Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Personally, I think every day should be Earth Day. I think we're destroying this planet, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves. Whether you believe global climate change is real or not, I think most of you would agree that we have done a lot to damage this planet...and ourselves. Certainly some forms of pollution are having an adverse effect on humanity.

However, one thing that bugs me more than corporate polluters is hypocritical Hollywood types that show up one day a year trying to tell me how I should care more about the planet...like they do...

WHAT??? In this video, Lewis Black calls them on it...


Anonymous said...

What everyday things do you do for the environment, J? I bet they have other benefits too. Like riding your bike to work instead of driving a car. Have any tips or links for the rest of us?

Do you have any favorite "green" SF stories or novels? I know I got kick out of _The Sheep Look Up_. "Green Days in Brunei," not so much -- but George Dyson had some interesting things to say about a modern commercial sailing.

Robert Porter

envaneo said...

You know what my environmental peeves are? Plastic bags and bottles. There are over a trillion plastic bags consumed worldwide each year and many of them are floating around like tumbleweeds.
About 12% of all plastic water bottles in the US and Canada ever get recycled. Never mind the harmfull affects of BPA levels on children consuming water from these plastic bottles.

Before I became diabetic I used to drink Coke by the truckload. Maybe this is before your time, but Coke used to be bought in 10z glass bottles and would taste a lot better then their plastic counterparts today. Bring back the glass bottle! Course it won't ever happen.


envaneo said...

Oh and the video, it's pretty funny actually.

Psst: The reason why large ammounts of forest are being cut down is to make room for land to grow biodiesel crops. About 40% of all agriculture land in the US is now being used for biodiesel. Meanwhile people are starving around the 3rd world because traditional land used for food is being used for you guessed it: biodiesel. Oh the hypocracy.


Anonymous said...

"Oh the hypocracy."

Isn't that what they cried when the Hindenburg when up in flames?

I saw footage of that last night while watching a Nova special on PBS about "the car of the future." The guys from Car Talk hosted it, and while I don't drive a car -- I walk, bike, car pool, or take public transportation anywhere I go -- I found it interesting. They also had a Frontline special on climate change. Both for "earth day," I'm sure.

I don't drink out of plastic bottles and I reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic bags. My family consumes less energy and resources than most Americans, and this should further be reduced once we get into a house again, with better insulation and more choices. I'd much rather have a compost pile than garbage disposal, for ex.

When I have the money, I donate to places like the Nature Conservancy, which try to protect natural resources and the environment by providing greener, sustainable ways to make a living in the area. We live in tornado alley and I'm looking into windmills for residential use, business opportunities, and advocating their use by the city to reduce dependence on coal or nuclear power. Green investments are part of our retirement plan...

What do you do for the environment?

Robert E. Porter

J Erwine said...

Robert-As you may know, I've never owned a car in my life. I usually walk or take public transportation wherever I go. I try my best to use recycled products, and I'd recycle more if I could. My apartment complex doesn't offer any kind of recycling, and the closest grocery store is a couple of miles away, which means that if I want to recycle, I would have to drive to get there...makes sense. We do have an old man who dumpster dives to get cans for recycling, so whenever I see him out there, I take my cans out to him.
I use the newer bulbs, which a lot of people say can cause migraines, but as a long time migraine sufferer, I can say that I've never noticed any problems.
I also spend a few extra dollars a month on my utilities bill to go with wind energy instead of coal energy. Colorado is one of the biggest suppliers of wind energy in America...that's because the wind never seems to stop blowing...

Jim-I agree with you completely about plastic. It's ridiculous how much goes to waste...and if there are people reading this who are bottled water drinkers, let me tell you that bottled water is the same thing you're getting out of your tap, so stop wasting your money and stop filling our landfills. In fact, the EPA's standards for bottled water are lower than they are for tap water...so the crap coming out of your faucet might just be better for you...or maybe less bad...

Jim-The whole biofuel thing has been screwed up by the US government. The companies doing biofuels here in America are the oil companies...and we all know how badly they manage things. The truth about Ethanol, which is the primary fuel being developed, is that the corn product that people eat is not what goes into the fuel. Ethanol actually uses the waste material from the corn, but it's my understanding that the edible corn grown for these oil companies is not put into the food industry.

There are definitely better alternatives than biofuels, but if the biofuels are handled properly, without big business, and the inane American government, they are definitely a better option that oil.

envaneo said...

When my wife shops, she uses an eco friendly bag. (in China btw, they have banned plastic bags.)

We take the bus and a train into work everyday.(in Canada we get a tax break, which we have taken advantage of this year. Next year who knows if this will be availble?)I've take a bus into work all my life.

Other then the annual Tim Horton's "Roll up the rim to win contest"(currently going on and I buy maybe twice a week until the contest is over with in a few weeks.) I bring a thermouse of hot water and make my own coffee at work.

Our bigggest drain on the environment however as good as all the above might be is we drink way too much diet Coke in the 2 Lt bottles from Superstore. It's like $1/2lt. But we recycle these as it brings in a little money into the household.

I'm a "global warmer" skeptic but that doesn't mean I am any less environmently user friendly. GW (as put out by Ale Gore AGW) is mostly politics and most people can see thru this carbon credit shell game for what it is.



envaneo said...

Oh almost forgot, bthw, it's "Oh the Humanity, the humanity" ;-)

e. Jim

envaneo said...

Hi J, I'm not sure big business is behind the biodiesel trend. I think farmers are getting subsidies (at least in the US and G8)for growing corn and canola (Big here in Alberta) the thing about growing biodiesel crops at the expense of everything else is you compromise the soil and change it's PH balance. This is why farmres rotate their cash crop ever year.

The other thing is we only have enough oil supply to last the world for about another 80 years. This is worldwide. Once it's gone (unless you believe in the abiotic oil concept)when Oil is gone it's gone. For the Governments that have the Oil why not use it? Use Oil revenu for affordable housing, LRT and road transportation, reduce health care premiums and add recreation facilities etc. These are some of the things our Alberta Govt.is doing using it's Oil revenues. They could do more of course but that's another story ;-)

The price of oil right now is at an all time high: $117/gal. This time last year, it was about $60. I remember about 6 years ago it was less then that. Thing is, when the price of gasoline goes up, everything else goes up with it. It takes gasoline (Oil) to fuel those big semi trucks to deliever food to the supermarket. When gasoline goes up the trucking firms have to pass the cost of that transport increase off along to the concumer, you, Robert and me. And unless Governments are back engineering alien technoclogy I don't see a sustainable reuasble soucrce of clean energy to come along for at least another 50-100 years.

"global-warming" AGW imo is nothing more then natural earth solar cycles. The earth doesn't rotate in a complete circle. Don't confuse AGW with pollution even though they are sometimes closly related. Depite the IPPC's rhetoric on "climate change" don't believe everything you read. You can't make changes bassed on computer models and we don't know enough about our climate to begin tampering with it or ruin world economies (Kyoto) because of a -1/1.5 degree in temperature change.

Tmperature right now in Denver is around +27C, I recall back in 1980 here in Edmonton, our temperature was +23C for April 25th 1980. Right now it's -0C and we've had 31Cm of snow here in the City since Saturday afternoon. My point is tmemperatures are usually the same. It gets cold in the winter warm in the summer. For instance, you can track temperature in the US and even here in Canada going back to the 1800's.Tmperatures in the stats West of the Mississpi have allways been warmer in the spring and summer. I've lived here in Edmonton since 1978 and in all thos years I have not noticed change in air quality at all and most people that have lived here for at least that length of time will more or less agree.

I think Earth day is a good idea but I also think it's left to our own conscience to determin what's environmentally friendly and what isn't not for Govt or social policy or even peer preasure to tell the individual what they should or shouldn't be doing.

But I don't want to debate this. Since this is your blog, you have the last word.


e. Jim