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Republican Politician asserts that Texas Doesn’t Matter

December 7th, 2008 · 1 Comment

That, after all, has to be one’s conclusion from the words and arguments of Texas State State Legislator Phil King,

Texas could go back into the dark ages, and you’ve got to say what impact does that have on global climate? King added You turn off every power plant in Texas, and the impact would be negligible for CO2.

This is a common type of argument, across so many battles related to any ‘tragedy of the commons’ issue. “I’m so small and such a neglible part of the problem, nothing that I do really matters anyway.” Truly, these type of arguments rate highly in the absurdity of the Inhofe Scale. Changing a light bulb doesn’t change the globe. Changing a million probably doesn’t. Changing a billion does. In reality, this is like saying “I’m just one person, what matters if I piss in the pool.” With just one person doing it, the diluted poison is probably meaningless. When a hundred people do it? A thousand? But, evidently, Phil King wants us to believe that the Great State of Texas simply doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. And, King wants to continue to have the right to continue to piss with impunity into our common pool of air.

But, let’s put King’s comments into a little perspective.

Texas is #1 per capita in GHG emissions in the US, which is one of the worst countries in the world on a per capita basis. Thus, Texans are the worst of the worst when it comes to contributing to Global Warming. Cleaning up Texas’ act won’t change the globe but …

In 2006, total global emissions were about 42 gigatonnes. Texas emitted about 670 million tons, or about 1.6% of global emissions. With emissions growing globally at about 2-3%/year, eliminating Texas’ GHG emissions would not end Global Warming. Eliminating Texas’ coal-fired electricity won’t end Global Warming. No … King’s right.

But, to put in perspective, Texas had 23.5 million citizens in 2006, less than 10% of the US population and about 1/3rd of 1% of global population. Consider Texas’ emissions in that context: 0.3% of Global Population, 1.6% of global emissions.

King’s comments are, it seems, factually true but they certainly aren’t truthful and are most appropriately pegged as truthiness.

Hmmm … Texas cleaning up its act is part of the solution to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced even though even the Great State of Texas can’t solve the problem on its own. not the entirety.

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Tags: emissions · Energy · Global Warming · truthiness

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Stimpson // Dec 7, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Phil King didn’t matter?