Saturday, December 12, 2009

What is Really Green?

As I followed one of the ubiquitous Priuses, here in SoCal, which had earlier been tailgating me in the rain, I wondered, "Is he saving the earth, and therefore, humanity, from certain destruction, or worse?" I happen to like the Prius. They are actually very fun cars and you can haul some substantial lumber in them. That is a first hand observation.

Unfortunately, choice of automobile has become interpreted as a political statement. Even my car, a Subaru, is tied in with enviro-politics and a certain image. Too bad. Then again, people I often agree with perpetuate such myths. I've heard talk show hosts, with whom I agree 57.5% of the time, disparage Prius drivers, and the car itself. They have obviously not ridden in one or they'd know their characterization of it as a car with no room was false. You have tons of room. But what makes it green?

It gets good milage and makes use of braking and all that to charge batteries. That is good. What goes into making and disposing of the batteries? I'm not sure I know the answer. I've heard that what is required to produce and dispose of the batteries, coupled with the manufacture process of the vehicle, fuel used, etc., puts its carbon footprint up there with a Hummer driven average miles for however many years. Bottom line, according to those reports, is that it nets out about the same as any other car, if you consider all things involved.

That takes nothing away from a car that requires fewer visits to the pump. But saving the earth? Probably not saving the earth any more than farm animals or 4Runners. Maybe they save the earth more than Al Gore. I'm still unclear what the earth is being saved from. I'd hope it is being saved from slavery, but I see the opposite happening in the name of saving it from the mind and creativity of man/and/or woman kind.

For awhile, methanol was considered green. Then I think they assessed the production process and such and found it mostly skewed the food production process. Maybe THEY didn't come to that conclusion and I only heard it on the street. I actually like the idea of vehicles that will run on garbage, corn, manure, and anything else you might find by the side of the road. Thinking these things don't take resources to produce is a bit off the mark, but why let facts get in the way of a cause that seems peopled by lots of hot young chicks?

It is good to have a group handy for venting your anger, and acceptance from a peer group as a result. Even though I think the real ring leaders are setting up a very heavy handed control plan which will enrich a few and lower the standard of living and scope of opportunities for the rest of us, maybe it is easier to swallow my real views and join the crowd. I may even score a grant, or a government job. To hell with those who have to pay for it.

Can people who lavishly landscape their yards get tax credits for planting trees and shrubs? Can they sell offsets to the guilty? That would be a good sales tool for landscapers nationwide.

I heard some discussion on the radio about toilet paper. It seems the green craze is now up your butt. They were bemoaning the amount of "virgin forest" cut down to provide high quality rolls of the useful commodity. My first thought was skepticism regarding the "virgin forest" phrase.

I think toilet paper comes from slut forests like most paper. Paper companies have, for many years, been replanting and selectively harvesting trees, like a crop. They have a staggered process so that there are plenty of young virgin trees on the property at any given time, just frolicking in their innocence. Not a care in the world. They have trees at every stage of growth. Only the worldly sluts get harvested, not the virgin forests.

Since the lumber and paper people often plant more trees than anyone else, should they get to sell offsets? Would they be competing with Al for carbon guilt dollars? I wonder.

Now that the consensus is in, we can control the climate, why not see if we can give the ski areas lots of prime powder snow, and cool off Miami in the summer, and generally provide the sort of environment that doesn't kick farmers and coastal dwellers around like it has throughout history? We really should do something about the twisters in tornado alley, too.

We thought it was hilarious, a number of years ago, when a lady from NYC called a talk show and suggested that Congress pass a law to make Spring start earlier. She thought daylight savings time was actually increasing the hours of daylight, so to her it was within their purview to regulate the seasons. In light of current mass hypnosis, that is no longer so funny.

It is a fact of human life that things can be done better, and in ways not previously imagined. It is extremely rare that these advances are conceived by bureaucratic fiat, or so-called scientific consensus. Whereas consensus may carry some weight, it is mostly employed in the more hypothetical arts, such as paleontology and archaeology. Hard science like chemistry and physics rely more on things which can be demonstrated to hold true within certain parameters. Even there, you cannot extrapolate but so far without risking error.

Newtonian physics breaks down on the atomic/subatomic level, and things work differently approaching the speed of light, etc. Even with slower speeds and and the kind of mass where Newton nails it, the results are often counter to what is intuitive. Rotational dynamics is a perfect example. That is why a spin balance of a wheel yields a different result than a static balance.

The point is, a thing can sound totally convincing coming from a good presenter with swell graphics, but the truth may be miles away from the content of lecture. When anyone, scientist or not tries to promote broad legislation in the form of tax penalties for a behavior in the name of something they cannot prove, watch out. Once the money and power come into play, people will do anything to promote their cause, even if they have to fudge the truth, or silence skeptics and prevent open debate. That does nothing to promote truly better ways of doing things.

About Me

My photo
Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


Blog Archive