I keep thinking "These people can't be serious", and yet it appears that they are:
My colleague Andy Revkin recently had a good chat with Ed Begley Jr. during a pedicab ride in New York, which you can watch at DotEarth. It was the perfect vehicle for discussing Mr. Begley’s famed green lifestyle, and it got me wondering: Is a pedicab really more virtuous environmentally than a taxi?
I ask because I came across an interesting challenge to the notion that taking short trips in a car is bad for the planet. This challenge comes from Chris Goodall, the author of “How to Live A Low-Carbon Life.” Mr. Goodall is a member of the Green Party in Britain and a devout environmentalist — he says he has ceased air travel because of its emissions. But he also questions how much good is being done by eliminating short trips by car. In fact, he says that in some circumstances it’s better to drive than to walk.
If you walk 1.5 miles, Mr. Goodall calculates, and replace those calories by drinking about a cup of milk, the greenhouse emissions connected with that milk (like methane from the dairy farm and carbon dioxide from the delivery truck) are just about equal to the emissions from a typical car making the same trip. And if there were two of you making the trip, then the car would definitely be the more planet-friendly way to go.
And if I smoked a heater while walking to the store it would probably send the numbers off the chart. Lord have mercy.
I'll just be blunt here: The people who buy this garbage need to wake up, get help, or just off themselves(for the sake of Mother Earth). I don't usually advocate suicide because I think it's a sin, but if they're going to fall for this level of minute calculation about their greenhouse gas impacts then they might as well just save the world from their future exhalations of carbon dioxide now and be done with it. Their lives are just going to be one long and miserable existence defined by the guilt and deprivation imposed by others anyway.
Ok, that last bit is a little much. But I think "Global Warming" now has far more to do with various groups, from environmentalists to vegans to various leftist and commercial causes, then it does to any real climate change problem. It's a convenient and increasingly effective hook for those groups to guilt or coerce people into behaving the way they "should". Or to get governments to subsidize their latest efforts or business. There are many good reasons to promote energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. Global warming is not one of them and I'll be damned if I'm going to give a flying f*ck about the greenhouse gas calculations between walking or driving to the local store to pick something up. Good grief.
Next week I review the latest blockbuster study from the Al Gore crowd: Crapping Wisely to Save the Planet; How to Calculate the Carbon Footprint of Your Poop.
2/26: Interesting post and graph on temperature cooling in the last year. It doesn't prove anything by itself of course, but it does seem a pretty dramatic departure from the "runaway warming" hysteria that we've been treated to the last couple of years. Hold off on that beachfront property in the Adirondacks for now.