8 Signs You’re Not the Environmentalist You Think You Are

Oct 24, 2016

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Being the conscientious and considerate person that you are, you’re trying to be an environmentally friendly consumer. You read on the internet that farming is part of the problem, so you shop only for local organic produce at Whole Foods, and as for GMOs? Ain’t nobody got time for that. You donate to PETA and Greenpeace whenever they’re holding up signs outside your local supermarket and you’ve been buying the coffee labeled “environmentally friendly” and “toxin-free” and “not harvested with blood diamonds or dragon labor.” To reduce carbon emissions, you’ve signed a petition to keep a nuclear plant out of the state and to keep clean coal running strong. You’ve even had a conversation or two about installing some solar panels.

And goddamnit, you drive a Prius.

You’re doing everything you can to help protect our planet, right?


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57 comments on “8 Signs You’re Not the Environmentalist You Think You Are

  • @OP – You read on the internet that farming is part of the problem, so you shop only for local organic produce at Whole Foods, and as for GMOs? Ain’t nobody got time for that. You donate to PETA and Greenpeace whenever they’re holding up signs outside your local supermarket and you’ve been buying the coffee labeled “environmentally friendly” and “toxin-free” and “not harvested with blood diamonds or dragon labor.” To reduce carbon emissions, you’ve signed a petition to keep a nuclear plant out of the state and to keep clean coal running strong. You’ve even had a conversation or two about installing some solar panels.

    This sounds like the classic strawman environmentalist caricature erected by the superficial media!

    Selecting “Fair Trade” products, might be a bit more realistic as an environmental and producer friendly move!

    http://www.fairtradeusa.org/products-partners/coffee?gclid=COT6h-_A888CFYoy0wodlroGLw#



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  • Al Gore did very much to raise the red flag for global warming and climate change. But, he was a “limousine liberal”. This is the trouble with many of the “environmentalist” folks. They espouse the right opinions while violating the very tenets they want others to adhere to.

    Case in point, Al Gore flew coast to coast and intercontinentally on a private jet while he told me to ride my fucking bike to work. I live one mile from my parking spot at work…. one mile. His crusade actually added probably a BILLION times more carbon to the atmosphere than I have collectively in my entire life.

    This clear “do as i say not as i do” mentality weakens the cause and dilutes the message.

    The other axe i have to grind revolves around performing acts or terrorism in the name of “saving some thing you hold dear” or “raising awareness for some cause you believe in”… If we all did that, we’d be the republican party. Do your shit the right way. The peaceful and well thought out way. Be a beacon for how to get shit done the right way. WRONG IS WRONG EVEN IF IT HELPS YOU.



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  • I take on board the clever jabs at celebrities who pound their chests and sound off like Tarzan about their commitment to environmental virtues while over-consuming and leaving a carbon footprint like King Kong.
    The blindside to the yucking up is that the little people contribute much more in their collective resource consumption, pollution, environmental destruction and carbon footprints than a handful of profligate giants of stardom.

    We all drive ICE cars, heat our homes in winter and cool them in summer, and book multiple jet airline flights annually. It does not take a statistical genius to calculate average per capita consumption and pollution measurements given accurate data for a specific population class. Aspirations for higher standards of living probably infects over 95% of the world’s people, especially the 70% or so who live in poverty, near poverty or downright shabby austerity. It does not take a statistical genius to recognize that the most decisive way to reduce per capita consumption and pollution is to reduce global population.



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  • Forget Bitcoin or the Pound Sterling / US Dollar exchange rate. There’s a new currency in town that can trade with all the majors. Grand Children. Every decision you make, every breath you take, determines whether you are killing your grand children or saving them. On a scale from -10 to +10, your decisions are measured. The cost of those decisions have consequences. If you a profligate user and waster of the world’s resources, you are killing your grand children. Despite the digs from the article, if you are trying to live a small footprint on planet earth, then you are saving your grand children. I darn my socks. A way of thinking.

    The celebrity environmentalist has a place. Sadly, it should be self evident that the way we run the planet now is not sustainable, and every homo sapiens on the planet, being born with the potential to deduce rational decisions, should automatically be supporting a drive to have the planet sustainable and civilized for the next 1000 years. But sadly… when “god” grabbed that hunk of clay, it was defective and most of humanity including the rich western world, aren’t capable of making decisions with a use by date greater than 7 days. But these same people are star struck by celebrities. So if Leonardo says it, it must be good. All power to the message.

    To his credit, Al Gore put global warming on the map for Americans. The rest of the civilized world new global warming was already a problem, but the Americans didn’t. With all his flaws and the defects in an Inconvenient Truth, he still firmly put global warming on the American political agenda. To his credit.



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  • @Crooked #3

    None of us are doing ALL we can—I can almost guarantee it. And some of that (a big part, in my book) is because the footprint-friendly options just aren’t as readily available as we’d all like to see, and those that are usually cost more.

    Still, my hat goes off to Gore for bringing the dialogue to the national ‘table.’ And DiCaprio is hosting a special on Oct 30. I look forward to seeing if it adds to the discussion. We need these guys to keep our attention on the issue. I hope they keep it up.

    http://www.ecowatch.com/leonardo-dicaprio-before-the-flood-2062971522.html



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  • Vicki,

    I get it, really, I do. And, perhaps surprisingly, I agree with you. I also agree, wholeheartedly, that everyone (with me in the lead) could and should be doing more. The men and women who head up “the face” of this could easily loan their fame to something else and for their time and effort, I am respectfully thankful. The thing is, we could and should employ technology to offset the things I pointed out in my earlier post because I think it gives fodder for the other side to be (correctly) critical. I just think there are better ways and setting an example is a quite powerful way to support a cause.



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  • “Contrary to rumors, organic farming uses pesticides”. Pesticide-free is the very definition of organic. People eat organically because it is gentler on the environment not just for their personal health. This woman presented no evidence for her counter-intuitive statements.

    There are so many anti-environmentalists: Republicans, corporate drones, talk show hosts, gun nuts… pretty well everyone else deserves to be called an honourary environmentalist.



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  • greenpeace is on the front line
    mistakes are made on front lines
    but they are the boots on the ground
    and boats in the arctic
    taking on gazprom for publicity is dangerous
    more power to them
    this cosmo article sucks



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  • Roedy #9
    Oct 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    “Contrary to rumors, organic farming uses pesticides”.

    Pesticide-free is the very definition of organic.

    Organic farmers and gardeners do use organic pesticides, which are derived from minerals and herbal extracts.

    http://www.appropedia.org/Organic_pesticides
    Organic pesticides are pesticides made from naturally occurring substances or self-made mixtures made from organic soaps and/or ethanol.

    The bald claim that organic farmers use pesticides, is wilful deception regarding organic farmers’ avoidance or persistent toxic synthetic organophosphate and organochloride insecticides, which are very slow to break down, and accumulated in food chains of predators of the pests doing serious environmental damage.

    People eat organically because it is gentler on the environment not just for their personal health.

    That is indeed the nature of organic farming and the use of basic environment friendly pest control.

    This woman presented no evidence for her counter-intuitive statements.

    Had she presented evidence, the biased, deceptive, cherry-picking, would have been immediately obvious!



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  • Environmentalists are false prophets until they recognize the root cause of the “problems” they complain about. Environmental degradation in all its antrhopogenic manifestations remains mired in the systemic overbreeding of human populations. Human nature loves to dramatize and aggrandize the importance of our narcississtic role played out center stage at the center of the universe. We seldom glimpse ourselves as another animal endowed with uniquely inventive power to produce monstrous filth befouling the entire planet – land, water and sky.

    The perennial delusion: If only “others” would follow the lead of our starstruck sanitized super-heroes, Al and Leonardo, then they and their redeemed fans could -dare I say it- save the world.



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  • @Melvin #15

    Melvin, you’re badly off-target describing Leonardo and Al as false prophets. They have each correctly attributed the cause of climate change to our carbon emissions. Neither of them promote the delusional belief that population controls can meaningfully assist. That seems to be a diversion or delaying tactic employed by those who religiously fail to recognize the urgency to act now.

    Critics exhibiting contempt for those who argue in support of the climate scientists are politically motivated Deniers, or are simply envious. Gore and di Caprio do appreciate the urgency. Deniers frequently call them “warmists” and self-describe their obstinate ignorance as being scepticism. Excessive population is also a problem, but one that will self-correct with education.



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  • Melvin #15
    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Environmentalists are false prophets until they recognize the root cause of the “problems” they complain about. Environmental degradation in all its antrhopogenic manifestations remains mired in the systemic overbreeding of human populations.

    We have been over this before.
    While over-population is a serious problem, it is levels of (mainly industrial) pollution and levels of consumption, which are the direct causes of climate change and environmental damage.
    Population levels are only indirect causes, and are in proportion to their levels of consumption and pollution.
    Many populations have a very low impact per head of population in comparison to others.



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  • it is levels of (mainly industrial) pollution and levels of consumption, which are the direct causes of climate change and environmental damage.
    Population levels are only indirect causes, and are in proportion to their levels of consumption and pollution.

    Replacing “indirect” with “direct” we’d be saying the same thing. Levels of industrial pollution have been dramatically reduced going forward from the 1970s with inventions of cleaner and cleaner technology and environmental clean-up projects. The impact of overconsumption, if not the “levels” themselves, has also been
    sharply reduced, but increasing global populations and the emergence of high-production, high[er] consumption, high-growth economies in developing world giants like China has not only retarded progress but also prolifereated pollution, resource depletion, CO2 emissions on a global scale.

    We humans -and I mean everyone including myself- put our immediate needs and the needs of family and friends first. We bond more dilutely with larger reference groups: community, state, nation and geopolitical allies. More generally we are programmed like all intelligent animal species to identify intimately with our own kind, placing ourselves mythologically at the center of the universe. Capable of language and strong emotional connections we have developed justifiable imperatives like “preserving, nourishing, and prolonging precious human life” that implement human, especially our own personal needs and interests; activities and projects at the expense of long-term sustainable environments. If collectively we choose to overbreed, the “precious human lives” spreading out over more and more of the Earth’s inhabitable or desirable territory will see to it that their needs, and desires for an ever higher standard of living are met whatever the exploitation of the environment.

    Paradoxically, our conviction of the “precious-priceless value” of human life juxtaposed with our destructive collective animal behavior internalizes a stubborn sense of embarassment about “telling couples how many children to have” underscoring anthropocentric oblivion to what we are clearly doing to our planet. We should turn away from idealizing “stars” who excite our dramatic imaginations when they hypocritically advocate conservation, abstinence or frugal consumption while they promote a sumptuous lifestyle fans effectively strive to emulate worldwide.



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  • Quarecuss

    greenpeace is on the front line

    mistakes are made on front lines

    Too many for me. I had to leave them. They get in their own way as idealists, rather than pragmatic engineers of social change. Oppositional forces are more rapidly overcome if co-opted into an evolutionary path, so their own resources can be progressively diverted to the good. This means having plans for oil and gas companies in transition.

    They consistently fail to see how invention in business models are the levers that need more pulling. Greenpeace should be advocating quite general economic reform policies (favouring long term invetments and compound business formation) rather than bitty green-branded, bonds and institutions.

    This shouldn’t be about add-ons but grander infrastructure change that allows value to be more fully realised over greater spans of time and across multiple commercial endeavours. It should embrace entirely, sustainability as the over-arching imperative and seek to promote the circular economy as the new paradigm.

    http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/about/our-manifesto-20091009



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  • 21
    bonnie2 says:

    @ #7 – DiCaprio Special, 30 October

    YouTube > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90CkXVF-Q8M

    Missed it, but did view first minutes of preceding NatGeo program…

    David Letterman explores India’s use of (dirty) diesel generators when electricity cuts out (apparently often), and a solar panel business owner explains the fight (political) against solar, esp. in Nevada.



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  • 22
    bonnie2 says:

    The new car wash in my neighborhood has electricity sucking, noise pollution producing, dryers. Not needed at all, unless the temp. is below freezing.

    To reduce palm oil consumption, perhaps photos of orphaned orangutans stuck to each product could help.



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  • 23
    rocket888 says:

    I live in L.A. and about 30 minutes by car to the beach. I bought a bus pass thinking I could go to the beach via public trans. Well, there’s a website to compute the best bus routes and I plugged in my Santa Monica destination and not only did I have to switch buses a few times, but the one way time was 2 1/2 hours at best. So, pretty much the beach is out unless you enjoy riding the bus all day. Also, for non rush hour bus rides, its on average about 1 bus per hour.

    I grew up in Philadelphia, and there they do have good bus and subway systems. However, Philly would fit into any of the L.A. communities like maybe Pasadena. And I’m not even talking about Orange County. So, a Prius would seem to be the greenest solution, unless of course you add up all of what goes into making the batteries.



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  • @Rocket888 #23

    I do not own a car; I live 1.6 miles from work, and usually walk. However, in inclement weather I take the bus. I actually have to allow myself more time to take the bus, because of run times and routes.

    Mass transportation (at least where I live) is so inconvenient I can’t imagine why anyone would use it if they didn’t have to.



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  • Vicki #24
    Oct 31, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I suppose I am particularly fortunate in my choice of home.
    We have 8 buses per hour to town through our village during the day, with them branching out to get there via three different routes.



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  • @Alan #25

    Out of curiosity, have you used any of them, and if so, did you time the difference between mass trans and a personal vehicle?

    It’s a peeve with me: if mass trans could be more user-friendly, would it be possible to get some of the vehicles off the road? Would it improve road wear-and-tear? Congestion? Air quality? Insurance rates? Accident rates?



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  • Vicki #26
    Nov 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Out of curiosity, have you used any of them, and if so, did you time the difference between mass trans and a personal vehicle?

    They usually take about half an hour to town, except when traffic is dire in rush hours. Because we have so many, if they are running late, you can sometimes catch the previous one running late in place of the planned one.
    It is also much easier to get one back out of town, as they all leave from the same main bus station, whereas in the village the stops are on different streets.

    As far as comparisons with a car goes, that depends on the time of day. At off-peak times a car is faster, but in rush-hours the buses have designated priority lanes, so they bypass the jams and are quicker. There can also be problems with finding pay parking spaces in town, although there is not this problem with out of town shopping centres and shopping malls which have their own car parks.

    In the UK there are also free bus passes for pensioners to use at off-peak times.

    When I work in town I use the bus and do not worry about parking.
    I also do small easy to carry shopping in the market or department stores in town.

    For big shopping, I drive to the out of town shopping malls or retail sites.

    We also have small village shops, a post-office, 2 bank machines, two convenience stores, 3 takeaways (Fish and chips, Indian, Chinese) , a dentist, a doctors, a hairdressers, a cafe, an Italian restaurant, and 3 pubs, within easy walking distance. The nearest farm is about half a mile away.

    We do not have direct access to metro-trains or main-line trains, but the buses connect with one intercity mainline station and three Metro-stations.
    The Metro trains also connect to the airport.

    I did pick the location carefully when I bought my house.



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  • Worst article I have read in months. Hateful. Godawful. Sounds like Rush Limbaugh on steroids. She has everything backwards. Cosmopolitan. No wonder.

    Grass fed, free-range meat is better. More humane treatment and it doesn’t have all those hormones. Organic vegetables aren’t sprayed with all those chemicals.

    Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), which is mentioned in the piece, causes cancer, and, yes, is good for the eyes. Research this stuff before you start stuffing your face with vitamin A. (Right, Steven 007?)

    PETA kills animals? Blame the organization for what it is trying to prevent. Typical.

    DiCaprio. He’s a professional actor – and a very good one. He has spoken out on the environment. So what?

    I like Gore.

    I will say this: the importance of recycling is misleading. Every little bit does not help – very much. This is a governmental problem we’re dealing with. You can save paper; but the timber industry is going to do what it does. Save gas; the fossil fuel industry is still going to do what it does. And some products are marked “organic” and shouldn’t be; that’s a marketing gimmick. There is a lot of that I am sure.

    We need evidence, not diatribes and more conspiracy theories.

    This article should never have been published. It is biased. (Oh yes! That’s precisely why it was published!)



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  • Dan #28
    Nov 1, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), which is mentioned in the piece, causes cancer, and, yes, is good for the eyes. Research this stuff before you start stuffing your face with vitamin A. (Right, Steven 007?)

    Of course the simple way to get this vitamin A is to eat carrots or tomatoes.

    http://www.livescience.com/52487-carotenoids.html

    Foods that are high in carotenoids include squash, carrots, grapefruit, oranges and apricots.



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  • Re: Yvette d’eEntremont

    Here is some stuff about this corrupt woman who wrote this slimy article. It’s taken from a blogger who calls herself “Food Babe”. (Vani Hari) I trust her. I trust “food babe”. She has feuded with d’entremont, who calls herself “science babe”. I don’t trust “science babe”.

    She is undoubtedly pro-chemical and pro-GMO and has proven this fact over and over again but her background might be the most convincing. Her name is Yvette d’Entremont and when she started the “Science Babe” facebook page and business, she worked for Amvac Chemical, as reported in the Seattle Times, “Amvac Chemical in Los Angeles has found a profitable — and controversial — niche by buying manufacturing rights to older pesticides, many of them at risk of being banned or restricted because of safety concerns”. Yes, you read that right, a company that sells dangerous and unsafe chemicals for profit.

    And here’s a letter Ms. Hari received and presented on her blog, for what it’s worth:

    After she [d’eEntremont] started her blog, she reportedly was terminated from Amvac. See email below I received from her ex-colleague here:

    “Dear Vani, I am a research professional of some standing and for that reason I have chosen to use an assumed name. I have been following the progress of Yvette Guinevere d’Entremont (aka ScienceBabe) with some interest as she is a former colleague. I would like to impart some interesting information to you, which may use this for whatever purpose you see fit. What I am about to tell you is easily verifiable. Good science is based on producing original work and publishing in a peer reviewed context, self published armchair science as scibabe.com is peddling gives science a bad name. Taking swipes at the work and opinions of others is not science, unless you have original data that draws other work into question. What makes you and her different is that you don’t claim to be a scientist. If you have solid reasoning, you don’t need to be vitriolic in your posts as science babe is, with much of her abuse directed towards you. Some colleagues and I do not feel this is appropriate, we don’t like bullying, and so here are several easily verifiable facts about science babe that you may wish to point out to her next time you appear in her twitter/blog crosshairs: 1) Yvette Guinevere d’Entremont has no peer reviewed scientific publications. 2) Her master’s thesis from Anglia Ruskin University was not deemed of sufficient quality for publication. 3) Her claim that she was a college professor is laughable, she was an assistant instructor (one level above a TA) at Emmanuel College in Boston for less than 1 year. 4) She is currently being terminated from her position at Amvac for her activities on Scibabe. A description from a senior colleague on seeing Scibabe.com perhaps sums her up best “she’s not a scientist, she’s a professional button pressor for a scientific company. I could have a talented undergraduate doing her job in less than 2 days”. For obvious reasons I’m not going to put a name to that quote. There’s nothing I’ve revealed here that can’t be easily verified. If I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the email I have listed on this page. Kind regards.”



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  • Dan #31

    I don’t trust “science babe”.

    It looks like you have identified “pseudo-science babe”!

    As you would see @#1 she has invented a strawman caricature environmentalist in this article.



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  • Bonnie #21

    I watched DiCaprio’s special; it was more alarmist than informational. But I guess that was the goal.

    There was only one very small segment on a single manufacturer (Tesla) who was operating based on a global climate threat. I would have liked to have seen more. And there was the alarmist approach to shifting populations, but no mention of overpopulation.

    I like the idea of a carbon tax. Nothing gets your attention faster than money.

    It is inconceivable to me that a presidential candidate can have climate denial as one of his planks.



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  • Sorry. Meant Vickie.
    Alarmism has its place. People are like ostriches.
    Information is good too. But Gore and others gave us that. We still have Trump and his supporters.



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  • The deniers are now being confronted by environmental realities where the worst polluters dominate, with problems aggravated by a legal failure to regulate air quality!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-37887937

    Delhi’s chief minister has shut all schools in the Indian capital for three days as its citizens struggle with choking smog.

    After an emergency cabinet meeting, Arvind Kejriwal promised a raft of measures to combat the extreme air pollution.

    All construction and demolition work has been banned for five days in the city.

    Water will also be sprinkled on main roads to help suppress dust.

    Mr Kejriwal advised Delhi-ites to stay indoors as much as possible and work from home if they can.

    Other measures announced by the government include fighting fires at landfill sites, and shutting down the coal-based Badarpur power plant.

    About 1,800 municipal schools had already been shut in the capital on Saturday because of pollution.

    The move came after levels of PM2.5 – tiny particles that can clog people’s lungs – soared to over 90 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization (WHO) and 15 times the Indian government’s norms.

    Hundreds of people wearing face masks held protests at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar monument on Sunday, sharing their fears and frustrations on social media using the hashtag #MyRightToBreathe

    Mr Kejriwal called on India’s national government to help control the smog which has enveloped the city since Diwali.

    The Hindu Festival of Lights is widely celebrated with fireworks, which release soot and dust into the air.

    During the winter months, Delhi’s pollution is aggravated by many of the city’s poor burning rubbish at night to stay warm.

    Agricultural waste is also set on fire around Delhi to clear cropland, and burns for days on end. Technically such fires are banned, but attempts to impose cash fines on farmers who break the law have done little to stop them.

    Delhi’s air pollution levels have been a concern for some time, and the Indian capital has vied with Beijing for the unwanted title of “world’s most polluted city”.

    The Delhi government has tried various schemes to contain the problem, including a crackdown on diesel vehicles, and a car rationing scheme where those with odd and even registration numbers were banned from the roads on alternate days.

    Air pollution is a leading cause of premature death in India. WHO figures show that about 620,000 people perish every year from pollution-related diseases.

    As usual, desperation and prioritising religious thinking, helped to make matters worse!



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  • Alan #37

    One of the neglected points in DiCaprio’s documentary was overpopulation. He talks to some Indians about their immediate needs vs global warming, and not once is India’s population mentioned as part of the problem.

    I will concede that first-world consumption is the root cause, and the need to switch over to renewable energy is the single most important action needed to minimize the damage, but overpopulation, IMO, is also a huge part of the needed corrective action.

    And I still say implement a carbon tax. The sooner the better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia5fMomBXbE



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  • Vicki,

    Currently it takes ten Indians to out emit an American. Rich Indians will not begin to match the average American in emissions and will have careers and modest family sizes. Poor Indians, the one’s with burgeoning families will remain comparatively modest in atmospheric global impact and are not as collectively burdensome except for needing humanitarian help.



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  • Phil

    All true, which I willingly concede. But that is not my point; my concern is the impact of overpopulation on global warming.

    If you watched the video, the first part implied the use of coal for much-needed electricity for 1.25 billion people. The need would be proportionately less for a smaller population. And I would stress that applies in any country, including the U.S.

    Remember too, that the world’s coastlines are also the most heavily populated. As the sea level rises, migration will become an issue, as will droughts in agricultural economies.



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  • Vicki, I understand those concerns of low lying land which are exactly the tragedy awaiting the poor. The rich live in safer more expensive (and elevated) areas. But-

    CO2 is entirely a rich person’s fault and a poor person’s problem….wherever they live in the world.

    Population growth now is a temporary product of improved health and an ongoing product of poverty. This latter a generous response from the rich could solve. Allowing more menial manufacturing jobs to go to the poor overseas is the fastest way to bring an end to grinding poverty and drop birthrates. Unequal countries like the US and UK could allow this to happen if they took much better care of their own (voting!) poorer folk. The uber rich in the rich countries are the key to all of this. Their recent theft of an unfair share of the pie (from Reagan and Thatcher onwards) IS our stumbling block to fixing the planet in a timely manner.



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  • Phil

    You are 100% correct, dad gummit.

    Except: I’d say the stumbling block isn’t so much the theft, as their unwillingness to admit it and atone for it.



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  • Olgun #44
    Nov 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

    norway-to-ban-the-sale-of-all-fossil-fuel-based-cars-by-2025 and replace-with-electric-vehicles

    They are already way ahead on other fronts!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renewable_energy_in_Norway

    Norway is a heavy producer of renewable energy, first of all due to good resources in hydropower. Over 99% of the electricity production in mainland Norway is covered by hydropower plants.
    The total production of electricity from hydropower plants amounted to 135.3 TWh in 2007[1]
    There is also a large potential in wind power, offshore wind power[2] and wave power, as well as production of bio-energy from wood.

    They also have plans to export electricity to Britain and Germany though under-sea cables.



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  • They also have plans to export electricity to Britain and Germany though under-sea cables.

    Over 12TWh pa from 2021 via an HVDC link. The plan existed long ago but was considered too expensive or too lossy. New HVDC technology resurrected it, delivering high performance at low enough cost.

    A half sized cable, Icelink, bringing hydro and geothermal from Iceland looks increasingly likely. If successful we might see a substantial uplift in geothermal production from Iceland and the start of installing wind turbines. Wind resources on the island are huge but untapped having something of a local glut of energy.

    Currently aluminium companies use most of the power and have Iceland over a barrel. Timely sales to the UK allow them to get better value for the power and provide a bargaining tool to increase returns. Higher returns means more infrastructure investment.



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  • VICKI: Phil
    All true, which I willingly concede. But that is not my point; my concern is the impact of overpopulation on global warming.
    If you watched the video, the first part implied the use of coal for much-needed electricity for 1.25 billion people. The need would be proportionately less for a smaller population. And I would stress that applies in any country, including the U.S.
    Remember too, that the world’s coastlines are also the most heavily populated. As the sea level rises, migration will become an issue, as will droughts in agricultural economies.

    Later that day… Phil
    You are 100% correct, dad gummit.

    You were 100% correct in your first comment. Nobody notices the elephant in the room of the developing world because thousands of miles away they live on a tiny fairytale island with a once big navy and and guilt lingering from empire. Talking about battery powered cars in Norway (5.2 million people), power cables from Iceland (333,000 people) putting a dent in global warming should shake up someone’s commonsense on proportion. We’ve seen China grow from dirt poverty in our lifetime to become the world’s largest economy and overtake the United States to become the world’s biggest asshole polluter. It’s naive (and unfair) to believe that India (and Sub-Saharan Africa) will not join the race , fueling economic growth with huge coal reserves or coal imports.

    Vicki, You’re right, you’re right – stand up and fight!



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  • Rural communities don’t need traditional obsolete big grid networks!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-36681112
    The Indian government has committed 980bn rupees ($14.5bn; £10.9bn) to a flagship smart cities’ programme, but the social entrepreneur behind the country’s first smart village thinks they’ve missed some low-hanging fruit.

    City-dwellers tend to take electricity for granted, says Ashok Das, but for the roughly 200 million Indians living off-grid, access to power is a privilege, not a right.

    Mr Das says that makes them a fertile ground for experimenting with smarter ways of using energy that could help the rural poor leapfrog traditional power networks to a greener, community-led approach.



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  • Solar power will always seem to be the fastest growing new energy source for the same reason that 2 + 2 = 4.
    Simple mathematics. Starting from a base of zero “0” working with integers a doubling of 1 to 2 will represent a 100% growth rate. Here is an excerpt from an Australian government study of coal in India up through 2014:

    39
    INDIA’S ELECTRICITY AND COAL MARKETS
    Coal consumption
    India is the world’s third largest coal consumer behind China and the United
    States; and the share of coal in India’s electricity mix has been rising. In
    2013 India’s coal consumption was estimated at 790 million tonnes (or 516
    million tonnes of coal equivalent (Mtce), around 10 per cent less than the
    United States (IEA 2014f). Thermal coal accounts for around 85 per cent, or
    665 million tonnes, of India’s coal consumption. Metallurgical coal (80 million
    tonnes) and lignite (45 million tonnes) make up the balance.
    The power sector accounts for more than 70 per cent of India’s coal use and
    supported a five-fold increase in coal use in electricity generation over the
    past few decades. As such, the power sector is clearly central to the coal
    outlook in India. India’s steel production has increased by around 25 per cent
    over the past five years to around 83 million tonnes in 2014. The cement
    industry, the second largest globally after China, is also a major coal user,
    accounting for around 5 per cent of total coal use. Other industrial sectors,
    including brick manufacture, consume small quantities of coal.
    Coal-fired generation
    India has invested heavily in new coal-fired generation over the past few
    decades to support its rapid growth in electricity consumption (figure 13).
    The rate of growth in India’s coal-fired generation capacity has accelerated
    since 2008 with installed capacity almost doubling in just six years. India’s
    coal-fired capacity is located close to large demand centres with around 42
    per cent of capacity located in the western region, 27 per cent in the north
    and 18 per cent in the south (figure 14). Unlike many OECD countries,
    India’s installed capacity is relatively new and has many years of operational
    use remaining.

    Costly construction of grid infrastructure stems from endemic government failures to finance and build enough transmission lines to keep up with coal-fired generation capacity. About 300 million Indians have no access to electricity roughly 5 times the population of the UK.

    The Washington Post reported: India, the third-largest emitter of greenhouses gases after China and the United States, has taken steps to address climate change in advance of the global talks in Paris this year — pledging a steep increase in renewable energy by 2030.
    But India’s leaders say that the huge challenge of extending electric service to its citizens means a hard reality — that the country must continue to increase its fossil fuel consumption, at least in the near term, on a path that could mean a threefold increase in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, according to some estimates.

    The current desperation is not caused by a shortage of rural experiments but by people, people – too many people.



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  • Melvin

    the country must continue to increase its fossil fuel consumption, at least in the near term, on a path that could mean a threefold increase in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030, according to some estimates.

    And?

    Their per capita is a tenth of yours. It will peak at one third of yours by this accounting. But you will begrudge them this which will do more to curtail their population growth than any other thing. You will insist on your “perfectly reasonable” 3 or 5 flights per year and not consider changing.

    Motivated by colonial guilt? The fuck?

    Poverty, wherever it happens.



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  • Their per capita is a tenth of yours. It will peak at one third of yours by this accounting.

    You seem to believe that there is no way of putting “per capita” numbers in comparative relation with “aggregate” numbers or adjusting per capita numbers in one country with per capita numbers in another for differences in geography, history, culture or levels of development. I’ve never heard you trash Australians for higher per capita carbon emissions than “you, heh-heh, American boors.” I’ve never heard you trash Canadians for coming within a cat’s whisker of American per capita offenses. The world is not held captive in a static chart of numbers. India is going to explode on the world stage as a major polluter up there with the worst of them before 2050. If you don’t believe it…Wait.



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  • Melvin. Every Australian posting here is pre-ashamed of their country’s record on this. I am appalled at all of the terrible decisions taken by craven UK governments. The recent early termination of feed in tarrifs totally wrong-footing investors was astonishingly stupid. especially as installed capacity has a multiplicative effect of all previously installed.

    My concern with you is you represent the biggest barrier to achieving the fastest change. Decent, deeply conservative Democrats, who prevaricate and point at others first and remain fatalistic about human behaviour.

    I have no intention of waiting to see what India does. We have systems in place for smart micro grids that optimise India’s attrocious power factor, lifting existing grid capacity cheaply whilst dropping terminal power demands.

    Until recently I worked for an Indian electrical services conglomerate and have consulted on some astonishing projects to make buildings entirely self sufficient from the use of very smart functional building panels. The Off-grid/ low-dependence business is set to take off very rapidly. I see every sign they will follow China’s increasingly accelerated change of policies, because they will drop the cost of achieving electrification without the need for imports.



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  • Melvin #50
    Nov 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    The current desperation is not caused by a shortage of rural experiments but by people, people – too many people.

    The total absence of electrical services to some rural areas, and 200 million Indians living off-grid, has NOTHING to do with “too many people” (although population level is a separate problem).

    It is all about a lack of education about available technologies, and previous unimaginative governments, being conned by carbonaceous Luddites, to persuade them to invest in the wrong, unnecessary technologies, which require capital intensive, heavy transport and grid infrastructures!

    However that is changing, and in addition to localised solar services in rural areas, other on-grid developments are being explored and developed.

    Government of India, MINISTRY OF NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY

    http://mnre.gov.in/schemes/new-technologies/tidal-energy/

    Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface and represent an enormous amount of energy in the form of wave, tidal, marine current and thermal gradient. The energy potential of our seas and oceans well exceeds our present energy needs. India has a long coastline with the estuaries and gulfs where tides are strong enough to move turbines for electrical power generation. A variety of different technologies are currently under development throughout the world to harness this energy in all its forms including waves (40,000 MW), tides (9000 MW) and thermal gradients (180,000 MW). Deployment is currently limited but the sector has the potential to grow, fuelling economic growth, reduction of carbon footprint and creating jobs not only along the coasts but also inland along its supply chains.

    As Government of India steps up its effort to reach the objectives to contemplate its Renewable Energy and climate change objectives post 2022, it is opportune to explore all possible avenues to stimulate innovation, create economic growth and new jobs as well as to reduce our carbon footprint. Given the long-term energy need through this abundant source, action needs to be taken now on RDD&D front in order to ensure that the ocean energy sector can play a meaningful part in achieving our objectives in coming decades. MNRE looks over the horizon at a promising new technology and considers the various options available to support its development. Over 100 different ocean energy technologies are currently under development in more than 30 countries. Most types of technologies are currently at demonstration stage or the initial stage of commercialization.

    2. Programme Objectives

    The objective of the programme is to accelerate and enhance support for the research, development, resource assessment, testing and deployment of ocean energy in the country and to harness it for power generation and to overcome the barriers by encouraging collaboration between the technology developers, investors and other stakeholders so as to bridge the gap between research and the market. Resource Assessment is being planned in 2015-18 for public domain in association with IIT’s, NIOT and alike Government Research Institute to expedite the potential analysis and site identification in coordination with MNRE.



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  • Alan4: The total absence of electrical services to some rural areas, and 200 million Indians living off-grid, has NOTHING to do with “too many people” (although population level is a separate problem).
    It is all about a lack of education about available technologies, and previous unimaginative governments, being conned by carbonaceous Luddites, to persuade them to invest in the wrong, unnecessary technologies, which require capital intensive, heavy transport and grid infrastructures!
    However that is changing, and in addition to localised solar services in rural areas, other on-grid developments are being explored and developed.

    For sake of clarity, my position has nothing to do with trend fatalism. The progress optimists predict will come to pass to a greater or less degree -sooner or later. Technological inventions will come on line that increase fuel efficiency, reduce the fossil fuel share of the energy mix, along with carbon emissions. Such progress will have effectiveness adjusted negatively at least up to 2050 by collective imperatives for economic and population growth. It is naive and to discount the destructive effects of population growth globally over the last 90 years (one human lifetime) both in per capita and and aggregate degradation of the environment on which our species depends. It is unrealistic to say of a country, “it does not matter” if the population is 500 million people; “it does not matter” if the population grows to a billion; “it does not matter” if the population grows to 1.5 billion because population level remains a separate matter. At some point in the process of the future rapid population growth awaiting release on the world in the 21st century, no matter how stubbornly you try to to hold on to this mantra, you will be forced to open your eyes and say: “IT DOES MATTER.”



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  • Melvin #55
    Nov 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    The total absence of electrical services to some rural areas, and 200 million Indians living off-grid, has NOTHING to do with “too many people” (although population level is a separate problem).
    It is all about a lack of education about available technologies, and previous unimaginative governments, being conned by carbonaceous Luddites, to persuade them to invest in the wrong, unnecessary technologies, which require capital intensive, heavy transport and grid infrastructures!
    However that is changing, and in addition to localised solar services in rural areas, other on-grid developments are being explored and developed.

    It is unrealistic to say of a country, “it does not matter” if the population is 500 million people; “it does not matter” if the population grows to a billion; “it does not matter” if the population grows to 1.5 billion because population level remains a separate matter.

    I did not say that the population growth “did not matter”!

    I said “it did not matter” to the issue of of avoiding carbon fuel pollution, by confining new generating capacity in electricity production, to using green sources such as solar, wind, and the energy from the sea, instead of coal, oil, gas, and the heavy infrastructure needed to transport these fuels. – and then phasing out the old polluting systems as the new technologies take over.

    India has a MINISTRY OF NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY, recognising the problems, organising research and development, and beginning planning these changes.



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  • It looks like they are working out the best options for charging systems in Scotland!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37930907

    The use of electric car charging points across Scotland has more than doubled in the last year.
    Chargers were used 26,119 times during August, up from 12,939 in August 2015 and nine times the usage in August 2014, ChargePlace Scotland said.

    Electric vehicle drivers appeared to favour rapid charge points, with many standard charge points not used at all.

    Recent figures showed there were 3,575 electric vehicles licensed in Scotland, up from 2,050 the previous year.

    There are 870 public and commercial charging points in the ChargePlace Scotland network with a total of 1,772 connectors or sockets between them, up from 694 charge points and 1,373 sockets a year earlier.

    According to ChargePlace Scotland, the majority of public charge points will fully charge most electric vehicles in between four and eight hours.

    Rapid chargers – which make up 18% of the charging total – can charge cars up to 80% in half-an-hour.

    The evidence suggests that it is rapid chargers that are getting a disproportionate amount of use – Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation




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