Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

You, I and our planet.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • You, I and our planet.

    ** soap box warning **

    With a slowly growing awareness of what we are doing to the planet there are some great (dare I say) life changing publications getting around that are well worth a look.

    Looking after the environment is slowly moving from hairy, unwashed "between jobs" greenies and falling into the laps of "real people"... you and I, our friends, families and suppliers all have a role to play.

    For 30 or 50 years stuff has just come from the supermarket and chain stores, when you need more stuff you go and get it without consideration for the process or the many casualties along the way.

    Anyway... enough preaching from me, the reason for this post was earlier this year I bought an excellent book called:

    Confessions of an Eco Sinner:
    Travels to Find Where My Stuff Comes from
    by: Fred Pearce
    isbn: 1905811101

    It is a very balanced book with a good mixture of science and fuzzies that leaves the reader thinking about the real impact (good and bad) of everyday things we do and use. Fred travels the world to find where his stuff really comes from, he meets farmers, miners, sweatshop workers, business leaders and others from all walks of life and builds a better understanding of the processes and impact... and its not all bad, there are some real eye-opening surprises in the book too. I really recommend buying a copy or borrowing one from your local library (remember those?!?!). While I found myself debating a few facts it really is a great read.

    After banging-on about this book to a mate I was just sent a link to similar topic on You-Tube.

    The Story of Stuff
    by: Annie Leonard.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLBE5QAYXp8

    Its not the same as Freds book but it covers some similar concepts and is in format that suits many people with no time or interest to read. Well worth the 20 minutes it takes to watch and the price of a mouse-click.

    8-)

    **unshaven Andy steps off his recycled soap box now**


  • #2
    Re: You, I and our planet.

    Thanks Andy. Good post.

    Book ordered (you should get it on Beanbay - Other Stuff!). Sounds similar to David Suzukis efforts (same theme, bit different approach).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: You, I and our planet.

      *steps up onto soap box*

      I think that living in the country we can get away from "stuff" a little more and that we are a bit more in tune to what is happening to the planet in regards to the affect stuff has on the environment. No sticking your head in the sand out here, were at the coal face already!

      I also think that not being close to shops and having the fact that you need more stuff everyday rammed down your throats like I see it happening in the city, is a bit of a good thing. Consumerism is something that I am grateful to be away from. However, I wont deny that it reaches out here, just a little less so, I think.

      Ive been reading some publications on organic gardens and the like, in order to investigate the ways to wean myself off the stuff sellers a bit more but my biggest problem with doing it, is the time and effort required to achieve it. What it probably comes down to, is reducing your dependance on stuff as much as you personally can for your situation and hopefully that that will have a postitive, if not small, affect on the planet.

      Just watching the Youtube vid on Stuff, made me think of the recent comments in a certain car magazine about people who have cars that are older than 10 years. Basically, the editor was saying "How dare you have an old car!" Well, all I could think to that was, how dare you have a new car every two years! To me, this comment reeks of coporations behind governments. I know that theyre in the ear of our elected leaders, telling them that those of us who keep our cars, mobile phones, televisions and computers for longer than 5 years are actually the bad ones because were not making them more money! How dare we! So, to make us buy more of their stuff, they will make it difficult for us to drive our old cars, turn off our phone service to switch on another that our phones wont work on and change the signal to watch television...thatll fix us!  :

      *steps down off soap box*

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: You, I and our planet.

        Theres quite a lot of truth in that video. Not many years ago, we seemed to survive very well without replacing our car, mobile, TV, computer, etc every couple of years or so.  Now we are bombarded by ads telling us to update and we will enjoy life better. I am not saying that we should all give up everything and become hippies, but maybe we should slow down and look at where we are headed.

        * oops, is this a soapbox Im standing on?*

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: You, I and our planet.

          Originally posted by 0C392E2C011C4B0 link=1253756834/1#1 date=1253760954
          Book ordered
          **blush** I wasnt really trying to bump this up the best sellers list but Im sure you will enjoy it. In fact if you hate it (which will make me feel quite guilty) Ill buy it off you and give it someone else.



          I took this book on a couple of plane trips to read (in fact I bought it at the airport) and paused when I had the thought that the extra weight of this book on a plane caused "x" amount of extra greenhouse gas emmisions from the plane... pondered more about the amount of fuel that 500g of book would take to cross the country in the air and how much fuel was burnt driving the logs to the paper factory, the paper to the printers, the book to the warehouse, the book to the reseller.... and then woke-up to hear that the plane was about to land. This meant that I would have to continue reading it on the return trip too and thus cause more environmental damage.

          ;D

          ...and I still didnt know the fuel usage per kilo on an airbus flight math or ergo how much less environmental impact a jockey has on a plane to me or how much green house gas tax surcharge a really fat person should pay on top of their flight fees. Which was about the time I thought, damn, need to stop getting distracted with random silly thoughts and read more of the book.

          Originally posted by 382824243F2A142C2A274B0 link=1253756834/2#2 date=1253783838
          I think that living in the country
          Ahhh... Freds quest went to the country too, the Aussie country in fact and visited a cotton farm as well as some of our mines and smelters. ...but I wont post spoilers.

          Originally posted by 382824243F2A142C2A274B0 link=1253756834/2#2 date=1253783838
          turn off our phone service to switch on another that our phones wont work on
          I have heard that the CDMA was a far better system in the sticks and a few people I know are totally isolated with their "new improved" phone service.

          Originally posted by 2A212A3239247E7C4B0 link=1253756834/3#3 date=1253795429
          but maybe we should slow down and look at where we are headed
          Agree!

          Originally posted by 2A212A3239247E7C4B0 link=1253756834/3#3 date=1253795429
          * oops, is this a soapbox Im standing on?*
          Yes it is a soapbox but its becoming a very "green" one now. Just in this thread its been used without re-engineering 3 times in a row and apart from the fact it was originally made from Amazon old growth rain forest timber as long as we dont burn it to get the new model soapbox and keep on sharing it then I think we are minimising our impact.

          next...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: You, I and our planet.

            Saw the video on stuff a year or so ago and was blown away by the fact that they are consciously putting stuff out here that we can buy for less than what it takes to manufacture or repair said stuff.

            I used to do deliveries for a appliance repair mob, and the fridge mechanic showed me a few tricks the manufacturers use to allow the item to break down within a few years (planned obsolescence). The difference between one particular models domestic and export model was some pvc tape around some copper tubing so that electrolysis would be prevented from occuring between that and the aluminium tubing running alongside it. This led to pinprick holes in the tubing which happened to be buried in the side of the fridge adjacent to the area twixt freezer and fridge compartments making it the most difficult place to access for repairs, thus making it uneconomical to fix = buy a new fridge. You guessed it...export model gets the tape.

            Unprotected light compartment sitting underneath condensation point which in time will lead to shorting out, little fire will start but go out cos of lack of oxygen thus rendering the fridge stuffed.

            The stuff video...I cringe at the packaging for kids toys, the amount of plastic (up to three layers) (and thus toxic waste produced) is obscene. A 25 dollar toaster breaks down, we throw it away and buy a new one. The cost of parts + labour prohibits getting it fixed. A 200 dollar ghetto blaster breaks within two years..usually something in the CD compartment goes first...get another one.

            What can I do?? My wife and kids think Im a nutter because I recycle Christmas wrapping paper...carefully peeling of the tape. I usually only buy second hand toys (when my young bloke was younger), console games and cds. I pay to repair my PC rather upgrade to a new one. I dony buy bottled water...biggest gyp going.

            What can I also do...what is to stop us supplying the skills and services we have between us to each other, our neighbours, families and friends. If we say "I will give you my time and skill set as a gift, all you have to do is pay for the actual cost of any parts required". A sense of community will develop, dollars will be saved, and we will play some small part in reducing waste (both in stuff and dollars) produced.

            Regarding the old growth amazon rain forest timber soapbox, when wear and tear has caused it to become less than visually pleasant, my old man has the timber working skills to bring it back to as good as new.

            *hands back this beautifully hand crafted soap box

            next.......

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: You, I and our planet.

              If weight were really an issue on airflight fuel consumption to that extent:

              - They would weigh you and charge for your passage accordingly, and the WCs at the airport before the ticket agents would be full of folks taking a dump to save a few dollars on their tickets.

              - Instead of flight insurance, there would be vending machines for laxatives.

              - People would ship their children by UPS (Insured if they were attached to them dearly).

              - Thong underwear would be the standard flight garb (and nothing else).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: You, I and our planet.

                Great to know im buying my coffee from someone who is conscious of the impact they are making - Cheers Andy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: You, I and our planet.

                  Originally posted by 505C594D54584F4F580D0B3D0 link=1253756834/5#5 date=1253830348
                  What can I do?? My wife and kids think Im a nutter because I recycle Christmas wrapping paper...carefully peeling of the tape. I usually only buy second hand toys (when my young bloke was younger), console games and cds. I pay to repair my PC rather upgrade to a new one. I dony buy bottled water...biggest gyp going.
                  Sorry but i agree with them. However i agree on the bottled water comment though. Repairing your PC is OK in the 1st 12 - 24mnths but after that it is a false economy as it impinges on time due to its slowness but then again you need to establish the value of your time.

                  Do i worry about what my footprint on the environment is?? No because if i did then i wouldnt be working in IT and should be living in some bark humpy on the banks of the murray (without water) living totally off the land. Then again compared to the job i have at the moment perhaps that is a pleasing alternative ;D. Perhaps its time for a change :-/
                  <end rant>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: You, I and our planet.

                    Originally posted by 2B26252B490 link=1253756834/8#8 date=1253881075
                    ... living in some bark humpy on the banks of the murray (without water)
                    Id just like to point out that the Murray actually has plenty of water in it...contrary to popular belief...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: You, I and our planet.

                      Originally posted by 2F22212F4D0 link=1253756834/8#8 date=1253881075
                      Do i worry about what my footprint on the environment is?? No....
                      While I respect your honesty it makes me sad that even partly in jest you could think like that.

                      While Ill be here for at most another 50 odd years, my kids will be here 20 or 30 after that and their kids will prob be here at the turn of the next century. What will be there for them if everyone thought that changing their footprint was too hard?

                      In fact, if the industry you work in has that big a mark on the environment then all the more reason to think about changing some of YOUR processes to improve it.

                      Originally posted by 2F22212F4D0 link=1253756834/8#8 date=1253881075
                      Repairing your PC is OK in the 1st 12 - 24mnths but after that it is a false economy as it impinges on time due to its slowness
                      Garbage. That sounds like typical sales drivel, not based on actual fact. After 20 years in the IT industry I could probally count on two hands the number of people I have met that needed something better than a 5-10 year old machine for their daily work and those mostly would have been graphics type workstations that crunch big numbers.

                      Most of the people that think they need a faster desktop machine are often just using badly written or poorly designed software.

                      One of the most useful PCs in my life is the one at the Snobbery, it runs the Roast Monitor for roasting and a web-browser. I think off the top of my head its a P3 (but might even be a P2) and runs a 15" CRT. It was free, salvaged prior to going into land-fill (after someone else upgraded) and it would work exactly the same if it was the latest-greatest $3000 machine.

                      The adminstraion side (back-end) of BeanBay is a web application, it runs on the server and keeps track of everones orders, their payments and the roasting status among other things. All I need is a web browser to access it and until Internet infrastructure is faster than bus speed in the PC then just about any old clunker will work fine.

                      The Roast Monitor is (mostly) Java based, runs real time on nearly any PC and has a very low minimum hardware requirement.

                      Besides, the staple of most office IT requirements is a spread sheet, a word processor, email and web browser and all those have run faster than people can type for a longtime now.

                      I understand people wanting a better screen or a bigger hard drive (both can be added to an older machine) but can you let me know why people in your circle require the latest machine every couple of years?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: You, I and our planet.

                        Originally posted by 4C5C50504B5E60585E533F0 link=1253756834/9#9 date=1253884345
                        Originally posted by 2B26252B490 link=1253756834/8#8 date=1253881075
                        ... living in some bark humpy on the banks of the murray (without water)  
                        Id just like to point out that the Murray actually has plenty of water in it...contrary to popular belief...
                        I could quite happily live in a old bark humpy on the banks of any free flowing river...mind you, I cant stand people and civilisation anyways.

                        [quote]
                        Originally posted by 5D50535D3F0 link=1253756834/8#8 date=1253881075
                        Originally posted by 505C594D54584F4F580D0B3D0 link=1253756834/5#5 date=1253830348
                        What can I do?? My wife and kids think Im a nutter because I recycle Christmas wrapping paper...carefully peeling of the tape. I usually only buy second hand toys (when my young bloke was younger), console games and cds. I pay to repair my PC rather upgrade to a new one. I dony buy bottled water...biggest gyp going.  
                        Sorry but i agree with them. However i agree on the bottled water comment though. Repairing your PC is OK in the 1st 12 - 24mnths but after that it is a false economy as it impinges on time due to its slowness but then again you need to establish the value of your time.
                        I never said I wasnt agreeing with them either   ;D

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: You, I and our planet.

                          Originally posted by 51414D4D56437D45434E220 link=1253756834/9#9 date=1253884345
                          Id just like to point out that the Murray actually has plenty of water in it...contrary to popular belief... Wink
                          Its still in trouble though - especially around the Murray Lakes area. Were starting to enter the high evaporation period too with risk of pollutants. This is what is behind the water buy-back scheme from what I understand.

                          One of the biggest problems these days is the environmental vs economical debatee.g. we cant stop logging because jobs will be lost; people need to keep buying new appliances as the economy relies on the flow of cash, etc.
                          The two are not mutually exclusive. The best thing the government can do is get opposing parties together and compromise.
                          No one knows for sure how well our planetcan cope with what we are doing to it but we can at least try to reduce our impact. I think we are trying. Hopefully, not too late.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: You, I and our planet.

                            Originally posted by 557A706D140 link=1253756834/10#10 date=1253887454
                            While I respect your honesty it makes me sad that even partly in jest you could think like that.

                            While Ill be here for at most another 50 odd years, my kids will be here 20 or 30 after that and their kids will prob be here at the turn of the next century.What will be there for them if everyone thought that changing their footprint was too hard?

                            In fact, if the industry you work in has that big a mark on the environment then all the more reason to think about changing some of YOUR processes to improve it.
                            Changing footprints is in some cases too hard and not worth the effort, it just depends on the context this is applied to, do i worry to much about what my kids or my kids kids will be faced with in 50 years?? Nope, it just doesnt interest me that much, probably a sad fact to many but a reality to many many more on this planet. Frankly i have more important issues to deal with rather than something that may or may not happen in varying degrees that no one can actually determin yet. Do i do things that i can simply do such as recycling etc etc? Yep i do but i dont go out of my way to reduce my personal environmental foot print unless it can save me time or $$. It takes money and effort to achieve these changes and personally anything other full commitment and living like a bush dweller off the land is not achieving the outcome. Rather like a vegetarian that hates cows being killed for food but happily wears leather shoes.

                            Originally posted by 557A706D140 link=1253756834/10#10 date=1253887454
                            Garbage.That sounds like typical sales drivel, not based on actual fact.After 20 years in the IT industry I could probally count on two hands the number of people I have met that needed something better than a 5-10 year old machine for their daily work and those mostly would have been graphics type workstations that crunch big numbers.

                            Most of the people that think they need a faster desktop machine are often just using badly written or poorly designed software.

                            One of the most useful PCs in my life is the one at the Snobbery, it runs the Roast Monitor for roasting and a web-browser.I think off the top of my head its a P3 (but might even be a P2) and runs a 15" CRT.It was free, salvaged prior to going into land-fill (after someone else upgraded) and it would work exactly the same if it was the latest-greatest $3000 machine.

                            The adminstraion side (back-end) of BeanBay is a web application, it runs on the server and keeps track of everones orders, their payments and the roasting status among other things.All I need is a web browser to access it and until Internet infrastructure is faster than bus speed in the PC then just about any old clunker will work fine.

                            The Roast Monitor is (mostly) Java based, runs real time on nearly any PC and has a very low minimum hardware requirement.

                            Besides, the staple of most office IT requirements is a spread sheet, a word processor, email and web browser and all those have run faster than people can type for a longtime now.

                            I understand people wanting a better screen or a bigger hard drive (both can be added to an older machine) but can you let me know why people in your circle require the latest machine every couple of years?
                            You make think its crap but i would count you in the minority, its all based on context. I am not a sales person and if i can delay an upgrade of IT then i will but if a business takes on another or perhaps different application that involves more computing resources, this then starts the process of the PC upgrade/replacement. You upgrade the software of standard machines or environments across your network to make use of new features - keeping existing old machines can be a bottleneck to the take up of that technology causing potential failure of the project, but again it depends on the context.

                            Here are some examples;
                            We are basically a MS software house in that 99% of all software used is MS. We use sharepoint 2007 and office 2007, if i was using 5 - 10 yr old PCs in our environment then they wouldnt run office 2007 and the integration we have between the latest office and sharepoint would be non existant meaning the role out of sharepoint 2007 would be a waste of time. The business process that run as a result of this integration would fail and it would cost the company more in labour to do the same work.

                            Another
                            I had a staff member in perth order two PCs but no screens as the CRT screens still work. My response was "sorry no can do we cant purchase a PC without a screen". Why?? because i dont want to be dealing with the crap perpetuated by using outdated technology, while yes it works but its not appropriate when you are trying to standardise the environment in order to maintain consistency and cheaper support. Plus we havent purchased CRT monitors since 2004 and they would be in poor shape. Lets face it, you will get better effort out of your general staff population by giving them better equipment and not leaving them on old technology junk just because you can. Its all about context. It takes more to support older equipment than new.

                            Do you keep laptops longer than 3 years? Hell no as their breakdown cycle starts to increase at about the 3.5 year mark, this is a known fact. PCs we keep for 4 years and even that in some cases is a little long, do we throw them out? No currently they go back to the rental but i would prefer that they be given away to those in need as a corporate gesture of good will but thats an argument i need to have with finance.

                            You cant compare the pc you salvaged for the snobbery with a coporate environment they dont even come close.

                            I stand by my comment that IT has a big footprint, while yes the aim is to virtualise and minimise the amount of power and resoures we use, IT will always remain a reasonable component of a companies carbon footprint and of course it depends on what industry that company is in.

                            Of course new components can be added to old machines but there comes a point when this is a false economy and you start throwing good money after bad. In this fact IT is not really any different to cars or machinery, there is a point at which the item becomes too expensive to mantain.

                            Machines are likely to be kept and upgraded in the SOHO or home environment as the cost is more direct, once you get a user base of 300+ then its totally different. Depending on the age, i may upgrade my sons PC rather than replace. Is this a double standard?? Of course it is because i actually have to pay to replace my sons PC where i am not paying for the company to change their equipment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: You, I and our planet.

                              Originally posted by 4B415443434C585E2D0 link=1253756834/12#12 date=1253915188
                              Originally posted by 51414D4D56437D45434E220 link=1253756834/9#9 date=1253884345
                              Id just like to point out that the Murray actually has plenty of water in it...contrary to popular belief... Wink
                              Its still in trouble though - especially around the Murray Lakes area. Were starting to enter the high evaporation period too with risk of pollutants. This is what is behind the water buy-back scheme from what I understand.
                              I think its the Darling that is in a much worse situation from most perspectives, given that most of the feeder systems are dammed and allow hardly a trickle of water to reach it....

                              Mal.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X