July 19, 2007
Telegraph UK: Eating beef ' is less green than driving'
Producing 2.2lb of beef generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a car non-stop for three hours, it was claimed yesterday.
Japanese scientists used a range of data to calculate the environmental impact of a single purchase of beef.
Taking into account all the processes involved, they said, four average sized steaks generated greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 80.25lb of carbon dioxide.
This also consumed 169 megajoules of energy.
That means that 2.2lb of beef is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions which have the same effect as the carbon dioxide released by an ordinary car travelling at 50 miles per hour for 155 miles, a journey lasting three hours. The amount of energy consumed would light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days.
Su Taylor, the press officer for the Vegetarian Society, told New Scientist: "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints, but one of the easiest things you can do is to stop eating meat."
First of all, that is one of the most poorly written headlines ever.
Second of all, I have just thought of several delicious ways to increase the size of my carbon footprint. Mmmmm... Steaks.
Oh! And Su Taylor? Shut up and buy an E for your first name.
I'm not trying to think of ways to reduce carbon footprints.
Further, this study does not show that not eating meat reduces carbon footprints. It just supports the claim that we might reduce carbon footprints by not eating beef. (I realize that many people call only beef "meat" and other meats are called other things.)
July 17, 2007
I just don't see what's so special about the earth that warrants my affection or even my attention beyond looking for new ways to exploit it. To be fair, I have the same low regard for pretty much every non-rational entity in the known and unknown universe.
Rocks? 'sploit 'em.
Saturn? 'sploit it.
Cows? 'sploit 'em.
Neutrinos? 'sploit 'em.
Puppies? 'sploit 'em.
Black holes? 'sploit 'em.
Yes, the universe is really just here to sustain, please, and amuse me.
So, imagine my amusement when some entities with rational capacity set out to entertain me.
Talking Hawk, a Mohawk Indian who asked to be identified by his Indian name, pointed to the river's tea-colored water as proof that the overwhelming amount of pollution humans have produced has caused changes around the globe.
"It's August color. It's not normal," he said.
"Earth Mother is fighting back - not only from the four winds, but also from underneath," he said. "Scientists call it global warming. We call it Earth Mother getting angry."
"Earth Mother getting angry." I love how that phrase is positioned as if it's the stronger, more persuasive, or even more accurate description. I mean "global warming" isn't a great phrase anyway, but from now on, green scientists should stop with this "global warming" expression and start addressing Earth Mother's emotional needs. The data seem to indicate that Earth Mother is hormonal more than anything. Midol, mommy dearest?
I really don't think people are here for my personal amusement, but every now and then they surprise me by going above and beyond the call of duty and go national with something so preciously absurd that it can only be considered a joke.
In spite of my somewhat insensitive tendencies, my opinion of people really is that high and I'm in a really good mood. At this moment, it is simply beyond the realm of possibility that anyone could be so idiotic in earnest.
The rest of the article is a litany of the most precious arguments for being good "custodians" of the earth that I've ever heard. (I really don't pay close attention to these things.) They're the sort of arational, emotional, mystic arguments that I wouldn't expect to hear from anyone over the age of four or since the bronze age. Oh. wait.
Well, I appreciate their commitment to the jest. I mean, to actually live in the mindset of a caveman just to make me laugh? That is dedication. I'd write them a thank you note, but I'm sure that the post man is a tad anachronistic and I have my doubts that my landlord would appreciate my starting a fire on the roof just to send a smoke signal.
But I am kind of tempted to take a couple days off work to see what it would take to start a buffalo stampede or something. As a science-minded person, I just want to test how well they've figured how to live in nature like barbarians.
Special thanks to Andrew Dalton for bringing this to my attention.
July 10, 2007
Out of sheer enthusiasm, I'm going to ignore the fact that I'm not very clear on what the Earth is in danger of, unless we're talking about asteroids, which are of great concern to me because sunscreen does not stop asteroids. It's true. Scientists said, "Sunscreen will not stop asteroids." Ask any of them.
And then someone told me that CO2 is a huge problem.
I didn't know it was such a huge problem because I heard that plants breathe CO2 and I exhale CO2, so it seems like CO2 is totally fine. I just know that I have no intention of not breathing, so that solution will have to be pursued by someone else.
And who else could do that? Who would be better off not breathing?
You're thinking about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, aren't you? I was. That was the first thing I thought of, actually.
And then I found out that there are over 70 million people in Iran. I would say that a very large percentage of the people there would be better off not breathing, specifically all the ones with bombs strapped to their babies and things like that.
This made me think the same thing of Syria, which has some 19 million people.
Just think of how many earths we could save if we just smothered a bunch of Iranians and Syrians!!!
Since this is clearly the best solution to Global Warming, I fully expect Hillary and Barak to call me tonight to hear my other ideas for worldwide improvement. I mean, Liberals love the planet, right?
Next headline: Democratic Presidential Candidates Support Pre-Emptive Attacks on Iran, Syria
This plan is fool proof!
July 09, 2007
Ok, but I'm not going to internalize this. I'm not going to let it impact my self esteem.
I'm sure lots of guys have small carbon footprints. Does anyone know how much carbon is in Enzyte?
I'll bet Allen sent that link to me to brag. Bastard. "Eeee! Look at me! I'm Allen Prather! My carbon footprint is 15.6 tons per year! Eeee! I'm such a big man!"
You know, not everyone can have above average footprints. I mean, average means average and that means, you know, that some people aren't. Like freaks with grotesquely oversized carbon footprints.
What can you do with a footprint that big anyway? In my experience, not much. I mean, really, if you think about it, it's better to have something closer to average or maybe a little smaller.
Men and women alike agree with me here. I mean, no one likes, you know, sitting there with your friend and, you know, maybe things are getting a little hot -- global warming -- and then you find out that they're bringing a 15 ton footprint to the party. Total turn off.
Yeah, so, anyway, I need a bigger footprint. Is there like a carbon pump or something? I'm thinking of burning stuff. Isn't there some kind of adopt-an-oil-fire thing I could sign on to?
There has to be something you can do about this.
July 06, 2007
Shortnews: Scientist Implicates Worms in Global Warming
Jim Frederickson, the research director at the Composting Association has called for data on worms and composting to be re-examined after a German study found that worms produce greenhouse gases 290 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
I was thinking about it this morning: people keep saying that I should reduce my "carbon foot print." But I'm a carbon-based life form and from what I can tell, reducing my carbon footprint will suck. I think that having a very, very large, Shaq-size footprint is really much better for me.
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