Monday, December 13, 2004
Internet Solves World Pollution!

Sort of:

Bob says "Make cars twice as efficient". For Bob[']s cure to go into effect, Billions of dollars and man-hours will need to be expended before the first benefit will be found in the marketplace and the economy. Varifrank has a much simple[r] method that costs close to nothing and can be implemented immediately.

Buy whatever car you want. Get whatever kind of mileage you want. Manufacturers can take their sweet time making hybrids (which I like, and will like more when I can get a Dodge Ram ½ ton that uses a diesel/electric motor, but I digress...)

All you have to do to reach Bob[']s goal, is drive half as much as you do today.

How do you do that? Chances are, you already are. If you are reading this, you are using the infrastructure that has the best chance of lowering America's dependency on "Foreign oil".

...

**...I drive a Dodge Dakota V-8 manual 5 speed transmission, it gets 12 miles to the gallon. When was the last time I bought gas?

October 12th!

I love my truck, but what saves me from buying gas for it is my T1 line, not my fuel injection technology.
[Emphasis in original]
It's an interesting idea, and it seems of a piece with Michael Crichton's comments in "Aliens Cause Global Warming":
Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn't know what an atom was. They didn't know its structure. They also didn't know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. interferon, instant replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, prozac, leotards, lap dancing, email, tape recorder, CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, teflon, fiber optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant, kidney transplant, AIDS? None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn't know what you are talking about.

Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it.
Crichton expands his focus to 'environmentalism as religion' in a second speech that is also well worth reading.

[HatTip for the Crichton pieces goes to Greg. And be sure to pick up Crichton's new book!]
Comments:
Jeez, do I need a freakin' editor or what?

Thanks for the link. I'll clean up the post now that I've been shamed by my sloppiness.
 
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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