Friday, December 4, 2009

Thinking Environmentally

The environment has been very much in the news these days, or rather stories about people's opinion on environmental issues and whether they have validity. There is a recent article about a radical group that objects to fossil fuels of any kind and wants us to return to a individualistic agrarian society. They made headlines for getting arrested while attempting to halt the delivery of a coal generator destined for a energy plant in NC. Then you get the supposed Climate-gate news about leaked e-mails. These e-mails supposedly say that evidence submitted about climate change and the greenhouse effect is not as solid as has been largely accepted. Then there is the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen where leaders and scientist from around the world are planning to attend. I have issues with all three of these.

The first.

While I understand that we need to work at using cleaner sources of energy and that renewable sources such as solar, wind and others are hopefully the wave of the energy future, the infrastructure isn't here yet, and the rest of the world is likely far behind those nations who are beginning to implement them. While I also understand that small farms often produce high quality products, they cannot meet the needs of the billions of people on our planet that need to eat every day. On both there are solutions that people are trying very hard to research and implement while at the same time working to help our current system work better. What bothers me about such groups as Rising Tide is that they spend a lot of time and energy, protesting the very thing that allows them to do what they do. They use  electricity provided from coal or nuclear sources to access the internet for their websites, they need to travel, and most likely need to use automobiles to get to their locations. It is quite likely that many cannot produce all their own food, fibers for clothing or even household items like toilet paper and must visit a grocery store. If they are against all the things like they say, then stop using them.

The second

Then there is Climate-gate and those emails. Climatology is an interesting science. It is a bit like fortune telling, you make guesses based on things or trends in the past. Yet one cannot be quite sure things will turn out that way, because we really cannot foresee the future. So again time and energy, is going to be literally wasted as this gets hashed out in the press and the news. Imagine the kilowatt hours that are going to be burned up just "getting to the bottom" of this supposed scandal. Anyone else see the irony?

The third

Then there is the upcoming conference. There is already criticism about this as people fly, often on private planes to gather together. Here is a conference on saving energy, and the reduction of carbon emissions, and yet so much is going to be used just getting to and from Copenhagen, not to mention traveling around the city, using lights in motel rooms, meeting rooms and the conference hall, preparing all that food, cleaning up afterwards, etc. Again, anyone else see the irony?

I am very willing to try to be less of a polluter and try to take small steps to lessen my environmental footprint.  I know that I am not alone as more and more people try to find practical ways to save energy, and use more efficient sources of using that energy, as well as taking simple steps such as composting and recycling. Yet I do wonder at the waste that is being caused and the mixed messages being sent. Not by businesses, power plants, or manufacturing plants. Many of these entities are already working to implement things to reduce their energy footprint and be better stewards of our natural resources. I am thinking of the people who protest so mightily against these entities while still readily using them. I find it rather hypocritical.


David said...

This covers all the bases = saves you money, helps the environment, helps your health, makes you feel better, it's so easy to do and it costs less than $50.00; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time! Add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off” Available at with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! Don’t worry, you can still leave some out for guests and can even make it the soft stuff without feeling guilty. It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but remember the water use of industrial users far exceeds the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

S, Galloway said...

I allowed David's comment because it does show one way that someone could consider when it comes to thinking environmentally. While I am not one to allow advertisement style comments, this one does have some relevancy to the topic. It is a simple solution to reducing paper usage in one's home using a conversion process to make an inexpensive bidet. I've never used one of those, so I am completely NOT an expert on them, but this is certainly along the lines of looking at thinking green. If it works in a practical manner, of which I have no clue.

Granted toilet paper is often made from recycled paper and the paper industry is a big recycle they can still do better as paper recycling is not yet a perfect production method. However improvements have been made and no doubt will continue to be made.

Interestingly Tammy Stokes' Seeding Spartanburg blog is covering essentially the same topic. I am glad to see that we are discussing this important issue and sharing ideas. I am seeing some excellent ones. To read her blog, just look on my side bar of blogs that I follow.