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The Preachy Blog

Burning gas

poison dart frog unidentified beetle Swan Falcon

6/23/2008 -- Burning gas

We just came back from a roadtrip to Shenandoah National Park. We brought a lot of bugs with us again (pictures, of course) - will soon be on the picture page. I couldn't help but also bringing two quotes with me, which were posted in the park's information center:

· "To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them." (Theodore Roosevelt)
· "We are stewards of an irreplaceable environment. This is an awesome task as well as a precious gift." (Jimmy Carter)
Now isn't that preachy :) - but so true!

Did we burn gallons of fuel getting there and back? Yes we did! It's no laudable merit that we got there with better-than-average gas milage: this average gas milage according to the EPA are a lousy 20.2 mpg for cars in 2006 and 2007. No wonder - we got away with just $4 per gallon. We would (in fact we do) support politics standing for ecological taxation, forcing us to travel less or switch to more fuel efficient cars. Would you?

I think spending money on environmental efforts wouldn't even make much of a difference in the taxpayer's pockets, seeing the money spent e.g. on wars. The taxpayer's efforts on the Iraq war (only counting US money, not contributions of other countries) are around 340 million dollars each day, or $100 per US household per month - while the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency is only around 6% of that. Wouldn't it make sense investing in irreplaceable values the same way as we already do for (anyway temporary) values like "power" and (anyway finite) resources like oil?

[Data sources: website ; book "The Three Trillion Dollar War" ; Washington Post report on Agency budgets ]

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