Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gone green

I’ve gone green. No, I haven’t changed one thing about the way my family lives, but I thought of a bunch of ways we could feel good about ourselves while doing absolutely nothing for the environment.

So, in a NBC moment, I’ve turned the type color of this page green. Affect of this move on the environment? Zero. Affect on my self image for raising environmental awareness? Priceless.

I feel so good about myself I think I’ll jump in my gas guzzling SUV for another purposeless carbon emitting drive about town. But don’t worry about the environmental impact of such a drive. I’ve attached a very thoughtful and environmentally correct bumper sticker to the SUV stating that it is a green SUV and actually serves as a carbon off-set for AlGore’s private jet travel.

OK back to reality. That bit of green text accomplished every bit as much as NBC’s “green week” did for the environment. Here is the naked truth:

We cannot conserve our way to energy independence or eviro friendly carbon neutrality. If everyone of us somehow managed to put a row of solar panels* on our roof tomorrow and bought a Prius today, we’d not be able to off-set the carbon out put of the world’s a growing population and economies.

* Those solar panels in all probability would be made by GE the parent company of …drum roll….NBC. No conflict of interest in a “green week” anywhere in there.

To off-set the carbon footprint of the world's growing population and economy - where China is building a coal fired power plant every three days - we need to be whole lot more creative. Growing populations and economies in China and India are just beginning to compete for the same carbon energy that we’ve had the corner on for decades. As they grow the cost and consumption of those limited resources is going to go up.

The short term answer is more nuclear power and more exploration for oil and gas. This will keep the cost of the resources down as economic growth and our well-being continues. But even if we waved the plethora of enviro regulations today, it’d be 15 years before we could reap the benefits of our own resources. But we ought to get started.

The long term solution is more capitalism. Capitalism solves the problems of the unintended consequences brough on by the know-nothing who sponsor government programs. Newt Gingrich suggested a prize of one billion dollars for the development of the first mass produced hydrogen car. That’s a start.

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