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podcast 103: REALLY saving energy / environment

paul wheaton

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 16568
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)

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Lm McWilliams

Joined: Jul 11, 2013
Posts: 49
Location: USDA Zone 5
Yes! Yes! YES!!! FINALLY, someone else who understands- and is not afraid to point out-
the environmental disaster called 'CFL' bulbs! Thank you, Mr. Paul Wheton, sir!

The compact flourescent bulb issue is definately just one aspect of 'greenwashing', as mentioned.

It is perhaps an illustration of how easily the masses are led by marketing - or (promotional campaigns,
disinformation, etc. (Some would point out that the ease of manipulating the masses is why the USA was
not designed as a true democracy; the masses tend to devolve to 'mobs'. And mob rule is not pretty. But
that is another topic altogether.)

Then again, maybe it is not so off-topic, as the political influence of those who THINK they are standing up
for the environment can be devestating. To be fair, many of those people do care, and truly believe they
are 'right'. After all, they can SEE those windmills, but they cannot SEE the effects of environmental damage
caused by things like nuclear power plants (mine damage; radioactive fallout from accidents like Three Mile
Island or Chernobyl or Fukushima; the unresolved issue of what to do with the radio-active waste - [I recently
read that it was going to be used to help increase the shelf-life of food(!) ], just to touch on a few issues with
nuclear power plants). If the cause and effect is not almost immediate, too many people totally miss the

It can be a challenge in today's world to separate fact from... fiction. It requires an ability to think critically.
And to view 'information' in light of it's source.

Could it be that mercury exposure has already impaired people's ability to think?
(From fillings, from the air as a result of burning coal to produce electricity, from fish, and who knows what else:
Mercury migrating out of sheetrock made from gypsum recovered from coal stacks? From plastics where it may
be used to provide UV resistence? Or...? In addition to flourescent lights.)

Two benchmarks I find useful:
- How does this work in nature?
(But that requires that people not assume a 'man vs nature' attitude; or believe that man-made is better than
natural Ever notice how many people hesitate to eat real, natural food that their ancestors evolved consuming,
but think nothing of consuming chemical-laden foods? In some cases, just to make the food 'prettier'?? )

- Occam's/Ockham's Razor, technical corollary: 'All things being equal, the simplest technology - that will get the job done -
is usally best.' Not always, but ususally.

LM McWilliams
Farside Farm, New England
Lm McWilliams

Joined: Jul 11, 2013
Posts: 49
Location: USDA Zone 5
On fear-mongering:

Isn't it a basic business/sales principle to either find or 'create' a NEED, and then fulfill
that need, for a fee, of course.

Fear mongering has already convince maaaaanny people that plastic cutting boards,
spoons, and other kitchen equipment is somehow safer than wood, (or glass, or metal-
all materials that have been safely used by humans for countless generations). Swiss
cheesmakers have used wooden utensils for 'ever', for instance. (And glass is made of
silica, and returns to sand, not to mention that it is easily reused or recycled simply
by melting and reforming.)

Plastics, on the other hand, are environmentally damaging at every step- from obtaining
the raw material
(petroleum), through manufacturing, and disposal. Burning plastics can be especially
harmful. And evidence is mounting that contact with food and beverages does expose
us to harmful components (whether they be plasticizers, UV stabilizers, or components
of the plastics themselves). Vinyls outgass toxins for the life of the material. Even
contact with plastics used in childrens' toys and playmats can expose them to substances
no human (or other creature) had ever been exposed to in the history of history, yet we
are to assume that such things are 'safe'.

'Alternatives', a health newsletter from Dr. David G. Williams, ran an article years ago
on a study of the bacteria growing on a plastic cutting board vs that found on a wooden
one. Guess which had the lower bacteria count?

Some psychologists have said that humans are more motivated to avoid something they
fear, than they are to seek what they believe will make them happy. Somehow I think
that the advertising & promotion departments of the giant mult-national corporations
know that.
subject: podcast 103: REALLY saving energy / environment