Politics Three Contrarian Ideas About Global Warming
posted by August 7 at 8:00 AMon
Here are three contrarian takes on global warming and the environment; one dumb and two worth remembering.
1. This one, from the UK Times Online, seems moronic. The idea is this: Driving to the store is better for the environment than walking to the store because the amount of food needed to sustain your walk puts out more carbon than a car ride.
The Times writes:
Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance.
Pretty cute analysis, and maybe Jonathan Golob (the Stranger’s new science guy can weigh in), but if you read the article, the only diet the story mentions is a beef and dairy diet. Yes, cattle farming is notoriously noxious. But what about a two-minute walk (past all jammed up cars in traffic) to the QFC for grape fruits, frozen peas, hippie cereal, local bakery bread, apple butter, and oat milk?
2. This post from Grist has it that buying locally produced food isn’t always better for the environment—explaining, for example, that it’s better to get your grains from the midwest than from dry California. (It can also destroy the economies of developing countries to banish their imports—which, ultimately, has damning effects on the global system too.)
3. This post (also from Grist) calls bullshit on both Republicans and Democrats for using “energy independence” as their one-stop cop out answer when asked about reducing emissions. Grist guy David Roberts writes, for example:
It’s possible to tackle energy independence — or at least look like you’re tackling it — without doing a thing for global warming. (See: liquid coal, ethanol, “price gouging” legislation, etc.)