World Environment Daze

Today is World Environment Day. I expect there will be lots of ‘green activists’ reminding us that – were it not for their hooves – unicorns would be shaking a fist at us.

So I was very pleased that Wired magazine 15th Anniversary Issue – out this week – finally talked sense about the environment. And by ‘sense’ I mean not repeating the fluffy bunny, ‘spiritual’ hippy bullshit that the boomer generation tie-died into their heads Woodstock.

The environmental movement has never been short on noble goals. Preserving wild spaces, cleaning up the oceans, protecting watersheds, neutralizing acid rain, saving endangered species—all laudable. But today, one ecological problem outweighs all others: global warming. Restoring the Everglades, protecting the Headwaters redwoods, or saving the Illinois mud turtle won’t matter if climate change plunges the planet into chaos. It’s high time for greens to unite around the urgent need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Just one problem. Winning the war on global warming requires slaughtering some of environmentalism’s sacred cows.

Yes, it’s time for the facts and figures to be taken seriously. More doctors, less doctrine, is needed, and Wired fires the opening shot in the war of ideas that we need to save the planet. This is what they have to say. This is the real ‘inconvenient truth’:

  • Screw Organics – Conventionally raised beef steers emit less polluting methane gas than steers raised organically. (more here…)
  • Go Nuclear – Per kilowatt-hour, a nuclear power plant emits 6 percent as much carbon as a plant fired by natural gas. (more here…)
  • Live Urban – Cities are more energy-efficient than suburbs, exurbs, or rural communities.
  • Crank the aircon – Cooling a home in Arizona produces 93 percent fewer CO2 emissions than warming a house in New England.
  • Farm the Forests – Old trees are very bad for the planet.
  • China is the Solution – Not the problem.
  • Accept GM – Food production need to be optimised.
  • Carbon Trading Doesn’t Work – It’s the environmental version of sub-prime lending
  • Don’t switch to a Hybrid Car – stick with your old one or buy 2nd hand.

Yes folks, sensible people have to campaign for the exact opposite of what Green campaigners have been telling us to do.

Wired have provided the article as a PDF for download here. And, if you’re tempted to think that this is not an honest intervention into the debate, consider that they gave Alex Steffen, the editor of the green futurism site Worldchanging.com a right of reply in the same issue. On his website, Steffen accuses Wired of “silver bullet thinking”, but to anyone who has read the Wired piece, there’s nothing ‘quick fix’ about it. What it requires is hard work, but intelligent hard work, in the right direction, with clear objectives.