Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hey, Greenies: You Can Have My Starbucks When You Pry the Mug Out of My Cold, Dead Hands

From Aussie blogger Tim Blair comes this post about the latest way that environmentalists would like to control our lives. And this time, they may have gone too far:
An Edinburgh scientist has revealed the best way for coffee lovers to help save the planet – drink old-fashioned instant.

Dr Dave Reay, a world-renowned expert on carbon emissions, has calculated that filter coffees pump 50 per cent more carbon into the atmosphere than cheaper instant coffees.

And he says that ditching expensive filter coffees could help reduce your carbon footprint by the same amount as a gas-guzzling flight across Europe.
The full story that spawned Blair's post is here, and it contains one more distressing quote from Reay: "If everyone ditched their pre-work coffee fix that would do wonders for the planet." Yeah, and there might also be more car wrecks from people falling asleep at the wheel minus their java jive, not to mention the fisticuffs that might ensue from those people who are pretty grumpy before their first morning cuo o' joe (and we know who we are) getting rubbed the wrong way by people who are naturally perky in the A.M. (Of course, some environmentalists think that the planet would be a lot better off if people weren't on it at all...but didja ever notice that those same people are still alive as they say that? To roughly quote the comic-strip character Pogo, isn't it funny how the people who gripe most loudly about overpopulation already went to the trouble of being borned theirselves.)

Starbucks fights back in the linked story of course. And even more interesting is that the story right below this one in the Scotsman link notes that developing a coffee habit could help men prevent prostate cancer. Interesting.

(And yes, I know that Starbucks does in fact have its own line of instant coffee, but good heavens, have you priced that stuff? I'd have to go back to the swill-in-a-can my parents drank when I was a kid if instant were the only option.)

So I have an idea, Dr. Reay: Why don't you live the lifestyle you propose but not try to require everyone else to do the same; some of us have our own way of doing things, and just because they're not your way doesn't mean that they're wrong.

And a Scotsman commenter makes a good point:
how on earth does he think they actually get instant ? ..does it come gowing on the coffee bush in tins ?
Well said. And a Blair commenter expands on this idea:
And, not for nothing, but no way does traditional coffee use more energy. Instant coffee manufacture is a far more energy-intensive practice than roast and ground, for the simple reason that it is the roast and ground process plus several more steps.
But I guess the good Dr. Reay isn't one to let a little truth get in the way of his activism.

In the meantime, the hour is late, so I'm going to bed. And when I wake up, I'm going to have a generous cup of drip coffee, just like every day. And when I go from my 68-degree house to my 30 MPG car, I won't feel guilty about my coffee habit in any way, nor will I begrudge my neighbors (who might drive SUVs or have their thermostats set at 72) their own comfort and happiness. If only the ├╝ber-greenies would be so tolerant...

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