Private Jet Aficionado Laurie David On "Greening Our Airports"
You gotta take a step back in awe at the hubris of a Hollywood soon-to-be-ex-wife who takes private jets and owns a second home in Nantucket and who's begging the rest of us to save energy by unplugging our shavers. Larry David's estranged wife is also worrying in print (on the HuffPo, natch!) about all the empty soda cans the airlines are throwing away, writing:
...An NRDC investigation found that the U.S. airline industry discards enough aluminum cans each year to build 58 Boeing 747 airplanes. In a single year, U.S. airlines also discarded 9,000 tons of plastic and enough newspapers and magazines to fill a football field to a depth of more than 230 feet.
...Action tips for the week:
Even when they are 'off,' leaving appliances plugged in still uses energy, so remember before you leave home for summer vacation to unplug all electrical appliances and devices to save energy.
...If you plan to drive to your vacation destination, make sure your car is running efficiently. Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Saving a gallon of gas will keep 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and leave more money in your pocket for those vacation treats!
Gee, thanks, Laure! How many gallons of gas does that private jet use? How many thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide does it put into the atmosphere? So...you luvvvv the environment ("Here, Bambi!...Here, Bambi!") -- just not enough to stoop to flying first class.
In fact, it seems you take a private jet to the darnest places! Here, in the Texas A&M student newspaper, The Batt, a student says he saw you arrive in one for one of your global warming lectures:
Laurie David, the producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" and global warming activist, told Texas A&M students to change their "individual behavior" in order to consume fewer resources and to help battle global warming. As an employee of Easterwood Airport, I would like to point out that Mrs. David flew to our campus in a luxurious private jet, which could be seen from 10 miles away due to the thick plume of smog it left in its wake. I am neither denying nor confirming the epidemic of global warming, I am simply pointing out that hypocrites such as Mrs. David don't care about the environment, only their own political agendas. This is proven time and again by these celebrities' and lobbyist's "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
Class of 2007
Ever wonder why I never blog about climate change or global warming or whatever we're supposed to call it? It's because I study evolutionary psychology pretty seriously but I really don't know a rat's ass about physics or climatology. (Doesn't seem to stop Laurie!) Meanwhile, I've been meaning to put up a piece by reason's Ron Bailey on the subject, as he's someone I trust to be impartial judge of the science.
And here's another guy who's likely to have a wee bit more acumen in stats than the average Hollywood soon-to-be-ex. That would be Professor David J.C. MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics, who holds a PhD in computation and neural systems from Cal Tech and a "starred first in Physics," whatever that is. But, as Lewis Page puts it in the Register/UK, chances are, "he knows his numbers":
And, as he points out, numbers are typically lacking in current discussion around carbon emissions and energy use.
MacKay tells The Reg that he was first drawn into this field by the constant suggestion -- from the Beeb, parts of the government etc -- that we can seriously impact our personal energy consumption by doing such things as turning our TVs off standby or unplugging our mobile-phone chargers.
Anyone with even a slight grasp of energy units should know that this is madness. Skipping one bath saves a much energy as leaving your TV off standby for over six months. People who wash regularly, wear clean clothes, consume hot food or drink, use powered transport of any kind and live in warm houses have no need to worry about the energy they use to power their electronics; it's insignificant compared to the other things.
Most of us don't see basic hygiene, decent food and warm houses as sinful luxuries, but as things we can reasonably expect to have. This means that society as a whole needs a lot of energy, which led MacKay to consider how this might realistically be supplied in a low-carbon fashion. He's coming at the issues from a green/ecological viewpoint, but climate-change sceptics who are nonetheless concerned about Blighty becoming dependent on Russian gas and Saudi oil -- as the North Sea starts to play out -- will also find his analysis interesting. Eliminating carbon largely equates to eliminating gas and oil use.
"I don't really mind too much what your plan is," MacKay told The Reg this week. "But it's got to add up."
He says he's largely letting his machine-learning lab at Cambridge run itself these days, and is personally spending most of his time on trying out different energy scenarios.
MacKay sets out his calculations in a book, Sustainable Energy -- Without the hot air. You can download it here (http://www.withouthotair.com/). As he says:The one thing I am sure of is that the answers to our sustainable energy questions will involve numbers; any sane discussion of sustainable energy requires numbers. This book's got 'em, and it shows how to handle them.
He emphasises that the book isn't quite finished yet, and says he's always glad to hear from someone who has something to add or has spotted a mistake.
That's science for you. It's a beautiful thing. More people should try incorporating some into their self-serving P.R. campaigns for the environment.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, if you read the whole piece, you'll see that MacKay finds nukes -- and innovations in nuclear energy -- to be our best bet for the future.
Register link via aldaily