Global Warming

Jim Taylor drivingiron at
Mon Jul 14 06:48:32 EDT 2003

Pat's solution is a simple one: we all need to be college professors, and the planet's ills would all go away.

Jim Taylor
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Patrick Foley 
  To: monarch at 
  Cc: leps-l 
  Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 10:15 PM
  Subject: Re: Global Warming


  College professors are surely guilty of overconsumption and poor energy planning (like most people), but it doesn't help the world much if such a small population suddenly reforms itself. We need a concerted effort which requires, among other unpopular things, higher energy prices, more solar power, better home designs and a commitment by everybody to live in reality not fantasy.

  However it is my experience that many professors drive the most energy effective cars in their class, or even bicycle (I live in Davis, CA). Many have no children and few have more than 3. Many live in small homes, or what is more important , energy efficicient homes. Many Davis homes have 8 foot ceilings and the house codes require energy efficient windows etc. The house I own is 1400 sq feet but what matters more is its east west layout and the arrangement of trees and such. We do not air condition. I drive a 39 mile per gallon Saturn to work, but a 20 mpg Dodge truck to the field. That's the smallest vehicle that can do the job and hold my 6'8'' body. 

  My biggest failure to conserve energy in the past few years is probably travel, especially by air and wandering around the western United States looking at flowers, bees and leps. This is a guilty pleasure, and I am willing to pay for it. I am even willing to pay the external price (including the effects on global warming) if I can get everyone to do the same. So I am like you. I won't become a better world citizen until I can get some guarantee that others will too. But I will vote for higher energy taxes, family planning, international cooperation and environmental protection. Will you?

  The concept of good citizenship, is not that we are called to be saints, but that we are called to share the problems and the solutions. We need to build a society that encourages us to be good environmentalists, rather than discourages it. Are you with us?

  Patrick Foley
  patfoley at

  Paul Cherubini wrote:

Pat Foley wrote:

  I am utterly convinced that continuing to pump large amounts of 
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is foolishly dangerous. As a 
citizen and father, I feel like an irresponsible failure for letting 
such stupid things happen. How about you?
Pat, I don't see much evidence that college professors and the leaders
of major environmental groups are seriously worried about global 
warming. If they were, they'd be willing to make serious lifestyle changes
to reduce greenhouse gas production. Serious changes like adopting
children instead of creating them, driving smaller vehicles and buying
smaller homes.  Instead, I see college professors have 
successfully lobbied for salary increases that have outpaced the Consumer
Price Index by an increasingly wider margin each year for the past two 
decades  Professors are 
using part of this extra money to buy larger, heavier, less fuel efficient
vehicles and larger, more resource consumptive homes in luxuriously
landscaped subdivisions which consume large amounts of open space. 

So Pat I'm not going to get too excited about greenhouse gas production
until I start seeing biological science professors worried enough
about it to start driving 4 cylinder two wheel drive compact cars, 
compact station wagons and mini-trucks like they used to drive back in
the 1970's.  And start living in modest 1200-1400 square foot homes 
like they used to when they couldn't afford anything bigger.   Will college 
professors and highly paid environmentalists ever likely make these 
lifestyle changes? Well one clue is that none of the major environmental 
organizations are encouringing the public to stop having children, buying 
SUV's, Vans or at least stop buying 6 and 8 cylinder models or four wheel
drive / all wheel drive models or to stop buying large homes to help combat 
global warming.  For example, the Union of Concerned Scientists website 
merely recommends: 

"When you buy your next car, look for the one with the best fuel
 economy in its class."   "If you own more than one vehicle, use the less 
fuel-efficient one only when you can fill it with passengers<a full minivan 
may be kinder to the environment than using two midsized cars."

and the Environmental Defense Fund website says only:

"When selecting a new car or truck, shop for the greenest vehicle available 
that meets your needs and fits your budget."

And when buying a new home the environmental groups 
say nothing about selecting a small home on a small lot to minimize the
production of greenhouse gases and to conserve more wild land.
Instead, they just encourage the public to equip their huge new homes 
with energy efficient appliances, heaters and air conditioners.

In summary, neither college professors nor the highly paid leaders of 
the major environmental groups are worried enough about global warming to
give up their luxury lifestyles and go back to the days of owning compact
4 cylinder vehicles and small homes and lots.  So that tells me they are
not seriously worried about global warming.                                       

Paul Cherubini


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