Now its your electric ice maker in your fridge that's killing the planet, meanwhile CO2 emissions fall significantly in the USA

Jeez Louise, what a load of bollocks from Time Magazine.

The article goes on to say:

Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. For all the blame tailpipe emissions take for escalating  temperatures, homes and office buildings are actually the single largest contributor to greenhouse gasses. One key reason is the 100-plus million refrigerators in America’s 111 million households. According to the Department of Energy, the standard fridge sucks up about 8% of the electricity used by all homes—a pretty big share given the dozens of big and small appliances and electronics that are also drawing juice.

Read more:

Forget climate modelers, lets look at some real data.

On the other side of the energy and emissions issue, we have this recently released (March2011) report from the US Energy Information Administration (PDF)

Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total (Table 1). The decline in total emissions—from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009—was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame. It was largely the result of a 419-MMTCO2e drop in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (7.1 percent).

Have a look at CO2 emissions graphically, by energy sector this is from the EIA report:

Now let’s look at CO2 emissions by industrial fuel, still falling fast.

Now here’s the kicker. World Climate Report took the EIA data for total CO2 emissions from the USA, and graphed it against the CO2 emission data for the same period from China:

Figure 1. Annual carbon dioxide emissions from the United States (blue) and China (red), 1990-2009 (data source, EIA).

And these morons at Time magazine are worried about the few extra watts of electrcity used in my electric ice maker and trying to make me feel guilty about it?

I can’t print what I’d like to say.

UPDATE: Some commenters asked about employment -vs-CO2, here’s a graph that is a close proxy for employment, per capita income -vs- CO2.


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Brian H

Go, China! Obviously the best hope for breaking the CO2 famine. The US has dropped the ball.

Brian Johnson uk

The madness that is “Carbon Footprint”!

I can’t print what I’d like to say.
I can – [snip – no cuss words, even partially redacted ones]


In my opinion, the purpose of this sort of article is to inspire guilt and self-loathing in readers, and thus to compel them to support the hidden (and not always hidden) agenda of extreme greens: de-industrialisation. I’ve seen posts on green websites that evaluate the damage done to the planet by the most trivial items, such as the “carbon footprint” of deoderants or varieties of wine. I’ll be generous and assume that most of the writers are not conciously aware of the effect of their articles, but it’s hard not to notice a pattern in the green media.


Let’s face it. Our very existence, as we breathe, bothers them.
They would like it very much if we would cease all activities and die.
I very much would like it, if the would lead the way by example.


I just wish these Eco-Nuts would stop beating around the bush and spell out what they really think is the solution to climate change. They will not be happy until the vast majority of humans stop breathing out CO2. Doing away with ice makers, cars, factories, energy production, and jobs are just a means to that end.


I’d like to see that dropping CO2 chart layed over an unemployment chart for comparison?
REPLY: There is one in the EIA report, just open it – Anthony


There is help for you folks out there if you seek it. The elites air condition their horse stables but we can’t have ice cubes.

Andy G

Of course USA CO2 output is going down, All the energy that was once used by manufacturing is now being used in China instead, less efficiently.
As USA gradually de-industialised, China becomes more industrialised, and the USA imports instead, while the actually worldwide CO2 output continues to climb.
And I am NOT turning my fridge down for anyone. I like my beeer COLD !!!


No one is suprised to see a falling trend are they. A reverse hockey stick of sorts.

Grant Hillemeyer

What a bunch of chumps, taking it hook, line and sinker. The refrigerator is one of the great inventions in my book, up there with the wheel and beer. Beware little Johnny, that evil machine is belching carbon while you sleep. But sleep tight, when the sea rises and destroys our home, we’ll make a get away in the refer. I understand they float quite well.

Grant Hillemeyer

Oh, by the way Time ragazine, if we had a bunch of nuke plants we would have to worry about it, and you could drive your electric car guilt free. I guess it’s King Coal for now.


Beer shouldn’t be cold, it should be around 14c or 57f in order to enjoy its full flavour. Thats if it has any, dear americans..


They have openly admitted 9n Australia the greens want to cause us pain to change the way we live. They have 12% of the vote, 1 seat out of 150 in federl parliament but they are leading the government around by their minority nose. They scold them when they don’t like what they say and then reply with even more outrageous demnds when the Prime Minister caves in.
I still do not see why some self imposed green elite should be running the country.


Looks like the US might just hit the Kyoto reductions target without even commiting to it. That would make any potential legislation even harder to get through, and would also make a lot of activists redundant, therefore we probably won’t read much about that when it does happen.
And, if the eco-mob are so much against industrialization then why aren’t they going after China? That’s why I think there’s something pathological to this stuff. It has little to do with emissions or the environment and more about control and power. I can’t wield control over the Chinese, so I’ll control my neighbour instead.

Ken Hall

But surely if the extremist alarmists are correct… (I know, humour me, play along at home)… Then even if we stopped ALL emissions globally, CO2 will continue to exist in the atmosphere at higher than current levels, warming the planet disastrously for another 1000 years.
So, getting ice should be the least of our problems. We will not be worrying about where to get the ice for our drinks, we will be worrying about what to collect our drinking rainwater in, because without any industrial capability at all, there will be no more drinking glasses, no more commercial drink manufacturing and no more shops.

Scarlet Pumpernickel

Is this the same magazine that said an Ice Age was coming?

Tony K

Everytime I read such guilt ridden and human loathing environmental articles like this one …. I go out and buy the products they don’t want me to buy and do the opposite of what they want …. just to spite them for loathing me and my family. Great strategy environmentalists!!

The next thing may be ban humans for living on the planet? If you think like a Climate modeler, the next thing will be that humans produce CO2, which they says is a greenhouse gas, if there is less hunmans we could save the planet. I know the is off the wall but you want and see.

Barry Sheridan

Surely the reality is clear to everyone. Those who wax on about man’s malign influences to the earth will only be happy when everyone is dead! Perhaps they should set an example by doing away with themselves first and leave the rest of us in peace.

Anthea Collins

Lay people! How dare they? Climate modellers only see what’s on their screens. We “laypeople” see what’s under our noses and probably know more about what is going on than they do. So there!

Aunty Freeze

Well if we are supposedly going to burn to death with extreme high temperatures, then surely fridges and ice makers are going to be very handy.
Why don’t they stop beating around the bush and tell us all to stop breathing.

Brian H

De-industrialization is the only proven and prospective method of reducing CO2 output. The greens know this full well. Therefore they support reduction of CO2 output.
Just to be perfectly clear, what they claim are the means is actually the end, and what they claim is the end is really the means.

If I thought it would make a difference, I’d run the calculation to see how much eneergy goes to actually making the ice vs. running the icemaker. My bet? Much more energy in making the ice than running the icemaker. Maybe Time and their employees should forgo refrigeration for a week or so. You know….to save the planet and all.

Les Johnson

In Canada, the law of unintended consequences revealed itself during a government program to reduce the number of old refrigerators, which were CFC based, and much less efficient than newer models. The government offered generous subsidies to buy the newer refrigerators.
Of course, most of the older fridges went into the basement, and are still there, keeping the beer cold.
I suppose SOME government programs are effective and appreciated, but just not in the original way intended.


This article is a sad reminder of the deleterious effects of CO2 obsession. The symptoms are all there:
– fixation on CO2 as a boogeyman
-blaming evil consumers
-isolating one trivial thing like ice making as a major source of CO2 wickedness
– underlying misanthropic self loathing
-simplification of argument to level of falsehood
And, by the way, it takes just as much energy to cool water in ice trays as it does to cool water in an ice maker.
As we see in the Time piece of work, as CO2 obsession persists, it enables promoters to find new levels of stupid, inane and ignorant ways to express their fears.


Have you looked at Time magazine’s circulation figures:
Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year from Wikipedia
Year circa. 1997 4.2m, 1998 4.1m, 1999 4.1m, 2000 4.1m, 2001 4.1m, 2002 4.1m, 2003 4.1m, 2004 4.0m, 2005 4.0m, 2006 4.1m, 2007 3.4m, 2008 3.4m, 2009 3.4m
It looks like Time’s circulation correlated with US co2 emissions except that there seems to be a forcing that accelerates the rate.

Alan the Brit

Charles Higley says:
April 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm
Let’s face it. Our very existence, as we breathe, bothers them.
They would like it very much if we would cease all activities and die.
I very much would like it, if they would lead the way by example.
Au contraire! They merely wish to reversed the status quo! They want to be in charge of the neo fuedalism they wish to instill upon the good Earth! They want to have all the privilages that elitism endows upon them, whilst we mere mortals suffer as a result!
Anyway, don’t worry, I am running a course on flint napping, spear & arrow making, (blast, forgot the bow), sabre-tooth tiger & mamoth hunting, igloo building for the new Ice-Age, & all before the lights go ou…………………………….;-)) Sarc off.
@ Pingo
Oh how so true, my dear fellow! Formulaic Eurofizz is ok but most have little flavour if any!

P Wilson

The same old misanthropic nonsense from Time Magazine. Only its not just from Time magazine. Its the same half wit nonsense being spouted by scientific institutions


[self snip]


In the UK our ‘greenest government ever’ (as in ‘naive’) hasn’t cottoned onto this one yet – so the ice-maker in my twenty-year-old Amana can continue chuntering away…
It actually makes far more ice than my household can consume – so its switched off most of the time..!


What a cunning bunch of stunts.


Why is Time Magazine always blowing hot and cold? They seem obsessed by ice.
[1972] Science: Another Ice Age?
[1974] Another Ice Age?
[1994] The Ice Age Cometh?

Les Johnson

Hunter: In the article, they discuss why automatic ice makers use more energy than an ice tray; its due to the heaters needed for the motors and make sure the ice does not stick and clump.
Though, as one commenter there stated, this amounts to about 8 dollars per year for the extra electricity used.
8 dollars a year, for ice? In Texas? Not much to pay for a cold drink on a hot day.


If we all leave the fridge doors open, would that help prevent the dreaded warming?


“Climate modelers have long known that households are far bigger contributors to global warming than most laypeople realize. ”
Interesting terminology that lays bare the entire scam – climate modeling is a religion, and the simp at Time is simply an acolyte. As we know, ‘true believers’ can never be educated, even in the face of overwhelming rational evidence…


Well I think we can say that we now know what is happening: CO2 in the western world is declining and the temperatures are now declining. Therefore it is only western CO2 which has a climate effect. Eastern CO2 is benign. It does not trap CO2 because it is good CO2. Trapping is a naughty thing to do. Only nasty evil imperialist western CO2 would do that.

“I can’t print what I’d like to say.” Bummer. That’s the main reason for starting a blog in my opinion.

Pete in Cumbria UK

‘They’ have dropped themselves into it here in the UK…
The Eco-Brigade tell us not to put warm/hot food items into a fridge, because of all the extra energy it will use.
Meanwhile, Health and Safety fascists tell us to put stuff into our fridges (no matter how hot or cold it may be already) as quickly as possible to minimise the risk of food poisoning.

Those graphs make it clear that emission in US went down because of the recession that started in 2007. Less construction, less transportation. Similar to the drop in emissions in the Soviet area in 1990. There might be a connection to Energy Star appliances, but it’s not obvious from these graphs!


After all these years at least Time has shown consistency in its climate reports. ;O)

“Greenland is getting greener and Iceland’s ice is shrinking. The Arctic is losing its chill……In the 19th Century only a few cod were caught off southwestern Greenland. Now they are schooling far north of the Arctic Circle”

“At present, the pack contains only 6,500 cubic miles of ice (barely enough to cover the state of Texas with a 125-ft. layer), and it is steadily shrinking. Since 1900, the thickness of the polar icecap has decreased by three feet because of higher general temperatures.”

tom in indy

Why is there no downturn in CO2 at Mauna Loa?

I’ve already compromised. My second refrigerator (for beer) in the garage doesn’t have an icemaker.


CO2 plot is a plot of the fortune of a country. USA steady decline, China rapid increase. Skyrocket and his party have succeeded in killing the U.S. economy.

The Rolling Stones were wrong:
Time is not on our side!

John S.

Two things: 1) The downward trend in CO2 emissions tracks the downward trend in per capita income in the EIA report, so the crash of 2008 is to be credited with the reduction in CO2 (a trend that has in all likelihood already been reversed for 2010 with the ‘recovery ,’) and
2) The automatic ice maker in my refrigerator has an arm that senses when the ice bin is full and stops making more ice. Since it isn’t running all the time and spilling half-moon shaped cubes all over my kitchen floor, I seriously doubt that the ice maker contributes meaningfully to my refrigerator’s overall energy use.


Brian H,
One should also know that the reduction of human-produced CO2 results in only marginal and negligible effect …
The greens know this too …
After all, it’s just a matter of political and religious (often non-reality based) ideals, with a greedy touch. We know from history what results these ideals has led to, so far …

Sean says:
April 15, 2011 at 3:59 am
Have you looked at Time magazine’s circulation figures:
Time Magazine Paid Circulation by Year from Wikipedia
Year circa. 1997 4.2m, 1998 4.1m, 1999 4.1m, 2000 4.1m, 2001 4.1m, 2002 4.1m, 2003 4.1m, 2004 4.0m, 2005 4.0m, 2006 4.1m, 2007 3.4m, 2008 3.4m, 2009 3.4m

Scary. Losses are accelerating. With a simple quadratic fit we can determine that projected Paid Circulation drops to zero by the year 2020. What is even more scary is if it goes on like this, annual number of copies would reach an astounding minus 96 million by the end of this century. Does not look like a sustainable form of journalism.
Unfortunately we still lack the technology to transform that much paper back to a forest.


Ice makers stop making ice once the ice bin is full. So if they aren’t being used, after a while they go mostly dormant.
Their solution of using an ice cube tray requires you to open the door of the freezer each time you use the ice and each time you fill it.
I’m betting more than 8 watts of “cold” escapes the freezer and is replaced by room temperature air.

John Trigge

We could reduce our energy use if signs like the one in my local supermarket were NOT made. It is approx 3 metres x 1 metre (10 feet x 3 feet) and merely states that it is made with 100% recycled materials.
Good on you W**lw*rths marketers for letting us know you are ‘green’ and disproving is by making useless signs.