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AnyaThursday 26th of August 2004 07:19:48 PM
Grow where planted? - I think this topic needs a post?
Having recently moved from the lush green of Vermont to Steeltown or (Construction Capital of USA) I am discovering a culture shock of sorts.

Have you ever noticed when there is construction going on, the workers always put up a meshy organge fence around the base of the tree? (in other countries it may be more like stakes or concrete blocks etc.) I'm guessing they are putting the orange up to make sure that the tree doesn't dent their equipment (ahem, I mean they don't happen to run into the tree or dig too close). Well, the sad fact is that the orange is a nearly certain end-of-life sentence for the poor green giant. After the construction is done, the zoning complete, the pavement paved, the tree dies standing up. The root system of trees is roughly proportional to the width of the canopy.

So the architect comes in and plunks another attractive specimen in the hole amidst the concrete. And what happens to it? It also dies standing up :( but it's not because it's roots were chopped off, it's because its roots couldn't get oxygen. So the end result of this story is I've been walking down Dead Tree Lane all too often around here :( ! How sad!

If we're gonna plant trees, might as well do it right? I guess on the bright side, at least they are trying to reinstate what grew there rightfully before we all snuck up with the pavement.

Do any of you have green blues?

tripledddogFriday 27th of August 2004 02:17:15 PM
Green - I agree. There is too much concrete and not enough green. I live in the desert southwest, so there is not much green as it is. We are trying to influence zoning to require increased lanscape areas. Part of the problem is that we are in a 6 year drought here. One solution that is working is to require landscape areas with less grass. This provides a larger area for the tree to develop roots and also decreases water. I miss the green treetops and the smell of pine trees.
bosavinoTuesday 05th of October 2004 07:56:19 AM
- I first lived in Minnesota, and now in Florida, with a brief hop, skip and a jump to Arizona in between. I can understand what tripleddog is saying about there not being enough green in the southwest. It really does make you appreciate the little things you sometimes take for granted.

In Florida, I live on a beautiful little piece of property completely surrounded by trees. I can only see one neighbor, even though I am surrounded by neighbors on all sides. Everywhere you go in Florida there is green, but in just the four short years that I have lived outside the city limits of Tampa, I have noticed those green areas becoming less and less green and more and more filled with construction and concrete.

I've heard that Pasco County, where I live, is considered to be one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Having heard some of the enormous plans that they have for the county, it saddens me that my little patch of green might be one of the few left in a very short period of time.

So yes, I guess I do have a little of the "green blues".
Leto_AtreidesTuesday 09th of November 2004 05:44:14 AM
what a shame - In the Netherlands we are having a serious problem of the environment as well.
What you see in the (rich) western countries that things are being chopped and weeded, because people need to expand their needs and satisfactions.
It really bothers me that the politics in these countries prefer economical progresses, instead of environmental rehabilitations.In other words: Do people still care about nature?
TJTJTuesday 09th of November 2004 09:49:22 AM
- [quote]Originally posted by Leto_Atreides


In the Netherlands we are having a serious problem of the environment as well.
What you see in the (rich) western countries that things are being chopped and weeded, because people need to expand their needs and satisfactions.
It really bothers me that the politics in these countries prefer economical progresses, instead of environmental rehabilitations.In other words: Do people still care about nature?[/quote]
Well this is where leto and i have a diffrent opinon of the environment in the netherlands. For a start i would like to say that it isnt as bad as it may seem. we got fresh water and minor pollution (comaperd to Peking (China) and cairo (egypt) ). The netherlands is a small country and if you compare it (on scale) you will see that we are doing okey on the environment thing.
I think we could even do it whit LESS ''green''. Before you say ''WE WANT MORE GREEN'' you have to think about the loss YOU have to make. what i am trying to say is will you still scream ''MORE GREEN'' if you can only wash your self 1 time in 4 days, cant eat your favorite candy, have to walk to work, no light after 6, only cold water, no use of any unnesesary luxure like tv computer and noooo mobile telephone. cause these are the things you have to think about when you want more green.
AnyaTuesday 09th of November 2004 10:37:45 AM
- [quote]Originally posted by TJTJ
Well this is where leto and i have a diffrent opinon of the environment in the netherlands. For a start i would like to say that it isnt as bad as it may seem. we got fresh water and minor pollution (comaperd to Peking (China) and cairo (egypt) ). The netherlands is a small country and if you compare it (on scale) you will see that we are doing okey on the environment thing. [/quote]
I completely agree with you about the importance of considering a country's population in determining the state of the environment on the whole. However, in individual locales there can be variation due to the subjectivity of the evaluation.
[quote]I think we could even do it whit LESS ''green''. Before you say ''WE WANT MORE GREEN'' you have to think about the loss YOU have to make. what i am trying to say is will you still scream ''MORE GREEN'' if you can only wash your self 1 time in 4 days, cant eat your favorite candy, have to walk to work, no light after 6, only cold water, no use of any unnesesary luxure like tv computer and noooo mobile telephone. cause these are the things you have to think about when you want more green.[/quote]
I see what you are saying here, but you are referring to what I would call as the "negative vibe" around changing patterns of daily living. The kind of Green I am thinking about is an intangible way of thinking and acting, it is not as tightly bound to material goods (cell phones, lights, cars etc.)

So what do I mean by that? of course it is hard to change someone's ways if they are used to having one trash receptacle. It is only normal that the transition to separating waste by its chemical composition is daunting!
Once you are there, though, you've achieved a level of this intangible way of thinking and the process takes less effort. The outcome of this small change IS tangible--less things go into the landfill, our children have a smaller engineering feat of figuring out what to do with all of this waste in the future.

Now about the examples...
Each human body, although functioning essentially identically, does have variability in the need for cleanliness. I would NEVER pass up and opportunity to wash hands, as this cuts down the spread of microorganisms as well as spreading illnesses. The number of showers a day or a week is an individual-level distortion of what it means to be "green." To me they are not equivalent.

Favorite candy--I don't think you have to give up your favorite candy (honestly). The majority of these treats are organic in nature. If you go for the highly processed sweets, it may be a good idea to reconsider because irrelevant of what the environmental impact, the immediate impact is on your very own digestive tract.

Walking to work--In the days of old, humans lived close to their work place and walked to it. We were a whole lot healthier back then, had less colon cancer because we caught our own food. Of course we didn't have the conveniences of today (along with modern medicine) so you can't compare the life spans! I'm not advocating putting back our loin cloths and getting some poison darts, but I am suggesting that there is nothing wrong with walking (or carpooling) to work. We will be healthier for it. I walked and biked the last four years and now I carpool. Because I now live farther away from my new workplace I am not able to use this part of the day to also benefit my health, but I am making a small (maybe not yet collectively significant) contribution to making the world around me a little less crowded with cars. Also, intangible way of approaching life. When more people contribute, the beneficial outcomes will be hard to miss.

Lights after 6-- I could get super in-depth on this, but I don't want to bore you. There are lots of aspects of using electricity to consider. I think we should have the convenience of lights, and more importantly electricity, available on a need basis. Let's not regress. If we cut off this technological advance, we will also cut off communication with half of the people that come here who live on the oppposite side of the world from us! On the other hand, I cannot see a possible use/need of NOT turning off the lights in a room, having left it! Do you?!?
The trend here is that: It's the little things that count!

Computers and TV are luxuries because they are economically not accessible to a large proportion of the worlds population. These two are TOOLS of information exchange (both good, bad and neutral). If it were possible for me to walk over to Nepal I would do so gladly, but as yet, I feel that the luxury of creating a telemedicine link to do my work there is a benefit that far outweighs its energetic costs. I don't know the comparison of power usage from a computer and a common incandescent light bulb, but leaving my computer on to promote intracontinental communication to ME is worth putting in time and energy to balance out the environment equation. I can sit in the dark by the computer after 6 and help more patients while it's daylight in Kathmandu :)

Mobile phones are in the same category as the above, they are a means of communication exchange, and having been made, no longer contribute environmental hazards aside the fact that they have a degradation minimum rate of ~5-10,000 years.

Your statements reinforce the unfortunate distortion of the impacts on our lives of ecologically sound environmental stewardship. It doesn't have to be a withdrawal of commodities, but it does demand sound research, investment in "smarter" materials, the time to cycle the current generation of materials, and an open mind for favorable change in the benefit of generations that will follow us.

This of course is a very analytical approach to commenting on your statement. I do not refute it, but simply wanted to point out the roots of such materialisticly grounded philosophy.
TJTJTuesday 09th of November 2004 11:05:01 AM
- aaa okay well this is getting interesting.
At first i see i made a mistake, i didnt draw a line between people that are REALY cutting downn some luxeries and the people that just recycle there batteries.

I am 17 years old and recycling batteries, bottles and paper just seems normal to me just like any walking to anything in a rage of 1 KM.
* i have a friend living in New york. He said he always separeded his garbage(you know paper there green there etc.). But then one morning he wanted to see who picked it up, he saw that the normal garbage man picks up the garbage and throws all the separeted garbage TOGETHER in the truck!! And yes i would like commantar on this one.

at the moment i cycle a lot but this is only because i dont have a car jet. (you have to be 18 here) Later on in my life i will always be recycling walking and turning lights off in rooms i do not use. BUT you wont see me in any ''Green'' (what is the englishe therm?) political groups asking to not build that railroad and so on.
I ll be on the side asking for more roads houses etc.

Leto_AtreidesTuesday 09th of November 2004 01:20:38 PM
You are overdoing it. - First off I would like to thank Kayguarnay for her explanations/contradictions.
TJTJ took my statement way too seriously, but it proves that his characteristic is just different than mine.
But what I meant with my post was, that people are way too money-based.
And that people often forget about the pleasures and joys of life.
What Timo suggested was rather radical and impossible.
Because people will always see their personal wealth as a prior instance, and not nature is true.
And what I also would like to say is that if nature will be improved there won't be a giant cutback on wealth, besides people tend to smile more often and can picknick in the park.
And the cutbacks you suggested: for example can't use a cellphone to call someone is kind of rideculous since there are satellites around the globe and the poles do not require a lot of space.In the end trees will be chopped because people desire to call.
But my conclusion is that there should be a limit of some sort.

AnyaTuesday 09th of November 2004 02:10:03 PM
- [quote]Originally posted by TJTJ
aaa okay well this is getting interesting.
At first i see i made a mistake, i didnt draw a line between people that are REALY cutting downn some luxeries and the people that just recycle there batteries.
I am 17 years old and recycling batteries, bottles and paper just seems normal to me just like any walking to anything in a rage of 1 KM.
* i have a friend living in New york. He said he always separeded his garbage(you know paper there green there etc.). But then one morning he wanted to see who picked it up, he saw that the normal garbage man picks up the garbage and throws all the separeted garbage TOGETHER in the truck!! And yes i would like commantar on this one.
at the moment i cycle a lot but this is only because i dont have a car jet. (you have to be 18 here) Later on in my life i will always be recycling walking and turning lights off in rooms i do not use. BUT you wont see me in any ''Green'' (what is the englishe therm?) political groups asking to not build that railroad and so on.
I ll be on the side asking for more roads houses etc.
[/quote]
TJTJ
Great Job! Every little bit we can do DOES help, even if in the meantime it is to see recycled things thrown right back together. The fact that we don't throw our arms up in the air and stop altogether DOES help motivate others around us!
I've also seen the anhilation of recycling efforts when things get thrown with the regular trash, and it is disheartening to say the least.
You won't see me on any Green Activist committees either, I really don't do that walk, but what you WILL see me do is stand up for the little things that can be done (without much interference of daily life) and lead by example. Just after I posted my previous reply, I walked down to the other hospital I work in. There were extra sheets that didn't have patient information on them that I wanted to recycle. Since this is my second week there, I looked and asked around the office, and to my disbelief, they do not recycle. In fact when they shred, that paper ALSO goes back in the regular waste bin. My heart sank. In a way, I understand how in times of financial hardship, the choice between giving another patient a free nebulizer versus paying for taking recycling off-site is easy to make. Unfortunately it is a tennuous connection at best, like L_A has said, money does seem to turn the world in places, but not recycling STILL doesn't get patients supplies.

Just so there is a happy ending to that story, it turns out that my boss, Dr. O. has trodden this path before, and so there are recycling bins in the office, which only need to make it to the next step (hide from janitor and take to recycle station). He als gathers containers and takes them home to recycle! Since I'm new there, how I behave in the coming weeks is crucial opportunity for change around the office. I think I can get this recycling to be more accepted...it will be hard, but if I can build on the steps of those who came before me...we get somewhere! you see?
It's not impossible, it can be done.
TJTJWednesday 10th of November 2004 06:01:46 AM
- [quote]Originally posted by Leto_Atreides


First off I would like to thank Kayguarnay for her explanations/contradictions.
TJTJ took my statement way too seriously, but it proves that his characteristic is just different than mine.
But what I meant with my post was, that people are way too money-based.
And that people often forget about the pleasures and joys of life.
What Timo suggested was rather radical and impossible.
Because people will always see their personal wealth as a prior instance, and not nature is true.
And what I also would like to say is that if nature will be improved there won't be a giant cutback on wealth, besides people tend to smile more often and can picknick in the park.
And the cutbacks you suggested: for example can't use a cellphone to call someone is kind of rideculous since there are satellites around the globe and the poles do not require a lot of space.In the end trees will be chopped because people desire to call.
But my conclusion is that there should be a limit of some sort.
[/quote]
I think Leto and i are seeing it all wrong.
What Kayguarnay tells me that ''the'' strugle for the enviroment in the US is done one the ''little'' thinks like recycling. That strugle in The netherlands is no langer active, its already won. When we talk on enviroment isseus (on political bases, cause there isnt any stugle elswhere) , we talk about cutbacks. For example: roads and rails for better economical rivalry postion. If this isnt done our economical status will drop, wich DOES meens cutbacks in Luxer. another example of a enviroment isseu in the Netherlands is more green in the way of stopping building plans wich is a cutback on households and again economical status. This DOES meen cutbacks in Luxer.

Then there is another strugle in The Netherlands. This people are extrimist and do want cutbacks like i said in my first post.

Today i read this line in a book, plz commantary.
''Humans are like a virus, we multiply use every natural recource and space there is. When we are done whit one place we move to the next.'' it is rather true right? or not?

Kayguarnay, i think it is a very very good and brave thing that you are being radical (is that the good word?) in the recycling isseu at the hospital. Keep up the good work!!!




AnyaWednesday 10th of November 2004 08:13:58 AM
- Oi TJTJ,
I don't know if I would call myself a "radical," I don't really identify with that. I did have a peculiar nickname in college: "sparkplug" and that is more like it. Without really meaning to, I tend to pick up and like to keep momentum going. The big challenge that I look forward to is the getting initial momentum...which means coming up with an idea, looking at how feasible it is and then acting on it.
I brought my CUPPS cup in today...and the point is to see if people would see the benefit in it and try it too. Unless they try it, they will never know if it is useful, and can't get to that same state of mind I mentioned earlier.
CUPPS, by the way, stands for: Can't Use Paper Plastic or Styrofoam. It is an idea from my old school (University of Vermont). Basically one cup that can be reused over and over, as opposed to buying cups for coffee, tea, juice, etc everytime.
(It also works well for soup ;) and other things). Since having moved from Vermont, I don't see them used anymore, except by a handful of people.

Can you tell me more about these cutbacks in The Netherlands?

In terms of commenting on your quote, I'll wait until I get home. It is difficult to consider that statement from objective stand-points when I am in an environment where viruses (and bacteria) are predominating and we are at our wits ends to figure out how to balance out the equation and save patients. :-/





TJTJWednesday 10th of November 2004 10:42:11 AM
- What do you meen whit CUPPS? in The Netherlands we have ''throw away cups'' and cups that you use wash and use again (the once from clay and glass).

What i mend whit these ''cutbacks'' is that it seems that the approach of the hole enviroment isseu has a lot of differences between our country's. When i read your post's i see that the strugle for a better enviroment is done by the little things, like recycling. In the Netherlands we strugle for a better enviroment on a diffrent scale. We dont argue about the little things any more. we argue about the big things. Like the roads end rails i mentioned in my last post.

I dont realy mind the whole isseu of the inviroment but this discution made me think about it. It's not something where i can put my back to....

ps: if any body wants to improve my grammer, plz do so.
i am a dysletic and i realy would appreciate it.
Leto_AtreidesWednesday 10th of November 2004 01:02:29 PM
My disagreement - [quote]Originally posted by TJTJ


What do you meen whit CUPPS? in The Netherlands we have ''throw away cups'' and cups that you use wash and use again (the once from clay and glass).

What i mend whit these ''cutbacks'' is that it seems that the approach of the hole enviroment isseu has a lot of differences between our country's. When i read your post's i see that the strugle for a better enviroment is done by the little things, like recycling. In the Netherlands we strugle for a better enviroment on a diffrent scale. We dont argue about the little things any more. we argue about the big things. Like the roads end rails i mentioned in my last post.

I dont realy mind the whole isseu of the inviroment but this discution made me think about it. It's not something where i can put my back to....

ps: if any body wants to improve my grammer, plz do so.
i am a dysletic and i realy would appreciate it.[/quote]

And once again I disagree with you.

What you're saying is that when a road or another provision is planned to be build, that it's very bad to object to this.But what do you expect with a country that has a high density?
That nobody cares or may not oppress against a railroad next to their house?
Or that a truck companie is being build at the other side of your comics shop and that you can't resist?
This is simply impossible, and if it would be possible then we wouldn't be living in a 'democratic' country.


TJTJWednesday 10th of November 2004 01:26:54 PM
- [quote]Originally posted by Leto_Atreides


[quote]Originally posted by TJTJ


What do you meen whit CUPPS? in The Netherlands we have ''throw away cups'' and cups that you use wash and use again (the once from clay and glass).

What i mend whit these ''cutbacks'' is that it seems that the approach of the hole enviroment isseu has a lot of differences between our country's. When i read your post's i see that the strugle for a better enviroment is done by the little things, like recycling. In the Netherlands we strugle for a better enviroment on a diffrent scale. We dont argue about the little things any more. we argue about the big things. Like the roads end rails i mentioned in my last post.

I dont realy mind the whole isseu of the inviroment but this discution made me think about it. It's not something where i can put my back to....

ps: if any body wants to improve my grammer, plz do so.
i am a dysletic and i realy would appreciate it.[/quote]

And once again I disagree with you.

What you're saying is that when a road or another provision is planned to be build, that it's very bad to object to this.But what do you expect with a country that has a high density?
That nobody cares or may not oppress against a railroad next to their house?
Or that a truck companie is being build at the other side of your comics shop and that you can't resist?
This is simply impossible, and if it would be possible then we wouldn't be living in a 'democratic' country.

[/quote]

IF we (Dutch people) want to keep our wealth and jobs we must grow whit other country's. an example: the roads
if we dont build more the roads will get overcrowded. This means that a new genaration cant go to work. this means no more work can be created wich means we are killing our own economical status.

And i dont no what your disagring whit, but i am not saying anything. I am just explaining to kayguarnay what the diffrence is between the eviroment stugle in the US and in The Netherlands
AnyaFriday 12th of November 2004 07:08:13 AM
- I think the differences are startling (from what I understand so far). Whereas in the Netherlands the work is happening at the level of ideology, here in the US (and I can't speak for all states, but just the places I've been), there is a continuum of change that varies from nearly fully compliant with recycling norms to places where nothing is being done.
Needless to say, there is little foresight going into the future with as far as heads of our political system are concerned.

The change is up to the individual states, and some are already experiencing negative impacts from pollution elsewhere and trying to do something about it. We are a long ways away.
TJTJFriday 12th of November 2004 02:24:18 PM
- First i would like to say i admire the US for its economical status. My dream is to became some 1 who has something to say in the economy.

Every time i think of Las Vegas i dont think off casino's and lights. I think of the rate this city is sucking energy. The city is build on a dessert and there are growing palm trees. All these lights day and night, it is horrible!! Somewhere in a book i read something about Las Vegas sucking as much energy as The Netherlands and Belgium together. This realy got me thinking. Using natural recources is okey, but some places in the US (Las Vegas) are not using them they are raping!!

In Europe we are trying so hard for the enviroment. We are building wind mills, less polutonating cars and so on. We got deadlines pm lower pollution. And then Some states are just going on polluting OUR air (mine 2) whit there American cars.

This topic made me think about the enviroment. Something wich i didnt used to care about, but it is important that you do think about it.


Leto_AtreidesSaturday 13th of November 2004 03:22:19 PM
Hoover Dam - TJTJ: Quote
>>Somewhere in a book i read something about Las Vegas sucking as much energy as The Netherlands and Belgium together.<<

A great percentage of the energy that is consumed in Las Vegas is produced by the Hydro-Electric Hoover Dam.
This enormous 'Miracle' contributes no pollution at all.But it has downsides to it.Though I do believe that it's still a great multifunctional 'Dam', but that's my opinion.
If you want to read more about it, then read this explicit text in Dutch:

http://mediatheek.thinkquest.nl/~ll103/tep/nl/traditional_energy/hydroelectric_power.html
TJTJSaturday 13th of November 2004 04:10:40 PM
- clearly you havent bin in Las Veags yet. It is IMPOSSIBLE that the Hoover dam could even make up for 5% of its power ussages. first off all the tekst says that the hoover dam makes energie for 1.3 miljoen housholds. This is reconned for normal households. Vegas doesnt have any normal households cause it is build in a dessert. It needs moer cooling more water for the plands etc. and i am not even talking about all those lights. So you just put the 1.3 to vegas numbers which would be something like 900 000.
Now you just figure how many people life in Vegas (dont forget all The casino's hotels etc. and cars) and think about where all the rest of the energie comes from....

YES GAS AND OIL!!
Leto_AtreidesSunday 14th of November 2004 12:41:58 PM
- I see your point, but I also think that it's quite unique having a city build on a barren desert.
This considers people to go there for the gambling and the sightseeing in the desert city.
So far as concerned I believe that Las Vegas is something not to mock about, since it's a tourist attraction and it makes America the country of capitalism.
And when you look at the unemployment rate it is incomparable with other cities.
Though I reckon that they must minimalize the pollution in that area.

(Maybe the government should recrute some guys who are willing to ride bikes with dynamo's attached to them which generates energy for FREE!.So that people like us would stop whining about the pollution :))
TJTJMonday 15th of November 2004 04:30:35 AM
- This is the enviroment topic... And yes there is something
to mock about, that something between 97% and 98% of the energy is still won by oil and gas (cars included).

I dont get your point. This topic about las Vegas started whit the argument of polution. Now you are talking about not mocking cause it presents Amrica as a capitalisem country.

Idear for Leto: Maby the goverment should order us what to do, so we all have to work as farmers 14 7. Then we wouldnt have the time for anything fun wich will leed to less polution.
AnyaTuesday 16th of November 2004 09:27:22 AM
- Curious ideas, guys!
I agree, this is the environmental topic, so let's stick to the agenda ;)

[quote]Idea for Leto: Maybe the government should order us what to do, so we all have to work as farmers 24/7. Then we wouldn't have the time for anything fun which will lead to less polution.[/quote]

TJTJ, let's not regress into the past, we can make it better by improving upon where we are now. We can put technology to good use!
Only 20% of people on the planet (by an old statistic) are in the primary "making with hands" manufacture/agricultural job category, everyone else is in the service industry. Those who still make things with their hands are just as much needed as those of us who work to provide a service to others.
It's pretty much a gray area at this point. All going back to farming would be a terrible idea, there wouldn't be enough arable land, nor area to roam nomadically as in the past (*more on this soon).

Bottom line, is we shouldn't denounce technology as a vile means of creating more pollution that is solely responsible for throwing ecosystems out of balance. There were other events before we (humans) came along that had massive impacts on the environment, but the ecosystems restored back to baseline EVERYtime. There is little reason to believe that if we are smart about our daily living, that we won't be able to regain a balance in our environments.

*It IS however worrisome that we do not have the slightest idea about Earth's carrying capacity, and it's possible that we are very close to exceeding it. Not much to do about this without considering all of the environmental factors and being smart about our consumerism.

On to the consumerism.
A little update on my project at Children's hospital. I am hoping that the three bins of recycleable paper that I stuffed into the shredder before the man who picks it up got here at 8am will not make him terribly unhappy. It turns out that the shredded documents DO ACTUALLY get recycled, everything else gets thrown together with solid waste. I'm hoping to change that. If you hear from me again, that would mean I was able to avoid certain sentiments that the man might have felt in lugging three bins worth of stuff out, when usually there is hardly anything to take away.

romulusTuesday 23rd of November 2004 07:35:02 PM
Green Blues - What surprises me in this issue, is how many people believe that they can leave it up to someone else to fix the problems they have invested fianacialy upon, and continue to live as if it is someone elses problem. Almost oblivious to the fact that the damage they do is suffered by them in the long term, which is becoming more evident as we watch the waves roll in from the ripples set in motion by the baby boomers of the forties and fifties. But we all know, deforestation, and pollution on a grand scale was still a major issue in the centuries before hand. What is different now, is the pace at which major developments and industrial filth have been allowed to multiply, with the aid of rapidly advancing technology. If we know anything about nature, we should know its perfectly balanced when left to it's own devices. However, when nature is told to take a back seat, and enjoy the ride, we would have to asume naturaly, that the inferior knowledge of men should soon see the perfect balance of nature destroyed, as we knew nothing about the consequences when we started this technological journey.
But as fate would have it, before it's too late, we are given one final oportunity to acknowledge and rectify the mistakes of countless generations, and what do we do? Not much as it would turn out. All around the world, people starve and species die, so that we may claim title to all the grand things of the world. In the name of science they experiment with the very thing that has always maintained the existance of the human species, our earth. Experiments on monumental scales, and little by little, piece by piece, nature is turned into a thing of the past, an unrecognisable beast.
Next time you look at one of those tree barrier, ask yourself how many bad things happened, for men to try to do a good deed, only to commit an evil in the end anyway. And when you look in your wallets, ask how much you paid for to be destroyed. I do, and it shames me, because i know when i die, i will have also contributed to the death of my own sons. Its a hard act to swollow thats for sure.
ciao for now
AnyaTuesday 23rd of November 2004 07:51:30 PM
- Romulus,
Very insightfully crafted essay. I agree with you, in a way I am ashamed that I cannot be a better steward of the environment. I've found that in a way I've become desensitized a little to the day-to-day run-ins with environmental abuse. I see it, and most of the time I suppress the thoughts that would normally go through my mind. I am not radical enough (as Timo categorized me), to jump in front of escavators and lay across wooded trails about to be cleared and paved....I just have had to focus on a smaller microenvironment around me.

Since having moved here (which is what prompted this post), and since having started a new job, I made only a few 'edgy' moves to make an impact. The "Recycling Day" idea has picked up momentum and my co-workers are now sorting the paper waste from regular waste. I have found a way to recycle old journals as well. I'm still introducing the idea of reusable mugs. The good news is that I have not been fired and the shredder-man is not yet after me for cramming his box full of papers... that's all I can do, but it's better than nothing, I think.

romulusTuesday 23rd of November 2004 08:38:44 PM
Point on Recycling - You sound like a very good hearted person Anya, and its a shame in itself, that you are restricted in the way you can use it. Your deeds are worth their weight in gold, and then some. But, did you know that there is a conspiracy, rife in the recycling world? How so? I'll show you.
In the life of a product, it first passes from an elemental level, to a usable resource, and then ultimately after the manufacturing process has occured, its end result is commodity. We first pay for, upon purchasing a product, the preliminary processes +labour cost on the first three levels on the retail market scheme of things (this also includes shipping and tax). So what we bought, is already at least 300% more expensive than the equivelent product produced by an individual with the capacity to do so. Now why i get uptight about recycling, is its left up to individuals like your self, to donate back to the industrial machine, what you paid 300 times its worth for. After this is done, these companies and governments, turn these donations into a direct profit, because the resources are obtained for free, or reliatively close to nothing. Then as a final blow to the humanity of those who have re donated materials and resources, they are then again made to pay the 300% or whatever it actually is, for the products these materials are now constituants of.
Its a far cry from what should be happening, but these companies only see the bottom line getting smaller, if they let people know what their resources are really worth.
Imagine if the whole world knew that there is more gold in a ton of seawater, than in the equvilent mass of ore(not of course including pure gold),and that in the process of extracting this metal from the life force of the earth, one could produce more fresh water and electricity than could possibly be required to sustain human existance in an advanced level, while not sacrificing the environment. But of course this would not become common knowledge, because who will loose out there? Major corperations and goverments would surely not appreciate the mass exodus of their citazens, to a life where they could afford more for themselves than they could pay a government to provide for them.
Not trying to bring you down, far from it. I just want more people to know more about what is happening around them. Not everyone can change a car tyre, but we can all drive. So the wheel matters, even if you dont know why. Do i make any sence? maybe i'm wrong, but thats what i know anyway. Thanks for the pleasant comment on my earlier piece too by the way.

AnyaTuesday 23rd of November 2004 11:49:19 PM
- Romulus,
You didn't bring me down...but the way I think (and many many people will rightly disagree with me for a number of reasons), is that "it's not ALL about the money."

Yes, you mention corporations, then taking elemental product to highly processesed commodity, and sure there is a cost absorption and hyperinflation for profit margins. I don't pretend to understand economics. However, on a basic individualized level, my Tuesday 7am recycling acts of rebellion are based more on affecting an interpersonal ideology (big words).

What am I thinking?
If a person in place A can turn off their lights when they are not in the room, a person in place B can wash out their container and put it into a bin with number 2 on it (so that we won't need to run more polymerization reactions), why can't another group of people all come together and just throw a piece of paper into a bin that will take that to a reprocessing plant and put loggers to think of sparing our tropics? (do not think about costs of that person walking over to the recycling bin and all the rest of the process).

The predominant mentality here is that since no one else does it, I won't either. It's just too easy to take the easy way out! I am going for the, "ok it only takes an extra step, but I will do it because if we all do it, it may count" mentality. Soon enough, it becomes second nature.

For some reason having written this, I am compelled to take it a step further....but that's the whole point...if we are individually more "resourceful" with our resources, collectively, we will be preventing a possible lack of those resources for the generations that follow us. This is from an environmental point of view, but I think "resourcefulness" is a useful skill in just about everything.

I am not a hardcore environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm starting with a small recycling step to get the ball rolling on other things, namely, responsibility. But this is subject for another discussion.
I also hope that I made some sense, since I will need to be awake again in 3 hours.

Good night!
romulusWednesday 24th of November 2004 02:26:49 AM
Just an Opinion - I read your last post when i got back, and realised that i may have misrepresented my view. I am strongly for the recycling of materials, no matter what the material is made into. What i do not believe in, is the general and often un-educated public having to carry the cost of recycling, when we are the end users, not the techno bofins who make the garbage that lines the ocean floors, and pollutes our vegetable patches so that we eat nothing but poison. And poor good hearted soles, like yourself, have to use their medical genious to tell us we are sick because we are addicted to take away lifestyles, and throw away body parts.
No disrespect intended, but we wouldnt really need quite so many doctors, if the people weren't so sick would we? I've been trying myself, to recycle computer pieces, but the price i get for what i know is inside, makes it almost not worth my effort. Except for the fact that i am inquisitive, and have a hands on approach, i would have given up. But as it would be, it's driven me to learn more about the structures of things in general, their associations with other things, and the processes in which molecular transformation occur.
What the hell do i mean? I mean i want to do it myself. I want to see it happen with my own eyes so i know its being done right. I want to grind my materials into fine particles. I want to seperate the different varieties of metals and silicones. And i want to melt my gold and silver and copper and whatever else i may find into bars. And in the end, i want to give that product that i have produced, which i know is needed in industry, to someone not for the highest price, but for the best result. The best result for me would be to offer this sort of recycled product, at a discounted price to people who most required it. We all know, or should i believe, what is absolutely necissary for human existance. And to blur or distort the truth in relation to this would be an error on my part. But what we need and what we have, have become almost indistinguishable. We cant imagine life without the T.V, or the car. Thats what scares most people from facing the issue.
It doesnt have to revert back to the dark ages but, if people play by the rules. I am not at all suggesting, that people have to unplug their xboxes and p.c's, and throw away their worldly poosessions. What i am suggesting, is that if alternatives can be found to decelerate the degradation of our stability, then those maesures should be made PRIORITY over and above any other issue on the political agendas of whoevers group or consortium involved. Like my earlier example, of killing three birds with one stone, understanding and using natural process must be the fundamental building block upon which all things good rest on. So maybe at heart, i am a hard core environmentalist. I know full well and perfectly understand the process of, and idealism behind the recycling solution. But having worked in a plant that recycles paper watses for a period of time, i discovered the inner workings have no real focus on preserving the untouched and untapped resources that the earth and ocean still have to offer. Oil tankers still sink without there really being a reason for them to do so, and penguins still die because of it. Its not the oil thats the problem but is it? Its the way we got it there thats the problem. But will we re-design an oilfloat and spend some money in order to make some, or do we keep ripping people off and running the gauntlet with their envionments? I am no expert, but the majority that have to live through this are not anyway . And this is why it upsets me so much. We stupid people, i really refer to my self here, who make no real contribution, and feel like drifters in a world that seems unreachable and imaginary, just dont understand, and really feel we were never supposed to, why one man is not worth what the other man is. Why one mans dollar is not the same as another mans. And most importantly, why a mans home determines who he is.
I may sound a bit hard line, and maybe even likened to an alarmist, but a "real" effort has to be made. Picking up papers in the school yard, to give them to the teacher, who throws them back on the ground defeats the purpose doesn't it? Thats the reality of recycling by companies who are listed on the stock exchange, and must pay shareholders a dividend every year according to their percentage of net company worth.
I wish i knew why i cared so much. I guess its hard for me to think, my grandparents, and theirs, all directly contributed to the uncertainty which is modern humanity. There are many things i would like to be, but if i couldnt be all at once, i could be niether at all.
Sorry for boring you again with my views, but i see a headstrong woman who's gears have just started turning in her mind. You are in a much better position than i my friend, to raise the point with the relavent people to make a wave of change. I am in absolutely no position whatsoever, to even be heard by the right people, unless of course, you are the right people.
Thanks for discussing it with me though, Good luck in what you do, and god be with you always
P>S>, gee i wish i could simplify my feelings, or at least slow them down so i didnt have to write so much
AnyaWednesday 24th of November 2004 06:09:35 AM
- [quote]Originally posted by romulus
have to use their medical genious to tell us we are sick because we are addicted to take away lifestyles, and throw away body parts.[/quote]
Very very interesting, Romulus!
I see the point you are making, however I have a hard time agreeing with the "throw away body parts" bit. The skepticism comes together with my field of research. On the one hand, I have a REALLY REALLY hard time justifying taking a donor lung (for instance) and transplanting it into a lifetime career smoker who's lungs are so useless from emphysema or fibrosis that they have to be on ventilatory support. But on the other hand, where I work, and where I am headed, the gift of "body parts" is the highest gift anyone can ever give. The organs go to those who need them most, and those who can take care of them best. They do double lung, and heart-lung transplants nearly on a daily basis here. It is my job then to figure out the genetics of what caused the explanted organs to fail. I am starting to see a lot of them. Mainly in Cystic Fibrosis, the most common life-threatening inherited disease in this country. These individuals work really hard everyday to maintain their lungs healthy, they deserve a new chance should someone pass away and give their lungs. They also do living donor lobe transplantation (although quite rarely), but this also shows the extent of these organ gifts.
Although a tangent, I think this is a crucial issue and does have a little to do with "recycling" but also follows the concept of "resourcefulness" that I am trying to think through.

STORY: "In 1996 Tissue Banks International helped establish the Nepal Eye Bank. The procurement of corneas was done in an outpatient eye hospital and operated through Katmandu's main hospitals. This arrangement yielded few corneas. Because of religious beliefs and cultural preferences, many Nepalese elected to convalesce and die in their own homes. When a person dies, relatives take the body to a temple to be cremated. Few people were dying in hospitals thus limiting the number of possible donors. Among possible donors, the belief that the deceased would enter the next life blind also discouraged donation." (1)
As part of an effort to increase awareness, the collection was moved to Pashupati Temple and prominent Buddhist monks and Hindu priests began to publicly endorse corneal donation. As a result of this ideological change, in "2000 the eye bank harvested 160% more corneas after adopting these changes. In 1999 it harvested 494% more corneas than it had when still relying on a hospital referral system in 1997. Not only have more corneas been harvested but they have also been of higher quality. This has been an important step in reducing the backlog of blind patients awaiting tissue in Nepal. Attention to cultural differences allowed the Western model of an eye bank to successfully adapt to a developing Asian country." (1)
The paradigm shift came from presenting eye donation in a light that made it beneficial to the donor in a culturally significant way. This is a clear example of how replaceable parts are not all that bad. By donating a cornea, one gives someone the gift of sight!

[quote]No disrespect intended, but we wouldnt really need quite so many doctors, if the people weren't so sick would we?[/quote]
Maybe........but not!
Illness is part of the human condition. Although some of it is self-induced (like smoking, etc), but other illnesses are genetic, acquired through trauma, or worse yet inflicted as part of treatments. (Examples-- genetic: Cystic Fibrosis, trauma: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, treatment side-effects: Immunosuppression and knockout of rapidly dividing cells as part of myelo-ablative therapy)

These examples illustrate some of the many medical disciplines, namely Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine, Psychiatry and Heme/Oncology. Illness and disease ARE part of the human condition, and humanity's answer is the contributions of men and women to relieve suffering with the best current standards....

Now wait a minute, though, there are NOT Enough doctors in the world and the standards are lacking!! The newest statistics (which I don't know from the top of my head) are staggering. Looking at Physicians per capita data, you can see the vast gaps in healthcare worldwide. These medical advances are only available to those lucky enough to live in developed nations, or nations that proactively invested in their healthcare. We can do better.

I still agree with your point on self-induced conditions, but I just wanted to point out a slight misconception about the access to healthcare worldwide (it is a topic that concerns me greatly, so I appreciate the chance to discuss it, in the context of resources).

[quote] I've been trying myself, to recycle computer pieces, but the price i get for what i know is inside, makes it almost not worth my effort. Except for the fact that i am inquisitive, and have a hands on approach, i would have given up. But as it would be, it's driven me to learn more about the structures of things in general, their associations with other things, and the processes in which molecular transformation occur. [/quote]
I wish more people would see it this way!

[quote]And to blur or distort the truth in relation to this would be an error on my part. But what we need and what we have, have become almost indistinguishable.
[/quote] Thank you for informing me, I think the more information we have, the better off we are.

[quote]Like my earlier example, of killing three birds with one stone, understanding and using natural process must be the fundamental building block upon which all things good rest on. [/quote] How about catch and release three birds? ;)
I know, I know, it's an idiom. I'm not picking on you, but psychologically, saying something gives it a greater chance to happen. If we use this stratagem wisely, think of the possibilities! Everyone would recycle (in theory).

[quote]So maybe at heart, i am a hard core environmentalist. I know full well and perfectly understand the process of, and idealism behind the recycling solution. But having worked in a plant that recycles paper watses for a period of time, i discovered the inner workings have no real focus on preserving the untouched and untapped resources that the earth and ocean still have to offer.[/quote]
Again, thank you so much for the information!

[quote]Oil tankers still sink without there really being a reason for them to do so, and penguins still die because of it. Its not the oil thats the problem but is it? Its the way we got it there thats the problem. But will we re-design an oilfloat and spend some money in order to make some, or do we keep ripping people off and running the gauntlet with their envionments? I am no expert, but the majority that have to live through this are not anyway . And this is why it upsets me so much. We stupid people, i really refer to my self here, who make no real contribution, and feel like drifters in a world that seems unreachable and imaginary, just dont understand, and really feel we were never supposed to, why one man is not worth what the other man is. Why one mans dollar is not the same as another mans. And most importantly, why a mans home determines who he is. [/quote]
I couldn't agree more with you. Of course everything is up for interpretation, but I agree with you wholeheartedly. It seems priorities are dangerously skewed. Enough for people to start developing fears, or coping by avoidance (whichever happens first).
[quote]I wish i knew why i cared so much. I guess its hard for me to think, my grandparents, and theirs, all directly contributed to the uncertainty which is modern humanity. There are many things i would like to be, but if i couldnt be all at once, i could be niether at all. [/quote] Don't give up on caring!

[quote]Sorry for boring you again with my views, but i see a headstrong woman who's gears have just started turning in her mind. You are in a much better position than i my friend, to raise the point with the relavent people to make a wave of change. I am in absolutely no position whatsoever, to even be heard by the right people, unless of course, you are the right people. [/quote] I don't find your views boring, on the contrary, I thank you for sharing and talking about the behind the scenes that serve to demotivate people here.
In the long-run what you've written can reach a whole lot more 'relative' people than my motivation attempts in a 40-person office.

Bottom line though, putting words to actions WORKS, and has an amplifying effect if we don't give up. Change, but in moderation.

(1) Ruit, Sanduk; Tabin, Geoffrey, et. al. Temple Eye Banking in Nepal Cornea. 2002 May;21(4):433-4.

AnyaWednesday 29th of December 2004 09:30:55 AM
- Ulven,
I can not believe how much what you've written expresses my sentiments on this topic as well!

I think acting solely upon guilt-driven sentiments, in essence, negates the intention and the action. Guilt is a built in retro-active mechanism that albeit useful "as an afterthought" it clearly needs to be balanced with a dose of pro-activity. I am typically a person who endeavors upon things before they absolutely have to be done. In general, the spontaneous nature of these endeavors allows me to maintain a positive world view given that I am actively participating in it. If I sat back and analysed and agonized over everything that has been done wrong or worse yet, analyse the worst possible outcome, I would either never get anything accomplished, or sink back into an imbalanced, guilt-driven, retroactive mindset and drag others with me.

In earlier posts, I mentioned the mentality that I was striving to share, one that goes with taking a role and leading by example. The tough part is to find a balance where we are living forwards, learning from the past, but as you've said adapting to the ever-changing environment.

In moderation: pro-activity, retrograde action and even a little ambivalence. The thing to leave out of this equation is the assumption that your beliefs/values are any more valid than someone else's (case in point with animals). It's a fine line.

AnyaSunday 02nd of January 2005 10:17:18 AM
- The tissue paper reverse polarity from the recycling bin is similar to people's aversion of using cloth handkerchiefs! It's unhygienic they say, others may say it's inconvenient. I guess we have to pick our battles, somewhat.

There is also an unexplained logic behind NOT being able to recycle paper wraps from reams of paper, journals, cardboard, manilla envelopes. I mean, unless it's specifically plastic-coated for durability (aka: reused)--those materials all came from the same source and will recombine nicely so that we can write, package, sort with them again!

On the topic of tissues and human waste...those biohazard bags that are so prevalent where I work amount to tonnes of plastic being incinerated every day, releasing billions of volatilized organic and inorganic particles that then rain down on our heads, deposit in our lungs, etc. I think that there would be a revolt if we asked that the contents behind this label:

be categorically sorted!!
I mean if it can contain a pathogen it would need to have a different fate than the plastic that touched simple DMEM/F12 media! The half-life of additives there (e.g. glutamine is 8 days at 37 C) are so short in comparison to the circulation time of volatilized plastic that these reagents are trapped in and therefore thrown away and incinerated.

The trade-off comes between direct safety of the person using potentially biohazardous materials and the global community of people that encounter these "neutralized" biohazard byproducts when they have been volatilized and released into the air. At that point, the original pathogen is of course toast, but no one can evaluate definitively what impact particulates are having on our biosphere, both short and long-term.

I guess this is somewhat off of the recycling topic, but I just wish that I could reduce the number of gloves and pipettes and flasks going to incineration without causing our custodial staff to refuse to pick up regular trash with gloves from when I wiped down a benchtop! It would be neat if someone came up with an intermediary processing machine that compacts gloves and pipettes so that they blend in with the regular trash, decluttering the red bags and our air. (Maybe if we paid more attention to aerosol chemists that this issue could be more universally appreciated).
AnyaSunday 02nd of January 2005 09:08:25 PM
- LOL!!!!
Not at all. I think that the PAPER recycling process will take care of our germs, however biohazard material processing is questionable in the sense that it creates more byproducts (at least that's what I'm pondering).

Sorry about my verbosity, I need to switch the other half of my brain (the artistic one) on more often.
UlvenSaturday 08th of January 2005 06:36:01 PM
Personal waste, and equal distribution - One bizarre method of recycling I do is to throw my food remains around the yard. My mum loves it, comically speaking. She's never suggested I stop, so I haven't. She things it's amusing seeing my banana peels hanging from all our trees. When they go black, they look like sleeping bats.ha ha. My theory behind this is that so long you don't discard them in the same place each time, and evenly disperse them, the eco can break them down easily. I even saw a blue-tongue lizard checking a peel out yesterday. I can't be sure what he wanted with it though. But he moved along, because my dog started barking at him.
To theorize this to an extreme, by today's standards anyway, I think having sewage system seems unnatural. I know how bizarre it sounds by today's standard to toilet in nature. But, in future generations I could imagine people thinking "wow, how backward and analy retentive (excuse the pun) people were back then when they daren't toilet in nature. Obviously a solitary backyard wouldn't be able to handle such amounts of waste. But, in areas with plenty of land around, it seems logical to me. Of course it'd uncomfortable and inconvienient, especially in cold countries. But, I think a localized sewage system where the waste is distributed equally through surrounding natural land. So it wouldn't mean you have to actually 'do the deed' there. But, the minimal amount of natural land surrounding 99% of homes would make such an idea unhygenic. I'm merely stating how it could be in a world that isn't overtaken by concrete. It just seems so destructive to pump sewage to a singular localized area.
eg. If I have cooking oil left over from making dinner, I don't find it ecologically sound to put it in a bottle to throw in the garbage. That seems equally as destructive, in the long haul, as pumping it into a river. You're still building up large reserbes of waste that can never be broken down by bottling it and overcrowing one pareticular site of land. I lightly spread the cooking oil in my yard. Never dumping it in one blob. That'd kill whatevers there. And never twice in the same place within weeks or a month. To our notice, no ill effects have come to our garden and yard. It's actually quite vibrant.
Another method of unwastefulness I wonder about, is washing my clothes in the bath-tub after I'm finished. I know you couldn't use heavy detergents in the same place you're washing your skin. But, if you do merely scrub your clothes with extra soap put in after your bathing, I don't see a hygene problem. But, you'd have to have time on your hands. Most people wouldn't feel like doing laundry after getting home from work and having a relaxing bath.
These are all just experimental to me. So, if anyone can find fault with these ideas I'd love to hear them. It's all trial and error for me. Which is, truly, natures way of going about things, rather than have advertisements and environmental politicians dictate to you what you're 'supposed to' think is good for the environment.

AnyaSaturday 08th of January 2005 10:59:05 PM
- I am sad that your other posts have disappeared! I wonder what happened to them? Funny how now it looks like I'm posting with myself :-/

Wow, I can see at least two ways how someone may look at these ideas. To me, they make perfect sense.

Composting:
Growing up, I would spend summers at a countryside house. There was no "central" sanitation line, instead we had a perfectly hygienic outhouse that served as excellent flora for the compost circles. Everything would go into these two compost "wells" and emerge as great topsoil for the garden. It kept the nitrogen and other elements cycling!

On Laundry:
They would turn the hot water off for "prophylaxis" during the summers at our flat (in the city) and we would boil water to take showers. Doing the laundry traditionally became difficult, even with washers that are much more water efficient than I've found here. It was easier to wash clothes in the remaining warm water and then rinse in cold water to remove the detergent.

Aside: there is actually a difference in detergent formulations between the US and Europe in that their optimal temperature is in the cold-range in Europe and in the hot-warm range in the US. Can't swap detergents because they will not work very well.

So in conclusion, I don't find fault with these ideas, they have all been demonstrated in practice, and I think are quite practical! The good thing about detergents is that they emulsify ("lock away") the oils on skin and clothes, so that there is no hygiene problem. In the garden, there are lots of microorganisms perfectly capable of "dining" on exotic leftovers....I think this would make them happy (just in moderation).



UlvenThursday 20th of January 2005 07:36:17 PM
- I have yet another odd habit, and accompanying theory.
People (the non-lazy variety) always make-up their bed, tucking in the sheets. I'm not sure how hygenic that is. I don't imagine that doing so would suffocate any bacteria built-up over the long night. I'm sure they can breath on very little. So, tucking in the blackets would trap them in there and shield them from the fresh air dislodging them before they can get settled into the fibres. Me, I open the window full, and the door wide, and strip the sheets back over a chair, so that all the sheet-faces that were wrapping me are subject to the air-flow through the room. The idea being, that bacteria needs time to grip on before it can breed. So, if you subject it to the air-flow it won't have time to. Hence, no babies. Maybe it doesn;t work this way?

Now, no need to answer whether this is 'normal'lol:). But, is tucking one's bed in more or less hygenic than my practice? Does one or the other help or hinder the bacteria's plight to make a home and raise children?