Save The Planet By Stop Drinking Coffee
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Jon Burras
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2022 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved

    The alarm bells are going off all over the globe. In every country, community and political debate we are all talking about global climate change. Island nations are believed to be in grave danger of being swallowed up by rising ocean waters. Coastal cities will be left flooded and unusable in most major countries. The extremes of record hurricanes, drought and rainfalls are already being experienced across the globe.

     It is believed that the more green house gases are emitted into the atmosphere the more damage that might occur. These green house gases are assumed to be from human-created technology and industrialization. However, many of these gases come from nature itself. Farm animals burping and farting create greenhouse gases. Volcanoes spewing tons of toxic gas into the atmosphere are also a major source of global climate change. The many forest fires that consume vast tracts of forest trees add a considerable amount of green house gases to the atmosphere. Most of these fires are created by nature itself, like in a lightning strike.

     The global finger of shame and blame has been pointed at humanities' reliance on fossil fuels for the changes in our planet. Most environmental activists and political zealots continue to blame the oil and gas industry for all of our problems. Not withstanding, there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the fossil fuel industry as they have added a significant amount of air pollution to our planet.

    But this blame game is as craftily orchestrated as a ten-year-old cheating at the board game Monopoly. While it is easy to place the blame on the oil and gas industry, you will see that this strategy is well off-base. The real reason we are experiencing global instability is because of our lifestyle choices. Nobody is willing to give up or adapt to new lifestyle choices and the oil and gas industry are only one source of  blame.

    Every cup of coffee you drink adds to global warming. For every one-pound of coffee beans purchased, you will add eleven pounds of green house gases. From the growing, roasting, transportation and marketing of the coffee you drink, a significant spike in greenhouse gases will be emitted. From your daily trip to Starbucks or your morning brewing of your own "java", every coffee drinker is a major contributor to global climate change. There are over 20 billion pounds of coffee harvested worldwide each and every year resulting in hundreds of billions of pounds of greenhouse gases. Do you have any sense of guilt or remorse each morning as you sit back and sip your warm morning brew?

     The wine industry is not off the hook either in their carbon footprint. While not as egregious as other industries, the wine industry does add significant amounts of greenhouse gases to the planet. Most of these gas emissions come from the production, not of the wine itself, but of the glass bottles that the wine is sold in. In addition, most wines are not sold locally but must be transported and distributed over long distances while further adding air pollution to the mix. How many people are willing to give up their evening Chardonnay to help save the planet?

     Marijuana users and producers are another contributing factor to global climate change. Growing marijuana is an ecological disaster. Marijuana plants require vast amounts of water to grow. In some cases, up to six liters of water per day are required for each plant. In California for instance, there is frequently a drought and water use is restricted. California is also one of the largest marijuana producing areas in the world (both legally and illegally). While tax-paying citizens and almond farmers are being told that they must reduce their water consumption, marijuana growers have free access to however much water they want.

     Growing marijuana indoors is also a giant consumer of electricity. From grow lights to giant fans, grow houses (both illegal and legal) add a significant amount of green house gases to the environment through their enormous usage of electricity. Also, marijuana cultivation often is very destructive to watersheds and streams as toxic pollutants are often used to keep the harmful bugs off the plants. Every time you light up your marijuana joint or consume your edible you are adding significant damage to the planet in several forms.

    If you eat meat you are a major contributor to global climate change. A tremendous amount of fossil fuels are required to produce the alfalfa, soybeans, corn and other feed stock needed to plump up farm animals. Nitrogen based fertilizers derived from natural gas add to the mix. Animals like cows burp and fart while releasing large amounts of methane gases into the atmosphere.

    There are over 95 million beef and milk cows currently in the United States. That is a lot of burping and farting. I do not see a rallying cry any time soon among climate activists and ordinary citizens to end our reliance on meat and dairy products. Every time you eat a hamburger or dive into a bowl of ice cream you are adding to climate change.

     Global elites do not really want to end climate issues. They still fly on their private jets, own multiple homes and have an extremely large carbon footprint. A recent global climate conference in Europe included more than a hundred private corporate jets for people who feel that they are important. In fact, the United States' delegation which included President Joe Biden, contained several large aircraft, over seventy vehicles for the Presidential motorcade, several helicopters and much more fossil fuel wasting expenses. It seems that the global elites would rather tell the rest of us what to do than to actually demonstrate it themselves.

    Many climate elites own multiple homes that are all energy sucks. They have an array of decorative lighting, security systems and heated swimming pools. Many of these climate elites satisfy their climate shame by claiming that they donate money to off-set their carbon footprint. They somehow feel better about themselves if an organization can plant a few trees someplace else with their donations. This is like throwing five discarded plastic water bottles into the ocean and the next day picking up five empty aluminum soda cans on the sidewalk. You feel that you are now even. Many times the elites suffer from a condition called 'magical self-inflation". Forced climate change is for the little people and not for the well-off and "special" contingent.

     If you participate in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin you are a major contributor to climate change as well. In order to "mine" the currencies, a vast amount of super computers are required. These computers require vast amounts of electricity to operate, most of which comes from the generation of fossil fuels. Some insider estimates conclude that there are over 16,000 different crypto-currencies in operation. Bitcoin alone is said to use as much electricity as the entire country of Argentina. There might be an island nation under water in the Pacific Ocean soon because of your participation in the crypto-currency economy.

     In countries like America we use electricity like it is a magical commodity that just shows up and is always available. We have decorative lighting around our homes at night. We power on our Christmas lights during the holiday season as if there were no tomorrow. The United States uses an estimated 6.6 billion kilowatts of electricity just on its holiday lighting alone. This is more electricity than the entire country of El Salvador uses in an entire year. All of this electricity requires power generation, usually in the form of fossil fuels and more green house gases. Since over eighty-percent of America's electricity comes from non-alternative sources, a holiday greeting with a full array of lighting is another way that you are destroying the planet. You are the holiday Grinch after all.

     By just cutting down a Christmas tree you are a prime instigator of global warming. All trees absorb carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Americans alone cut down over fifteen million trees each year to be dragged into their homes, bedraggled with ornaments and lighting and then die within a few short weeks. These tress could have been a useful carbon dioxide cleaner but instead they will be a festive sight for a short time followed by a quick trip to the dump.

     If you thought that buying an artificial Christmas tree is that much better then think again. There are a vast amount of green house gases released in the production and distribution of artificial trees. About 85 pounds of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere for every artificial tree manufactured. How about that for Christmas spirit? 

     How often have you driven past an empty office building at night only to find that all the lights are still on in the building long after all the employees have gone home? We enter into grocery stores that are essentially refrigerated by giant freezers of frozen items that have no doors on them. All that cold air just sinks to the floor and eventually makes its way out the door. More electricity and green house gases wasted by our convenience culture.

    Hypocrisy in the climate war propaganda is around every corner. We have often seen how climate activists drive long distances in their fossil fuel propelled vehicles to camp out in remote locations to protest nuclear power plants or proposed lithium mines. They crank up their greenhouse gas producing propane stoves to brew their coffee and heat their meals as they stand over a greenhouse gas emitting bonfire to keep themselves warm. A weenie roast has taken on a new meaning as wasteful green house gases are spewed into the air from many sources (coffee brewing included).

     In early 2021 I witnessed on television the national bike-riding day in Washington D.C. under the Biden administration. A television video crew recorded the National Transportation Secretary (Pete Buttigieg) drive his fossil fuel SUV to work and park it a few blocks from his office. He then unloaded a bicycle from his bike rack, strapped on his helmet and began riding it a short distance to his office so that the cameras could record him riding his bicycle to work. I guess "riding a bike to work" means different things to different people.

     If you thought that you were doing the Earth a favor by switching to an electric economy then you are sorely mistaken. Every time you plug in to charge your electric vehicle, electric bike, cell phone, tablet, desk top computer or lap top computer you are adding to global warming. Electricity has to come from somewhere and currently in America the vast majority of electricity is produced by fossil fuel driven power plants. Your demand for electricity makes you a chief contributor when it comes to global climate change.

     In addition, vast amounts of green house gases are released from the procurement of the minerals required to make the batteries for electric cars and cell phones. Innumerable trees are being cleared in rainforests to construct nickel mines. Lithium, gold and other precious metals are being dug out of the ground and processed using heavy equipment that all are driven by fossil fuel engines.

    The rainforests in Malaysia and Brazil are considered the "lungs of the Earth", absorbing vast amounts of green house gases. Every day miles of these forests are being destroyed and are being replaced by mineral mines, soy plantations, palm oil plantations, cattle raising, exotic wood harvesting and other industries. If you eat meat or eat any cracker or cake that uses palm oil as one of its ingredients, then you are responsible in part for the warming of the planet. Purchasing any exotic wood (like teak) for your boat, furniture or home means that you have helped to cut down old-growth exotic trees in rain forests.    

    An electric economy does not solve our problems. It only creates other problems and might be considered a parallel move and not a way to solve a problem. The cost of electricity will continue to rise. Most electricity in America comes from a fossil fuel plant far away.  On average it costs $12.95 per hundred miles to charge an electric car but only $8.58 per hundred miles to use gasoline. Electric vehicles cost on average $51,000 while a  gasoline car averages about $23,000 to purchase. Gasoline taxes are how we pay for roads. Electric vehicles do not have to pay gasoline taxes so the burden of road repair is placed on gasoline-driven vehicles. And then there is all of the lost time waiting at charging stations for your electric vehicle to be charged.

    The travel industry is also a large portion of the global climate chaos. Every time you get on an airplane to visit a relative you are contributing to global climate change. A business trip is a climate disaster as more and more green house gases are released with every flight. Every cruise ship produces an enormous amount of green house gases as well. The cruise to the Caribbean that you desire might be just a pollution creating event.

     Then we have billionaires taking millionaires into space for fun. This is called "space tourism" where rocket ships carry wealthy people into the edges of space for a few minutes to have their thrill ride. Between space tourism and commercial satellite launches, the rocket industry is launching over a hundred rockets each year, contributing vast amounts of green house gases into the atmosphere. The number of launches is expected to double of quadruple in the next five years, further polluting our atmosphere with carbon-based gases.

     The whole blaming fossil fuels on climate change is quite absurd. Most people are not examining their lifestyle choices and taking accountability for the choices that they are making.

     I like to equate the climate issue to a flood along the banks of the Mississippi River. When there is a flood along this giant river we are always placing blame on the river. But we do not look at what is happening upstream. The Mississippi River is created by the water runoff from thirty-one different states and parts of Canada. Anything that happens in Missouri or Louisiana is because of the water levels far upstream.

     For instance, a snow thaw in the Spring in Montana or a deluge of rain in Ohio will lead to the Mississippi River. Every stream, river, tributary, culvert and gutter will ultimately drain into the Mississippi River and somehow make it out into the ocean. Every little water catching ditch is part of the flooding that goes into the Mississippi River system.

     Global warming is much like this river system. Every cup of coffee you drink adds to global warming as does everything you buy online. Every time you turn on a light switch or charge your cell phone you are hurting the planet. Every glass of wine you drink contributes greenhouse gases. We are all the tributaries leading into gigantic climate shifts. When will we wake up and begin to look at the bigger picture and stop blaming the fossil fuel industry solely for the lifestyle choices that we have all made?

     The solution is very simple. We all need to examine our own lifestyle choices. I live in a drought state where we have "water police" drive around the neighborhood and give citations to people watering their yards on the wrong day or washing their car in the driveway. We need to have electricity police giving citations to building owners whose lights are left on at night. We all should be mandated to cut our electricity back by 40%.

     Crypto-currencies should be banned unless they can prove that all of their electricity comes from renewable sources. We should reconsider our diets and wonder if our consumption of all of those meat and dairy products is worth destroying the planet for. We should minimize all travel to only what is necessary and ban most rocket launches.

     And yes, each morning we all must ponder if we really need that cup of coffee and is it worth the damage that it is doing to the environment. There is no longer a guilt-free cup of coffee. In the meantime, stop blaming the oil and gas industry for global climate change until you first are willing to examine your own lifestyle, one cup of coffee at a time.