Your Editor, belching hydrocarbons into the atmosphere!

Your Editor using a gasoline-powered snow-blower, emitting tons and tons of greenhouse gasses, to clear a sidewalk that he could have shoveled manually. Click on photo to enlarge.

We got 4½ inches of snow in beautiful Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, today. Your Editor had thought that he would manage to keep the snowfall to a dusting by having prepared the snow-blower in advance: pumping up the low tires, fueling the machine, and starting it last night, before the snow was supposed to begin. Our old friend, Al Gort, made similar preparations, but, Alas! it didn’t keep the snow away.

Now, I could have broken out the snow shovel, and manually removed the accumulation of global warming from my sidewalks, but nahhh! it’s a lot more fun to fire up the gasoline-powered snow blower, cranking out the decibels and spewing tons and tons of CO2, CO, and other greenhouse gases and toxic fumes into the atmosphere! More, I didn’t do just my own humble abode, but did three of my neighbors’ houses. Pete, the guy who lives just up the street, is a big, strapping fellow, who could have shoveled the snow in front of his house easily enough, without putting any additional CO2 into the atmosphere beyond what he would have exhaled, so I not only polluted the air to do my house, but his as well. The two houses down the street are occupied by elderly — as in: even more elderly than your host! — people, who would have needed some help. Perhaps a teenager with a snow shovel and some self-enterprise would have done it for them, without adding unwanted hydrocarbons to the air, but it was quicker, faster, and far more economical for me to make a couple of passes and do it for them.

Oddly enough, no one complained about the belching of hydrocarbons, and both Pete and one of the ladies down the street actually thanked me. I guess that they thought that maybe, just maybe, that additional carbon dioxide would keep the next snowfall away. :)

But it gets better: in the picture above, we had only about three inches of snow on the ground. At 1730, after the snow had finally (almost) stopped, I broke out the snow blower again, and cleared all of the sidewalks. Of course, with much less snow, it went more quickly, and the amount of greenhouse gasses released was fairly minimal. :(

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