Nothing's gonna change my world...

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AuthorTopic: Nothing's gonna change my world...
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #0
As you all most indoubtedly know, the environment is out of control. The burning of the Amazon rain forests, whaling, Global Climate Change, extinction of the orangutans and other animals, etc.

So, what are your views on what should be done to help with the environment, and what you're doing already.

I'll start. I feel that legislation should be passsed making it mandatory for all oil and coal companies to spend at minimum ten percent of their profit on altrernative fuel research, and incentives given to those that make serious progress, like the new Honda Civic Hybrid. Also, we should start tariffing oil coming into the nation, and give that money to the EPA. Offer incentives to industrial countries to use more environment friendly practices. Ban incandescents. Establish alternative energy sources everywhere, wind wheels in places across the Great Plains, solar panels on roof tops, and more feasibly in the desert regions, tidal farms all over our national waters, geologic energy in volcanic areas, like Iceland, et cetera. Frankly, I care not for the extinction of most animals, but stand mildly opposed to it anyways. Animals simply don't deserve the same rights as sentient humans.

What I do right now isn't much. My entire household has successfully made the switch to flourescent lights, and most of the power for my city is derived from the dam just south of the city proper. Our city has the river protected by the "Green Belt", a certain amount of land to either side of the river dedicated to nature, although there are dirt paths for runners and bikers. I recycle everything. I've planted several trees. I buy local food (it's not hard in a mainly agricultural state) whenever I can, and encourage my friends to do the same.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"To fly, throw yourself at the ground and miss." -The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #1
Jai guru deva om, or you could let it be! :P

Odd, the song was originally released on an album benefiting the World Wildlife Fund.

We do many variations of normal procedure which are beneficial to the given subject. We don't use a dryer, even if that means hanging all our clothes inside. We do have fluorescent light bulbs, and I try to turn them off. Our lawn is watered sparingly in the summer, but doing so is counterbalanced by morning showers. I myself ride my bike to school every day, despite some mornings offering negative five degrees Fahrenheit and winds.

What to do globally? There isn't much the government can do about it. I've always said riding a bicycle when you can is good, but I'm biased. Gray-water systems are another easy change (Well, they're illegal in America). Really most of the stuff I'd suggest involves individual action, not any part of the government. If the government needs to do something about it, I say build more nuclear power plants. (They're really quite harmless)

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set_name(1,"Excalibur");
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 302
Profile Homepage #2
The environment has been hostile to humans for 6000 years. We're just returning fire.
Posts: 9 | Registered: Tuesday, November 20 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #3
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

If the government needs to do something about it, I say build more nuclear power plants. (They're really quite harmless)
Yes, but there's a certain cultural stigma associated with nuclear power plants. The UK has proposed building one, and the Britons are giving them a fair bit of grief over it. The only reason I'm against nuclear power plants per se is that they aren't actually renewable. They produce far too much waste.

Once again, I say that wind wheels, tidal farms, geothermal plants, biomass plants, and whatever else they come up with, these are the energy sources of the future. Nuclear, coal, and oil will be filling in the gaps, instead of how it is now.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"To fly, throw yourself at the ground and miss." -The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #4
It is Nalyd's hope that the environment be made obsolete sometime in the next century.

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
They produce far too much waste.
A nuclear power plant consumes only one truckload of uranium a year. Speaking of efficiency, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier goes for twenty years without refueling.

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set_name(1,"Excalibur");
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 9887
Profile #6
Quite simply, the most realistic method to stop adding carbon stored in fossil fuels into the atmosphere is biodiesel. You grow corn, or soybeans, or any vegatable oil (like used stuff from McDonalds) and you turn it into biodeisel that can run in any deisel vehicle. No conversion needed. It recycles carbon and boosts local economies.

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Ornk Meat and Guacamole --------- $6.00
Gazer Tentacle Stew -------------- $10.00
=:T:=
Posts: 454 | Registered: Monday, August 20 2007 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4590
Profile #7
I hate to get into these discussions, but as a scientist, I can't help myself when I see totally wrong statements...

quote:
Originally written by The Ratt:

Quite simply, the most realistic method to stop adding carbon stored in fossil fuels into the atmosphere is biodiesel. You grow corn, or soybeans, or any vegatable oil (like used stuff from McDonalds) and you turn it into biodeisel that can run in any deisel vehicle. No conversion needed. It recycles carbon and boosts local economies.
In order to replace all the carbon based fuel we use, we'd be using most of the farmable land on the planet. How much exactly depends on various efficiencies and so forth... But we definitely can't have both biofuels and food at the same time. This is not a solution.

quote:
Originally written by Goldenking:

quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

If the government needs to do something about it, I say build more nuclear power plants. (They're really quite harmless)
Yes, but there's a certain cultural stigma associated with nuclear power plants. The UK has proposed building one, and the Britons are giving them a fair bit of grief over it. The only reason I'm against nuclear power plants per se is that they aren't actually renewable. They produce far too much waste.

Once again, I say that wind wheels, tidal farms, geothermal plants, biomass plants, and whatever else they come up with, these are the energy sources of the future. Nuclear, coal, and oil will be filling in the gaps, instead of how it is now.

Nuclear power can supply all of our power needs pretty easily. And the supply of fuel, with modern reactors will last more than 1000 years, IIRC.

Modern reactor designs (past 10 or so years) also produce almost no waste, and are impossible to have an accident with without horrible horrible negligence.

Wind can't come close to filling anyone's needs, ever. It can provide a bonus, but that's all. I don't know about tidal farms, but I suspect they're on the same footing as wind, but they will be very hard to maintain with all the corrosion problems you'll have to deal with.

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I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
- George Bernard Shaw
Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #8
Originally by Excalibur:

quote:
Gray-water systems are another easy change (Well, they're illegal in America).
Depends on the state you live in. Arizona actually makes it pretty easy to put in graywater systems. Even without installing the system, though, it's not always such an easy change since it means watching everything you dump down the drain. Even some (maybe most) of the "eco-friendly" shampoos, soap, detergent, etc. have a lot of salts in them that will build up in the soil and eventually damage the plants. But it's perfectly doable in situations where you can control the water quality, especially when coupled with a rainwater catchment system. Heck, rainwater catchment systems are a good deal on their own.

Originally by cfgauss:

quote:
In order to replace all the carbon based fuel we use, we'd be using most of the farmable land on the planet.
Not to mention that most large-scale agriculture is heavily dependent on fossil fuels as fertilizer...

Dikiyoba.

Edit: Fixed quote.

[ Friday, February 01, 2008 20:43: Message edited by: Dikiyoba ]

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #9
I have to take issue with the idea that the environment is out of control, as stated by the OP. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, I know there are proven causal relationships between atmospheric conditions and the results I see materialize. Why, just today I happened to notice that it was very humid and fairly cold. Quite quickly it began to mist, and then snow, and then more mist. I didn't have my trust weather balloon handy, but past experience indicates that what happened was that it was winter. Luckily this episode is typically followed by a period of notexactlywinter, followed by three weeks of summer sometime in late July.

Honestly, it seems to be in control. Do you live someplace that has cultural expectations of the elements that differ from mine?

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Argon - "I'm at a loss for words..."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #10
Alternative fuels, clean energy, and other things would be nice, but we don't have them in usable forms right now. We do have nuclear power. If we weren't so terrified of having the plants built (NIMBY!), and if the proliferation of reactors to most of the world didn't form a large and real threat of nuclear attack, I'd call it the way to go without hesitation. As it is, I think countries with existing nuclear programs, plants, and arsenals should use as much nuclear power as possible.

The best solution to water usage isn't total, but it's quite doable: use less. Most water is used by showers and toilets, so installing water efficient plumbing makes a huge difference. Take shorter showers less often and flush less often. Beyond that water recycling is doable and is becoming increasingly necessary, but the byproducts of chlorine-based disinfection are genotoxic and carcinogenic. UV is probably better for us, but it costs a fortune. Reverse osmosis is even more energy-intensive and costly. Really we just need to live with less water. And we need agriculture that doesn't flood fields with government-subsidized water.

—Alorael, who thinks that the things that one can do in the short term and that he tries to do are water usage reduction, reduced stupid electrical consumption (turn things off!), and avoidance of cars when public transportation, bikes, or feet will do. Recycling is good.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #11
The problem with fossil fuels and the atmosphere isn't that we're tossing coal dust into the sky. It's that burning produces carbon dioxide, whether you're burning Texaco or Mazola. The CO2 you release is pretty much going to be directly proportional to the energy you extract, whatever kind of fuel you extract it from.

Biodiesel might be a way to stop importing fuel from the Middle East, but it's no solution to global warming.

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Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4590
Profile #12
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

I have to take issue with the idea that the environment is out of control, as stated by the OP. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, I know there are proven causal relationships between atmospheric conditions and the results I see materialize. Why, just today I happened to notice that it was very humid and fairly cold. Quite quickly it began to mist, and then snow, and then more mist. I didn't have my trust weather balloon handy, but past experience indicates that what happened was that it was winter. Luckily this episode is typically followed by a period of notexactlywinter, followed by three weeks of summer sometime in late July.

Honestly, it seems to be in control. Do you live someplace that has cultural expectations of the elements that differ from mine?

That's true, and most real, non-politician-paid scientists would be very hesitant to say there're any significant man-made changes in the environment. We can certainly observe local and recent changes, but we lack any sufficiently good historical data to tell us if what we see is unusual (and the people who claim our historical data is good enough to claim we've seen a ~1 degree change in temperatures need to be beaten to death with a statistics book).

We also lack any good physical/numerical models to give us quantitative answers. We can get qualitative answers pretty easily, "if we add more CO2 it tends to get hotter," but we've been able to do that for like 100 years. Making exact statements from that is much harder. Especially since incomplete model + poorly understood physics + unknown initial conditions + huge numerical instabilities = bad.

Of course, most people who talk about the climate won't let pesky things like physics get in the way of their claims... I mean, no one's saying pollution and relying on people who hate us for fuel is a good thing, but that's really a whole 'nother argument than climate change (a subtlety that seems to escape many people who debate this).

[ Saturday, February 02, 2008 04:01: Message edited by: cfgauss ]

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I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
- George Bernard Shaw
Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Agent
Member # 8030
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

I have to take issue with the idea that the environment is out of control, as stated by the OP. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, I know there are proven causal relationships between atmospheric conditions and the results I see materialize. Why, just today I happened to notice that it was very humid and fairly cold. Quite quickly it began to mist, and then snow, and then more mist. I didn't have my trust weather balloon handy, but past experience indicates that what happened was that it was winter. Luckily this episode is typically followed by a period of notexactlywinter, followed by three weeks of summer sometime in late July.

Hmm, I often forget about overall weather, as I'm too young to draw conclusion from a reasonable number of past years. This past summer was the hottest on record here, which was also accompanied by an eighty day drought. Now it's bitterly cold and seems like it's snowing every other day.
--
I'd like to know the reason why so many Americans fear nuclear power. I suppose the rich people who thrive off of dirty energy pay for this mindset, or maybe script writers think egregiously exaggerating radiation draws in viewers.

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set_name(1,"Excalibur");
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #14
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

[QUOTE]I have to take issue with the idea that the environment is out of control, as stated by the OP. Nothing could Hmm, I often forget about overall weather, as I'm too young to draw conclusion from a reasonable number of past years. This past summer was the hottest on record here, which was also accompanied by an eighty day drought. Now it's bitterly cold and seems like it's snowing every other day.
--
I'd like to know the reason why so many Americans fear nuclear power. I suppose the rich people who thrive off of dirty energy pay for this mindset, or maybe script writers think egregiously exaggerating radiation draws in viewers.

It's called Global Climate Change, not Global Warming. Some places got hotter, others, like those on the Thermohaline Circulation, get colder.

Three Mile Island. Up until that point, nuclear power was somewhat acceptable. Of course, I feel that the nuclear arsenal should be cut back dramatically and used to fuel nuclear power plants. In most parts of the world, especially Russia and the States.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
"Yes, Iffy is a demon." -Iffy
"To fly, throw yourself at the ground and miss." -The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #15
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

I'm too young to draw conclusion from a reasonable number of past years. This past summer was the hottest on record here, which was also accompanied by an eighty day drought. Now it's bitterly cold and seems like it's snowing every other day.
That happens. Hot in summer and Cold in winter. When you get old enough, you will begin to appreciate that regularity.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Argon - "I'm at a loss for words..."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #16
Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Nuclear arsenals being the most terrifying things on the planet for sixty some years. Various movies and games with horrible mutants due to radiation. Nukes and nuclear byproducts can do frightening and grotesque things in a way that coal and oil can't. Their effects are slower and less spectacular.

—Alorael, who wouldn't want a nuclear plant anywhere near him, really. He'd want a coal plant near him even less, though, and not having to pay so much for gas (assuming an electric car, of course) would be nice.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #17
Nuclear power is nice for creating electicity, but it's not the solution. It's only part of the solution. Using less electricity is the place to start (say, by implementing good passive solar design in buildings to save on heating and cooling costs), then alternative energy sources where it makes sense (solar panels where it's consistently sunny, wind turbines where it's consistently windy and so on), and then nuclear power to fill in the remaining gaps.

Dikiyoba.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
The Establishment
Member # 6
Profile #18
Nuclear power really does not produce that much waste. The total volume would fit in a football stadium up to the goal posts. In reality, the fuel is only 2% burned. We still have 98% of the energy content left to use. What is even better, the waste that is deadly for 10,000s of years are actinides which is actual fuel. If you separate out the fission products, these are only really hazardous for a few 100 years. Some might say this is too long, but this is well within our ability to dispose of.

The disposal, for the most part, has been solved technologically. Right now it is economically disfavorable for two economic reasons: (1) abundance of cheap uranium for at least the next several decades, and (2) coal is not required to dispose of, or even pay for, all of its hazardous byproducts unlike nuclear which pays for all of it.

As for proliferation, the technology to enrich uranium is really the concern and opening that up is ill advised. Just providing low enriched fuel for a Light Water Reactor is not really a risk. While it does make plutonium, the grade produced in power reactor designs is not very effective for weapons.

Nuclear weapons and not having them is more a matter of political will these days and not so much the technology. They are difficult to design and fabricate and very expensive to maintain. The real challenge will be to create political climates where people have no incentive to have them. Nuclear power really has little effect these days. The two really are separate.

The ironic thing about Three Mile Island is that no one was hurt and negligible radiation was released, yet everyone remembers it. How many people know about Bhopal? This one incident hurt many times more than nuclear power ever has. Chernobyl was an inherently flawed design that cannot be built here in the US or anywhere else that is sane. The simple fact is no one in the public has ever been killed by commercial nuclear power in the US.

This bias stems from an irrational and exaggerated fear of radiation compared to other things that are far more hazardous.

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Your flower power is no match for my glower power!
Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4590
Profile #19
quote:
Originally written by *i:

This bias stems from an irrational and exaggerated fear of radiation compared to other things that are far more hazardous.
Yes, let's not forget that "radiation" is evil, and no one actually knows what that word means. It's just magical evil, will kill you, and it comes from bad things, like nuclear power, cell phones, and republicans.

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I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
- George Bernard Shaw
Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #20
Exposure to radioactive materials generally isn't a good thing though. My grandpa died from cancer owing to exposure to uranium in one of the diffusion(?) plants that were operating after WW2.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4590
Profile #21
quote:
Originally written by Drew:

Exposure to radioactive materials generally isn't a good thing though. My grandpa died from cancer owing to exposure to uranium in one of the diffusion(?) plants that were operating after WW2.
Taking 50 advil will kill you, too, but that doesn't make them "bad." And radiation is a lot more than evil cancer-rays...

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I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
- George Bernard Shaw
Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #22
quote:
Originally written by cfgauss:

quote:
Originally written by Drew:

Exposure to radioactive materials generally isn't a good thing though. My grandpa died from cancer owing to exposure to uranium in one of the diffusion(?) plants that were operating after WW2.
Taking 50 advil will kill you, too, but that doesn't make them "bad." And radiation is a lot more than evil cancer-rays...

Yes. But as far as relative quote trees goes, the damage done by 1 Advil/day is far less than 1/50th of a lethal dose of radiation per day.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Argon - "I'm at a loss for words..."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4590
Profile #23
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

Yes. But as far as relative quote trees goes, the damage done by 1 Advil/day is far less than 1/50th of a lethal dose of radiation per day.
That isn't a valid comparison. If you look at average dose / day, something like advil will be MORE lethal than radiation. That is, if you take a year's worth of advil in a day, you'll definitely die. If you take a year's worth of radiation (including what you get from x-rays at the doctor's office, etc) in a day, you probably won't even get sick.

Not to mention that the point I was trying to get across is that "radiation" is just light (there are also alpha and beta particles, sometimes also called radiation, but it's very difficult to die from them unless you eat them or something). Light isn't dangerous. Saying "radiation" is dangerous is just as stupid as those people who say "chemicals" are dangerous.

There are also radioactive particles, but those occur everywhere... A significant fraction of the carbon (and other atoms) in your body is radioactive. Certain types of tests a doctor will do to you involve injecting your body with radioactive particles.

"Radiation" is not a catch phrase. It has an actual well-defined meaning, and has nothing to do with what the damn anti-nuclear hippies will have you believe!

Everything is dangerous. Nuclear power is no more dangerous than anything else. You're less likely to be injured from a well-run nuclear power plant than from a well-run chemical plant. Nuclear power is only dangerous when people are stupid--just like with everything else in the world.

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I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
- George Bernard Shaw
Posts: 103 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #24
quote:
Originally written by SGT. POCKY:

The environment has been hostile to humans for 6000 years. We're just returning fire.
We haven't really pissed it off yet. It'll get us in the end.

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I use a bicycle or public transport pretty much exclusively, and watch water and heating use very closely.

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The Noble and Ancient Order of Polaris - We're Not Yet Dead.
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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00

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