This article about climate change on NYtimes.com sparked my interest, especially since I got it wrong.
First, it starts with a question, which four of these climate change problems would be more effective?
1. Build more wind farms
2. Eat less meat worldwide
3. Improve air conditioners
4. Switch to mass transit
What do you think the answer is?
My guess: eat less meat worldwide.
I was wrong!
This is the answer that NYtimes.com gave me:
‘No. But meat is a big contributor to climate change. If half of the people on the planet went vegetarian and followed a 2,500 calorie-per-day meal plan, it would eliminate 26.7 gigatons of emissions by 2050. In comparison, fixing refrigeration would slash 89.7 gigatons in that time frame.’
Ok, it is one of the major ones, but what’s up with air-conditioners? I don’t need one here in Holland, but when I lived in NYC I had one.
What’s up with ac/s?
There’s an ingredient in these apparatuses that causes 1% of the total emissions, but at the rate that people are buying these things will account for 19% by 2050. In countries such as India and the Philippines more and more people are buying a/c’s. The reason why they’re ‘bad’ is the ingredient in the actual cooling parts of the machines called Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.
Why does it matter?
The more a/c’s, the more power plants needed.
There are substitutes for HFCs in the making. What we really need is for the substitutes to become mandatory.
Ok, so this is new to me. Yes, I have known that a/c’s aren’t good for the environment for some time, but that at the rate that these machines are being sold that it beat meat-consumption? By the looks of it the only way to go is to use sustainable manufacturing practices without HFCs.
How long would it really take to get such a practice into place?
Now over to you:
Do you own an a/c? Do you allow it to blast all summer long?
Read the full article on nytimes.com here.