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Thread: Sustainable living - OT from "off the grid" thread

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    Default Sustainable living - OT from "off the grid" thread

    Since an interesting diskussion was developing but going completely off topic in the "Sustainable living off the grid" thread I started this one so we can continue the discussion if desired and still keep things in order.
    Last edited by Husky; 07-01-2009 at 09:45.

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    I believe that there are more people in the world today than the planet can hold at a sustainable level and going nuclear to replace fossil fuels is just postponing the problem. Uranium is also a limited resorse and we still haven´t figured out what to do with the waste but it is a short term solutuion to the CO2-problem.
    A first step however would be to stop WASTING.
    A third of the food we produce is lost between production and consumption because we buy it and let it get old in the fridge. Also the shop has to throw away perfectly good food because you think it went instantly poisonous at the sell by date.
    Houses built when energy was cheap and unlimited have very poor insulation and waste energy and most of them will still be standing in 50 years time.
    Look att a sateliteimage of the world at night. Every inhabited area is brightly lit.
    This light is just shining into space as a year around christmasdecoration.

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    At the risk of approbium the fundemental issue is too many humans for humanity to care for.
    When in a hole stop digging.
    Therefore I suggest the birth rate should be brought under control by as humane as possible method(s). But then I have no doctrinal barriers to reliable birth control being linked to aid both here or abroad.
    All the other greening and conservation methods will not keep pace let alone overtake our use of resources.
    Sorry if this offends some, but please don't read it simply as a 'rich against poor' argument as it isn't; everyone should recognise the limitation of unrestricted parenting.
    Alan

    "Went the day Well?"

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    I have to agree waste management at the home I think is paramount then we need to put pressure on the food industry

    Why does everything have to be rapped in plastic?
    Meat in supermarkets is a no go for me.

    We have to all live by the ethos of
    Reduce
    Reuse
    Recycle
    That I am sure we have all heard before

    Not sure about the street light thing I think there is a line we have to accept to cross on this one that balances public safety and energy saving

    In my opinion we should only light where people walk there is no reason to light places that are for vehicles only
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    Our county, Powys, decided to switch off one-in-three street lights recently - which I thought was great. Then certain council individuals began paying "personally" for them to be switched back on - and I began to despair. The latest plan is to have them all on in the early evening, switch them off from 23:30 - 5ish, then switch them back on again. The TV news showed sequences of old folk walking out at night with torches etc and quoted the "it's dangerous" nugget - I ended up sending a few Emails to the channel but didn't get air-time as far as I know. Perhaps the folk shown struggling to negotiate steps and dark paths ought to be the ones paying for illuminating their own property, then they'd get used to switching it on and paying for it when they need it, and switching it off when they don't.
    Many of us try to do our own bit, but I'm often driven to despair at other people waste who seem not to care.

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    Well, yes, I have that problem too, with my family.

    They waste a lot, and dont listen to me, going on for their own welfare, not the enviroment, you will note.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Humpback View Post
    At the risk of approbium the fundemental issue is too many humans for humanity to care for.
    When in a hole stop digging.
    Therefore I suggest the birth rate should be brought under control by as humane as possible method(s). But then I have no doctrinal barriers to reliable birth control being linked to aid both here or abroad.
    All the other greening and conservation methods will not keep pace let alone overtake our use of resources.
    Sorry if this offends some, but please don't read it simply as a 'rich against poor' argument as it isn't; everyone should recognise the limitation of unrestricted parenting.
    Alan

    Absolutely spot on.

    Any form of marginal improvement in per capita consumption is more than offset by the rise in population since it trends ever upwards. Pretending that reducing per capita consumption of a dwindling resource (fuel, plastic, fertiliser) whilst allowing the population to expand simply causes a bigger problem a little later.

    If we don't address population control we should all drive bigger cars. At least that way when all the fossil fuel runs out, there will be a smaller global population to die off to the levels the planet can sustain.

    The biggest individual contribution people can make is to limit themselves to one child per family (or none). This will, globally, have a far higher effect than any amount of allotments and low energy light bulbs.

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    USA with a population less than 1/5 of CHina, is consuming more recources. So the number of people on the planet is not the answer (not the only one at least).

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    At the moment, Mikkel, at the moment but give them time.
    Getting USA to make 5 times the 'savings' of China, or indeed any country is just not going to happen after all I don't think countries can agree on what levels of saving are needed.
    Reducing the growth in the number of souls on this planet is a necessity, and to my mind the sooner the Politicians worldwide get the nerve to address this issue the safer we'll be.

    Alan
    I'll pack away my soap box now.

    "Went the day Well?"

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    Too many people, using too many resources too quickly with too little thought. A change will no doubt come but I suspect nature will force that change upon us and make us live more simply/ responsibly.

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    China actually did recognise, and act upon, the problem with their one child policy.
    Rich, western countries today often have a decline in "domestic" population but a net population growth due to imigration. It seems that if you are well off you don´t see any need for lots of children. Some may want that anyway but you don´t need many children to support you at old age or safeguard against childmortality. Maybe the solution is to develop the poor countries so they can support themselves instead of our wasteful lifestyle and also get rid of the pope.

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    we are but bacteria and the world is our petri dish.

    the growth of our population wont stop until we reach some sort of limiting factor such as lack of resources or to many pollutants and bi products. then our population will collapse and increase repeatedly with a dampened oscillation until we reach our optimum population level.

    That level will probably be some considerable amount lower than it is just now.

    It is still worth saving resources though and preparing subsequent generations for rougher times.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

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    Our planet can support 6 billion people in an agricultural society

    Or 1 billion in its present industrialised society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by locum76 View Post

    It is still worth saving resources though and preparing subsequent generations for rougher times.
    Why? Its an option but actually its won't affect the outcome one iota.

    Currently proposed measures are a plaster on a sucking chest wound

    Problem Statement: . Spiralling population, dwindling resources and ever increasing per capita consumption.

    Proposed solution: Congestion charges, increased road tax on some vehicles and a few woodburners

    Think it'll work? I don't. If it won't affect the outcome, its a lifestyle choice, not a measure to address the problem. Walks with dogs has summed it up perfectly.

    Ludicrous and ineffective "pseudo green" measures are at best a salve to the conscience and at worse a way of pretending to address a problem that they fail to come close to solving. Insisting that others folow them is not only patently absurd but totalitarian extremism "do what I believe in even though its ineffective and illogical".

    I will happily listen to a world policy that addresses the core issue. Bailing the Titanic with an eggcup though because its easier to feel that you are doing "something" even if ineffective and illogical is just not my bag. The core of the problem is that any measure radical and extreme enough to actually have a significant effect would render its proposer unelectable. Silly stealth taxes and hand woven sustainable yoghurt kaftans though won't solve over population and Peak Oil.

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    hey red.

    i knew we'd get round to this one again,

    surely its worth saving resources for your own friends and family at least and gathering knowledge and skills to pass on for when stuff starts to run out. Even if it is just for fun in the mean time?

    a bit of preparedness anyone?
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

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    Hi mate.

    I'm not against it, any more than I am against a bit of solar power, driving a low emission car or knitting lentils. It might make one person feel better. It might improve an individuals long term chances. At a societal level though it doesn't change the outcome - merely shifts which "bacteria" lives or dies. In 100 years there will be far less fuel, far less chemical fertiliser and far more people. If it doesn't change that fact, its should be a matter of personal choice, not societal policy.

    It always amuses me how much the most "liberal" types want more than anyone else to dictate what others can and cannot do. Its always of course"for the sake of the children" or "for all of our futures". Even in the face of all facts to the contrary.

    Too many people to live sustainably (without consuming a dwindling resource). Thats it in a nutshell. Doesn't matter how much the per capita consumption comes down if population rises continuously. I'm utterly tired of people who cannot or will not address the real issue trying to "rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic". It isn't a solution so they should stop bleating on as though it is.

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    making sure my related bacteria are as well prepared as possible is enough for me.

    thats it from me on this one, until the next time -

    I'm off to weave some yogurt sandals.

    peace out.
    speak softly and carry a great big stick...

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    Quote Originally Posted by locum76 View Post
    making sure my related bacteria are as well prepared as possible is enough for me.
    Me too I don't labour under any illusions it will "save the planet" though

    Use plain yog - the fruit pips get under your toes!!

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    Rome was not built in one day. The individual effort might seem small currently, but it will hopefully gain momentum and become not just a new trend, but perhaps a new way of seeing things. It will lead to substantial savings in resources.
    I do not have the numbers here, but I belive it was calculated that the planet can sustain around 10 billio people, if the consumption was reduced considerably (for us westerners).

    To think it's just a case of 'killing half the population' is a bit naive, and does not really adress the issue; Resource consumption. If the whole world was like the US; then we could not even sustain 3 billion people. And while the US may be the "worst" the rest of the west is certainly not far behind.

    The real issue is if the developing countries can stop increasing so much in population, the west is very much stabilized, and for some sountries, it's even dwindling.

    Meat is actually a big waste, I can't recall the title of the book, but it made some pretty impressive calculations based on the scenario what if we did not eat meat (almost), how much more food we could produce on the same space that we currently utilize, or be able to support the same population on a much smaller agricultual industry.

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    Mikkel, I don't know how it is in Denmark - but the UK cannot begin to support its own population without aritifical fertilisers, fossil fuels and huge amounts of imported food, raw materials and goods. It simply cannot be done - there is far less than one acre of land per person and much of that non productive.

    I don't think anyone advocates "kiling half the population" - however reducing the population by controling the borth rate is exactly what is needed - with each country and region reducing its population to the level its land can support. When fossil fuels are gone the capability to import massive amounts of cheap food will disappear, so each are must feed its own people (with occasional smaller trade via sustainable transport).

    The best individual contribution is one child per couple. If everyone did that, then there will be half as much consumption in a single generation - and a quarter in two generations - an eighth in three generations.

    Red
    Quote Originally Posted by Shambling Shaman on his Christmas wish list
    Yep, world peace, end to hunger,

    and possibly a new scope for my rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikkel View Post
    SNIP
    To think it's just a case of 'killing half the population' is a bit naive, and does not really adress the issue; SNIP
    Mikkel
    I don't think anyone has mentioned "....killing half the population....." I certainly haven't,
    If you read my contributions here I suggested "Reducing the growth in the number of souls on this planet is a necessity" the bold was in the post.
    Perhaps its the lost in translation situation?
    Your phrase has unfortunate conotations I don't adhere to.
    Regards
    Alan

    "Went the day Well?"

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    it was of course only to exaggerate the point of population reduction.

    If we halves the population, and instead double or resource consumption, then we are back where we started.

    If we instead maintain the current population, and halves our consumption, then we get a more sustainable and more humane result.

    Of course, reacing both goals would be even betterm but we need to be realistic. it would also be nice if we found another identical planet within traveling distance, but it's probably not going to happen.

    Do you have any numbers on how it can not be done, to support the current population by restructuring the agricultural sector? If meat were completely removed from the production, the outout in food energy would be immense compared to what it is now. Not that i'm a vegetarian, but it's an interresting thought.

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    I don´t know the data behind the calculations of how many people the world can support but I question the level of development that these calculations are based on.
    Mikkel has seen a figure of 10 billion and I would be interested in what kind of lifstyle this incorporates.
    The WWF calculates that todays population allows for 2,1 hectares /capita of global resorces. This includes what is needed for food, clothing, buildingmaterials and also for forests that bind the CO2-emissions from fossil fuels.
    The world today is at an avarage of 2,7!
    Of course a reduction in our consumption of fossil fuels will then reduce the area/capita needed but can we get down to 2,1? This calculation also requires an imediate stop to population growth.
    If we do this then where do we end up?
    The UN has developed a Human Development Index "HDI" based on poverty, analfabetism, childmortality and lifeexpectancy, among other things. The lowest acceptable level according to the UN is an HDI of 0,8.
    This is today not reachable at a consumption level of 2,1 hectares/capita!

    To reduce our rate of consumption, what can we do without?
    Do we stop all scientific research? Medical research, hospitals etc?
    A space program? If we one day want to use the resources from the moon or even mars?
    Satelite communication? Internet?
    What does an agricultural society actually mean?

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    It means everyone grows their own food etc no waste from industries no packaging on everything local economies supporting each other that kind of thing. Basically the majority are farmers rather than what we have now.

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    Bring on the plague!!
    j/k
    Use your mind, not your wallet.

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    http://http://opr.princeton.edu/popclock/popupclock.html


    Ok, problem presented.
    Now for the solutions i.e. what makes humans human! Suggestions?

    Can we have an acceptable level of technology and development based on wind water and solarpower leaving the agriculture to produce food and not fuel?
    There are already succesfull projects going on about making compressed air powered cars made out of recycled materials.
    Meat should not be raised on wheat and soja but culled from populations of wildlife that forage on areas not suitable for agriculture.
    The developing countries need to be steered to a different path of development then the one we have taken.
    Reducing population growth is more important then climatechange in changing the outcome!
    Last edited by Husky; 08-01-2009 at 13:30.

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    Husky, can't be done in the UK mate, we are too small an island with far too many mouths to feed; lets get those atomic power stations built straight away to stop very cold homes in the next few years

    Forward where the knocks are hardest, some to failure, some to fame;
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    Of course the world population is, and will be, varying in density. If you all want to live in the UK then we will have to figure out a sustainable organisation for transporting food and stuff to your island.
    Migration will also always be an option.
    Sweden has 2 square kilometres(!) / person, half of it is woodland, the densest moosepopulation in the world and bushcrafters are especially wellcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Husky View Post
    Of course the world population is, and will be, varying in density. If you all want to live in the UK then we will have to figure out a sustainable organisation for transporting food and stuff to your island.
    Migration will also always be an option.
    Sweden has 2 square kilometres(!) / person, half of it is woodland, the densest moosepopulation in the world and bushcrafters are especially wellcome!
    Migration is not really an option, to where and what? Would your country welcome 1 million brits who fancied living a green life in your woodlands? Very doubtful IMO

    This is worth reading
    http://www.migrationinformation.org/...lay.cfm?ID=406

    Forward where the knocks are hardest, some to failure, some to fame;
    Never mind the cheers or hooting, keep your head and play the game





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    Maybe I should have put a smilie in my last post. I´m not trying to push an agenda, just trying to steer toward solutions instead of the problem.
    To answer your question, if you can show that you can support yourself and your lifestyle is within the law I don´t see that you would be unwellcome.

    I am curious about your lack of enthusiasm. You live on an overpopulated island that can´t support its population in any manner. Have you all just given up and are calling a "walk over" or do you have a different solution in mind?

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