I’m not sure whether the credit crunch has brought on about of pre apocalyptic fever or whether living a a world of instant gratification has resulted in attempting anything on a timescale of more than a few weeks has people wailing & gnashing their teeth in jaw snapping frustration. Whatever the cause, environmental issues seem to be resulting in a lot of people foaming at the mouth, stripping off their clothes and running around in the snow barking at car drivers, advocating compulsory sterilization or writing bizarre articles.
Ottilia Saxl takes time off from kicking the backsides of whoever recently besmirched the good name of the Institute of Nanotechnology to be absolutely furious at global governments for “failing the stop use of fossil fuels, failing to limit population growth, failing to protect the rainforest…” and gives a ragbag of reasons why nanotechnology is a vital part of any solution. In fact the new issue of Nano Magazine is packed with articles about how nanotech could help save the planet, and therein lies the problem.
Most of these kind of articles spend 50% of their length regurgitating well known facts about population growth, energy usage and infant mortality, working themselves up into a frenzy of moral indignation, only to let the reader down with the news that researchers somewhere have come up with an idea that may have the possibility to address some problem or other at some point in the future.
I always find this kind of article rather lazy and ultimately disappointing, after all it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting two groups of facts and finding some justification to link them.
So, if you really want to save the planet, stop wasting time and energy by writing pointless articles based on flimsy evidence. Charity starts at home, but saving the environment starts in the governments of India, China and the USA. There are also a number of other ways to make a difference
- Breathe less. An average persons respiration generates some 900g of carbon dioxide a day, so by breathing less, or avoiding getting steamed up over global warming issues you could make a real difference immediately.
- Shoot yourself. My thanks to Jonathan Porrit for pointing out that doing something about population could help stop climate change, even if he can’t do the demographic maths too well. Of course the quickest way to make a difference would be to shoot yourself. Ending your life 40 years ahead of schedule would save over 400 tons of carbon dioxide, and this could be easily increased by bumping off a few other people too.
Disclaimer: As science education and common sense seem to be in short supply when ‘climate change’ is concerned, I should point out that I am not suggesting that anyone actually follows either of the techniques above, or wastes any time working out the amount of carbon dioxide saved by genocidal megalomaniacs in the 20th century.