Monday, April 30, 2007

Knee Jerk Reactions ...

... a big topic in today's world right now is the environment. Al Gore's very successful documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth about global warming as really brought it to the forefront. Politicians everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon to show they are pro-environment.

This post is really about two issues. First, the Conservatives' green plan ... and the banning and recommended use of CFL (compact fluorescent lights).

The other day, the Tories released their green plan to meet the Kyoto accord ... 8 years late. Critics of the plan say, its doesn't go far enough or quickly enough. Some of the critics include Greenpeace and other environmental groups. Others are the opposition parties ... of course. In this case, the Liberals. The Liberals have NO basis for these attacks. What would they do if they were in power? Probably the same thing ... or maybe nothing at all. Knowing the Liberals.

One of the biggest critics is Al Gore himself. Mr. Environmental. Well, Mr. Environment, as Environment Minister John Baird, never brought a vote on the Kyoto accord to the Senate floor. Mr. Environment did nothing to help the environment while in power. He had 8 years to prove it. Again all of what Mr. Baird pointed out.

My second problem is the knee jerk reactions of politicians. Remember, adjusting day light savings time to save energy? Well, guess what, it didn't. Energy consumption is pretty much the same as if we didn't change our clocks. Another 'environmental' or 'energy' saving plan is to ban incandescent lightbulbs. On the surface, its good. Heck its great! People will save a couple of bucks per year per light bulb. But what about the replacement bulbs out there? Well, the most likely replacement is going to be CFLs. These CFLs actually contain mercury. As I found out in a news story (I think it was on the CBC), that if you break one, you need to get it professionally cleaned, which could cost you thousands of dollars. Furthermore, how many people actually know that it contains mercury? And how to properly dispose of them? Most people will throw them into their house waste which in turn will take them to the landfill. Great, now we have mercury in our landfills (again). For what? To save the country a few bucks a year. The worst part about this is that even environmentalists are supporting the use of CFLs. So, what is worse? Mercury poisoning or using extra energy (or having a higher energy bill)? For me, its having a higher energy bill - since I was unaware of the mercury contain of those bulbs. I'm now looking for alternative solutions for my mercury filled bulbs.

It just seems that everything that comes out that's supposed to be good turns out out worse. I just feel like any time that I try to save the world or help myself, I end up doing it a whole lot worse.

So screw it, I'm going to buy a big old SUV and drive the the 1 km to work eating a cruller filled with trans fatty acids and wrapped with meat from a cow, pig and chicken while I have a cigarette. All that while at home I'll leave my air conditioner and incandescent light bulbs on 24/7.

Biggest ... environmental ... footprint ... ever ...