Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Cars are saving the planet"

NewBusters reports on a fascinating op-ed published in, of all places, the Atlanta Journal Constitution. University of Georgia's David Lee, an economics professor, offers a startling insight into emissions:

...Based on a recent study by the Food and Agricultural Organization, The Independent reports that "livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together."

...Long before global warming became an environmental concern, however, the move from the power provided by animals to that provided by gasoline had greatly improved the environment. The emissions that came out of the tailpipes of horses were much more lethal pollutants that those now coming out of the tailpipes of cars. Horse emissions did more than make our town and cities stink; they spread fly-borne diseases and polluted water supplies that killed people at a far greater rate than the pollution from cars and trucks ever have...

Al Gore Edition™ Ford Expedition

Put simply, the internal-combustion engine has replaced scads of farm-yard animals. These animals not only contributed to massive amounts of methane but also helped spread diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, and tetanus.

Lee also notes that, in 1900, farm animals required food that consumed nearly 100 million acres of land. Most of that land has since returned to woodlands, which has in turn reduced global warming through the increased absorption of CO2.

I'm going out right this minute to start my car up. I'll let it sit in the driveway and idle all night long, which will gradually cool the Earth. It's just a small 'thank you' to Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton for their efforts in improving the environment.

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