On Energy, ‘5 Myths’

By January 28, 2007Energy

Good piece in today’s WaPo Outlook (i.e., opinion) section by Ted Balaker and Sam Staley of The Reason Foundation, debunking some common energy myths. The myths include:

1. “Americans are addicted to driving: Actually, Americans aren’t addicted to their cars any more than office workers are addicted to their computers. Both items are merely tools that allow people to accomplish tasks faster and more conveniently.”

2. “Public Transit can reduce traffic congestion: Transit has been on the slide for well more than half a century.”

3. “We can cut air pollution if only we stop driving: Polls often show that Americans think that air quality is deteriorating. Yet air is getting much cleaner.”

4. “We’re paving over America: How much of the United States is developed? Twenty-five percent? Fifty? Seventy-five? How about 5.4 percent? That’s the Census Bureau’s figure.”

5. “We can’t deal with global warming unless we stop driving: The Kyoto Protocol seeks to get the world to agree to burn less fossil fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, and much of that involves driving less. But even disregarding the treaty’s economic costs, Kyoto’s environmental impact would be slight.”

In any event, a good — and eye-opening — read.