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Sustainable Future: How Do?

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So this is something that has been racking my brain for all week. Learned this fact that if every person in the world lived like people from the United States we'd need about 10 earths in order to keep up with the resource demands. One thing that scares me the most about this is we waste a lot, and I mean a lot. I feel like if the United States utilized all the resources it has we'd halve the amount of resources we take up (hopeful thinking on my part I'm guessing) But that's obviously not enough, so I'm posting all my ideas about what a sustainable future would need in order for earth to survive. For the record, I don't want to get rid of luxury, but perhaps limit it or just make life a little less luxurious in order to keep earth stable

 

Anyways here I go

 

The first thing I'd like to address is the beef industry, because not many people know this, but the beef industry is probably one of the most wasteful, polluting, and downright nasty things the we do in the United States. I'm not talking about dairy BTW, I'm talking cattle herding for the express purpose of slaughtering them for meat. Cows actually produce more greenhouse gasses than our cars. They produce methane (i'll let you work out how) which actually traps heat better than C02. Plus, in terms of how much food, water, land, and just resources over all that you put into a cow verses how much you get from killing and eating is a really pathetic ratio. In terms of meat, which I wouldn't want to get rid of because it's the easiest for of protein for large populations to eat, I think pork and chicken are actually the the best in terms of what you can put in and what you get out. Plus with chickens you get eggs. Anyways, the first thing I'd want to do is to completely minimize the beef industry as much as possible. Make beef either cost so much that no one would want to eat it do to sheer cost or limit the amount of male cattle that can be kept purely for food reasons.

 

Second is energy. We Americans use a lot of energy and in all honesty the ways that we get this energy isn't the best in terms of how much energy we get in ratio to the energy and resources it takes to actually produce that energy. The biggest thing here is renewable energy, we need more. If we hope to have a sustainable future, we can't use energy that will one day run out. Oil is the biggest of this. Oil is going to run out, when, how, why, and how quickly is still up for discussion but nevertheless it will run out one day. One we reach peak oil, the market is going to collapse in terms of supply. This is why renewable energy is very important AND why creating transport, housing, communications, and everything you can think of either run off renewable energy, or is supplemented by it. We also need to find less wasteful ways of using energy. For example New York city has a lot of energy coming from the hydroelectric plants in Niagara Falls. However, a lot of that energy is lost by the time it gets to New York. So in order for a better use of energy to exist we'd need to build power plants near New York city and let the hydroelectric be used by whomever is up there, minimizing energy loss.

 

Third is housing, average american housing. First off I'd like to say that lawns really don't serve much point. They take resources to maintain, it's unnecessary water waste, and it's be a lot better if there were parks instead of a lawn if a child wants to play outside. With this topic in mind another thing that should 100% go is golf courses. Again, same thing as lawns, but imagine if you had to keep the equivalent of Rhode Island watered, trimmed, maintained, and completely proper for a better half of the year (if not the whole year). Anyways, with housing I definitely think we need better water management. One idea is to actually have all "waste water" (i.e. sink water, shower water, and perhaps even washing machines) dump into the toilet first. Meaning that the used sink water will be what you poo or pee in. I think this can make a lot of sense especially if you have a filter for solids. Think about it, toilets is literally taking clean, safe, drinkable water, and shitting into it. Take one of the worlds most valuable and precious resources, dirty it up, and flush it away. Third is heating and cooling. Look, simple solution is to not have the heat set too high during the winter (bundle up if cold kinda thing) and not too low during the summer (drink some water, draw the shades, something like that). If everyone did this, we'd save a lot of energy that is used completely for climate control.

 

Food: This one is simple, doesn't need much explaining, just defending, so i'll do that once someone points out the flaws. Ok to put it really simple: more vegetables, more local food, less meat, and every house have their own vegetable garden (think victory gardens from WWII). This would keep people fed and less wastefully

 

Transportation: As stated before i think we'd need a massive change in terms of how our transportation network is, especially in america. First off, more public transportation along with better planning. The worst thing we have here in the US is urban sprawl. There are so many areas in the US that are borderline impossible to get to without a car or other mode of personal transportation. This makes public transportation a nightmare, completely undoable in some areas, especially suburbia. The reason I say this is because obviously public transportation is better in terms of resources, and is overall cheaper than a personal vehicle. Especially for city to city transport. Trains use less energy to move the same amount of people than a car (plus in my personal opinion you can't sleep while driving a car so). I'm not saying get rid of cars, i'm saying lesson how much they are used and increase how much things like trains, buses, and such are used.

 

Ok, this is all i can stand to write for now, i'll probably post later when i have the chance about more things when i can think of them. I'm sure all of you will let me know just how stupid some of my ideas are or that i'm trying to ruin capitalism and make an authoritarian government. I'll refute those point and defend mine if and when i need to. For now, let me know what you think in terms of what a sustainable future should contain.

100% is going to be a cut-rate clown

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The first thing I'd like to address is the beef industry, because not many people know this, but the beef industry is probably one of the most wasteful, polluting, and downright nasty things the we do in the United States. I'm not talking about dairy BTW, I'm talking cattle herding for the express purpose of slaughtering them for meat. Cows actually produce more greenhouse gasses than our cars. They produce methane (i'll let you work out how) which actually traps heat better than C02. Plus, in terms of how much food, water, land, and just resources over all that you put into a cow verses how much you get from killing and eating is a really pathetic ratio. In terms of meat, which I wouldn't want to get rid of because it's the easiest for of protein for large populations to eat, I think pork and chicken are actually the the best in terms of what you can put in and what you get out. Plus with chickens you get eggs. Anyways, the first thing I'd want to do is to completely minimize the beef industry as much as possible. Make beef either cost so much that no one would want to eat it do to sheer cost or limit the amount of male cattle that can be kept purely for food reasons.

First, I'll start by saying that if even the scientific community is divided so significantly on the issue of greenhouse gas effects, (and they most definitely are) that probly shouldn't be a part of this issue.

 

Now, on to the rest of what you said about cattle. Cattle tend to be sent to graze in fields that are in their 'dry' years, in other words, the crops have sucked all the nutrients from the soil, and the cattle replenish those nutrients with their 'pies'. You could use goats or other animals, but cattle are the most efficient at cleaning the area and replenishing the nutrients. Without a cattle component, you have to plant a series of other useless crops for several more years to replenish the same nutrients to the same levels. This is basic farming, something that very few non-farmers actually know.

 

As for pork, they pollute the ground water in the area, so you can't have pork near fresh water sources without significant risk of disease. Chicken as well, though you would need a much larger amount of them. Only certain types of chickens will lay eggs that can be used like the ones from the stores, the same goes for ducks, though the issue with fowl is that they do need an awful lot of food and maintenance for proper care. (and they're pretty useless in the winter)

 

As for the best way to get meat, fish. It's the densest storage solution for protein there is, as you can store your protein in your drinking water. The problem is that most people much prefer the taste of beef, and beef contains a massive combination of different nutrients, such that getting all of them in the same quantities would be difficult in such a low-calorie substance.

 

In short: Calling cattle farming a form of pollution is completely ignoring many aspects of what they do, and why.

 

Second is energy. We Americans use a lot of energy and in all honesty the ways that we get this energy isn't the best in terms of how much energy we get in ratio to the energy and resources it takes to actually produce that energy. The biggest thing here is renewable energy, we need more. If we hope to have a sustainable future, we can't use energy that will one day run out. Oil is the biggest of this. Oil is going to run out, when, how, why, and how quickly is still up for discussion but nevertheless it will run out one day. One we reach peak oil, the market is going to collapse in terms of supply. This is why renewable energy is very important AND why creating transport, housing, communications, and everything you can think of either run off renewable energy, or is supplemented by it. We also need to find less wasteful ways of using energy. For example New York city has a lot of energy coming from the hydroelectric plants in Niagara Falls. However, a lot of that energy is lost by the time it gets to New York. So in order for a better use of energy to exist we'd need to build power plants near New York city and let the hydroelectric be used by whomever is up there, minimizing energy loss.

Most "renewable" energy types require more energy to be put into it than are ever gotten out of it, or require our very limited rare-earth resources... Like solar panels that require huge fields in infrequently cloud-covered areas to produce significant amounts of electricity, massively heat the local area, (in Arizona it could reach temperatures exceeding 240°F in the solar farms) and drop efficiency by up to 30% if they aren't cleaned frequently. (and are made from highly toxic rare-earths for the higher efficiency panels) They also drop in efficiency to 90% after 10 years, and 85% after 25, then they rapidly accelerate downhill. They are very expensive for the amount of power they generate.

 

Hydroelectric is probably the most efficient power generation system currently in use, but all possible locations for its use are already being used in the US. This is why you don't hear about some new dam being built.

 

If you're concerned about natural gas, that is actually classified as a renewable resource, since it is capable of being produced by almost any form of compost. It would be quite easy to use natural gas power plants in a fully sustainable way.

 

A realistic approach to efficient and clean energy generation is thorium reactors. It produces large amounts of electrical energy with no waste for several years, then after several years it produces one small container of very short half-life waste that can be disposed of quite easily. Waste containment is remarkably easy and cheap compared to what the media leads people to believe. Nuclear power is even supported by many of the founding members of anti-pollution groups. (not most current members, as most of the existing groups are hiding their anti-corporate agenda behind thin 'environmentalist' rhetoric) Also, thorium is as common as lead, and is found everywhere on this planet. (you would have to burn millions of reactors for thousands of years to even make a dent in our current supplies)

 

There are many advantages and disadvantages to every form of power generation, (more disadvantages than advantages for most modern ideas of 'renewable' energy) so it really is a difficult system to alter from it's current status quo.

 

Third is housing, average american housing. First off I'd like to say that lawns really don't serve much point. They take resources to maintain, it's unnecessary water waste, and it's be a lot better if there were parks instead of a lawn if a child wants to play outside. With this topic in mind another thing that should 100% go is golf courses. Again, same thing as lawns, but imagine if you had to keep the equivalent of Rhode Island watered, trimmed, maintained, and completely proper for a better half of the year (if not the whole year). Anyways, with housing I definitely think we need better water management. One idea is to actually have all "waste water" (i.e. sink water, shower water, and perhaps even washing machines) dump into the toilet first. Meaning that the used sink water will be what you poo or pee in. I think this can make a lot of sense especially if you have a filter for solids. Think about it, toilets is literally taking clean, safe, drinkable water, and shitting into it. Take one of the worlds most valuable and precious resources, dirty it up, and flush it away. Third is heating and cooling. Look, simple solution is to not have the heat set too high during the winter (bundle up if cold kinda thing) and not too low during the summer (drink some water, draw the shades, something like that). If everyone did this, we'd save a lot of energy that is used completely for climate control.

Concerning lawns... There are many valid environmental reasons for lawns. One, they cool the surrounding air. (by as much as 20-30 degrees compared to no lawn in some areas) Two, they produce oxygen. Three, they absorb and eliminate pollutants from the air. Four, they allow for more natural levels of water evaporation in the local area. (this affects weather significantly) Five, they make people feel good when playing on them. These same considerations can be said for golf courses. If you want better, there are certain trees and mosses that prefer urban and high CO²/CO content, as well as produce a much higher percentage of oxygen than other plants, or the same plant in a low CO²/CO content environment. Another thing about golf courses, is that they don't require grass... I have seen several in Arizona that use carefully maintained dirt courses.

 

For waste water, there are actually two different pipes that leave your house... One is grey water, the other is black water. Grey water is everything but your toilet, and doesn't require anywhere near as much processing as the black water that comes from toilets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater#Recycling Using greywater in the way you specified is already capable of being done, but isn't necessary with the way we currently clean our water. (and could quite possibly make it even more difficult to process black water)

 

Cooling and heating isn't that bad, it's when you have inefficient regulatory systems in the building that waste occurs. Any time you change the temperature it will use energy more than maintaining the temp. Keeping it warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter actually do very little in the way of total energy saving. Simply putting a series of thermostats in different rooms of the house at waist level and shoulder level will allow for better measurements for temperature stabilization. Adding tinted and/or insulated windows improves cooling in the summer massively. Plugging all air leaks around doors and windows will help with temperature stabilization too. Really, there are MANY existing ways to reduce energy usage without sacrificing comfort, it's just too much of a bother or an extra initial expense that many don't have the funds for.

 

Food: This one is simple, doesn't need much explaining, just defending, so i'll do that once someone points out the flaws. Ok to put it really simple: more vegetables, more local food, less meat, and every house have their own vegetable garden (think victory gardens from WWII). This would keep people fed and less wastefully

Ok, what we really need is less artificials. Get back to real components instead of various types of altered oil products. Eat butter, it's very good for you! Veggies are good, but too many and you're ignoring other nutrition sources that your body needs.

 

Local food is good, when it's possible. Many areas simply are incapable of producing enough food for the population housed in the area. This is not a bad thing. This is really the way it should be. People housed where food is difficult or impossible to be grown, leaving more room for growing food in the fertile areas.

 

Household veggie gardens sound like a good idea on paper, but 90% of people would end up killing their garden in under a month. Not everybody is cut out to be a farmer or gardener. Not everyone can maintain a plant, even with very specific instruction or even automation, and there are a large majority that wouldn't even want to try. There are many other reasons it wouldn't work too. Not even close to practical unfortunately.

 

Transportation: As stated before i think we'd need a massive change in terms of how our transportation network is, especially in america. First off, more public transportation along with better planning. The worst thing we have here in the US is urban sprawl. There are so many areas in the US that are borderline impossible to get to without a car or other mode of personal transportation. This makes public transportation a nightmare, completely undoable in some areas, especially suburbia. The reason I say this is because obviously public transportation is better in terms of resources, and is overall cheaper than a personal vehicle. Especially for city to city transport. Trains use less energy to move the same amount of people than a car (plus in my personal opinion you can't sleep while driving a car so). I'm not saying get rid of cars, i'm saying lesson how much they are used and increase how much things like trains, buses, and such are used.

Transportation could very easily be improved if governments could ever plan their city layouts logically... But they rarely do. I have seen 2 small towns with logical layouts, and that's it. (I have been over much of the central US, and some of the west coast)

 

Trains are remarkably difficult to make succeed in the US because it's ALWAYS faster and easier to get where you're going using other a private vehicle. (and the US is focused around getting to and from places fast and easy) Same goes for busses, but they do tend to get better success rates. One of the main reasons people don't like using public transportation is because we don't like to pay to be in an enclosed tube full of people, many of whom will be of a foul odor, some of whom will be looking for ways to steal your wallet or in some other way violate you, and then still have to walk several blocks to reach our destination.

 

If we could use electric-powered FPMV (Flying Personal Mobility Vehicle) instead, it would be ideal. We could use them at any level up to 500 feet, and have them automated. You press a button on your keychain, the FPMV flies to the door, you hop in, set your destination, you arrive at the door and step out, and it returns itself to the nearest available charging station and awaits your call. Of course, you'd probly have hackers stealing the FPMVs...

 

TL;DR version: Much of what you have said shows that you require either additional education on the subjects and their overall impacts on our lives, or that you need to find a way to change the entire social and economic structure of the country. There are a few good topics in here though.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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Practically everything in sustainability revolves around energy - heating, water, even fuel. If you have enough energy, you can live anywhere, you can make your fresh water or transport it from where there's plenty of it and you can synthesize your own hydrocarbons.

 

I agree that burning oil is not ideal and we should get off it as soon as practically possible (but it won't be very soon because there's still a lot of it left and it's still easy to burn it and we will always exhaust the easy options before bringing ourselves to do something more difficult).

 

Nuclear is the only realistic solution - fission (Thorium, as BTG suggests, would be nice but even plain old U will do) in the medium term, fusion (hopefully) in the long term perspective.

 

Mineral resources - I don't worry about those, we have plenty. Also, as technology evolves it tends to do more with less - the efficiencies of material use are increasing.

 

I deeply, deeply loath the idea of state meddling with artificial limits on consumption, luxury goods etc. - this always creates more problems than it solves as it confuses the market signals and lead, to under/overproduction, bubbles, it stifles innovation, etc.

 

I am happy to agree with Dash on the matter of beef but purely for personal reasons - I don't like beef very much. Prefer pork or lamb any day :-)

 

But there is one interesting set of numbers that I find quite sobering when I hear people's fears of global overpopulation etc - if you put ALL people on the planet into a city with the population density of a major European city, like Paris, then such city will only need to be as big as France. Leaving the rest of the Earth's surface free for whatever use we may want to find for it...

 

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First, I'll start by saying that if even the scientific community is divided so significantly on the issue of greenhouse gas effects, (and they most definitely are) that probly shouldn't be a part of this issue.

 

Now, on to the rest of what you said about cattle. Cattle tend to be sent to graze in fields that are in their 'dry' years, in other words, the crops have sucked all the nutrients from the soil, and the cattle replenish those nutrients with their 'pies'. You could use goats or other animals, but cattle are the most efficient at cleaning the area and replenishing the nutrients. Without a cattle component, you have to plant a series of other useless crops for several more years to replenish the same nutrients to the same levels. This is basic farming, something that very few non-farmers actually know.

 

As for pork, they pollute the ground water in the area, so you can't have pork near fresh water sources without significant risk of disease. Chicken as well, though you would need a much larger amount of them. Only certain types of chickens will lay eggs that can be used like the ones from the stores, the same goes for ducks, though the issue with fowl is that they do need an awful lot of food and maintenance for proper care. (and they're pretty useless in the winter)

 

You are right, I didn't know about the cattle thing however I do know that a lot of factory farms will sometimes use other produce such as corn and just feed that to the cattle instead of letting them graze. It's that kind of stuff that i'd like to get rid of. It's preferable to me to stop wasting resources rather than reducing. The United States makes enough food to feed the world, but because a lot of it goes to waste and is never eaten (by people or animals) that's the stuff I'm much more concerned about. The reason we throw away so much is to keep the price of crops high enough so that farmers still have a living. It's a product of overeffeciency in a capitalistic society that values money over resources. While capitalism can do a pretty good job at using resources, other times it outright exploits or just wastes other resources. In regard to fish and pork, I did some more research after realizing that there were still some gaps of knowledge i had and you're right about pork. I actually read something from the magazine "Science" which is THE scientific magazine that said that the Chinese were using so much pork that not only were their rivers being polluted by it, but worse because the pigs were fed so much antibiotics that there were huge amounts of antibiotic resistant bacteria in a lot of Chinese lakes and rivers. As for fish you are once again right, and I did want to talk about this one fish farming system but i forgot to last night.

 

Anyways it goes like this: You have a hatchery of a specific type of fish that also collects the waste that the fish produce in order to fertilize the actual plants that will be feeding the fish. You can theoretically have a very efficient fish hatchery by making the fish food on the spot.

 

 

Most "renewable" energy types require more energy to be put into it than are ever gotten out of it, or require our very limited rare-earth resources... Like solar panels that require huge fields in infrequently cloud-covered areas to produce significant amounts of electricity, massively heat the local area, (in Arizona it could reach temperatures exceeding 240°F in the solar farms) and drop efficiency by up to 30% if they aren't cleaned frequently. (and are made from highly toxic rare-earths for the higher efficiency panels) They also drop in efficiency to 90% after 10 years, and 85% after 25, then they rapidly accelerate downhill. They are very expensive for the amount of power they generate.

 

I'm skeptical about all of that, I can see that with solar power but there are more renewable energy sources than solar. So while you have a point about solar power, the thing about solar more than any other kind of renewable power is the fact that they can be added to things such as houses and cars. Integrating them and lessening the sheer amount of power that is wasted when you go from power plant to vehicle or whatever.

 

 

A realistic approach to efficient and clean energy generation is thorium reactors. It produces large amounts of electrical energy with no waste for several years, then after several years it produces one small container of very short half-life waste that can be disposed of quite easily. Waste containment is remarkably easy and cheap compared to what the media leads people to believe. Nuclear power is even supported by many of the founding members of anti-pollution groups. (not most current members, as most of the existing groups are hiding their anti-corporate agenda behind thin 'environmentalist' rhetoric) Also, thorium is as common as lead, and is found everywhere on this planet. (you would have to burn millions of reactors for thousands of years to even make a dent in our current supplies)

 

Yes, once again this is something that I wanted to mention but forgot because it was getting late with my last post. I really like nuclear energy and a lot of arguments made against nuclear really don't outweigh the benefits that you get from it. I remember reading too that one of the biggest problems with radioactive energy sources is that with the coolant systems you'd have to process a large amount of low-level radioactive water. Which is difficult because spillage can occur and large amounts of anything are hard to process, but some places are experimenting with polymer beads that will absorb the radiation and now instead of lots of low lever radiation (which is still dangerous) now you have small amounts of high radioactive material (while still dangerous much easier to handle).

 

 

 

Concerning lawns... There are many valid environmental reasons for lawns. One, they cool the surrounding air. (by as much as 20-30 degrees compared to no lawn in some areas) Two, they produce oxygen. Three, they absorb and eliminate pollutants from the air. Four, they allow for more natural levels of water evaporation in the local area. (this affects weather significantly) Five, they make people feel good when playing on them. These same considerations can be said for golf courses. If you want better, there are certain trees and mosses that prefer urban and high CO²/CO content, as well as produce a much higher percentage of oxygen than other plants, or the same plant in a low CO²/CO content environment. Another thing about golf courses, is that they don't require grass... I have seen several in Arizona that use carefully maintained dirt courses.

 

I'd have to take a closer look at the temperature thing about lawns. Mostly because it could be that the information doesn't factor in other variables. Like places without lawns may be 20-30 degrees hotter because they're located in the desert, not because they don't have a lawn. The amount of oxygen that lawns produce really isn't that great. Ya it has some but not nearly as much as many other forms of plants that can process CO2 and produce oxygen far better. Same thing goes for pollutants. So yes I'd much rather remove lawns and replace the grass growing there with other plants but my biggest concern with lawns isn't what the grass does or does not do, it's more about the fact that people water, mow, maintain, and use a large amount of resources on something because "it looks nice". And while there are dirt golf course (which I'm 100% ok with as long as there aren't too many resources being put into it) the vast majority of golf courses are grass.

 

For waste water, there are actually two different pipes that leave your house... One is grey water, the other is black water. Grey water is everything but your toilet, and doesn't require anywhere near as much processing as the black water that comes from toilets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater#Recycling Using greywater in the way you specified is already capable of being done, but isn't necessary with the way we currently clean our water. (and could quite possibly make it even more difficult to process black water)

 

Ok, this i did not know at all...my bad. This was pretty much sheer ignorance on my part and my idea came mostly from this toilet model that i saw that had the sink attached to the toilet to not only save space, but also has the water go to the toilet. Plus, after some more research i found that there are actually places that can process human waste into perfectly safe drinking water and aren't too wasteful in doing so. So that's definitely a better alternative.

 

Ok, what we really need is less artificials. Get back to real components instead of various types of altered oil products. Eat butter, it's very good for you! Veggies are good, but too many and you're ignoring other nutrition sources that your body needs.

 

Yes, but butter is not exactly the healthiest thing in the world to just be eating. Plus I did say LESS meat, not to get rid of it. Meat is probably the best way to get protien into your body in a realistic manner, but here in the US we eat too much of it. We can eat meat in one of our 3 meals and be perfectly fine in terms of nutrients.

 

Local food is good, when it's possible. Many areas simply are incapable of producing enough food for the population housed in the area. This is not a bad thing. This is really the way it should be. People housed where food is difficult or impossible to be grown, leaving more room for growing food in the fertile areas.

 

This is true, but a lot of times I find that people don't eat local food, period. Or if they do they don't go out of their way to eat locally. It's more a situation where if you can do it, do it as much as you can, if you can't, keep doing what you're doing. But a lot of times grocery stores will throw away perfectly good food because it doesn't look good. A slightly bruised tomato won't be put out, it'll be thrown away because it doesn't look completely appealing.

 

Household veggie gardens sound like a good idea on paper, but 90% of people would end up killing their garden in under a month. Not everybody is cut out to be a farmer or gardener. Not everyone can maintain a plant, even with very specific instruction or even automation, and there are a large majority that wouldn't even want to try. There are many other reasons it wouldn't work too. Not even close to practical unfortunately.

 

A better idea than this is actually community gardens. I forgot about these somehow when making this post and I missed out on a good point. Community gardens are actually a huge help in more ways than just food. Some places actually have reduced crime whenever one is started up and it can help a community a LOT whenever one is properly maintained. Therefore you eliminate the problem of inexperience or ignorance because a few people could run the garden full time but everyone in the community pitches in for things like weeding, or fertilizing, watering, ect. You'd even be able to have the justice system use community gardens as a way of punishment. Sentence someone 50 hours or so to a community garden instead of fines or short jail time for minor offenses.

 

 

Transportation could very easily be improved if governments could ever plan their city layouts logically... But they rarely do. I have seen 2 small towns with logical layouts, and that's it. (I have been over much of the central US, and some of the west coast)

 

Trains are remarkably difficult to make succeed in the US because it's ALWAYS faster and easier to get where you're going using other a private vehicle. (and the US is focused around getting to and from places fast and easy) Same goes for busses, but they do tend to get better success rates. One of the main reasons people don't like using public transportation is because we don't like to pay to be in an enclosed tube full of people, many of whom will be of a foul odor, some of whom will be looking for ways to steal your wallet or in some other way violate you, and then still have to walk several blocks to reach our destination.

 

If we could use electric-powered FPMV (Flying Personal Mobility Vehicle) instead, it would be ideal. We could use them at any level up to 500 feet, and have them automated. You press a button on your keychain, the FPMV flies to the door, you hop in, set your destination, you arrive at the door and step out, and it returns itself to the nearest available charging station and awaits your call. Of course, you'd probly have hackers stealing the FPMVs...

 

This is where I'm going to get some hate. I understand the convenience of things like personal vehicles, but in order for a sustainable future we'll have to give some things up. This is why i consider walking an extra three blocks a completely doable sacrifice instead of driving to be completely within reason. While there are downsides to public transportation, the benefits I think very much outweigh the negatives. A FPMV I think is an idealize version of the future and in all honesty would probably be more wasteful that cars. But without a doubt we need better urban planning to make public transportation doable instead of the absolute mess it can be. In Europe it's much better because the urban planning is a lot more refined and compact where the US has problems because of our tendency to spread out and use our own cars to get around.

 

Basically a lot of what i want to do will take personal sacrifice for the average person, but #1 on the list is getting rid of wasteful behavior. Not just in terms of vacations being wasteful or luxury items in of themselves, but some of the completely ridiculous things we tend to waste resources on. It's a complex topic that would take a lot of time to fully get semi-doable. What I don't want happening is the whole world turing into china, who use their resources pretty wastefully too, only recently became industrialize, and who's environment has been decimated by Chinese exploitation.

100% is going to be a cut-rate clown

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Basically a lot of what i want to do will take personal sacrifice for the average person, but #1 on the list is getting rid of wasteful behavior. Not just in terms of vacations being wasteful or luxury items in of themselves, but some of the completely ridiculous things we tend to waste resources on. It's a complex topic that would take a lot of time to fully get semi-doable.

And that's where your entire plan falls apart... People in general don't want to sacrifice. The curtailing of freedom in such an obvious and pervasive way will not only get your ideas crucified by the populace, but may get you some very serious threats to your life if you actually got it to go far enough for a vote.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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And that's where your entire plan falls apart... People in general don't want to sacrifice. The curtailing of freedom in such an obvious and pervasive way will not only get your ideas crucified by the populace, but may get you some very serious threats to your life if you actually got it to go far enough for a vote.

 

One thing to consider here is also this: The developed world takes the most resources by far. So one thing that is a possibility is to either reduce population growth or like certain countries in Japan and Italy, have a negative growth rate. But before I'd want to get into taking away luxuries, I'd much rather stop the huge amount of waste this country has. Or at least find a way to convince people to stop using cars so much. Encourage good, resource efficient behavior rather than force it.

100% is going to be a cut-rate clown

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First, I'll start by saying that if even the scientific community is divided so significantly on the issue of greenhouse gas effects, (and they most definitely are)

 

Liar. :evil:

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One thing to consider here is also this: The developed world takes the most resources by far. So one thing that is a possibility is to either reduce population growth or like certain countries in Japan and Italy, have a negative growth rate. But before I'd want to get into taking away luxuries, I'd much rather stop the huge amount of waste this country has. Or at least find a way to convince people to stop using cars so much. Encourage good, resource efficient behavior rather than force it.

You'd have to find a really strong encouragement, like free electric cars or something... You won't get many people to switch with anything less.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I'm all for Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology. When I first saw the Honda FCX Clarity in 2008 - as a 15 year-old - I said to myself "If I buy a car, it will be this car."

 

honda-fcx-clarity.jpg

 

 

But it's not as simple as that. For me the biggest issue is the sheer amount of restructuring required to integrate a more sustainable resource usage. The amount of time, effort, money, and fossil fuels needed to make Hydrogen Cars a viable option is pretty prohibitive - you'd need near-unanimous acceptance of the technology to even get the funding for it. And people like the smell of hydrocarbons in the morning.

____

Another thing is distribution of wealth, but there's not much I can say about it without sounding like a misinformed communist :?

I USED TO DREAM ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR

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The problem with Hydrogen is that it is not a source of energy - it is only a carrier. Production of H2 requires much more energy that can be usefully extracted out of it afterwards.

 

And it brings me back to the same thing - energy availability is the real key to everything. The only real sources of energy on Earth are solar (it powers all of the biosphere, the wind and the petroleum itself can be seen as "condensed sun light") and nuclear.

 

On the reduction of population - here I disagree very strongly. Our as yet unsolved problem is actually the lack of people in the developed world. As countries advance and their per-capita energy consumption approaches that of the developed world people stop having enough children. All the population growth in Europe is now due to the increase in life span and immigration from outside.

 

If that trend continues, then when the entire planet reached the level of the First World our global population number will be declining. This is not a good prospect...

 

Regards

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On the reduction of population - here I disagree very strongly. Our as yet unsolved problem is actually the lack of people in the developed world. As countries advance and their per-capita energy consumption approaches that of the developed world people stop having enough children. All the population growth in Europe is now due to the increase in life span and immigration from outside.

 

If that trend continues, then when the entire planet reached the level of the First World our global population number will be declining. This is not a good prospect...

If it does this normally, without government regulation, then this is actually not a bad thing. If it's because of government regulation, (like in China) it is a bad thing.

 

We're at 7.227 billion people on the planet, and that number is rising by ~1.5 every second... http://www.census.gov/popclock/ If it continues the way it has been, we'll be at 8 billion by the end of the decade. (7.25 by the end of either this or next year)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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