If you want to fight global warming (if there is such a thing), then my advice is Cap and Trade Congress.
Last night’s narrow vote to send the Cap and Trade bill to the Senate got me thinking about the danger Congress is, not just to our economy, but to the environment.
The average human body produces about 190 watts of energy per hour while awake and moving around, as you would expect 435 members of Congress would be. By the way, by awake I mean physically, not mentally which would eliminate the majority of Congress who never are mentally awake. If you’re a blowhard like Barney Frank, then you may produce even more than that!
That means Congress, not counting the staffers, lobbyists and support staff, produces 82,650 watts of energy per hour or 82.65 kilowatts per hour! That is 282,013.506 BTUs per hour. That’s like burning about 16 pounds of coal every hour, though coal probably produces a lot less pollution than Congress. Given an average 8 hour day, that is over 20,000 pounds of coal in a typical year for Congress.
Additionally, the average person produces about 900 grams of CO2 per day. Since Congressmen talk a lot more, let’s say they probably produce, in theory, another 100 grams compared to the average person. That would be 435 kilograms, once again not counting the more than 5,000 staffers and other capital employees that take care of the just the House. That is almost 1/2 of a metric ton!
That is almost as much as driving an average sized car with 21 mpg fuel efficiency 800 MILES!
The House was in session 118 days in 2008, but being an election year, we should probably guess that this year the House will be in session closer to 164 days like they were in 2007. If that’s the case, our House members will add 71.34 METRIC TONS of CO2 into the atmosphere!
That’s like driving that same car 10,810 miles per month or 129,720 per year. The “hot air” created by the House of Representatives would require the annual planting of 357 trees to offset.
That’s almost one tree per day or more than two for each day the House is in session.
Add to the fact that most members of the House have to travel long distances from their home districts to Washington, D.C. San Francisco, CA, the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is 2,800 miles from DC. If she flies back home just once a month, she adds, by herself, 391 metric tons of CO2. If you figure that California has 53 members of Congress in the House, and if they make the round trip to DC and back only once a month, and they all travel about the same number of miles, then California alone, the most liberal and most “green” state, puts 20,700 metric tons of CO2 in the air a year!
You would have to drive 10,000 gas guzzling SUVs more than 26 miles per day every day of the year to equal the CO2 that just the California delegation produces. To offset the carbon, you would need to plant MORE THAN 1,000 TREES PER DAY!
None of these figures calculate the thousands of House employees, the energy needed to heat and cool the Congress and their offices, foreign “fact finding” missions, private cars with drivers, private planes, lights, computers, phone systems, cell phones, and everything else.
Rather than having Congress tell us how we are going to live to save the world from Global Warming through Cap and Trade, let’s cap off Congress and trade the members. Not only will it help the environment, but it will save millions of Americans their sanity.