Professor J's Place

26 November, 2007

We're Number One! We're Number One!

The United States is the highest producer of greenhouse gasses. Guess which state tops the list of offenders within the United States. . .

That's right! Texas!

We aim to be the biggest and the baddest, and in this case we succeed. Heck, we have double the emissions of the two states below us combined.


Well in part, it could be that our biggest supply of energy comes from coal.

It could also stem from our lack of good public transportation and our love of big cars.

But for the most part, I think we simply DON'T believe that our emissions have anything to do with global warming. Last semester two of my ADULT students wrote essays about global warming. Both of them took the position that we cannot prove that the rising emissions of greenhouse gasses have anything to do with global climate change.

O.K. if you are stupid skeptical, then what about the other dangers of air polution? What about the rising rates of lung disease like asthma and COPD? What about the rising death rate from these diseases?

And what if the alarmists are right? I recently posted an amusing and frightening video that posed just that question.

I love Texas. I lived away from here for ten years as a young adult, and I realized that the hills and plains of Texas are my spiritual home--this is where I want to be (at least for now).

But I am not always proud to be from Texas. There are many things I don't like about us. And this pig-headed insistence that we can do whatever we like and damn the consequences is down right embarrassing.

Sorry, world.

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Blogger Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

It blows my mind that some people believe that global warming is a myth. As they step into their Hummers and drive off in to the smog-filled sunset.

November 26, 2007 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Mrs. G. said...

Jen should meet my mother...who insists global warming in another Al Gore attention getting device.

I would love to visit Austin, and I notice that many of my favorite bloggers are from this state.

Great post.

November 26, 2007 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Professor J said...

Mrs. G.--If you come down to Austin, let me know. I'll meet you there for a margarita and some good texas barbecue (much different from Memphis).

November 26, 2007 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

I am amazed by those who think global warming is just a publicity stunt. I can't help but wonder if they also believe Darwin was full of crap and that dinosaurs are just mythical beasts like centaurs and dragons.
RE: Texas- I would love to visit San Antonio as well as Austin. Hey, at least you can claim Molly Ivins!

November 26, 2007 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Organic Mama said...

What a timely post!

As I commuted to my teaching gig this morning at the local community college, I listened to a report on Texas and how, were it its own country, it would be the 7th biggest producer of greenhouse gases. In. The. World.

Mind-boggling. But, at least according to an energy guy (I was switching lanes at this point), that may be changing; something like 7 of the planned coal-burning factories (?) in the works have been scrapped because of concerns for the environment.

The NPR report, as you might expect, highlighted interviews from folks pooh-pooing global warming and had very silly commentary from car-dealership owners about how believing in and acting on (nix the environmental study group idea before it gets to the Statehouse) such unproven horsehockey is bad for business.

Prof J., I think the tide will turn and certainly your perspective and scary video will help. I have a student from Texas who, after discussing this with him this morning, admitted being shocked by how differently we up here in NE live. He was apologetic, too and we laughed at how there have always been extremes.

Don't be sorry - you're doing your part to enlighten!

November 26, 2007 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger BipolarLawyerCook said...

Aghast. But you're right, hill country is downright lovely.

November 26, 2007 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Professor J said...

Mrs. T.,

I would love to play the tour guide and take you to the missions and to South Town. Let me know if you ever decide to come to San Antonio. It really is a great city.

November 27, 2007 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

When I think about Texas, I can't help but remember Steinbeck's chapter in "Travels with Charley"...Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.

And that's a bit of a double-edged sword, I guess.

(But Texas gave us Lyle Lovett, Townes Van Zandt, Wes Anderson, and brisket, so I'll cut Texas some extra slack that I would not afford, say, North Dakota. )

November 27, 2007 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Kristy said...

Hey, at least you are doing your part to change things. I bet your adult essay writers didn't get off without you at least giving them something to think about.

November 27, 2007 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Thanks for your visit to my place - here's my reciprocal call and it was a pleasure! Thoughtful, interesting blog.

November 27, 2007 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Jozet at Halushki said...

Don't you dare take on the sins of all of Texas! Unless, of course, you are a Hummer salesperson in your spare time. Then, I might have to slap hands. ;-)

We just had a children's book come in to the store that was basically telling kids that global warming was a faulty theory, and to go ahead and get their CO2 on. Thankfully, it went right back to the distributor in a matter of days.

It amazes me...first God created the world in 6 days and gave us full dominion over all the plants and animals (except for the dinosaurs, because that's another of Al Gore's lies), and yet not so much power that we could misuse it to the extent of causing environmental havoc. Jeepers, talk about a short leash on free will. God's gonna open a can of whoop ass everyone who ignores science. I bet He spent a lot of time working out physics and chemistry and biology on during those first 6 days of creation. Eh-hem.

November 27, 2007 at 7:51 PM  
Blogger JCK said...

O.K., I'm in to meet you and Mrs. G in Austin. I've always wanted to go there. And San Antonio!

I'm so glad that you are writing about this. I heard the report on NPR, as well. He, also, voiced it like you have. What if it is true? Then what? And what about all the things we do know are true.

Just looking at that Hummer makes me cranky. Great post! Keep the challenges coming.

November 27, 2007 at 11:34 PM  

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