January 19th, 2018

Minister’s ‘green’ suggestions aren’t helpful


By Letter to the Editor on January 11, 2018.

On Twitter, Shannon Phillips endorsed suggestions that Albertans eat less meat, take shorter showers and unplug their devices. Clearly these actions are not enough.

We should be showering with cold water. This would save fuel and cold showers will assist with a plan that will limit Alberta couples to having just one tax-free child. If couples want more kids they will pay the Sibling Climate Action Tax, or SCAT, akin to the carbon tax.

Maximum wintertime house and office temperatures will be restricted to no higher than 17¡C during the day and no more than 12¡C at night. And to stay warm, we will wear pajamas made from soon-to-be-plentiful cannabis fibre. Air conditioning will soon be a no-no.

And why stop at reducing meat consumption? Pet food is another wasteful “food” group and perhaps ownership of pets should be questioned because of their high carbon footprint. Salty and sugary snack foods, including candy-in-disguise protein bars, will soon a thing of the past.

Electronics should be rationed, not merely unplugged. People under 16 years will no longer own smartphones and adults will get non-transferable rationing coupons that would allow them to buy only one cellphone every three years: no more lineups for the next iThingy. This will also help indoctrinate millennials and Generation Z into living the Spartan lifestyle which will help them adapt to living in “tiny houses” which are all the rage on HGTV. Our tiny houses will be restricted to a base size of 400 square feet, with another 50 square feet allowed for each household resident. So a family of three (remember, just one child) will be living in a mere 550 square feet. This is an effective way to reduce consumption of building materials, reduce energy demand and reduce carbon footprint.

Under the watchful eye of the government, there is no limit to what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint, so send your suggestions to Shannon Phillips. This is just the start of a gentler, simpler life and lower standard of living we all need to embrace. You know, like Venezuela and North Korea. End of spoof.

Everything we do consumes energy, and we can do better, but few of us are willing to make more than superficial green sacrifices, and that is all they are. Vacuous and effete suggestions like those supported by our environment minister are unwelcome and insulting.

Clive Schaupmeyer

Coaldale

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23 Responses to “Minister’s ‘green’ suggestions aren’t helpful”

  1. Montreal13 says:

    Thank you ,George for pointing this out so well.

  2. already extinct says:

    Ditto George and Montreal 13.

    Resident unproductive weak sauce snakes rest little in the tall brome at the ready – coiled to strike.

  3. IMO says:

    Clive, George, Montreal13, al ex, do the readership a kindness and identify all of the regular purposeful and effectual energy saving and environmentally friendly practices_you_have incorporated into your daily lives.

    • Fescue says:

      As you know, IMO, the reason-to-be for most of these people is to be against things. For Clive, and his energy coal-egium, anything done to reduce one’s impact on the natural environment and the reckless consumption of finite resources is simply a worthless gesture. I can only think that they don’t care much for the quality of lives for their progeny.

      Besides, they have completely taken this out of context, for the usual partisan reasons. The Minister was responding to a local challenge for all of us to do a little better and what she (or her staff) said was perfectly reasonable in this context.

      • biff says:

        i likes burning coal, raping, pillaging and poisoning the planet for oil and gold, and leaving the lights on only because the chinese still gets to do all that kind of stuff. why should i stop having all the fun if they don’t have to? oops, the shower should be plenty hot by now…

    • already extinct says:

      Lengthy IMO. and nobody could touch me in this contest, not even you. That’s the extent of my “kindness” – I have nothing to prove, the water is under the bridge and I cherished and cherish every drop of it.

    • George McCrea says:

      Hey I come from special areas. Conservation was a way of life brother.

      Your turn. Tell us how great thou art.

  4. Fescue says:

    If one accepts the scientific consensus that we must reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases to maintain a climate in which we and the natural world (like our crops) has become accustomed to, then we must accept that we have to change our behaviours. And those who are seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are discovering that it will require many small behavioural changes – like shorter showers, unplugging their devices and eating less meat. I would add planning fewer local trips in the car and luxury vacations to the list.

    So, let’s see what could happen if we reduced our shower time by two minutes each day – say, from 6 minutes to 4 minutes. At 18 litres per minute for a standard shower, this is 36 liters per person per day. It takes 2500 kilojoules to heat the water to 25C. For 3.5 million Albertans, this is almost 9000 gigajoules. With an average water tank efficiency of 65%, this is 13,800 gigajoules each day, for a yearly total of 5 million gigajoules. At 50 kg of CO2 equivalent GHG emission per GJ burned, this is a savings of over 250,000 tonnes of CO2 eq – just to shorten a shower a couple of minutes.

    The average Canadian eats roughly 60 kg of beef each year. Studies show the GHG emissions for beef to range from 14 to 27 kg CO2eq per kg of beef sold. Using a middle value of 20 and reducing our consumption of beef by 10% or 6 kg/person/year reduces emissions by 420,000 tonnes per year. Wow.

    And even unplugging your electronic devices. The average home uses roughly 7000 kWh of electricity each year. There are 1.3 million homes in Alberta. Standby power is estimated to range from 5% to 25% of the total consumption, depending on the age of the electronics and the number of devices. Using 15%, this is 1365 million kWh each year. Using an emission of 0.6 kg CO2 per kWh for Alberta’s (current) electricity mix, this waste of electricity accounts for 819,000 tonnes per year.

    You can quibble over the numbers used here, but the examples clearly show that a multitude of small changes can have large impacts. And we are not talking about the (funny?) extremes Clive shares, these behavioural changes won’t even be noticed in one’s quality of life. This is just waste – a waste of energy that unnecessarily contributes to global warming and, consequently, climate disruption.

  5. already extinct says:

    Fescue “we”!!!!! “….small changes can have large impacts” One example please??

    Who is “we” in a world of 7.5 billion people.

    A bomb could drop on Canada tomorrow and kill us all and it would make zero difference to anything, except there might be a shortage of coffins which the Chinese would fill within a week, mayor Spearman and Trudeau have arraigned that with their friends over there.

    I suggest strongly doing some research and get off the hackneyed lines used in every sentence in all the publications most first appearing in the New York Times to be spread nationwide, in fact worldwide for the copy and pasters to broadcast and use in their indoctrination classes.

    • IMO says:

      Mark Milke, the author of the Financial Post article, was a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute. If I recall correctly, didn’t the Calgary Herald refer to the Fraser Institute as conservative while the Langley Times identified it as right-of-centre libertarian?

  6. Montreal13 says:

    Interesting that LGLee used the word “suck” . He probably isn’t even weaned yet and never will be?
    While his disposable diapers will still be visible in the dump for around another 170 years ,our 2 children’s (handmade,cotton) have long ago been decomposed . First thru our 35 year old compose bins and on decades later, for tomato harvests in our garden. But only after they were used for 2 children and then rags first. Even after both parents were back to work,we took cotton diapers to day care and took dirty ones home every day to clean for reuse.
    We have both only ever had one new appliance ( a fridge about 15 years ago) in our long lives. 99% of our furniture is second hand. After my grandma’s mattress was well passed its due date, we did buy 1 new mattress. We have never had a new couch ,nor care to. We wait til we can find a clean one & the colour we like at an auction or some place. My computers have always been second hand, my desk here in front of me ,is a refurbished 35 year old door. The shelves below ,40 years old from the auction. I have been shopping at second hand stores and auctions since I was 16 years old. Long before garage sales. Our coffee makers, microwaves, kettles, gas stove, washer and dryers ,plates, pots etc. etc. have and always will be second hand. We found our toaster in an alley,fixed it and it has been working safely for over a year. We are fixers , not replacers.
    My 35 year old clothes line(in town here) is well used, even in the winter. The cold air and winter sun drys out towels ,jeans etc. . It justs takes about 5 to 10 minutes to soften them up in the dryer.
    The most environmentally friendly house ,cars etc. are existing or second, third hand ones. Our house is also quite modest in size and the actual gas usage to heat is modest as well. I have no doubt that LGLee’s car is at least 20 years newer than mine.Did he buy brand new.? The mileage ,gas consumption of my car is modest as well. Plus I can buy second hand parts for my car. I bet LGLee can’t for his? I live in a walkable neighborhood and have worked from home for 19 years, I don’t need to drive to and from work. Or take one of our city’s huge, empty diesel burning buses to work. Why don’t you do something useful, LGLee and take on the city over that one?
    After that, let us see you make a presentation to city council asking for a tree protection bylaw here in town. We don’t need air conditioning , as we have well nurtured trees that shade our house in the summer. We water deep and well. Check the community foundation’s newsletter from last year where it states that 81% of the water that enters Lethbridge – leaves it for SK. Do you have tanks in your basement to store gray water from household use ,to redirect onto trees and shrubs,LGLee?
    We do not make a living in the recycle industry- we live it. The plastic blue bins etc. are made from petro products. What is the carbon footprint of those to ship &supply to every household in town?
    We had hens in our yard til our youngest child left home. Some of our neighbors did too. But coops are in various hoods all over town. Hens consume composable material (extra), eat weeds and bugs in your yard. We ate their eggs for years , then ate them. Their feathers went into the compost. All while you were driving to safeway, LGLee?
    If you know someone in the plastic bin manufacturing business( which cannot apparently use recycled at this time) or especially ask those in the plastic lumbar business(which can use recycled or some) : how much of the plastic recycling from Lethbridge and how much is of good enough quality to use. How much has to be shipped in by fossil fuel burning trucks to make this plastic lumbar?
    I could go on and on ,but it is time to feed the rabbitsI’m not kidding). It appears to me LGLee that you figure you are entitled to ride on rubber and fart in silk as you want me to subsidize your lifestyle. All because you won’t walk with a cart or drive your recyclables (on your way to other errands) or privately hire; to the existing recycling depots, we have now. No you want me to take on more costs and increased carbon footprints to create a more convenient way for you to recycle?
    I’ve save for another day the subject of “environment Lethbridge” . Which is about as “grassroots” as a bank.
    And ,yes we may be frugal but we are very happy to support with $500 to $1000 now and then to a true grassroots group. The kind that you never get a tax deductible receipt for either., because they are not politicaly correct enough to qualify.
    I’ll laugh as you go on and on about my political leanings, no doubt.

  7. already extinct says:

    Real Reality:

    Only two things will alter the course of the looming disaster.

    – population abatement
    -a decrease in consumption WORLD WIDE, ripping the heart out of the planets natural resources to feed the populations, (a population which has blown from less than a billion at the beginning of the industrial age to 7 times that some 300 years later) insatiable thirst for stuff.

    Neither going to happen. Breed and consume away ya’ll.

    • Montreal13 says:

      Already extinct- I totally agree. I believe what you say is , unfortunately the case. That is why I say as above,” No, you want me to take on more costs and increased carbon footprints to create a more convenient way for you to recycle?” That is in no small part, what a blue bin program accomplishes- cost and more waste. And it is a pretend game going after the wrong numbers, in my opinion. Especially when there is recycling depots available to use around town, already.

  8. snowman says:

    interesting the point is missed it is called “green standards” and green police.
    the question who set the “standards” was it Lethbridge Environment or Green
    Phillips. eg. when Suzuki foundation and Pembina institute acted as high paid
    consultants on the Ontario Green energy regulations standards were set on citizens
    their green police were allowed entrance to all households to inspect all appliances
    that must meet the set green standards if not they were seized and persons fined.
    The question was Lethbridge Environment set up to set “Green Standards” and
    is green police already knocking on your door. Think.

  9. Fescue says:

    Oh, snowman. Clive tries to be funny, but you are the real deal.

  10. Resolute says:

    Well I have always been the Reduce and ReUse part of the 3R’s. Long before Gore and Suzuki started jetting around to promote global warming theory. I do really like a good Prime Rib tho. Until I can see real unspun data supporting material mankind-caused warming I will continue my pragmatic logic based existence. I do think that cold sucks and is much more a danger than a minor warming event. Especially as I commence snow shovelling. Again.

    • Tony Pargeter says:

      Your pragmatic logic-based existence in which you dismiss all climate science offhand?
      And you want to see “unspun data?” So climate scientists are interested in spin? Have you ever met a scientist?

  11. Resolute says:

    I see that Mr Lee has not removed his usual rather rude comments this time. Yet.


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