The sections I've highlighted in red looks fishy to me.
I've added footnotes (green).
The media and global warming
By George Will
Thursday, April 12, 2007
WASHINGTON -- In a campaign
without peacetime precedent, the media-entertainment-environmental
complex is warning about global warming. Never, other than
during the two world wars, has there been such a concerted effort by
opinion-forming institutions to indoctrinate Americans, 83 percent of
whom now call global warming a "serious problem."
Indoctrination is supposed to be a predicate for action commensurate
with professions of seriousness.
For example, Democrats could
demand that the president send the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate so
they can embrace it. In 1997, the Senate voted 95-0 in
opposition to any agreement which would, like the protocol, require
significant reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in America and some
other developed nations but would involve no "specific scheduled
commitments" for 129 "developing" countries, including
the second, fourth, 10th, 11th, 13th and 15th largest economies
(China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Indonesia).
Forty-two of the senators serving in 1997 are gone. Let's find out if
the new senators disagree with the 1997 vote.
Do they also disagree with Bjorn
Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist"? He
says: Compliance with Kyoto would reduce global warming by an amount
too small to measure. But the cost of compliance just to the United
Stateswould be higher than the cost of providing the entire world
with clean drinking water and sanitation, which would prevent 2
million deaths (from diseases like infant diarrhea) a year and prevent
half a billion people from becoming seriously ill each
Nature designed us as
carnivores(1) , but
what does nature know about nature? Meat has been designated a
menace. Among the 51 exhortations in Time magazine's
"global warming survival guide" (April 9), No. 22 says a BMW
is less responsible than a Big Mac for "climate change,"
that conveniently imprecise name for our peril. This is because
the world meat industry produces 18 percent of the world's
greenhouse-gas emissions, more than transportation produces.
Nitrous oxide in manure (warming effect: 296 times greater than that
of carbon)(2) and
methane from animal flatulence (23 times greater) mean that "a 16
ounce T-bone is like a Hummer on a plate."
Ben & Jerry's ice cream might
be even more sinister(3): A
gallon of it requires electricity guzzling refrigeration, and four
gallons of milk produced by cows that simultaneously produce eight
gallons of manure and flatulence with eight gallons of methane.
The cows do this while consuming lots of grain and hay, which are
cultivated by using tractor fuel, chemical fertilizers, herbicides and
insecticides, and transported by fuel-consuming trains and
Newsweek says most food travels at
least 1,200 miles to get to Americans' plates, so buying local food
will save fuel. Do not order halibut in Omaha.
Speaking of Hummers, perhaps it is
environmentally responsible to buy one and squash a Prius with it.
The Prius hybrid is, of course, fuel-efficient. There are,
however, environmental costs to mining and smelting (in Canada) 1,000 tons a year of
zinc for the battery-powered second
motor, and the shipping of the zinc 10,000 miles -- trailing a
cloud of carbon -- to Wales for refining and then to China for turning
it into the component that is then sent to a battery factory in
Opinions differ as to whether acid
rain from the Canadian mining and smelting operation is killing
vegetation that once absorbed carbon dioxide. But a report from
CNW Marketing Research ("Dust to Dust: The Energy Cost of New
Vehicles from Concept to Disposal") concludes that in
"dollars per lifetime
Prius (expected life: 109,000 miles) costs $3.25, compared to $1.95
for a Hummer H3 (expected life: 207,000 miles).
The CNW report states that a
hybrid makes economic and environmental sense for a purchaser living
in the Los Angeles basin, where fuel costs are high and smog is
worrisome. But environmental costs of the hybrid are exported
from the basin.
We are urged to "think
globally and act locally," as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has done
with proposals to reduce California's carbon dioxide emissions 25
percent by 2020. If California improbably achieves this, at a
cost not yet computed, it will have reduced global greenhouse-gas
emissions 0.3 percent. The question is:
Suppose the costs over a decade of
trying to achieve a local goal are significant. And suppose the
positive impact on the globe's temperature is insignificant -- and
much less than, say, the negative impact of one year's increase in the
number of vehicles in one country (e.g., India). If so, are
people who recommend such things thinking globally but not
George F. Will, a 1976 Pulitzer Prize
winner whose columns are syndicated in more than 400 magazines and
newspapers worldwide, is the author of Men at Work: The Craft of
Copyright © 2006 Salem Web
Network. All Rights Reserved.
1 You stupid wanker. The human gut &
dentition, and our natural tastes, prove we're ominivores -
'can you live on that? - 'yeah' - 'so can a
rat'. The ecological implications are very
2 This sketch of the dairy industry would interest
serious scholars in NZ, if our universities were still doing anything
3 This propagandist pretends to be so
scientifically exact, yet can't distinguish carbon dioxide from the
element carbon which, in whatever allotrope (graphite, diamond, etc),
has not been implicated in global warming.
4 I'm told recent Prius production is c.200,000/y;
these figures imply each car contains 1/200th of a ton of zinc
i.e 10 kg. This is not an unreasonable mass of metal for the
battery in this hybrid. But are the Prius batteries rich in
the Edison (Ni/Fe) cell has no known lifetime limit. Its energy
density is a bit lower than the already appalling Pb/SO4 battery of
fond experience, but the stupendous lifetime would outweigh that if
people were rational.
5 Reverting to econobabble is worse than useless.
We are trying to do energy analysis, which is more fundamental than