Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is giving up on stuff really the answer?

It was planned to write one day about the burring environment issue and the exasperating reasoning related to it. The next video was quite the last drop:

There's only two words for it: high-quality-custom-made BS.
First of all, it was one of the most politically cliched speech I've ever heard on the matter. All that was said was, poor people (especially Chinese), poisonous plastic, democracy (as if it had something to do), the little bottle, and the 2nd rate comedian puns; and NO real information to support any of these. The clamshell example reminded me of what a "world renowned scientist" and also dictator-wife once said: "How comes that cows make ammonia by themselves and you need all these high pressure and temperatures?" By the way, Biomimicry is the fundament of most of the human inventions, and it's being used without bearing a pompous name for centuries and centuries: planes are an obvious example of this.

On a more general scale the majority of the environmental talk are turned about plastics and I know you might say that I'm biased, but all of this is not about one product but more on a mentality. It goes like this: Something (plastic, cars, cow dung...) pollutes and it is bad, let's get rid of it. Well, my answer is the last 150 years are the source of this menace, technology is bad, rocks were alright, let's get back to the stone age.

What I don't understand is this tendency to advertise a backwards trend, when all it is needed is to go forward and improve the existent solutions or come with brand new ones. Of course, that what is superfluous needs to go and that can be pretty easily spotted. Let's take the example of plastics: for the technical solutions it is slightly impossible to revert to previous materials like metal or wood, but on the other hand some extra layers of packaging should go away. There are very few who could really do 180° and give up the cosines and easiness of today's comfort, probably very determined people and Amish communities; but for the basic somehow selfish human being, like myself, this is unimaginable: I mean why should we give up on stuff, which are about 75% useful, when we can do better? The military research still advances so new inventions should come up sooner or later.

Also, the ones involved in decision taking processes ought to be less biased (especially from a monetary point of view) and once a decision has been taken a whole mechanism should be put in motion to watch how things are done. Like for the chemicals inside toys and for waste disposal: every step has to be registered and so, no mistakes, involuntary or not, should appear. Example: companies should be forced to obey the stricter rule between the one of their country of origin or the one where they're selling the product; that's how regions with looser legislation won't end up with rejected batches from other corners of the world. The reasoning should be done on a planetary scale not on a petty wallet-size one. It may sound utopic but I still keep some hope on the human preservation reflex.

Another thing is about education: people should me more informed in a responsible way about everything coming in contact with them. This should be done in an instructional manner, without any materialistic or apocalyptic witchcraft-style way: plastic bottles are bad, they have chemicals in them! The thing is, that everything has chemicals in them and instead of seeing all this like kryptonite, we should learn to read a label and not take everything for granted.

In my opinion the major workshops of the present are: recycling - the intelligent way (not dumping into a hole and covering it up), non-fetishist or snotty alternative sources of energy, better fuel to energy ratio machines, less greed and dumb money-digging and population positive awareness.
To conclude, we generated our own freaking geological era, we can't go back, we should go forth but leave the blindfold and the spiked-boots behind.


  1. Here's an article by the one of the original members of GreenPeace:

    some quotes:
    "Environmental activists take the rather grim but measured language of the IPCC reports and add words such as "catastrophe" and "chaos", along with much speculation about famine, pestilence, mass extinction and the end of civilisation as we know it."

  2. the guy is obviously not a scientist (I rlly hope so anyway), so he's just throwing notions he doesn't realy understand around; Who let him on TED??

  3. he was some of a Environmental expert of Barack's, but gave up...