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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:24 pm 
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I have been at a loss to find interest or actions on the many environmental issues that were important before Al Gore started taking the center stage. This thread will hopefully be free of AGW (man-made global warming) discussion but concentrate on the other issues. Many of the issues still involve the changing climate so we can mention global warming but solutions have to stick to the assumption that we cannot change the weather or prevent it's change (and even if it is CO2, changing the world's habits quickly is not happening).

1) Remember "pollution"? Recently Lake Winnipeg, one of the ten biggest inland bodies of water, has had extreme algae blooms due to high phosphorous levels. Phosphorous comes from agriculture and soaps about 40% each and the remaining 20% is manufacturing. This is just one of many modern pollutants with a significant portion sourced from residential sewage.

2) Floors for new houses require large-dimension lumber which requires old-growth forests. New methods use wood-chip OSB boards to form I-beams. Wood chips are formed from aspen and poplar forests (fast growing) causing deforestation of the last remaining old growth to plant more wood-chip trees. Beetle infestations have also wiped out many of the traditional forest tree species leading to an even faster transition to wood-chip species. Just like the transition to spruce and pine of a few decades back, having lots of a few related species is just asking for a future infestation of some disease or pest to wipe out the forests again. On the environmental side, forest animals and plants do require the different environments created by different types of trees and specifically the presence of older trees and dead-fall trees. How can we reduce our use of wood and save the diversity of species and age of the forests?

3) The source of radioactive material at the top of the list is not nuclear plants or industrial waste but rather the burning of coal. Coal is primarily used for electricity production as it requires a large facility to make steam-generated energy efficiently. Being the cheapest fuel for the past few decades and foreseeable future, coal burning facilities are being built and rebuilt a lot around the globe. One solution is to buy "green" electricity and hope the energy companies are honest in their sources of energy. Lead and other heavy metals, acid-rain-causing sulfur, and carcinogenic particles are also primarily sourced from coal burning.

4) Many species of animals and plants are being threatened by the remaining populations being isolated from each other by highways, pipelines, agriculture, and urban sprawl. Some efforts at making land bridges or subway animal crossings help some species and some migration routes or bridges between separated areas have been purchased and turned into parks. The real problem though is just more people moving out of cities or leaving cities to find recreation. I love nature as much as the rest but we need to figure out how to visit nature without being seen by nature.

(edit... I numbered the problems to detail solutions and refer to them by number)


Last edited by Ann Vole on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:38 pm 
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I have been speaking out about overpopulation and its dangers since 1967. Negative Population Growth started in 1972, and I have been one of its 30,000+ members since 1993.
I spoke out about stopping immigration and extreme border enforcement since 1980. People thought I was a racist kook or a Nazi, because I did not like what was happening to the quality of my country. Wilderness areas I used to backpack were already getting to be not wilderness but crowds. Wages were already being affected by all the immigrants, legal and illegal, and it was costing ME.
Places I went to in the deserts, mountains, and forests, from Arizona to Washington State were getting trashed out badly.
Bad water and superfund sites to clean up after some corporations made big money and split, with taxpayers to foot the cleanup bill, were in areas I did not go to, but I knew of them. I remember when the entire southern part of Minnesota's lakes were all fished out in the early 1970s. I left, then found my old state inundated with moslems and Mexicans, instead of the high Nordic amount of people that had pioneered the state.
When I was born, there was less than half as many people in the USA, and it was a world leader (now dumbed down 5 IQ points at least). The world population has tripled since I was born, and 90 of the last 100 million of added people to my country have not been Americans or the demography of when I was born.
Overpopulation has been the elephant in the room since before Love Canal, the ozone hole, or AGW. The root cause no one wants to deal with, but we can still find humor:
http://worldpopulationday.org/

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Dave Gardner is from Colorado Springs and tried to get the city council from its growth madness. Stuff like allowing profiteering of land into too small of lots and building too close to each other, out of flammable materials like Masonite siding, and too close to steep terrain wooded areas. Shoebox pastel subdivisions endless, with McMansions on the hills, as forests were cut down by subsidized logging companies, and tree farms produced chipwood substitutes. A coal fired power plant in the middle of town, in a place that gets plenty of sun for pure solar power.
I had recommended to the CO of Ft. Carson nearby, to build base housing using soldier PT for packing tires all over the county to self heated bunker style Earthships. But NOOOOO, they have to conventionally build with taxpayer money to profiteers.
They thought 20% growth in 10 years was good. When I wrote to the local Focus on the Family about the death of future kids caused by overpopulation, they sent me a book about how there wasn't enough people, with the old stupid Simon argument that the more people the more resources there would be. That was ten years ago.
I doubt if the recent fire disaster will change the way they think..........

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
I doubt if the recent fire disaster will change the way they think..........


Dude, you, and everyone else here with an ecological clue, need to realize that there are not enough of "us" to stem the dismal tide. All the education in the world doesn't help when the bulk of the students can't or won't accept teaching.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
I remember when the entire southern part of Minnesota's lakes were all fished out in the early 1970s. I left, then found my old state inundated with moslems and Mexicans, instead of the high Nordic amount of people that had pioneered the state.
When I was born, there was less than half as many people in the USA, and it was a world leader (now dumbed down 5 IQ points at least). The world population has tripled since I was born, and 90 of the last 100 million of added people to my country have not been Americans or the demography of when I was born.

I've been fighting the overpopulation fight too and frankly wish Columbus and his murdering colonialist crew which led to most of the subsequent problem had been stopped in their tracks and anyone from Europe allowed in would have had to adapt to native ways and come in respectfully. Your ethnic selectivity appears to be why some folks can't take you seriously. This country is free to have whatever immigration policy it wants. If the society and economy is setup to require immigrants then that's what we'll get. Immigrant bashing and ethnic bashing won't solve that problem. Population and resource discipline must be applied across the board. That is an educational and political problem, not an occasion for ethnic scapegoating and certainly not from some group that is the principal source of the problem. If you want to make the overpopulation issue untouchable just continue as you have above.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Overpopulation and climate change are not the only issues. we need to preserve the quality of life but with less resources, make communities where it's not necessary to own a car for example. I managed to get rid of mine and that's a few thousand quid in my back pocket every year thank you.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:37 pm 
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spot1234 wrote:
Overpopulation and climate change are not the only issues. we need to preserve the quality of life but with less resources, make communities where it's not necessary to own a car for example. I managed to get rid of mine and that's a few thousand quid in my back pocket every year thank you.
There we go! I am always looking for solutions rather then problems without solutions. Energy-self-sufficient buildings for example... we have the technology and it has economical feasibility (if done right, will pay for it's extra costs within the time frame of a mortgage). I want to build communities of such buildings but require them to be located within cities for the transportation options (your not needing to own a car as the tie-in). Then of course the obvious connection would be to recycle old buildings by converting them instead of building new ones. This requires new solutions and methods not seen in the passive house enthusiast books. Overpopulation is not the real problem but rather too many resources being consumed. If everybody used less resources, population can continue to rise while lands are returned back to nature and pollution levels reduced to effectively eliminated. We may not be able to stop rapid temperature and weather changes (no matter what the cause) but with effective solutions, we can thrive in spite of these changes. Hopefully then we can put effort and money into helping the plants and animals of the planet avoid extinction.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:39 am 
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I think that AGW has been taking away attention from genuine environmental concerns, so I thank you for bringing up pollution, deforestation etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:33 pm 
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You infer that AGW is not a "genuine" environmental concern. Only a hockey puck would not realize that overpopulation is the root cause and AGW the biggest environmental concern. Various critical resource depletion, and a variety of pollution are valid environmental concerns sprouting from the roots of overpopulation. Trimming the leaves and stems of the tree of problems growing from overpopulation is overcome with population increase.
The most critical of depleting resources are aquifers, ocean harvest, and good agricultural soil. Pollution, besides HGHGs and attendant malevolent climate fluctuation and heat, includes the 100 estuary dead zones and 6 huge trash gyres in the oceans. Running out of places to put trash is also a looming problem. Crowding and all it brings, including psychological effects such as hostility and anxiety. Surface water is depleting and being polluted with hormones, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, and farm chemicals that are hard for municipal systems to remove, in addition, especially in 2nd and 3rd world countries, fecal pollution with diseases. Soot settling out in the Arctic from cook fires and coal plants in India is accelerating Greenland glacier melting. Glacier melt throughout the world is affecting pure water futures for many areas. Ocean acidification from excessive CO2 is a major problem. Mercury fallout from coal plants is also a concern, especially in fish. Increasing wildfires are a concern in many places, along with habitat losses and changes including pest infestation (both animal and plant) increases. Some is introduced from foreign areas, like our Asian carp infestation, while others are from malevolent climate change from HGHGs and forest clearing/burning creating desertification.
Think of the many ways we are losing soil. Organics are depleted from over a third because people do not compost and fallow anymore, or enough. Herbicides, insecticides and years of deep plowing have sterilized large sections of once good farm land. Expanding cities have paved over and covered a lot of good soil. Years of using river water for irrigation has salinized a large amount of soil to uselessness. Deforestation yielded soil that lasted a decade and gave out, to be replaced with more slash and burn, resulting in Amazonian desertification. Long droughts induced by AGW have desertified more. When irrigation aquifer water runs out, more land is desertified. When storms do hit, the land erodes faster, losing more soil. The higher trace heavy metals allowed in petro-chemical fertilizers along with the chemical fallout from coal fired power plants has increased these poisons to harmful levels, with the excess fertilizer from diminishing returns ending up causing estuary dead zones. Harvests are of less nutritional value and often weakened for easier prey from pest and diseases. Leading to more use of good and bad GMOs.
What is happening to underground water is another, similar story. Increase water efficiency 10% and it is wiped out by population growth, and the aquifers decline like clockwork, still. People drinking water they think is fine, but it is changing fish sex, and giving us three legged frogs. Places like Calcutta where over 200,000 residents, in their entire life, never use a bathroom, and the run-off is full of fecal matter with disease. My story of the Black River of Saigon was from 1970! It has gotten worse and spread. People in the US, strapped for money from overpopulation's wage suppression, are buying their "Swai" fish cheaper, with no label on how much mercury and other toxins are in it.
Overpopulation, the multiplier of everything else, and AGW the worst pollution problem. We can nip at the rest and be half green, but in the end the primary two cause mass death and extinction.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:22 am 
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Ann Vole wrote:
Overpopulation is not the real problem but rather too many resources being consumed.

Well if all the folks who overuse the resources were to disappear no doubt the problems would improve substantially. But then again if the remaining folks used this sudden more generous resource opportunity simply to increase their numbers, even without increasing their individual share, then eventually we would be right back in the same situation again.

Population control and proper resource use have to be a package deal if we are going to approach the future seriously.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:40 am 
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And the only way you could do this acceptably is to educate people so they have manageable sized families. otherwise your talking about enforced abortions, sterilizations or down an even darker path, death camps.

I don't think that will sell.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:55 am 
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Dingo wrote:
Population control and proper resource use have to be a package deal if we are going to approach the future seriously.
You and I can agree on this but I have tried (with a 100% failure rate) to convince over 100 couples to change their plans of having lots of kids even though they have a level of environmental concern. This goes back to looking for solutions rather then complain about problems we cannot solve. I did my part by remaining a virgin for half a century (cheapest form of birth control lol) and made many passionate pleas for reduced baby-making plans of everyone I know but that is all I can do. We have to prepare for high CO2 and lots more humans as a fact of life and solutions need to come out of dealing with that future reality. Again, I have done my part (less gas used, no refrigerator or phantom loads... electricity bill is 98 to 99% fixed rate and 1-2% actual electricity use, low embodied energy foods and often raw, no natural gas use, almost no garbage... about 80% is junk mail, water has been turned off for 60% of the last 3 years and can live without it using about 2 liters or 1/2 gallon per day) but until being resource conscious, society needs all the help it can get from being examples. This is one of my goals in film-making... make kid-aimed shows that present a low-resource-using lifestyle as normal and enjoyable for the main characters in the fictional entertainment... make it seem normal to future kids (who obviously have baby-making parents!)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:53 pm 
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Ann Vole wrote:
1) Remember "pollution"? Recently Lake Winnipeg, one of the ten biggest inland bodies of water, has had extreme algae blooms due to high phosphorous levels. Phosphorous comes from agriculture and soaps about 40% each and the remaining 20% is manufacturing. This is just one of many modern pollutants with a significant portion sourced from residential sewage.
(edit... I numbered the problems to detail solutions and refer to them by number)
There are loads of nasty things ending up in rivers and lakes but for the most part, these only affect the top predators who concentrate these pollutants roughly ten-fold with each level of the food chain. The good thing is we can identify those and ban their sources such as has happened to DDT, lead, mercury, etc. The new pollution problems are a case of "too much of a good thing". Hormones and nutrients cause the balance of life to be disturbed and what results is poisonous microbes or oxygen depletion or a basic extinction of food sources due to over-performing predatory species. These good things include iron deposits and phosphorous and organic wastes. They all need time to be broken down and absorbed by photosynthetic microbes and plant roots. The two points of attack to solve this problem are to reduce the pollution or to increase the time for the contaminated water to reach "open water". As consumers, we can buy produce that has not been fertilized in ways that run off the land or we can make our own food. The most effective fertilizing methods are connected with "zero-till" farming practices where the fertilizer is placed underground near the seed. Less fertilizer is needed and it cannot wash away from surface run-off (although heavy ground water movement or cases of flooding can get that fertilizer into the water cycle). This is only half that problem... the other half goes down your drain. If you are careful, you can find low-phosphate soaps but you can also use cleaning methods that use far less water like sponges and then add the water to your compost heap. What? you don't have a compost heap? Organic garbage is the largest component of most waste streams (solids, liquids and gaseous). I am trying to only buy stuff I might be able to make eventually and find waste hot drinks (tea, coffee) make good solvents as does mild acids like vinegar. Physical removal with an almost-dry sponge also works wonders using only the power of water's sticky molecules. So, what is industry doing to create pollution? The biggest sector is packaging manufacturing so keep that in mind BEFORE you go shopping and bring stuff to take your products home with... or make your own and use reusable packaging like glass jars. Next on the list is food manufacturing... you guessed it, why not grow and make your own food?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:34 am 
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Don't forget the flush and forget society, or the preserve and bury your dead in refined sealed metal boxes society. The natural system has been disrupted with lack of organics in the soils, from not composting scraps, excrement wastes and the dead.
I want a natural burial, and compost in our Biolet, large outdoor composter, and red worm/earthworm gardens.
I use Neem Oil for garden pests.
All the things wrong with various societies has increased since Earth Day One. From a fourfold increase in people living at the Mexico City dump, to many more excreting into drinking water rivers, to more power plants by the thousands and cars by the millions.
Thousands of leaves and branches growing from the roots of overpopulation and non-green living. The blue planet has turned more brown and the night sky from orbit has turned into a cancer X-ray of Earth.

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