Tag Archive: Sustainability

May 18 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Dark Green by Northsylvania

During a rant about the latest Tory scheme of putting a price on the world and everything in it, another Kossack, James Wells, pointed me toward works by Paul Kingsnorth and, by extension, other Dark Mountain Project participants. He and his followers believe, given runaway consumerist capitalism, burgeoning population growth, and negligence by governmental authorities, that it may futile to participate in the environmental movement as it stands. On the whole, I disagree, but can understand their frustration and, having read their manifesto and the first of their published books, will continue to read subsequent volumes. The conversations between those who believe they have an existential obligation to continue the fight despite the possibility of failure, and those who feel that it is time to prepare for the worst, are conversations worth having.

Jul 21 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Capitalism causes cancer by bigjacbigjacbigjac

Capitalism causes cancer,

both the kind you’re thinking of,

and another kind:

cities.

Cities are tumors on the Earth,

our precious home planet.

Oct 11 2010

Pique the Geek 20101010: Sustainability: Evil Plastic Bottles

Welcome to the third to last xx/xx/xx year in our lifetimes  Only next year and 2012 until we wait another 88 years for one.

Now that I have gotten your attention, actually MOST plastic bottles are not evil from a health and safety perspective, but the way that we use them certainly is evil.  I did say MOST, since by far the greatest number of plastic containers are made of polyethylene (PE, recycle code 2), polypropylene (PP, recycle code 5), or polyethylene terephthalate, (PET or PETE, recycle code 1).  These materials are not very apt to leach harmful materials into the contents.

Some plastics, notably polycarbonate (PC, recycle code 7 [7 is a catch all for “other”]) are apt to leach out harmful materials, particularly bisphenol A, strongly suspected as being an endocrine system disruptor because of its potential to mimic estrogen.  Polycarbonate containers are clear and usually thick, while PE and PP are translucent.  PETE is also clear, but usually quite a bit thinner than PC.  Just look at the recycle codes on the bottom.

Oct 04 2010

Pique the Geek 20101003: Sustainability: Water Purification

We have been talking about sustainability recently, and one of the resources in most jeopardy is fresh water.  In the United States the freshwater problem is becoming more and more significant, and in many parts of the world it is already desperate.  We shall look at some of the methods used to purify nonpotable water tonight.

First of all, we need to understand what kind of water we are purifying.  It ranges in quality from surface or ground freshwater, requiring only minor treatment to eliminate microbes that might cause disease (the vast majority of drinking and industrial water in the United States comes from these sources), all the way to seawater, with lots of intermediate kinds.

Sep 27 2010

Pique the Geek 20100926: Sustainability (and Connexions) Part the First

I have been thinking about sustainability for a long, long time.  Unfortunately, in my scientific analysis, it not possible if we continue on the route that we have chosen.  This is an extremely complex topic, and might even deserve its own, new, date.  I am thinking that Wednesdays might be a good time for it.  This is more speculation than science, so it does not properly belong on Pique the Geek for the long term.

This will be the most controversial topic that I have ever tackled.  I may be dead wrong in some of my speculations, but a lot of thought has gone into them.  I offer no easy remedies but do ask the hard, horrible questions and illustrate them with facts.  I will ask that you, my readers, tell me whether this deserves a new series, uncoupled from Pique the Geek. Please read further.