Save the Planet: Don't Buy Video Games This Christmas!

November 28th, 2008 1:56 PM

With the economy falling off a cliff, and this shaping up to be the worst Christmas shopping season in many decades, it is almost impossible to imagine a major scientific periodical advising readers to not buy video games for their kids because of how they exacerbate climate change.

This seems even more preposterous coming coincident with the release of a new international study that found the public less interested in making personal sacrifices in order to ward off the liberal bogeyman known as anthropogenic global warming.

Yet, there it was Friday at Scientific American's 60-Second Science blog (h/t American Thinker's Marc Sheppard):

If you're planning this holiday season (perhaps even today) to become one of the tens of millions of people in the U.S. to buy a video game system, you  may want to consider how the purchase of a Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox will impact your carbon footprint (or, at very least, your electric bill).

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a New York-based environmental organization, in a new report says that video game systems are huge energy wasters, mostly because people (read: kids) tend to leave them on even when they're not using them.

Makes you wonder if author Larry Greenemeier also believes in Santa Claus. More comically, his paranoic concern for all that "excess" carbon dioxide must have blinded him to this study reported by the Windsor Star Thursday:

There is both growing public reluctance to make personal sacrifices and a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the major international efforts now underway to battle climate change, according to findings of a poll of 12,000 citizens in 11 countries, including Canada. [...]

Less than half of those surveyed, or 47 per cent, said they were prepared to make personal lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions, down from 58 per cent last year.

Only 37 per cent said they were willing to spend "extra time" on the effort, an eight-point drop.

And only one in five respondents - or 20 per cent - said they'd spend extra money to reduce climate change. That's down from 28 per cent a year ago.

Now, to be fair, I'm all for saving energy, and think that these units should have automatic power-down idle features much like computers. However, it does seem the height of stupidity on the busiest shopping day of the year -- one that could make it or break it for many retailors given the condition of the economy -- for a major scientific publication to recommend readers not purchase a product due to its impact on one's carbon footprint.

All I can say to Larry is Bah humbug!