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guilt trip: shall we all stay home this year

guilt trip: shall we all stay home this year

May 28th, 2006, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
FainaAgain, don't be so hard on yourself. Actually one of the biggest problems is the methane produced by farting farm animals. So much so that New Zealand's Labour government imposed a head tax on sheep until farmers' protests forced a backdown and they imposed it on vegetarians instead. OK, I made that last bit up.

AnthonyGA - my city, Canberra, was actually designed after the invention of the car, and it shows. You wouldn't believe how much space 320,000 people can take up. Interestingly, the city's designer, Chicago's Walter Burley Griffin, allowed for trams by proiding very wide roadway median strips, but this was never followed through, and in any event he didn't foresee a population greater than about 50,000. We do have a reasonably efficient public bus system, but so far the car has been king. Actually my wife has given up driving in favour of buses and despite my initial doubts she's enjoying the experience.

You could do worse than bet on continually increasing real estate prices in inner-city locations.
Neil_Oz is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,481
It's not a "hot flash" only a "personal tropical mini-vacation". How can we feel guilty about that?
L84SKY is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 12:42 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 146

I note the first article is not by a scientist nor put forth by a scientific body but rather the opinion of an individual on what scientific papers say. You will note that she has to include "implicit" agreement to be able to find a consensus. She bolsters this with some brief quotes from the IPCC. Please note the origin of the IPCC. I serve as an NGO delegate to the UN Economic and Social Commission. I can cite you to all sorts of drivel put forth by that body which is, in the end, an organization not known for its impartiality. (Unless you think that the UN's assertion that "Zionism is racism" is necessarily true since the UN said it.)

I also note that the second URL you cite to is written by an individual who has no qualifications whatever to either speak for the scientific community or to venture a scientific opinion unless I missed a line in the article in which he says where he got his doctorate in some scientific field. If I read it correctly he dropped out of some graduate program in "International studies." Other than that he is a self appointed activist.

I repeat, if it is human action that is responsible for climatic change then were the Vikings driving gas guzzling SUVs? If not, then how does one explain the climate prevalent in the early medieval period? Its THAT fact which is the "inconvenient truth" that the "death to capitalism" crowd has to answer in its latest assault on America.

Rillifane is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 58
Don't drive; take public transport, then once a year blow all your good pollution karma by flying to Europe. I've never owned a car, never will, so I don;t feel THAT guilty about flying to Rome once a year.
miasmadude is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,003
The "death to capitalism" crowd?

Seems like true capitalists would find ways to get rich either way. Waiting for the demand for oil to increase to the point where the price is out of reach for the majority of citizens seems to be self-defeating.

If you don't believe that global warming exists, do you believe that fossil fuels are everlasting? We need to replace these fuels as a source of energy any way you want to look at it.

MarkvonKramer is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
"We need to replace these fuels as a source of energy any way you want to look at it."

Let's get some more gassy cows then & learn to harness methane. Seems like a win-win situation all around - lots of burgers, leather, farmers/ranchers making a profit if the methane could fuel cars. Hmmmm, would cows eat beans to up production?
Carrybean is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 03:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Whether warming trends are naturally ocurring or not, one needn't be an expert to understand that (1)pumping millions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere every year is a bad thing and (2)that fossil fuels are eventually going to run out. As Bill Maher says, there is something wrong when we can put satellite navigational systems into a car, but we still run it on the black sludge we suck from the earth.

Not everything issue needs to be a new excuse to cast stones at the other side of the political spectrum. Let common sense prevail, and let's be a little forward-thinking on this one. Fossil fuels need replacing.
Guy18 is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Even if we replace fossil fuels with something else - and I agree that we will have to do so - the 'something else' is not going to be 100 per cent efficient. There is always going to be some waste heat generated, especially since increasing the efficiency of energy use brings its own problems.

Never mind blaming oil company executives, capitalists or selfish swine for energy greed. You can blame me, because I'm not giving up my consumption - and it doesn't matter if it comes from oil or nuclear power or whatever.

Some background to my conclusion:

I ride a bike 9 months of the year as transport, and I live a 20 minute ride from the downtown core. Notwithstanding this, I consume a depressing number of BTUS of energy every year - and that's whether I stay home or not.

This is because I heat my house 10 months of the year, as must everyone else in my area. One bitterly cold February we sustained a power failure for a few hours. The pipes in the laundry room extension froze, and I found myself standing knee deep in freezing cold water, contemplating life without modern energy. I'll spare you the details but the scenes included yours truly, rioting in the streets with the rest of the mob, demanding power. It's too late in the day to teach me and others how to live as our pioneer forefathers did, even if it were practical to send tens of millions of people out of the cities and into the hinterland.

For the record, the average house size on my street has around 1100 - 1200 square feet finished living space - maybe another 300 square feet more if one counts useable basement space - so it's not like we're living in McMansions.

Everyone has storm windows and doors - which require energy, by the way, to not only manufacture, but to transport from the factory to the retail outlet, and in turn from the retail outlet to the building/renovation site. (So far, there's a notable absence of demand for transporting such goods by bicycle. )

Ditto for wall and ceiling insulation - and oh, the headaches - I'm speaking literally here - that superinsulating has generated.

New office buildings and hospitals built in the 70s and 80s were sealed up nice and tight - so tight, that people who spent any significant amount of time in them started getting ill. We tried air-to-air heat exchangers to bring in fresh air without losing heat. Problem: the ductwork is a great place for mold to grow.....

On the domestic front, yours truly tried solar heat in part of her house. Upshot: I'll happily make any 'fat cat energy executive' even fatter/richer if they can figure out a way to make this method work, cuz so far, it's a bust.

So, if energy consumption brings about climate change (and I take due note of those SUV-driving Vikings, not to mention capitalistic dinosaurs!) then we are going to have to live with said change.

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 04:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I don't disagree with anything you said, Sue, up until "we'll have to live with said [climate] change." If we all become walking melanomas from unfiltered sunlight or we are unable to raise crops or future generations of my fellow Floridians are under water due to the ice caps melting, that may not be an option. I hope it won't come to that.
Guy18 is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 04:35 AM
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>...there is something wrong when we can put satellite navigational systems into a car, but we still run it on the black sludge we suck from the earth.<

I submit that the problem is not what we fuel the SUVs with, but that we rely too much on private transportation.

Rail rapid transit is far more fuel efficient than the automobile and the airplane.

ira is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 05:28 AM
Posts: n/a
I fly to Europe twice a year if possible.
I go there to experence different people, ways of life and languages. It's my passion, and as long as I can scrape together enough for a ticket, I'll go.

I don't have time for guilt, I prefer to use that energy in taking small personal actions:

I gave up my 14 year old Toyota (great little car!) 2 years ago. She was still running fine, but it got too expensive to park her in the city. If and when I need a car, I can rent one by the hour from ZIP car.

I ride a bike. It's a fabulous way to get around. I also ride a recumbent on long rides, which is also thrilling, unless you're getting sidewiped by SUVs.
And then there's that old standby, walking!

So does my brother who lives in Connecticut 15 miles from his office. He rides a recumbent bike to work daily, which keeps him in shape.

I live in an apartment, and gave up my airconditioner 4 years ago. Do I miss it? Not particularly. On the 6 or 7 really really sweltering days we might have per year, I might go to the movies, or do some food shopping, or some place that is cool. I sleep well using fans. Others in my building feel they can't live without it (a more typical feeling) and thankfully now there is a new policy that each owner must pay for their own consumption. (Before this, the costs were divided up per share, which meant that I was paying an equal amount to the architect upstairs who has a huge space and likes to keep it well refrigerated).
I am glad that Mr. Architect will now be paying for his own, but I never expected him to feel guilty when I paid for him, just wanted to be invited over for cocktails occasionally. I think most people couldvery easily do without many of the luxuries we all enjoy, if they had to.

I volunteer in the Public Park next to my building.
I maintain about 400 square feet of park space-planting and nurturing trees and flowers, cleaning up trash, picking up dog droppings left by others, and keep the place watered and green during summer months. I do this for love of gardening, not from guilt.

I gave up smoking 12 years ago, but it wasn't guilt that drove me to it.

I mostly don't give cash to street beggars, but occasionally give my sandwich over to someone, or my umbella, or my wool gloves when it's cold. I live in a neighborhood that already has housing for poor people, so It's a daily thing for me, not part of a vacation adventure.

I had a laugh at Rillfrane comments about the UN, used to work at a UN NGO myself, and learned a great deal about the world's poor, especially the conditions of women in developing nations, and the shockingly limited awareness of so many of us. It's absolutley true that we Westerners have a very distorted perspective about the world.

There's no doubt that our planet is suffering.
I am no great intellectual, but to my knowledge, Guilt never filled even one empty stomach.

So, in a few hours, I'll be on a plane to Italy again!
And I plan to relish every moment!

May 29th, 2006, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,940
I really do not understand why we do not take a harder look at Nuclear Energy. The French generate 77% of their power using nuclear energy. Since they have aggressively pursued nuclear power since the early 1970's, there has not been one significant accident and the new French designed 3rd generation EPR reactors are the safest yet. Is it politics that prevents the USA from going in this direction?
wren is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 972
My guess is that, after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, politicians don't want to try to sell their constituents on a nuclear energy plant anywhere near their homes. With increasing threats of terrorism, that seems like a harder sell than ever.
Guy18 is offline  

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