Note: This piece is from 2008. I try to post it annually in honor of Earth Day.
A few weeks ago we were making a presentation to a prospective customer and one of his employees, when someone mentioned that a particular feature of our products and services would help in compliance with environmental regulations. “Yeah”, said the employee, “We’ll be real green!”. Almost instantaneously the customer growled “Oh, that just makes me wanna pour a can of gasoline down the kitchen sink”. I nearly exploded with laughter. Maybe I don’t want to pour gasoline down my sink, but I can relate with the disgust that guy was expressing for what’s happening today in the name of “going green”.
I first became a little aware of this nonsense in the ’80s when the Earth First crowd was spiking trees and whatnot in order to create havoc with the logging companies in thePacific Northwest. A few years after that I can remember visiting relatives over a weekend and, while attending church with them, learned that foremost in Christian obedience was abandoning the use of styrofoam cups due to their environmental impact. At the time I wrote these sorts of things off as fringe absurdities.
Everywhere you turn, the whole of the Western world seems to have bought into the notion that the “planet” is in peril, that human beings are the ones responsible for this disaster, and together we can solve it if we simply have the will to change the way we live. “Going green” is no longer just a better way to live, it’s an imperative to the survival of the “planet”. The environmental movement needed a crisis to move its agenda forward, and voila! “Global warming” appeared, now frequently spoken of as “climate change”.
There are a few folks left in the world who have remained more than a little skeptical about all this. There are even a few scientists that are skeptical, although you don’t seem to hear much from them. In December, according to Science Daily, the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology published a study that questioned the models that have been used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) to forecast global warming. “The usual discussion is whether the climate model forecasts of Earth’s climate 100 years or so into the future are realistic,” said the lead author, Dr. David H. Douglass from the University of Rochester. “Here we have something more fundamental: Can the models accurately explain the climate from the recent past? “It seems that the answer is no.”
That doesn’t seem to matter much, however. If there’s a fraud being perpetrated on the world, it may be the biggest lie told since the Serpent beguiled Eve, and we’re quite happy to reward the perpetrators: Take our beloved ex-Vice President Al Gore, who has been showered with an Emmy, an Oscar, and, along with the aforementioned IPCC, a Nobel Prize for his efforts educating the world about the “dangers” of global warming.
So, now here we are in a world of “carbon neutral lifestyles”, where everything from the SUV to the incandescent light bulb is evil. Where “carbon offsets” can be bought and sold to ease the conscience (What a great scam! Sort of an indulgence for the here rather than the hereafter!), and where researchers are working hard to control methane emissions due to animal flatulence (In Scotland, 46% of all methane emissions come from cattle. Och aye, Laddie!).
It’s a world gone mad. And in such a world it does my heart good to know the following:
1) I drive an SUV. An old SUV. A 1996 Ford Explorer with 326182 miles on it.
2) Because of #1, the catalytic converter is shot.
3) Because of #2, not only is my gas mileage bad, but my emissions are worse.
4) Since CO2 is a pollutant, I try to do as much heavy breathing as I possibly can.
After all, I want to be sure to do my part.