Talking to myself about foreign policy, US politics, technology, &c.

Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Rin Tin Tin v. Al Gore

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

That corpulent embodiment of corruption Denny Hastert was lecturing Al Gore about Econ 101 in the ex-Veep’s first trip to Capitol Hill since he certified Bush’s election.

Rin Tin TinAl Gore(Incidentally, that particular element is what gives the whole 2000 debacle the ultimate element of pathos to me. It would make a great climax for a play.)

After bloviating for a while, Hastert said “Now that you’re a movie star…”

Gore shot back “Rin Tin Tin was a movie star. I’m just a guy with a slide show.”

I liked that.

Anyway, check out Grist’s summary of Gore’s recommendation for climate change legislation. They’re very bold, even radical. They don’t have a snowball’s shot in 22nd century Florida of enactment. They’re awesome.

This will shift the conversation significantly. Fantastic to see some way-out-there positions entering the political debate; it’ll shift all the other choices significantly to the left.

Spotted thru my beloved Kevin Drum.

The 3% Solution

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Seen “An Inconvenient Truth” yet? No? You should. I’ll wait.

*twiddles thumbs*


OK, good. Enjoy it? Terrified by it? Wondering what the solution is?

Simple. The United States and everyone else in the world needs to reduce CO2 levels by 75% by 2050.

If we can manage that, we’ll “only” reduce average temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius, which means we will encounter significant but not apocalyptic changes in our environment.

Sounds insurmountable, huh? Actually, we can do it. All it requires is an average reduction in emissions of 3% a year. Compounded over the period required, this would create the needed change in emissions required.

What is 3%?

Get a vehicle that’s 30% more efficient. Say, a Prius. That’d do it for transportation. Replace one 60 watt lightbulb/month with a compact florescent. Or switch to emissions-free electricity – many utilities let you do that. That’s a premium of about 10%, generally, on price. C’mon- you can take a 10% ding on your utility bill. That’s lighting. For buildings, turn your thermometer down 10 degrees at night. Or replace your fridge with an energy-star rated model. Or check the drafts and leaks in your house; they’re annoying, anyway. That 20% one-time reduction will take care of your 3%.

If all else fails, you can buy plenary indulgences for your carbon sins.

Is it easy? No. Is it awful? Not particularly. Not as bad as gas going up to, say, $3/gallon – and we all survived that.

But since you and I are the only nice people likely to do this, we’ll need the government to force it on us. The politics set the rule of the game. We need to make the rules such that 3% per year is the way we all play.

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