Thursday, March 29, 2007

I Know A Beat When I Feel It

Back in 'the day', the 70's it was... the big environmental science warned of Global Cooling, and the coming in our near future of the next ice age. Of course, this was all our fault. We used deodorant. Enjoyed air conditioning. Drove V8 cars. And lived the benefits of a non-stone age lifestyle.

Today the big scare is Global Warming, and of course, yet again... it's all our fault because we use air conditioning, deodorant, and drive cars.

I'm old enough to remember the first scare, and the pious lectures to change our ways, or else...
It all sounded much like the latest scare, and the pious lectures to change our ways or else...

I'm also old enough to remember, waaaay back, the 80's it was...
Global Cooling was out of style. It took about ten years, but we all realized, eventually, that utter bullshit had been heaped upon us and we were refusing to step in it anymore.
Now it was the trees that needed saving,instead.
Strongly encouraged to change our ways, and threatened with the loss of precious oxygen in the atmosphere, the grocery stores stopped packing our stuff in paper bags, and switched to plastic. It was better for the environemnt.

Today,with the latest from the wacko trendsetter city of San Francisco, we have returned to our roots, so to speak S.F. Leaders OK Plastic Grocery Bag Ban

In about ten years, the Global Warming doomsayers will be forgotten as we realize, once again, that we were fed more bullshit.

And a new crisis will be invented...

And more pious lectures delivered...

And the beat goes on....


Stacy said...

Por ti

Gino said...

good one, stacy.

Kal said...

Oh Gino, Gino...

The cooling scare was predicated by the dramatic increase in SO2 (sodium dioxide, or sox) emissions. SO2 increases the refelctivity of the atmosphere, thus dispersing the suns energy and reducing the warming effect.

On the downside, it increases the acidity of the atmosphere and causes, among other things, acid rain.

We got a handle on so2 through cap and trade emissions systems, cutting emissions 41% in 20 years, at a fraction of the estimated cost, because we introduced a market system which allowed comapnies to actually make money through Sox reductions.

This is similar (although not exactly) to what we're doing with CO2 in the northeast through the RGGI program.

The bottom line for me is that all the things we should be doing on climate (increasing efficiency, looking at life beyond oil, using clean energy generation) -- these are all things we should be doing anyway, regardless of how you personally feel about warming.

Stacy said...


I agree with you. We were given this planet to take care of. Renewable energy, solar energy; these are options that need to become the only options. For myself it's the tone of the communication the global warming crowd has chosen to go with. Not to mention their outright hypocrisy. Do as I say, not as I do.

Dooms-dayers have always existed and someone will always be yelling that the sky is falling. We need to be smart about this and approach it cautiously and realistically.

To propagate this movement more, someone needs to take Gore offstage. I think he's doing more harm than good.

Gino said...

the issue isnt if it might be a good idea to do these things.
the issue is: is it the role of govt, and its whores, to force this moral value upon the rest of us?

and it IS a moral value. and no other kind.

in my personal life, i am a rabid recylcer. bet you didnt know that. i dont mention it because its not part of the discussion.
even though i like it, and it makes me feel good, and i think its the right thing to do, does that give me the right to force this value on everybody else through the force of govt/penalty of death?
because death is the ultimate threat of govt coercion. do it, or we may kill you to enforce it.

Jade said...

Interesting idea... banning plastic bags. I can sort of see where San Franciscans are looking at litter and how it affects the marine life, since they are on the bay and the city is hoplessly nasty dirty. When I worked at the Portland Zoo we banned fast-food style lids and straws because they would fly off into cages and animals would choke (actually killed a couple of seals that way) However...

How does using biodegradable plastic bags help marine life? Unless they dissolve instantly in water, they'll still choke marine life when they end up in the bay. (and if they do dissolve instantly in water, I'd hate to see what happens to shoppers in the rain!)
And... if stores switch to only paper, what are they going to wrap meat and icecream in?

Funny... all those commercials that tell us "plastic makes it possible"

Kal said...

Stacey -
Gore is a double edged sword for those of us who care about this stuff. He has reached a massive audience with the film, and he's energized a group of people that usually don't get that involved in stuff.

The 10,000 KWH a month house is, to say the least, troubling. On the one hand, he does buy green credits to cover the usage of the house, which is a good thing and will encourage further renewable energy development.

On the other hand, how can I tell Gino to use compact flourescent lights (although Gino is smart enough to know that over 8,000 hours of use a CFL will cost $26, energy plus the cost of the bulb, while a traditional incandescent will cost $70, energy plus the cost of the many bulbs), anyway, how can I tell people like Gino to conserve when Gore is using so much electricity. It is a bit maddening.

Of course, he does live on a farm, so who knows what that power's being used for. Could be something legitimate, like if they actually have a few cows they're milking, chillers would use a lot of electricty.

I think he should use this as a teachable moment and put up a windmill or two...


C'mon now, I'm a libertarian, don't get me to try and defend state-ist power trips.

In the case before us, San Francisco, well... I don't know. Haven't really thought too much about it, but it does kind of gnaw at me when governments go goofy.

Here's the problem: if all your externalities, all the consequences of your actions, were clearly visible, then personal choice should reign supreme.

But in environmental stuff that's seldom the case. Oh, sure, you get immediate feedback if you dump diesel fuel in your flowerbed, but all that carbon you float off into the air while driving around, not so much.

I'm for "internalizing the externalities". Let's make the cost of stuff reflect the cost of stuff...

Like toll roads. you want to drive on this piece of road, you should pay for it. Not me, who doesn't use the road.

You want to ignore sound environmental practices and spew tons and tons of pollution that could be avoided because you leave your lights on all the time? Fine. But it's going to cost you, in terms of carbon taxes or offsets or something. Just paying for the electricty is not enough, because it's not just the electricty that you're using, you're also impacting my environment.

But we're straying into dangerous territory, aren't we.

Jade -

I think they're going to make a big push for re-usable cloth bags. Yumm... That sounds tasty when the pot roast leaks all over the melted vanilla ice cream..

Gino said...

jade: a big hearty welcome!

Kal:yes, dangerous territory for a professed libertarian.

roads cost money. all roads are toll roads. the only issue is who pays the toll, and when.
and we can all see the potholed condition of some of these roads we have paid handsomely for. thats govt for you. it cant take care of shit.

and then you mention charging me for free environement? i shudder to think what the environement nanny will do to that, seeing how the road nanny has such a piss poor record.

swirlie-bulbs: are in every outlet in my home that will hold them. as they were in the last home, and the home before that.
yep... and when i move, i de-bulb the whole place, and take them with me to the next. along with my high-flow shower head. i'm a cheap bastard, remember.

Jade said...

Gino - I'm picturing a guy with an overflowing open box of lightbulbs in one arm and a suitcase with a showerhead poking out in the other. It's times like these I wish I could draw cartoons. :)

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

I've come to the conclusion that everything humans eat causes cancer and everything humans do destroy the environment. So I guess the solution is exterminate the human race. SIGH!

Personally, I'm a cloth bag girl. It's not out of environmental concerns necessarily. I just hate when those cheap grocery bags (regardless of material) rip on me. GRRR! In fact most environmental things I do, I do out of commonsense, and because like you, I am cheap bastich. Nothing like saving on pennies to encourage me to do stuff.

kr said...

As opposed to my bleeding environmentalist self, who buys organic because I can't justify poisoning the farmworkers' kids (and the plants, and the animals) ... slowly killing myself, eh, that wasn't necessarily a big deal until I had kids who would care if I bit it early.

People here in Portland have a hard time grokking: I'm environmentalist _because_ I'm pro-life.

Hey, Gino, read the bishops of the Columbia River Basin environmental statement? I think they wrote it about year 2000. Even some very-secular enviro friends were pretty impressed.

But then I'm a big believer in the concept of Social Sin, which theological environmentalism is pretty entwined with.

(Our poor pastor--Holy Cross from New Jersey/Pennsylvania, hadn't even heard of organic foods and conscientiously raised meat and all that before being dropped into our parish in the middle of a school expansion involving a green-certified building ... but he's coping. Mostly :). Now two years in, the parish this week officially switched to all Fair Trade coffees--with a bulletin note that Catholic Relief Services is deeply involved the Fair Trade movement.)

Gino said...

kr:i drink folger's columbian. and only folger's columbian. i will put it side by side with any boutique liberal sissy overpriced cup o joe out there. and taste tests actually have borne this out.
(consumer's union)
anything that costs more than folger's columbian and tastes just as good,is not a fair trade. regardless of what any catholic socialism service says.

kr said...