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 Post subject: Is Going Green Really Golden?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:17 am 
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Reseller Advocate Magazine questions the value of greener computing products for consumers:
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Many of the top PC equipment manufacturers are touting energy-efficient, eco-friendly computing products they claim will save end users’ money and help the environment. While more energy-efficient products offer significant benefits to mobile and enterprise-class products, their value proposition in the consumer space is questionable at best. Do these energy-efficient products really save consumers money on their electric bills? Do end-users even care? We hope to answer those questions and more and find out if "green" is really golden.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:42 am 
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I recently heard some new info about Al Gore's own energy usage at his home. During the last few years it was revealed Gore's own home used 12x the energy of an average US home. Well he tried to fix his somewhat tarnished image as being "green". He added solar panels, a wind generator, replaced every bulb in the place with the new efficient type, etc.

Latest info about Gore's utility bills.....he's using even more energy than before all the new "green" stuff. Makes me wonder if the whole thing is worth the effort. Here's Al Gore, Nobel prize winner, the father of the Global Warming thing......can't even control his own energy use.

Me....I switched to a Pentium M and VIA machines, added a solar panel to run the VIA. My energy usage...haven't seen any change at all.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Yes Gore is a bit of a hypocrit ... a quote from http://www.milner.ca/article/it-makes-one-wonder

"This “heroâ€

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:57 pm 
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The article didn't have much to say, unfortunately, apart from basic cost calculations.

I'm not so much worried about current costs but more about future costs.

If you've seen a documentary like "A Crude Awakening" google video or looked at http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ , then if you're like me, you'll be starting to think "oh my God, how am I gonna get through all this".

Now when oil reaches $300 a barrel, electricity cost for the home won't be the biggest problem to deal with by far. And yet, when the industrial dark ages arrive, I like to think that having a solar powered Via or Pentium M system would be kinda nice. For when energy have/have-nots will be the biggest class differentiator.

Bluefront, may I ask, what kind of systems have you purchased and what kind of solar panel? Is it straightforward to connect the solar panel to the Via? Is that a 12V connection, or do you use some kind of portable powerpack/battery to sit in between and provide 110/220V?

I heard that George Bush has a big ranch that is completely off-the-grid, having the latest in high-tech alternative energy solutions. I guess he knows what's coming. Don't tell! ;).

I think when oil prices soar, the biggest issue in the computing branch will be the much higher cost of hardware, since chip/hardware production seems to be a *very* energy intensive process.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Bluefront wrote:
Me....I switched to a Pentium M and VIA machines, added a solar panel to run the VIA. My energy usage...haven't seen any change at all.


I don't understand. If you take something off the grid, even something as minor as a VIA machine, and don't add anything else, there has to be a difference.

I agree that some of the "green" products are likely little more than marketing spin. Others, like CFLs and LEDs do genuinely offer energy savings in the long-term. In the case of CFL, the net effect on the environment is arguable, and the hassle of cleaning up broken bulbs is a choice consumers have to make.

The fact that people are even considering these products is a good thing, I believe. In the end, people will have to start making changes if they want to save on their energy bills. To me the answer is simple: turn it off. For products and applications where that is not an option more focus can be given for redesigning and making them more efficient.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:04 pm 
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xen wrote:
The article didn't have much to say, unfortunately, apart from basic cost calculations.

I'm not so much worried about current costs but more about future costs.

If you've seen a documentary like "A Crude Awakening" google video or looked at http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ , then if you're like me, you'll be starting to think "oh my God, how am I gonna get through all this".

Now when oil reaches $300 a barrel, electricity cost for the home won't be the biggest problem to deal with by far. And yet, when the industrial dark ages arrive, I like to think that having a solar powered Via or Pentium M system would be kinda nice. For when energy have/have-nots will be the biggest class differentiator.

Bluefront, may I ask, what kind of systems have you purchased and what kind of solar panel? Is it straightforward to connect the solar panel to the Via? Is that a 12V connection, or do you use some kind of portable powerpack/battery to sit in between and provide 110/220V?

I heard that George Bush has a big ranch that is completely off-the-grid, having the latest in high-tech alternative energy solutions. I guess he knows what's coming. Don't tell! ;).

I think when oil prices soar, the biggest issue in the computing branch will be the much higher cost of hardware, since chip/hardware production seems to be a *very* energy intensive process.


Are you kidding me? Dude, you gotta quit watching those doom and gloom shows. Everyday life gets better for everyone. New energy is discovered, new medical advancements allow people to live longer, people are living in houses 2X what they did 50 years ago, and food is now only 10% of the average person's income instead of 50% like it was 75 years ago. STFU and return to reality. The only thing I can point to that is worse in this world is the addition of 24 hour news networks with nothing good to talk about.

We are now so rich that we can make up problems and spend trillions tring to reverse it. Maybe you still struggle to buy the latest and greatest CPU, but you are far better off than 60 years ago when you struggled to even put real meat on the table. You want evidence? Spam was once the most popular meat.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:15 pm 
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This article doesn't present much new information. It should have focused more on wasteful corporate power consumption than home user consumption in my opinion. Companies may spend tons to procure more efficient equipment, but they don't invest much into educating their employees about being more environmentally responsible.

I work for a relatively small non-profit currently and the overwhelming majority of my fellow co-workers (former and current) don't give a crap for minimizing their power consumption. It was the same when I worked for a multinational bank too. They'll leave on their computers, printers, etc. overnight just to save themselves the hassle of waiting 30 seconds to boot up their systems in the morning. That's 16 hours of inactivity (standby and hibernate are disabled) if each individual user doesn't manually force standby or shutdown. There are a lot of P4 Prescott systems floating around in our offices too. I do my best to encourage people to curb their energy usage even if there isn't any incentive to and more often that not, it falls on deaf ears. It's not like I get in their face about it either; it just seems people don't care when it's not their money. I could go into a rant about people living in subsidized govt. housing and blasting their ACs here, but I wont, haha.

I probably went off topic by a bit in this port, but I feel promoting energy efficiency has to start with the corporations and companies first rather than the consumer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:16 pm 
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Quote:
The only thing I can point to that is worse in this world is the addition of 24 hour news networks with nothing good to talk about.


What about commercial mass media in general? ;). And I don't believe life has become univocally better. But that's another discussion.

Well, show me the good documentaries about the new energy discoveries then.

Although, I recently heard about some micro algae that can be grown extremely fast, for biofuel production, much better than palm and maize.

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Last edited by xen on Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:24 pm 
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gxshockwav wrote:
It's not like I get in their face about it either; it just seems people don't care when it's not their money.


True. I once lived in a house where the rent was all-in, regardless of energy consumption. The standard argument was something like, why care, we don't have to pay for it anyway.

Yes and I agree, consumption in the home is just only a small percentage of total energy used. You don't have to buy into my 'doom' scenario (actually it's quite a reasonable scenario) but it seems to be clear that the biggest users are industry, though I still haven't seen figures that describe the total picture.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:35 pm 
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xen.....I use a big auto battery between the solar panel and the VIA machine. The VIA draws 20-25W max. The 12V monitor draws about 20W also. My solar panel is small, experimental for me. I can't run the system more than a couple of hours a day in the summer, without the battery discharging.

My speculation on this subject.....people buy energy saving stuff, think they're saving a few bucks, then proceed to do things that negate any energy saving they might have achieved.

I've tried something different for the last three months (live alone)...I shut off the natural gas. I take cold showers, and hang my wash to dry. I'll turn the gas back on when is gets cold again. This has saved me about $40 a month so far. Sounds hard-core, but it's working. :lol:

Oh....the VIA is PICO powered, so the whole computer, the monitor, and the tiny desk lamp, all can run off the battery/solar panel. And the battery came off a wreck. About as green as I can get. (for a few hours a day)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Quote:
Everyday life gets better for everyone.


I am sure Indian children living in the slums of Mumbai with no electricity and no running water will wholeheartedly agree with you. And the coalminers of Shanxi province, China, also, who die of respiratory diseases and industrial accidents every day. And the millions of Zimbabweans who currently have to spend roughly half a year's salary to buy a simple loaf of bread.


Quote:
New energy is discovered


Technically there is no new energy, as it can neither be created nor destroyed. There may be more efficient ways of extracting embodied energy from previously useless biomass, such as corn stover, algae, wood chips, etc.

Quote:
people are living in houses 2X what they did 50 years ago,


In the US, Canada and Australia, perhaps. for the other 192 countries in the world, this is not true.

Quote:
STFU and return to reality.


You might do well to take your own advice. Sure, for a rich person living in a peaceful developed country life is probably pretty sweet (or in fact for rich people everywhere) but to generalise that to everyone everywhere is just frankly retarded.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:48 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
Everyday life gets better for everyone.


I am sure Indian children living in the slums of Mumbai with no electricity and no running water will wholeheartedly agree with you. And the coalminers of Shanxi province, China, also, who die of respiratory diseases and industrial accidents every day. And the millions of Zimbabweans who currently have to spend roughly half a year's salary to buy a simple loaf of bread.


Quote:
New energy is discovered


Technically there is no new energy, as it can neither be created nor destroyed. There may be more efficient ways of extracting embodied energy from previously useless biomass, such as corn stover, algae, wood chips, etc.

Quote:
people are living in houses 2X what they did 50 years ago,


In the US, Canada and Australia, perhaps. for the other 192 countries in the world, this is not true.

Quote:
STFU and return to reality.


You might do well to take your own advice. Sure, for a rich person living in a peaceful developed country life is probably pretty sweet (or in fact for rich people everywhere) but to generalise that to everyone everywhere is just frankly retarded.


Obviously it's not true (one might even say retarded) to say that "Everyday life gets better for everyone".

But there are many causes for optimism. You seem to think the world is going to hell, which it clearly isn't. If you look the statistics up you will see that in a surprisingly large number of ways (for instance number of people who have access to clean drinking water, number of starving, number of conflicts that claim more than 1000 deaths a year) we, the whole world, are better off now than say fifty years ago. And not by a small margin.

To take chinese poverty as an example, at least 250 million chinese escaped abolute poverty between 1990 and 2004. See The Economist http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displayStory.cfm?story_id=11409401&subjectID=348918&fsrc=nwl.

All is not well, and there is much left to do in some aspects, but things are, by large, getting BETTER.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:42 pm 
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This will lead the thread even more off topic, but I really don't get why people jump down other peoples throats for stating that oil prices are going up (and will most likely keep doing so for the foreseeable future) and that in that environment electricity costs aren't the biggest problem. Certainly saying STFU is way out of order - would you say that to someone's face if you were having this same discussion in person? I don't think so.

I also don't understand why people (seemingly depending on their political orientation for some reason) criticise efforts to save energy? It's not difficult and it does save money.

Take CFLs - lighting is supposed to make up ~10% of a household's energy bill, so by converting the entire house (not just one or two) should save you ~8% of your bill. Take into account that they last ~3-4yrs (or longer, I have some in daily use over 6yrs old) and so need replacing less often, and you have further savings. Think about the energy used to make and ship 1 CFL vs. the 8-10 incandescents that would be required in the same time and they don't look too bad from that perspective.

However, if you're living in a poorly insulated house with an uninsulated hot water tank and lots of plasma TVs, it's unlikely you'll notice a huge difference, simply because the proportion of energy use on lighting is that much smaller. You are still saving energy though! Then try thoroughly lagging the hot water tank and pipes, then add extra insulation to the loft, DIY double glazing/ draft seal to the windows and external shades to the sun facing windows (if you're in a hot climate) and then see how much of a difference it makes.

I've done all of that (bar the shades) and I spend very little on gas and electricity compared with everyone I know, plus I have a warm (winter) and cool (summer) house that's considerably more pleasant to live in. People go on about how an individual can't make a difference, well that's crap. Societies are made up of individuals after all.

As for the argument that everybody in the world is getting richer and better off, well on average everyone is, but by every measure I've seen the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is widening in every country I've seen data for. Secondly, if everyone is getting wealthier, particularly in developing countries, then their demand for food and resources is going to increase as well.

I'm sure the human race will figure something out, but simply sticking fingers in ones ears and shouting 'it's all fine, it's all fine" is clearly missing what is likely to happen between now (food riots, Americans whinging about the price of petrol, rising sea levels) and when we've finally figured something out :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:19 am 
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I think many/most companies use the "green" label simply to sell things. My poor old aunt was talked into replacing all the older windows with new "energy-efficient" windows.....cost $13,000.

When I found out and asked why, she said she'd be saving money on the utility bills. She died about 40 years before the break-even point. My own 60 year-old windows work just fine, don't leak air, and aren't going to be replaced till they break down completely.

My least favorite person is a hypocrite like Al Gore who tells you do do one thing, but doesn't do it himself. Any efforts he made on his own house to go "green", were obviously just for show. IMHO....forget green when it comes to your own energy bills. Just concentrate on reducing the bills......which of course means more than adding a few "green" things around your home.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:22 am 
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Bluefront wrote:
xen.....I use a big auto battery between the solar panel and the VIA machine. The VIA draws 20-25W max. The 12V monitor draws about 20W also. My solar panel is small, experimental for me. I can't run the system more than a couple of hours a day in the summer, without the battery discharging.


What kind of 12V monitor do you have? All normal consumer monitors are 110/220V right? But then 20W is still quite much, my 19"WS LCD draws exactly 20W at the moment. How many Watts does the solar panel do at max? Is the Via an Epia system? Did you build the enclosure yourself?

Quote:
I've tried something different for the last three months (live alone)...I shut off the natural gas. I take cold showers, and hang my wash to dry. I'll turn the gas back on when is gets cold again. This has saved me about $40 a month so far. Sounds hard-core, but it's working. :lol:


Ha. I'm still wondering when water recycling showers will become hot. It should not be that difficult to have the warm waste water be recycled into the shower. You just turn it on after you have washed yourself and all the soap and dirt is gone. Or is that still dirty? ;) The water is all but clean.

I don't know if there's much point in going green, since all the oil and gas is gonna be used up anyway. It will become very important though after that fact, so might as well do it sooner than later. I'd LOVE to be really eco-friendly/sustainable. But when everybody is eating all the cookies in the jar, I'll make sure I get one myself too ;).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:33 am 
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Bluefront wrote:
I think many/most companies use the "green" label simply to sell things. My poor old aunt was talked into replacing all the older windows with new "energy-efficient" windows.....cost $13,000.


QFT, I work for a manufacturing company (coated textiles) and the most recent surge in our little corner of the industry has been for green fabrics. Mind you, no one has any idea what "green fabrics" are, they just want them. Usually, we are pretty honest and say, "there is no such thing, tell me what you want and I'll make it." What it ends up being is that the buyer wants something that looks green, eco-friendly, or unprocessed, so they can sell it as such.

Usually, it's something as simple as unbleached "natural" cotton (which looks "rustic" and untreated) or an unscoured synthetic (polyester or nylon). While the unbleached cotton may be less polluting, there's not much "green" about it, as it usually takes longer to process and hence uses more energy to weave.

It's all a marketing tool and, frankly, is preying on peoples fears of global warming and rising energy costs by trying to convince the consumer that buying their product will save them from future economic and ecological ills. It will take a global change to correct a global change. Consumers can try to do their part by buying smart, but their time would be better invested by lobbying their local reps/leaders to make the changes in their own backyard first. Someone posted it recently, but I like it: Think globally, act locally...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:54 am 
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xen wrote:
What kind of 12V monitor do you have? All normal consumer monitors are 110/220V right? But then 20W is still quite much, my 19"WS LCD draws exactly 20W at the moment. How many Watts does the solar panel do at max? Is the Via an Epia system? Did you build the enclosure yourself?


What power source do you think LCD in laptops, portable DVD players, and car A/V units use? In LCDs the AC voltage is "inverted" back into ~12v DC by the inverter to power the backlight and transistors. By sending a regulated DC voltage directly to the lamps, you can bypass the inverter completely.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:51 am 
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xen..... there are different small monitors that run off a 12V wall-wart. I've got three different brands....One is a Philipps. It came with a 30w power supply.....uses something less than that, maybe slightly less than 20w.

The VIA EPIA board is the "green" half of my dual-MB Lian Li. The write-up is in the gallery section. It runs so cool the intake air and exhaust air temperature (both passive) are usually the same. In addition to saving on the cost of running the thing, it also saves on cooling the house in the summer. AC is on less....though I haven't seen much a reduction in electricity usage. The solar panel is rated for 10w if I remember correctly.

My efforts to conserve energy are based on saving money, not particularly being "green". The end result is similar.....but I usually try to do things that are cost-effective, which may not always be "green".

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:12 am 
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Quote:
It's all a marketing tool and, frankly, is preying on peoples fears of global warming and rising energy costs by trying to convince the consumer that buying their product will save them from future economic and ecological ills. It will take a global change to correct a global change. Consumers can try to do their part by buying smart, but their time would be better invested by lobbying their local reps/leaders to make the changes in their own backyard first. Someone posted it recently, but I like it: Think globally, act locally...


I agree with you that going green is more of a marketing tool than a comprehensive initiative. The problem with purchasing green is that it creates refuse that doesn't always get recycled by end users. Recycling events don't seem to be held on a consistent basis (at least not in my area) and it is not always disclosed where all e-waste collected ends up. The article neglects to mention this, probably because it was focused primarily on shaving watts here and there in order to cut living costs down. The environmental cost, however, definitely should have been addressed because recycling electronics (part of going green) isn't always necessarily free.

I can't speak for everyone, but I definitely try my hardest to find use for dated electronics. The only problem is that at the end of a product's useful life cycle, there's seldom an alternative to throwing it out unless you're willing to pony up some $$ to a recycler (e.g. Staples), which isn't financially feasible for everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Quote:
I also don't understand why people (seemingly depending on their political orientation for some reason) criticise efforts to save energy? It's not difficult and it does save money.


I'm all for reducing energy waste and saving money, but too many product and marketing campaigns, including political and environmental campaigns are just for th purpose of furthering vested profit/agenda interests rather han actually addressing the problems if ways that would have a far greater impact.

Quote:
Take CFLs - lighting is supposed to make up ~10% of a household's energy bill, so by converting the entire house (not just one or two) should save you ~8% of your bill. Take into account that they last ~3-4yrs (or longer, I have some in daily use over 6yrs old) and so need replacing less often, and you have further savings. Think about the energy used to make and ship 1 CFL vs. the 8-10 incandescents that would be required in the same time and they don't look too bad from that perspective.


The key here is "supposed". I actually use very little lighting in my house and more than the 2 CFL's I mentioned earlier tough they are the most used. I have noticed little to no chage in electricity bills, in the last few years have replaced 3 CFLs and NO incandescents, some of which are 10 years old or more and still going strong.

Quote:
As for the argument that everybody in the world is getting richer and better off, well on average everyone is, but by every measure I've seen the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is widening in every country I've seen data for. Secondly, if everyone is getting wealthier, particularly in developing countries, then their demand for food and resources is going to increase as well.


This is one of those "how to distort with staistics". WHat one needs to look at is not the average, but the median and then you can really see just how that "better off" distribution is skewed.

[quote]I'm sure the human race will figure something out, but simply sticking fingers in ones ears and shouting 'it's all fine, it's all fine" is clearly missing what is likely to happen between now (food riots, Americans whinging about the price of petrol, rising sea levels) and when we've finally figured something out {/quote]

All is not fine, but screaming "it's the end of the world, we're all doomed" is also counterproductive to finding effective long term strategies that actually address and actual issue rather than using FUD to drive agendas and marketing.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:22 pm 
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Wow, you all took my comment way farther than it was meant to be. It was an angry generalized rant from a fellow that lives in the ultra yuppie Palo Alto California area where everyone buys into the falsified idea of green products just to throw away perfectly good stuff. I am a realist, I absolutely know that my comment was a complete generalization because everyday it is not better and not everyone is getting better, but daily life for the world as a whole is better than it was 100 years ago and I am so sick and tired of my neighbors, friends, and the media telling me I should be ashamed of the car I drive, the plastic bags I use, or the AC that I run once in awhile.

I am very interested in REAL green technology. I was part of the investment firm that was the first investors in Tesla Motors, I was one of the main supporters of that technology, only because they had a realistic plan for a car that people would actually want, not some golf cart utopia car. I run CFLs in my house too, but only when the old ones break or I have a light that is left on the majority of time (they are NOT that good for the environment, they are a little toxic waste dump just like the batteries in that Tesla car)

DON'T tell me what to do with my own life. YOU can do whatever you want with yours.

You want evidence of new energy? Google it, it is all over if you don't look in the mainstream. Some of that is biofuel from actual sources that DON'T burn food, some of it is wind and wave and solar, but those are so far from being mainstream that you really don't want to have to pay the trillions it will cost to make them mainstream. The real energy is the stuff under our own feet. Also, I'm glad you paid attention in class and know the first law of thermodynamics but it has no relevance in this discussion.

Also if you really care about new energy sources, the only way to make them viable is to raise the cost of oil, coal, and natural gas. So quit complaining about the cost of fuel, or accept the reality of the oil economy, because you can't have both. If you care so much about people who can't afford their gas, or their food, then quit your whining about "global warming."

Moral of my post is that I am getting really sick of all the hypocritical complaining so much so that I am complaining about your complaining. Funny how that works huh. By complaining about complaining I'm also just as hypocritical though at least I'm not a lemming.

Edit: One more thing, to the guy who argued that the "Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer" Yes, the rich are getting richer but so are the poor. I have a homework assignment for you. Go study the riches that the poor have today compared to 75 years ago and you will see that the poor have more luxury today that the middle class did 75 years ago. That phrase is a slogan of Socialists trying to spark class envy to win votes and is based on no real evidence.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:32 pm 
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sorry guys/ girls if anyone took my comments personally, they weren't meant as such, and I'm certainly not trying to tell anyone what to do or how to live. Life's too short to start doing that :)

I 100% agree that the whole green thing is a bandwagon that companies are jumping on left right and centre, especially in the last couple of years, and I also realise that it's often far greener to keep using something a little old and less efficient than to buy something newer and chuck the old thing on the landfill (I'm far too tight to throw anything out even if it's broken).

However, those aren't reasons for not saving energy/money/ the environment etc just good reasons to look past the marketing fluff in just the same way you would with anything else.

As for the poverty argument (just to state, I'm not a socialist, before that gets raised :)), and I'm sure you're all right, the poor are getting less poor as a country's wealth increases, but I would still contend that they getting less poor far slower than the rich are getting richer. Part of that may be because our definition of what is poor changes with that increasing wealth, part my simply be due to the way our global capitalist economy works (that's not a rant against capitalism, so don't jump down my throat!). However, there are still significant proportions of most developing world countries that still have no or unreliable access to water, electricity, healthcare and education (even in Australia, to our eternal shame). I'm not saying that from any particular political leaning, just observation and personal experience.

Anyway, getting off topic :lol: . I think you're right in saying that we will find alternative sources of energy, I have the utmost faith in human ingenuity (sp?). But how much it'll cost relative to the cheap and once abundant supply of fossil fuels, and the effect that cost will have on the global economy, I don't know. I have a feeling that there'll be at least some period of painful adjustment though.

I guess my orignal point, which I probably didn't state very clearly is that all too often people don't take action that would benefit themselves and others because they think that their own actions would make no difference. Well, I believe the opposite - large differences are made up of lots of small actions, no matter how inconsequential they may appear.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:59 am 
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Large differences CAN be made by a collection of small changes. I am not saying that we shouldn't conserve at all but we should do so in a way that makes sense and not just jump on the bandwagon of green that is so often completely wrong.

As for the argument that the rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor, I don't believe it at all. Sure, some people are getting more and more money, but the average person in developed counties no longer worries about putting good food on the table, they no longer are tied to manual labor like washing their own clothes, they have a car and most of the time can afford gas to get around in it. Plane tickets are affordable for all that save up. I mean, how is this not rich? It is incredibly rich if you look at history. IMO, rich people are only free from one thing, the worry about money, but otherwise they still drive cars on the same roads, still watch the same cable TV with the same terrible news networks, still fly in the same planes (except for the super wealthy but there have always been super wealthy) and they eat the same food for the most part. So don't tell me that the poor in developed countries aren't rich. Yes there are still some undeveloped areas that are very poor, but they now can go into the city and seek health care, and their lives are slowly getting better on average as well as the rich countries reach out to help them. To be completely frank, many of them are completely happy being undeveloped as long as they are able to eat and drink. Probably happier than we are with the complexities of modern life.

We are not running out of oil, we are running out of tapped oil. The US sits on top of more oil than in Saudi Arabia. It tends to be more expensive to extract because it locked in shale or is not naturally pressured and shooting out of the ground. It is probably a pretty good long term insurance policy though.

The green movement, and the guilt movement have gotten out of hand in my area and I am lashing out. I am sorry but point to one thing I have said that is not true and I will eat my words (and no nit picking on generalizations)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:23 pm 
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autoboy, I think we're arguing different things - I'm banging on about wealth and poverty in developING countries. You're a 100% right about average and median wealth in developed countries. In fact, part of the growing constraints on cheap resources is in my opinion due to the rising amount of disposable income in developed (and some developing) countries.

I don't dispute at all that there is still lots of oil (and coal and gas) to be extracted, just that the cheap readily available oil is already tapped. I agree as well that as the oil price rises, the more difficult to extract deposits will become viable - that's exactly what happened with North Sea oil. Those deposits will however eventually run out (eg. all but 1 field in the North Sea is declining) just as they all will eventually. However, it's difficult to see oil getting substantially cheaper, given rising demand, tight production and few new deposits coming on line. Still, that then leads to alternative sources of energy becoming more viable again - no one gave a monkeys about alternative energy 10-15yrs ago when oil was US$10-15 a barrel :)

As for the green guilt trip wagon - I agree with you about that too. I hate guilt tripping with a passion (don't get me started on my favourite "breast is best" rant) and I'd much rather encourage by example than dictating by fear. So I'm not ranting and railing against you, I agree with alot of what you've said. Okay?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:29 pm 
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any company that truly wants to be green should adopt the slogan "buy LESS of our crap".... but of course, that's a terrible business model... so instead they market so called green products that are just part of our throw-away economy and don't really do anything to help...

instead of buying natural fibers and organic dog treats, people need to wake up and start making REAL changes... lobby for better city planning that encourages walking, biking and public transit... stuff like that.

buying organic candles and doing pilates on a hemp yoga mat isn't going to do jack...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:55 am 
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Yep, we are arguing two different points. Happens to me a lot. Yeah, developing countries are slow to react, and their populations are getting bigger, but there is also hope for many of them.

The worst thing to happen to them in many years though is Biofuel. If I believed in conspiracy theories, I would almost say that Biofuel is a ploy by extreme environmentalists who want to reduce human population by starving them to death. Mass killings by tree huggers. In reality, it is the result of a few people not thinking through their global warming strategies. It is really sad that millions of people are starving as a result of a nation's ignorance.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:32 am 
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Quote:
In reality, it is the result of a few people not thinking through their global warming strategies. It is really sad that millions of people are starving as a result of a nation's ignorance.


more specifically, US ignorance. if there weren't such incredibly large subsidies for US corn ethanol (the LEAST efficient biofuel feedstock) we would be on 2nd and maybe 3rd gen biofuels by now, which do not compete with food crops and do not need valuable arable land. also, it is a bit sensationalist to say people are starving as a result of biofuel policies; sure, staple foods have increased in price, but generally if you weren't starving before the price rises then you aren't now. plenty of people were starving in Africa long before biofuels were even invented.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:02 pm 
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The high prices have driven food costs up all over the world. People ARE starving because of it and in greater numbers than before.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:28 pm 
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jaganath + autoboy - you're both right. People are starving as a result of diversion of food crops into biofuel production (Oxfam and Unicef have both published reports to this effect) AND this is partly (though not solely) a result of the US' drive towards biofuel production, via local subsidies and punitively high import taxes on foreign produced ethanol.

The fact that the US government doesn't seem to really give much of a monkey's about the environment, that it touts biofuels as a way to reduced dependence on foreign oil (even though more farming land than the US contains would be needed to replace petrol for automotive uses) and the fact that the US is coming under increasing pressure to reduce food crop subsidies to its farmers all points to me that this is a way for the US to subsidise its farmers, not as a means to reduce Co2 output.

The observation that most of the worlds governments (Germany excluded) generally ignore whatever environmentalist/ greenies say would refute that particular conspiracy theory. I'd suggest that US foreign policy (and European before that) have been far more effective at killing people than environmentalists :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:40 pm 
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jhhoffma wrote:
QFT, I work for a manufacturing company (coated textiles) and the most recent surge in our little corner of the industry has been for green fabrics. Mind you, no one has any idea what "green fabrics" are, they just want them. Usually, we are pretty honest and say, "there is no such thing, tell me what you want and I'll make it." What it ends up being is that the buyer wants something that looks green, eco-friendly, or unprocessed, so they can sell it as such.

Usually, it's something as simple as unbleached "natural" cotton (which looks "rustic" and untreated) or an unscoured synthetic (polyester or nylon). While the unbleached cotton may be less polluting, there's not much "green" about it, as it usually takes longer to process and hence uses more energy to weave.

I'd easily put hemp forward as a "green" crop especially when compared with cotton. But its still banned in the USA due to the non existent link pot.

http://www.hempfarm.org/Papers/Hemp_Facts.html


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