(current price of barrel of crude oil) Bob: (dressed to go to environmental rally with a “Save the Whales” sign) Seamus: Hi, Bob! You look festive. Bob: That’s it? I mean, thank you, but no witty comment about how wrong I am? No “ACTUALLY”? Seamus: Nope! I know that saving the environment is super important to you, so I’ve decided I’m going to let you have this one. Bob: …. Really? Seamus: Yep! And I just wanted to say that I think it’s really inspiring that you’re willing to give up your dream of opening a burger-taco fusion food truck on Maui to make it happen. Bob: I am? Seamus: Well, I mean, if we’re going to make the switch from hydrocarbons to other forms of energy production, it would mean dramatically expanding solar and wind output. Physics puts a hard limit on the amount of energy those sources are able to produce, so we just need more solar and wind farms, right? But they take up a lot of room. Room that’s generally being used for other things, like wildlife preserves which I assume you wouldn’t want to touch-- Bob: Correct! Seamus: --and agriculture. But we still have to eat something, just maybe something that’s less land-use intensive. Something that’s less… meaty. Bob: No meat? Seamus: No meat. But I hear they’re doing great things with beets these days. And no truck, either, since no gasoline. And no Maui, since no air travel because of the no jet fuel. I mean, I guess we could go back to sailboats, but that’d take a long time. Like, a really, really long time. And we’d have to start cutting down a lot more trees for the lumber. I suppose one day we might figure out how to create a better battery that can store more energy for longer amounts of time, but right now it costs about $200,000 to store the same amount of energy in electric batteries that you can get out of a $60 barrel of crude oil, and it doesn’t store as long. And you have to mine all that rare earth and lithium and cobalt, and then smelt it all and actually MAKE the batteries, so I suppose it’s really a matter of where in the lifecycle do you want the emissions, the front end or the back end? But you know what, I said I wasn’t going to ruin this for you. I’m proud of you, Bob. Bob: Actually….

Common Sense Soapbox


About this show

Short videos with a punchy, comedic tone and entertaining Socratic characters taking on trending issues and important concepts from a classical liberal perspective, written & animated by Seamus Coughlin.

It Ain't So Easy Being Green

August 27, 2019

Bob finds out that if he wants to significantly reduce his carbon-footprint, he can! He just has to give up a bunch of other things, first.

We all want a healthy environment and a beautiful planet to live on, but different people have different ideas about how to get there and not everyone is always so realistic about what their plans will cost.

Fortunately, we *can* have an awesome environment and a great standard of living at the same time!

Check out some of the links below to find out how.

Written by Seamus Coughlin & Jennifer Maffessanti
Animated by Seamus Coughlin
Produced by Sean W. Malone


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