In a paper he recently published, Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, deconstructs the myth that lugging around reusable grocery bags and using paper straws instead of plastic have any meaningful impact on our planet's climate.
As it turns out, all of the messaging about how to individually fight "global warming" by reducing one's personal "carbon footprint" is a gaggle of lies and propaganda – and this from a guy who's a vehement believer in climate change!
Switching from beef to "Impossible Whoppers" will accomplish a whole lot of nothing, as will replacing all your incandescent lightbulbs with mercury-filled compact fluorescents (CFLs). The same goes for recycling and flitting around town in a Tesla – both useless endeavors in terms of "cooling" the planet.
According to Lomborg, these and many other individual actions represent little more than virtue signaling by climate elitists who accomplish nothing beyond simply feeling better about themselves by "going green."
Using the example of British nature-documentary presenter and environmental activist David Attenborough, Lomborg highlights how Attenborough's promise to unplug his phone charger when it's not in use is a laughably pointless endeavor that will have basically zero impact on the environment.
"... even if he consistently unplugs his charger for a year, the resulting reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions will be equivalent to less than one-half of one-thousandth of the average person's annual CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom," Lomborg points out.
"Moreover, charging accounts for less than 1% of a phone's energy needs; the other 99% is required to manufacture the handset and operate data centers and cell towers. Almost everywhere, these processes are heavily reliant on fossil fuels."
As for going vegetarian or vegan, this, too, is a complete waste of time if it's being done purely for the sake of "saving the planet." Despite all of the fear-mongering about cow flatulence "warming" the atmosphere, the fact of the matter is that eating meat has virtually the same impact on the planet as not eating meat.
"... a systematic peer-reviewed study has shown that even if they succeed, a vegetarian diet reduces individual CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 540 kilograms – or just 4.3% of the emissions of the average inhabitant of a developed country," Lomborg notes.
"Furthermore, there is a 'rebound effect,' as money saved on cheaper vegetarian food is spent on goods and services that cause additional greenhouse-gas emissions. Once we account for this, going entirely vegetarian reduces a person's total emissions by only 2%."
In the end, even if every person were to eat entirely vegan, only drive a Tesla, and power his or her home with wind and solar exclusively, the overall reduction in emissions would be so minimal as to be statistically non-existent.
Meanwhile, nations are throwing trillions of dollars at subsidizing these worthless changes, massively reducing their own wealth while propping up the illusion of "sustainability" – and to what end?
"We already spend $129 billion per year subsidizing solar and wind energy to try to entice more people to use today's inefficient technology, yet these sources meet just 1.1% of our global energy needs," Lomborg concludes.
"The IEA (International Energy Agency) estimates that by 2040 – after we have spent a whopping $3.5 trillion on additional subsidies – solar and wind will still meet less than 5% of our needs."
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