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May 14, 2008


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"If anyone doubts that household energy use will grow, consider this:"

Or alternativly they could visit the MED website and find the stats for electricity consumption per consumer for the last 35 years. Surprisingly consumption per household hasn't increased since 1973. Probably because that's about the time Pink Batts were launched onto the market with the hit 3 minute jingle "Damn the Dam". I suspect the number of households has grawn faster than the population. The biggest increase is in consumption per shop/office customer. Too much display lighting? Too many LANs and servers? Oh well, at least the good news is that LED lighting is already as good as halogen for display lighting and better than flourescent tubes, and is cost effective in high use commercial environments.

tomescu teofan

This is madness at its worst to sustain that industry should be allowed to pollute because it feeds people.How typically American red neck philosophy.Do not touch me! or my life style.For those of you fat Americans there is only one way to rid yourselves of fossil fuels and that is to put it on a big slice of genetically modified wheat bun and munch it .It won't last two weeks and then this earth and the rest of the population can enjoy a life without having to ask:What is going to hit us next.You are the ones who started this wasteful economy,you are the ones who need to expand endlessly ,unsustainably.You and your stupid stock exchange,where you play not with numbers ,but real people's jobs.Why don't you eat what you can grow?Why don't you take the public transport more often instead of your humongous gas guzzling cars?You and your stupid life style is stifling the earth and the rest of the world.People like you deserve what they get and those "lunatic environmentalists" had better leave you alone to stew in your own blubber.Don't call them when you are out of breath and no clean air to fill your lungs,you putrid natzi.

tomescu teofan

This is madness at its worst to sustain that industry should be allowed to pollute because it feeds people.How typically American red neck philosophy.Do not touch me! or my life style.For those of you fat Americans there is only one way to rid yourselves of fossil fuels and that is to put it on a big slice of genetically modified wheat bun and munch it .It won't last two weeks and then this earth and the rest of the population can enjoy a life without having to ask:What is going to hit us next.You are the ones who started this wasteful economy,you are the ones who need to expand endlessly ,unsustainably.You and your stupid stock exchange,where you play not with numbers ,but real people's jobs.Why don't you eat what you can grow?Why don't you take the public transport more often instead of your humongous gas guzzling cars?You and your stupid life style is stifling the earth and the rest of the world.People like you deserve what they get and those "lunatic environmentalists" had better leave you alone to stew in your own blubber.Don't call them when you are out of breath and no clean air to fill your lungs,you putrid natzi.

The Optimist

Obviously you are not very keen on Americans, but what's that got to do with me? Have you assumed that I am American because I speak English? I am based in New Zealand. Anyway, who is interested in your hatred of Americans? What have they ever done to you?

You haven't given any reasons as to why we should go back to the stone age. Buses use a lot more energy than cars - how do you know they aren't just empty, like they mostly are here?

I certainly am saying 'don't touch me and my lifestyle'. Environmentalists are the real problem with this planet, as they conjure up imagined threats and demand that impoverishing action be taken.

tomescu teofan

Think about it, globalization,does that ring a bell to you? Why is it that in this day and age it's the whistle blower that gets all the bad vibes.It
is so easy to blame those who point our attention to the problems and then do nothing about it.Why don't you "reasonable "guys admit that in this day and age too much energy is being wasted? It is hard to admit it because you are only thinking about yourselves.Snap out of your day dreaming,reality is forcing us to do something.Yes environmentalists don't have all the answers but ignoring the problems is worse.I am a pesimistic person who is not scared about the future ,yet most optimists are so scared that they are willing to jeopardize the lives of their grandchildren just because they don't want to pay the real price.What most of us are doing now is consuming at the expense of future generations.Yes I know that the optimists think that- time will solve it all-,but when we all think the same ,generation after the other,who will actually be forced to do right by humanity.Why don't we consider that it is now the time for a sea change in our attitude toward humanity.Those who think that today's products that are not environmentally friendly are cheaper,are wrong,and that good jobs will be lost if we take the next step towards environmentally friendly solutions,are also wrong.In fact many more jobs will be created and those jobs will be forever.Those who fear environmentally friendly technologies should be those who have today's monopoly on energy and trade.We know that solar energy,geothermal,wind power cannot work unless they are fully interconnected globally.Who is stopping us trying to achieve that equilibrium? No one will have the upper hand we shall all depend on each other for our well-being.It is the individualists who might find this unpleasant.We should go back to the basics ;one exchanges his produce for the produce of his neighbour,no one can corner the market because it wants what he lacks and what the neighbour can provide.That might seem the end of capitalism to you but believe you me it is only the next stage,nothing in our usual way of life will have to suffer.It is only an energy revolution,that's all there is.I do want to apologise for vilifying you.I was merely lashing out at those who think that way regardless of their nationality.

tomescu teofan

As for my hatred of Americans I can only say that I cannot stand the way they impose their lifestyle on others,you are either with them or against them,that is what's bothering me.What people like you don't like is seeing people enjoying their lives free of oppression and tyranical rule of energy giants.What's wrong with fresh milk,why does it have to be "fortified"?Fresh milk means selling it locally,What's stopping those big companies to invest locally?What's wrong with so many of our goods that they had to be vitiated?It is just greed and ignorance that's keeping some people from doing the right thing.You should know,just in case you're wondering where I come from,that I am European and I live in Romania and yes I hate your lifestyle for it is your lifestyle that's ruining mine,it is your companies that pollute my country and force me in a corner.How come you never thought of that?What gives anybody the right to destroy what others cherrish,and Why should we take your nay-sayer crap,you are the stuffy,stuck-in-the-mud Ludites for failing to see the liberating potential of green technology.

The Optimist

You are advocating either fascism or socialism, it is hard to tell, but the effect is the same. There are places in the world where you can live if you like these sorts of systems.

Environmentalists are constantly asking for pointless sacrifices based on imagined threats. If they had had their way, perhaps a billion people would have starved in greater Asia in the 60s. If they have their way now we will see biofuels cause the death of millions more over the next decade.

Environmentalists are a plague on the planet, a bunch of Luddites who would send us back into the stone age step by step.

Americans don't impose their lifestyle on anyone - this is just an anti-American talking point.

Perhaps you can give me an example of how we are forcing you into a corner in Romania?

Also, I have no issue with green technology, if by that you mean less pollution for not much more cost. For the people that can afford it, this is great stuff. Just so long as it isn't imposed on people that can't afford it and don't want it. Unfortunately, that's the way environmentalism works.

tomescu teofan

That's what I meant all along,not closing down factories,just careful use of energy and an end to waste.If some people equate waste to good-paying jobs I can't do anything about that.By waste I understand,leaving the lights on when there is no need for them,using more water than is needed for a specific activity,using certain materials just because they seem to be cheaper,without taking into account what one should be doing with them once they've reached their end of use,and many such examples.Yes you are right about bio-fuels,and in fact all environmentalists are against bio-fuels,and they will be proven right in less than a decade.Bio-fuels worsen the overall climate as they take the place of natural environments that give us that fresh air we all need,but what seems to be even worse by most people is the fact that they divert food crops to filling tanks plus they don't even reduce pollution levels at all but increase them,for the reasons given above.As for how this wasteful lifestyle of some affects me at home,I can only say that my country used to feed itself even when there was no mechanisation available and even export the surplus.Nowadays we can't even grow enough for ourselves and not because we are too many and the crop fields wouldn't be able to cope but rather because of agricultural subsidies in the EU and USA that make our products lose ground.I know New Zealand doesn't subsidise its agriculture and is doing well as a result,but that's you and I don't think it will work globally unless all countries eliminate subsidies.Our markets of any kind have been seized by foreign companies and they only sell their produce and goods,while our peasant-farmers have to sell their land and find employment in the squalid cities we have,thus joining the working poor.We Romanians have been sold into slavery by our own political leaders who are the stooges of the Western world.I'm sure you couldn't have heard about a Canadian based gold mining company who wants to extract gold in my country using a totally unacceptable method of retrieving gold by the use of cyanide.If they are allowed to mine in that area,by the time they have finished their job,my country will have been left with a huge lake of cyanide and four mountains less,because this is an open cast mining operation.The area in question is Rosia Montana in the Western Carpathians Romania.All I am asking for is that they allow us to live our lives the way we want.

The Optimist

You raise a number of points:

1. Are agricultural subsidies now considered bad by environmentalists? I hope that will happen, but sadly we still have many environmentalists that think they are a good thing, to 'protect' local agriculture from the global market.

2. Environmentalists advocate bio-fuels, just another silly policy to try to avoid using oil from the ground. It seems environmentalists have realised their mistake. Good.

3. Excess energy - this depends on the price. The price of energy signals how scarce it is and determines whether a particular process is viable or not. If you are advocating that companies should use these energy the is viable, well I'm sure they will, in order to maximise their profit, provided that the cost isn't higher than he reward. but to ask companies to reduce energy use for its own sake with no commercial imperative - well that is just an environmentalist cause.

4. Mining - as I understand it, cyanide is widely used in gold mining. there have been a spill in Romania in 2000 which may be why you are so against it. However, you are much better off with a large wealthy Canadian company than with your own state owned mining company, which no doubt operates to lower standards. According to my brief reading on the topic, the byproduct in terms of cyanide is now tiny, with improvements in the process. Should be nothing to worry about, and have n environmental effect.

Probably you need to decide (as an individual or country) if you want the gold mine and the associated jobs and tax revenue, or not. I have never met an environmentalist in favour of mining. Who knows how we are supposed to extract the ore we need,,,

The Optimist

Industrial power use grows as the economy grows...do we want a growing economy or not? All the environmentalists say no. The rest say 'yes please'. I still think the best approach would be to put the environmentalists in the smelter as a fuel substitute :-)

tomescu teofan

Hi,thank you for replying to my pesky complaints.All I have to say is this line from a famous quotation by an equally famous person."Not until they've poisoned the last river,not until they've felled the last tree,not until they've caught the last fish,will they realize,that you can't eat money"Money was invented so that by its use exchanging goods would be simplified.Money is just paper if it is not backed by the goods it stands for.What some of you advocate is that money is more important than good food,water and fresh air.Some of you would rather trade these for money,money that will be used to buy the very things they've given up on in the first place.Such is their stupidity.
Gold is not a necessity, it is just something vain,ignorant people wear to show off( I am only referring to gold extracted from open-cast mining that uses cyanide,although other less dangerous substances are available that can be used to extract gold).One would give all his gold for a glass of water,if it had none,such is the importance of life.Although nowadays,one with deep pockets can eat gold,that doesn't mean that it'has become food.Healthy food is far more important than all the gold in the world.I know,that in their twisted logic they'll say "What an idiot? Doesn't he know that gold can buy anything?Well yes,provided that through mining ,our water has not been polluted or compromised,that the natural cycle of life wasn't thrown off balance.Some, in todays world, refuse to believe that it is possible to find better ways,environmentally friendly ones (life sustaining ones)of obtaining the goods we need for our daily lives,and are just proud to malign all those who advocate research to that end.That is why I called them Luddites.It is interesting how some people rate life far bellow their cars,their plastic trinkets and are happy to eat junk food,food depleted of essential nutrients,or worse genetically modified food.Those people are blissfully unaware that they are letting their bodies open to all sorts of adverse reactions,even death.Those companies that produce this rubbish would rather spend a huge amount of their profits on aggressive,misleading advertising,than on research and development,that can really give them the edge.To those in favour of GMOs I'll say-What is wrong with naturally grown food? It is neither bad for you nor is it in short supply,despite those hunger-mongering reports,according to which the price of food has gone up because of short-falls in supplies.The rise in petrol prices,biofuels and trade disrupting measures (agricultural subsidies),but most of all speculation are to blame for world hunger.Population growth is indeed a threat to the environment ,the one we all depend on for our survival,but certainly it hasn't become so serious to justify panicking people and preying upon their fears,driving the cost of essentials up.That is pure ,inhumane speculation of the worst kind.All these problems can be avoided if we work together for the common as well as individual good.
To people like me it is far more important to have healthy food,a healthy environment to live in than sporting golden necklaces,bracelets or whatnot.Nothing in this world is worth jeopardising our natural environment for.However I am not saying that we should revert to the stone age,as some of you erroneously implied,but rather to get our priorities in the right order,to make sure that no one will suffer as a consequence,putting life before everything else.
About that mine in Romania.How would you feel if someone came to your country and offered to pollute your water, to destroy your beautiful landscapes,to destroy your history just to get your gold?We 've evaluated the pros and cons and the conclusion is that this would be too big a price to pay for a handful of moderately paid jobs.Most Romanians consider nature to be more valuable than all the gold reserves in the world.I think we have the right to...,after all it is our country.
One more thing .Have you ever been near a plastic toys factory? I have ,and believe you me ,I wasn't able to breathe,such was the stench.The sky was all a foul-smelling reddish soup.All that for what?Of course it would be profitable business for those who sell oxigen tanks and masks.I'm sure this may be your answer,but then I'm gonna use your way of reasoning;"for those who can afford to buy them"

The Optimist

Money pays for the fresh air, clean water and good food.

Naturally grown food is ok, but GMOs may be better, e.g. pest or drought resistant. Shut the lid on technology and we will fall into the environmentalists' trap of running out of resources.

You should move into a museum!

I'm sorry if the mine is going to destroy the landscape in Romania. Is it really going to destroy the whole country? Or is it just going to destroy a little bit of it. And even there will the vegetation grow back after a decade or so?

> Most Romanians consider nature to be more valuable than all the gold reserves in the world

If this is true, and the mine is going to destroy the entire country, then why is there a mine in Romania? Do no Romanians work there? Don't you have a democratic government which can simply ban mining? Or is it in fact the case that many people support the mine, and it is the environmentalists which are trying to close it down?

As for your comment about pollution, perhaps you should have been around in the heyday of the English industrial revolution. I understand that it was no environmental eden back then. Why do you think that China should be any better as it goes through its industrial heyday? But don't fret, this pollution is just a phase they are going through on their way to riches. When they come through the other side the clean air and water will come back.

But try to slow them down, and you just prolong the agony and the poverty.

tomescu teofan

There is no such thing as poverty in self-sufficient nations.Having said that, neither is there richness beyond belief.The problem with some capitalists is that they can't get their heads round the idea that it is possible for all to win.They simply see it as" rob the poor to give to the rich"or rob the many to give to the few.They keep wages low to maximize their short term profits,they don't seem to realize that there really is a money cycle.People exchange their earned money for goods produced by factories ,farms,owned by the wealthy,thus money comes full circle.We Romanians have never been poorer than now.There were times when we didn't earn much in terms of money ,but we had our home-grown produce to sustain ourselves and even to trade.Now we earn more money,yet we can't even buy half of what we used to have when money was scarce.The idea that growth can only mean destruction is faulty.There can be growth without destruction.Why does one have to destroy what he/she already has in order to buy it later for more?As for the GMOS ,in my mind those who advocate them are completely foolish,to put it mildly,it's too big a risk to assume plus there is no need for them.It's just another concoction by greedy,ruthless,irresponsible capitalists who want to conquer the last area of independent survival.I'll just give you another quote from Amer-Indian wisdom"we have not inherited our land from our ancestors,we have merely borrowed it from our grandchildren"As far as mining is concerned,no one is against safe mining practices,we all know that in this competitive field those who cut corners make the most profit,and in most mining activities there have been huge environmental(life-sustaining conditions}costs paid for by the whole country even though just a few gained from that activity.The area in question is not that small to be ignored,we are talking about the largest open-cast mining in Europe plus if I failed to mention that area is a historical and national heritage.it is the place where our ancestors got their gold from.
In terms of democracy being the place where everyone can be heard,only those who've been brainwashed or those who rule can believe.Every one knows that it is just a deception ,a smoke and mirror act in which the stupid and and the self-deluded still believe.It is just another dictatorship,a plutocracy.The pollution I was talking about, happens to be in Spain and Italy of today 2008.
Who said anything about slowing China down?,they should only be encouraged to do the sensible thing which is to provide all the safeguards required for a sustainable development,they shouldn't sacrifice their lives for inferior goods or paper money that's going to be used to alleviate the suffering brought on by irresponsible greedy people.I really don't understand why some people equate self-reliance with poverty.This is just like saying that if you have everything that you could wish for,but no money,you're poor.No one wants money to look at it.it needs it to exchange it for the goods he/she needs.

The Optimist

> There is no such thing as poverty in self-sufficient nation

It is quite easy to argue that a lack of trade causes poverty. The poorest nations in the world are those with the least trade.

The 'zero-sum-game' that you attribute to capitalists (money cannot be created, only spread between rich and poor) is more a socialist point of view, commonly held by unionist, for example. Capitalists are normally very happy with the idea that a new business or idea 'creates' new money.

New Zealand also has low wages (relative to the first world anyway). This is due largely to our poor productivity. While it is possible for businesses to pay labour more than it is worth, this is a recipe for no profits, no growth and stagnation. But you overstate a capatalist's power if you think he can limit wages. While this may be true in individual cases for short periods, wages as a whole are set by supply and demand. If you want high wages you need more business demanding more people.

Singapore actually kept wages artificially low for decades through government action. The result was that people we consistently paid 10% less than their productivity would suggest. Just this small difference created massive growth and such in huge numbers of new countries. If Romanian wages are genuinely being held low by the government, they may be a longer term up side.

Taking your 'inheriting land from your grandchildren' approach, why stop there? Perhaps we are inheriting land from the people 1000 years hence? Maybe their bizarre religious beliefs will include the need for us to fertilise the soil with yak dung. Should we comply? How do we know what people who haven't been bord yet want? We don't. It's a silly piece of tautology from a culture which probably has no understanding of technology.

Your point initially was that mining for gold in Romania is not safe. Now you are saying it is taboo because of sacred grounds. It sounds to me like you like to be poor! Mining creates jobs and wealth - without the mine you need other things to do. You may as well use your natural resources - they were given to you for a reason!

Your lack of faith in democracy is understandable. But if you look at the long term it is the best system. Remember the Winston Churchill quote: 'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.'

I'm pleased that you are happy for China to continue to grow - presumably you accept as I do that they will clean up their environmental act soon enough.

As for your comment about not having any money but being rich (or 'not poor') I don't get that at all. Maybe you are referring to a spiritual sense? Maybe you are thinking about an economy where there is very little barter or trade? I'm not sure. But here in NZ, having no money means you are poor, whether you grow your own veges or not.

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