A Funny Little Green Math Lesson
Article: John Loeppky – Contributor
Hear that? That’s the sound of an eco-warrior. That tribal call of “down with the fossil fuels” is all them, the stomping of thousands of feet that accompany a movement from the back room to the forefront? Guess who? At least now you know who is to blame for the CNN anchor that wondered aloud if the movement of an asteroid to an area (relatively near) earth had anything to do with global warming. I’m willing to bet that, if you asked the average eco-warrior where electricity comes from, they would give you one of those ‘are you really that stupid?’ facial expressions and point at a wall socket. Here is a math lesson for you: disconnect plus ignorance equals blind activism.
Here’s another one: according to the Institute for Energy Research, 66% of US electrical energy is produced through fossil fuels. Not included in this total are sources such as nuclear power (which opens yet another can of greenhouse gasses). A forgotten fact in the midst of this well-meaning crusade is that electrical energy is the product of a conversion and that it doesn’t, shockingly enough, appear out of thin air.
The newest, and perhaps most polarizing, item on the eco-warrior game plan is that of the electric car. On this end, the Institute for Energy Research found that 95.4% of US transportation consumption comes from fossil fuels. Granted, the other 4.6% is a step in the right direction. All of this means that fossil fuels are being burned before they enter a vehicle rather than afterwards. Somehow, I don’t think that sentence will make it into a commercial anytime soon.
The point of this article is not to denounce the actions and intentions of the ecologically outstanding, but to reinforce the point that the solution is not to run out and buy an electric car. If you live in an area (such as many parts of eastern Canada) that runs primarily on electricity produced through hydroelectric plants then yes, in some small way, you are helping the environment. If you are “going green” to stand with an ever-increasing crowd, please, for the love of everything that is rational and nonpolluting: stop your posturing.