Could the government shutdown reduce America's carbon footprint?
Since the average U.S. household's carbon footprint is 48 tons of CO2e per year, and the single largest source of emissions for the typical household is from driving (i.e.,gasoline use). Transportation as a whole (driving, flying & small amount from public transit) is the largest overall category, followed by housing (electricity, natural gas, waste, construction) then food (mostly from red meat, dairy and seafood products, but also includes emissions from all other food), then goods followed lastly by services.
Further if furloughed government workers will not be traveling to their work places, and since their incomes will be reduced, logic would indicate that most of these families would be reducing expenses of all kinds during this period.
If we assume a conservative 50% reduction as a result of less travel and belt tightening, the government shutdown could yield an amazing carbon footprint reduction:
o 800,000 furloughed workers
o 48 tons of CO2e per year
o .13 tons per day
o .065 reduction caused by shutdown
800,000 workers X .13 tons per day = 104,000 tons per day if not furloughed
800,000 workers X .065 tons per day = 52,000 tons per day for each furloughed day
It should now be obvious that a government shutdown is good for the climate, and anything that is good for the climate is a true blessing.
Thank you Mr. President, and thank you Harry Reid for having the insight to recognize and embrace these benefits and let's hope that you will prolong the shutdown long enough to put an end to global warming and save all of the polar bears.
Well I guess you found me out, but can you imagine the public service announcements from the Sierra Club or the World Wildlife Fund that could be made if my theory ever caught on:
o There could be one with Al Gore wearing a snow white hotel bathrobe, opened provocatively in the front, sitting on a melting ice floe and saying the following words as a tear falls down his little fat cheek; "save a polar bear, fire a government worker", or
o There could be one with Al Gore wearing a snow white hotel bathrobe, opened provocatively in the front, sitting on a beach chair with an ocean wave washing over his pudgy little munchkin feet saying the following words as a tear falls down his little fat cheek, "stop the rise in the sea levels, fire a government worker now"
I am hoping for a bill that will make the shutdown permanent instead of raising the debt limit. In family budgeting it is normal to cut spending when 40% of your spending is being added to your credit cards. Why should the national budget not be the same ???
Since the longest was 21 days (i.e., from Dec. 16, 1995, through Jan. 5, 1996), I'm inclined to go with 21 days, since our "dear leader" and his party believe that the American people will blame the Republicans for a shutdown.
Never forget the profound words of Rahm Emanuel:
"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
The shutdown will only end if the American people ever come to the conclusion of who really caused the government shutdown.