February 06, 2013

Is Global Worming Caused by Eager Beaver Working Stiffs?


The term global warming, for those of you who may not believe it’s a real thing )like Republican Senator James Inhofe, who actually went as far as to write a book titled, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future), means that, as time passes, the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans increases. And while scientists believe that global warming is being caused by three primary sources including the sun, the earth’s reflectivity and greenhouse gases, do people that slave their lives away at their jobs have any effect on the overall climate?

Some are now saying yes to that question, with the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) leading this group and firmly advising that if you relax more and work less hours you could help to slow down global warming. The group has even revealed statistics that show a .5 percent reduction in work hours a year could decrease global warming somewhere in between eight and 22 percent until 2100.

“As productivity increases, especially in high-income countries, there is a social choice between taking some of these gains in the form of reduced hours, or entirely as increased production," Economist David Rosnick said in a recent article featured on the TGDaily website.

He added, "For many years, European countries have been reducing work hours – including by taking more holidays, vacation, and leave – while the United States has gone the route of increased production. The calculation is simple: fewer work hours means less carbon emissions, which means less global warming."

So is this to say that Americans are greedy gullies that need to take a chill pill before they ultimately cause our planet to collapse? Not necessarily, because even if we all decided to collectively put up our feet and never again return to our dimly lit cubicles, without taking some other important steps it won’t make much of a difference.

Some of these guidelines include:

1.       Replacing all regular light bulbs with CFL bulbs. CFLs use up to 60 percent less energy than traditional light fixtures, helping to save nearly 300 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

2.       Utilize an automated thermostat. If the temperature wherever you live can adjust itself on-the-fly, for example increasing at certain times like when you are about to arrive home from work but reducing itself during the day while you are out, you can cut your energy bill expenses while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.

3.       Unplug all appliances when not in use. A little known fact that my father loved to drill into my head as an adolescent is that even when the microwave, toaster or can opener aren’t in on mode, if they are plugged into the wall, they are consuming energy. Be sure to remove the plug from the socket right after you finish using them.

4.       Replace old windows with new ones to improve insulation. Do you constantly feel a draft coming in through the windows in your home and find yourself raising the heat constantly? If so, it is definitely time to invest the money into replacing your old windows with new ones and you will immediately see a reduction in your heating costs as well as a better overall quality of life.

5.       Reuse your shopping bags. It is kind of impossible to walk into a major super market these days and not see reusable bags for sale for around a dollar that eliminates the need for plastic ones. Not only are those much sturdier for heaving items that could rip the plastic and leave you frustrated and upset, but you can also make the first step towards improving the air, groundwater and soil around you as they remain polluted by plastic.

As things continue to get more expensive here in the United States, citizens really don’t have any other choice but to work more hours in order to keep food on the table and lights on throughout their place of residence. Yet, the choices of lighting as well as other elements are still up to your discretion and if you chose wisely, you can help a major problem shrink accordingly.




Edited by Rich Steeves



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