The reality is I am a hypocrite. My life is completely infused with greenhouse gases and fossil fuel pollution. No matter how I try to untether myself from the system–abstaining from air travel in North America and buying carbon offset when I visit family in South Africa, changing all the lightbulbs in our house and hang drying clothes in the attic, walking or biking instead of driving–still I am responsible for over 13 tons of carbon pollution every year simply because I live in the USA. According to the , the average American is responsible for 17.6 tons of carbon pollution each year, while the world average per person is 5 tons. Why is this?
The answer is convenience. And simplicity. We like our lifestyle. We like the ease of heating our homes with Natural Gas. We like the fact that when we flip a switch that a light comes on. That we don’t have to worry about spoiling food (because the Fridge keeps it cold)…that we don’t have to pump our own water, because electricity keeps it flowing to our homes and faucets. That we don’t have to wash our clothes by hand, because the electricity makes the washer and dryer work. We like not having to walk, or bicycle, or having to hitch up a horse to a cart…(and just keeping a horse is work)…
I know people who do live a truly “Low Carbon” lifestyle. But it is work, and they don’t have all the modern conveniences…..and they never (or at lest very seldom) go anywhere. I heat my house (about 75% ) with wood and I gotta tell you, it is work. You gotta cut up the tree (so far, for 20 years, Mother Nature has damaged enough trees that I haven’t had to cut down a perfectly good one, only ones that come down in storms) haul it, season it, split it, stack it, and then feed the woodstove. There is more than just turning up the thermostat. You also have to look forward and make sure that you have enough wood for the season, and further look to see that you have enough inside to feed the stove for the evening…… Same goes for those who burn vegetable oil in a diesel car, or who make their own ethanol (which, BTW, makes a LOT of CO2 in the fermentation process)
But Mr. Toscano isn’t willing to have that kind of lifestyle. He still likes to travel, he likes all of his modern conveniences. He’s not willing to find and cut and haul wood to heat his home and his water and his food. He’s not willing to pump water by hand, and he likes those imported fruits and vegetables in February, when they aren’t available when grown locally. He won’t shut off his gas heat and won’t stop driving (or riding) in fossil fuel driven automobiles. He hasn’t unplugged his electric meter either.
In short, he IS the hypocrite he admits to being.
And since he can’t wean himself off that “High Carbon” lifestyle, he wants the Federal Government to force him (and, of course, everyone else in the US) to change their lifestyle. To raise the price of carbon dioxide production in order that we will (supposedly) produce less.
Now, the question of Global Warming (and the effect of all that terrible nasty Carbon Dioxide) aside (yeah, I know, but that is argument for another day) he feels that if we only had to pay more, we’d produce less. Yet it hasn’t worked with gasoline, and it hasn’t worked with natural gas nor electricity. Those prices for those items have risen dramatically, yet we, as a nation, aren’t using less per person.
He is right, in that if you want people to use less, then it should be more expensive. It does work for some things. But most people, like him, like that lifestyle that energy brings us. Not having to stoke a woodstove, or having to pump water, or haul wood….
Have you ever noticed that the Green folks always want a Statist solution….and that that solution is ALWAYS something that brings the productivity and level of lifestyle down for the US? That the solutions almost ALWAYS mirror the Socialist plan for the US? That the changes in lifestyle should always be done by Someone Else (but not them)?