DISQUS Doodlings – There’s always one in the bunch!

by Skip

Government can best improve energy efficiency by starting with less governmentOf course this is from TreeHugger on a post labeled Efficiency is important, but it is time to get serious about sufficiency where the theme on the post how to decrease overall energy use and just not make things more efficient in their use of energy (because we keep making more and more things that use energy).  This snippet pretty much covers it (reformatted, emphasis mine):

Sufficiency can involve a reduction of services (less light, less travelling, less speed, lower indoor temperatures, smaller houses), or a substitution of services (a bicycle instead of a car, a clothesline instead of a tumble drier, thermal underclothing instead of central heating). Unlike energy efficiency, the policy objectives of sufficiency cannot be expressed in relative variables (like kWh/m2/year).

Instead, the focus is on absolute variables, such as reductions in carbon emissions, fossil fuel use, or oil imports. Unlike energy efficiency, sufficiency cannot be defined and measured by examining a single product type, because sufficiency can involve various forms of substitution. Instead, a sufficiency policy is defined and measured by looking at what people actually do.

It sounds harsh. Even Kris concludes that “This is sure to be controversial, and it risks being authoritarian, at least as long as there is a cheap supply of fossil fuels.“

Authoritarian?  Of course it does and fits in with the theme that Treehugger talks about but protests that they’d never want to enforce it: lower your standard of living because GAIA! And of course and right on cue, we get the almost-obligatory “No energy usage at all” by the almost-obligatory meme:

No the most important thing is cutting back on the population. We need an Armageddon Nuclear war to drop it by half or more. There are simply too many people on this planet.

Never fails to show and never fails to not get an offending rebuke from any of the commenters.  Well, of course, except for me:

Every time I see something like this I have to laugh as the author never offers to go first (e.g., leading by example); it’s always seems to be an “after you not me” outlook.

Certainly there are those on that site that actually do what they believe – commendable in leading by example.  Far too often for my likes they are also very quick to turn to Government to force others, like you and I, that would rather not follow that lifestyle (I have no desire to shop for “fresh food” every day so don’t force a max size fridge on me or grow a garden).  I bring up liberty and freedom – they aren’t too hep on the concept, because, GAIA and CO2 and future generations and enforced Communitarianism!  Rack’em and stack’em and leave the environment pristine from humans!  Be like the cave people of yore as we’ll force you to be in a “walkable” city limiting where you can go (unless by public transit).

Fun times, fun times, these folks want for us…except this type follow on comment scares me:

That would be the most efficient way to solve the problem and as I have pointed out above, efficiency is NOT necessarily a system requirement or even a top priority. The NAZI final solution may have been an efficient way to solve their perceived problem but every solution must place public health and safety high on the list of system requirements

The green end justifies the means?

Leave a Comment

  • mer

    That clothesline instead of a drier would have worked pretty well the past couple of weeks, no? Or is one not supposed to wash clothing until the weather is agreeable for drying outside?

    “Sufficient” is in the eye of the user. Smart electric meters, smart thermostats, IoT scare the crap out of me because you’re going to hear stories about how “someone thought I was using too much electricity so they cut out circuits in my house and my sick child on oxygen died because we had no power”

  • mrwonderful

    Self-sufficiency is a good thing and I’d think that all you Libertarian types would agree. I have a Libertarian friend, he homesteads, produces all his own meat and much of his veggies. Barters for services with neighbors, too – rather than buy everything. To me that’s taking responsibility for yourself. I know that my carbon footprint’s a lot smarter since I made the decision a few years ago to only eat meat and fish (at home at least) that I kill myself or that I get from local, independent sources. And to garden more and purchase locally-sourced produce whenever possible.

    • granitegrok

      Thumbs up, Dan!

      I’m just not grooving to the Eco-types that want most of the world’s population to die either nuclearly or plague-wise. Especially when in advocating such for others, they refuse to “lead by example”.

    • mer


      That’s the difference between your homesteader friend and what’s said in the article above.

      Choice. He made a choice to homestead. You made a choice on your meat and fish. Heck even making the choice to turn off a light instead of leaving it on adds to your “sufficiency”.

      Having someone else decide for me what is sufficient, is on the path to Authoritarianism. The old “walk the walk”

    • sb

      Sufficiency is not quite the same thing as self-sufficiency. Sufficiency is simply someone deciding what is necessary for a certain situation. I would prefer to eat surf ‘n turf to ease my hunger but it is sufficient to eat oatmeal. Classic desire to tell me “you don’t need that” again.

      Self-sufficiency is myself deciding that and being able to provide it for myself.

      • mer

        Understood, but it still boils down to an individual is best positioned to decide on what is sufficient for him and his family. As you point out “…you don’t need that…”.

        • sb

          Absolutely! My comment was directed to mrwonderful who seems to have either a poor grasp of the English language or intentionally is trying to misdirect the issue.

  • Ed Naile

    “The future we want, bicycles and trams”
    Communists always look out for the little people by finding the perfect way for them to live – or not live – as the data and “science” would eventually show.

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