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Author Topic: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?  (Read 4212 times)

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Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« on: July 28, 2009, 03:31:07 PM »
Don't get me wrong I'm all for the Earth. It's where I live but I'm not going to get sucked in on buying a Prius (sp) anytime soon. I'm sure if you do the math to save enough money on gas to pay for the car it would take forty some odd years (Rough number from my head math mind you.), and last time I checked a Prius costs more than the Yaris which is the same model without the electric part.

I see it in other places too. Like my brother out in Texas got a notice that if he paid like an extra four cents per kilowatt hour that they would send him electricity from windmills instead of oil. He pointed out though that it was the same wire running from the power pole to his house. How is he to know? Plus it strikes me as perverse that we should be encouraged to pay more for helping the environment. It's just a sucker deal to get people to fall for it really.

Like organic food? It costs more. For something that should have technically gone through fewer processes to get to the supermarket, or the same at least.

Now I'll say it again, I don't mind environmentalism. I just think everyone's making a quick buck off it rather than really caring. If it isn't total price jacking though it's poor motivation to do the environmentally-conscious thing.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 09:57:28 PM by Inkidu »

Offline Oniya

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 05:00:25 PM »
The reason that organic food costs more is because the farmers have to pay more for the certifications - not because it costs more to produce.  Buy at a farmer's market, or start a backyard garden, and you can be environmentally conscious without the price tag.

Online Serephino

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 07:40:20 PM »
Actually I think I read somewhere that organic foods do cost more to produce.  Pesticides are cheaper.  Organic farmers don't use them, but rather more natural methods that cost more in the long run. 

As for the windmill thing, that is interesting.  We have windmill farms up here too, but as far as I know people don't get a choice.  You get what your electric company decides to give you. 

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 07:44:26 PM »
I think the headline for this thread is a bit of an overstatement.  "Environmentalism Ripe For Con Artists" would probably be a better title, IMHO, since the current title implies that environmentalism itself is inherently fraudulent (which is not the message I believe the OP wanted to convey).  Edit: Ah, the question mark clears that misunderstanding up nicely.

As a corollary, I don't think most people understand just how hard it is to truly "go green" and reduce your environmental impact.  You're looking at some rather profound lifestyle changes, not just buying different food or paying a tad more for electricity.  It's like trying to lose thirty pounds: going to the gym once or twice a week is better than nothing, but it's not really going to get you where you want to be.  A lifestyle change is required, not just forking over a couple hours a week. 

However, just like people want to be able to pop a pill or use some kind of rubber-band contraption a couple times a week and magically shed pounds, so people will want to be able to do quickie things to feel like they're "making a difference."  And that's where the con artists step in: preying on our unrealistic (but very human) desire to have have complex, longstanding problems solved on the cheap, with little effort.

(Disclaimer: I am neither "green" nor in tiptop shape...being chained to a desk in a call center 45 hours a week isn't conducive to physical fitness...but I try)   >:(

« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 10:24:13 PM by TyTheDnDGuy »

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 09:54:51 PM »
The reason that organic food costs more is because the farmers have to pay more for the certifications - not because it costs more to produce.  Buy at a farmer's market, or start a backyard garden, and you can be environmentally conscious without the price tag.
Same difference really they just hit the poor guys with an extra bit of red tape.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 09:57:10 PM »
I think the headline for this thread is a bit of an overstatement.  "Environmentalism Ripe For Con Artists" would probably be a better title, IMHO, since the current title implies that environmentalism itself is inherently fraudulent (which is not the message I believe the OP wanted to convey).
Whoops I forgot my question mark.  *Changed*

Offline Will

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 10:13:55 PM »
It wouldn't be the first good intention to be marketed.  That doesn't make the whole idea garbage, does it?

Offline Revolverman

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 10:18:59 PM »
I dislike the Environmental movement at large for two major reasons.

A) CO2 = Doom. It has been documented in earth's history that when CO2 goes up, so does plants, and as such, goes back down to normal. They harp on CO2, when stuff like Hydrogen Sulfide and acid rain, REAL environmental dangers, is for the most part ignored.

B) Its seemingly anti-human stance.

Offline OneOfAKiind

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 02:27:33 AM »

A) CO2 = Doom. It has been documented in earth's history that when CO2 goes up, so does plants, and as such, goes back down to normal. They harp on CO2, when stuff like Hydrogen Sulfide and acid rain, REAL environmental dangers, is for the most part ignored.

I definitely agree with this. I honestly just cannot grasp why CO2 is such a danger when the environment and all of God's little green things love it.

i also find it interesting how "global warming" changed to "climate change"

Offline Zakharra

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2009, 03:30:25 AM »
I definitely agree with this. I honestly just cannot grasp why CO2 is such a danger when the environment and all of God's little green things love it.

i also find it interesting how "global warming" changed to "climate change"

  With actual global warming having ceased several years ago and this year as being one of the coldest in many years, they had to change the language or be made to look like bigger fools than they already are.

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2009, 07:43:14 AM »
It's very amusing to see a large portion of the populace doubting science when what it has to say is unattractive and not in their short-term best interest, while at the same time daily reaping its benefits.  The very same process that brought you the computer you're typing on, the car you drive, almost every luxury you have also conceived the idea that global warming is going to occur.  The idea that there is a group of scientists out there, separated from the mainstream, that has a perfectly legitimate scientific view that opposes Global Warming is inane.  When it comes down to it, the science has been concluded for awhile, all of the behavior that you're observing falls within the pattern (which is why the scientists continue to back the pattern).

If you're honestly convinced that there is some sort of conspiracy with mainstream science, and that a smaller sect knows the truth; if you've really bought into global warming skepticism I encourage you to watch this:  The American Denial of Global Warming

It's not some random youtube video put together by an amateur, it's an interesting lecture attempting to explain why so many people in the United States still deny global warming in light of the evidence.  It goes through the history of the subject and analyzes what the breakthroughs were, the source of the skeptics, and how it links into Republican Politics (most directly Ronald Reagan).

Offline consortium11

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 08:22:42 AM »
It's very amusing to see a large portion of the populace doubting science when what it has to say is unattractive and not in their short-term best interest, while at the same time daily reaping its benefits.  The very same process that brought you the computer you're typing on, the car you drive, almost every luxury you have also conceived the idea that global warming is going to occur.  The idea that there is a group of scientists out there, separated from the mainstream, that has a perfectly legitimate scientific view that opposes Global Warming is inane.  When it comes down to it, the science has been concluded for awhile, all of the behavior that you're observing falls within the pattern (which is why the scientists continue to back the pattern).

If you're honestly convinced that there is some sort of conspiracy with mainstream science, and that a smaller sect knows the truth; if you've really bought into global warming skepticism I encourage you to watch this:  The American Denial of Global Warming

It's not some random youtube video put together by an amateur, it's an interesting lecture attempting to explain why so many people in the United States still deny global warming in light of the evidence.  It goes through the history of the subject and analyzes what the breakthroughs were, the source of the skeptics, and how it links into Republican Politics (most directly Ronald Reagan).

1) Disliking the Environmentalist movement has nothing to do with denying or accepting global warming. One of the founders of Greenpeace left the group because of what it morphed into (mostly as the environmental movement got hijacked in the late 80's/early 90's)... did he suddenly start hating the earth or the like?

2) While there are still some out there who flat out deny global warming/climate change, from what I've observed the main debate now is about how much our way of life interacts with climate change. We all know there were large changes in the climate far before the industrial revolution... the question now is whether the climate is changing at a greater rate... and if we're influencing that.

And one can very much believe in man-made climate change while still disliking the movement. The mad rush to bio-fuel a few years back that caused mass rise shortages is a prime example. Al Gore flying on a private plane to lecture on the issue and having a mansion consuming mass amounts of electricity is another. Celebrities that buy a Prius while also running a fleet of V8 engined monsters; John Travolta was talking about saving the environment while still flying 3 planes or Paul Newman (RIP) running a race team. The whole LiveEarth fiasco.

And that's just the climate-change side of the movement. The fear of genetically modified crops is another; Norman Borlaug is possibly one of the greatest men to have ever lived... some reports have put the number of lives he saved at around the billion mark due to his work in Southeast Asia and Mexico. Yet at each step he's faced bitter opposition from environmentalists... environmentalists that led to governments stopping much of his work in Africa in the 1980's... and how many preventable deaths have their been in Africa due to famine since? The absolute fear of nuclear power as an energy source despite how safe it is now (and how green) etc etc. One can agree with many of the goals and arguments the environmentalist movement puts forward without agreeing with them. The religion of recycling without realising it's often a case by case issue.

The issue people have is that it seems Environmentalism is this years version of "make poverty history"... spend some money on a wristband, pay a bit more for something, feel good about yourself, make no real difference.

On the organic food price issue, yes the loopholes you have to jump through up the price, but it also costs more to produce. Pesticides are cheaper than the "natural" ways and more effective, growth stimulants can make produce grow bigger and gm produce can grow faster, larger, quicker and in worse conditions... all of which make something cheaper to harvest and sell.

And of course, back during the boom people were willing to pay outrageous prices for organic goods. Now that money's tight the market for organic food has been completely destroyed.

Offline Will

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 08:25:28 AM »
I definitely agree with this. I honestly just cannot grasp why CO2 is such a danger when the environment and all of God's little green things love it.

i also find it interesting how "global warming" changed to "climate change"

We're also cutting down those little green things as fast as we can, thus strangling the earth's ability to cope with our stupidity. >.>  Also, CO2 levels clearly began to soar around the beginning of the industrial revolution, rising to levels that we haven't found duplicated anywhere else in the record.  Of course, correlation =/= causality, but sometimes there's just no better explanation.

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 11:14:41 AM »
We're in complete agreement Consortium, I was just addressing the people on the thread who specifically commented on global warming.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 02:47:51 PM »
It wouldn't be the first good intention to be marketed.  That doesn't make the whole idea garbage, does it?
Did not say it did. I don't think people should be duped into buying environmentalist behaviors like designer clothes though. 

Offline Vekseid

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 08:06:47 PM »
Actually I think I read somewhere that organic foods do cost more to produce.  Pesticides are cheaper.  Organic farmers don't use them, but rather more natural methods that cost more in the long run. 

As for the windmill thing, that is interesting.  We have windmill farms up here too, but as far as I know people don't get a choice.  You get what your electric company decides to give you. 


Oil supply is a very real worry, we have about six years before we need to start seriously ramping up alternatives. Ironically, if in a good way, organic farms and free range animals are a big part of this, because of the amount of waste that pesticides, runoff, factory-farming and such generates. Organic and free range work is complimentary, however, requiring far less oil to produce. So it may in fact eventually become cheaper.

I think, ten years from now, we'll be seeing a lot more gardens, a lot more farms, or possibly a lot of algacultured foods.

I dislike the Environmental movement at large for two major reasons.

A) CO2 = Doom. It has been documented in earth's history that when CO2 goes up, so does plants, and as such, goes back down to normal. They harp on CO2, when stuff like Hydrogen Sulfide and acid rain, REAL environmental dangers, is for the most part ignored.

70 million years ago CO2 levels were an order of magnitude higher. Of course, the thing to note is that sea levels were also a few hundred meters higher.

Global warming or cooling is itself not a concern, it's the rate at which it occurs. Forests move at the rate the wind carries their seeds, for example. If average temperatures change too fast, they die off.

That said, I'm a big fan of algae farming. It seems like such a blatant 'duh' that it will seriously begin to take off - it makes complete sense. Take waste, take excess CO2 and then some, return the most efficient and abundant food and fuel source known.

Quote
B) Its seemingly anti-human stance.

Some of them are. The more influence we have over Earth, however, the more we want to mind the ecosystem for as long as we are dependent on it.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2009, 01:35:36 AM »
That said, I'm a big fan of algae farming. It seems like such a blatant 'duh' that it will seriously begin to take off - it makes complete sense. Take waste, take excess CO2 and then some, return the most efficient and abundant food and fuel source known.

You would think.

However, I would urge caution in evaluating the claims of the algaculturalists.

In order to be a viable substitute for crude oil, the end result of algaculture must:

1) be burnable in existing fossil-fuel fired engines with little or no modification.  The reason for this is we haven't the time or resources to build a whole new generation of internal combustion engine to run on a special new fuel.  We're going into the oil crash with substantially the infrastructure we have today.  From what I understand, the initial results of this are promising...but unconfirmed. Then there's also the matter of whether existing storage and transportation infrastructure can be used.

2) The oil substitute must also fulfill the numerous non-energy uses of crude oil: plastics, petrochemicals, fertilizers, pharma, etc.  I haven't read anything on whether algaculture does this or not.

3) The end product of algaculture must have an EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested) of at least 5 to 1, preferably 10 to 1 or better.  This has been the hobgoblin of oil alternatives thus far.  Crude oil has an EROEI of between 10 to 1 to as high as 25 to 1 (used to be nearly 100:1 early in the 20th century when it was so abundant and cheap to access).  What this means is that, if you have a quantity of refined algae that, when burned, yields a kilojoule of energy, it isn't of much use if you had to invest 600 joules to obtain it.  You're coming out a little ahead, but not far enough ahead to have an abundant, profitable source of energy.  This is where tar sands, oil shale, and ethanol all fall short: you have to put in almost as much energy into obtaining the oil or ethanol as you get from burning it. 

If you invest a joule of energy in the manufacture and refining of algae into fuel, you need to be getting at least five joules of energy for that joule you invested when you burn the final product.  (Because sunlight is free, I'll exempt solar input from the calculation.)  I haven't read anything on what the EROEI for algae-derived fuels is.

4. The fuel must be producible on a mass scale (current oil production is 35 million barrels per day) without crowding out the production of other essential products.  This is another criteria by which ethanol earned a big fat FAIL, as to scale ethanol production up to anything near what we would need for a true oil substitute would mean mass starvation as farmland was used to grow fuel.

So, the true test of algaculture will be whether it meets those four conditions.

Offline SleepyWei

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2009, 02:17:11 AM »
Well if I remember correctly, another good source of energy would be Hydrogen. It's pretty clean, the machine that converts hydrogen into energy is quite safe, and it only releases water vapor. The only problem it seems is storing the energy that it makes.

Then there are nuclear energy.

Hot and Cold fusion seems to be making quite some interesting reaches so far. I think I read on a magazine somewhere that cold fusion might actually be the single cleanest and most powerful source of energy available. The memory's foggy though so don't put a lot of weight on it.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 03:43:26 AM by SleepyWei »

Offline The Overlord

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2009, 02:57:41 AM »


A) CO2 = Doom. It has been documented in earth's history that when CO2 goes up, so does plants, and as such, goes back down to normal. They harp on CO2, when stuff like Hydrogen Sulfide and acid rain, REAL environmental dangers, is for the most part ignored.


CO2 has fluctuated many times over; an elevated CO2 level will not kill the planet all by itself, only a true runaway event like on Venus will do that. Given the natural disasters that the planet has endured, for BILLIONS of years and still remaining the habitable paradise it is, Im not convinced at all we could irreversibly wreck the biosphere, not even with nuclear winter.

However, it IS unwise to push the limits of the system when were not really sure what those limits are. Especially when we know it would be much easier to force in changes that would just end human civilization; I think we have a very high probability of doing that before the 21st Century is out, we have to decide whether or not were going to do what we have to do.

Offline Caeli

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2009, 04:05:28 AM »
Like Vekseid and Overlord both mentioned, CO2 levels are not higher than they've ever been before, and have fluctuated up and down in the past. Some of that is actually addressed in this post that I made in a discussion about global warming.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2009, 04:54:42 AM »
*snip*

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303907.html

The number given there - 15,000 square miles, uses an estimate with a rate of return a bit less than an order of magnitude higher than what has been shown. However, as algaculture is best used in conjunction with a co2 source (sewage, coal...), and that it can even be grown in a home, it will not be replacing farmland.

And I don't know why you harp on the existing infrastructure. I have told you before, all modern diesel engines can run biodiesel. Biogas is also possible, as are foods and other fuels - the challenges largely revolve around monoculture and co2 supply issues. Most of the rest is infrastructure investment.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2009, 08:44:00 AM »
 Diesel engines? hhmm.. Most engines in the US are gasoline. Diesels being used in the heavy haulers like tractors, tractor trailors and train engines. I'm not sure of the persentage in the rest of the Americas, north, central or south. Nor in the Asian landmass. I think diesels are more commonly used in Europe. For us to switch to diesel engines in place of gasoline would be very expensive. I also recall that diesel tends to gel when it get's cold, making it much less palatable for the common person to use in winter.

Offline Oniya

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2009, 09:19:08 AM »
My parents used to have a diesel station wagon, and I don't remember any particular difficulties in the winter.  I think I remember some issues discussed on 'Ice Road Truckers', but a) they seemed to be something that could be dealt with, b) it doesn't prevent people in comparatively warm-weather climates (like Maine  :P) from using biodiesel, and c) we already have factories that make diesel engines - making the only issue one of distribution.  Already, there's a program going on where if you trade in a car of over a certain age, it's scrapped (recycled) instead of being re-sold, which is taking the lower-efficiency engines out of circulation.

Offline consortium11

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2009, 05:24:32 PM »
And I don't know why you harp on the existing infrastructure. I have told you before, all modern diesel engines can run biodiesel. Biogas is also possible, as are foods and other fuels - the challenges largely revolve around monoculture and co2 supply issues. Most of the rest is infrastructure investment.

Biofuels also have to deal with the issue about nearly causing mass starvation in the east before they become a real subsitutute.

On the general energy side of things, Desetrec looks fairly good, and there's been recent movement on setting it up. It's got flaws, but then, what doesn't?

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2009, 10:16:49 PM »
Biofuels also have to deal with the issue about nearly causing mass starvation in the east before they become a real subsitutute.

On the general energy side of things, Desetrec looks fairly good, and there's been recent movement on setting it up. It's got flaws, but then, what doesn't?
The problem is biofuels aren't logical in the U.S. Countries that use them have lots and lots of sugarcane. We have Louisiana and Hawaii, that's not a lot. From what I've heard using a lesser source (Wheat, corn, etc) actually costs more to produce than it would alleviate. I don't know if I believe this but I do think we've just not got enough of the right stuff. Plus the U.S. has a lot of cars. More so than the other biofuel countries.

I believe the real strain on the fossil fuel came from India and China when they all started wanting cars. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but when billions of people suddenly want cars, there is strain on the resources. 

Offline Revolverman

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2009, 11:39:01 PM »
Bio fuels are a Red Herring. Just as polluted, and the same, if not more of costs.

Offline SuperHans

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2009, 05:32:01 AM »
As far as I can see it, organic foods have just become another avenue for elitist snobbery. If you live on a council estate and don't make alot of money, your primary avenues of food shopping are mass grown un-organic sources. If you live in a nice suburban townhouse, you generally have the disposable income to buy organic and follow all the other fads set by the trendies. Thus you can look down on those that don't shop at M&S or Waitrose but under the seemingly legitimate guise of environmental concern. It (as well as several other similar features of the climate change movement) utterly sickens me. I'm by no means a complete envirosceptic, but the movement surrounding it revolts me.

Offline Gami

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2009, 08:32:35 AM »
I'm not 100% sure if you're referring to environmentalism as actually trying to SAVE the planet or just preserving it for future generations. When it comes to the latter, we're  going to stop really. It's the big things that mess things up. The oil, the toxic waste, the air pollution - all that.

As for saving the planet, I think that's just ... bullshit. In the end, all this will do is just make us humans unable to live the way we do now. Earth has survived rampaging huge dinosaurs, massive earthquakes, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, meteors hitting it - hell, at one point it was even practically covered in ice! The Earth can take care of itself. Various species of animals are extinct every day. Nothing we can do about it. I doubt some air pollution, metal cans and plastic is going to kill it forever.

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2009, 11:35:29 AM »
Above poster, you don't really seem to understand just how fragile the conditions for life are.  We've yet to find another planet in the entire galaxy that meets the necessary criteria to host living organisms.  Why would anyone be surprised if it was hard for us to screw ours up as rare as they are?  Venus is also a good example of how what's in the atmosphere can damn the entire planet's capability.

Meteors, and all of that were a one-off event.  They usually caused mass-extinction for as little of time as they were building.  Humans destroying the planet is a rather sustained effort.  What I don't think is very well understood is that Oil, Natural Gas, etc. is all the byproduct of thousands of years of natural processes storing solar energy.  Burning thousands of years of such is obviously not wise.

It's possible no matter what happens as far as that goes we will survive, and the planet will too.  But it's hard a good idea to run a massive experiment in your own ecosystem without fully understanding the consequences.  The people who're trying to grasp what we're doing to ourselves (scientists) have come up with a lot of seriously disturbing ideas.  I just find it amazing how people pick and choose what ideas of science they want to accept based on utility.  It just goes to show that the only thing that really matters in Western Civilization is short-term practical usage.

Unfortunately we aren't interested in Science for its ability to seek out truth.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2009, 01:51:32 PM »
 Us destroy the planet? No. We don't haver the capacity. Possibly make it harder for us to live in? Possible. Through overpopulation and unregulated farming/explotation, definately. but we do live here and need to make choices that allow us to live. Life will find a way and it's herbis to think we can ruin that. Over 98% or all of the plant and animal species that have existed on this world are extinct. Not by human effort either.

 It's extremely hypocritical that those who are preaching to us about how to live green, are usually very wealthy and live extravagent lives. Having homes that waste kilowatts of power, have several gas burning SUVs, fly jets and the like. They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Al Gore is a big example of this.

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2009, 02:06:41 PM »
Us destroy the planet? No. We don't haver the capacity.
I'm sure we've all heard the old adage that Nuclear Weapons could destroy the earth many times over.  So we definitely have the capacity, whether or not environmental change/exploitation could be the engine of such is another question.

Possibly make it harder for us to live in? Possible. Through overpopulation and unregulated farming/explotation, definately. but we do live here and need to make choices that allow us to live. Life will find a way and it's herbis to think we can ruin that. Over 98% or all of the plant and animal species that have existed on this world are extinct. Not by human effort either.
Of course we need to make choices that allow us to live.  I don't care what happens to the earth, I care what happens to humanity.  Unfortunately in the mean time our success is directly linked to the integrity of our environment.  So naturally we do need to consider what we're doing to it.

It's extremely hypocritical that those who are preaching to us about how to live green, are usually very wealthy and live extravagent lives. Having homes that waste kilowatts of power, have several gas burning SUVs, fly jets and the like. They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. Al Gore is a big example of this.
You're making the mistake of refusing to separate the message from the medium.  Even if it's prophets don't walk the walk, it doesn't mean the idea itself is incorrect.

I hope, as I think most people do, that we will find a technological way to solve the problem so we won't have to transition so harshly to a better equilibrium with the environment.  I even hope science is wrong about what we're doing.  But it doesn't seem likely.  I just think we need to do something instead of bickering about it for as long as the science indicates that's what is going to happen.

Offline Gami

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2009, 03:27:51 PM »
No, I understand them. I understand enough to know there's plenty I don't know about what actually allows  life on a planet. I do know that humans would most likely wipe themselves out before even getting close to turning Earth into Venus.

And multi-nuking a planet isn't a one-off event? A meteor hitting Earth s more than just a big fat crater - and I'm positive you know this. Like I said before, mankind will have been reduced (in several ways) before we get a chance to do this kind of damage.

I simply don't buy into it. Nature always has a way of fixing itself. So I wouldn't worry about that. As for us humans, we simply don't learn from our own mistakes, we're too driven by profit. Mankind needs to take a massive blow to get it inside its thick skull. Consider Mother Earth the, well, mother. And we're her kids. And we're beyond a spanking. We need mom to open up a can of whoop-ass for us.

I don't know the unrealistic scopes of this, but mankind should try to learn to utilize sun energy and convert particles and such into energy. E= mc^2 ftw.


Excuse me, I may sound a bit unserious in this discussion but it's simply my way of expressing myself, I am very serious about the matter, and I could rant for pages on how downright shit it is that we're actually just messing up for ourselves with all the air polluting, the oil waste, toxic gas, the greenhouse effect, the holes in the ozon layer, the thinned-out atmosphere, the poisons we put in our soil, in our crops, in animals, in ourselves, the nature we destroy to build houses of concrete, stone and steel, remove forests in favor of complexes that do nothing to contribute to the life of nature and most likely - on larger scales - disturb the ecosystem - fill our lungs with shit (my bogers were 50% black after a few days in London), wipe out fields to put asphalt and stone bricks, completely mine out mountains to built all kinds of crap. I've thought about it, trust me: just go outside your house. Look at all the fences, the signs, every sign post, the railway, the cars you see, the bars on freeways, the coins in your hand - just look at all the amount of metal used when you take a stroll around town. Now imagine that there are millions of cities around the world that are the same. Then take a stroll to the industrial area of your town and check out all the metal used there. Multiply a few thousand times and add that to the amount. Then take that final amount and double it. Do not include the airplanes and satellites, mind you.

But it's just too much. I can't fathom how there are enough resources for this. And if there are, I can't imagine there being THAT much more. It's bound to run out. We're bound to hit a stop, somehow. We're going to screw ourselves up before we screw up nature, that's for sure - unless we deliberately screw nature up.

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2009, 03:58:31 PM »
Nature always has a way of fixing itself.
I think that's the crux of where we differ.  What you're saying isn't a fact, there are plenty of extinction events that could occur, including one scientists recently discovered where earth/mars orbits could synchronize resulting in a catastrophic collision.  The whole concept of "nature" in a vague, spiritual way doesn't make any sense once you start looking beyond our planet.

I don't know the unrealistic scopes of this, but m ankind should try to learn to utilize sun energy and convert particles and such into energy. E= mc^2 ftw.
Utilizing sun energy literally is solar energy development.  There's a lot of promise there too, it's theorized an advanced civilization would have to employ it to meet their energy needs, so that might be where we're going.  As for as the Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared bit, that's a concept involved in Nuclear Fusion, etc.

Excuse me, I may sound a bit unserious in this discussion but it's simply my way of expressing myself, I am very serious about the matter, and I could rant for pages on how downright shit it is that we're actually just messing up for ourselves with all the air polluting, the oil waste, toxic gas, the greenhouse effect, the holes in the ozon layer, the thinned-out atmosphere, the poisons we put in our soil, in our crops, in animals, in ourselves, the nature we destroy to build houses of concrete, stone and steel, remove forests in favor of complexes that do nothing to contribute to the life of nature and most likely - on larger scales - disturb the ecosystem - fill our lungs with shit (my bogers were 50% black after a few days in London), wipe out fields to put asphalt and stone bricks, completely mine out mountains to built all kinds of crap. I've thought about it, trust me: just go outside your house. Look at all the fences, the signs, every sign post, the railway, the cars you see, the bars on freeways, the coins in your hand - just look at all the amount of metal used when you take a stroll around town. Now imagine that there are millions of cities around the world that are the same. Then take a stroll to the industrial area of your town and check out all the metal used there. Multiply a few thousand times and add that to the amount. Then take that final amount and double it. Do not include the airplanes and satellites, mind you.

But it's just too much. I can't fathom how there are enough resources for this. And if there are, I can't imagine there being THAT much more. It's bound to run out. We're bound to hit a stop, somehow. We're going to screw ourselves up before we screw up nature, that's for sure - unless we deliberately screw nature up.
I think scientists generally agree with you that life will go on in some capacity even if we continue on as far as global warming goes, but I don't care about earth's continued existence when it comes down to it.  Only humanity's.  So this whole thing is kinda a pointless side-argument (that I admittedly help start).

Online Avis habilis

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2009, 04:13:25 PM »
Us destroy the planet? No.

That would indeed be an idiotic claim. It's a good thing no one has ever made it. What we are fully capable of - and apparently bent on - doing is producing an environment that can no longer support us.

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2009, 05:36:18 PM »
I personally think we don't have enough data on global warming and other various environmental problems to make an informed decision we just haven't been looking at it long enough. What about the industrial revolution when coal was burned unabated and unregulated?

Look at Rachel Carson, (sp?) who said there would be no birds by 1990 or something like that and I actually have more crap on my car than ever.

Sometimes I think we as humans just have to believe it's totally our fault.

Online Serephino

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2009, 07:44:25 PM »
The earth does indeed have ways of dealing with pollution and such.  However, the rate we're doing it is too much for the earth to handle.  The earth is sick, there's no denying that if you just open your eyes and look at the facts.  People are living longer, but we're sicker.  That would be because all of the toxins we're constantly exposing ourselves to. 

It's true that if we don't change our ways the most probable outcome would be killing ourselves off and then the earth healing itself.  So why not try and change our ways?  I try to do what I can, and I'm dirt poor. 

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2009, 09:51:58 PM »
The earth does indeed have ways of dealing with pollution and such.  However, the rate we're doing it is too much for the earth to handle.  The earth is sick, there's no denying that if you just open your eyes and look at the facts.  People are living longer, but we're sicker.  That would be because all of the toxins we're constantly exposing ourselves to. 

It's true that if we don't change our ways the most probable outcome would be killing ourselves off and then the earth healing itself.  So why not try and change our ways?  I try to do what I can, and I'm dirt poor. 

Because we should tell the thing that could wipe us out with a couple of earthquakes and volcanoes what to do. If we go, we go. We are as much a part of the grand scheme of earth as the dog, cat or beetle. It all has to end sometime, and to think human's can essentially hold the earth in their hands like some marble and control it is the height of folly. Humans are a part of nature. Now I believe in a lot of ways we're a perverse part of nature, but their is an exception for every rule, and a rule for every exception.

In short: We're just to damned mean and nasty to wipe ourselves out something else is just going to have to do it for us. Because if it's one thing humans are good at it's pulling our asses out of the fire. 

Offline Revolverman

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2009, 11:19:12 PM »
Short of the comet from Armageddon, I don't think Humans can ever be wiped out. We are too adaptable to environments. If need be I bet we could survive underground with our technology.

Offline Gami

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2009, 04:09:31 AM »
That would indeed be an idiotic claim. It's a good thing no one has ever made it. What we are fully capable of - and apparently bent on - doing is producing an environment that can no longer support us.


That's us making the planet unfit to support us, not destroying it.


I think that's the crux of where we differ.  What you're saying isn't a fact, there are plenty of extinction events that could occur, including one scientists recently discovered where earth/mars orbits could synchronize resulting in a catastrophic collision.  The whole concept of "nature" in a vague, spiritual way doesn't make any sense once you start looking beyond our planet.

I couldn't care less for natural disaster. Things just happen - two planets colliding is just one. It's not like the sun isn't going to blow up in our face in X billion years - but most likely it'll jsut grow large enough to make things too warm.

As for as the Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared bit, that's a concept involved in Nuclear Fusion, etc.

No, that's not it. I may've not been clear. I meant actually turning something into pure energy - not talking about fusion or fission, just simply turn the entire atom... into energy. Like I said, I don't know if that's going to be even feasible in a hundred years, but still. And, correct me if I'm mistaken, but nuclear powering leaves a lot of... you got it: nuclear waste. Uranium-238 is a bad boy.

I think scientists generally agree with you that life will go on in some capacity even if we continue on as far as global warming goes, but I don't care about earth's continued existence when it comes down to it.  Only humanity's.  So this whole thing is kinda a pointless side-argument (that I admittedly help start).

I guess the thing is, you have to start caring about Earth's continued existence if you want humanity's continued existence - until we can find another planet that's jsut as awesome as ours. And even then, good luck finding one that has the right climate, edible food, plenty of oxygen and germs and viruses that won't kill you.

But then you might say: "Let's just not screw up the planet as much and we can all live on!"

So you wouldn't mind losing all the conveniences of your life, like cas, airplanes, computers, concrete houses to shelter you, being able to get a variation of food at any nearby grocery store, electricity? It wouldn't be so hard to just take drastic measures to ensure the survival of both humanity and the planet, but come on, no one's going to do that. Especially not the people who are directly in charge of poisoning Earth, and those that profit from it. They're living the sweet life, and it is a sweet life too short to waste on trying to save the planet. Might as well play as hard as I can, because I won't be around when Earth is destroyed.

No, you see, what I believe is that humanity lost its grip a long while ago. Hopefully, they'll go down quietly without taking the Earth with them. Maybe Earth'll be so kind so as to let about 10-15% of them live on.

It would be ideal if they could start developing methods to gain energy and utilize it that don't involve the dangerous wastes you get from oil and nuclear powers.

But see, this is IT. It's those things. All the smaller things, like throwing cans and bottles and plastic and all that - no. That's BS. It starts with the billions of cars that let out all that gas. And progression in other fields to replace gasoline is going slow because the ones who profit from oil would lose if people used something other than their black gold.

Offline LaCroix

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2009, 06:06:44 AM »

Thats the entire thing that gets me about the environmental movement as well. I'm not about about to say I disagree with the entire movement completely, I think that recycling and reusing resources where we can is smart business and its good all around. However, I just hate that these people are unable to present the message on its merits.

They all want the movement to be taken serious and shake their heads when the unenlightened heathens are unable to see 'the truth'. The fact of the matter is though, the movement is incapable of putting its own facts forward on their own merit. You want to preach to me about 'the truth' of what we're doing to the planet? That's fine but let your message stand on its facts instead beating me over the head with images of the 'poor, poor animals' and how 'we're utterly doomed and our own evil technology is the terrible villain in this sinister play'. Because honestly, to me, the facts get lost in that kind of trite bullshit.

You say respect the message? Well I say the message itself and its so called 'prophets' need a lot of work on presentation. At the end of the day, I do respect science and fact, and I refuse to embrace something without a little skepticism especially when that movements biggest moves is to go for the jugular and make a play on my emotions first, and then toss 'the facts' at me.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2009, 09:28:14 AM »
I think there is a lot of Obfuscation on both sides of the 'Green movement. Some faulty science over here on the proside from time to time, some really nasty 'it's not feasible' commentary from the con side (Mostly using numbers for the first couple years in this or that program to show it's not economical, ect.)

Things take time to work out. The Con-siders don't want the status quo to change.. the Pro-siders want fast results an occassionally do some shady moves to get it. The 'undecided' (that's us, the majority who aren't as active as the pro and cons) need to watch, listen and ask questions to make sure we're not getting sold a bill of goods.

Now, any new program, car, process is always going to be more expensive than the old way. Tool up costs, start up issues, and working out kinks take time and most signifigantly MONEY. which is why no one (big industry wise) is jumping on the 'water as fuel' or 'fast charge battery engines' bandwagon. They have to some extent or another invested in the current petroleum based infrastructure, building a new one takes time and GOBS of money. There was a show I saw on BBC America a couple years ago about the cost. It was hideous.. for a small country like NORWAY.

A lot of American companies have lost the 'long view' business image. When I was a kid (longer than I care to admit) you had companies who went 'we'll be making X dollars off this in 10 or 15 years', but now.. 'We need to make X dollars by 4th quarter with this'. No long term vision.

Shame

Offline Jude

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2009, 09:31:28 AM »
I guess the thing is, you have to start caring about Earth's continued existence if you want humanity's continued existence - until we can find another planet that's jsut as awesome as ours. And even then, good luck finding one that has the right climate, edible food, plenty of oxygen and germs and viruses that won't kill you.
Yeah, that's how I feel.  Finding another habitat is way out of our reach, and I'm only interested in preserving the earth for that reason.

So you wouldn't mind losing all the conveniences of your life, like cas, airplanes, computers, concrete houses to shelter you, being able to get a variation of food at any nearby grocery store, electricity? It wouldn't be so hard to just take drastic measures to ensure the survival of both humanity and the planet, but come on, no one's going to do that. Especially not the people who are directly in charge of poisoning Earth, and those that profit from it. They're living the sweet life, and it is a sweet life too short to waste on trying to save the planet. Might as well play as hard as I can, because I won't be around when Earth is destroyed.
I look at it this way.  Lets say there's a certain threshold of CO2 that it's game over when the earth reaches it.  When get get to amount x, we're dead.  We produce carbon amount y every year.  Z = x/y, aka the amount of years we have til we're all dead.  If we take small steps to lower y, then Z increases dramatically over time.  Which gives us more time to solve our problems without immediate drastic changes.  Think of how advanced we are now compared to 100 years ago?  The only thing that really needs a hard and fast turnaround is the oil consumption.

It would be ideal if they could start developing methods to gain energy and utilize it that don't involve the dangerous wastes you get from oil and nuclear powers.
I don't think we disagree that much, but we do have ways to generate energy aside from oil and nuclear powers.  There's wind, solar, and the other alternatives mentioned in this thread.  In fact, at one point it was proposed to build an orbital ring around the equator of the earth to collect solar energy then use microwaves to travel it down.  The public isn't very well educated on our opportunities.

Furthermore Nuclear Power is our best practical option from what we've got right now.  The waste isn't that hard to manage.  We probably don't have enough to make it a long term solution, but the U.S. really should rely on it more in the mean time.  I'm tired of the stupid, baseless fear of nuclear power based on Chernobyl (which was a worst-case scenario with an utterly inept government).  It's just another example of why a lot of people hate environmentalism, baseless hysteria.

A lot of American companies have lost the 'long view' business image. When I was a kid (longer than I care to admit) you had companies who went 'we'll be making X dollars off this in 10 or 15 years', but now.. 'We need to make X dollars by 4th quarter with this'. No long term vision.
That's not really their fault.  It's the forces of globalization.  Companies have to be more cutthroat to survive thanks to global competition, plus the rate of technological advancement has become a frenzy.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 09:34:08 AM by RandomNumber »

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2009, 12:54:49 PM »
What I find about that is environmentalists are usually unable to see the biggest picture. They're all focused on their little wedge to see how it effects the rest of the environment. Example: The Exxon Valdez oil spill. Yes it's horrible, but that meant that all the environmentalists hopped in their cars, drove down using God knows how much gas to tear up the surrounding wildlife to park there, along with T.V. crews and whatever else have you, to clean some oil off some ducks.

Honestly letting the ducks die and skimming off the oil from the top probably would have been better environmentally. Yes that's horrible but doctors call it triage.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #43 on: August 01, 2009, 01:12:34 PM »
 Nuclear is the best short and long range alternative for electricity. It's much safer and cleaner than coal or oil, and the waste is storable. The only real problem is 'Not in my backyard' from amny people and the fit enviromentalists throw at the thought of nuclear power.

Offline consortium11

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #44 on: August 01, 2009, 01:25:57 PM »
Beyond storable, the "waste" is actually useful... as long as recycling is allowed the one-time waste can be processed again and again, giving more electricity, and thus when finally used up there's a lot less to actually store.

Online Avis habilis

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2009, 05:34:05 PM »
Look at Rachel Carson, (sp?) who said there would be no birds by 1990 or something like that and I actually have more crap on my car than ever.

Dude, the reason they're there to poop on your ride is that we heeded her warning & got rid of the pesticides that were causing rampant reproductive failure.

At least here in the U.S.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2009, 07:07:20 PM »
Dude, the reason they're there to poop on your ride is that we heeded her warning & got rid of the pesticides that were causing rampant reproductive failure.

At least here in the U.S.

Not anywhere else on earth.

And lo and behold, birds.

Offline Oniya

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2009, 07:09:59 PM »
'Useta be you could sit on the stoop like a person.  Not anymore.  Boids.'

Online Avis habilis

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2009, 07:30:29 PM »
Not anywhere else on earth.

For certain values of "not anywhere else". Those being "everywhere else".

Offline InkiduTopic starter

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Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #49 on: August 04, 2009, 09:08:44 PM »
Dude, the reason they're there to poop on your ride is that we heeded her warning & got rid of the pesticides that were causing rampant reproductive failure.

At least here in the U.S.
I learned this after the fact.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2009, 09:07:17 AM »
For certain values of "not anywhere else". Those being "everywhere else".


Ah DDT, Millions of people have to die for junk Science.

Offline Bayushi

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2009, 03:42:49 AM »
Hot and Cold fusion seems to be making quite some interesting reaches so far. I think I read on a magazine somewhere that cold fusion might actually be the single cleanest and most powerful source of energy available. The memory's foggy though so don't put a lot of weight on it.

Indeed. China, the US, and several European nations are developing something known as the Pebble Bed reactor, which has built in 'safeties' which while producing additional energy, keep the reaction stable within the reactor.

As it breaks its fuel down through the nuclear reaction process, it generates lesser fuel, which it also uses. Which helps keep the reactor well 'fed', which in turn keeps it stable by avoiding spikes or sudden dropoffs in fuel.

Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island were traditional water-cooled reactors, unlike the Pebble Bed design, which use inert gasses.

Oil supply is a very real worry, we have about six years before we need to start seriously ramping up alternatives. Ironically, if in a good way, organic farms and free range animals are a big part of this, because of the amount of waste that pesticides, runoff, factory-farming and such generates. Organic and free range work is complimentary, however, requiring far less oil to produce. So it may in fact eventually become cheaper.

Bit more than six years, there. There's more oil in Alaska than the entire proven reserves of the Arabic states. Problem is, we can't touch it for Congressional interference as well as stifling regulation by the EPA and the Land Use Bureau(can't remember what that's called).

That's not even counting what we have in the Rocky Mountains(Utah, etc), the Dakota's, and the Outer Continental Shelf. The Chinese are working on drilling our own oil out from under us using perpendicular drilling from Cuban waters.

Alternatives are needed, yes. But we honestly need to ease the alternatives into the system. Crashing us into it will just trash the economy, again, and a lot of people will be without transportation(and jobs).

That said, I'm a big fan of algae farming. It seems like such a blatant 'duh' that it will seriously begin to take off - it makes complete sense. Take waste, take excess CO2 and then some, return the most efficient and abundant food and fuel source known.

The single most important life form on the planet is similar to algae. Phytoplankton in our oceans(mostly the Pacific) produce as much, if not MORE oxygen than all the plant life on the Earth. They also consume CO, like plants. We honestly should be cultivating this phytoplankton.

Biofuels also have to deal with the issue about nearly causing mass starvation in the east before they become a real subsitutute.

Thing is, the Agriculture Lobbying firms are pushing hard to make Congress side with corn-based ethanol. When Sugar-based ethanol is not only cleaner, but also does not require 1.5 gallons of refined gasoline to produce 1 gallon of ethanol-based biofuel. Unfortunately, we have a dimwitted Congress, which is more than happy to subsidize corn farms for inferior corn-based ethanol.

Sugar does not require the sheer acreage that corn does, also. Which makes it much more efficient.

Oh, not to mention, a large portion of the world would end up starving for the inability to afford corn-based foods, like basic cereals. Not to mention, much of the food aid that goes to Africa would disappear.

Oh yeah... the big hypocrisy on the part of the environmentalists. They decry agriculture as destroying ecosystems. But when we got to massively increase corn farming, we'll be disrupting yet more 'precious' ecosystems.

Ah DDT, Millions of people have to die for junk Science.

THANK YOU, Revolver! I've been irritated with the envirowhacko's crying about DDT for a very long time. I can't even mention the stuff within 50 yards of an environut without the hissing and gnashing of teeth.

Thing is, MILLIONS of people die every year from Malaria. Why? It was transmitted by the anopholes mosquito, which wouldn't be such an issue if DDT was available. But the Envirotwats in America seem to think it's okay to tell Africans what they are and aren't allowed to do in Africa. So Africans and Southeast Asians die in the millions every year.

*shakes head in shame*

I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist.

Online Serephino

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2009, 03:11:39 PM »
I was watching Foamy the Squirrel videos, and this one made me think of this thread, so I thought I'd share. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upgS56
« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 03:13:06 PM by Chaotic Angel »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Enviromentalism is the next big scam?
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2009, 09:18:59 PM »
I was watching Foamy the Squirrel videos, and this one made me think of this thread, so I thought I'd share. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upgS56

 *snickers*  That blunt talking squirrel....