For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Looking my misconceptions in the eye

I don't have time to get into another long post to continue my recent theme on global warming and climate change (obligatory reminder to read my disclaimer). I have been using what time I have to do more research, catching up on global warming and climate change in general, as well as statistics, research, media, economics, and so on.

I have to admit that I have been having to look very bluntly at a lot of misconceptions I've had. Quite a few things that I assumed to have been true turn out to not be true at all, or grossly misrepresented. It's been getting difficult with some of the stuff I've been researching, as I have been finding myself feeling quite angered and incensed at how mislead I have been in so many areas.

In the research I've been doing, I am finding myself ever more convinced that the global warming "swindle" is worse than I ever imagined! I am more than ever convinced that our concerns about human caused CO2 causing climate changed are completely off base. I am angered to see just how wildly exaggerated claims about the causes and effects of climate change are, and how the general population is being played by special interested groups, the media, and so-called environmentalists.

You see, I am a firm believer in environmental stewardship. I try my best to follow the three R's - starting with reduce and reuse, then recycling what's left. I support sustainable practices in agriculture and industry. I try to reduce my "footprint" on the environment as much as I can. I had assumed that by doing these things, I might actually be making a difference. It never occurred to me that some of the things I had found encouraging may actually be doing more harm than good. I never thought that some of the reasons behind these practices were actually false.

I did know of some of it, at least a little. I already knew that paper isn't any more biodegradable than styrofoam once it's in a landfill, but I didn't know paper is actually more harmful, particularly in the recycling process, than those foam cups and plates that are supposed to be so harmful to the environment (turns out they really don't do anything at all - they just sit there looking ugly). I'd already clued into the contribution to pollution recycling programs have, just by the need for a second fleet of trucks (together with the garbage trucks) to pick them up. I had assumed, however, that the recycling of all these materials somehow made up for it. Now I'm learning just how poorly these programs are actually working, and the excessive amount of energy being used in the recycling process. I was aware of some unintended consequences well meaning environmental policies have led to - I just didn't realize how widespread and harmful those consequences have actually been.

I am learning some of the success stories, too - they are quite encouraging. In fact, my views that things are actually improving, and that the future holds great things to look forward to, have strengthened. It's just a real discomfort to find how much false information we're being fed about so many things. It's rather painful to look at one's own mistaken beliefs.


  1. Anonymous10:03 AM

    I just found out that those new light bulbs that are supposed to be so energy effecient(CFL's) are probably not that good for the environment as they contain mercury. What happens to them when they are discarded? End up in landfill where if broken the mercury leaches into the ground??? How safe are these in the home if they break? It's not easy to clean up mercury. I've decided to go back to the old lightbulbs. They may waste energy but at least they are safe. It seems that we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.

  2. Yes, I was just reading about that, too! We were looking at replacing our bulbs with those a few days ago but had decided to wait. Partly because they're so friggin' expensive and it would've taken too much out of our budget at the time, but also because they don't give good light for my needs. I do a lot of artsy stuff that requires really good light. We were still planning to replace other bulbs where the light quality wasn't as much of an issue.

    Then I found out about the mercury, how much there is in each bulb, and how these bulbs are manufactured in countries that don't have the safety and environmental regulations that we do in North America. I caught a story about a woman who dropped bulb as she was installing it and it shattered on her daughter's bedroom carpet. She ended up having to call in a hazmat team at an estimated cost of US$2000!!! Her insurance wouldn't cover it because it's considered pollution. I'm not normally all that worried about things like mercury, even with seafood, but this crossed the line on that.

    We've decided to stay away from them, too. There are places that will recycle these bulbs, but I'm no longer willing to have them. It doesn't look like the manufacturers will be able to make them without mercury anytime soon, either.


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