"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, November 15, 2010

Save The World - Live in a Shoebox!

Warmists are clutching at any method to regain control of the AGW debate since people have turned off the catastrophe scenarios of Hansen and his ilk. John Norquist in the Australian is a believer and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism and he believes higher-density housing will reduce car use thereby reducing the evil CO2, sacrificing suburban living lifestyle in the process. He should talk to warmist leaders Al Gore or Thomas Friedman about changing their lifestyles!

CONCERN about climate change has ebbed with the global economic contraction.
Now politicians, particularly on the Right, and energy industries have marshalled a full-blown counter-attack against advocates of action on global warming. Coupled with the recession, this campaign has stalled almost any government action on climate and energy in the US.

It is tempting to attribute this situation solely to the greed of the oil barons or the cravenness of vote-hungry politicians, but I attribute part of the blame instead to three strategic errors.
The first error was to rely too heavily on existential and apocalyptic arguments. The ozone crisis was relatively simple, whereas climate change is complex and therefore it is easier to raise doubts about its severity.
The second error was to cast climate action as a moral obligation to sacrifice living standards today to save future generations. Actually, most energy-saving and CO2-reducing actions add efficiency to the economy and quickly help increase productivity.
The most effective argument against action on climate change is that it will hurt the economy and kill jobs.
By associating their cause with sacrifice, environmentalists handed this debating advantage to opponents on a silver platter.
The third error was to focus almost exclusively on technical remedies such as efficient light bulbs, hybrid cars and green buildings. That left out discussion of human settlement patterns, which account for most of the difference in energy consumption between areas of the developed world and those with much smaller footprints.
Specifically, the US with its spread-out development patterns and low usage of public transport and other alternatives to the car has an annual per capita energy consumption of 7900 oil equivalents, compared with 3775 equivalents for Europe with its more compact pattern.
With its hybrid development pattern, Australia clocks in at about 5900 equivalents per capita.
A 2002 peer-reviewed study by John Holtzclaw compared driving patterns across metro Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
It showed that kilometres driven by an average household dropped between 32 per cent and 43 per cent as the density of neighbourhoods doubled.
In other words, in moving from a typical ex-urban neighbourhood with 7.2 units per hectare to a leafy neighbourhood of townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings where densities are at least 57to the hectare, a household would reduce its driving to about one-third of their former levels.
I'm sorry but the typical family Aussie likes his barbie, his backyard cricket and his shed in the suburbs and will not move into a stack of concrete shoeboxes just to satisfy a failed green ideology. 

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