Tag Archives: climate change

CEI Podcast for February 23, 2012: Global Warming and Mass Movements


Have a listen here.

In 1841, the Scottish writer Charles Mackay observed, ” the cup of life is not bitter enough to our palate, and we distill superfluous poison to put into it, or conjure up hideous things to frighten ourselves at, which would never exist if we did not make them.” CEI Warren Brookes Fellow Matt Patterson believes this glass-half-empty aspect of human nature applies directly to today’s global warming debate.

Advertisements

Icemakers: Mankind’s Doom

An article at Time explains “How the Ice in Your Drink is Imperiling the Planet,” and what regulators are doing about it:

NIST is thus urging refrigerator manufacturers to look closely at the design of their icemakers, insisting that there are “substantial opportunities for efficiency improvements merely by optimizing the operations of the heaters.”

That appeal to reason, NIST officials hope, will be enough. But just in case it isn’t, the Department of Energy has announced that it intends to add 84 kilowatt hours to the efficiency rating of every refrigerator equipped with an icemaker. Consumers will feel that fact in the wallet—and if manufacturers don’t scramble to improve their numbers, they soon will too.

The 10:10 Project and Zeno’s Paradox

The goal of the 10:10 Project is to cut carbon emissions by 10 percent per year. Sony, which supported the 10:10 Project until a promotional video featuring exploding global warming skeptics offended a lot of people, has its own project called the “Road to Zero.”

While they mean well, supporters of the two initiatives seem to have forgotten Zeno’s paradox. Suppose that people are particularly zealous about their carbon-cutting and cut 50 percent per year, not 10 percent. Not only does that make the math easier, it biases the numbers against the argument I’m making.

Their emissions would go from 1 to 1/2 to 1/4 to 1/18 to 1/16, and so on. Emissions move asymptotically towards zero, which is a fancy way of saying they never actually get there.

As with most campaigns of this sort, 10:10 and Road to Zero may succeed in making people feel good about themselves. And there is some value in that. But the schemes, especially taken together, are too clever by half. Or, more likely, the opposite.

Regulation of the Day 143: Your Bedtime

Japan’s Environment Ministry is encouraging its citizens to go to bed an hour earlier at night, and get up an hour earlier in the morning.

There is much wisdom in the old “early to bed, early to rise” adage. But that’s not what the Environment Ministry has in mind. They see going to bed early as a way to fight global warming.

By saving an hour’s worth of lighting and other electricity use every day, the Morning Challenge campaign says the average household can emit 85 fewer kilograms of carbon per year. Staying up late ensures mankind’s doom.

It is astounding that the Japanese regulators think that your bedtime is government business. Then again, this is the same country that has a legally allowable maximum waistline.

CEI Music Video

If the embedded video isn’t working, click here to watch.

CEI colleague Marlo Lewis is a fine guitarist. He performs regularly in a folk trio. He also recently adapted an old Paul Simon song and redid the lyrics to be about global warming. The result is CEI’s first music video. Since I have a lot of recording experience from when I was younger, I was tasked with recording and mixing the music. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon at work, and it turned out very well.

School Choice: Mankind’s Doom

Caleb Brown points to a study that finds a novel reason to oppose school choice: global warming. In a competitive educational marketplace, it is likely that fewer children would attend schools in their own neighborhood. That would mean less busing, and more driving in cars to get children to school. School choice, then, would contribute to global warming.

The study does not appear to be satire.

Bin Laden Admonishes U.S. on Global Warming

The old religion meets the new religion:

Osama bin Laden’s latest reason to condemn the United States has to do with climate change.

The al Qaeda leader in a new audio message published by al Jazeera, bin Laden verbally attacks the U.S. and other industrialized nations for polluting the planet.