A Sensible Idea on Greenhouse Gases
Senator Barbara Boxer (D, CA) actually has an idea that isn’t half bad (WSJ–subscription required).
Ms. Boxer, who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, suggested last week that a first step in reducing greenhouse gases would be to require that federal buildings use more efficient light bulbs, and ask federal bureaucrats to turn off their computers at night.
“Don’t you think it’s time the federal government were a model of energy efficiency?” she asks. We warmly agree, not least since the United States Government is the largest single consumer of energy in the United States.
The reason this is actually a pretty good idea is that it could be a place for some pretty good savings in terms of money as well. Also the government is not a very efficient user of electricity.
According to a 1999 report by the Alliance to Save Energy, the “federal government, consumes about 32% more energy per square foot than the nation’s building stock at large.” This inefficiency costs taxpayers an estimated $1 billion a year. In Al Gore’s phrase, Uncle Sam’s leaving one giant “carbon footprint.”
Start, needless to say, with the Department of Energy, operating at an annual cost of $22 billion. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that from 1980 to 1996 Energy frittered away more than $10 billion on programs that were “terminated before completion.” On behalf of combating climate change, America could live without DOE’s Energy Hog Webgame for kids, which cost taxpayers $325,000.
Works for me. Increasing energy efficiency is probably always a good thing irrespective of whether one thinks global warming is a problem or not.
Update: Interestingly, in comments there seems to be no interest or lots of complaints that government IT departments wont be able to do their evening updates. So, the bottom line appears to be:
- De-industrialization to combat Global Warming: Fine.
- Exorbinant taxes to combat Global Warming: Fine.
- Turn of my computer at night?!?!!? Are you a flaming moron?!??!?!
Oh well, guess we’ll just have to get around on bicycles so that Al Gore can live in a big a$$ house and Gwyneth Paltrow can fly a private jet.