I’m waiting eagerly for my copy of a new book to arrive, recommended to me by Patrick Beeker: Sustainable Energy – without the hot air. Its author, David McKay, Professor of Natural Philosophy at Cambridge University, has responded to an urgent global challenge: how to make sense of the conflicting claims and information bandied about on all matters eco.
I ordered the book having read this one short piece on the book’s website: “Leaving mobile phone chargers plugged in is often held up as an example of a behavioural eco-crime. The truth is that the amount of energy saved by switching off a phone charger is exactly the same as the energy used by driving an average car for *one second*”.
Sometimes, it’s true, people use numbers to cloud issues intentionally. This week’s manufactured outrage about AIG bonuses seems to be a case in point. Leo Kolivakis wants us to follow the big money, not the small money. “Here’s the problem with all the hoopla over the $135 million in AIG bonuses: This sum is only less than 0.1 per cent – one thousandth – of the $183 BILLION that the U.S. Treasury gave to AIG as a “pass-through” to its counterparties. This sum is over a thousand times the magnitude of the bonuses on which public attention is conveniently being focused by Wall Street promoters”.
Now, next time you read about the necessity to bail out the car industry, think about that phone charger…