Thursday, October 19, 2006

Environmentalists, destroying the world, etc...

Here at Miami University, an initiative has begun to try to convince the students to lower the amount of energy they use each day. Sounds good, you say, but what's really going on? The instigators of this operation have a website in which they post which residence hall has the largest decrease of energy use over this same time period as last year. Also, the web site gives helpful hints on how to live "more sustainably."

1. Eat lower on the food chain and consume less meat.

“If Americans reduced their meat intake by just 10%, the savings in grain and soybeans could adequately feed 60 million people- the number of people who starve to death, worldwide, each year”

A full grown steer will have used 284 gallons of oil 2; a single serving of chicken uses 408 gallons of water. A meat based diet uses substantially more energy to produce than a vegetarian based diet; the carbon dioxide differences is like driving a SUV each year instead of a small compact car.

All well and good, except of course for the fact that most of the grain and soybeans grown in the US is not consumable by humans and is used only for animal production. Oh, and just because people stop eating meat doesn't mean that farmers are going to (or can) suddenly change what they grow. If the intent is to limit oil usage and carbon dioxide emissions why doesn't everyone grow their own food by hand in their backyard? Or is that a step backward?

6.Turn off the lights when you leave a room.

It’s the easiest thing you can do. Electricity isn’t ‘clean’, it is made by burning dirty coal. The Average American uses 20 lbs of coal a day!

Dirty Coal? What is dirty coal? Coal burns cleaner than any other energy-producing fuel we have - and by the way it accounts for the vast majority of energy production in the US.

7. Consume Consciously.

Buying products made of post consumer recycled materials uses 70-90% less energy 10. Buying local uses less fuel and supports community members. Local uses 1/5 less energy. Try visiting the Oxford Farmer’s markets, held at Talawanda High school and Uptown park on Saturday mornings.

Bye-bye world economy! No more watches, cars, computers - heck - no more anything that's not produced in the US - no wait, locally! I have a strange feeling that shopping locally is not only impractical - it's impossible.

What else is on this site? Why, the gratuitous link to An Inconvenient Truth, which, by the way, has had quite an inconvenient year. What with only one of the proposed six hurricanes hitting the US, I'm afraid that the whole hurricane - "global warming" connection is a bit harder to make. Unless global warming causes less hurricanes - or colder temperatures - or even el Nino!

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