If you have an email ending in @hotmail.com, @live.com or @outlook.com (or any other Microsoft-related domain), please consider changing it to another email provider; Microsoft decided to instantly block the server's IP, so emails can't be sent to these addresses.
If you use an @yahoo.com email or any related Yahoo services, they have blocked us also due to "user complaints"
Sustainability, environment, and other related issues thread.
Since I raised the idea and fourteenwings liked it.
If they can (1) bring the costs down, and (2) do this with more different kinds of leaves, this seems quite promising.
TL;DR camera powered by microbial fuel cells succeeds in proof-of-concept. This could be used to power cameras indefinitely in wilderness areas.
This is pretty neat.
* plastic straws (the standard)
* metal straws - reusable, washable, often comes with a little pipe cleaner. expensive.
* wheat straws - thin, biodegradable.
* bamboo straws - feels woody, biodegradable.
* paper straws - this I haven't seen, and I've heard mixed impressions of. But the advantage is that they're biodegradable.
* pasta straws - this I haven't seen either, and I don't know how this would work. But obviously they're also biodegradable...and for that matter, edible.
Main problem with biodegradable straws is that if they aren't composted they still add to the landfill. And not enough people compost. (I mean, I don't, and I want to, because my mom basically has zero interest in such an idea, nor would we have a place to use the soil that'd be produced by this.) That said, even if they aren't composted, at least they aren't plastic, so if someone just happens to litter them they might not be as bad. But you're basically solving part of the litter problem rather than solving part of the trash problem.
Though it happens so that some places also burn trash for energy and a biodegradable product burns cleaner than a plastic product so I guess that helps too.
Personally I just don't use straws much, aside from getting drinks at fast food places while on the go, but I usually bring my own water bottles anyway, which then lets me save money by not buying drinks.
Incidentally, they're reusable water bottles; I used to use reusable plastic water bottles and reusable metal water bottles (and occasionally those single-use plastic bottled-water bottles, but just refilled repeatedly), but my family prefers glass -- essentially, former vinegar bottles, that hold about two mugs worth each. I do have like ten or so plastic or metal bottles, accumulated from various sources over the years, almost all as event swag of some sort.
For the record, we've only had a glass bottle break once. They're surprisingly sturdy as long as you take care not to just leave them anywhere. Also easy to clean.
editing in from post below:
Strangely, I have three metal straws, all for free. One came from closing up and event and finding one on the ground, packed full of dirt. I took it home and washed it out. The other two are swag from serving on a small sustainability committee.
Seriously, swag budgets are a little crazy.
And the other strange part of this is that I haven't used any of them. This is because I rarely ever use straws.
But I do have three sets of bamboo utensils to go along with them! Which are also swag.
Paper straws go soggy after about 15m, and I've heard some questions on the materials that they use to make them stable, though nothing that seemed entirely credible.
I dunno about these. Compared to spoons and other cultery they seem to be way too easy to get dirty and very hard to clean super-well.
Braver man than I.
Well, yeah, this is where I'd sit on this. Not exactly going full recycle crusade, but they'd be much less insidious than plastic straws or other tiny plastic things tend to be considering how durable plastic is. Rotting pasta bits won't last the month, let alone a year.
I find that when it comes to environmental issues, I approach it from a personal responsibility standpoint rather than a genuine "I have the desire to save the environment in some significant way".
If I buy something that features a lot of useless plastic packaging, it's not that I worry for landfills or whatever (I want to soften this by adding caveats, but like... that'd be lying).
My concern is that I'm prioritizing my own happiness or convenience over the possibility that this could have been more efficient, and therefore created less litter. I guess maybe this is an extention of my desire for cleanliness? It feels dumb to do something that will contribute to what is essentially planetary permalitter just to please myself.
Plus, if we don't waste plastic, we can use it for more important things like... uh... important things made of plastic. Hydrocarbons aren't an infinite resource, after all.
So, the craze in toys lately has been blind-packaging. That is, you don't know what you get until you get it.
However, this requires a lot of packaging. For example, most L.O.L. Surprise dolls come in a really weird ball with multiple compartments. In these compartments are smaller plastic PVC bags. That's twice the trash already.
I have no idea why these hard-plastic containers are a thing, really. Oddly enough, more and more lines are starting to use them, like Hairdorables, which now come in a big reusable case (presumably to keep the scent on the scented series dolls in better?). There are 30+ Hairdorables across this line, which means... probably 70 "reusable" cases if you want to collect all of them.
Which brings me to Capsule Chix, which are somehow worse than L.O.L. dolls. L.O.L.s come with one ball, Capsule Chix come with five capsules and a box with a giant hole in the front of the gacha machine for a plastic mechanism, in addition to even more plastic surrounding the capsules to keep them in place (which sucks at doing this). I really wonder why they don't just come in one giant capsule, since all the pieces are also in PVC bags!
I would gladly get more of these, I think, if I wasn't concerned about all the trash trying to get anything I wanted would generate. I mean, Moose claims the capsules are recyclable, but that doesn't feel likely.
Ironically, I finallly had use for the cardboard...after I'd thrown it out. Needed it to prop up some large desktop objects.
But good gosh some of this stuff had many, many layers of packaging. Makes book packages from western booksellers look downright barren.
> I find that when it comes to environmental issues, I approach it from a personal responsibility standpoint rather than a genuine "I have the desire to save the environment in some significant way".
Frankly speaking, personal responsibility and economic self-interest are probably more resilient justifications for environmental-friendly measures than high-falutin' desires to save the world.
That makes me think blind-packaged toys will be with us for quite a long time.
I am honestly not saying this just because I am apparently GMH's polar opposite, but I find celebrating Gaia's majesty a bit too religious for me.
Well, starting on Sunday, I "accidentally" started "celebrating" Earth Week more generally.
See, on Sunday, that was the last day of Corona Relief Done Quick, one of the speedrunning mini-marathons for charity organized by the Games Done Quick folks. I really wanted to catch their Super Metroid 100% run.
But, I also have work on Sunday. By the time I was done with work, I was alerted by friends that the run was about to start...so I popped into the shower and took probably my shortest shower ever.
I got out of the shower just in time as Samus arrived in the Ceres Space Colony's entrance shaft at the very beginning of the game.
Personal Hygiene Done Quick =D
Anyway, after that I've just been taking rather quick showers all week. I mean, the fact that I could take a shower in like 5 minutes on Sunday was like, proof of concept that I can really speed things up. Which means I save water, and time, and money.
and I can get back to arguing on the internet faster
The only thing I added on Monday was not bothering with turning the light and fan on in the shower but just keeping the door open. If the shower is quick enough then not much steam builds up in the bathroom anyway. Obviously, not something that everyone can do, though in my circumstance I'm stuck with a bathroom whose main light is on the same circuit as the bathroom vent fan (ugh, that noise). And the bathroom is windowless, which sucks.
But if I really need light, what I do instead is that I just have a small night-light plugged into the wall outlet (currently a 4W incandescent bulb, because that's what I have already, and while I could buy an LED, it's not like I need anything brighter if all I'm doing is peeing in the middle of the night after composing a lengthy reply to @fourteenwings, so getting more stuff would just be a waste). This is more than enough for washing my hands, brushing my teeth, washing my face.
(Speaking of which I shouldn't actually be up late in the first place, since, y'know, wasting daylight. But...)
This reminds me of a few cartoons I watched as a kid, probably Canadian, where somebody decided to "go green" and everybody around them slowly realized this was not a good idea.
Apparently Canadian cartoons were chock full of life lessons.
Yeah I was wondering about that. This sounds like a design flaw but maybe it's actually an "in" thing to do?
Of course this had to come up but apparently I take really long showers.
Anyways, to be serious, it kind of disturbs me when the Pope of all people starts referring to what to me sounds like neo-paganistic interpretations of global phenomena. I mean, of course it gets the news media interested in what he says, but that's quite cynical of him and his PR machine. Nobody's going to report it if he says "God", and even then it won't make sense based on what I know of Christian theology anyways.
Of course we could imagine a strawman environmentalist berating people for wasting water, but the fact remains that there are practical benefits for me to take a shorter shower.
Not to mention that I know here my potable water comes from and I know how water use from the increasing population here in recent decades has contributed to wells out east becoming brackish and thus unusuable because the freshwater aquifer isn't being recharged fast enough by rain, particularly during the dry season.
Considering that this isn't a particularly fancy place, I doubt it's an "in" thing. But the could certainly have built a window into this bathroom since it does adjoin an outside wall. So I don't really know why they didn't do it. (Maybe they didn't want to pay separately for frosted glass?)
Catholicism has always had a thing for the mystical and wondrous. The information in the article --
"In an email interview published Wednesday in The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines, the pontiff said the outbreak offered an opportunity to slow down the rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world."
-- fits right in with a religious tradition that emphasizes humility, contemplation, respect for the sacred, and penitence.
I don't see a reason to take this cynical interpretation of the Pope's actions, as presented in the article.
That's a pretty Silicon Valley argument. The opposite of marginal, I guess, technically nominal efficiency?
I mean, relying on Mother Nature after problems like this start to happen is a bit much. I know the only real way to improve the situation is government. I mean you have the U.S. government, a state and a federal one, but I still don't have a wholly favorable view of "let the government take care of it".
Anyways, this feels like it could be fixable, but probably not via wells or groundwater, dams maybe?
Full disclosure: my experience with nature comes entirely from how much I was taught to exploit it during my finance courses, so this is all coming from the logic of common sense rather than known facts. That is to say, I may be wrong about all of this.
But it explicitly denies worshiping things that aren't part of either the main canon (Bible) or the splitoff canon (specific Catholic things).
Well if you split it from context, sure!
Nature is nobody's friend, and I don't think Christianity is one of the religions that teaches it is.
If I cared about such things (ie if I were a Catholic) I'd be extremely worried about the way the institution was going if he were just being entirely serious.
I mean, look at this wonderful puff piece that includes exactly zero instances of the word "God" and one instance of the term "prayer" (as part of a caption nonetheless).
Also, I think I'm developing some sort of phobia, I get nervous if I see someone using more water than necessary for something. Though this has more to do with water scarcity than sustainability.
(Though, does every type of opinion come attached with some sort of stereotype?)
If not "relying on Mother Nature", then how would we solve the problem? I mean, "relying on government" isn't actually a technical solution, just a conceptual one, since it doesn't specify a solution.
I guess you could have government institute strict water rationing, or you could have the government direct the building of massive water storage facilities (enough to serve a few million people), water purification plants, or (since we're at the coast) desalination plants, or some other technological solution. The first wouldn't be very popular (and probably isn't something you personally like either), while the second would be stupidly costly, not to mention we'd also need to find the space to do such.
Dams are not a solution, because south Florida is flatter than a pancake.
Also, if you're thinking of building barriers to keep out the seawater out east from making wells brackish, that won't work either because the seawater is coming through the bedrock, which is porous limestone.
I think a key realization is that nature does provide various services (and goods, for that matter) that are difficult, if not outright impossible, to replace, so it's less costly -- both economically, and to the "soul" of this place -- to do a sound job at maintaining what nature there is.
Heck, tourism here is a huge source of revenue, and a darn lot of it has something to do with nature one way or another -- beachgoing, boating, fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc.. (And while south Florida isn't currently a major breadbasket region, it's still useful to note that our food supply also depends on natural resources, albeit often elsewhere.)
Genesis 1 makes ample mention of the nature that God provides us. And later on (in the book of Exodus), multiple Plagues of Egypt have to do with nature-related phenomena.
(I'm not sure if you're a Christian, but I'm speaking from that perspective in various parts of this post.)
"Nature", as merely a conceptual catch-all for the various natural systems, is certainly "nobody's friend" in specific. Rather, the idea of dominion over nature includes the responsibility of stewardship -- in other words, maintaining it well, rather than exploiting it to the point of exhaustion.
I'd rather check the actual interview that that article references, before jumping to conclusions about it.
The Church can be really catholic sometimes. =P
Try reading literally any conservative news magazine and not developing a passing interest in Catholic affairs.
I mean it as a neutral thing. I guess overall it'd be a good thing since I acknowledge it as a logical, somewhat respectable line of thought.
Life's more fun that way.
By having human beings think of and implement a solution.
Here, I'm talking about the implementation of any potential solutions, which I thought would be obvious.
W-o-a-h, I certainly did not mean that. That's insane. Hashtag insane.
See, if it was left to private enterprise, I'd (casually!) say things would work out well. I mean, of course there'd be a few government grants, but otherwise the money would come from (and I guess go to but that's less relevant) private markets.
Outside of mismanagement or malice resulting from bad practice, I don't see why desalination couldn't work out aside from modern government being averse to leaving such projects to private enterprise.
Well, I'm liking privatized desalination more anyways. Casually.
a) I don't like framing your point as a "key realization", because it makes it sound inevitable to all forms of sane, logical thought. I think it should be obvious that it's not.
b) Well, I'm of the mind that we cheat-code the planet and figure out means to survive not just what we've already wrought, but any future things we (collective humanity, probably mainly capitalists I guess?) wish to subject the planet to.
To be clear, I believe cheat-coding the planet means maintaining all potential revenue streams. That would include trying to come up with an equillibrium, rather than sacrificing one or the other.
I am an Atheist, but I have quite a decent well of knowledge re:Christianity from my early years. My dad attended Catholic school throughout his primary and secondary years, so he knows and insane amount of things that he's always willing to impart.
God also presumably magicked up cows, but he wasn't too pleased with that Gold cow statue Moses' group made on their way to Canaan now was he?
If I were to speak of biblical activity in modern fiction terms; God himself literally mind-controlled various animals and insects into pestering the Egyptians (and also turned a river into blood at one point?). Also killed like... all the Egyptian firstborns.
So, basically, what does this have to do with Yahweh-approved nature worship?
I'm not sure I said anything that disagrees with this. I guess we would disagree on what "maintaining it well" means. You seem to think it's "maintaining as it was", I think it's "figuring out new ways to have ecosystems interact that maintain the initial integrity/status, rather than the initial circumstances".
Why? How is CNN (and basically everybody else that reported this) stripping out whatever, yet nobody from the Vatican complaining about misrepresentation, not supposed to be concerning?
yep here we go again
good gosh why does like every conversation with you these days end up being really uncomfortably on pins and needles
reply coming up
It's energy-intensive and cost-intensive. It's a lot costlier than maintaining the natural system to do the work for us, particularly considering that we already have a supply of freshwater beneath our feet, as well as the technology to make use of it.
Which would, in turn, mean maintaining natural systems in proper working order for them to provide various services to us, which include everything from water supply to tourism.
I don't actually think it's "maintaining it as it was" because there ain't no going back to how it was anyway. (Perhaps you're confusing me for a strawman environmentalist.) We're never going to erase all of us people from the landscape as it is anyway, for starters, nor all our infrastructure, and so on and so forth.
Rather, these natural systems need to be maintained in such a way that they provide the necessary/desired ecosystem services, of which freshwater supply is one very important one. Furthermore, natural systems themselves are not static, nor do they distinguish between the natural and the anthropogenic the way people do. What is static, however, is human infrastructure, and human economies also enjoy stable resources that can be consistently made use of. So, what's already happening is that we are, gradually, through a slightly more learned process than pure trial-and-error, figuring out how to make nature work for us. (And it turns out to be rather useful to keep in mind that we, humanity, are not special when it comes to the laws of chemistry and physics, but we are constrained by the resources we have.)
South Florida's water resources have already been heavily altered by people, and are already maintained by people. Just that this maintenance has to be dynamically managed since the conditions at the headwaters of our aquifer change frequently, due to both natural and anthropogenic factors and their interplay. There's lots of things here (in terms of ecosystem services) we've gotten right, but also lots of things we haven't gotten right yet. For a simple example, for now (as long as we don't have too many new people moving in) we're all able to turn on the tap and get potable water for everything from drinking to washing whatever to flushing the toilet, but the freshwater outflow through some of the rivers we have has decreased, changing the availability of fish in the river, which in turn affects how restaurants get their catch.
TL;DR we're already stuck holding the bag managing nature to work for us; might as well figure out a smart way to do it
Regarding religion and other stuff
A calf-shaped lump of gold, one explicitly constructed as an object of idolatrous worship, is not a natural phenomenon created by God.
I'm not sure I understand your line of thinking...it seems that there's a jumble of things going on.
You seem to be complaining that the article lacks explicit mentions of God. You're blaming this on, variably, the Pope, or CNN. I just mentioned that I'd like to see the actual interview being referenced, and now you're saying that the Pope ought to be "complaining about misrepresentation" due to the...lack of explicit mentions of God? And then for whatever reason the lack of explicit mentions of God somehow gets tied into your mental idea of "neo-paganism".
Honestly, y'know what...
*takes gloves off*
...it's like you went "the Pope should be pushing God into things", and "this article doesn't push God", and "this article describes nature mystically", and you're going "that smells like neo-paganism! something's wrong!".
It's like every behavior, every opinion, every position, is associated with some sort of stereotype or other rigid role that people "should" be doing in your perspective, and people offering their thoughts on a thing means they're also socially posturing (or as the internet calls it these days, virtue-signaling) to push the associated role/position/opinion and they are expected to be ever-vigilant and ever-aware about this?
What kind of weird hell are you living in, where everything that people do is all about looking a certain way to others? or for whatever other reason ought to be interpreted in that way?
Ah, you're right, it seems to be going that way.
I mean, we've kind of always been like this. There was a long, protracted war over Rinne no Lagrange that happened for months on IRC a few years ago.
First of all, nobody who asks this sort of question deserves a response from the person they're asking it. It's not okay to tell somebody their entire viewpoint is "hell" unless they've killed someone and don't regret it or similar. It's really odd and quite mean.
Second of all, Christianity as a whole is a religion the entire human population divided into two. Those willing to be saved and those who carry the original sin and more sins cause they don't care. The former claim to be trying to reach Godliness, and so their emissaries should be very concerned with the pursuit of Godliness and the spread of their message. If they aren't, then that's super questionable.
I don't know who you think the Pope is, but there is no Pope without believing in the Catholic interpretation of the Christian God, so why mention one without the other?
No, the former is about the cynicism of wanting to promote himself as a mainstream novelty figure, a Western mainstream that at this point no longer considers the actual values of Christianity important at all.
I think you're confusing my two positions here. One is that the Pope is speaking about a concept that is neo-paganist, the other is that he's cynically presenting himself as a mainstream figure that's kind of got "the Pope" as an affect rather than a representation of a whole religion. The points are distinct.
Why do you keep putting the word strawman in places it doesn't belong? I wholly respect the viewpoint I was talking about (even if it isn't yours, as you say), I'm just specifying that it's not mine.
I mean, we're just discussing religion and the environment. To me these aren't really all that big a deal and can be discussed calmly enough.
Well, until you called my whole viewpoint into question and implied I'm a crazed conspiracy theorist.