Posts tagged “the environment”

Jack LaLanne: not just a juicer and high stepper

Jack LaLanne on unhappy people

I grew up knowing Jack LaLanne as a crazy old man shilling a box to step on and a high-quality juicer. Evidently, his wisdom runs deeper than simple motor skills and delicious beverages. What was true then is still true today. Keep it simple, stupid.

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Plastic bags not as villainous as reported

A worldwide campaign to ban plastic bags such as those given out in grocery stores has been soundly rejected by UK scientists.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

It seems the whole issue surrounding this global movement relates back to a typo in an Australian study in 2002, quoting a Canadian study from 1987.

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Once again, numbers don’t lie, but liars use numbers.

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Finally, elected official understands “green”

I am hardly a poster child for the “green” movement. I’ll just come right out with that from the beginning. I don’t recycle in my home, I have multiple computers that are almost always on (yeah, yeah, wake-on-lan, I know) and my car is a 2002 vintage South Korean. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think green.

In fact, I think I should be the target of every “green” technologist out there. I am educated, middle class and I want to be green but the barriers to entry are just too high. Well, they aren’t that high, but they are too high when coupled with my laziness. Honestly, is it worse not to recycle or to take my recyclables, in my South Korean hoopty, to my friendly Wal-Mart recycling center so that monolith can profit from my canned goods and cardboard? This isn’t a straight-forward decision. Multiple crusades intersect at this point.

That being said, it fills me with a glimmer of hope when I hear elected officials, wherever they may reside, talking frankly (and correctly) about these issues. In an interview with CNET’s Elsa Wenzel, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom illustrated the attitude we all need to have about the so-called “green” movement: good, not great, so now what? In particular, I love his response to the possibility that global warming isn’t happening. (Ed: don’t get me started; when you can’t trust the government, all questions become valid)

Why should we breathe the fumes of other people’s cars? Why not clean the air? Even if there’s not global warming, there’s an inherent benefit that accrues in terms of health care costs. Taxpayers are all the beneficiaries.

Why wouldn’t we do green buildings to reduce our energy costs? Do we like not being able to develop on Hunter’s Point Shipyard? Why wouldn’t we want to invest in technologies to clean up toxic waste so that at least we can create an economic stimulus and take back some of those problems?

There’s nothing we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing anyway. Period.

Here’s to you, Gavin. Slainte!

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