Snapped this shot from my window seat at Sydney Int'l. Nothing special, really. Yet it illustrates a point I've been mulling lately. As far as climate change goes, the notion of addiction to fossil fuels doesn't quite cut it. It's that everything out there, out your window almost anywhere, is made, and most manufacturing processes involve greenhouse gas emissions. The guardrail, paint, jetway, truck, advertisement -- delve into how these things come to be, and more likely than not the process is one that produces CO2. The same is true of hybrid cars and solar panels. Of course that doesn't mean these promising technologies are a waste and one might as well drive an SUV or support coal-fired power plants. But the ugly reality of the made world's relationship to greenhouse gases makes it hard to feel encouraged about a small up-tick in automobile emissions standards. I suppose the headline writers aren't wrong to use the expression "life as we know it" when referring to the causes of global climate change and what would have to change to mitigate it.
AuthorDavid Wolman