Canada: Cheated Into Conserving in the Seventies

If you think the conservation nazis are tough these days, you must admit that they are at least trying to be honest. Previously they got their way by cheating the public in 1970s Canada.

You probably have not heard even the slightest whisper of this conspiracy. That is because it was done to math phobic consumers by not so math phobic conservationists. If you can do the math that says we are consuming our way out of a future, then you can also do the math that I am going to bring to light.

The cheat that was used goes by the much respected name of the metric system.

Sure, you say, many hated the metric system, but it hardly stopped rampant consumerism.

Maybe it didn’t stop rampant consumerism but it most definitely slowed it.

You see, in Canada’s old imperial system of measurement, room temperature was said to be 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In the metric system, room temperature is said to be 20 degrees Celsius.

Just look how innocuous this looks. But it is well known that math phobes like to round off their numbers instead of knowing them more exactly. So the fact that 70 degrees Fahrenheit is actually 21 degrees Celsius, just never made it into the minds of most Canadians.

Look at that. All those winters in the seventies, Canadian heating was lessened by 1 degree Celsius. That is a huge conservation effort.

But don’t fear, consumers, because the ecopigs of the eighties started bringing air conditioning into the burbs. Since then, air conditioning has spread to virtually everywhere. And environmentally it costs more to lower the temperature by a degree than raising it by a degree. The laws of thermodynamics ensure this. So despite the great seventies start I’m pretty sure that conservation efforts went the wrong way.

But I wonder if Canada’s metric turnover in the seventies caused a brief downward blip in the overall global warming temperature increases.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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