Friday, June 27, 2008

Recreational Energy Consumption

Salt Cycle advocates a thing called Bikes and Bombs. In this sport, you take a kids bike up to the top of Trax, then bomb down city streets. Judging from the site, and, by people bombing down the main walk in the U, the experience is even more intense if you use a lot of obscenities.

I admit that, even before the installation of Trax, I had dark thoughts of taking a bus to the top of a hill and bombing down on the bike. I often had these dark thoughts will pedaling up the long steep hills in Salt Lake. It takes 15 minutes ride from my parent's house to downtown. It takes an hour to ride back.

While standing at the bus stop with my bike in hand, the green brain cells in the core of my being would scream that I would be raping Gaia if I were to ride the bus. Not wanting to be a Gaia rapist, I would hop back in the saddle and peddle up the hill.

Somehow, SaltCycle has found a way to mask out the fact that riding Trax to the top of a hill and bombing down is, in fact, nothing more than the consumption of energy for recreation. Trax uses electricity (much of it produced by [gasp] coal). The energy you release bombing down the hill came from the violent act of digging a deep pit for coal, burning it in a facility built by the industrial-military complex, releasing greenhouse gasses in the process. Greenhouse gasses that lead to the global warming and the extinction of the polar bear.

How could a person in good conscious bomb through the U knowing that their recreational consumption of energy is killing polar bears??????????

My guess is that they do this by disassociating collective energy consumption from private energy consumption. Since Trax is owned by the state, its energy consumption is not evil. Only private energy consumption contributes to global warming, capiche?

Unfortunately, I think the reasoning is flawed. The environmental devastation in the former USSR where everything was owned by the state, ended up being worse than the US, without the side effect of widespread prosperity.

I bring up the Bikes for Bombs issue because I think it is pertinant to the discussion of Obama's energy proposal. The proposal has a massive expenditure on energy. The massive expenditure on energy will cause a large artificial consumption of energy. The proposal would make sense if you held the view that it is only the private consumption of energy that is bad. If you held the view that all consumption of energy contributes to greenhouse gasses, the you one would reject the notion that replacing private with collective consumption of energy would do anything.

That means individuals will have to find a way to suck in the gut and peddle up the hill to find ways to reduce their total energy consumption.


Scott Hinrichs said...

Many of those that claim to be green reserve their despising of energy production and consumption for private efforts, while giving state-run efforts a pass. As stated by Mary Anastasia O'Grady in this WSJ article, "Where government has the property right, restrictions on development tend to be low. But when the private sector is the owner, environmental concerns blossom."

y-intercept said...

Conservationists made a big mistake when they let the left take over and pervert their message.

Much of the worst environmental devastation in this world has come from governments trying to find short cuts to problems.