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
Bill Nye watches his meter run backward as his solar electric panels feed power back into the grid at his California home.   (AP Photo)
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(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."