Everything is Green

Everything is Green if you lie to yourself hard enough.

Sure, “everyone knows” that flying is worse for the environment than driving. Except that the studies people quote are from decades ago. Decades ago, when planes carried fewer people per flight and cars carried more per trip. It’s about equal now -- the main difference is how high in the air those emissions are spat out.

If you’re going to compare two things for how “green” they are? You have to compare the entire life cycle of the items in question. Saying that a smart phone consumes [X] while a paper pamphlet designed to replace it only produces [Y] is one thing. At least, until you look closer. You'll see that the statistics for the smartphone include "network services". The same network consumption for that printer that prints out the pamphlet? Ignored -- let alone the “vampire power” that printer consumes while idle!

Everyone wants the solution to climate change. Often “the solution” is something trivial like using metal straws. More realistic fixes involve massive improvements to infrastructure. The ugly truth is, it’ll take changes big and small. And the biggest change might be the kinds of politicians we’ll need to make them all.

People think California has strict environmental laws because it has ‘so many liberals’. The truth is that California is full of superfund sites. California is also home to toxic wastelands like the Salton Sea. California’s laws are harsh because they have to be! People have to live here!

The question isn’t whether we can make these changes. Of course we can.

It’s how much choice we’ll have in the matter.

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