Why the Focus on Carbon Dioxide Is Idiocy

Posted: November 10, 2009 in Economy, Energy
Tags: , , , ,

The focus on CO2 emissions as a reason for immediate action is total and utter crap. This simple minded approach to energy concerns is like complaining about the color of water flooding into your basement because you left the sump pump unplugged. The whole issue is chicken little thinking, where pundits believe that marketing a crisis will somehow cause meaningful change. There is a crisis all right, our inane and stupid addiction to throwing energy away at every possible level. Focusing on CO2 as the evil emission that we must control is a smoke screen that detracts from the real issue – our lack of engagement in energy conservation across all levels.

Here is what we are going to get from our focus on CO2 emissions as the core issue:

– A renewed interest in nuclear power generation – with all the toxic waste issues that brings to the table
– Conversion of food into ethanol fuel – including depletion of fresh water resources already strained from our lack of restraint elsewhere, while increasing food prices for the poor
– Cap and trade policies that screw the consumer while allowing the richest corporations a free ride
– A proliferation of idiotic battery powered vehicles that produce and use toxic materials, as well as increase weight that creates lower safety, more tire and brake wear, etc..
– A proliferation of wind and solar power systems that demand natural resource consumption that is far worse than older sources
– The increased use of diesel power in transportation for its fuel efficiency, while ignoring its unresolved solid particulate issues
– Conversion laws that feed the corporations and investors in conversion technology, while killing small business interests
– Really stupid big science projects to dig holes in the ground to store CO2, nuclear waste, and other toxins we will generate to avoid CO2
– Increases in the costs of autos, as the EPA adds CO2 to its hit list, which is ridiculous, since most all other regulated pollutants are converted to CO2 as a matter of past regulation
– Poor countries simultaneously deforesting to create charcoal for local energy use, then using that land to depletion to grow sugar cane to make ethanol
– Richer corporations in control while we all get poorer

These are just a few of the more rediculous effects of the focus on CO2 as the source of evil. They are also all very expensive, and will have a dramatic inflationary impact on economies stressed under the load of consumer irresponsibility today. Further, all of these will make the rich richer than ever, and the poor poorer.

So, what will we get from all of this? Nothing, nadda. The real incovenient truth is that, if the science is indeed true, that human production of CO2 is indeed causing global warming – the amount of reduction, in the face of population growth and development of nations elsewhere in the world, mean that we will have a net zero effect on actual human contribution of CO2. In fact, CO2 generation from human activity will continue to increase, even if we put in place all of the  idiotic programs to capture, sequester, convert, and control CO2, right this minute. Yet. we all know that all of these conversions will take years to put in place. Forget Al Gore, he is a simple minded marketer and shill to the energy companies, who realize that change is an opportunity to make money. why let the Arabs get so phenominally wealthy, when we can freask everyone out over CO2, and make all that money here in the USA. Gore wants us all to focus on this CO2 ball, while he, and his elites, consume energy and blame the rest of us for the fate of the planet.

The solution to all of our real problems is to REDUCE CONSUMPTION DRAMATICALLY. There is no other solution. In fact, we all waste energy, and we waste a lot of it. It’s incidious. Every pound of garbage we toss in the bin must be hauled, and put in growing landfills, which take a lot of energy to build and fill. Every degree on our thermostat, every minute a TV operates with no one in the room, every time we mash the gas on our 400HP mini-van SUV battle star. We are a horribly wasteful population, and our lifestyle of waste has shaped our communities around even greater waste. We commute to work at distances designed to consume energy. We have homes that are big to impress neighbors, that sit heated and air conditioned while we work in other air conditioned and heated spaces that are larger than necessary. We like our incandescent lamps, we love our big horsepower cars, we love our big idiotic homes, we love our big yards and the rider mower it takes to keep them trimmed, and we love that snow blower and its 9HP of snow pushing capability. We eat out so much we have become bloated and fat, while driving to and from the resturaunts in idiotic cars large and inefficient.

We have power plants that generate hot water to make steam to turn turbines to make electricity, that is transmitted to plants and homes that take that electricity to heat water, while the power plant increases the temperature of waterways from dumping waste heat into estuaries they are built next to. We have generating facilities to feed our peak demand, that also burn energy away in large reisters off-peak in order to avoid throttling obsolete generating systems. Our electrical grid system absorbs and wastes energy from long transmission distances, bad line system design, poor infrastructure, and voltage conversions. We burn fuel to move coal, to burn to make heated water, to make turbines turn to make generators spin, to generate electricity, that we waste and waste and waste.

If we add all of the waste built into our lifestyle, infrastructure, technnologies, and addiction to all things electrical and fuel powered, the actual real work we attain is less than 10% of the actual energy potential extracted from the earth in all forms. This is the real issue, not CO2 at all. Reduce energy consumption and here’s what you get:

– Less need for ANY form of new generating or fuel source capacities
– Less impact in CO2, less environmental damage caused by energy creation and consumption
– Lighter cars that are safer in crashes as well as in end-of-life recovery
– Less wasteful homes that are cheaper to maintain
– A sustainable society with a future

We know we can do the following right this minute, with very little real pain:

– Save between 70% and 90% in energy used for lighting by reducing light levels, adding simple controls, and converting obsolete luminaires to high efficiency fluorescent and LEDs
– Save easily 50% of the energy used for auto transportation by moving into cars that are right sized for the use. Small 2 seat cars for daily commuting, with little motors that get 40MPG, rather than 18MPG SUVs
– Save 30% to 50% of the energy used for heating and air conditioning by simply installing programmable t-stats and turning the temps down in winter and up in summer, and sealing off unused rooms
– Save 70% of energy from waste management by throttling idiotic buying of crap we do not need, skipping the bags, and recycling
– Save 70% of transportation costs from purchase of products made here in the USA, not distant countries on the other side of the globe
– Save 30% to 50% of the fuel we use every week by planning trips, not driving when it is not necessary, and more careful driving behavior

These are just a few ideas that work. Now, put our backs into it, and we can all, as individuals, reduce energy demand by no less than 60%, without suffering in anu meaningful way. This more than doubles energy capacity in this country, with no new power plants, not one new nuke, not a single new coal fire facility, not one additional oil well.

Why can we not see this as the real issue? Why do we need to suffer this rediculous parade of pundits and politicians touting CO2 as our enemy? Simple, we are all dupes to the corporate marketers, who want their cake and eat it too. In fact they want all of the cake, and they want to get fat eating it. They want us to believe that we need more energy, not use less. The only time they want us to use less is during peak demand, which makes them build capacity. They’d prefer we use more off-peak, where they can make money. Politicians want to keep the energy lobbiests happy, so we get to pay. We will pay for CO2 abatement, sequestration, cap and trade… all because we refuse to do the one thing we all have real control over, consumption.

Take back our country from the politicians, and the Al Gore psuedo environmentalist dupes of the energy corporations, take back our future, by taking control of our individual energy use. Look around, cut waste, seal up the house, and learn how to enjoy life with a concious effort to cut consumption. If we all cut our energy use, and trim our waste, the CO2 issue simply resolves itself. For those of political inspiration: Fight any proposal to build another single power plant, support aggressive energy codes, educate your neighbors.

CO2 is a by-product of our bad behavior. Learn to conserve and CO2 emissions will be resolved, while we benefit from numeorus other benefits, like a cleaner planet, with water for low cost food, and less money handed to energy companies each month as a bonus!

Comments
  1. mike.e says:

    hi i found this through a google search

    I too find it fascinating that all we are told to do is focus on is plasma tvs. Whatabout our transport system, and food!

    Then theres the green consumerism…

    I am quite horrified that in a small city of ~50,000 where I live we still get small traffic jams in rush hour – pollution spewing into my face as I walk to and from work.There are only one or two people per car. The bus service is almost non existent because there is no demand, during the school holidays you notice the lack of traffic at this time – all the kids are being driven or driving themselves to school!

    People are being drones and will do whatever the experts tell them. Why? thats what school teaches us!
    Its enough to make anyone depressed!
    Mike
    NZ

  2. Kerry E. says:

    The entire global warming/CO2 discussion is incredibly frustrating due to the agenda-driven slant that colors reporting on the issue. A couple things to consider:

    While in junior high school, too many decades ago for my comfort, one of my “classes” was Projection Crew. That’s right, a few of us got one period a day to go out and show films to other classes. I recall one science film in particular that talked about the earth’s operation within the solar system. It analyzed why the earth was elliptical instead of round, the impact of the sun and moon on the tides at varying times of the month and year, and there was a detailed animation of the path circumscribed by the earth’s axis as it orbited around the sun throughout the year. The path it followed looked like a gear and the narrator stated that due to this “wobble”it was impossible to predict weather patterns as that variable combined with the fluid dynamics of the oceans created a truly random cycle of weather when analyzed on a detailed level.

    That said I find discussions that entail temperature changes on the order of 1-3 degrees being absolutely responsble for the predicted macro trends associated with “disastrous global warming” to be myopically naive and self-serving. No one knows or can predict. The data just isn’t there.

    To assume that global warming is a by product of increased CO2 levels is as absurd as assuming you spend too much money because you have a hole in your pocket. Funny thing was that about the time I was in junior high school, all the climate sciences out there were predcting a coming ice age based on the same data being used today to go the other way.

    I guess you can only write so many books advocating a position before you reach saturation and have to go the opposite way….

  3. kwillmorth says:

    Let me be perfectly clear. I refuse to argue the climate change debate. I will not put my entire belief in our need to become more responsible in our use of resources on a crisis mentality of any form.

    I argue that all impacts of human activity on this planet, whatever they might be, are tied directly to our consumption. If we first respect the environment, consume the least we must, and pursue responsible stewardship, there will be no crisis to face. If we are conservative and responsible, the only impact we will have is that which is unavoidable by our very existence, and no more.

    Anything short of a focus on this core issue – irresponsible consumption (our piggish behavior) – is nothing but a commercial selling out of our future, using irresponsible idiocy as a dodge. In the vast majority of cases used to support the faddish nature of panic through science marketing, there is the support of corporate interests, who generate profit through scaring the public into a chosen direction – just as sheep dogs do to direct the movement of sheep.

    Climate change is a side bar issue in the real world. The core issue is we waste more energy than we actually use, we throw away more resources than we actually utilize in our lifetime, and we consume as though this planet has an infinite supply to support our ignorant actions forever. Until we are prepared to address this behavior, there is no solution to creating a sustainable future for humankind, only a certain future of shortages, inflation, and war to protect dwindling supplies. In this, whether or not the planet’s temperature is warmer or colder is a moot point.

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