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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

July, 2008


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How to Really Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Save Money and Lose Weight! Eat the Rich

"Everybody knows the fight was fixed. The poor stay poor, the rich stay rich." -Leonard Cohen
Yes, it's true. The rich are thinner while lean meat is extolled in most diet plans. At least in omnivore circles. However in global terms, all Americans are rich. Even the poorest Americans generate more GG than most Africans. Revolutions invariably replace one elite with another, anyways.
Generally the more financial wealth people enjoy in any fossil fuel based economy, the more GG they generate. Higher income means driving motor vehicles, buying more stuff transported great distances, eating more meat, flying in airplanes, living in larger homes using more energy, water and materials and supporting a larger military and legal system to keep it that way.

Americans are particularly wasteful, from our bloated military, houses and vehicles on steroids, beef based diets to our climate-controlled lifestyles. Europeans generate half the GG of an American, yet have better health, are less overweight, while spending ess money overall. They even claim to be happier despite their dismal weather.

If Americans merely walked as much as Europeans, we'd gain all that and live longer. Giving us time to walk there. In the fight against Global Warming, (GW) by reducing GG, we're all in this together, from Indonesian sweatshop workers to the super wealthy. Especially the elite 2 per cent, because without good help they're as helpless as a baby seal without its fur. And these are our leaders.

Some rich people exist in a bubble of money, others plan to live on Mars or sheltered underground, but many have signed on to Going Green to slow Climate Change. The wealthiest tend to steer cultural and social change with the ostentatious ways they spend their wealth. Investing in green technology or buying a sustainable castle nudges the social spectrum towards eco consciousness. Especially if they're a movie star. That's the theory.

It fuels the dream that techies can innovate our way out of this mess. Americans are fixated on discovering "Some Secret" to getting rich and glamorous. The secret is that the system was designed centuries ago to keep those born into vast fortunes and the few elite who scrabbled their way down there with them safe. Their managerial class is well paid to drain pennies and pounds from the pockets of the masses into their laps.


An Inconvenient Truth
Depending on the rich or influential to lead the way towards saving the planet runs the risks they'll get tired of trying to be energy frugal, when they can afford to live large. Good intentions and sustainable visions aren't enough. After all Al Gore uses more energy for his Tennessee plantation house than 22 average families. And he's not even in Forbes top 100.

That doesn't count his jetting around to pick up awards for good intentions. No doubt he buys carbon credits to stay carbon neutral. Some peons are planting Blue Gum eucalyptus or Monterey pine in Kenya or Lower Slobovia to assuage his guilt.

Gore is on the board of some European companies poised to swoop in on the trillions up for grabs if the U.S. enters the carbon cap and trade market. It's like a sales tax, but on carbon dioxide. If a business can't meet their quota, they have to trade (this is where the brokers come in to play) with other businesses that lowered their GG output or pay someone to "sequester" their carbon, (store it somewhere other than the atmosphere).

In the current regulations, this can be an asphalt roadway. Because oil sludge is locked up there, supposedly. Considering the maintenance state of local roads, apparently Marin County also believes this. A lot of the money raised by taxing carbon dioxide will go to the federal government, which is the largest GG generator because of their military. It's like designating the town drunk as your hybrid limo driver.

This market hasn't worked to reduce GG enough to meet the goals of countries that signed the Kyoto protocols, so why do both major presidential candidates want one here?


Snake Oil Salesman
Those who need to save money and lose weight are more likely to follow the simple principles outlined in this 2008 CP series on how to really reduce GG. So far we've shown how to drastically eliminate GG from the largest generators- the military, transportation, construction building and electricity, plus save money and lose weight. Next we'll look at agriculture/eating, the medical monopoly and local government.

The rich can spend more for fashionable green items that won't make a dent in the fossil fueled system that keeps them wealthy. They'll use green products in their sustainable castle, but block affordable, innovative housing that could lower their property value.

They'll buy a hybrid SUV, but won't take a crowded bus or train. The ability of upper class wives in the 20's to afford a car and driver killed the electric trolley, according to one transit historian. And that was when gentlemen stood for ladies.

Unless mass transit is used by our leaders and their managers, funding and implementation will always be inferior to private automobiles, the King of the Road. This is why the human powered CycleTrain! Is the ideal mass transit because combining a workout with their commute means more time to make money?

Behind every great fortune is a grand theft

Anyways, there's not that many of the super wealthy or even the very wealthy. Although there are plenty of servants. Historically they learn just how disposable they are when the elite are forced to flee the mobs. Vast inequalities inevitably breed resentment in the haveless and fear in the havemores for good reason.

If the Sidewalk Improvement Society was as influential as the Anti-Defamation League, then transportation agencies would make ped access a priority instead of treating walkers like a Palestinian. There'd be no need for a carbon market to reduce GG, and we'd save money, lose weight and live longer (if crosswalks were safer).

The carbon market will cost Americans with lower income a larger percentage of their income than wealthier Americans and won't really reduce GG. Our system forces us to burn carbon no matter what the cost. We're addicted to burning way more fuel than we need because we fancy it makes us more comfortable.

We're more likely to run out of water or topsoil before we run out of oil, but the price is guaranteed to rise. The rich are getting richer by draining the cash from us poor suckers. It's based on our attraction to shiny things and the accumulating wealth from compound interest with the full weight of the law wedged against the gated compounds.

We could rebel, we could burn it up, but following the simple steps outlined in this Coastal Post exclusive series will topple the system like WTC 7, while really Reducing GG, Saving Money and Losing Weight.






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