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Thread: The Carbon Thread

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Er, what? I can see that a view that takes on board the entire life-cycle energy cost of a vehicle might throw up some interesting conclusions. I have no prior commitment to either car, and certainly can accept in principle the idea that a hummer could be more fuel efficient over the course of its life. Why not? It doesn't need to be political, though, obviously, it probably will be. In any case (ignoring the fact that study wasn't peer reviewed and all of the other criticisms of it, like unsupported lifetime mileage assumptions and so on), it makes me think that making a "green" car is not going to be as simple as making a car and saying, "look, it's green." Everything is complicated.

    But let me ask you the question you're angling for: Do you not believe, endorse or agree with Spinella's findings? And if not, on what basis?
    I think it demonstrates pretty thoroughly the fact that green consumerism is primarily consumerism rather than green behaviour, and that total energy consumption/carbon output may be counter-intuitive (see also food miles, where actually sometimes a product with high food miles may be better than a lower one as it requires significantly less inputs to grow in a warmer climate in the third world).

  2. #77
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    Also they are going to have to make some "green" semi-trucks because that's how 95% of American goods get to the stores -- on pure diesel.

  3. #78
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  4. #79
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    "Holy shit! Northwest Passage opens up:"
    For the first time since records began way back in 1978!

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    For the first time since records began way back in 1978!
    Explorers have been searching for the Northwest Passage for centuries, it was basically a myth until this year.
    And given the rate of warming, if this is the first time it's been open since at least 1978, it's probably the first time it's been open in human history.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  6. #81
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    Yeah yeah, I'm just saying that their presentation isn't very good. At the start of the piece they make all these "since records began" claims, then at the bottom they slip in that that was in 1978. Just undermines a worthwhile point I thought.

  7. #82
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    Ah right, I hadn't seen that bit. But that must just refer to 'official' records, since it's well known that people searched for but failed to find the NWP for hudreds of years.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  8. #83

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    Monbiot on climate change again: Civilization Ends with a Shutdown of Human Concern. Are We There Already?, via a look at both the UN's latest report and Cormac McCarthy's ravaged-earth, dystopian vision of the future in his novel, The Road.

    Two of the problems he raises are worth a comment. Firstly, the media's increasing depoliticization of climate-change via gliberal 'commonsensical' capitalist realism, much as it does with, for instance, the banning of famine relief ads that mention a possible political origin to the problem ie famine has to be presented as a 'natural catastrophy' which the generous and sacred West will attempt to alleviate, the indigenous victims being forever grateful for such profound beneficence.

    Extract

    The BBC drops Planet Relief for fear of breaching its impartiality guidelines: heaven forbid that it should come out against mass death. But it broadcasts a program - Top Gear - that puts a match to its guidelines every week, and now looks about as pertinent as the Black and White Minstrel Show.

    The schedules are crammed with shows urging us to travel further, drive faster, build bigger, buy more, yet none of them are deemed to offend the rules, which really means that they don’t offend the interests of business or the pampered sensibilities of the Aga class. The media, driven by fear and advertising, are hopelessly biased towards the consumer economy and against the biosphere.

    It seems to me that we are already pushing other people ahead of us down The Road. As the biosphere shrinks, McCarthy describes the collapse of the protagonist’s core beliefs. I sense that this might be happening already: that a hardening of interests, a shutting down of concern, is taking place among the people of the rich world. If this is true, we do not need to wait for the forests to burn or food supplies to shrivel before we decide that civilization is in trouble.

    Impartiality guidelines ... I can imagine a future BBC panel discussion of rape and murder, the panel being composed of 3 in favour and 3 against. Must remain 'impartial' and post-political at all times: the political as uncivilized plague to be replaced by the 'neutral' administration of all social affairs ...

    The second point of interest was the public's disavowal of any real problem and its continued belief in a magical Big Other that will somehow solve any possible crisis without anyone having to actually do anything, that status quo capitalism need not concern itself, being a flawless, infallible ideology:

    Last week we learned that climate change could eliminate half the world’s species; that 25 primate species are already slipping into extinction; that biological repositories of carbon are beginning to release it, decades ahead of schedule. But everyone is watching and waiting for everyone else to move. The unspoken universal thought is this: “If it were really so serious, surely someone would do something?”

    The flipside of this naivete - fatalism - is equally disasterous, equally a self-fulfilling fait accompli: "If everything's ultimately fucked, then why shouldn't I fly on an aircraft as much as I like? Everyone else is. What difference would it make to anything if I stopped? Why should I be singled out? And why shouldn't I consume whatever I like? What's the point in all this 'recycling' nonsense if we're all doomed anyway?"

    Any collective response as unimaginable, impossible, alien; any individual response as pre-emptively impotent.

  9. #84
    nomadologist Guest

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    amen, there's nothing more disappointing than the "left"'s response to the global climate crisis...flagrant hypocrisy in the ranks

  10. #85
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    There's currently an ad running for the "enviro card" visa offered by a local credit union which features a couple getting ready for their work day in the washroom, with the wife busily hairspraying her hair and hubby dumping on the spray-on deodorant, all the while discussing the advantages of the new enviro card the wife just picked up. As you watch you start saying to yourself, "jesus! that's a lot of aerosol! don't these people realize their hypocrisy!" Then the kicker, the commercial ends with the line "The Vancity enviro card: for people with good intentions"

    just...WOW. They're explicitly putting forward pretty much the arguments given here, and then saying hey don't worry, buy it anyway. I still can't get over it. It's just too fucking meta-hypocritical or whatever you'd want to call it. Scares the hell out of me.

  11. #86
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    Carbon credit schemes writ small -- the new indulgences -- purchase your guilt away. The next level of commodity fetishism -- WE WILL ABSOLVE YOU.

    In related news, oil companies advertising like crazy on liberal cable channels like Bravo and BBCAmerica. Chevron touts its research into solar power (spends more than anyone don't you know); BP its geothermal energy programs. Footage of pristine nature, and oil company employees kitted out like antiglobalization protestors and hippies trekking through the wilderness in search of elusive energy (the tobacco-company-financed Truth campaign was an early incorporation of this "lifestyle"). The slogan: "It's a start." Practically delivered with a shrug, and then a middle finger. Trust in capital, it's bigger than you.

  12. #87

    Default solid state go bye-bye, oh wait...

    World's first FM/AM nano-radio transmitter (no, not an effin iPod) successfully tested at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I believe this Marks the first audio signal transmitted via nano-machines.

    t/l:
    1. Layla - Derek and the Dominoes
    2. Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
    Listen here

    According to Sagan, this sort of rivals the supremacy of Germany's first interstellar TV signal, no? Absolutely and completely swrrrrrrrrrrt.

  13. #88
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    Are we to infer the relevance of that ecohook? Even the nano scientists are in the deathly grip of retro (un)cool?

    As this is the 'carbon thread' the nano engineering of carbon cables for space elevators might be the link, and maybe the solution, if it can be made to work.

    http://www.newscientist.com/blog/spa...oves-bust.html

  14. #89

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    Apologies. Thought I'd included the links to the news.

    Brain vs. digital war was in process. I suppose I'll leave your suspenseful moment in shambles and let you speculate on what it could mean for the carbon fetish community. Still, this can't yet be matched


  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtles View Post
    There's currently an ad running for the "enviro card" visa offered by a local credit union which features a couple getting ready for their work day in the washroom, with the wife busily hairspraying her hair and hubby dumping on the spray-on deodorant, all the while discussing the advantages of the new enviro card the wife just picked up.
    I thought aerosol sprays have been more or less environmentally harmless since they stopped using CFCs in the 80s?
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

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