Your Empty Symbols Make Mother Earth Cry

December 2, 2009 at 9:38 am 3 comments

Sorry to be a no fun grouse, but these pedal powered “green” displays really annoy the heck out of me:

Why? Because as efficient a machine the bicycle is to transport human beings, peddling human beings are probably the most inefficient energy source to generate electricity. The food consumed to illuminate a Christmas tree, or run a margarita blender, is about 100 times more expensive, and 100 times more detrimental to the environment, than any other energy source. And don’t get me started on the methane produced by a bunch of sausage sucking farting Copenhageners. The only thing green about these empty exercises is the waste material that is produced.

Update: Look, just tonight some BBC1 series called Bang Goes The Theory is doing a feature on how phenomenally stupid pedal powered whatever is, and that simply feeding the turbines uses as much energy as the turbines produce. Well, actually, I think their point was that a typical British family uses so much energy that it would take a room full of 100 human powered turbines to provide the electricity, but that’s largely because pedal powered human turbines are remarkably inefficient. Bicycles are efficient human transporters because they exploit momentum, not because peddling rawks. [via The Guardian]


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Nice Short Video The Unreasonable Man

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dottie  |  December 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Ha, well tell me what you really feel 🙂

  • 3. Giffen  |  December 3, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Wow, I’m impressed! Not many people understand the coarse thinking that goes along with most “green” behavior. I’ll try to give a more worthy response in a follow-up post.

    For now, I’ll just sum my point up this way. A large part (not all!) of the time and money spent on being green is wasted. Why? Because faux environmentalists never think of opportunity costs. With each hour someone spent pedaling, they could have earned ~$7 at minimum wage, used $.001 to pay for the electricity, use $.002 to offset the environmental impact of using that energy, and spent $6.97 paying for vaccines to save the lives of 3 African children.

    The way to protect our environment is to think about how, more generally, we can use our government to solve collective action problems. Buying $20 organic socks will do nothing to help.


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