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Thread: Ecological Footprint

  1. #61
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    http://www.myfootprint.org

    If everyone lived like me we would need 2.25 planets. Don't remember if this is the same quiz as before, but I thought I'd do it again, and hey, I've improved a little

    Now, I now we are all very busy minding our own business as well as awaiting the impending doom (the recent catastrophes and volcanic eruptions have to be a sign, right?), making fun of catholic priests with their robes down to their ancles or playing with some investments in different aspect of communications as airtraffic is suspended, but... Have we forgotten about the environment? I don't think we should. I read a pretty interesting article the other day, or maybe I heard it on the radio; either way there was this guy taking a look at the world today and he made a point of the environment and why this isn't a hotshot theme as much as it could be -especially since the sensationalists could make good use of current wordly events to rack up some columns. Anyway, what he said was that with so many immediate and simple worries, the environmental issues is just too complicated and far off we cannot deal with it. It's like a major school assignment -you know it's coming a long way off, but actually getting started and stayig ahead is enormously difficult. And as with those school assignments this guy speculated that some way ahead there would be a time where we had to act, in an Calvin-like last minute panic through the night-haul to get it done. Now, the problem with the last minute panic work is that sometimes it works and other times it... fails. While the guy who's been steady working for a long time, he never fails.

    Now the concept is not new, but I felt I could relate to the school analogy and well, the problem is still there. Lets not dwell on the problems though, better to focus on solutions, no? What I have been up to lately is improving my recycling habits. It even got to the point where I told the landlord/shark about the possibility of a compost thingy in the backyard. Now, of course he only shrugged, mumbled something about smell and shied off, but that's improvement for me actually speaking up at all. I might have pursued it too if it hadn't been for the facts that I am a) lazy and b)moving soon. Anyway, most things are recycled properly, as well as I've continued focusing on my water habits. The goal for this summer is to increase my own awareness about locally grown food and general groceryhabits.

    I'm kind of surprised that my footprint was smaller this time around seeing as I've drastically increased my travelling, both by plane and car, but I don't know. Maybe all those other things add up. What I'm most pleased about and proud of is my shopping/spending habits, which have become virtually nonexistent when it comes to things I don't need. (Mind you that will change as I'm planning to get a tv and soundsystem the next few months)

    From the areas covered by this quiz the areas I can improve on is mostly travel, of course, and also buy shopping greener. The travel will be the hardest one for me to change, whilst the shopping thing is really just a question of being less lazy.

    Anyone who still gives a damn?
    High Marshal of Decadence


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  2. #62
    King Sloth High House Chaos sir archely's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    I definitely still give a damn. Largely the reason I'm doing this.

    I took this quiz again and ended up with 3.65 planets.

    Just out of curiousity, I switched to say I lived in Norway and entered the same habits. Apparently 99% of Norway's energy comes from renewable sources? The figure in that box for the US was just under 9%. Sad. Ended up with 2.19 if I had the same habits in Norway.

    I was curious, so I also went through as if I lived in the US and did everything 'right'. Ended up with 1.05 earths. That was for a large family living in a rural situation where they basically didn't use electricity. Doesn't give me much hope for the future.
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  3. #63
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    How are things going with the garden? To early to tell yet? Thumbs up though

    Basically all our energy comes from water running down all our mountains, so we're very lucky there. We also do love our money though, so I wonder if this takes into account the fact that in peak energy seasons (winter) we sell alot of our clean energy abroad and buy alot of energy from Sweden, which is mainly nuclear power. I'm not sure how bad nuclear power is, I mean, in Civilization it's alot cleaner than say, coal, but as I have no other sources that that I'll let it lie

    Edit: Actually Wikipedia had quite alot to say for it and it seems as though alot of numbers speak in favour of the scary-ass plants, with lower co2 emission total and more power produced per co2 by far.

    But as you say, 9% only in the US, there has to be a possibility for improvement there? Is Obama up for this or has he pissed off enough people with his healthcare?

    But it's really inevitable that the numbers are different from place to place, maybe south of Sahara your habits would run up to less than a planet -for instance I ran my habits through Bangladesh (the country listed with the smallest ecological footprint) and came up with 0,36 earths! I know, if the calculator is flawed to begin with this for sure is, but it's a funny experiment anyway. And I think that when you say that it leaves you with little hope for the future I think that's where you are wrong. Because say that for an american, it will "never" be possible to get below that one earthe we do have -we'll maybe that's not necessary. There will be other places that could cover up. Some areas in the world is bound to be harder than other to carve out a sustainable living, there might be other places making up that demand. Kind of like in a demand and supply way.

    But it would be nice to make that difference as small as possible, that's for sure. In addition to this, fossil fuel sources will be exhausted (over here, for instance, awareness is rising due to a report that indicates we might have a lot less than the preciously imagined fifty years of oil and gas) and that makes an advance in renewable, cleaner energy sort of inevitable, no?
    High Marshal of Decadence


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  4. #64
    ~sigh~ High House Dawn Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    1.87 Earths. I guess working in a climate studies lab for a year taught me a couple things.

    I set up a similar calculator on my old boss's website last summer. A couple things to note about the quiz, there is at least one error. In the recycling question, if you don't recycle electronics you have a smaller footprint than if you do. Surely, that can't be right. Also, a recent study shows that omnivores have a smaller footprint than vegans. I can't remember all the specifics, but it has something to do with proper use of manure vs need for fertilizers.



    Arch, you should have the option to ask your power company to allocate your power with Green sources (wind, solar, etc..). At least it is an option with our company. You end up paying just about the same amount, the price hike is practically negligible and you're then "100% green" powered. In NJ, most of our power is nuclear anyway, so it's pretty green regardless.



    My biggest worry with this whole sustainability thing is our dependence on oil. There's no getting around how we need it for so many ubiquitous things. It's not just fuel, even if all the fuel was replaced with Solar/battery tomorrow (and assuming it all works wonderfully), we still need petroleum for pharmaceutics, plastics, and food stuffs. There have been some truly amazing developments in the chemistry industry to reduce our needs on oil, but it'll never be zero.

    And since we're beyond peak oil, we'll be seeing some serious shifts in lifestyle in our lifetime. We need a massive breakthrough in materials production and recycling to get around it, imo.
    I wanna be like a goose and fly to new orleans for the winter and to canada for the summer.

    Gaidin to Amelia. She is the bomb. And the keeper of satan's nose. Acually, all I have now is her right nostril...

  5. #65
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    Here's a pretty neat side to look at some beautiful places and learn a little bit about climate change. Also, if you have a an HD screen, you can also see the pores of Kofi Annan
    http://www.google.com/landing/cop16/climatetours.html
    Last edited by Eyreplenh; December 9th, 2010 at 08:00.
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    a-brief-history-of-knowledge-about-antarctic-temperatures/

    The link is self-explanatory, I think Pretty funny/sad though
    High Marshal of Decadence


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  7. #67
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    So, you know, I'm still going about this becoming greener thing. One interesting thing that has been going on over here is that a recent conflict has brought to the surface that the fight for the environment often is not the same as the fight for nature. Over here, we have a neat little something called fjords (consult Hicthikers guide for further details), and they are beautiful and quite spectacular. One thing that is a bugger with them, though, is that they are damn impractical. Some times, see, there's a fjord between a city and the main powersupply systems up in the mountains. Now, from old times there has been a pretty good grid going around the fjords, but it so now happens that the city (not to mention the oil pumps located in the citys outer waters) need more power. The two alternatives has been to throw up some lines in the air, going across the fjord, so to say, or to put down a cable on the bottom of the fjord sea. The air cable's are ugly, says the naturalists, they will destroy a beautiful piece of nature irrevocably and might affect the species of birds in the area. They are supported by tourist associations and people living in the fjords that make their livelihood off people who don't have nature of their own. Go by sea, they say!

    Now, the environmentalists say that a cable by air at least is quick, and the city needs power now. If they go by sea, it will take a few years to get done and probably the city will need to pull extra power from a polluting gasplant while waiting. The power from the grid is waterbased, green and renewable. They also say that the lines by air will be quick to immerse themselves in the surroundings, and they support this with surveys from other places with power lines in the air that say people don't really notice them. Also, they say, damn you bigot naturalists for valueing the birds more than the lifeforms at the bottom of the sea, which, more likely, will be more affected than the birds ever will.

    I think it is sad that two groups of people that both do important and good work go at eachother like this in stead of standing side by side. After all, there is a third option here, that is so free it hurts and that should fit in with both the naturalists and environmentalists; moderation. The city in question is not growing at such a rapid rate that the demand for power is crucial yet, and most of the increased demand come from a few big offshore oil facilities. The warmongers cry out that if there comes a really cold winter then it will be REALLY expensive to keep houses warm. Not that there will be a shortage, no, that the prices will go up. Well, put on a warm sweater, douchebag! Sigh, I really cannot understand why the two biggest green groups over here couldn't gather around a meaningful message in stead of discussing whether to shit or piss our own pants.

    It is the problem I have with most of the groups I come across. I've tried attending a few meetings, but I am always dismayed by a few things. The latest one featured a speaker that advocated that we as students started buying and wearing hemp in stead of cotton or whatever. Everything is rooted in the same belief that we can continue to shop and waste in the same rate as today, only in different materials. I'm not so sure technology, like Buck was saying in a previous post, will go that quickly. Sure, hemp might be better than cotton, I don't even know. But isn't it a more valid point to make that another alternative is to stop shopping altogether (and no, I don't actually mean dead stop, again, I like the word moderation)?

    As an example, last year I first set a real goal not to consume more than I had to. Now, take clothes as an example. I have never really enjoyed getting new clothes anyway, so you could say it's not that big a sacrifice for me, but lets go with t-shirts. I enjoy wearing them and have always liked to find somewhat uniqe ones that not many others around me wear. I decided not to get a new one before I'd worn out and gotten rid of two old ones, since I have too many already. You know, I've tried. I've tried really hard, but it is near impossible to wear out a t-shirt! I've been going at my least favourite ones, and always put them on top rotation. As soon as they're clean, I wear them. When I work out, when I hike around, sometimes tripping and falling on the ground, but the bastards wont give up. Even the cheap, thin things I used to have to wear when there was something special going on in the bookshop, even those wont buckle to hard wear.

    Clothes might be a small point, but it goes for most other things. We're spammed with commercials these days for different blends of hybrid fuels and new, fancy, hybrid cars. Part of me want to say fuck that, keep your old diesel monster, just drive less damnit! Large offices spend millions on different things to cut expenses and waste to a minimum, bot most of them run their lights and aircon all night even though the workers go home at five.

    It's when even the environmental groups and orgs try to live and compete within the same set of rules and doctrines as profit-driven financial institutions that it turns sour in my eyes. But hey, who's going to make an effort if it wont turn a buck, eh?

    Okay, so... A challenge, for those of you that dare. Find your most hated t-shirt. You're now going to wage a silent war against it. See if you can wear it down, see how long time it takes. And if you are able to do it, let me know
    Last edited by Eyreplenh; March 22nd, 2011 at 05:10.
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  8. #68
    King Sloth High House Chaos sir archely's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    I see this a lot too, Eyre. Green groups working at cross-purposes, that is. Or at best, not working together even where their interests overlap and mesh.

    Another ridiculous thing: I donate enough to be a "member" of each of three environmental organizations. Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and Arbor Day Foundation. I won't get into the overlap there, but the ridiculous thing is that they each send me at least one piece of mail a month, and usually it's more like 2 or 3 a month. I found that my name was also shared on a list for many different "environmental" groups, so I get stuff all the time from these other groups as well. I get mailings of this sort probably 10 times monthly, always asking for money. Which is fine, I don't begrudge them their effort to raise funds for their mission. However, it is a colossal waste of resources to do it like they are. There's a ton of paper involved, and some of it is plastic-y or sticker-y, which I can't even recycle. I mean, c'mon, Arbor Day, paper = trees you know. Then I try to add up the possible postage costs that these organizations are spending combined, in an era of much, much cheaper electronic communication, and it's, well, ridiculous.
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  9. #69
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    Quote Originally Posted by sir archely View Post
    (...) and it's, well, ridiculous.
    I know. I don't have the same problem, as the couple of orgs I support actually send their newsletters and requests by mail, but around campus there's mountains of leaflets lying around, often with the glossiest and heaviest leaded paper available. Now, I'm not against spreading the word, by no means. But leaflets? Thrown in heaps on "hotspots" in the hallways in the hope someone will pick them up? One poster makes up for two hundred leaflets, in my (granted; limited) experience.

    The dilution of funds and resources is a problem in any ideal organization, it seems. A critical look at Save the Children a couple of years back showed that of the funds gathered, around ten percent ended up directly benefiting the area in question. Not sure if that was the whole org or just the norwegian branch, but...

    A recent glimmer of positivity up here in the mountains is a small coalition of politicians and organizational leaders have gathered around a message to show restraint in the yearly sitdown between workers orgs and employers orgs. It is mainly because of the economically gloom situation around the world, but they also point out some positive things for environment and general health as well. The main idea is that they suggest workers to request more time off in the place of a pay raise, and I like the idea. In stead of buying more stuff you don't need, you can spend some more time with your kids, browse some books and get educated at a local library or university, and not least: spend some time out in nature. It will do you good (for your mental health, time spent simply outside is about as beneficial as a daily workout) and raise awareness for the greens. I spot... A goodnatured cycle!
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  10. #70
    King Sloth High House Chaos sir archely's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    Huh. Over here, instead of, you know, sensible ideas and good faith bargaining seeking common ground, instead they're basically just telling workers to go shove it. If that weren't bad enough, it's usually coupled with massive tax breaks for large corporations. Fodder for a different thread, I think, but one that i'm not going to start.

    The topic at hand: At least over here, the information about how much of a donation goes to administrative costs and to actually serving whatever it's being donated to is usually pretty easily found. It may even be required by law, but I don't know that for sure.
    I have given pleasure to the world because I have such a beautiful ass!

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  11. #71
    High Roller High House Moon Dregs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    I really hate to say it, but I no longer give a shit. I've substantially changed the way I live: I have solar-thermal hot water, solar panels and grey-water recycling systems installed, I travel by bus to and from work, I don't fly as much, I (the wife in reality) grow my own vegies and minimise resource use. But none of this was really for environmental reasons. It was all pretty much done so I can reduce my bills in the long term.

    I still think we're pretty much fucked. I just don't care enough to make a difference beyond my own life. I assist the government in protecting areas of Australia, not because I particularly believe it's worthwhile, but because I have the skills they need and it pays really well. This might be a repugnant to some, but I just don't have the energy to care.

    Sorry for the downer.
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  12. #72
    Quick! To the Volcano! High House Moon Eyreplenh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    On the other side though, if all the people not having the energy to care anymore lived like you, there wouldn't be a problem

    I too believe we are pretty much fucked, but I also believe we are not fucked all the way. Our uteri has not been poked yet. Uhm...

    There was this grand old philosopher man from france that was supposed to give a speech at our uni the other day, Edgar Morin, about the way ahead of us. The bloke is old as a mountain, and unfortunately his health didn't cooperate, so that he couldn't make it. However, our own Eva Joly was there to take over and she tried to put into words some of his thoughts, which lately have sentered around a metamorphosis that will be necessary to turn this ship around. We cannot change course, as it were, we need to find a new boat. I'll try to get ahold of his new book and take a closer look, but it's expressing thoughts that has some resonance in me. Now, I am waiting to see if this change is going to come along by itself or if I'll have to be it myself
    High Marshal of Decadence


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  13. #73
    High Roller High House Moon Dregs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyreplenh View Post
    On the other side though, if all the people not having the energy to care anymore lived like you, there wouldn't be a problem
    Not really. Despite all my work and expenditure, I'm still using 3.5 planets worth of resources. In the words of Mother Teresa, "You can't win, don't even try."
    (I told you it was a mistake to let me have a signature.)

  14. #74
    Hey! That's ME! AquaFizz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    I sort of care. The things I care most about are cars, though. Not nessicarily the use of cars in general, but just the cars that people chose to drive. Today I was on the drive-thru line at Chik-Fil-A and two Honda Pilots (SUVs) pulled in right next to each other. In one was a guy and in the other was a mom with two kids. They ended up being a family. I will give them that they were probably meeting dad there and he was coming from work and they were coming from home/soccer practice...it wasn't that they showed up in two vehicles that pissed me off. It was that they showed up in SUVs! TWO! It's not like they have 4, 5 or 6 kids. They have TWO kids! That's it! Two kids doesn't even warrant ONE SUV, much less two! WTF? I wanted to leave a note on their windows that said, "Hey, Gas-Guzzling ASSHOLES! Thanks for killing the planet for my children AND yours!" SUV's in general piss me off. I mean, when they're beat up and rugged, I'm a little more laid back. Obviously they use it the way it's meant to be used, not just as a sportier version of a minivan (which you STILL don't need if you only have two freaking kids!) But most of the time they're shiny, new & pristine. Also, most of the time one blonde-bobbed mom hops out and that's it. Nothing in her life warrants owning an SUV.

    ...Of course, what pisses me off more than that is when she gets back into the SUV and tries to back it out.
    A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.

    Oh. About that...

  15. #75
    King Sloth High House Chaos sir archely's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ecological Footprint

    Quote Originally Posted by Dregs View Post
    Sorry for the downer.
    Don't worry about it dregs, I'm pretty much to that point myself. Yeah, we're pretty much fucked. I would say fortunately, and I can't remember where I heard this (it may have even been someone on here?) but when the lobster is getting boiled, the pot doesn't give a shit. That is, we're fucked, but chances are life will go on, no matter what we do to the earth. So that's some solace... sort of... maybe? We are an extinction event, but it's not like that hasn't happened before. There will come a point in the not so distant future when we either come out the other side by developing technology which allow us to come out into a post-scarcity society, or we're forced to accept the enormous changes in lifestyle. That isn't to say those possibilities are mutually exclusive, but we can only deny the state of things so long. I guess the lobster is free to deny the boiling water all it wants though.

    Also, as a partial response to dregs' by addressing fizz's comment... I do think that small actions really do add up. Even though all driving as we know it is unsustainable, at least making a more sustainable choice would do some good. And little stuff does add up when you get a few million people doing it. I was recently reflecting on the fact that just in my neighborhood, tons of people spend a lot of resources (time, money, water, nutrients, etc) to grow decorative gardens. Which is fine, I like flowers too. But if they were simply to change a few plants in a yard square portion of their decorative garden into food producers, my neighborhood within a few blocks would be producing hundreds of pounds of food each year, and doing a great deal to offset a lot of this stuff. I was recently reading about drought conditions in the southern portion of the United States, and the situation is worsening. I wonder how many millions of gallons of water are dumped on golf courses, suburban grass yards, and decorative beds, among other things, in this region each year.

    Also, Mother Teresa was a messed up sadistic fucker. No, I'm serious.
    Last edited by sir archely; April 7th, 2011 at 23:06.
    I have given pleasure to the world because I have such a beautiful ass!

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