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Certain environmentally friendly efforts aren’t that friendly, including recycling and electric cars


Calm

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For those of us interested in doing our part or seeing ourselves as stewards....

Sometimes the cost of producing the savings on the environment are as or more destructive than the original ‘who cares, I will be dead by then’ products.  I find this interesting not only because I would like to cutdown in wear and tear of the earth, but because it is interesting to me psychologically. 

Like charity to improve poverty and other complex human problems, being environmentally conscious takes work or you are going to end up making things worse. 
 

It seems humans prefer simple solutions even when that ends up being worse than the problem.

https://www.businessinsider.com/environmental-things-that-dont-help-the-way-you-think-2019-9

 For example plastic bags aren’t as bad as one would think compared to paper and reusable.  Using electric cars in many states is just pushing the use of fossil fuels back a stage due to electricity coming from coal plants, for example. 
 

 

Edited by Calm
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My wife and I are bigtime environmental "hippies", atleast that's what we call ourselves. I read the article you provided and trash is a big concern to me, I cant stand it, when I go fishing I carry a mesh bag and spend a good amount of time picking up trash. Here's some of the things we do as a family to help. We raise our own meat. We have over 150 animals. Our chickens eat all of our scraps, they eat everything, so no food goes into the trash. We are addicted to mason jars, everything we drink goes into mason jars and sometimes insulated stainless steel cups with stainless steel straws. I have 2 wood stoves that I heat with all winter, I've routed duct work to spread heat evenly throughout my house from the stove, no natural gas or electric needed to heat house. I get the wood for free and chop/cut it myself. I'm fortunate to get older solar panels for free because I remove a lot from roofs. I get all the equipment also included batteries and the inverter.  I'm not big into solar because a lot of what I have is junky stuff but instead of running the electricity produced into the panel box, I've ran wiring to all the lights and fans in the house so all of our lighting is free. 

     I agree with you that alot of what we do is making it worse. One thing I dont understand is how the electrical grid is going to handle all the electric cars being charged at night. That's alot of power, people seem to forget that power has to come from somewhere, if your not burning the fuel in your car,well, the power company is burning extra fuel to power your electric car at night. What happens in 30 years if 1/2 the cars are electric and the power grid goes down like it did in Texas, crazy to think about huh.

    Anyways, every little bit we can do helps, doesn't have to be crazy😁 like me and my wife.

 

 

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I live where wind is available and we have a few wind farms. I hear that windmills kill many birds and bats. Abandoned wind farms are now a problem. Companies got subsidies to put them up but nothing to maintain or dismantle . 

Personally I see long term power generation as nuclear , preferably thorium . Overcoming the " fear factor " will be the major difficulty. 

Want to make big money ? Figure out a good way to clean up the 'space junk ' there is whizzing around by the millions. we humans are a trashy bunch. 

4 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

everything we drink goes into mason jars 

Yeah, the preferred container for " white lightening " !!😁

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The WSJ once reported that the carbon footprint of an electric Prius was twice that of a Hummer.

Recycling doesn't work.   Plastic isn't getting recycled and third worlds are now refusing it.  Meanwhile two, rather that one, garbage trucks go through our neighborhood.  The cost of recycling plastics, cardboard and metals is far greater than original manufacturing costs. 

Half of Los Angeles's power comes from the two Delta plants in Utah.  With more electric vehicles there will be more demand to build a third plant.  (Voters rejected a third plant recently.)  These are coal fired plants, the dirtiest there is.

 

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5 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

My wife and I are bigtime environmental "hippies", atleast that's what we call ourselves. I read the article you provided and trash is a big concern to me, I cant stand it, when I go fishing I carry a mesh bag and spend a good amount of time picking up trash. Here's some of the things we do as a family to help. We raise our own meat. We have over 150 animals. Our chickens eat all of our scraps, they eat everything, so no food goes into the trash. We are addicted to mason jars, everything we drink goes into mason jars and sometimes insulated stainless steel cups with stainless steel straws. I have 2 wood stoves that I heat with all winter, I've routed duct work to spread heat evenly throughout my house from the stove, no natural gas or electric needed to heat house. I get the wood for free and chop/cut it myself. I'm fortunate to get older solar panels for free because I remove a lot from roofs. I get all the equipment also included batteries and the inverter.  I'm not big into solar because a lot of what I have is junky stuff but instead of running the electricity produced into the panel box, I've ran wiring to all the lights and fans in the house so all of our lighting is free. 

     I agree with you that alot of what we do is making it worse. One thing I dont understand is how the electrical grid is going to handle all the electric cars being charged at night. That's alot of power, people seem to forget that power has to come from somewhere, if your not burning the fuel in your car,well, the power company is burning extra fuel to power your electric car at night. What happens in 30 years if 1/2 the cars are electric and the power grid goes down like it did in Texas, crazy to think about huh.

    Anyways, every little bit we can do helps, doesn't have to be crazy😁 like me and my wife.

 

 

Call me impressed Mike!!

I try very hard to recycle everything (we have the trash bin for it that gets picked up) but wonder if it doesn't all end up in the landfill. I take my glass to another site nearby. I refill with water most of my empty plastic 2 liter bottles from my addiction of Diet Dr. Pepper, embarrassing, but they are the better option for storing water, milk jugs aren't the best and leak in time. 

In my neck of the woods, we usually can't burn in a wood burning fireplace because of air pollution in Utah, but if I could I'd get that in my home, love the smells, maybe not the cleanup.

I love that you have the land to raise the animals etc. Your children don't believe meat just comes from the freezer at the store, pretty sure! But that the animals sacrifice their lives to feed them.

You and Calm have a point about the electrical cars. I was all for it, until I read things like you've mentioned. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

In my neck of the woods, we usually can't burn in a wood burning fireplace because of air pollution in Utah, but if I could I'd get that in my home, love the smells, maybe not the cleanup.

They have EPA approved wood stoves that most places let you use, very efficient as long as the wood is dry. And yes, clean up sucks, but the ash is good for the garden. 

14 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I love that you have the land to raise the animals etc. Your children don't believe meat just comes from the freezer at the store, pretty sure! But that the animals sacrifice their lives to feed them.

I make, and I mean make😁, my girls collect eggs and pluck chickens. I butcher them now, that didnt go over very well.

16 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

You and Calm have a point about the electrical cars. I was all for it, until I read things like you've mentioned. 

I personally think electric cars are a great idea and definitely the future. But, it takes alot of electricity to charge them. I think our electric grid needs a lot of work before most of the cars on the road are electric. 

    Also, I cant stand plastic grocery bags. They're everywhere I go while wade fishing. 

 

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5 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

They have EPA approved wood stoves that most places let you use, very efficient as long as the wood is dry. And yes, clean up sucks, but the ash is good for the garden. 

I make, and I mean make😁, my girls collect eggs and pluck chickens. I butcher them now, that didnt go over very well.

I personally think electric cars are a great idea and definitely the future. But, it takes alot of electricity to charge them. I think our electric grid needs a lot of work before most of the cars on the road are electric. 

    Also, I cant stand plastic grocery bags. They're everywhere I go while wade fishing. 

 

I hate plastic grocery bags as well. When I've done pick up for groceries during the pandemic, and I hate shopping, they use different and stouter bags, I felt so guilty. I do return them to the Smith's store, my hometown store, and they recycle them. Recently the food pantries for those in need, have put out the message that they are in desperate need of them, so that will be my go to place as well. 

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

For those of us interested in doing our part or seeing ourselves as stewards....

Sometimes the cost of producing the savings on the environment are as or more destructive than the original ‘who cares, I will be dead by then’ products.  I find this interesting not only because I would like to cutdown in wear and tear of the earth, but because it is interesting to me psychologically. 

Like charity to improve poverty and other complex human problems, being environmentally conscious takes work or you are going to end up making things worse. 
 

It seems humans prefer simple solutions even when that ends up being worse than the problem.

https://www.businessinsider.com/environmental-things-that-dont-help-the-way-you-think-2019-9

 For example plastic bags aren’t as bad as one would think compared to paper and reusable.  Using electric cars in many states is just pushing the use of fossil fuels back a stage due to electricity coming from coal plants, for example. 
 

 

Mostly true but I would add that decrying electric cars because it relies on more polluting power plants is more a suggestion to transition out of the more polluting power plants and into something else. Green energy still has road ahead of it before it is viable to use for everything but we shouldn’t end research and development on electric cars because the process of powering them still relies on what will hopefully soon become obsolete processes.

The individual consumer recycling campaigns are a double-edged sword. They can have a mild impact but they also ignore that consumers reducing emissions in small ways is not enough to matter much at all. The problem needs systemic (and costly) change.

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12 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

The individual consumer recycling campaigns are a double-edged sword. They can have a mild impact but they also ignore that consumers reducing emissions in small ways is not enough to matter much at all. The problem needs systemic (and costly) change.

Why is California which is aggressively "pro-green" deliberately neglecting its power grids?  As if to introduce ever more scarcities?  And lowering the quality of life for its citizens?  Why has it repeatedly subjected its citizens to massive fires when it is the policy not to groom underbrush and thin out dead trees?  Why not allow cultivation of forests so as to make fires less hot and confined to smaller areas?  Why did it not mandate replacement of worn-out wind farms (limited service duration of 20 or more years)?

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In my neck of the woods, we usually can't burn in a wood burning fireplace because of air pollution in Utah, but if I could I'd get that in my home, love the smells, maybe not the cleanup.

Unfortunately not everyone loves the smell...well, actually I love the smell, but it triggers migraines in me and worst ones in my daughter (I get pain, she throws up).  There is someone who has been burning a few times a week and the wind must shift at night because I have to scramble out of bed and slam the window shut at the first hint of smoke.  (I sleep in a cold room which means window fan going even in winter, I think I have turned it off because it got too cold maybe three times this year).

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2 minutes ago, longview said:

Why is California which is aggressively "pro-green" deliberately neglecting its power grids?  As if to introduce ever more scarcities?  And lowering the quality of life for its citizens?  Why has it repeatedly subjected its citizens to massive fires when it is the policy not to groom underbrush and thin out dead trees?  Why not allow cultivation of forests so as to make fires less hot and confined to smaller areas?  Why did it not mandate replacement of worn-out wind farms (limited service duration of 20 or more years)?

No politics please...though very important questions.

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28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Mostly true but I would add that decrying electric cars because it relies on more polluting power plants is more a suggestion to transition out of the more polluting power plants and into something else.

Research is pushed by showing there is a market for it, so in no way am I suggesting give up on stuff.  Am suggesting take the time to educate yourself rather than just do something that someone is promoting to make you feel better. 
 

To the comment on Thorium plants, my husband knows someone who is working in that (UVU was/is? involved).  If it works, sounds like a game changer...but we have been there before.  :)  

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10 minutes ago, longview said:

Why is California which is aggressively "pro-green" deliberately neglecting its power grids?  As if to introduce ever more scarcities?  And lowering the quality of life for its citizens?  Why has it repeatedly subjected its citizens to massive fires when it is the policy not to groom underbrush and thin out dead trees?  Why not allow cultivation of forests so as to make fires less hot and confined to smaller areas?  Why did it not mandate replacement of worn-out wind farms (limited service duration of 20 or more years)?

Forget it Jake, it's California.

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Maybe once they are having tourist trips to space on a regular basis, they can offer bonus spacewalks to pick up souvenirs (people paying to pick up trash, nice marketing scheme, don’t you think ;) ).

Someone needs to figure out how to harness mini black holes. 

Edited by Calm
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47 minutes ago, Calm said:

Maybe once they are having tourist trips to space on a regular basis, they can offer bonus spacewalks to pick up souvenirs (people paying to pick up trash, nice marketing scheme, don’t you think ;) ).

Someone needs to figure out how to harness mini black holes. 

Maybe the environment could have an impact or even cause the world to be no more. Just today I heard that one day people want to send up dna from several species like humans, plants, animals or ? And it will be encapsulated or in a freezer so that mankind can continue. https://www.livescience.com/proposed-lunar-ark-for-biodiversity.html#:~:text=Learn more-,Scientists want to store DNA of 6.7 million,the moon%2C just in case&text=Scientists believe the endeavor could,the survival of their genes.

A "lunar ark" hidden inside the moon's lava tubes could preserve the sperm, eggs and seeds of millions of Earth's species, a group of scientists has proposed.

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58 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Just today I heard that one day people want to send up dna from several species like humans, plants, animals or ? And it will be encapsulated or in a freezer so that mankind can continue.

That has been a standard of sci-fi for forever. :)

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Mostly true but I would add that decrying electric cars because it relies on more polluting power plants is more a suggestion to transition out of the more polluting power plants and into something else. Green energy still has road ahead of it before it is viable to use for everything but we shouldn’t end research and development on electric cars because the process of powering them still relies on what will hopefully soon become obsolete processes.

The individual consumer recycling campaigns are a double-edged sword. They can have a mild impact but they also ignore that consumers reducing emissions in small ways is not enough to matter much at all. The problem needs systemic (and costly) change.

And who recycles all the worn-out batteries? How much pollution does making those batteries produce?

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