Treehugger vs. Ben Stein

Treehugger vs. Ben Stein

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

More fun at Treehugger. In an article from late last month, they attack famous Creationist bonehead Ben Stein for his desire to make us as a society run around like chickens with our heads cut off rather than fix the problems that are causing the oil crash and global warming. Apparently he wants to spend way more than ten thousand dollars of someone else’s money to preserve his lifestyle.

The ideas Stein subscribes to, however, are endemic — the idea that the energy crisis is about driving. It’s not.

In his New York Times article Ben Stein said we had to have a moon-shot scale drive to drill everywhere and turn coal into oil into gasoline. After our previous post commenter RC said “Only a numbskull treehugger could argue with this logic.”

Well, call me a numbskull TreeHugger, but the last time I looked only slightly over a quarter of our energy was consumed by transportation, and almost half of it was consumed heating, cooling and lighting houses and buildings. So why do we spend so much time talking about cars? Take that “moon shot” money and spend it on fixing buildings.

Also, Ben, the last time I looked transportation didn’t use a whole lot of electricity, so why build nukes on every block? We don’t have an energy problem, we have a waste problem, as we throw our energy away in buildings that need too much cooling, too much heating and too much artificial lighting.

Do we need to spend billions on liquid coal, nukes and drill everywhere just so Ben can keep driving his Cadillac STS-V at 130 MPH to Rancho Mirage? No, we just have to fix our buildings and as your fellow NYT columnist Paul Krugman said, “own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much.”

Image from Architecture 2020 via Treehugger.


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