Disgruntledpatriot's Blog

June 25, 2010

Common sense conservation

Filed under: Sick and Tired — Trever Bierschbach @ 6:34 am
Tags: , , , ,

by Trever James Bierschbach (<–spellcheck doesn’t know how to spell this)

Sorry I have been away from this for a bit, been dealing with a car that went to crap on us.  I got so much going on with my new book, and a couple of projects, and yesterday had to shop for a new care, well nearly-new anyway.  Anyway, I was looking at my writing journal, getting ready for the next chapter in my book and I got an idea for this post.  By the way, as a side note, I got some great feedback on an Amazon.com forum the other day and I wanted to say thank you again.  I have had some good hits after that little bump, and it was also recommended to me that I put my name on the blog.  I don’t really know why I didn’t in the first place, whether it was a sense of some kind of vigilante journalism or what, but I am going to take that suggestion and from now on put my name on these.

So, on to the point.  I talk about common sense conservation a lot, but I have never really sat down and explained it here.  I believe in living on this planet as clean as we can, and leaving it better than we found it.  I also believe in personal freedom, and as little government intervention into the lives and business of the people in this country.  Some people think these two contradict each other.  The Green movement will tell you that companies must be forced to be more responsible, that they won’t do it on their own.  They also believe that people must be forced to live better.  Finally, the thing that makes me really sick about the Green movement is they counter every argument against them with the age old like ‘you’re just a shill for big business’.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, the green movement is one of the biggest businesses in the world.  If I am not mistaken the CEO of CCX (the company that would sell carbon credits) said that CCX would be a $10T a year business.  That’s TRILLION with a T.  Green business stands to gain the most from the continuation of green legislation like cap and trade.  If their argument is right, then those supporting cap and trade are also ‘shills for big business’.

Now, contrary to what you may have been told people and businesses do not need to be forced to be cleaner.  In many cases it’s in their best interest to do so.  Something to put this into perspective, the water, and air are cleaner here than they were in the early years of the industrial revolution.  There were rivers so polluted in some cities they actually had one catch on fire.  There are more trees in the U.S. now than there were in 1920.  The logging industry realized that if they wanted to be a sustainable business they needed to plant trees after they cut, otherwise they would eventually run out, and they would be out of business.

Recently, when shopping for a new writing journal I stumbled upon one of the greatest ‘green’ products I have ever seen (and if you know me calling a green product great is pretty rare).  Most artists and writers have heard of Moleskin books.  Some of you out there may have also heard of them, but if you haven’t they are an old company that makes journals and notebooks.  Real high quality stuff that has been made in Italy (I believe) for a long time.  Well next to the Moleskin rack in my local book store was a rack of almost identical products from a company called Ecosystem.  Now I like to give all green products a chance, we buy milk right from the farm, we have tried all kinds of goofy light bulbs (more on those later), etc, so I went over to look at these.  Low and behold I was being offered the exact same product (except for paper color, ecosystem is white, moleskin is ivory) at the exact same price.  The only difference is while Moleskin is made from some virgin materials, and in foreign countries, Ecosystem journals are made in the U.S. out of 100% recycled paper.  The whole book, not just the pages.  Not only was it the same price, but you can go to their website, enter a unique I.D. number that is in your book, register it in case it gets lost, and see exactly where each part of the book is made, and how many employees each place has.  Finally a green company that understands that to compete in the market, you actually have to compete in the market.

Now, I don’t believe buying green products, that make sense, is the only way to conserve.  My family recycles everything we can.  We have two buckets, and the ladies that come pick it up probably hate us.  What bothers me though, is our local recycler stopped taking glass because it costs too much to recycle.  Isn’t it supposed to be saving the planet?!  I don’t know if I wrote the article here, but Illinois also has a law now about recycling computer parts.  Recyclers now have to pay to get a license to recycle computer parts.  The state thought this would increase the number of people recycling because they force stores to take back parts for recycle, but all it did was put computer recyclers and used computer parts stores out of business.  Oh, and those stores that are forced to take computer parts back for recycle (most of them did before anyway) are now charging for the service.  Way to go state forced recycling!

Has anyone seen the new, noisy, SunChips bag?  Probably heard it, or seen the commercial.  Another example of a company doing the right thing without anyone forcing them to.  100% compostable bag, capable of waking the dead with one shake, and a product of the evil free market.  Who wants to put money down with me that every chip bag in the country will be like this in 5 years?  I just hope they make it quieter.

Oh yeah, goofy light bulbs.  I hate the whole concept because people try to guilt you into these things and they don’t make economic or ecological sense.  Here they offer you a product that is less bright than your previous bulb, doesn’t last as long as advertised, oh…and has poison inside, all for, wait for it…MORE MONEY!!!!  How do they expect people to get on board if they offer less for more?  Not only that, but they have to be recycled because they are toxic, they are bad for the environment.  Guess what curly light-bulb lovers, there isn’t a recycler near me that takes these, what am I supposed to do?  Even if I wanted to spend more of my money on these ridiculous things I would be ruining the environment by throwing them away when they go out earlier than advertised.

That leads me to another one, the electric car.  I swear if I hear “Who killed the electric car” one more time my head will burst.  You know what killed the electric car?  The electric car did.  Again, you are offered an inferior product for…MORE MONEY!!!  How did they expect to jump head first into the market, without actually competing in it?  The last one I saw advertised (I don’t remember the brand) still used a little bit of gasoline, leased for over 600 dollars, only went 200 miles on a charge, and you had to buy a charging station and have it installed which would have cost you about $3000.  Really people?  If you want people to live greener you can’t cater to their sensibilities about the environment.  If most of us had the choice between buying food for our family, or saving a seal, we are going to buy food.  You can’t offer less for more, and expect people to jump on board.

See, my point is, if you want to change the world to save it, you have to use common sense.  Don’t punish people for being irresponsible, encourage them to change.  Don’t offer bogus solutions like carbon credits, one of the biggest scams in our history, but honest incentive for innovation.  Especially in America, we strive when we are challenged, now when we are forced.  Do you think we would have gotten to the moon first if the government had made a law that NASA had to beat Russia?  Do you think we could have turned one of the smallest armed forces in the world into a power that could defeat Nazi Germany if the government had forced companies to build weapons, planes, boats, and tanks?  American’s like a challenge, and we love competition, and instead of squeezing us for money, they should be challenging us to achieve.

Wow, that got a little preachy at the end.  Anyway, use common sense people.  If we all strive to live a little better it will make a difference.  No new tax, or law, will do that.

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