John Klar: Labeling products for CO2 consumption

Government labels food products to inform the public about ingredients, and also detailed nutrition information such as protein, salt, fat and carbohydrate content. It is interesting to contemplate (hypothetically) what an information label might encompass which informed product purchasers of the amount of CO2 and pollution absorbed in manufacturing and disposing of each and every product.

I’m not actually advocating we do such a thing. Nor am I agreeing (or disagreeing) that CO2 is warming the globe, as CO2 is irrelevant to this discussion. This is a discussion about what we actually use, and whose responsibility it is that we use it.

John Klar

Much of the “awareness raising” that author Wendell Berry endeavored for decades to nurture is about how much pollution is involved in the creation of consumer goods, so that we would make more informed decisions once aware of the “externalized costs” related to our purchases. Lead in paint, fluorocarbons in hairspray, PFOAs in frying pans, PCBs in oil. If we are unaware of their presence, we will keep using products ignorantly. Once aware, we (hopefully) will make informed choices without government coercion.

If product labels explained the pollution “cost” on every item (including, for Chinese goods, the pollution created in their packaging and shipping), then that “raising of awareness” might actually occur, and have an impact. Some awareness-raising is surely in order.

An immediate consequence of this labeling would be sudden revelations of the idiocy of the solar panel and electric vehicle (EV) efforts. Instead of examining these polluting, economically-destructive, regressive follies solely through an artificial assessment of comparing two worlds that don’t exist (one in which Vermont burns fossil fuels, the other in which it uses fairy-tale solar panels that incorporate zero emissions of CO2 in their manufacture) into reality — every solar panel would have a label that reflected how many chemicals and fossil fuels were used in its production, transport and disposal.

With EVs, it would suddenly be quite obvious that the “redneck” Vermonter driving a 10-year-old pick-up truck is not guilty of destroying the planet while driving to work: they are recycling an aging investment of limited natural resources, without all the comfort and bells and whistles of that newly-manufactured (Japanese) boondoggle that they were compelled to subsidize for a wealthy Vermonter to drive. Who is polluting more in both the long and short run? The EV car consumer, subsidized by our government, against our will and in derogation of our ecosystem.

But more, we would see that labeling products is not like labeling food. Food, generally, is something we need to have life. A set of skis manufactured with fossil fuels and shipped from Nordic climes is not necessary to live — neither is a cell phone. If every Vermont “progressive” were to take stock of their own recreational consumption — of carbon, CO2, or toluene and dioxin — they’d pretty quickly take stock also that for our government to burden taxpayers with gas taxes and other costs for the use of fuels to travel, is morally different from taxing leaf peepers or tourists on vacation.

What about snowmobiles and ATVs? Will the progressives who deceive themselves that they are “enlightened” about pollution shut down snowmobile trails while driving their Audis and BMWs to fly to Aruba or Cancun for vacation? Will they tax farmers for their use of fuel equally with the hot tub installer or the foot-washing salon?

How is it that Vermont is supposedly having some grand enlightened conversation about saving the planet while avoiding discussions of the type of use of pollution? The reasons are simple: one, solar panels are not about saving the planet; they are about making money for special corporate interests — an old and familiar story; two, similarly, the government doesn’t actually care if we use less energy, so long as it controls us. It is not interested in reducing our consumption but expanding its own; and three, the moment we have this conversation, the whole scam falls like an EB-5 program.

Let’s look at No. 3. If every progressive had to account for their own “carbonhydrate” diet before they could pick at the twigs in their rural neighbors’ eyes, they’d have their hands so full we’d never hear from them again — if they really cared about reducing their personal contribution to the degradation of their environment. But progressives don’t care about their own pollution — they really care about deluding themselves they are saving the world by subjugating everybody else. The hypocrisy of starving small farmers and poor Vermonters with regressive electric rates and taxes does not for one moment intrude on their indulgence when they spin down to the Cape in their $80,000 car, to embark on a speedboat to stay in a heated hotel at Martha’s Vineyard, and so on.

This awareness of personal responsibility for each iota of each product consumed, would pop the delusion that government can even address such problems. Much like home composting, recycling, or littering, government can’t take over every aspect of human behavior.

It is stunning that so many Vermonters have reduced their awareness of reality and personal responsibility to such a stupefyingly moronic perspective — let alone that they are legislating this as our future, willy-nilly. It is a future of mutually-assured environmental destruction, and the tragedy of the commons. Everyone can poke at the other guy’s pollution, and delude himself that they have “made a difference” while they drive an absurd electric vehicle on their daily polluting routines.

Here’s a dose of reality, and personal responsibility, from Wendell Berry, in 1970:

The environmental crisis rises closer to home. Every time we draw a breath, every time we drink a glass of water, every time we eat a bite of food we are suffering from it. And more important, every time we indulge in, or depend on, the wastefulness of our economy — and our economy’s first principle is waste — we are causing the crisis. Nearly every one of us, nearly every day of his life, is contributing directly to the ruin of this planet. A protest meeting on the issue of environmental abuse is not a convocation of accusers, it is a convocation of the guilty. That realization ought to clear the smog of self-righteousness that has almost conventionally hovered over these occasions, and let us see the work that is to be done.”
(“Think Little,” from A Continuous Harmony, p.75.)

Fifty years on, and that smog of self-righteousness blinds Vermont’s progressive charlatans, who are so clouded with their “warrior” status that they do not recognize they are the convocation of the especially guilty — what they are doing is worse than nothing. Only in such abject ignorance can “climate warriors” drive miles and miles to condemn dairy farmers for growing food.

Farmers should usurp Vermont’s Legislature and pass a law: energy, and CO2, used in food production is exempt from regulation by fools who order food from Uber while they protest in the park. Farmers feed the stupid urban consumers, not the other way around.

So why, then, are the biggest polluters permitted to employ idiotic logic to attack food producers Answer: because they are arrogant, ignorant, narcissistic consumers. When they get the logs from their own eyes, then they can talk to me about the twigs in mine. But they will never get the logs from their own eyes, and it will always be my personal responsibility to keep my own eyes open.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and the former pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2021. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of Public domain

9 thoughts on “John Klar: Labeling products for CO2 consumption

  1. I took classes in Infrared Thermography several years ago, for my job in engineering of product-coding machinery (printers that put bar codes, dates, etc. on food packages mostly).
    I learned not only how to use IR cameras, but the theory and science of infrared (heat) radiation. It is not entirely intuitive!
    As somebody who hadn’t questioned the global warming narrative, I was impressed by the PhD physics professor explaining his doubts about how carbon dioxide could cause global warming.
    The concept that CO2 absorbs some of the IR is OK, but the amount of the effect did not make sense.
    People here know that water vapor is many times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is.
    It’s not really hard to see that solar cycles and the planet’s orbit swamp any effect from CO2. In fact it appears we are heading into a cooling phase now.
    At this point, it’s not hard to see how fake science is used to terrify and stampede the masses, right into the pens, just like cattle in the stockyard.
    There are a lot of people that know better, but their lives depend on going along with the gag.
    Shame on them. Good thing they are atheists, because their sins are hard to forgive.
    I think the angry self-righteousness of the left which is often hysterical comes from the fact that they know, deep inside, they are wrong, but admitting it goes against everything for them.
    They’d rather die than admit they could be mistaken. They will, too.

  2. Everyone wants clean water and clean air, even conservatives.

    I don’t believe that this is about CO2 warming at all, because CO2 is a pseudoscience that lives on through a gross inattention to causation, and a deliberate trick that confuses the sun’s impact on our planet and on the oceans– where the vast bulk of the sun’s energy is captured and stored on earth– with the minuscule impact of 0.04% of the atmosphere that’s CO2.

    But on the other hand, the theory of CO2 warming and impending catastrophe is absolutely essential to the WEF’s program of the Great Reset. It’s the (supposed) emergency of impending planetary doom that makes measures of collective world government and restrictions on individuals necessary, in exactly the same way that Covid-19 (supposedly) made the taking of our liberties necessary. Covid-19 restrictions are seen, in the eyes of the WEF and its allies, as a prelude to the Great Reset; WEF founder Klaus Schwab tells us so in his book, “Covid 19: The Great Reset.” In this book he also tells us that we’re never going back to normal.

    Who gains? The Great Reset gang, which seems to include Kerry and Fauci and Biden and Harris, as these players buy into the planetary emergency paradigm and will be rewarded as this paradigm advances. China and its allies gain through a weakened America and our loss of individual autonomy, moving us closer to their own version of the perfect state.

    Just say, “no.”

  3. The real issue is that nothing we do on carbon reduction in this state will reduce global levels of CO2 that could be measured as part of global levels, yet there are people who would force all kinds of changes for zero ROI except to feel virtuous and get control over the population. The chant keeps going and nobody dares to challenge it. A court in Germany just decided in favor of Greta and her youth group that sued the government for not reaching far enough and have won leverage to demand more reductions than Merkel’s government agreed to in the Paris “accords”.

  4. The fast way to reduce CO2 (that no one has proven is in fact a problem), is to ban products from China and India that are dumping the most CO2 into the air. How come none of these liberals want to do the really right thing?

  5. If all the climate change alarmists would just stop talking and hold their breath, there would be a significant reduction in CO2 levels worldwide.

  6. This is not about world health, it is about people control, controlling citizens with guilt trips
    to make us all ameneable to draconian restrictions on our core way of life.

    Plants need CO2 to make oxygen. All Life uses Oxygen and gives off CO2. Circle of Life..

    Neither can live without the other . Lots of Cattle Gasses here!!

    Humans and forests are thriving together!!!!

  7. We only hear part of the story..

    We never hear the damage to Mother Earth and to the children forced to mine so “WE” can have electric cars.

    How much of these cars will be manufactured from plastic without fossil fuels?

    What will these cars being manufactured from steel, if that is possible without fossil fuels, do to the exaggerated mileage from a single charge?

    I wonder if anyone has given any real thought to what will really take place when the false promises fail and these pocket pickers have destroyed any chance of survival in Vermont?

    My guess is these fools will move on to their next victim…

    We are screwed in Vermont at the hands of Marxists…and that includes our so called Republican governor Flip Flop Phil Scott…

    • Also that electric car batteries contain poisonous heavy metals which makes them hard to dispose them. Where do we store the wasted batteries.

  8. The ever exuberant Ted Nugent loves to laugh at all the environmentally “responsible” people who criticize him for the management of his land (he hunts,) citing that the California chardonnay they smirk over has killed thousands of creatures that fell in the path of the vineyard plow.

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