Hi all,

I know it’s been a while, but I’m going to try to post more often.  I think that this next is going to be an interesting topic.  It is the topic of being green.  The thing is that we are always being bombarded with being green, that we have to reduce our carbon emissions, that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is bad, etc.  But I was watching a program today about “Being Green” called “Penn and Teller: Bullshit” Season 6 episode 6, which only talks about the subject.  The show, in general, takes many controversial topics and presents both sides of the story and shows that the topic or a certain aspect of it is, well, bullshit.  In this episode, they present some interesting information I would like to summarize and share.  This post I will present the “pro” green movement side, Penn and teller’s side, a few good questions with some interesting “food for thought facts” that were raised on the subject, and my thoughts.

Green Movement side of the subject is that being green means that we gotta reduce our carbon emissions to save the world from warming up too much.  In other words, we’re destroying the Earth and everything is being affected like the icecaps are melting, polar bears are loosing ice and land, trees are destroyed and the like.  On the forefront of the subject, for example is Al Gore, who is preaching about being environmentally friendly.  Is he truly doing good work or is he exaggerating the truth about global warming (something to think about while I get to that section later)?  According to David Gershon, (writing a book called the “Low Carbon Diet”), explains how we can be more environmentally friendly by emitting less CO2 (aka leaving a lower carbon fingerprint).  He claims that we release approximately 55,000 lbs of CO2/household.  He says that if we take 5 minute showers it will save 500 lbs of CO2 and that leaving the thermostat at 65-68 degrees will save 1400 lbs of CO2 per year and wearing cloths more than once between washes will reduce it as well.  (You gotta wonder where they got these numbers).  And obviously, an argument for this is that we are using too much fossil fuel which releases carbon dioxide.

On the other hand here is what Penn and Teller have to say on their side.  To summarize John Coleman (from Good Morning America and the creator of the Weather Channel), he says that the solar output from the sun and the temperature are in concert with each other which is a natural phenomena.  The use of fossil fuels are on the rise and doesn’t impact the temperature.  Also,  John Charles, President of the Cascade Policy Institute, claims that CO2 is essential element for the atmosphere for keeping heat in the Earth.  Yes it warms the planet, but keeps it warm enough for life, otherwise, without it, it would be too cold for life.  He also says that 97% of Carbon Dioxide IS EMITTED BY THE EARTH with major contributes comes from decaying plants, volcanoes, and forest fires.  ~3% comes from humans, all 7 billion of us.

Now here are some interesting questions that arouse from the episode:

1.  What are Carbon Credits?  A carbon credit is something you buy  to off set your carbon emissions to invest in renewable energy like wind or solar energy, forestation, reforestation, and biomass.  Here’s the concern for this.  Sid Embry owns her own carbon credit website.  She and others, like Al Gore, own such sites for those who don’t want to change their lifestyles, but want to stop feeling guilty about impacting the environment (yes a guilt fine).  According to the show, she buys carbon credits from her own website (atmosclear.org if I’m not mistaken) and makes money at the same time at the same time of saving the world.  According to such sites, claim they can calculate and figure out the amount of global warming that a person produces.  But she is not a scientist and makes decisions for her own websites.  The formulas used on such sites have no scientific standards and there are no strict oversight let alone enforced and every site makes its own formulas.

2.  How well is Al Gore at keeping green?  According to the episode, public records show that Al Gore uses 20x the amount of electricity than the average American.  Al Gore uses over 191 Kilowatts of electricity while the average American uses under 11 Kilowatts.  Without even denying it, he says he’s converting his home to use solar panels and florescent light bulbs.  And the real kicker is the he owns the website that he buys his carbon credits from.  And when called out on it the place that published the information, received death threats.  It’s as if that calling out Al Gore was like attacking the prophet of a religion.

3.  Can our being green affect other people?  Al Gore wants to  pass regulation in carbon taxes that will raise the prices of fuel.  If you raise the prices in fuel, poor people in poor countries are going to suffer because they have to pay more.  The payment may, and most likely will, affect such people for simple necessities like plowing land or pumping water or going to schools or doctors and would likely killing people.

Some interesting thoughts on the matter:

1.  With all this in mind, people seem to suffer from eco guilt/ anxiety that somehow us affecting Earth Causes us to be anxious.  Symptoms would include head and stomach aches, nervousness from an unknown source, inattentiveness and lack of focus/ concentration, pretty much any nervous/ anxiety symptom.  Therapists of this field seem to pop up even though that it is not recognized as a legit disorder or condition.  It seems to cement the idea into peoples heads that they are guilty of something when there’s nothing to feel anxious or guilty about as if it needs to be cashed in on.

2.  A Bullshit experiment:  This experiment tests the theory that people would be willing to fork over their hard-earned money to ease their guilt about their impact on the Earth.   What do you think the results are? Take a moment to think about it…..

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Results are that people would pay the “guilt fine”.  People were guilted into being “carbon neutral”.

My thoughts are that this being green thing is BS. Ok here are some good questions posed by P&T:

1. What real evidence do we have about global warming?

2.  Is it caused by humans or natural reasons?

3. If we are causing it, can fix it?

4. Do we know how to fix it?

That cutting back on your quality of life is not the answer or paying a guilty fine isn’t either as they think.  I think alone those lines as well.  Until proof actually exists that there is no way that the weather will cool overall and that it is solely caused by humans, then I with hold that my believe that global warming exists.  Besides we have no idea that we are the cause or to fix it so does it matter who is responsible.  It seems that this is over hype in the “environmental hysteria” in America and the world.  Only time can tell and certainly life your life the way you think it should be.  If you want to help out with carbon credits, go right ahead.  But I will live a quality of life I am comfortable with and will adjust, and only adjust, when 1. global warming is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, 2. That humans are to blame, and 3.  The scientific community makes proper recommendations to help better our planet.

What other thoughts are out there about the “Being Green” movement?

Steve

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