically checks the forecast and automatically shuts down if it's supposed to rain.
Actor Ed Begley Jr. shows a sprinkler control system that electronically checks the forecast and automatically shuts down if it's supposed to rain.   (AP Photo)
Actor Ed Begley Jr. displays a solar oven at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles Thursday, May 15, 2008.
Actor Ed Begley Jr. displays a solar oven at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles Thursday, May 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Actor Ed Begley Jr. stands next to an apple tree, one of several fruits and vegetables he grows at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles Thursday, May 15, 2008.
Actor Ed Begley Jr. stands next to an apple tree, one of several fruits and vegetables he grows at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles Thursday, May 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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