Have you done your part today to reduce your carbon footprint? No? That’s OK – I always find great recommendations on how to offset carbon emissions on the inter-webs. Like this from President Obama:
Just jump in your Ford Expedition and head on down to Home Depot and get a new energy efficient refrigerator and you’ll help cut carbon by 350 million metric tons! It’s initiatives like this that help the us lead the way in cutting carbon emissions. So how are we doing?
We’re told constantly that making small changes in our lives can make a big difference. We all want to be part of the cure don’t we? Suggestions for little tweaks in your life can be found everywhere. For example, The U.S. Energy Star program says that if every home in America replaced one normal light bulb with a fluorescent we can help cut carbon emissions. Sure you might think the light is cold and ugly, but it would be the equivalent of taking 800,000 cars off the road!
That’s a huge difference.
Let’s just say you live within five miles of your work – is it too much to ask to bike to work once a week instead of driving your SUV?
That’s a minor inconvenience and you get some exercise. Sure you might be sweaty when you get to work or you might be disabled and can’t ride a bike – but hey suck it up, because you could take the equivalent of one million cars off the road!
What if everyone just changed the dial on their washing machine and washed their clothes in cold water? Maybe your clothes won’t get as clean, but you’re taking the equivalent of 3 million cars off the road!
And while you’re at it, why don’t you pick up one of those new programmable thermostats? That way you’re not wasting energy on heating and cooling your house when you’re not there. And sure it will cost a lot up front and if you don’t program them right you’re not going to save anything – but if everyone does it right we can pull the equivalent of 12 million cars off the road each year!
What about that damn microwave? You know that awful machine that lets you cook food in minutes when it used to take hours? Think about a Hot Pocket. 2 minutes in the microwave or 30 minutes in the oven. But I digress. Yes, the microwave is magical, but isn’t it time to further improve the efficiency of the microwave? If we would just adopt the president’s microwave efficiency standards we could pull the equivalent of 12 million cars off the road!
Or how about a really simple change, instead of plugging all your stuff into a wall, plug it into a powerstrip. If everyone in the U.S. just plugged everything into power strips and perfectly managed turning them off and on (sure it might be annoying that everytime you turned your light off you have to turn off the power strip too), but if everyone in America just did that, we would pull the equivalent of 15 million cars off the road!
All together we just saved this country the equivalent of 43 million carbon dioxide spewing cars. Sounds incredibly impressive. That’s got to be 15% of all the cars in America and we just pulled them off in a few simple steps. And that’s how global warming activists want you to think.
Actually they don’t want you to think at all, they just want you to take those numbers at face value. Like I just did. Before we go any further you need to know I’m not questioning any of their measurements. I’m not questioning any aspect of global warming science. They’re feeding me the numbers and I’m eating them. But you need to know how they’re manipulating them.
Global warming activists calculate emissions by equating them to “number of cars on the road” to trick you into thinking you’re really making a difference by biking to work. But what if instead of trying to generate really big numbers of cars off the road you looked at global emissions of CO2 as a calendar. If you were able to cut carbon emissions in half you could cross off 6 months!
With all these great programs we talked about and all the millions of cars off the road, what kind of savings are we talking about?
Well if everyone in the entire country – using that realistic standard of full compliance – turned off their power strips every single time we would save about 12 hours of global emissions.
If new microwave efficiency standards were passed and fully adopted by everyone in America, that would save another 10 hours.
If everyone in America put in programmable thermostats and programmed them perfectly that would be another 10 hours.
If everyone in America washed their laundry in a cold temperature instead of warm, which would save us another 2 and half hours.
If everyone in America that lived within 5 miles of their job, just biked to work once a week that would save us 1 more full hour of global emissions.
And if every single home in America replaced a light bulb with a green bulb it would save another 45 minutes.
Remember this every single time you hear someone express the savings of a new program in “cars taken off the road.”
The truth is, if all of us changed light bulbs, biked to work, washed our laundry differently, changed our thermostats, changed our microwaves, and plugged everything we own into power strips we would save a day and a half of global emissions. But you might be saying wait a minute you didn’t even address what the president wanted, what about his new refrigerator standards?!
For the life of me I couldn’t figure out where he was getting these ridiculous numbers. He says we’ll save 350 million metric tons from his refrigerator standards, to put that into perspective all of the other programs we talked about would save less than 44 million metric tons combined. So how in the hell is the President saving 350 million metric tons? More than 8x all of those other programs combined? He’s lying!! You don’t see this part on Twitter, you don’t see this part on Pinterest, but if you click around long enough you’ll find this little gem…
So instead of using a standard one-year time period, they expand it to the entire lifespan of the refrigerator. But refrigerators don’t last 30 years. In reality they last for a maximum of 13 and most people keep them for far shorter than that. If you take this grandiose Obama promise and run the numbers you’ll find that these fabulous new refrigerator standards will save you a grand total of… 3 more hours of global emissions.
You might be an optimist and say that’s not a lot of emissions, but every little bit counts. The problem is “every little bit” does not count because of emissions growth China and India . For every car you just supposedly pulled off the road from all of these programs, china and India put 6 more back on the road. It doesn’t matter what your opinion on global warming is.
The indisputable truth is that the things politicians tell you to do to heal the environment are designed only to make you feel good and to give them more power. They do nothing to actually solve to the problem. Even if Al Gore’s science is 100% right.
So to review, if someone is bragging about how many cars they’re taking off the road, they’re hiding something.