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Is the modern 'green' movement harming the environment.  RSS feed

 
Paul Andrews
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This topic is sparked because of a heated discussion I had with a friend about the virtues of recycling.

He could not see that recycling could be anything other than good. I said that I was worried that the majority of mainstream people use recycling as justification of unbridled consumerism. They believe that as long as they are seen to be putting out their recycle bins and take their own bags to the supermarket it is OK to carry on buying and buying and buying.

Another thing that annoys me is the proliferation of government subsidised solar panels that are springing up all over the place. People are getting the panels for nothing and are getting a high 'feed in tarrif' so they can make money from the panels. There is no talk of reducing your use of electricity. The government would have been better of saying to people "Based on your average usage over the past few years, however much you reduce your electrical consumption this year we will double." That way people would concentrate on using as little power as possible and it would cost no one anything to set up.

I suppose this ties in with Paul's thoughts on energy saving light bulbs. How can nationally throwing away one product and replacing it with another product be seen a energy saving. We had compact florescent light bulb break in our car and our dog must have sniffed it because his face blew up like a balloon. How the hell is that environmentally friendly?

I wanted to subscribe to Permaculture magazine here in the UK. I clicked on the subscribe button and it took me to another website called green shopping. That is an oxymoron if ever I heard one. The website is full little gadgets an do ads to let your friends know how wonderfully eco you are and how much you care for the planet. Things like this seed sprouter http://www.green-shopping.co.uk/home-and-garden/freshlife-sprouter.html. FFS you just need an old jam jar with some holes punched in the top to sprout seed but no. it is much better to tell your fiends how you spent £80 saving the planet.

I just needed to get this off my chest

aman

 
Eric Thompson
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Good points Aman - it can definitely be frustrating to give a solid analytical view that counters someones emotional feeling!

In Japan, they were offering "eco credits" that were basically consumer incentives to throw out your old stuff and buy new stuff -- not just old power inefficient freezers and furnaces: TV's and all kinds of stuff, new or old! It works -- it makes a lot of people feel like they're doing something good -- I guess anyone can assign the "eco' or "green" endorsement for their own uses.

What can we do? Create counter examples and share them! Find ways to share them outside of the permie core. And propagate your personal successes around you - nothing beats the message of a living example!
 
paul wheaton
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I think it would be great to make a big list of eco points so that all these things can be relative.

For the last 30 days for an average of 1 person:

used a clothes dryer for 10 loads: zero points

4 loads: 10 points

zero loads: 100 points

power for lighting - $10: zero

power for lighting - $5: 50 points

power for lighting - $1: 100 points

using any CFLs or fluorescent lights: -20 points

building a hugelkultur bed: 1000 points

10% of your food you grew yourself: 50 points


 
Paul Andrews
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Eric Thompson wrote:

What can we do? Create counter examples and share them! Find ways to share them outside of the permie core. And propagate your personal successes around you - nothing beats the message of a living example!


What can we do. I have no idea. Unfortunately if you put yourself outsideof the midleclass norm you are seen as some beardy wierdy yoghurt knitting nutjob who is to pitied because you have nothing and you are living on the fringes and you must be jealous of our fantastic comfortable lifestyle. You will not change their minds because they are doing what they are doing to justify and protect their excesive lifestyle. They certainly don't want to loose what they have they want you to think they care. Fortunately by being at the bottom and learning the skills I am learning my lifestyle will not change nearly as much as theirs if the shit really did hit the fan. Where are you gonna plug your fucking electric bean sprouter then.

Aman
 
Julie Helms
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This is how I felt about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Somehow this was supposed to be green, yet just encouraged people to throw away still servicable cars (which then went to the landfills) and buy another with government incentives (taxpayer monies).

Whenever you throw government and money into the mix, "green" will be polluted.
 
Paul Andrews
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Julie Helms wrote:This is how I felt about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Somehow this was supposed to be green, yet just encouraged people to throw away still servicable cars (which then went to the landfills) and buy another with government incentives (taxpayer monies).

Whenever you throw government and money into the mix, "green" will be polluted.


We had that as well. It was called the scrappage scheme. I think it has ended now thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whoever. How do they get away with these stupid ideas. The problem is I do not know who to complain to. The people we think are running things are just puppets to an un seen un known few at the very top who will win whether we are in boom or bust. I find myself sometimes hoping the whole world will come to a massive crunch so we can start again and the people who really know how to survive and do stuff will rise to the top but that will never happen because the people at the very top will survive pretty much anything.

How did I get on to this subject

I need to lay down

aman
 
Eric Thompson
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One step at a time and one example at a time.... and everything doesn't have to be perfect, just moving in the right direction! Don't expect everybody to immediately get on the same mindset, but help daily move people up one level on the wheaton eco scale:
- Convince someone that there is nothing "wrong" with organic spinach when "regular" spinach is sold out - and explain why it's better.
- Introduce someone to non-factory eggs, fruit, and veggies
- Show someone how easy it is to put in edible landscaping and a few raised beds - little by little. If you propagate trees and bushes, offer to put a few in!

I really think the power of being a positive example is a huge way to promote change!
 
Cj Sloane
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Julie Helms wrote:This is how I felt about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Somehow this was supposed to be green, yet just encouraged people to throw away still servicable cars (which then went to the landfills) and buy another with government incentives (taxpayer monies).

Whenever you throw government and money into the mix, "green" will be polluted.


Cash for Clunkers was merely a slightly disguised way to pull demand forward (at the expense of the future, of course). It also only applied if someone was trashing a "clunker" and buying a brand, new car. The rich man's clunker is a generally a serviceable car.
 
Julie Helms
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CJin VT wrote:
Julie Helms wrote:This is how I felt about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Somehow this was supposed to be green, yet just encouraged people to throw away still servicable cars (which then went to the landfills) and buy another with government incentives (taxpayer monies).

Whenever you throw government and money into the mix, "green" will be polluted.


Cash for Clunkers was merely a slightly disguised way to pull demand forward (at the expense of the future, of course). It also only applied if someone was trashing a "clunker" and buying a brand, new car. The rich man's clunker is a generally a serviceable car.


Right, but the clunkers were almost all scrapped, not resold. So many generally serviceable cars were put in the landfill. This was a political scheme touted under the label of green. It would have been much more effective and better use of funds to provide incentives for people to tune up their aging cars. But since the goal was never really green to start with, sense did not prevail.
 
Cj Sloane
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Julie Helms wrote:[Right, but the clunkers were almost all scrapped, not resold.


No, they were all scrapped. It was part of the deal.
 
Julie Helms
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CJin VT wrote:
Julie Helms wrote:[Right, but the clunkers were almost all scrapped, not resold.


No, they were all scrapped. It was part of the deal.


Sorry, I thought you were saying the plan was OK because they were resold!
 
Cj Sloane
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No problem.

It's funny though. Schemes like that make me understand while so many on the right get upset at government intervention.
 
Dennis Mitchell
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I remember doing a kitchen remodel. One of those $100,000.00 jobs. Real sweet people. One day the misses drives 8 miles into town to recycle a box of shipping peanuts see got. Proud of herself to. It is too late for baby steps. We can't expect change to work when we are fighting Hollywood. It's the whole Al Gore fighting global warming from a twenty bedroom mansion. Only talk. Some days it seems like "green" is just more Madison Avenue lies.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Don't blame "Hollywood." Hollywood is pure capitalism, it strives to sell people what they seem to want.

If you're saying capitalism is itself the problem, I might begin to agree with you. But pointing to one segment of capitalism or another and putting the blame there, not so much.



 
Dennis Mitchell
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Hollywood is a kid sitting in front of the boob tube on a sunny day when he should be out playing. It is an election where we end up voting for sound bites and a pretty smile. A little voice saying eat more junk food. A place where the morning news is two middle aged bimbos drinking wine at nine am. It is a symptom of capitalism got rotten.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Hollywood is a bunch of people making a living in a capitalistic system. Just like a bunch of other people making a living in a capitalistic system.

I can't hate on Hollywood much myself, to be honest. I've worked in and with "Hollywood" for decades and many of my friends and peers work in "Hollywood." I always wonder how other folks make a living.

 
Joe Bramblett
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paul wheaton wrote:10% of your food you grew yourself: 50 points


How many points for gathering wild foods? There's been a great crop of prickly pear fruit, persimmons and some pecan varieties lately. Add in harvesting dandelions from the back yard when I didn't have any greens in the fridge and I was probably close to 10% last week.

used a clothes dryer for 10 loads: zero points


For one person for 30 days? That should include at least a -100 points and a swift kick. I might do two trips on a muddy or sweaty week, but generally I go to the laundromat with big dryers so even if I need an extra washer or two I can toss it all in one dryer.

Now if you start counting off for dry cleaners too, that could really hurt some months; I buy suits and separates at Goodwill, and average wearing two or three suits a week, (mostly church and church-related activities) so I have a fair amount of dry-clean-only stuff, but I also have a steamer and try to get a few extra wearings out of each jacket and pair of slacks before taking them in. Unfortunately, then they get piled up and forgotten until I run out and take a huge load of stuff to the cleaners about twice a year. I sometimes wonder what they think when I walk in with 6-8 jackets and 3-4 pairs of slacks. (I do try to find coordinating pants that can be at least hand washed, but some of the lightweight wool stuff I wouldn't risk anyway considering the cleaners are cheap here.)
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Cj Sloane
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Joe Bramblett wrote:
used a clothes dryer for 10 loads: zero points


For one person for 30 days? That should include at least a -100 points and a swift kick.


My propane dryer is broken & my husband refuses to fix it. If I complain he threatens to turn me in to Paul. I've held my tongue so far (an incredible feat for a Jewish woman).
 
                    
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I'm going to give myself 2 points because I use a clothes line to drastically reduce my laundry bill, and 2 more points because sometimes I use rain water to fill the washing machine.

For a total of 4 points! Now I will immediately spend that Capital of 4 points to donate to Permies for providing a forum of meaningless drivel. lol

The old adages ' there is a sucker born every minute' & 'nothing happens until somebody sells something' still hold true, regardless if it's color is green or purple.

james beam
 
Stevie Sun
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There are plenty of places in the uk which allow me to estimate instalation of solar panels, but with our electricity usage so low its just not cost effective for us to get them installed. With the pay back scheme it would just take too long to actually pay back.
 
Joe Bramblett
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james beam wrote:I'm going to give myself 2 points because I use a clothes line to drastically reduce my laundry bill, and 2 more points because sometimes I use rain water to fill the washing machine.


I keep watching for a working washer at the curb, but all I see is dryers. Landlord has offered to cover the cost of plumbing the drain line into the cast iron drain pipe, (I'd prefer to have a graywater line out to the back for a garden, but that requires going through a 16" rock wall.) and I could put 2-3 20' clothes lines up inside the garage/workshop right next to where I'd put the washer. Dryers at the laundromat are only $0.75, while the washers range from $1.50-$4.00 depending on size and top/front load. Would be a lot easier for me, since the time I usually remember I need to do laundry is about 30 minutes before "last load" time at the laundromat, so I end up dropping whatever I'm doing to rush around grabbing towels, socks, etc. to hurry over there. Just downstairs is a lot closer.
 
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