An inconvenient truth

Archived discussion from Toril-2.
Sarvis
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:50 am

Lathander wrote:I guess I misread it because of all the quoting nonsense. That crap really is tough to decipher sometimes.



...
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Postby Llaaldara » Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:28 pm

Ahh thanks guys. Guess we'll have to wait and see still.

Lathander wrote:In regard to Wikipedia, I usually like to use other sources. Wikipedia is a good "drive-by" source, but hardly what I would solely base something on.


I feel the same way. Avak, you might want to realize that the wikipedia can be edited by anyone on the internet. As such it is prone to bias as well as factual error. It is a good place to start and good for simple definitions, but I wouldn't put it as a reliable factual source in an intellectual argument on a controversial topic.

[quote="Wikipedia.com"]Wikipedia (IPA: /ËŒwikiˈpiË
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Postby avak » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:25 pm

avak wrote:And Llaaldara, I would just suggest the wikipedia article (and related references if you are so inclined), but to answer your question quickly:

I'm well aware of the fact that it's a basic starting point for an investigation, hence the "and related references." When you look at the related references you get the IPCC report (note 'anthropogenic')

IPCC

Stratospheric ozone depletion observed since 1970 is caused primarily by increases in concentrations of reactive chlorine and bromine compounds that are produced by degradation of anthropogenic ODSs, including halons, CFCs, HCFCs, methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and methyl bromide (CH3Br). [1.3 and 1.4]


Sorry for the quote, I know that's confusing.

From the subject-to-scrutiny Wiki article:

That ozone depletion takes place is not seriously disputed in the scientific community.[31] There is a consensus among atmospheric physicists and chemists that the scientific understanding has now reached a level where countermeasures to control CFC emissions are justified, although the decision is ultimately one for policy-makers.


Also from the IPCC report:

Observations and model calculations suggest that the global average amount of ozone depletion has now approximately stabilized (for example, see Figure SPM-3).


We don't have to wait and see.
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Postby Llaaldara » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:02 pm

So the answer to my original question is yes? So we humans were able to make a difference in a global weather situation?

Which leads us to the surmise that humans can have an effect on global weather conditions?

Yay/Nay?
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:40 pm

Llaaldara wrote:So the answer to my original question is yes? So we humans were able to make a difference in a global weather situation?

Which leads us to the surmise that humans can have an effect on global weather conditions?

Yay/Nay?


I think it depends on whether or not you can read things in quotes or not.
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Postby Lathander » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:53 am

Heh, there's our Sarvis, arguing about arguing, how typical. Hope you never change or you'd actually get a clue.

In regard to the ozone hole, I believe that the fall '06 was the worst ever, defined as the widest and deepest. It seems more an effect of cold temperatures in the stratosphere than anything else.

I'd argue we simply do not know if we have an effect on the weather. Furthermore, we do not know if the weather/environment compensates for any contribution humans might make to it.

The reality is there are 6.6 billion people on the planet and growing everyday. Also, we grow and consume more and more food every day. We will be in better shape if we actually figure out how the systems of the planet work and use that knowledge to counteract any effect we might have. If humans do affect the weather, then more and more using energy and living their lives is only going to increase it. By having a vibrant economy, we will have far more resources to adapt and counteract any environmental shift, natural or man made, than if we are economically weak.
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:45 am

Lathander wrote:Heh, there's our Sarvis, arguing about arguing, how typical. Hope you never change or you'd actually get a clue.


The funny thing is I get the same responses whether I try or not. Why should I bother to try?

At least Teflor is probably just trolling. You're seriously this incompetent.

In regard to the ozone hole, I believe that the fall '06 was the worst ever, defined as the widest and deepest. It seems more an effect of cold temperatures in the stratosphere than anything else.


Earlier you asked what was wrong with what you said. Well, let's go with it. I'll try to avoid quote blocks, I know how it confuses you:

<a href="http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/reshor/rh-f06/sunshield.html">CONCENTRATIONS OF atmospheric ozone – which protects Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation – are showing signs of recovery in the most important regions of the stratosphere above the mid-latitudes in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, a new study shows. *snip* The research results were published Sept. 9, 2006,</a>

Of course, you could have cited something but I know we're all supposed to just believe everything you say. Right?

How about this, in the interest of fomenting ACTUAL discussion rather than your "it's so obvious" blather I'll post a source for you:

http://www.theozonehole.com/ozonehole2006.htm

So we have the ozone hole shrinking in general over the last decade, but a sudden hole that seems to open up every fall.

Further digging reveals this tidbit: <a href="http://www.theozonehole.com/recordoz2006.htm">During the southern hemisphere winter, the atmospheric mass above the Antarctic continent is kept cut off from exchanges with mid-latitude air by prevailing winds known as the polar vortex. This leads to very low temperatures, and in the cold and continuous darkness of this season, polar stratospheric clouds are formed that contain chlorine.</a>

Mystery solved! So the only question now is are those chlorine containing clouds a natural phenomenon?

Ah, here we go: <a href="http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/psc.html">Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are the medium on which reservoir chlorine compounds are converted into ozone-destroying chlorine radicals.</a>

That's pretty succinct I think. So we have a giant hole form in the antarctic ozone layer every year because the temperatures lower enough to form polar stratospheric clouds which are the catalyst for CFC's breakdown into the chlorine which actually depletes the ozone layer.

Now go on, accuse me of not citing sources again <b>Teflor. </b> You gotta take that shot at least once an argument, right?

And Lathander, you did catch all that right? No quote blocks, so hopefully you can read it.

Oh, and I'll stop the ad hominems when you bring a serious argument instead of half-truths and un-cited data.

Furthermore, we do not know if the weather/environment compensates for any contribution humans might make to it.


It probaly does, to an extent. We don't know that extent. We're seeing evidence we've surpassed it already.

By having a vibrant economy, we will have far more resources to adapt and counteract any environmental shift, natural or man made, than if we are economically weak.


If we work only for profit there will be no ability to counteract anything. People need to research and develop technologies which may not be profitable, and conduct pure research which is never profitable on it's own. All the money in the world won't help us if the height of our technological prowess is an iPhone. Yet the only people researching means to counteract environmental shifts are those you claim are against progress.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:28 am

Just another couple weeks or so and Sarvis will have his hissy fit and leave for 6 months...
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

Goddamned slippery mage.
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:47 am

So when I just make smartass remarks I get "You lose credibility resorting to ad hominem attacks. Stick to the facts."

But when I post something with a bunch of sources that completely destroys the opposing argument I get an ad hominem.

Yeah, I have lots of motivation to be serious here.

Don't you have some admin to be bitching about?

Besides, it wasn't exactly a hissy fit. People were tired of this crap, and I knew Teflor wasn't going to stop so I left. Care to try and insult me some more? At least Teflor is the same troll he always was; while you turned from someone who could make real contributions to a random cache of half-assed whiney remarks.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Sarvis wrote:Now go on, accuse me of not citing sources again <b>Teflor. </b> You gotta take that shot at least once an argument, right?

And Lathander, you did catch all that right? No quote blocks, so hopefully you can read it.

Oh, and I'll stop the ad hominems when you bring a serious argument instead of half-truths and un-cited data.



Listen Sarvis... if you continue to act nasty towards people, you will eventually have to get used to people acting that way towards you in return..
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:33 am

Corth wrote:Listen Sarvis... if you continue to act nasty towards people, you will eventually have to get used to people acting that way towards you in return..


Listen Corth... you need to read that a couple times yourself. Or maybe you can go post some other derogatory remark about the imms just for kicks. You know, either way.

Besides which, I still only give what I get:

Lathander wrote:You seem to have swallowed this hype hook, line and sinker, so arguing with you is pretty point less as you really can't think for yourself.


Lathander wrote:I could continue with the links, but the real problem with you sarvis is an inability to think and consider using common sense.


Lathander wrote: See, the fundamental problem with you, I believe, is that you are not intellectually curious. You simply latch on to what you hear or read without actually understanding it.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:06 pm

And when are you going to quote some of your own messages that Lathander was replying to?

Not going to track down who started it. Fact is that you are participating, so don't be shocked about the type of response you get.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:59 pm

Corth wrote:And when are you going to quote some of your own messages that Lathander was replying to?

Not going to track down who started it. Fact is that you are participating, so don't be shocked about the type of response you get.


If you did track it down you'd find the first insult was Lathander's.

I never said I was shocked, anyway. I just said I treat others the same way they treat me.
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:20 pm

Here, I'll quote one of the best resources I've ever found:

My Grandmother:

If it looks like a duck, and it acts like a duck, and it walks like a duck...


Or this one:

My Grandmother:

Better safe than sorry.


It never ceases to amaze me that adults can literally see a problem, yet continue to argue against its existence as if it doesn't matter.

Here, let's break it down into understandable language for everybody who isn't getting the points being made here...

Yes, the pollution in major cities is so thick you can see it. Yes, it's obvious that in those cities on the days when pollutants are particularly bad the rate of illness climbs markedly. Yes, it's obvious that merely driving into a city from the country on a summer day will show a noticable increase in surrounding temperature. Yes, yes... heat escapes to areas where it's not so hot, simple natural laws, and all that rot. Sure, the smell of a large city is putrid. Okay, so the exhaust from vehicles is poisonous to us. Yeah, okay, when air is thicker it's going to retain heat longer. Sure, some of these chemicals we release into the air break down the natural composition, retain heat , lead to unnatural destabilization of a billions-years-old system, increase population sickness, smell bad, are poisonous, darken the atmosphere, and lead to increased temperatures... BUT UNTIL YOU SHOW ME PROOF THAT WILL CONVINCE ME THAT I'M LESS IMPORTANT THAN ANY SILLY ENVIRONMENT IT'S A MOOT POINT. After all, within sixty years I'll probably be dead, and it'll be somebody else's problem. Until that time, if I can't drive to the store two or three times a day, buy everything in conveniently double-wrapped individually-portioned packages, and walk out of Wal-mart with a nailfile, a tiny bottle of dish detergent, a half-pound package of chemically injected beef in a one-pound package of plastic, and a six-pack of water, each item in its own gallon-sized plastic bag, then life just isn't worth living, so back off while I snack on this half-dollar-sized cheeseburger from McDonald's that came packaged in what amounts to half a Sunday newspaper!

Sorry, not a single scientific reference quoted in this post.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:06 pm

Its obvious that you are so common sensical Ashiwi :)

I wished i could participate in this debate.. but all this science goes over my head. But I finally get it! We don't know for sure whats happening.. so better safe than sorry. Thanks Ashiwi for finally making it so clear! :)

I hope everyone else joins me in riding bicycles to work from now on. Come on people.. better safe than sorry!

Oh wait, we have no reason to bicycle to work.. the factory closed down (you know the city smells putrid when the factory is operating)... better safe than sorry!

Hey, a quarter of the population of the world is now starving to death.. But something bad may or may not have happened if we let things continue the way they were going. Better safe than sorry!

Who needs science when we have common sense! Ashiwi, you put it all into perspective for me! :)
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:55 pm

Ah, you gotta love False Dilemma!

Like I said Corth, you USED to be interesting and actually contribute something to these discussions.

Now you're just another whiney troll.
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:58 pm

Glad I could help, Corth! I'm thrilled you'll join be on the doing side while the debating continues. Common sense tells us there's always room for debate, but not to ignore the fox in the henhouse while we wait for science to prove to us that chicken is a tasty snack.

Tsk.

Since when did the world devolve to the point where we had to choose between common sense and science? Was it when the dollar began to drive not just the economy, but the environment, as well? Personally, I think there's room in the world for both common sense AND science. Unfortunately, that is the more difficult road to take, because we have to temper our behavior while the debate rages. The easiest way to proceed is to continue unabated because we'd rather ignore the more obvious signs around us until we have a definitive answer.

Feel free to scold common sense all you like... common sense asks for compromise while the issue is researched, it asks for temperance and patience instead of rash impulse, it suggests there may be other avenues to take instead of the road we are on. It hopes that we might open our eyes and see what we're doing, instead of ignoring everything around us because we can't be bothered to see.

When you walked out of Wal-Mart with that one bottle of insect repellant did you notice they put it in a plastic bag all to itself? Did you need a plastic bag to carry one item to your car? Such a small thing... but if everybody who went shopping turned down receiving one plastic bag that they didn't really need, wouldn't that make even a tiny difference in the amount of waste plastic in our country? Such a tiny ripple... It's not everybody on bicycles riding to work, but it could have an impact.

Sorry, but all the sarcasm in the world that you can heap on me will not cause me to see the error in my ways of recycling and reducing. I try to make an effort every day in reducing the damage that I do to the world around me. Maybe it will never make a difference... but at least when it's all said and done, I know I tried.

Call me an old hippie, but I fail to see the problem with stricter controls on pollutants while the debate continues. Other than the financial impact, that is. Then you just come back to the debate of people not understanding that money to buy swimming pools, go to movies and eat convenience food is really and truly disposable income, and the thought of giving up luxuries becomes an affront to our human liberties. I don't really have a problem with giving up luxuries, myself, so it's not really an issue to pare down on non-necessities for me. I'd rather do without today to have more tomorrow. Sure, we'd have to face a bit a downturn in the economy if everybody started cutting down on non-necessities, but people would adapt.
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Postby avak » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:38 pm

The irony, of course, is that alternative energy is America's last shot at economic super-power status. The 'environment vs progress/economy' argument is so tired it reminds me of reading threads about declining pbases. If the US started forcing growth in the alt fuels industry we could see an unprecedented surge in economic growth in this country. It's not about riding your bike to work as much as it just admitting that there is a problem and that you're part of it.

Oh and if you're going to reply with laissez faire capitalism arguments about a free market guiding us in the right direction then don't bother. All you need to do is look back in history to see all of the ways that the gov't has incentivized private industry for its own good. US capitalism is not a perfect system and constantly needs tweaking from the gov't.

Again, I will set out the argument that 1st world countries currently incentivizing alternative energy are consistently leading quality of life and economic health indices. Do I need to cite that? I'm at work, sorry.
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Postby avak » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:59 pm

Fine, citations.

Ernst and Young has a very interesting index for 'Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness.'

From the summary:

"Countries’ alternative energy policies need to be coherent, with long-term incentive mechanisms, to encourage the renewable energy industry, says Jonathan Johns, UK head of Renewables, Waste, and Clean Energy, in an article based on testimony he gave recently to the US Senate."

[url=http://int.sitestat.com/ernst-and-young/international/s?Industry_Utilities_RenewableIndices_Q1_07&ns_type=pdf&ns_url=[http://www.ey.com/Global/assets.nsf/International/Industry_Utilities_RenewableIndices-Q1-07/$file/Industry_Utilities_Attractiveness_Q12007.pdf]Ernst and Young report[/url]

The point of the index is that the US has the top spot for alt energy potential. We can continue to lag behind like the slipping super power we've become or step it up and be international leaders again. Where are the repubs on this??? I'll tell you. They're fat dumb and happy off the old guard energy industry and don't care. New guard on the way my friends.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:20 pm

I think the problem with your argument, Ashiwi, is that neither you nor anyone else owns a monopoly on common sense. Your common sense might be idiotic to another reasonable person, and vice versa.

Hey, the only thing I know when it comes to the science of this debate is that I don't know anything about it. However, there are some things I know which are outside of the realm of science. As far as I can tell, reducing carbon emissions means reducing industrial activity, which will exact an economic cost. The strength or weakness of our economy effect our standard of living. In many countries, its a matter of life and death. Its not something you just shrug off. Reducing industrial activity, and thus our standard of living, is not something you do lightly.

Now, like I said, I am not able to participate in the debate of whether or not there is global warming, whether it is caused by humans, and whether it is even going to hurt our standard of living... because I just don't know the science of it. If a true scientific consensus were achieved that our standard of living would be better if we reduced carbon emissions, notwithstanding the corresponding economic cost, then I would be in favor or reducing carbon emissions. But I don't see any such consensus, despite the conclusory arguments seen within this thread that it exists.

In my world, the common sense approach is to not do anything drastic, like tank the economy, until such time as we are certain that it is necessary.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:30 pm

Avak,

When oil and refined oil products become more expensive than their alternatives, either by virtue of shortage or taxation, then alternative energy products will become a lot more prevalent.

We have seen this in just the past few years as oil and gasoline prices have skyrocketed. In the past, despite US govenment attempts to promote alternative energy vehicles, nobody had any interest whatsoever. Now, that gasoline prices have doubled in just a few years, hybrids aren't just cost effective.. in some circles they are considered l33t!

Another example. A couple of winters ago there was a natural gas shortage. People were paying 2-3x their normal heating bill. All of a sudden, it was impossible to find a wood burning stove where previously they didn't move at all. Even an old energy source, wood, becomes viable when carbon based energy prices go up.

So yes, IMHO, the free market works in this regard. Even when government action (taxes) intervene to make oil and gas prices high enough for the alternatives to become viable, free market principles control.

I think you'll find a lot more interest in alternative energy over time, not to save the environment, but because it makes more sense economically due to 'peak oil'.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:37 pm

Avak,

Also.. if the economy is not an issue here, then what's the debate? If there were no cost, economically, socially, or otherwise to 'going green', then why do people even care? At that point we may as well acquiesce to everything the environmentalists want.. cause it will cost us nothing to do so. Like, for instance, replacing existing fleets of gas guzzling cars with more efficient ones. Free of charge! And retrofitting factories to use solar energy panels. Retrofitting free.. solar panels.. free. Right? :)

And the supposed exploding growth would occur because of an increase in productivity due to a switch from a more energy efficient product (gasoline and natural gas), to a less energy efficient (solar) one? How exactly is this growth miracle going to result from less powerful energy sources? :) Let me put it this way.. a solar panel won't power my car.. so why is my factory going to be more productive once I switch from gasoline to solar?
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby avak » Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:12 pm

Well, I realize that we're at a philosophical crossroads that debating on a BBS probably won't resolve.

I'll take your points, Corth, and make a final counter with, the free market didn't build the Interstate highway system.

In fact, if you look at the situation historically, in this country public money has driven a significant portion (if not possibly the majority) of the technological advances of the last century or more.

And I own more than one business. I love free enterprise. I just happen to think it is grossly short sighted; which is where rational human cognition plays a vital role.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:09 pm

IMHO, public money is best spent on things that benefit the public at large. Although private highways did in fact exist prior to the interstate highway system (google the Long Island Motor Parkway for instance), generally speaking highways are a public benefit that we all enjoy and I have no problem with the government taxing us in order to build them. Same thing goes for the military. The post office and school system.. debateable. I think both of those entities can be better accomplished by a for profit enterprise.. but thats for a different thread.

With regard to technological advances.. well, I think your nuts if you believe that public money has had a greater impact in that sphere than for profit enterprise. Absolutely insane. :)

I'll also point out that you seem to be backing off your assertion that there are no significant economic costs to 'going green', and that doing so would somehow in fact strengthen the economy and increase productivity. Or at least, I don't see you continuing to assert that point.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:59 pm

Corth wrote:IMHO, public money is best spent on things that benefit the public at large.


So you don't think less polluting, more renewable sources of energy would benefit the public at large?

Or are you willing to accept that public funding for such research, which corporations have little motivation to perform, would be beneficial to us all?
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:10 pm

Possibly. I don't know yet whether there is a public benefit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Thats kind of the point of this whole exercise, no?

I think corporations have a HUGE incentive to research alternative forms of energy. For instance, there is a lot of money being made these days manufacturing and selling solar panels. How about the companies working on better energy storage? Energy Conversion Devices is making a pretty penny licensing out its battery technology to Toyota through its subsidiary Cobasys for use in hybrids. The sky is the limit for anyone who can figure out a cheaper and more efficient way of deriving liquid hydrogen from water for use in vehicles. Any public money used towards furthering research into alternative energy would only be a drop in the bucket with respect to what is already being spent by corporations, and would probably be misallocated because private industry has a stronger incentive towards finding useful applications for their technology.

Corth
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby Sarvis » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:17 pm

Corth wrote:As far as I can tell, reducing carbon emissions means reducing industrial activity, which will exact an economic cost.


False dichotomy again?

You can't accept a middle ground, such as research into better/less polluting energy sources or more efficient processes which create less waste?

Look at what Ashiwi actually said, she didn't say we had to stop producing things she said we don't need a grocery bag to carry one item, and that products don't need to be double wrapped. None of that is anti-industry, nor impactful on our standard of living. Hell, there was a time when deodorant came in a box, and now it doesn't. Does that mean that our society crumbled, or just that deodorant companies are now being more efficient and creating less waste?

Somewhere along the line you brought up that a solar panel can't power your car. First, there is a motorcycle prototype which is solar powered and second more research into the tech would likely give efficiency gains that would allow it to power a car.

We can't move backwards, and we can't continue as we are. We need to move forward with newer, better and more efficient technology or we're going to be screwed. If it isn't global warming it will be oil running out, or tensions in the middle east, or a revolt by impoverished peasants or any number of other things.
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Postby avak » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:21 pm

Corth wrote:IMHO, public money is best spent on things that benefit the public at large.


I agree completely. That is why I support incentivizing alternative energy research and infrastructure development. Wind energy development, for example, is hamstrung by line capacity, not cost. You can't just build a turbine and plug it into 'the grid.'

One of the biggest shortfalls, and I think the fatal flaw in your reasoning, is that American capitalism externalizes the cost of pollution. If you accept that carbon emissions (or any other byproduct) are likely to cause severe damage to something or someone and therefore must be mitigated then who picks up the tab? If and when the coal industry has to offset carbon emissions the price of that form of energy will be drastically different.

How would you feel if I purposely structured my business so that my employees had to be on food stamps and public health care? You would say, why should the public have to pay for that!!

There are certainly 'costs' in using alternative technologies that might be considered green. I have a geothermal heatpump in my house that cost almost 20k to install but instead of a $400/mo winter heat bill I pay roughly $50. It's considered a 10 year payback. After that I just save a couple hundred or more per month. Why doesn't everyone do that? I think there is a restrictive mentality at play more than pure economics. Clearly, without any doubt, it makes more economic sense to have a geothermal heat pump than a propane forced air heater. Yet I might know only half a dozen other people that have one.

As a number of case studies in this report show, companies enhance their competitiveness by applying the power of energy innovation to their processes and their products. Frito-Lay’s resource conservation efforts consistently earn 30 percent return on investment. Riverdale Mills grabbed the opportunity to cut its $800,000 electricity bill in half by operating a water-powered generator that paid for itself in 1.3 years. DuPont applied Six Sigma™ to more than 75 procedure-based energy improvement projects—each required no capital investment and on average saved $250,000 per year.


It's just not a perfect system. That is precisely the role of the government.
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:33 pm

Avak,

With regard to capitalism externalizing the cost of its pollution, You are alluding to the so-called 'tragedy of the commons'. I completely agree that business should reimburse society if it is creating some sort of externalized expense. If greenhouse gasses really are a problem, and I do not know that, then I am completely in favor of a fair tax that asseses an appropriate cost to the business creating the pollution. I am sure that you would say that the conclusion that greenhouse gasses are causing global warming, and that global warming is a bad thing, is self-evident. But I am not sure one way or the other. In any event, what is at issue is not whether corporations should be assessed the societal cost of their actions, but rather, what that cost (if any) is.

I think it is interesting that you ended your message with several examples of corporations choosing to use 'green' production techniques, not necessarily because it is green, but rather because it saves them money. The free market at work. Assessing the cost of pollution to companies that are polluting, if we can figure out what that cost is, will allow the free market to work more efficiently.

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Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Postby avak » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:18 pm

Corth

You are making my point for me. Why are only some corporations choosing green technology that is not only 'arguably' good for the environment (and therefore the public) but competitively advantageous? In a perfect free market system, all corporations would be taking these same steps. But that is making huge assumptions about information flow and lack of other unknown barriers to change. That is where I think the government has a role. Because there is an identifiable public interest (environmental, energy independence, global competitiveness) the government should step in and incentivize growth in that arena.

Like I've said before in this thread, public investment in alternative energy supplies and other progressive resource-conscious technologies is not anti-progress or anti-business...quite the contrary. Not investing public dollars in those technologies is both imprudent and short-sighted.
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Postby Ashiwi » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:05 pm

That's exactly it... there are some compromises we CAN make while the debate rages. To ignore the potential for ongoing damage until there is a definitive answer is like waiting until the house is falling apart before deciding the termites are a threat. If we wait until we have an exact answer then we risk acting too late. The small steps we take now may have enough of an impact to make a difference later, and won't be as drastic as the drastic measures that are being asked for. We already know we have barges of trash floating in rivers because landfills are full... why not reduce waste? Seriously... how shortsighted can we be that this is acceptable because we might negatively impact consumerism? There's tons of talk on the table, but every year our marketing moves to more and more packaging, instead of less, and very few companies are stepping forward to reduce waste; instead, they are encouraging individual portion sales because there is more profit. Eventually we are going to have to weigh profit vs. cost in this equation, but we can't get either the American people or the American government past the "more now" attitude.

Consumerism has taken control of our lives, and our decisions about our future are being based on the profit margins of today. I know that my common sense and your common sense may not ever travel in parallel, but anybody out there who can step back and look at this issue and honestly say there is no problem would have to be 100% stone deaf and blind. Anybody who can think that the problem isn't getting worse needs to go back to elementary school for simple mathematics and science... if you have 10 tons of trash today and you keep adding one ton every day, how much trash do you have in one year? If the temperature of a city is + x degrees due to concrete islands and other sources, and heat is lost to surrounding cooler temperatures, what is the general impact on the atmosphere surrounding a large city? If carbon monoxide is a poison...

Now I'm not saying there are no steps being taken to address some of these issues, but the steps taken aren't stringent enough. BirdsEye vegetables isn't going to step forward and voluntarily stop producing single serving multi-wrapped bags of vegetables, because that's where their highest profit is; they're going to keep making commercials to push them because it puts money in the pockets of their shareholders and gives people jobs. I'm not against giving people jobs. What I am against is overlooking the problem on a platform of the economy because the pennies at stake today are far more important than the world we live in tomorrow. There has to be compromise, and unfortunately some of that compromise is going to impact the pockets of industry.

We're not going to create a fiscal crisis from which there is no hope of recovery; that's not possible. What we need to ask ourselves is if there's any chance whatsoever of us creating an environmental risk from which there may be no possibility of recovery, and if there is any risk whatsoever then maybe we need to work proactively instead of reactively. We can't continue as we are without taking into consideration the cost of cleaning up our messes tomorrow. If we can't afford it today, how in the hell are we going to afford it tomorrow when it's even worse?

So here's the question... is there potential? Not a definite yes. Not a definite no. Could we at this moment be creating a problem that could have a devastating effect on us in the future? Are we going to be able to afford the cost of cleaning up our trash? Our air? Our polluted waters? Can we repopulate our oceans with the species going extinct? Will we be able to afford to eat shellfish that are practically poisonous to us today because of the pollutants in their habitat, and could the problem be spreading? How much are you, personally, going to be able to invest in the problem tomorrow? How's your medicare and social security looking? What's our fiscal security picture looking like in a few decades?

Are we creating a potential problem and will we be able to afford fixing it tomorrow better than we can today?

If the potential for the problem is there, and we are overlooking it because of the consumer market today, then we're just kicking ourselves in our own asses and setting ourselves up for more and more problems of an expanding nature. If pollution is a problem today, imagine what the health problems are going to be like when our present population reaches the status of senior citizen. Who is footing that bill? Who's paying for all the asthma, COPD, allergy complications and other health hazards that hit us full force in the middle of summer when the haze settles? Everybody's so worried about the fiscal impact getting the problem fixed could have on us, but not getting it fixed is going to have a significant cost, as well.

If we do not have a potential problem that we cannot afford to fix tomorrow, then we would be doing ourselves less damage by determining to fix it than we would if we continue to ignore it and the problem becomes real. Yes, better safe than sorry. The investment into alternative fuels and environmental safeguards can only be a plus for us as a nation, and we can better afford to make the alternatives a reality and lead poorer nations into a greener future by serving as example and mentor on a path toward a more responsible caretakership of the home we all share.
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Postby Sylvos » Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:12 pm

Something that I have wondered about off and on for the last few years, but I haven't looked into any research on the topic but I'm curious. Lots have changed in the twenty years between my comparisons, but I do have to wonder how much of the difference between the two is a result of a worsening environment.


When I was eight, I knew a kid who had asthma and had to worry about asthma attacks. A kid, singular.

When I was eight, I was the only one I knew of who was subject to an anaphylactic reaction upon eating peanuts. Just peanuts mind you, other tree nuts were fine.


These days, tree nut allergies are so pervasive that schools ban them on premises in many cases. Smelling them triggers some kids, touching others, and even more react if they ingest a tree nut. Not just peanuts.

The volume of kids in my son's school who have ventolin inhalers outnumbers the ones who do not.


Now I'm the first to admit, the knowledge of my environment as an eight year old is hardly a basis to build an argument off of. I could have simply been sheltered from a lot of the situations of my peers (and likely was to some extent). My knowledge of the world around wasn't as great as it is today, so my awareness is wider. I'm also in a different area of the world right now, so the environment here is different.

But even allowing for my lack of awareness as a child, I still expect that the cases of these, and other medical and health problems have increased noticably over the last twenty years. And how much of it is related to the increase in pollution and other poisonings of the world we live in.

And no, riding a bike to work isn't the only answer. But maybe finding a coworker or somebody nearby to sit in that passenger seat of your SUV would help by taking one car out of the morning commute. Buying in bulk and reusing containers to store the bulk food? That's not all that much of a hardship, bit of extra dishwashing.

It's not an argument that demands absolute measures on the side of environmentalism or consumerism. (See: junking all vehicles argument as an example of absolute measures) Presenting such absolute measures on either end of the spectrum doesn't accomplish anything other than to alienate others on the other end of the debate.
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Postby Lathander » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:12 pm

Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been all the rage. I have even changed bulbs in places in my house where I don’t care about the quality of the light. They last longer, run cooler, and save energy. Sounds great right?

The problem is they contain mercury. If you were to break on in your house with a small child around, you have a big problem. Many “improvementsâ€
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Postby Lathander » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:19 pm

Sylvos, on the issue of peanuts, how does the environment or pollution affect peanut allergies? Most likely, folks are giving their kids peanuts too early. My daughter is 9 months and I have no intention of giving her anything with shellfish or peanuts until she is 2 to 3 years old. Many people probably do not read the labels on foods to see what they are giving their kids.

On asthma, here is a good link.
http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/indi ... Asthma.cfm

There are some interesting trends with that data.
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Postby Sylvos » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:06 am

I'm no doctor or nurse, but my expectation is that a worsening environment, e.g. pollution, causes the immune system to be weaker. A weaker immune system means that the body isn't as capable to deal with other problems, such as an early introduction to nuts.

I suspect it's an indirect corrolation, as opposed to the more direct cause and effect of bad air -> asthma and other respiratory distress problems.
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Postby Lathander » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:39 am

Below, taken from Wikipedia, are two of ideas on why allergies are more prevalent now. I would add increased diagnosis, whether real or not, as a third idea. I'd argue this is similar to the ADD epidemic we seem to be in.

Also, as someone that suffers from immune system problems, allergies and the like are not really caused by a weak immune system. Rather, they are caused by an overactive or oversensitve system.

FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Increasing prevalence
The neutrality of this article or section is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

There has been a notable increase in the commonness of allergies in the past decades[17], and there are multiple hypotheses explaining this phenomenon. This is in part because we know what they are, in contrast to earlier humans who would think that the symptoms pointed towards a non-important illness.


[edit] Increasing use of chemicals
One theory is the exponential use and abuse of chemicals in affluent nations since the second world war. Vast numbers of chemicals are introduced into our indoor and outdoor environments with little or no testing[citation needed] regarding their toxicity to living beings. Many believe[attribution needed] that air quality is getting worse rather than better, particularly if one considers indoor air quality as well as outdoor. (Indoor air quality has become significantly worse since building codes changed in the 1970s to make buildings more air-tight to conserve energy. This affects buildings built since that time.) Adverse reactions to toxins vary considerably from one person to another, and can involve extremes in symptoms including the neurological and endocrine systems as well as the more commonly recognized allergy symptoms listed above.

In 2004, a joint Swedish-Danish research team found a very strong link between allergies in children and the phthalates DEHP and BBzP, commonly used in PVC.[18] Allergies are also viewed by some medical practitioners as a negative consequence of the use and abuse of antibiotics and vaccinations. This mainstream Western approach to treatment and prevention of infectious disease has been used in the more affluent world for a longer period of time than in the rest of the world, hence the much greater commonality of allergies there. It is hypothesized that use of antibiotics and vaccination affect the immune system, and that allergies are a dysfunctional immune response.


[edit] The "hygiene hypothesis"
Main article: Hygiene hypothesis
The hygiene hypothesis maintains[19] that children in more affluent countries are leading an increasingly cleaner life in modern times (less exposure to dirt, extra use of disinfectants, etc), their immune systems have less exposure to parasites and other pathogens than children in other countries or in decades past. Their immune systems may, therefore, have many "loaded guns", cells which might have targeted, say, the intestinal worms that no longer cause trouble in affluent neighbourhoods. Having no reasonable target, these cells inadvertently become activated by environmental antigens that might only cause minor reactions in others. It is the symptoms of this exaggerated response that is seen as the allergic reaction.

Many common allergies such as asthma have seen huge increases [20] in the years since World War II, and many studies[citation needed] appear to show a correlation between this and the increasingly affluent and clean lifestyles in the West. This is supported by studies[citation needed] in less developed countries that do not enjoy western levels of cleanliness, and similarly do not show western levels of incidences of asthma and other allergies. During this same period, air quality, at one time considered the "obvious" cause of asthma, has shown a considerable improvement. This has led some researchers[attribution needed] to conclude that it is our "too clean" upbringing that is to blame for the lack of immune system stimulation in early childhood.

Evidence for the hygiene hypothesis appears to be mounting more so then for the chemical hypothesis. Such data is still open to interpretation. Day care for children offers protective effects against asthma, as do early episodes of viral infection. Children raised on a farm also have a decreased atopy. Exposure to endotoxin and other components of bacteria may reduce atopic diseases. [21]

Environmental endotoxin showed a strong protection against hay fever and allergy. Endotoxin exposure reduces peripheral blood leukocytes release of inflammatory cytokines after lipopolysaccharide, including cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, interferon-gamma, interleukin-10, and interleukin-12 . [22] Toll-like receptors are thought to be involved. This is the basis for the new DNA vaccine being developed by Peter Creticos and others at the Johns Hopkins Division of Allergy.

One supporting fact[citation needed] is that many Chinese will develop hay fever after moving into the USA for three or more years. However, contradictory examples also exist[citation needed].
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:44 am

[quote="Lathander"]Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been all the rage. I have even changed bulbs in places in my house where I don’t care about the quality of the light. They last longer, run cooler, and save energy. Sounds great right?

The problem is they contain mercury. If you were to break on in your house with a small child around, you have a big problem. Many “improvementsâ€
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Postby Lathander » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:02 pm

Sarvis, I don't know if you have your own home yet, or still live with your parents, but accidents do happen around the house, including dropping light bulbs. With a traditional light bulb, there is only the threat of the broken glass. With the compact fluorescent, you have a major problem with regard to cleanup of the mercury, and one that is likely to need professionals to clean.

I'm not demonizing anything. I think it is important for people to understand the pro's and con's to this "environmental" movement of which fluorescent lighting is a component. A good example is what happens to those spent fluorescent bulbs once they are used up? Will people take them to a hazardous waste disposal place or will them just throw them in their trash can where they are likely to break before they get to the dump?
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Postby Sarvis » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:03 pm

Lathander wrote:Sarvis, I don't know if you have your own home yet, or still live with your parents,


And see, I even kept civil in my last post. Is insults all you got? It's not even relevant, since accidents happen whether you live with parents or not!

With a traditional light bulb, there is only the threat of the broken glass. With the compact fluorescent, you have a major problem with regard to cleanup of the mercury, and one that is likely to need professionals to clean.


As I said, you have the same problem with every store, doctor's office and school. All flourescent lights contain mercury, why are you suddenly pointing out the dangers of CFLs in particular? Oh, right because they are more energy efficient and therefore must be supported by "environmentalists" who "hate progress."

Not to mention, yet AGAIN, barometers. Accidents happen with barometers too, but I don't see you blaming "environmentalists" for those!

I'm not demonizing anything.


Yes, you are. Everything "environmentalists" bring us is a double edged sword, despite the fact that mercury containing flourescent bulbs have been used practically forever in corporate environments. Why is this the "environmentalists" problem? Why not Wal*Mart's for all the mercury containing flourescent lights they use?


I think it is important for people to understand the pro's and con's to this "environmental" movement of which fluorescent lighting is a component.


But not to undestand the pro's and con's of the "corporate" movement of which flourescent lighting is a component?


A good example is what happens to those spent fluorescent bulbs once they are used up? Will people take them to a hazardous waste disposal place or will them just throw them in their trash can where they are likely to break before they get to the dump?


They are mostly thrown out, and that does add mercury to the environment. Probably not as much as burning coal does, but still...

I don't see you questioning how your company disposes of them though, or any other company for that matter. I somehow suspect you wouldn't support the government in setting up a program to better dispose if these either, right? Because, you know, corporations can do everything better. :roll:
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Postby Lathander » Sun Jul 08, 2007 4:47 pm

There is a big difference between walking through a store where the bulbs are already up in the ceiling and having to handle and change the bulbs in your home. Mercury is a dangerous chemical, and many of us that change light bulbs can attest to breaking some whether during the changing or after throwing it into the garbage.

And barometers? Yea, everyone has one of those in their homes, heh. Only time I ever had one was for a science fair project and it was tucked away in a protective plastic package. Far more light bulbs are broken than barometers.

Everything has pro's and con's. The problem is the environmental movement is not truthful about the implications of the changes they propose. I'll ask again, those of you for changes, how would you go about it? How would you get rid of coal fired power plants? How would get people out of their cars? That's where the true nature of the environmental movement is. I look forward to seeing the answers.
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Postby Ashiwi » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:55 am

You keep antifreeze in your car, right? With careful handling it will never be the exceedingly toxic threat it has the potential to be.

My mother drives me nuts... she puts bleach in the toilet and leaves it to soak... and doesn't bother telling me when I come over to visit. Of course, I have a pretty good life insurance policy, and she is listed as a benefactor. OMG that stings the nose and eyes.
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Postby Ashiwi » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:01 am

Oh, and I distinctly remember accidentally breaking a thermometer when I was about eight. I played with the mercury for a good hour before disposing of it. Unfortunately we weren't really environmentally aware back then, so it went into the trash on a tissue.

Unfortunately for some, I am still here to discuss the incident. Amazing how that works, isn't it?
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:39 pm

Lathander wrote:There is a big difference between walking through a store where the bulbs are already up in the ceiling and having to handle and change the bulbs in your home. Mercury is a dangerous chemical, and many of us that change light bulbs can attest to breaking some whether during the changing or after throwing it into the garbage.

And barometers? Yea, everyone has one of those in their homes, heh. Only time I ever had one was for a science fair project and it was tucked away in a protective plastic package. Far more light bulbs are broken than barometers.

Everything has pro's and con's. The problem is the environmental movement is not truthful about the implications of the changes they propose. I'll ask again, those of you for changes, how would you go about it? How would you get rid of coal fired power plants? How would get people out of their cars? That's where the true nature of the environmental movement is. I look forward to seeing the answers.


This reply was suggested by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous:

Would you put your children into a daycare facility in which the caregivers are habitual cigarette smokers?

Would you allow your children to attend a school in which teachers are allowed to smoke in the classroom?

Probably not. The major reason being that children are impressionable and will likely pick up a habit/addiction which will impact their health and the health of those around them.

Pollution in our country and the world in general is much the same. You don't have to worry about it, because it does not directly affect you. However it will affect your children.
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Postby avak » Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:27 pm

I put plenty of answers in this thread already and I would venture to guess that others did too.

Just a couple of posts back I mentioned carbon emission offsets. That is a working model that is being used in other countries and even traded in the US. It certainly isn't a perfect system, but it is one that is doing a decent job of quantifying externalized costs due to carbon emission.

It's really a straw man argument to say that environmentalists are trying to use deception to push some kind of subversive agenda. In fact, that's pretty ironic if you think about it. Of course there is a degree of pitching ideas, which means that you emphasize the positive aspects of your position. That does not imply any dishonesty though. That's absurd.

Anyway, despite the futility (seeing as how I already posted this once), I'll post a link to the Apollo Alliance "The Ten-Point Plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence" which pretty much flies in the face of the gross mischaracterizations presented in this thread.

Apollo Alliance
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Postby Sarvis » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:24 pm

Lathander wrote:There is a big difference between walking through a store where the bulbs are already up in the ceiling and having to handle and change the bulbs in your home. Mercury is a dangerous chemical, and many of us that change light bulbs can attest to breaking some whether during the changing or after throwing it into the garbage.


It's funny that you worry about the tiny amount of mercury in a light bulb, but not the tons of pollutants spit out by corporations every year.

And barometers? Yea, everyone has one of those in their homes, heh. Only time I ever had one was for a science fair project and it was tucked away in a protective plastic package. Far more light bulbs are broken than barometers.


Ok, but the point stands that we aren't really introducing anything new here and that parents need to remain cautious around just about everything these days.

Not to mention that people buy these more for the lowered electric bill than anything else anyway, so it still doesn't demonize environmentalists the way you wish it did.

Everything has pro's and con's. The problem is the environmental movement is not truthful about the implications of the changes they propose.


More or less truthful than your average corporation?

I'll ask again, those of you for changes, how would you go about it? How would you get rid of coal fired power plants? How would get people out of their cars? That's where the true nature of the environmental movement is. I look forward to seeing the answers.


Coal fired power plants? Wind/Solar/Water power.
Out of their cars? False dilemma, we could use more efficient/cleaner cars instead. <a href="http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/070709/20070709005783.html?.v=1">These guys</a> seem to be on top of that. There was also the electric car that, while incredibly popular with everyone that tested it, was nixed for no apparent reason. Electric cars combined with clean/renewable energy sources such as solar/wind/water could also address this issue.

Now, what's the true nature being revealed here? I'm seeing new technologies in development and the desire to make our current tech more efficient.

What does Ford/Exxon/Dow Chemical want? More profit, nothing more. If something is cleaner for the environment but not as profitable as other technologies it won't be used. Maybe that's what happened to the electric car...
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Postby Llaaldara » Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:38 pm

Ashiwi wrote:Here, I'll quote one of the best resources I've ever found:

My Grandmother:

If it looks like a duck, and it acts like a duck, and it walks like a duck...


Or this one:

My Grandmother:

Better safe than sorry.


It never ceases to amaze me that adults can literally see a problem, yet continue to argue against its existence as if it doesn't matter.

Here, let's break it down into understandable language for everybody who isn't getting the points being made here...

Yes, the pollution in major cities is so thick you can see it. Yes, it's obvious that in those cities on the days when pollutants are particularly bad the rate of illness climbs markedly. Yes, it's obvious that merely driving into a city from the country on a summer day will show a noticable increase in surrounding temperature. Yes, yes... heat escapes to areas where it's not so hot, simple natural laws, and all that rot. Sure, the smell of a large city is putrid. Okay, so the exhaust from vehicles is poisonous to us. Yeah, okay, when air is thicker it's going to retain heat longer. Sure, some of these chemicals we release into the air break down the natural composition, retain heat , lead to unnatural destabilization of a billions-years-old system, increase population sickness, smell bad, are poisonous, darken the atmosphere, and lead to increased temperatures... BUT UNTIL YOU SHOW ME PROOF THAT WILL CONVINCE ME THAT I'M LESS IMPORTANT THAN ANY SILLY ENVIRONMENT IT'S A MOOT POINT. After all, within sixty years I'll probably be dead, and it'll be somebody else's problem. Until that time, if I can't drive to the store two or three times a day, buy everything in conveniently double-wrapped individually-portioned packages, and walk out of Wal-mart with a nailfile, a tiny bottle of dish detergent, a half-pound package of chemically injected beef in a one-pound package of plastic, and a six-pack of water, each item in its own gallon-sized plastic bag, then life just isn't worth living, so back off while I snack on this half-dollar-sized cheeseburger from McDonald's that came packaged in what amounts to half a Sunday newspaper!

Sorry, not a single scientific reference quoted in this post.


I just wanted to let Ashiwi know, I liked this post. :)

Ps. I also agree with your point about leading the way as an economic power if America pushed towards alternative fuel sources. Why aren't we paving the way for a new way of life, instead of trying to dominate a dying one?

Feels like a Mac Vs PC commercial.
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Postby Ashiwi » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:54 am

What would we hippie tree-huggers do? You're asking what we'd do?

Why, the same thing we're doing right now. We'll keep talking the talk and trying to walk the walk. We'll attempt to keep restructuring our lives around a better tomorrow. We'll teach our children in the hopes that when the problem lands on their shoulders like a two-ton brick that they will appreciate the kind of effort it will take to reverse a problem that nobody in our commercialized age seems to want to stop now.

After all, what good would it do us to ask for gas-hog vehicles to be restricted from the roadways when the wealthy so obviously need to compensate for something with a Hummer (seriously, is there any other legitimate reason to drive one)? What good would it do for us to ask for harsher accounting within the government so that even a teeny tiny portion of our wasted tax dollars could go towards more readily available recyling facilities. Big business would never go for penalties against so-called "convenience" packaging, or incentives for reducing waste goods. Lord knows, if we'd put even a fraction of the money put into the last thirty five years of oil production into solar research it would have cost our lawmakers BILLIONS (of their own personal funds) when efficient solar processing could have been developed at least a decade ago, so you know those influential Texas gentlemen at the top aren't very interested in alternative success.

Right now there's no market in the environment. Self-sustaining goods are a blight on the capitalist economy. Only absolute necessity will ever force this country to take the kind of drastic measures that will be required to turn this situation around. In the meantime, "common sense" items are going to be debated and argued into the ground until we're forced to see a bigger picture... at which point everybody will jump on the "socially forward" bandwagon for a few years (the 80's) until they're old enough to balance their budgets, buy their own groceries... and invest, at which point they will find out how rich life is with the little conveniences and they'll cave a little more on how little they need trees and clean air. It's like gasoline prices... they go up a dollar and everybody bitches, so they drop seventy cents and people are thankful they only went up thirty cents from what they used to be. The environment around us will get really bad, we'll make a few changes, it'll get a little better, then we'll feel better about letting it get worse again.

So what would we do? We'd ask people to forego some conveniences. We'd ask people to give up their big status symbol vehicles for more fuel-efficient ones. We'd ask corporations to scale down individual packaging and purchasers to practice "buying green." We'd ask for some of the funds that go into oil production to be diverted to alternative source research. We'd pay more for gasoline and drive less today for a larger payoff tomorrow. For fun we'd tax cellophane production and funnel the proceeds into a recycling industry. We dream about making vendors charge for every plastic bag used, or penalizing vendors who go over a set bag/sales ratio, or perhaps offering incentives to those vendors who can show marked decreases in waste product that walks out of their doors. We'd put a much higher cost on building all those damned housing additions out in the middle of nowhere, and tax concrete and asphalt per square foot when in larger patches than 20'x20', and offer incentives for rebuilding neighborhoods that already exist inside the cities.

There are so many things that could be done.

Isn't it odd how there are so many people who can't see an answer to the pollution dilemma, but they all knew the answers when it came to hitting the tobacco industry up for their money? A smoker pollutes the air around them every time they light up, but slap the oil industry on the hand for doing the same? Fie on us.

So you think taxing something like cellophane or styrofoam and using the proceeds to fund recycling is totally ludicrous? Have you looked at the taxed value of cigarettes lately? I promise this would only hurt cellophaners (which is a dirty, nasty habit), and non-cellophaners would reap the rewards of not just cleaner air, but cleaner water and earth, too.

The thing that always strikes me as really odd is that I work in a building in downtown Tulsa... and of course it has one of those "Clean Air" stickers on the front doors. Tulsa is a refinery town, and when the air blows from the right direction the entire downtown area stinks like a fat man after an egg eating contest. Mmmmmm... take a deep whiff of that.
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Postby Lathander » Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:47 am

Sounds like hate prosperity and love poverty to me.

People want choices. Of course there is a market for environmentally friendly items. When you buy a computer power supply that is highly efficient, you are making a choice that helps the environment. Also, it is higher quality than the lower efficient junk out there. It costs more, but the buyer's perception is that the cost is worth it.

We have an SUV. My wife had a Beetle, and we were considering having a family. Also, we both have jobs which make travel in snow important. One day, she saw the FX35, and she just fell in love with it. I researched it and saw it was a good vehicle with great performance for an SUV. No, I do not care for solar powered motorcycles or little buzzboxs. I prefer safety of a larger car. So Ash, I think you are wrong to say people with Hummers or other SUV's that get less than 20 mpg are "compensating" for something. I'm good, thanks.

See, I believe that that green lobby is really red inside. The Greens replace everyone getting only what they need with getting on what is good for the environment. It is especially galling when most of the environmental messages are really not any better for the environment than what they would be replacing.

If you want to talk about solar, then talk about the shortage of silicon which is a major component for this technology. Also, solar is exceptionally space intensive. It's not there yet. Maybe some day, but not yet. When it is, if it is cheaper, then people will convert to it.

By the way, what the heck is a self-sustaining good? It sounds cool, but sounds to me like having to reuse crap over and over like taking my own shopping bags to the store. It is inconvenient, and the vast majority are not for it. Also, you could be talking about the idea of locally produced goods I suppose. That's bad too. Why should someone pay a whole lot more for a good than buying a much cheaper good made somewhere else. From a resource perspective, using cheaper inputs that would yield the same quality makes more sense.

And using the tobacco industry is a bad example. The government, both state and federal, are paid off by the industry to make a bad product. The tobacco settlement a few years ago guarantees that the tobacco industry goes nowhere because the states have already spent the money through issuing bonds against those cash flows. No tobacco industry, no cash flows.

You mention cellophane and Styrofoam and getting rid of them. So what would you replace them with? Use aluminum foil? I can't imagine that is better than the cellophane.

I get a chuckle when folks say there is some conspiracy to stop new forms of energy. This is capitalism. If something will work and make money, people will supply it if others will buy it. That's what choice is about. Look at some of the corporations like GE which has gone full bore on things like wind energy. This is something that has actually reached the point where it works. As I have said before, it's funny that now that it works, some of the environmentalists are against wind now.

Avak, the only good idea I have actually seen is the geothermal heating and cooling. The cost is much more lumpy than the traditional system, but makes sense if you can front the cost. You know what I find comical? Al Gore bought the carbon credits from the company he is a partner of. Everyone that is preaching something, particularly at the top has some self interest. I'm not the biggest fan of carbon cap and trade, but at least it uses market forces. I don't like it mostly though because of what it will do to customers of electricity from coal fired power plants. They will be the ones that pay the higher price.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Companies do not pay taxes and other costs. They are put into the expected return of that company and added to the price charged to consumers. You folks that are anti corporations need to really look at it in depth and see the truth of that.

Some of you guys really think humans are parasites. We take and take from the planet, plant and animals and give nothing back. Humans have created amazing works. Hell, we are looking right now at words traveling over the internet with our computers. Has this made the world a better place? I believe it has and so have the other things like cars, packaged food, and the plethora of modern advancements.

That gets back to the prosperity vs poverty statement I made in the beginning. I think back to the start of our country and the fundamental argument between Jefferson and Hamilton. Jefferson wanted an agrarian society that was locally based and with very little movement between class levels. Hamilton wanted a strong trading economy where anyone could be successful with hard work, a some risk taking and a little luck. I have simplified this quite a bit, but what we are arguing about has been talked about for over 200 years. Ash, I'd assume you really hate companies, economic markets and raw ambition to grow and succeed. It seems you prefer a simpler lifestyle like Jefferson. That's fine, but should everyone be forced into that?

Finally, Avak, I'll take you up on your challenge on that 10 point link you posted and post something on Sunday when I have had time to write on it a bit. I will go in with the assumption that it includes raising taxes (who pays for this?), forcing people to use more efficient cars and other things that use energy (how do you get them to change and spend money on the new things?), conserve their use of energy (this means restrict how much energy you can use), mass transportation (taking away people's flexibility to travel), and drive jobs and manufacturing overseas (developing world is not subject to Kyoto, so there is no or little cost to moving production over there).
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Postby Sarvis » Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:35 am

Lathander wrote:Sounds like hate prosperity and love poverty to me.


Ah, so then rather than deal with our actual points you're going to mischaracterize what Ashiwi said and go with it.


People want choices. Of course there is a market for environmentally friendly items. When you buy a computer power supply that is highly efficient, you are making a choice that helps the environment. Also, it is higher quality than the lower efficient junk out there. It costs more, but the buyer's perception is that the cost is worth it.


Google wanted those and had to develop it's own, then exhort power supply companies to make them available. Where's your free market now? The market had to bow to the power of a single company.

Hardly seems like a free market ideal on any level...

We have an SUV.


Of course you do.

Sometimes I wonder how families managed to travel before the SUV was invented for off-road sport enthusiasts.

No, I do not care for solar powered motorcycles or little buzzboxs.
[/quote]

Wow! You came close to talking about something we said! Of course, you act like it's the only option because _clearly_ no one could improve the technology to make a solar powered SUV.

Right?

I prefer safety of a larger car.


Right. <a href="http://www.suvrollovernews.com/html/rates.html">Safer.</a>

And you're worried about mercury from CFL's. :roll:


See, I believe that that green lobby is really red inside.


Of course you do, because taking arguments on their individual merit would be silly. Much, MUCH easier to just paint everyone with the "Green Lobby" brush and dismiss them as wanting to enforce poverty.

The Greens replace everyone getting only what they need


Hah! I don't think anyone has a problem with people getting what they need, the most extreme people of the green lobby might just realize the only NEEDS are food, water and shelter.

It is especially galling when most of the environmental messages are really not any better for the environment than what they would be replacing.


According to you and corporate lobbyists, anyway.

If you want to talk about solar, then talk about the shortage of silicon which is a major component for this technology. Also, solar is exceptionally space intensive. It's not there yet. Maybe some day...


Which was my point, and Ashiwi's actually. The technology needs more research, but the corporations that REALLY have the resources to do it aren't because they are making so much from the status quo.

Why spend billions to research something you don't know the profit potential of when you are making billions from existing technologies?

Would you gamble money on it?


By the way, what the heck is a self-sustaining good? It sounds cool, but sounds to me like having to reuse crap over and over like taking my own shopping bags to the store.



Oh noes! A slight inconvenience!

Jesus Christ, what would you have done if you'd been born in the stone age? Starved to death because it was inconvenient to hunt down a mammoth? That the worst consequence of the environmental movement you can define is carrying your own bag to the store is just fucking sad.

Also, you could be talking about the idea of locally produced goods I suppose. That's bad too. Why should someone pay a whole lot more for a good than buying a much cheaper good made somewhere else. From a resource perspective, using cheaper inputs that would yield the same quality makes more sense.


Ask GM about it, and the Japanese/Korean car companies. GM decided to build elsewhere and bring cars here while Japanese/Korean companies set up factories here.

Seems to be working for them.


And using the tobacco industry is a bad example. The government, both state and federal, are paid off by the industry to make a bad product. The tobacco settlement a few years ago guarantees that the tobacco industry goes nowhere because the states have already spent the money through issuing bonds against those cash flows. No tobacco industry, no cash flows.


Actually it's a great example. If people didn't smoke the industry would die. It shows that people will chase pleasure now despite drastic consequences in the future.

Exactly what we are talking about now. After all, so what if you die of heat exhaustion 20 years from now... as long as you don't have to carry a bag to the story today!


Some of you guys really think humans are parasites.


so where did any of US say that? Oh right, we didn't. You are mischaracterizing our argument again. I specifically said earlier that our only hope is more advanced technology, but you keep ignoring that.

Let's try getting through to you by rote:

We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.
We need more advanced technology.

Got it yet? I'm not anti-progress, I view it as our only hope. Solar isn't there yet, ok. More research, please.

Wind helps, but isn't enough and causes problems for birds. More research please!

Biodiesel is cleaner but current production methods are inefficient. More research please!

Maybe on sunday you can explain where the electric car went. Pretty sure it wasn't the "Green Lobby" that killed that one!
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Lathander
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Postby Lathander » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:01 am

Did you read the George Will link earlier about the process to make those batteries for the electric cars?

I'm not mischaracterizing at all. Maybe you should listen to yourself and your arguments against prosperity.

The PC power supply was actually about me when I built my new computer and got a Silverstone 850 PSU. A rock solid PSU.

Sure, no companies research and profit from solar. Companies like Sunpower, Evergreen Solar, and others must not exist. Please, if a profit can be made, capitalists will make it. When you get profits, it is a smart thing to divisify your earnings base.

Thank god we don't live in the Stone Age. Most of us would be quite dead and not enjoying our bright monitors and computers.

Hrm, you really don't get international economics. Let's take the Japanese companies and why they build here. Our dollar is falling, meaning it becomes cheaper to build things paying for labor in our currency. Also, from a protectionist standpoint, you can't really win with the "buy American" when their cars are made here too. Why is GM building more and more cars in China? Cheaper labor than here, less regulation and we have the money to buy better stuff than the crap coming from GM. Go test drive a Cadilac and a Lexus and tell me which you'd buy.

You missed my point on the tobacco industry. While it may be bad for people, it is allowed to exist because it is necessary from a demand standpoint and a funding need for the government.

Who's against new technology? What many are against is pushing out nonsense that is not ready for primetime to fight problems which may not even exist and that the new technology does not actually make better. Maybe you just don't understand that lots of research is already going on. Also, things fail. Why is Honda pulling their hybrid? Why did the MPG rating for the hybrids get killed with the change to the way they are figured? Electric cars exist, not enough people will buy them to make them economically viable.

Solar - thanks for agreeing with me on something
Wind - so you care about some birds than emitting less carbon?
Biodiesel - come on, this has been rehashed a few times. Biodiesel is not cleaner and probably worse for the environment than petrodiesel. You need to take more land and grow crops on it to be used for the diesel. The land taken will be marginal land that is not in use now meaning you will need to use lots of fertilizers on that land. It does not flow as well as refined oil products meaning you can not use pipelines. It has to be transported by rail or road in that case. It has less energy content than oil products meaning you need more of it. Finally, biodiesel is very reactive meaning it has to be stored using special material such as titanium. Biodiesel is the argument against importing oil not for a cleaner environment. Keep your talking points straight.

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