Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Don't tell Herr Deisel or

Bollocks ... I mean Bullocks



The really crazy Novak wrote

reader wrote to Jonah the other day that Americans constitute 5 % of the world's population but use 25% of the world's energy. Another way to look at it is to ask, What is energy? It used to be the backs of humans and animals. Then it was water wheels and wind mills. Surely, America today does not use a large proportion of the world's horse power, oxen power, and other old-fashioned sources of energy.


According to the really sane Yglesias

well I do think a major correction to US contribution to global warming might be made and not by counting Bullocks.

How many tons of lumber are used in constructing housing in the USA ? What fraction of Lumber is carbon (I'd guess about 20-30% depending on how dry it is) ? Subtract carbon released when houses burn or rot and you get lots and lots of carbon sequestration building absurdly large houses largely of wood.

Over here in Italy, houses are smaller and made mostly of stone.

Anyone ever counted the net carbon budget of the housing industry ?

Just asking.


Novak went on to write

Today, when we say "energy," we usually mean gasoline for the combustion engine, nuclear power, electricity, the use of natural gas, modern sources like that. The United States pioneered in virtually every source of what in the modern world counts as energy. You might say we invented nearly 100 % of it, and have already shared about 75% of it with others. Not as good as we might yet do (as China and India become the world's largest users of modern energy), but pretty darn good, don't you think?


Might want to ask Mr Novak who invented the internal combusion engine (hint not Mr Gasoline). How about the steam engine ? The dynamo ? And I am ov the same ethnicity as Leo Szilard and drive on Via Enrico Fermi every day and don't think they were from the USA.

The combination of nationalism and ignorance is delightful.

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