Climate Change March Trashes New York City? What Can We Learn?

It seems that people who went to New York City to participate in a climate change march–to agitate to get the government to “do something” about alleged climate change–did not impress some observers. Specifically, some reported that these protestors trashed the city where they were marching. The New York Post linked to a couple of twitter posts:

Pretty harsh.

But I’m not sure these people were deliberately ignoring trash cans. Perhaps the city simply did not have the accommodations necessary for that large a crowd and all the trash cans got over-filled. Hard to say.

A more interesting question for me is this: How much carbon dioxide was spewed into the atmosphere because of this event? For everyone who already lived in New York City it wouldn’t have been that big a difference. But what about people who lived somewhere else. They had to ride in a moving vehicle of some kind and all vehicles produce carbon dioxide. This is even true of an electric car since it has to get energy from a source which would almost certainly involve oil, coal, or natural gas.

The bottom line is that congregating in New York City ended up adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  As was reported in the New York Post,

[David Kreutzer, a research fellow at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation] and other critics of the People’s Climate March called the protesters hypocrites for wasting paper and burning fossil fuel in getting to the big event.

“The hypocrisy varies from person to person,” economist Kreutzer, 61, told The Post. “The ones that fly in on private jets are the most hypocritical.”

He was referring to celebrity A-listers who joined Sunday’s march.

Stars such as Leo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, an outspoken opponent of fracking, paraded through Midtown with people from around the country.

The slide show on the news page displays other celebrities like Sting and Emma Thompson. I don’t know who if anyone used a private jet. But, even if no one did so (unlikely), just using normal passenger jets would still involve a great increase in the production of carbon dioxide to get outsiders to New York City.

So what we learn is that anything taking special effort tends to use more energy. Often this is the kind of energy that produces carbon dioxide.

And that means these people are agitating for a world where no one is permitted to make a special effort. It would have to be a world where what people do is strictly limited.

Of course, the options won’t be limited for people who have private jets and are politically connected. But for the rest of us, we simply won’t be allowed to make trips or attend protests or do anything of that nature.

So the real hypocrisy is that people are using their political and economic freedom to end political and economic freedom.