What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

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fiksal
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by fiksal » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 06:45

Slightly disappointed, I hoped Masterbagger would brag about more inventive ways to pollute to the maximum.


Anyways, where are we at with the topic?

Besides voting for the right people, I just do what my city offers. I recycle in three batches : compost, recycle and trash. Our trash bag is relatively small in comparison.
My car isnt electric, but it's not a bad polluter. No more Mustang unfortunately.
I bike all the time to work instead of driving. Which is more of a personal choice rather than environmental, but it works.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Mightysword » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 07:26

pjknibbs wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 05:19
Sorry, but that's absolute cobblers. For a start, if you look at the breakdown of how the US generates its electricity, coal accounts for only just over a quarter (source: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3). You actually generate more than a third from nuclear and renewables.
Yes, I'm aware of that chart, it's the very same one I used to based my number on. I think I was pretty accurate since I was writing the value in fractional, or are you really call it's cobblers based on a few percentage points? Also please note that the number of coal is only this low because Obama basically spent 8 years trying to force choke it. We have no idea now that Trump released the hold, where it gonna be in a few years again is anyone guess.

Also look at this:
https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=CO#tabs-4

From the same website, you can look at where the power from my state (Colorado) come from. Just to quote the specific message if the graph wasn't clear enough: Over half of Colorado's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants,. And just to note, this not because we're a bunch of reckless environmental denial, Colorado is a Blue leaning state and we had make big gain in term of renewable energy. In fact, I'm fairly sure we have some of the most stringent air quality laws in the US. But that chart is "reality".

Also another reality check here, don't let that number about Green energy gain make you feel too good. Although it's certainly a reason for me to be proud of, quite a few of that contributed through "stat padding". When the 30% law went to effect, utility companies didn't know how to comply with it. So they come up with the idea of throwing out rebate/supplement to residents to install solar panel on our rooftop just so they can meet the state regulation, in another word: a few of that percentage point wasn't really infrastructure.
Secondly, power stations can be run at the point where they are most efficient at turning heat energy into useful work quite easily, whereas internal combustion engines usually have a fairly narrow rev range at which they're most efficient and it's practically impossible to keep them running in that sweet spot at all times, so overall efficiency of the ICE in a car will be lower.

Thirdly, power stations being large stationary structures means it's possible to build a lot of scrubbing technology into them in order to clean up the exhaust that simply isn't possible on a small, mobile thing like a car.
Your second point depends on a lot of variables: such as how old is the power plants, what type of coal it is burning, and what is the efficiency of the cars in question. To give you an idea, here is the list of the current coal fired plants in Colorado: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_p ... n_Colorado

Notice how old those Coal plants are? Also notice despite contributing half of the state power, they represent the smallest head count?

Now let's talk about car efficiency. I don't know much about the European market aside from Dieselgate, but in the US the term "fuel efficient cars" translated into "stay away from American car and get an Asian made". Now most people even outside of the US probably know about how Detroit went belly up during the last recession, but most also general contribute it to simply the economy down turn, the real reason is deeper than that. For years American company only chased after big but fuel efficiency car while pretty much ignore investment into the fuel economy market, the Asian manufacture pretty much dominated this section. When the recession happened, people tied their budget including the fuel budget so naturally they looked at other option, the American companies tried to switch their model only to realize they were about a couple "decades" behind in term of making a fuel efficient car. Naturally, they couldn't compete and collapsed while companies like Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan thrived. I don't know what kind of presence they have in the European market, I would suggest not to underestimate the gasoline efficient car in the US, especially when they also comply with a stricter standard here. When European spent the last few decade jerking off to Diesel and the American embracing power, Asian had been invested all that time in creating fuel efficiency cars. When I moved from a Chevrolet sedan to a Hyundai SUV, I end up using far less fuel.

Your third point is more like ... wishful thinking. Sure, if we're talking about SOA coal power plants running on 'clean' coal in relative to bad car. But if you want to extrapolation the point, then here is a case study for you: going back to the Colorado chart, it wasn't that bad (50% on coal) until recently. You know what made it like that now? Demand

After becoming the first state legalized pot, we received explosive population growth, so much that in one year we actually topped the US in term of how fast we grow (overtook Chicago). And guess who made the come back to meet that demand? Coal! My argument wasn't simply my own opinion, you can search for several researches for the cleanness of electric car when taking the macro elements of the economy into account. I'll give you the summary in the below quote, but look it up if you want the detail:
Assuming you get your wish, and everyone switch to hybrid/electric car, then what? The demand for energy will skyrocket, and where will the extra energy will come from to meet such demand?
Simply put, it won't come from Clean energy, not even nuclear power can possible meet it, and there is only one possible answer: fossil fuel. Which means it will just be a zero sum game. As always, it helps not to look at a problem in a limited view. I stand by what I say, no matter you think it "absolute cobblers" or not. Although being an American, I don't know much about that term. :P
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Masterbagger » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 08:54

fiksal wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 06:45
Slightly disappointed, I hoped Masterbagger would brag about more inventive ways to pollute to the maximum.


Anyways, where are we at with the topic?

Besides voting for the right people, I just do what my city offers. I recycle in three batches : compost, recycle and trash. Our trash bag is relatively small in comparison.
My car isnt electric, but it's not a bad polluter. No more Mustang unfortunately.
I bike all the time to work instead of driving. Which is more of a personal choice rather than environmental, but it works.


You reinforce my point by taking that bait. You just made me the object you can point at and condemn to feel righteous and you projected shit on me that isn't true in any form while you did it. That is a state that applies to all of our politicized issues. You crave an enemy. People in America desperately need an enemy to attack. I'm the closest guy you can point at that doesn't act like you so it's me. I'm not even bad here. I'm just average. Whatever, come at me.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Olterin » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 11:20

With regards to cars, I would like to point out that "shifting the problem around" might in itself be desirable, even if it doesn't (currently) deal with environmental issues. Electrical cars will make sure that cities won't suffer from smog and smog-related issues at all. This has increasingly been a problem. On top of that, it comes with the bonus of having the potential to concentrate the pollution problem and thus simplify the solution - it's much "simpler" to deal with only having to supply power from stationary sources than from mobile and stationary sources.

Also, I realize not everyone can opt not to have a car, especially in countries like the US, but surely using a more economical one that a fuel-guzzling old model is a net benefit to the environment. If you're holding on to an old car, be honest, at least part of the reason you haven't changed to a more modern, more efficient model is sentimental value.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by BugMeister » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 13:25

pretty sure people like Jay Leno would get all sentimental about it.. :lol:
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by fiksal » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 15:02

Masterbagger wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 08:54
You reinforce my point by taking that bait. You just made me the object you can point at and condemn to feel righteous and you projected shit on me that isn't true in any form while you did it. That is a state that applies to all of our politicized issues. You crave an enemy. People in America desperately need an enemy to attack. I'm the closest guy you can point at that doesn't act like you so it's me. I'm not even bad here. I'm just average. Whatever, come at me.
This isn't a Batman movie, I don't need you, I am not that sort of Batman.

And condemn I will, - you think global warming is a conspiracy.


Let's stay on topic of lessening the impact on environment. What you got?
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Observe » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 16:25

I think most will agree that global warming is happening and the effects will be devastating for many. The cause/s of global warming can be debated, but it is clear that human use of fossil fuels is at least a contributor.

If a person spends more money than they have, the obvious corrective action is to spend less until the budget is balanced. We learn this at an early age. It is simple mathematics.

Trouble is, due to the onslaught of climate change, our fossil fuel budget is zero. This means we must completely stop using coal for the production of electricity and we must reduce our electricity demand to the level produced by sustainable energy sources.

We can debate the merits of this car of that car, or how much air travel contributes to the problem, or whether everyone must stop eating meat etc., but the simply fact is we need to pull the plug immediately. Not slow down, but stop.

If we can get to the point of being stewards of our planet, instead of rapists of it, we can think about re-introducing cars and other forms of luxury transportation; based on whatever technology may exist in that future time.

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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Masterbagger » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 21:14

Olterin wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 11:20
With regards to cars, I would like to point out that "shifting the problem around" might in itself be desirable, even if it doesn't (currently) deal with environmental issues. Electrical cars will make sure that cities won't suffer from smog and smog-related issues at all. This has increasingly been a problem. On top of that, it comes with the bonus of having the potential to concentrate the pollution problem and thus simplify the solution - it's much "simpler" to deal with only having to supply power from stationary sources than from mobile and stationary sources.

Also, I realize not everyone can opt not to have a car, especially in countries like the US, but surely using a more economical one that a fuel-guzzling old model is a net benefit to the environment. If you're holding on to an old car, be honest, at least part of the reason you haven't changed to a more modern, more efficient model is sentimental value.
No car payments. Everything in life revolves around money. That is something I wish the climate discussion took more recognition of. Saying we should all go to electric cars is one thing. Doing it is well out of reach. There aren't enough for everyone and most people can't afford to just go out and get one on a whim. I'm not even sold on the idea. We can't provide power to all those electric cars without burning fossil fuels to do it. A huge chunk of the energy in that fuel is also lost between the point where it is burnt and when it arrives at your power outlet. I don't know if that is really better than just directly converting gas into work.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by fiksal » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 22:23

Observe wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 16:25
I think most will agree that global warming is happening and the effects will be devastating for many. The cause/s of global warming can be debated, but it is clear that human use of fossil fuels is at least a contributor.
Most - yes. But dont know how it's in other countries, the official word in USA right *now* is that neither climate change nor rising temperatures are real.
Observe wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 16:25
Trouble is, due to the onslaught of climate change, our fossil fuel budget is zero. This means we must completely stop using coal for the production of electricity and we must reduce our electricity demand to the level produced by sustainable energy sources.

We can debate the merits of this car of that car, or how much air travel contributes to the problem, or whether everyone must stop eating meat etc., but the simply fact is we need to pull the plug immediately. Not slow down, but stop.
That is appears to be the talk. So looks like the current debate is - how to mitigate the climate change, and how to adjust to it.

We knew it was going on in 2000 but then, at least in US, most politicians referred to it as a hoax, and that a global temperature had not and will not change. Even then I recall it might have been too late to completely reverse it, but not too late to prevent worst case scenario.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Mightysword » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 23:30

fiksal wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 22:23
Most - yes. But dont know how it's in other countries, the official word in USA right *now* is that neither climate change nor rising temperatures are real.
And for good or bad - in a true Federal system like the US - the official word can change very often - and usually doesn't mean a damn. The states can very often mitigate the majority of damage steaming from Federal level, it also works in the other manner though. Case in point: Trump has been in office for 3 years, and while he had reversed several thing policy wise, it haven't really change the trajectory of the nation as a whole when it comes to environment issues. So the "official stance" is just a stick to beat on a guy people hate.
Olterin wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 11:20
Also, I realize not everyone can opt not to have a car, especially in countries like the US, but surely using a more economical one that a fuel-guzzling old model is a net benefit to the environment. If you're holding on to an old car, be honest, at least part of the reason you haven't changed to a more modern, more efficient model is sentimental value.
I used public transportation for a good number of years in my life, and you know ... they were all jam-packed, in the morning and evening you can see bus after bus after bus arriving at station like every 5 minutes. We also have regional light rail system that see heavy usage. Our public transportation department constantly need more people, and by that I don't mean due to lack of funding, they need people. I don't think there have ever been a break in the last 5 years that they slowed down the recruitment afford. Hell couple years ago they start throwing in $2000 sign in bonus for driver and mechanics. Good benefit, and all the overtime you want. I know a driver worked for 20 years, and actually bought 2 houses and a piece of land with the money he earnt from driving the bus.

And from what I understand, this is the state of pretty much all the public transportation in major metro area in the US. So whenever I heard people say something like "we must encourage people to use public transportation!" it feels like preaching to a chord, people - those who can - already use it for the most part, where you can put the extra people? Strap them on the side of the bus? And also, given how spreadout the US population is (again, given how big this country is), you can't reasonably expect people to sit on a bus for a 2h commute. If you want people to give up their cars, you must give them an alternative mean to keep their jobs like ... trip that is 40+ miles should be accommodated by something like bullet trains. Sitting on a bus for 3h to get to the airport on the outskirt is ok as a once a while trip, but if you want people to take that trip everyday you better damn give them something like a monorail if you gonna tell them to stop using car. The reason I mentioned Japan earlier because of this:
Japan has an efficient public transportation network, especially within metropolitan areas and between the large cities. Japanese public transportation is characterized by its punctuality, its superb service, and the large crowds of people using it.
Do we have any of those? Big - fat - no. So to me, it's actually irritating to hear people say stuffs like "people need use public transportation more!" or "people should just give up their cars" because they are for the most part pointless drivel that demonstrate a lack of understanding of the anything else outside their own perspective. Worse, thing like "we should just ban people from driving car" not only show a lack of understanding, but also a complete lack of respect and consideration for others. You want a good way to drive people away from your cause? Just keep doing that, and then people wonder why no one listened to them. This is just a simple example btw, but this is a persistent problem with many of the current issue - sending the message. And not just the message itself, like I mentioned in my first post in this thread, sometime I feel the messages are directed at the wrong people.

Remember with the right word you can convince people even of a lie, so just saying "what I'm saying is the truth whether you like it or not" is a good way to convince ... nobody who are not already in agreement. Just like a councilor ain't gonna help anyone if he simply said "want a better life? Git guud!" (even though that's probably all it takes half of the time). That's why I always advise looking at any issue from multiple perspectives instead of being one dimensional about it.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Gavrushka » Sat, 17. Aug 19, 23:52

Oh Lord, what happened to this thread. 😫

I felt a tremendous sense of wellbeing as I thought up of a method to save humankind that no one has thought of, and then noticed the ravenous bugblatter beast had struck.

Anyhow, saving the world: Play all your games on the lowest graphic settings.

Or science could make The Happening a reality. That sure would lessen our impact on the environment. - Note saving the world is definitely a very different thing to saving humanity. They do kinda appear to be in opposition at the minute.
“Do nothing?” Raphael said? “You’re saying do nothing? No, I-”

“Michael shames us, and we should listen, Raphael. Our brother is suggesting we reflect for a while. Wisdom and haste are not siblings,” Gabriel said, his soft voice had a little edge to it this time. “We are being gently chastised, and rightly so. Let us observe for now, and act later. Mayhap one of us should go and see what She is up to.”

“She’s played no role in this,” Raphael said, “but I will go and see her.”

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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Mightysword » Sun, 18. Aug 19, 00:28

Best contribution in recent year is probably my veggie garden. Got it going for a few years now and it increase 50% in size each years.

- Rarely have to shop for veggie from August to December, aiming for fully independent once I figure out how to grow green in the summer.
- Have a green house to help with limited supply during winter months.
- Mix the soil myself, 100% compost + Coco coir (instead of peat) + grind volcanic rock.
- No pesticides or fertilizer. (Kinda have a semi aquaponic set up with my fishes).
- All heirloom seeded by myself during Jan-Feb.
- Try to get what I need from local farmer market.
- Kinda have a circle going with some of my colleagues, gonna be giving away my extra tomatoes this year for some squash.


What I can't do: convince my 70 years old dad from buying bottled water. Our household is guilty of releasing 48-72 plastic bottles to the landfill a month on average, and I don't know how to stop it. I even bought a water dispenser to use with the refillable 5gallon jug ... and end up being the only one using it. :(
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by fiksal » Sun, 18. Aug 19, 06:10

Mightysword wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 23:30
fiksal wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 22:23
Most - yes. But dont know how it's in other countries, the official word in USA right *now* is that neither climate change nor rising temperatures are real.
And for good or bad - in a true Federal system like the US - the official word can change very often - and usually doesn't mean a damn. The states can very often mitigate the majority of damage steaming from Federal level, it also works in the other manner though. Case in point: Trump has been in office for 3 years, and while he had reversed several thing policy wise, it haven't really change the trajectory of the nation as a whole when it comes to environment issues. So the "official stance" is just a stick to beat on a guy people hate.
But it's a valid stick, and valid sticks must be used, otherwise it's a waste of a stick.

Now, I am unsure what can local governments and States do on that matter. I am vaguely following on what they've done. And you are right, that some States have taken steps towards cleaner air, less fossil fuels, more recycling.

Reversing policies is changing trajectory, though, is it not? Of course it's a slow moving machine, will see how far it goes before it's changed again.

Gavrushka wrote:
Sat, 17. Aug 19, 23:52
Anyhow, saving the world: Play all your games on the lowest graphic settings.
I like that!

Mightysword wrote:
Sun, 18. Aug 19, 00:28
Best contribution in recent year is probably my veggie garden. Got it going for a few years now and it increase 50% in size each years.

- Rarely have to shop for veggie from August to December, aiming for fully independent once I figure out how to grow green in the summer.
- Have a green house to help with limited supply during winter months.
- Mix the soil myself, 100% compost + Coco coir (instead of peat) + grind volcanic rock.
- No pesticides or fertilizer. (Kinda have a semi aquaponic set up with my fishes).
- All heirloom seeded by myself during Jan-Feb.
- Try to get what I need from local farmer market.
- Kinda have a circle going with some of my colleagues, gonna be giving away my extra tomatoes this year for some squash.
Now that's a cool project, kudos.

How big is it?
Mightysword wrote:
Sun, 18. Aug 19, 00:28
What I can't do: convince my 70 years old dad from buying bottled water. Our household is guilty of releasing 48-72 plastic bottles to the landfill a month on average, and I don't know how to stop it. I even bought a water dispenser to use with the refillable 5gallon jug ... and end up being the only one using it. :(
Ooff. Yes, the bottled water scheme. Why does he think the bottle water is better? Old habbits?
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Alan Phipps » Sun, 18. Aug 19, 12:05

" .. 48-72 plastic bottles to the landfill a month on average .." You can recycle plastic bottles if you want to enough. Especially as natural land erosion over time can mean that landfill does not stay as landfill in some places.
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Re: What simple thing can you do to lessen your impact on the environment?

Post by Gavrushka » Sun, 18. Aug 19, 12:26

I haven't put a plastic bottle in household waste for over 10 years. - And those I don't recycle are because I've found another use for them. (I buy birdfeeders that screw into plastic bottles for instance.)

If you've access to a recycling bin or facility, there's no reason to put anything that can be recycled into a bin that's destined for landfill. (Or seafill as has just been pointed out.)
“Do nothing?” Raphael said? “You’re saying do nothing? No, I-”

“Michael shames us, and we should listen, Raphael. Our brother is suggesting we reflect for a while. Wisdom and haste are not siblings,” Gabriel said, his soft voice had a little edge to it this time. “We are being gently chastised, and rightly so. Let us observe for now, and act later. Mayhap one of us should go and see what She is up to.”

“She’s played no role in this,” Raphael said, “but I will go and see her.”

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