Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Only Approved End Point

Al Smith fires up his coal-powered mindreading machine, and immediately recognizes Earth Hour as a plot that's bringing us several steps closer to our troglodyte future:

No single event has more perfectly revealed the true intent of the radical environmentalist movement than the tragicomic Earth Hour farce staged around the world on March 29. From Australia to the Peoples Republic of San Francisco, "green" zealots convinced gullible individuals, local politicians and frightened business owners to turn off their lights, their appliances and their electrical machinery to "save" energy and retard global warming.
Australia and the PRSF both have some experience with drought, and have accordingly attempted to "save" water by "using" "less" of it. The principle doesn't seem that different to me: there's a resource that you're low on, so you attempt to use less of it. If Smith were threatened by a water shortage, he'd presumably turn his taps on full blast, in order to show the hippies what's what.

When you're attempting to get people outraged about the tyrannical, world-threatening insanity of a voluntary public awareness campaign, it helps if you can point to a single person who was harmed by it in any way. Smith can't, of course, so he proceeds instead to the slippery slope argument: Dim a city's lights for an hour this month, and next month you'll be in the Gulag, reading On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People by the light of the silvery moon.
For the organizers of Earth Hour, the only approved end point is darkened cities, Americans huddled together over the light of flickering candles, vehicles abandoned on deserted streets, silent machines growing dusty in empty factories.
This is inevitable because environmentalists are against all forms of energy generation in principle. See how clear things become when you refuse to succumb to alarmism?

Speaking of which, civilization itself is at stake, the center cannot hold, mene mene tekel upharsin, beware the jubjub bird, someone left a cake out in the rain, and so forth:
One cannot but be reminded of the famous phrase uttered by British diplomat Sir Edward Grey, on the very eve of the outbreak of World War I: "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."
On the very eve of it, do you hear? If that doesn't give you some idea of what's at stake here, I don't know what will.

In other news, the dirty fucking hippies at the Royal Society have laid down their hash pipes long enough to announce that "new coal-fired power stations that fail to capture 90% of their carbon emissions by 2020 should be closed down."


peacay said...

I'm still in 2 minds about E.Hour (saving E there by using abbrev.). On the one hand it's a necessarily simplistic model that can be grasped by the multitudes and around which edumacation can be circulated. On the other it's a fairly futile stunt that doesn't begin to address the complexities of hyperconsumerism, carbon footprint and the real practicalities/consequences of day to day decisions.

I keep repeating a moment of tv I saw some months back - to anyone who will listen - in which the then environment minister (now foreign affairs I think; brilliant, young and good looking and will be future PM for sure) of the UK mentioned that one of the ideas that had come across his desk which he thought had merit for the future in some guise or another was the notion of having carbon credit cards. He only mentioned it as one of the leftfield thoughts among a number in the quest to practically address climate change/CO2. There was little in the way of elucidation but it was something along the lines of personal carbon trading I guess. I'm vague on this because he didn't go much into it but I remember thinking that in not-America where us socialist heathens are better able to effect top-down acceptable solutions, linking carbon emissions to taxation would seem to be an eminently sensible future. You have 1000 glogs of carbon per year to spend. If you go mad and have caviar imported from the North Sea to your Pacific hideaway and charter 25 planes to do a flyover on your birthday then you will not only go 5000 glogs into imbalance, your tax rate will go up by 12.5% for the following year.

The really difficult thing is how we grade carbon consumption and how we label everything in life with their carbon worth (just leaving aside the absolute requirement for the most simplistic system possible). I need to be able to go into a shop and know that the carbon cost of production on every item. Same for any service. At the moment it's at best a very very vague statistical/mathematical nightmare with double counting and a lot of ignorance in the community. I see the dumb shows on tv purporting to demonstrate energy savings whereas they really are not adding the proper mathematical components of the lifestyle transaction. My funnest one is the notion that you take your perfectly good fridge that has a fairly poor energy rating (we at least do have this labelling on white goods here in the land of Oz) and you chuck the bastard out and buy a brand new low energy consuming treehuggingly friendly fridge and this will help both your wallet and the planet. But these idiots never do the mathematics. I want to know what the consumption rate of the old and new fridges are. I want to know what energy/carbon cost in the production of the new fridge. I want to know what carbon costs are associated with refitting (or dumping) the old fridge. My suspicion in most situations - where you have an otherwise reasonable working fridge already - are that there will be a point in the life of the old fridge where it will make carbon sense to get a new fridge but that continuing with the old one for longer than these tv presenter trogs suggest probably makes better energy sense than the high costs of producing the new ones. Everything needs to be calculated along these lines. Everything! It's only when these numbers are crunched and labels for every product and service in the world are made that we will be able to make informed decisions. Pie in the sky to an extent, yes. But at the moment I only see hoodwinking numbers bandied about by self styled authorities (both green AND conservative) that are about manipulating for political or financial gain and not about deploying useful practical systems to enable we the powerful populace to go about this whole shebang in a sensible manner.

I know I'm rambling etc etc but I'm just trying to say that the future must be fierce mathematics otherwise we won't be making any real progress.

Either I'm now finished my rant or the brain damage (a trait I probably share with your man Al Smith) has finally caused my mind to wander away from whatever it was I was yammering about. Ooh...look, a flower! I'm hungy...

Phila said...

On the one hand it's a necessarily simplistic model that can be grasped by the multitudes and around which edumacation can be circulated. On the other it's a fairly futile stunt that doesn't begin to address the complexities of hyperconsumerism, carbon footprint and the real practicalities/consequences of day to day decisions.

Pretty much my take on it too.

On the other hand, what I find most interesting about modest ideas like this one is the demented, apocalyptic response they generate. There's no sense of scale anymore (Obama's a secret Muslim agent who hates America, and he's inexperienced!). Sometimes I imagine that this is a promising development.

As for your excellent point about the real carbon costs of switching to more efficient appliances, tries to address such questions.