• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Early to Bed... to Cut Carbon Dioxide

    For environmentalists to get the carbon dioxide cuts they desire, they need people to dramatically change their behavior. After all, the goal of cap and trade is to increase the cost of energy (85% of which comes from carbon-emitting fossil fuels), in order for demand to fall. But the radical environmental ideas extend well beyond cap and trade and come from all parts of the globe. This is nothing more than a group of elitists who believe they possess a moral authority to tell others how to live. The latest is the Japanese government’s “Morning Challenge Campaign” that is urging Japanese households to make bedtime an hour earlier. From the UK’s Telegraph:

    “The Japanese government has launched a campaign encouraging people to go to bed and get up extra early in order to reduce household carbon dioxide emissions. The Morning Challenge campaign, unveiled by the Environment Ministry, is based on the premise that swapping late night electricity for an extra hour of morning sunlight could significantly cut the nation’s carbon footprint.

    The amount of carbon dioxide emissions potentially saved from going to bed an hour early was the equivalent of 20 per cent of annual emissions from household lights, “Many Japanese people waste electric power at night time, for example by watching TV until very late,” a ministry spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph.

    “But going to bed early and getting up early can avoid wasting electrical power which causes carbon dioxide emissions. If people change their lifestyle, we can save energy and reduce emissions.” The campaign also proposes that people take advantage of an extra hour of morning sunlight by improve their lifestyles in general by running, doing yoga and eating a nutritious breakfast.”

    Will the Morning Challenge Campaign work? Will those same people who watch television late at night not watch it when they have to get up earlier? One study shows that more daylight will result in less energy use on lighting but more on air conditioners. Even if the plan would work, more alarming is the goal to change peoples’ lifestyle preferences. It’s breaking the rules of a civil society in which a small group pushing to obstruct an individual’s effort to live as he pleases. It’s not just higher economic costs; these proposals are social and cultural changes that affect people in dramatic, non monetary ways. Lord Nicholas Stern told us to eat less meat because “meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources.”

    The good news is, Americans like their freedom. A recent Rasmussen survey “shows that only 17% of adults believe most Americans would be willing to make major cutbacks in their lifestyle in order to help save the environment.” George Mason economist Don Boudreaux has a solution, not just correct for government intrusion to save the planet, but to deal with all attempts to unnecessarily change an individual’s preference:

    “I propose that all articles and books advocating that government intrude into people’s private choices be taxed at very high rates. Socially irresponsible producers of such “junk” scholarship churn out far too much of it. As a result, unsuspecting Americans consume harmfully large quantities of this scholarship – scholarship made appealing only because its producers cram it with sweet and superficially gratifying expressions of noble goals. These empty intellectual ‘calories’ trick our brains – which evolved in an environment that lacked today’s superabundant access to junk scholarship – into craving larger and larger, even super-sized, portions of such junk.”

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Early to Bed... to Cut Carbon Dioxide

    1. TonyfromOz, Coomera says:

      Nicolas,

      where you say that the average person in the street would not change their ways because of the Climate Change/Global Warming scare campaign was graphically shown in the recent harsh Winter just gone.

      Even with the campaign to inform people that their use of electricity would have to change, because most of it is generated from CO2 emitting coal fired and Natural Gas fired sources, when it comes to the crunch, people will not take that perceived hard option.

      In December and on an even larger scale in January, power consumption spiked, and spiked considerably, much higher even than for the previous two Winters.

      The bulk of that spike was taken up by the coal fired sector of power production, and that sector was considerably higher than it was for those two previous Winters, despite the knowledge now out there that this sector produces the bulk of those CO2 emissions.

      I know I'm linking to one of my own posts with the following link, and forgive me for that, but when the real facts are shown, it indicates that there IS only one sector that can supply electrical power when it is needed the most.

      http://papundits.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/kerry-l

      When something like this is 'discretionary', then people will always let their situation overrule something they are told that they 'should be doing'.

      Also, electrical power is consumed in three sectors, Residential 38%, Commerce 37% and Industry 24%. Just cutting back like this post suggests for one hour in a residential setting will achieve very little indeed.

      It's all just hype!

    2. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×