Category: Environmental Stewardship

With more efforts like this we could solve global warming tomorrow (and mismanaged pensions, and short necks, and the auto industry, and…).

TOKYO (Reuters) – An unseasonal chill had some cabinet ministers shivering in their short-sleeved shirts as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched Japan’s annual "Cool Biz" fashion campaign to save energy and fight global warming.

Japan began its "Cool Biz" push two years ago to get office workers to shed their stuffy suits and ties and keep thermostats at 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) as a way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Known as a stylish dresser himself, Abe had instructed his cabinet members to wear ‘kariyushi’ summer wear from the southern island of Okinawa, similar to Hawaiian aloha shirts.

"It’s nice and comfortable. But today it seems a bit chilly," Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa, clad in a blue short-sleeved shirt imprinted with tiny red cats and birds native to Okinawa, told reporters.

"I ordered a long-sleeved shirt but they were out of stock so I could only get short-sleeved," added Yanagisawa, who appeared pleased to have something to talk about other than a furor over mismanaged pensions that is dogging Abe’s administration.

Administrative Reform Minister Yoshimi Watanabe welcomed the chance to substitute a collarless shirt for his jacket and tie.

"It’s good for people like me with no neck," said the stocky politician.

Economics Minister Hiroko Ota, one of only two women in Abe’s 17-member cabinet, was complimented by reporters on her striking red ‘kariyushi’ with a butterfly and floral print.

"Thank you. It’s actually still a bit cold to wear this. But this building is hot, so it’s nice," Ota told reporters.

The temperature on Friday morning was around 4 degrees below the June 1 average of 21.8 centigrade, but was expected to warm up later, an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Later in the day, Abe, keen to polish his anti-global warming credentials ahead of next week’s Group of Eight summit in Germany, took part in a demonstration of Japanese clean diesel cars at his official residence.

"I feel certain that Japan’s energy-saving technology is the best in the world," he said before test-driving several cars.

“If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” That’s a good rule, I think.

The Care of Creation blog is noting, however, that “people who work longer hours use more energy and generally contribute more to the decline of the ecological quality of life on planet earth.”

The basis for the claim is a report that comes from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and “finds that if all countries worked as many hours per week as U.S. workers do, the world would consume 15 to 30 percent more energy by 2050 than it would by following Europe’s model.”

As I’ve asserted before, calculations that simply take into account the outputs of various environmentally-relevant factors, like GHGs, without also noting the relevant economic variables, are highly flawed.

So perhaps per capita American workers do work longer hours and therefore use more energy than their European counterparts. But do the American workers also contribute more to their respective country’s GNP than do Europeans? I’m betting they do…and it shouldn’t be surprising that all these factors correlate, because of the energy-dependent nature of the economy in the 21st century. But as recent trends suggest, perhaps even that doesn’t mean that economies must increase GHG emissions to grow.

Who gets more bang for their energy buck? The EU’s share of gross world product (GWP) is roughly 20%. Estimates put the EU’s population right around 490 million. The US’s share of GWP is larger than the EU’s, somewhere between 20% and 30%, but accomplishes that with a fraction of the population, numbering barely above 300 million.

So, work less and “save” the planet, but also contribute less to the global economy. That’s a formula for disaster.

For another take on how you can do nothing and save the planet, see the May 21 edition of the Joy of Tech comic.

In what might be the coolest thing ever to happen to me, a Grand Rapids-based “progressive” news outlet has implied that I – as the creative dynamo behind the beloved and highly anticipated Global Warming Consensus Watch posts – am little more than a corporate stooge of Exxon. Yes, the good folks at Media Mouse are pointing the righteous finger of progressive accusation at yours truly for the unimaginable crime of “…running a regular blog feature dedicated to challenging the idea that there is scientific consensus on global warming. These recent activities fit within a history of advocating industry-friendly ‘free-market’ policies and attacking environmental regulations.” Acton also stands accused of giving a forum to an individual with nonstandard and non-“progressive” opinions on both the subject of Global Warming and Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Fred Smith. Thoughtcrime, my friends! Thoughtcrime!

Naturally, there must be a reason that we at Acton are so willing to engage in this sort of dangerous expression of subversive views, and Media Mouse has found the smoking gun: a $50,000 contribution to Acton – for general operations – from the Exxon Foundation! Yes, that must be it! That must explain why I, while browsing news on the internet, regularly notice articles published by independent news sources in which the “scientific consensus on global warming” is called into question by 1) scientists or 2) new scientific findings. (Presumably, the media outlets that publish these articles – which include Reuters, The Rocky Mountain News, The International Herald Tribune, The Huntsville Times, and The Financial Times among many others – must also be under the thumb of Exxon, as they’re the ones who actually publish the news articles that I have the audacity to notice.)

So I guess it’s settled: I am little more than a whore for Exxon. Each morning, I receive my talking points from corporate HQ, and every Friday I head down to my local Exxon station to pick up my bag of filthy oil money, a portion of which I use to light cigars that I then extinguish on the backs of the various downtrodden and oppressed wage slaves that I have acquired through my support of “free markets” to do menial labor on my palatial estate while I crank out another issue of Global Warming Consensus Watch.

Or perhaps I simply believe that the science isn’t as settled on this issue as groups like Media Mouse claim, and enjoy presenting a contrary view. Perhaps I didn’t know (and frankly couldn’t care less now that I do know) that Acton does, or ever has received support from Exxon.

Naaah, that couldn’t be it. It must be that we’re all corrupt. So I thought I’d do everyone a favor by just getting it out in the open once and for all.

I am an enemy of the people.

By the way, climate change is normal. And pay no attention to the massive disparity in the amount spent by Exxon in grants to organizations that oppose global warming alarmism last year ($2 million) versus the amount paid out to various alarmist organizations ($100-$150 million). And certainly don’t read this article, which notes that the “gotcha!” funding game can cut both ways. OOH! There I go again with the filthy dirty LIES!

More lies after the jump. (more…)

Representatives of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and the Evangelical Environmental Network faced off in informal debate Thursday, May 31, at the Family Research Council in Washington. Dr. E. Calvin Beisner and Dr. Kenneth Chilton represented the Alliance on a discussion panel about global warming hosted by the FRC. Opposite them were EEN representatives Dr. Jim Ball and Dr. Rusty Pritchard. To hear the panel discussion, click here.

Glenn Reynolds links:

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions dropped slightly last year even as the economy grew, according to an initial estimate released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration.

As Randy would say, "Yo Dog, check it out…" One data point does not a trend make, but it’s obviously possible to comfortably grow the economy and domestic output without increasing CO2.

Sorta like reducing taxes while growing tax revenues, I guess.

This should be a wakeup call to conservatives who contend that any whiff of man-made greenhouse gas management will destroy the most powerful economy on earth. It’s also a poke in the eye to all those Goreons out there driving their SUVs to global warming worship services to commiserate on the evils of America and pray they could be more like the EU (whose gas problem was worse in 2006, by the way).

DOE’s report is linked here. I thought about lifting some key bits from it but there’s so much good info summarized in here that you really should take 5 minutes and read the whole thing.

Don’t get too cocky – 2006 was mild weather-wise, which helped a lot. But as long as our economy keeps seeking more ways to save money on fossil fuels and make alternative energy more profitable, U.S. man-made CO2 emissions have the potential to significantly ease off. And that’s a good thing.

By the way, if you want to see a great example of economic impacts tied to CO2, check out the big down-blip in 2001 on page 3.

[Don’s other habitat is]

An addendum to my Wedesday commentary, in which I highlighted the positive ecological role human beings play by developing new technologies:

Joel Schwartz at NRO draws attention to the fact that there are some scientists who, for various possible reasons, actually oppose the development of technology that minimizes or reverses the impact of human activity on the environment (called, with respect to climate change, geoengineering). To wit,

For many climate scientists, however, the goal of studying geoengineering isn’t to determine whether any particular proposal is practical or safe, but “to show, with authority, that all such paths are dead-end streets,” and that the focus needs to be on requiring large reductions in people’s fossil-fuel energy consumption.

Blog author: jspalink
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

With many developed nations around the world facing demographic crises, Dr. Kevin Schmiesing challenges the radical environmentalist and population control lobbies that view motherhood as a problem. Schmiesing advocates a more positive form of environmental stewardship, arguing that children, far from being an omen of impending catastrophe, have the potential to “generate prosperity, and leave the natural environment better than they found it.”

Read the complete commentary here.