Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power (Photo credit: EnvironmentBlog)

I’m about to say some things that will annoy a lot of people in the environmental clique. But, Hillary Clinton is starting to say some of these same things, so perhaps a sea change of attitudes towards nuclear power are in order.

First, Solar, Wind, and Water power are not going to produce enough power, to totally replace coal or oil fired power plants.

Second, cutting back on power production is not a viable option. With the expected growth of third world nations (China alone has planned requirements for 300 Gigawatts of power generation by 2050, while current WORLD power generation is 350 Gigawatts) it’s not likely that we’ll be able to decrease power demand without significantly decreasing the population.

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Brief diagram showing the greenhouse effect

Brief diagram showing the greenhouse effect (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another of the Original AllThatsEvil posts. Originally published October 9, 2007.

To many people, the entire universe of environmentalism, and saving the planet boils down to one chemical, carbon. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t begin to encompass the complexity of our environment.

Our environment is affected by a large number of parameters, ranging from insolation (sunlight falling on the Earth), the effects of cloud cover to retaining heat, the effects of greenhouse gasses (note, carbon dioxide is ONLY ONE of many!), the albedo of our planet. (more…)

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Another Blast-from-the-Past best-of article, from October 2007.

receipt

(Photo credit: geese)

Consider the lowly receipt. 3-5 inches of paper, a little bit of ink (or worse yet, a coating of a thermal imaging substance, that responds to heat) all with the aim of 2 things.

First, a receipt gives you a record of your purchase, for your records.

Second, a receipt acts as a flag, indicating that you’ve actually paid for that object you’re carting out of the store (or bringing back to return).

Wow. Think about how many receipts you collect, every day, for every purchase you make. Think about that much paper, times 6+ Billion people on Earth. Pretty big pile of paper, EVERY day, huh?

Here’s a thought. How many of those receipts you get every day are computer generated? Most of them, right?

What would happen if you had a token, that you could hand over, when you’re about to get a receipt, that they could store an electronic version of that receipt on? For example, a USB flash drive. Most of us who keep receipts are keeping them for bookkeeping purposes, for taxes, business (which is to say for taxes), or to track our personal budget. Wouldn’t it be handy if the receipts were machine readable, so that you could just import them into your spreadsheet, or tax software?

This doesn’t have to do away with paper receipts entirely, to be useful… But if even 10% of paper receipts were done away with, it would effectively reduce the amount of pulp wood being turned into paper, run thru a computer once, and then thrown away in 3-5 inch scraps.

Oh, you say, but what about those coupons that some places print on the receipt for you? Well, it’s just as easy to put a non-modifiable file on the token, that indicates that you are due one “coupon deal”, that can be read, next time you’re at the store.

Again, it’s about doing away with the paper… about reducing the “intentional” waste stream. Things that are being created knowing that 90% of the population is going to throw them away first chance they get. If it’s stored to the token in the appropriate format, and you needed a hard copy of it, you could print it out… but the 90% of transactions that don’t really wind up needing that don’t waste the paper.

Let me know what you think if this simple, small proposal to save the Earth. Leave us a comment.

 

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