Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Numbers of the Rose

Good Lord.

There is nothing worse than an environmentalist who can't calculate. Except a journalist who can't do it either.

Example: someone named Jennifer Grayson in the Washington Post. @jennigrayson, says she's a HuffPost green columnist.

Her May 7th Washington Post piece, "Flowers may be nice for Mom, but they’re terrible for Mother Earth," claims
While it’s difficult to calculate the carbon footprint of a single bouquet, experts estimate that sending 100 million roses (the number believed to be given in the United States on Valentine’s Day, another big flower holiday) produces some 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from field to florist. The average American household has a carbon footprint of 48 tons a year.
These emissions come to 187.5 households, or 90 grams of CO2 per rose, or what the average American emits in 2.8 minutes.

We're supposed to feel guilty about this 187.5 households' worth, this 3 minutes worth, out of 123 million households in the country, out of all the minutes (525,960)  in a year. Maybe it's twice this, because there is both Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

You can read more by Tom Blumer.

This is not the way to solve climate change. Or the way to think about it.

You could pick up a rock outside your mother's front door and give her that for Mother's Day, and its carbon footprint would be close to zero. (Some of the energy you use to pick up the rock came from the food you ate, which takes fossil fuels to grow.) But it will make no difference to climate change.

But your mother will take it personally. And I don't blame her one bit. So don't be an idiot about it.

1 comment:

John said...

No, we do NOT have to feel guilty about it.
That IS alarmism.

We simply need to add it to the list of thousands(?) of things that are possible (that technology thing - and artificially cheap energy - again) but are not needed. Any given of these things can be, and are, justified as being innocuous, alone, but, when summed together, begin to contribute significantly

Grow some flowers to give to your mother and whoever else you think should have them.

John Puma