Global Warming Pointlessness
Global warming is a much publicized issue. Al Gore recently held a worldwide series of concerts to draw attention to the “crisis”. Hollywood is making it an issue—stars now ostentatiously drive hybrids to award ceremonies. Congress recently passed a law proclaiming incandescent light bulbs illegal by 2012. Others propose a planet wide carbon tax.
A big part of the environmentalist message is the fact that you, the average person, can make a Difference. You can help by choosing paper bags over plastic (or maybe it’s plastic over paper; I can never remember), turning off lights when not in use, carpooling, or buying carbon credits.
Global warming hasn’t caught on as a hot-button political issue, however. Why? Given the attention is has been given by so many elites, it would be expected that global warming would be a significant issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. On the contrary, it is so insignificant that Rasmussen Reports does not even include it in its list of significant issues. Rasmussen surveys voters about level of concern on the issues of the economy, national security and the War on Terror, the war in Iraq, immigration, government ethics and corruption, Taxes, health care, social security, education, and abortion. The state of the climate doesn’t make the list.
Why don’t voters take voters take global warming seriously? Because the people who push the idea of climate change don’t take it seriously either. Instead, they treat it like they treat homelessness or poverty in Africa—an Important Issue, one that the government should Do Something About, but not anything that’s urgent or anything. To them, it is just another feel-good issue.
Take, for example, Al Gore’s palatial domicile. It is mammoth—it uses more carbon dioxide in a month than most homes do in a year. Granted, Gore works from his home, and has extensive security measures, which raise carbon dioxide production, but that is still ridiculous. How many people will be willing to make environment al sacrifices if they perceive that Al Gore would not to do the same?
And Gore’s excuse for his wastefulness—that he buys “carbon credits,” which somehow offset his consumption—is pathetic. Apart from the fact that buying “carbon credits” is analogous to buying “calorie credits,” Gore rarely mentions that his carbon credits go to a company called Generation Investment Management. Who founded the company? Al Gore. And the chairman of the board? Al Gore. The company invests in “green friendly technologies.” So when Gore buys “carbon credits”, he simply buys stocks from his own company.
If you want to buy yourself some carbon credits, think again. The firm is only willing to manage the assets of “select high net worth individuals”. Unless you have a few million to sink into green friendly investments, you will have to do your part for the planet by recycling and using cold water.
Al Gore is running a massive con. (Either that, or he is an incredibly poor environmentalist. Take your pick). Are other global warming advocates more serious? No. For example, a focus of the global warming movement is hybrid cars, which run on electricity as well as gasoline. Buying a hybrid is an article of faith for many environmentalists—after all, if it doesn’t burn gasoline, it can’t produce carbon dioxide, can it?
Duh. Of course it can. A Prius (or any other kind of hybrid) has to get its power from somewhere. The battery that drives a Prius requires a great deal of work, and that work requires in turn a great deal of carbon dioxide emissions. The process of producing a nickel battery for a hybrid uses large amounts of carbon dioxide, and the battery must travel all over the world to be completed, trailing carbon dioxide all the way. As George Will says, it is more environmentally responsible to buy a Hummer and squash a Prius with it.
A final example of the pointlessness of the global warming crusade is the odd insistence that the United States sign the Kyoto Protocols. Almost every other nation on earth has signed the Protocols. And almost every other nation on earth has then ignored the Protocols. And even if they didn’t, it would take twenty-five Kyoto Protocols to make a difference. The Kyoto Protocols are completely pointless.
If environmentalists treated their cause the same way that pro-lifers, for example, treat theirs, they would probably gain a great many converts. But since they cannot take even the slightest amount of inconvenience for their cause, they are not taken seriously by most people.