Another sign of the coming apocalypse: I’m now getting some of my news from Cracked.com. That’s in addition to getting less political reporting from NPR and more from Comedy Central, at least during the hours when they’re not busy roasting Larry the Cable Guy or presenting sanitized-for-basic-cable versions of direct-to-DVD American Pie sequels.
In any event, Cracked is listing 5 Ways People Are Trying to Save the World (That Don’t Work). I don’t know how carefully they’ve fact-checked this article, but if some of the details are anywhere near the ballpark parking lot they raise some interesting issues. Take this item:
Also, re-using something is not always better than just tossing it away. A chemist at the University of Victoria calculated that you would need to use a ceramic mug 1,000 times before you would see benefits over using disposable polystyrene cups for those 1,000 cups of coffee. This is because it takes far more energy to make that mug and takes energy and water to wash it after each use.
I’m not sure people are ready to carry Saving the Earth to the extent that it begins to affect our basic sanitation needs. There’s a strong argument that the ongoing advance of civilization is based in large part on the human mastery of sanitation.
Besides, George Carlin pointed out years ago that what we call Saving the Planet is really about saving our own asses and having a clean spot to park our Volvos. Okay, so apparently I used to get a lot of my political news from stand-up comedians, but Carlin’s gone now, and I can’t think of another comic who’s quite as smart as he was. Unless maybe it’s Jon Stewart. Unhand me, Comedy Central!