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Thread: Stop Breeding

  1. #41

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    As much as I aggree with both of you, I tend to be a realist. I look for a solution that has the highest probability of success. To expect Americans to give up there SUV's and there muscle cars is simply far-fetched. To expect them to make energy smart choices when buying furnishings and such is a little easier, but not for the masses. I personally think we should go after the contractors. If we can give home builders enough insintive to build energy smart homes they will have no problem doing it. If we can make it help there bottom line they will trip over themselves to make sure that home uses as little energy as possible. I read somewhere, that most homes can cut there power consumption by a third while still using the same ammount of furnishings the exact same time.

    A simple matter of switching all the incandescent (sp?) lights in your home for the new flourescent bulb lights that use a quarter of the energy. Over the course of a year, that adds up. We need tax breaks on contractors that insulate walls, instead of just the roof. Use double pained glass, energy star appliances, etc.

    There are so many things that we can do to lower our consumption level without lowering our comfort.

  2. #42

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    Arrow

    A newsletter I received recently from the Sierra Club noted that gas prices were over $5. a gallon in England & people regularly walked to where they wanted to get. (I imagine they were referring to urban travel.) I think that's a pretty good incentive to save on using gas, for one thing. Money talks. Maybe our gas isn't expensive enough yet. <ducking & running> [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Restore our biosphere, create a new culture of kindness.

  3. #43

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    You say that now Lavender, but I bet you don't think of all the reprocusions of that. I mean, in retrospect England is like the size of Cali.

    I am in the construction business, and because of fuel prices alone we are seeing a 15% increase in material costs. Guess who really pays that. Thats right, the customer. Trust me, it doesn't stop with us either, when you start paying more for EVERYTHING you purchase because it costs them twice as much to get it to the store you shop at, and twice as much to turn the lights on in that store the buck gets passed to you, the end consumer.

    So remember, we arn't just talking about the soccer mom in her 12mpg excursion that is going to real from a blow like that, we are talking the public in general.

    Although, this country seriously needs to invest in a much better public transit system. Europe as a whole has a GREAT transit system. Most people have no need for a vehicle over there because the public transit system is so good.

  4. #44
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    $5 a gallon would kill off places like NE Montana. i live in a town of around 4500, if i want to go to Walmart its a 200 mile round trip. the closest "city" is around 2.5 hours away and is in CANADA. the closest instate is about 4 hours and it only has 90,000 people or so. plus imagine the price of food if diesel goes up that high. do you have any clue how much fuel the tractors and combines that provide all the grains and such for you to eat use? let alone the cost of trucking it to you? also public transportation is no existant up here. its a rural area. and as to the comment of SUV's i have both a Dodge 1500 (the shops truck for hauling newspapers back from the printer 50 miles away) and my own lil 6 cylinder Jeep Cherokee. i live out in the country and with out the 4 wheel drive of one or in a couple cases both those vehicles i would have been stranded for weeks on end this past winter. i dont understand why some city ppl need the big trucks and such but out here in the boondocks they are a neccesity. i believe electric vehicles are the way of the future BUT until the average joe can take care of them way up here i dont know that i will be willing to invest in one. i really hate walking in the middle of nowhere after a vehicle gives out [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

    Rattler
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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Est @ June 10 2004,1:48)]Conservation is so easy, I'm just amazed at the way that some people waste.... Oh boy, so, to prevent a rant, and to make sure that I get myself to bed, I'll cut it off here, and assume that everyone know what I'm saying.

    So to sum, before we sit around and wait for the answers of the future to solve the problems of today, why not do something constructive with our time?
    I agree completely with you, we all need to do a little more than we're doing to make a less wasteful society. I also agree that the most likely place to make a difference is with big developers and contractors.

    Unfortunately, my experience to date is that many of the people really calling the shots that could make any difference these days(developers) are of the type of personality i call the 'businessperson type'. In my own personal version of the world (warning: the opinions expressed may not be rational, pleasant, or correct) there are two basic types of people: those who are "businesspeople", and those whose conscience prevents them from making a buck via exploitation. Disclaimer: i'm not saying that all people in business are "businesspeople", but that does tend to be where that personality type ends up.

    For example, i was talking to an old acquaintance of mine a few weeks back. This is an amazingly successful man in his late 20s, who can wheel and deal like you wouldn't believe. He has so many inborn negotiating skills it's amazing; you have to admire how good he is with people. He works now as a high-up in a California land developing company.

    We first met in southern Florida, and the conversation turned to the changes there since we lived there. I commented on how far inland the irrepressable march of development has come since then, with square mile after square mile of wetland being drained and filled to make way for more cookie-cutter houses. (Side note: the sad thing is that these houses are often so poorly built that they are 'discarded' after a dozen years or so for a newer house built in the advancing wave front.) I concluded by mumbling under my breath "that's gotta stop sometime". He said "That's funny. I was just thinking how i'd like to be the one building all those houses." And there's the fundamental distinction.

    He's a sharp guy, and no mistake, but what he really has that i don't that has made a huge difference is his ability to work without remorse of exploitation. He's an upstanding citizen, model of a good father, etc, but his conscience seems to lack any degree of concern for the long-term effects of his professional accomplishments.


    Of course "people gotta live", as my grandfather, or many others would point out, and i fully agree. But unless all people (ie 'the consumers') change, or the 'businesspeople' exploiting the resources change, nothing is going to change, and ain't gonna be no people living as they'd like some day soon.

    So, whatta we do?

    When i first came to my current academic institution, i was pleasantly surprised to find that recycling bins are everywhere. The growing disappointment is that there are a lot of people here (at a 'good school', who really ought to know better) who would rather chuck a pop can in the trash than take an extra step to drop it in the bin.

    What's a lone person to do?

    I've concluded that the problem is that there will always be those willing to exploit and/or those too ambivalent to care, so we can't count on the entire consumer body to change (which is necessary: a few bad apples really do spoil the barrel in economics), and we'll never fully convert and/or eliminate the exploiters.

    So what do we do?

    As much as nobody likes to hear it, i think that legislation is the only way that anything meaningful is going to change. That's because it's something that affects all but requires less than all to enact. Let's take the 'bottle bill' that many states now have enacted for an example. This is applied economics: impose an entirely skewed economic condition on the system: make bottles worth many times the value of the component materials. Suddenly, that little extra effort to separate your trash from the recyclables is worth it. And those ambivalents, foot-draggers, etc. who don't do it will find others willing to do it for the pocket change. What if this concept could be applied to other aspects of consumer life? Could we alleviate waste with "bottle bills"? Thoughts?
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  6. #46

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    "As much as nobody likes to hear it, i think that legislation is the only way that anything meaningful is going to change. That's because it's something that affects all but requires less than all to enact. Let's take the 'bottle bill' that many states now have enacted for an example. This is applied economics: impose an entirely skewed economic condition on the system: make bottles worth many times the value of the component materials. Suddenly, that little extra effort to separate your trash from the recyclables is worth it. And those ambivalents, foot-draggers, etc. who don't do it will find others willing to do it for the pocket change. What if this concept could be applied to other aspects of consumer life? Could we alleviate waste with "bottle bills"? Thoughts?"


    Your eyes are open my friend. I like to play devils advocate a lot, but at the end of the day the problem is the same. The problem is us, the mass public, the population of the Uniteds States. The public is not going to just "voluntarily" pay for something. Its common knowledge, the public cares more for money than they do for the actual enviornement. Trying to change that mentality is next to impossible. Changing the standards at which a contracter MUST build a new home, is very much easier.

  7. #47
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  8. #48
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    I sympathize with Rattler's perspective, but rural areas seemed healthier when energy prices were relatively high. Increased energy costs aren't going to reverse the depopulation of the upper plains, but cheap energy supports high input, mechanized farming. That devalues labor and the profits of agriculture end up in corporate statements, not in rural downtowns.

    All those market towns grew when transportation was expensive. And they've collapsed when transportation's been cheap. Walmart can only succeed at plunking big stores so far apart because it can exploit its customers' access to cheap energy.

    Too cheap energy causes problems like expensive energy does. Just different ones. It causes environmental problems and encourages the inefficient use of energy dependent resources. Such as suburban land. Economic dislocations are never pretty, but have occurred in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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