Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 170

Thread: how to reduce our environmental footprint

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278

    how to reduce our environmental footprint

    What would be the most efficient way to reduce our environmental footprint?

    The criteria would be: the amount of change / the difficulty (cost financial and otherwise ) of the change

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,307
    Reduce the population. I don't know how to calculate the denominator in your ratio for that, but the numerator would be huge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    What would be the most efficient way to reduce our environmental footprint?

    The criteria would be: the amount of change / the difficulty (cost financial and otherwise ) of the change
    Mass global suicide.


    Of course, this does nothing to alleviate the Earths own environmental footprint, or every other animals foot, claw, paw and leg prints.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    22,006
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Of course, this does nothing to alleviate the Earths own environmental footprint, or every other animals foot, claw, paw and leg prints.
    You left out apods.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    What would be the most efficient way to reduce our environmental footprint?

    The criteria would be: the amount of change / the difficulty (cost financial and otherwise ) of the change
    If you want an efficient method, give people financial incentives to reduce their footprint by taxing environmental damage, then get out of the way and let them figure out the best way to do it. Use the money raised to repair the damage, or to reduce other taxes. Adjust the tax up or down to control the level of the reduction you want.

    If you want to make sure the costs are enormous and the benefits tiny (or possibly negative), have the central planners at this board decide how to do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,213
    Soylent Green.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    The two simplest significant cuts you can make are car use and eating meat. Become a vegetarian cyclist and your carbon footprint will be slashed dramatically.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    The two simplest significant cuts you can make are car use and eating meat. Become a vegetarian cyclist and your carbon footprint will be slashed dramatically.
    This has other benefits too, because it reduces demand for both meat and fossil fuels. Then all your neighbors in the global village will like you, because you have made it cheaper for them to consume more and increase their carbon footprints.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferg View Post
    This has other benefits too, because it reduces demand for both meat and fossil fuels. Then all your neighbors in the global village will like you, because you have made it cheaper for them to consume more and increase their carbon footprints.
    Yeah, because as soon as someone hears their neighbour has gone vegetarian they eat twice as much meat.

    By your 'logic' there is no point doing anything, because your efforts will be countered by everyone else. Real life experience shows this is simply not true.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278
    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Reduce the population. I don't know how to calculate the denominator in your ratio for that, but the numerator would be huge.
    I thought of that but you need to be careful to get the ones that polute the most maybe use the 80:20 rule get rid of the top 20% of the poluters in the world.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278
    I heard one theory that brazil should charge a tax on other nations for the use of their rain forest to help fight against deforestation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ferg View Post
    If you want an efficient method, give people financial incentives to reduce their footprint by taxing environmental damage, then get out of the way and let them figure out the best way to do it. Use the money raised to repair the damage, or to reduce other taxes. Adjust the tax up or down to control the level of the reduction you want.

    If you want to make sure the costs are enormous and the benefits tiny (or possibly negative), have the central planners at this board decide how to do it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278
    Tax gas to $20 a gallon and let it spin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferg View Post
    If you want an efficient method, give people financial incentives to reduce their footprint by taxing environmental damage, then get out of the way and let them figure out the best way to do it. Use the money raised to repair the damage, or to reduce other taxes. Adjust the tax up or down to control the level of the reduction you want.

    If you want to make sure the costs are enormous and the benefits tiny (or possibly negative), have the central planners at this board decide how to do it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    The two simplest significant cuts you can make are car use and eating meat. Become a vegetarian cyclist and your carbon footprint will be slashed dramatically.
    What is the deal with eating meat?

    Also what needs to be done with china. they are now number one at greenhouse gas production.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    22,006
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    What is the deal with eating meat?
    Without diving too deep. Simply, there is another level of the food chain, and each level involves processing and shipping of food. That uses energy.
    There's a lot more to it... but that's enough to know it does add something.
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    Also what needs to be done with china. they are now number one at greenhouse gas production.
    Again; complicated. Number one in quantity? Number one in per capita? Number one in GDP?

    I think if you scour the threads on energy and global warming, that you will see some very good suggestions. At the same time you will see some of the trade-offs (and ear steam) with each one of those suggestions.

    Unfortunately, getting into whether or not they should be followed through has the potential for getting political.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5,278
    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Without diving too deep. Simply, there is another level of the food chain, and each level involves processing and shipping of food. That uses energy.
    There's a lot more to it... but that's enough to know it does add something.

    Again; complicated. Number one in quantity? Number one in per capita? Number one in GDP?

    I think if you scour the threads on energy and global warming, that you will see some very good suggestions. At the same time you will see some of the trade-offs (and ear steam) with each one of those suggestions.

    Unfortunately, getting into whether or not they should be followed through has the potential for getting political.
    Cant we just threaten them with arms?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    Cant we just threaten them with arms?
    Are you trolling or do you really want to kick off world war 3?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    I thought of that but you need to be careful to get the ones that polute the most maybe use the 80:20 rule get rid of the top 20% of the poluters in the world.
    Heh. Actually, what I had in mind was not decimating the existing population, but rather increasing measures to get people to quit reproducing so much. Heck, in the US we subsidize the population explosion. That makes no sense.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,031
    I keep hearing people talk about the need to reduce the population but I don't hear anyone volunteering to off themselves. No, they expect "the others" to make that sacriface.

  19. 2008-Apr-25, 08:44 PM

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Bend, Oregon
    Posts
    6,307
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Jacks View Post
    I keep hearing people talk about the need to reduce the population but I don't hear anyone volunteering to off themselves. No, they expect "the others" to make that sacriface.
    See my last post.

    I volunteer not to reproduce.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    Yeah, because as soon as someone hears their neighbour has gone vegetarian they eat twice as much meat.
    When prices go down, people consume more. This is an extraordinarily well established characteristic of human behavior, that has been found to hold in an incredibly wide variety of circumstances. It might be inconvenient for someone's ideology or theology, but that's not my problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    By your 'logic' there is no point doing anything, because your efforts will be countered by everyone else.
    False, and incredibly disingenuous. I did not say this, and it does not follow from what I said. If YOU think it does, the problem is with your 'logic,' not mine. If you knew it didn't follow from what I said but decided to attribute it to me anyway, then the problem is with your honesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Damburger View Post
    Real life experience shows this is simply not true.
    Real life experience does indeed show that the ridiculous caricature of an idea that you concocted and attempted to attribute to me is in fact not true. Real life experience also shows that the straw man fallacy is widely believed by people on message boards.

    What real life experience also shows is that voluntary conservation efforts by one group of people are partly offset by increased consumption by others. The result is a net reduction in consumption, but by less than the full amount; whether the counter-balancing effect is large or small depends on the elasticities in the particular market. This is well understood by people in practically every branch of social sciences. In my opinion, someone in a policy job who does not understand this ought to be fired for incompetence. Perhaps it is not well understood by you, but that has no bearing on whether it is true or not.

    What I said is clearly shown in earlier posts. Your distortion of what I said, intentional or not, reflects badly on you, not on me. I already understand logic quite well; I don't need to learn faulty logic from you.

  22. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,064
    Quote Originally Posted by tommac View Post
    What would be the most efficient way to reduce our environmental footprint?

    The criteria would be: the amount of change / the difficulty (cost financial and otherwise ) of the change
    Environmental footprint on what? What ecosystem, what problem? Something that helps decrease acid rain isn't going to necessarily help global warming, for example.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  23. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    50,064
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Jacks View Post
    I keep hearing people talk about the need to reduce the population but I don't hear anyone volunteering to off themselves. No, they expect "the others" to make that sacriface.
    I'm not planning to off myself, but it was one of the reasons my wife and I choose not to reproduce.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  24. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,534
    When prices go down, people consume more. This is an extraordinarily well established characteristic of human behavior, that has been found to hold in an incredibly wide variety of circumstances. It might be inconvenient for someone's ideology or theology, but that's not my problem.
    Really? How many steaks do you think you can eat before you feel sick? Are you going to force another one down just to spite vegetarians? If petrol gets cheaper do you spend your entire evening driving round the block for a laugh?

    You childlike idea of economics really doesn't impress me. If you were an actual economist you would not be talking such dumbed-down rubbish.

  25. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Ferg, just my opinion from reading...
    Although you make some good points (Folks in the US are notorious for increasing consumption), post 20 seems to me to make assumptions and jump to conclusions about what Damburger said.
    I really cannot blame him for reacting.

    Food for thought- for both of you really...

    ETA: Welcome to BAUT

  26. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    7,732
    "You childlike idea ..."

    Borderline ad hom.

  27. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,743
    No, I agree. It is a childlike idea. Though the proper term might be, say, sophomoric.

    Damburger is correct. By Ferg's argument, we as a people might as well not do anything at all, because then everyone else will "make up for it" and automatically balance it out. I.E., someone will eat TWICE as much meat as he otherwise would if another person went vegetarian. But this is actually impossible to keep increasing; at a certain level, someone will find it difficult to stuff their face with so much of this meat. Yes, the meat is cheap, but this does not automatically mean that they will eat twice as much.

    Furthermore, with increased demand in vegetable products and reduced demand in meat products, you're looking at more companies wanting to switch to vegetable products.

    By the way, about meat products contributing to global warming: From The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    29 November 2006, Rome - Which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars?

    Surprise!

    According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.
    Other source:

    Encyclopedia of the Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Encyclopedia of the Earth
    Worldwide, agriculture contributes to nearly 14% of total greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., the food we eat accounts for 17% of our total fossil fuel consumption. The carbon footprint of an average American diet is 0.75 tons CO2-eq, without accounting for food transportation. On average, food travels 1,500 miles between the production location and the market. Meat products have a larger carbon footprint than fruits, vegetables, and grains: the carbon footprint of the average meat eater is about 1.5 tons CO2-eq larger than that of a vegetarian.

  28. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,370
    So, how are we to keep healthy without eating meat? As I understand it, it's difficult to get good quality protein, minerals like iron and zinc, and certain vitamins without including at least some meat in one's diet.

    And what about places where it's too dry, too steep, or too cold to grow anything but livestock? Are the peoples of those areas screwed economically and dietarily, then? People say that "eating local" is an environmentally sound thing to do, but what do you do when most of the "local" foodstuffs are animal in nature?

    What about the cost? In my experience, meat substitutes cost more than the meat itself. That's not going to help poor people any.

    For those three reasons, I don't think it's a very good idea for humanity to cut meat entirely out of one's diet.

    - Maha Vailo

  29. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    6,743
    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo View Post
    So, how are we to keep healthy without eating meat? As I understand it, it's difficult to get good quality protein, minerals like iron and zinc, and certain vitamins without including at least some meat in one's diet.
    At the very least, we don't need to eat SO much meat. And we certainly don't need to process it in the ways we currently do. There are plenty of ways to reduce meat consumption.

    There's also other sources of good quality protein, minerals, and certain vitamins than just outside of meat. Meat makes it more convenient, and as all well know Convenience beats Everything, right?

    Balanced diets, man. Balanced diets.

    And what about places where it's too dry, too steep, or too cold to grow anything but livestock? Are the peoples of those areas screwed economically and dietarily, then? People say that "eating local" is an environmentally sound thing to do, but what do you do when most of the "local" foodstuffs are animal in nature?
    It's not an All or Nothing situation, you know. People seem to think that there's some sort of dichotomy between "consume so much meat, I get fat" and "consume no meat at all". That's just not true.

    And yes, I know, sugar is one of the bigger causes of obesity. But so is overconsumption of meat -- the average American eats far more meat than they really need to.

    For those three reasons, I don't think it's a very good idea for humanity to cut meat entirely out of one's diet.
    Yes, I agree. Cutting meat entirely out of a person's diet isn't always so possible, and it certainly isn't possible to force it upon everyone else, including as you say, those people in certain areas.

    However, this doesn't mean that EVERYONE across the WORLD should go ahead and give themselves a free pass. By your own argument, SOME areas people are better able to go omnivore, and in SOME areas people are better able to go vegetarian. Extremism in this case is self-defeating, but the fact is we have a lot of room to go from one extreme (consume more than we need) to reach the more average balance (eat what we need, maybe just a bit more above, but no extremes)

  30. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,370
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonewulf View Post
    At the very least, we don't need to eat SO much meat. And we certainly don't need to process it in the ways we currently do. There are plenty of ways to reduce meat consumption.
    That I can agree with. But what ways do you recommend we process meat that have less of an impact on the environment than what we do now?

    There's also other sources of good quality protein, minerals, and certain vitamins than just outside of meat.
    Can you list a few examples? I'm turning up blanks.

    It's not an All or Nothing situation, you know. People seem to think that there's some sort of dichotomy between "consume so much meat, I get fat" and "consume no meat at all". That's just not true.
    Hey, I never said it was an all-or-nothing situation. I just poined out some of the flaws in some people's arguments that "we should all go vegetarian to save the Earth".

    And yes, I know, sugar is one of the bigger causes of obesity. But so is overconsumption of meat -- the average American eats far more meat than they really need to.
    Cites, please?

    However, this doesn't mean that EVERYONE across the WORLD should go ahead and give themselves a free pass. By your own argument, SOME areas people are better able to go omnivore, and in SOME areas people are better able to go vegetarian. Extremism in this case is self-defeating, but the fact is we have a lot of room to go from one extreme (consume more than we need) to reach the more average balance (eat what we need, maybe just a bit more above, but no extremes)
    Well, even if you live in the tropics, where fruits, veggies, and grains abound, you're still going to need at least some animal protein in your diet. Even traditional Hindus, often condiered the archetypal vegetarian, are merely lactovegetarians.

    So, what do reputable nutritional authorities suggest how much food we should eat in a day, and in what portions, in order to minimize our impact on the environment and remain healthy at the same time?

    - Maha "you are what you eat?" Vailo

  31. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    North Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    3,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo View Post
    Can you list a few examples? I'm turning up blanks.
    There are a handful of particularly high-protein plants, particularly soy, some other beans, and nuts. Soy products, in particular, are made into meat-substitutes that are intended to be similar to meat such as tofu, although many people who've tasted those don't believe they've gotten the flavor or texture right yet. There are websites and books that specialize in teaching people who are interested in vegetarianism about these plants: what kinds of plants are the right ones, where to find them, and recipes using them. Also, there are vitamin and mineral supplements available in any drug store or food store. But if you want more detail, you're probably asking the wrong sources now, unless there happens to be a vegetarian who is registered at this forum and is reading this thread. Non-vegetarians generally don't know the kind of specifics you're asking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo View Post
    I just poined out some of the flaws in some people's arguments that "we should all go vegetarian to save the Earth".
    Nobody made such an argument here. You asked what YOU, an individual, can do. You were answered about what YOU, an individual, can do. And you've come up with ways to reject every answer to your actual question. In this case, the issue of what a whole population/culture/society can or should do is separate, so suddenly jumping to that instead does not truly counter what you're trying to use it to counter. Changing the subject and acting as if someone else had said something on the new subject that they didn't is nothing but an argumentative tactic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maha Vailo View Post
    Well, even if you live in the tropics, where fruits, veggies, and grains abound, you're still going to need at least some animal protein in your diet.
    Protein, but it doesn't need to come from animals. It just USUALLY comes from animals because it's more common in them. But there have been not just individuals in the modern era, but even whole populations without access to food from all over the world, whose main source of protein was something else, such as beans in much of pre-Columbian North America.

    There are also people working on a way to use animal DNA to produce only the muscles, which could then be grown in a lab without the land and food wasted on the rest of the animal. Once that's ready to go, I'd be in favor of banning real meat, but the technology isn't ready yet.

Similar Threads

  1. Footprint on the Moon
    By IgorK in forum Conspiracy Theories
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 2008-Sep-04, 02:27 PM
  2. How to reduce your carbon footprint...
    By Sticks in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 2007-Aug-16, 10:47 PM
  3. About that first moon 'footprint'
    By sparkieone in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 2005-Apr-16, 11:02 AM
  4. Footprint on moon a fake?
    By pablo2174 in forum Conspiracy Theories
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2004-Jan-02, 04:35 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •