Sustainable as per the dictionary “1. Able to be sustained; 2. Design or develop to have the capacity to continue operating perpetually, by avoiding adverse effects on the natural environment and depletion of natural resources.”
Pretty much says it all doesn't it? Now if everyone read the dictionary and then took a good long hard objective critical look at their manner of living and what happens around them, then and only then will we see that change is needed to bring about a better climate ie.,. Less intensive droughts whatever!
The way we farm to grow food for our needs is un-sustainable, under the guise of making revenue for the nation huge broad-acre/factory farms consume vast acreages of habitat, in the quest for the dollar. This loss of habitat costs us all and we get no benefit out of the end product, the only benefit is to the corporate owned mega-farms with lots of assistance from the Government (all under the rug stuff).
Farming creates vast areas of badly completely degraded land, which is then abandoned to become new deserts devoid of habitat and top soil which has been eroded away by wind and rain. This farming consumes vast amounts of water for irrigation, and being mega-farms often called the irrigators they get special sanctions that smaller family farmers don't get in the use of water.
Also when one gets involved in the sustainability type forums around the traps, there are those who bemoan what agriculture is doing to our environment and how in general farming practises are un-sustainable (there are some farmers out there seeking to change they will be found few and far between as agriculture is governed by peer pressure from the exeedingly wealthy farm families, down the line), yet they themselves will use fudgy figures to justify what can be regarded as un-sustainbale practises in the backyard garden. That is deep tilling or in gardening circles double digging and yes even triple digging soil in a masterfull effort to dominate the nature of the soil. If a system is so "right" then let it stand alone don't try and denegrate other maybe more simpler systems to prop up a somewhat more labour (at the very least) intensive system.
It's called "talking the talk " but not "walking the walk", nothing beats K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple Stupid.
Here is a link to a sustainable farming practise in use in the USA(I certainly do not support broadacre factory farming the cause of massive habitat destruction, the process is what is being applauded) I have seen it shown on tv but maybe at another farm location, no matter it has benefits and those benefits will be 2 fold if and when we come to the realisation that we need to make space for farmers in our communities, to supply us climate right in season fresh as the day produce. It is a win win win alround, we the consumer win because we get better quality fresher food for our dollar and the farmer wins because the middle men have been cut out and the farmer gets a much fairer price for that product, big upside food miles is all but cut out. The habitat also wins as less of it needs to be decimated for farm land uses and that which was can be returned to full bio-diversity habitat replenishment (no not agri-forestry that is another gossamer suit).
And the catch cry phrases, naming the fads and fancies or the flavour of the month:
Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable, Re-Newables, permaculture and the latest hot off the presses, Transition Towns/Cities/Suburbs whatever. Needs community support at the very least, to be even a community of Transition, for many who live in suburbia, look around you, look at your neighbours many simply struggling to live through each day, properties designed to encourage "neighbour from hell" scenerios, hey it's not like you can hang over the back fence and chat these days hey, I mean the reality is you can't even see you neighbour if ever you get out in your back yard, maybe we need to get back to our roots first?
Sounds more like a Multi Level Marketing tool or a Networking tool than something that will deliver something. Asked the hard questions of one group, no I didn't ask them to demonstrate if it was working in their little corner of the world, I asked what % of citizens where actively involved in the process, let alone actually achieving something concrete. You can figure the response, but to make it easy it was a big fat Zero response, like how dare I.
TRANSITION WHATEVER it could be coming your way soon. Talking the talk not walking the walk.
WHERE WE LIVE:
Our housing and industrial developments are all un-sustainable models, there is no planning or though of balance between habitat/environment and those developments, even to the degree there are now no real buffer zones between industrial estates and housing estates, there is still no evidence of any push to have industrial buildings install rainwater tanks sufficient for their needs or most of their needs, they create vast roof catchments on these very large buildings that direct valuable water into the storm water system, this water gets no opportunity to permeate into the sub aqaufa as there are no areas of vegetation in pristine condition to do that task, like all modern housing estates for decades now the properties created are all but completely filled with building infrastructure with little or no room for the planting of habitat trees etc.,.
All housing development is designed to cram as many houses into a development as is possible (again under the indoctrinated guise that this is the only affordable way to do it!! yet house ownership is getting more and more expensive as are the services to these estates), with block sizes just large enough to contain and over sized Yuppy/Yumpy Affluent Macmansion style lifestyle, inefficient, un-sustainable home, homes that lack even basic space for families to store those items that most families accumulate, this is evident as you drive around and observe vehicle parked in the open as garages are stacked to the rafters with belongings (in majority of cases what remaining yard there is, is taken up with a shed the size only ever seen in rural areas). There is little or no room on these streets to park vehicles (and as the Council recently said “street parking is no longer a rite to home owners). Makes it hard for families to enjoy time together doesn't it? No yard for kids to play in, no room for a garden for all to enjoy, in lots of developments now not even what can loosely be termed as a park for kids to play in and inter-relate with others their age. And when there is. one parent needs to be there with their children for protection. Backyards with no access full of barn style rural sheds and large garden sheds, no room for even a water tank of sufficient size for a family to even graze the surface of making a real difference! “Feel Good” difference is all that comes into play, or “Oh it's better than nothing” (is it?), “Oh I feel good, I feel like I am making a difference” (not one shred of hard evidence to support the premise, on industry promoted standards) “Do enough to get the rebate”.
Small blocks of land with over sized inefficient un-sustainable macmansions and 2 meter fences with palings with hair line gaps between them so you can perceive light or motion on the other side but you can no longer inter-relate with your neighbours, as all one can do is drive into the driveway park the car enter the house never to see anyone next door again unless you accidentally go to work again at the same time next morning. This then allows manipulation by those in charge to encourage neighbours to peek through gaps and then 'dob' on each other for any infractions, it has taken away our community spirit. No chance of that good old aussie feature of chatting over the fence back or otherwise with ones neighbours, no chance to call on a neighbour to hop over the fence and join in a refreshing drink and yarn, all gone in the pursuit of an un-sustainable lifestyle indoctrinated into every thought and every picture every day of the week.
No thought is given to land aspect anymore most or dare i say all of the younger players now have no idea of those values, no thought to the aspect or orientation of the house anymore, just indoctrinated industry standard coded macmansions. Why would anyone think of aspect or efficient design they are led to believe we can keep consuming our natural resources power, fuels and habitat infinitum. The building and design industries don't want change! The modern design supports a lot of industry including the band-aide industry, my goodness don't rock the boat of sustainable income hey? If sustainable design change is to come it will only come from a push from the people who buy homes, people who should do more research into what design is needed to be efficient and sustainable (there will be no need for and industry driven rating standard, which is rabbit in the hat stuff tryng to make these houses look efficient and delivering no real benefits to the environment or the owners). Imagine a house far more affordable to build (a first homers dream as land itself becomes more expensive), needing no chemical barriers for termite protection, being more storm and fire resistant, and more efficient to run especially if we are to go the renewable's way of providing power for our homes.
Then the demand for building on the correct aspect, to develop room to move suburbs, renew our community spirit, space for family bonding. Suburbs in balance with the habitat fauna variety so that children can appreciate our wildlife from their own backyards, instead of learning that the wildlife we have is mostly crows, indian mynah birds and any other fly throughs that drops in, and including ferrel cats. You don't see butterflies around the suburbs anymore as the new yuppy style formal garden takes over! Oh yes very water efficient and drought proof but offering little else than picture book perfection without colour or birds etc.,. There is no room for bees or other pollinators, in lots of cases there is no room for a family pet if it isn't some hapless bird caged. Kids play a myriad of video games and spend mega time in front of the baby sitter TV set, their minds aren't developed to question nor inter-react with nature.
The Affluent Lifestyle Macmansion, pretty aren't they? Appeal to the heart don't they? That is how they are presented and onsold to the puppet consumers. First the standard was all new homes should look large and spacious with no yards space. Then the standard was added to each home should come equipped with a support the industry inefficient electric dishwasher. Then all homes needed to come with an obligatory Micro-wave oven. Now the latest standard is all new homes should have Air-conditioners fitted as standard. What next house heating devices so the new owners are not only consuming vast amounts of power, but in many cases encourage to install fuel burning heating systems that cause or add to local pollution, take a deep breathe when next you walk/jog around your neighbourhood. All supported by the indoctrinating industry driven standards. All un-sustainbable.
We are supposed to be conserving power use but new homes need more and more power used to run them, gone are the moderate days of comfortable moderate homes with moderate running costs, we are heading the way of that other big land across the Pacific where power consumption is now measured in the thousands of dollars a year from the family budget.
The standard now has us sleeping where we do our toilet, not even the animal kingdom will do that voluntarily, yet we the intelligent race of animals take it on with relish, not only for the main bedroom nowadays but quickly being added for all bedrooms. Where the family elders are all but self contained away from the rest of the house. All those extra taps to encourage the use of water, and need maintenance, all that extra hidden plumbing (costly to service when it breaks down) adding to the cost of building a house, all that much more plumbing to go wrong.
Blocks should be large enough ie.,. Maybe a minimum size of 800 sq/meters with a modest home built on it for us maybe no more than 1/3 the available space, for larger modest homes larger blocks say 1000 sq/meters. Building Eco' friendly homes correctly aspected and orientated (don't expect the industry to grab hold of this one voluntarily, if the community calls for it they will object and throw in all sorts of scare tactics) and the right aspected land (and the Real Estate won't want this standard) will leave room for habitat and an environment blessed with bio-diversity.
Homes should be built from steel, with cement rendered type walls and other materials that are termite proof, imagine if you never had to worry about termites again, that the use of wood in a home is only for dressing appearances so if they get into it there is no structural damage.
Insinkerators now common standard equipment in new houses use up to 30 litres of water + power – unsustainable!
Dishwashers also standard equipment, arguably they may not use anymore water than washing by hand! But they use power – unsustainable!
Reverse Cycle Air-conditioners continual use of power through summer or winter cycles – unsustainable!(if they were efficient and sustainable then why is the Governing powers introducing special meter units be fitted to these devices so the power people can turn off these devices as they se fit, they are already doing that to pool owners and the cut off is a daily occurance.)
Evaporative Air Coolers ducted systems use up to 50 litres of water per hour of operation, that is 30 litres for cooling (turned to humidity) and 20 litres to flush the system + the use of power – unsustainable!
Room heating devices, electrical, gas and solid fuel burners all – unsustainable! The later 2 even go so far as to cause their own amounts of pollutants.
The modern idea of having plumbing that is completely hidden, and often in the concrete slabs, makes for super expensive bill when something goes wrong, there again unsustainable!
WATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Target to use all water at least twice.
Here is how we do it:
start with a 25 thousand litre rainwater tank;
add in 5 X 200 app' litre drums (mainly for the washing machine water) each drum fills the machine roughly 3 times +, and only takes 2mm of rain on the roof to fill a drum;
use a water efficient Twin Tub Washing machine (uses 80 litres of total water that includes the rinse water, and that water does 3 wash loads;
the dishwasher never gets used, all dishes washed by hand in a basin (the basin sit in the sink) for ease of transferring that water to the garden (for the 2 of us dishes only need washing each second day up until then all dishes get rinsed and stacked), we use one of those earth friendly detergents;
laundry and shower water gets used to flush solids only in the toilet, urine gets flushed once a day, mine gets bucketed for adding to the kitchen water for the vege' gardens;
most laundry water goes to potted plants and garden plants in that order, we use a home made gel or one of those biological type powders, water from laundry gets bucketed;
we have 2 to 4 minute showers with 2 buckets under shower rose to trap as much water as possible, usually about 1.5 to 2 buckets per person, bathwater mainly for children also gets bucketed in order one tub of around 50 litres of water will wash 4 kids starting with the cleanest first and dirtiest last (not much sickness in this house), when we wash the dogs it goes on the garden;
Never store used water, use it as soon as, as fresh as, target to use it all in a 24 hour period.
Currently our app' water usage calculated at per person a day is 35 litres, that includes any water for clothes washing and minimal garden needs, even the odd car washing.
See Permaculture Essay page for pic's of tank and drums (common).
HERE'S A SUSTAINABLE PRACTISE FOR ALL TO TRY
Do a search for this thread "No 'Poo", very interesting thread started April/2008, the suggestion was put forward to wash our hair without using any shampoo etc.,.
So in April that year when i saw the thread, when it first appeared I began to wash my hair with just water (we have tank water for bathing), now initially I was a little skeptical as I always had what appeared to be dandruff problems of which none of the shampoos ever seemed to control, even with at least 2 washes per week regular.
This change takes time to get uesed to, but now in Janueary 2009 I am still washing my hair this way, and hair washing is down to once a week, I use a curry comb under the shower water this i find works better than finger tips. At first I was adding some tonic oil before my hair dried thinking i would have dry hair problems, but I found this made washing a little harder as I use just off cold water to wash under, so I stopped using that and have less dandruff problems than before, and use less water to wash my hair with. Anyhow go visit ALS and read the posts, give it a try, what have you to lose? If it works you save money not having to buy shampoo's and conditioners.
HOW WE GROW FOOD:
Currently there is nothing sustainable about how we grow food, Mega Broadacre Factory Farms are becoming the vogue as we degrade our Environment and Habitat in the name of creating revenue from overseas market places, where competition is stiff, and all who play in the field subsidise their Export Farmers in one way or another. Broadacre farms create land so degraded that is little more than arid desert land when they move on, and all this happens in time periods less that one decade, unlike Mining Companies who have to re-generate the land they marr, farmers don't have this obligation.
In the mean time what produce is grown for the local markets becomes more and more expensive, as rain becomes less and less with the help of the massive loss of Bio-diversity, with the feel good cry of lets plant more trees in our ears the juggernaut plows on. It is not all about trees it is about complete systems of bio-diversity, most tree planting in the name of repairing the habitat is done under the flag of Agri-forestry, so somewhere along the line in say 30, 40 or 50 years time all those trees will be removed, so any benefit that is being gained will cease, and once cleared they may never be planted again as current at the time fads or trends may apply other pressures.
The only way farming can be done sustainably for the main is farmers and their farms by and large must be part of the communities they serve, where they deliver fresh in season fruit and vegetables, where milk is delivered from smaller more manageable dairies the same with eggs. Where the farmer sells fresh from the farm or delivers fresh produce and milk to his consumers as they used to do back in the '50's. There was no need for middle men (well apart from the friendly local Green Grocer), so the farmer then earns a better income and the community buys better priced fresher produce.
It can be done as it once was and in some smaller communities overseas it still continues, the farmer is a member of the local community and supplies the staples for his community, lots of food plants can be grown by the community in their properties, it becomes a win win all around. Farmers aren't forced ever outward to clear habitat to grow food in larger quantities to supply the profit makers, who pay little for the produce and sell it for maximum dollar to a community who can little afford it, and along the way create massive quantities of spoilage which is then dumped (into bins that are locked) into waste recycling, no thought to donating some that still has some food value lest that action costs them some turnover at their checkouts.
You'd be surprised how much, healthier food can be produced on 20 acres of ground growing staples in season.
By now all are feeling the pinch of latest fuel prices, not to mention interest rate rises etc.,. with more to come (Circa' June, 2008).
So I would expect very soon now the realisation of how un-sustainable our food production train is will hit us all where it hurts most "The hip pocket, the family budget".
That realisation is called "Food Miles", for the uninitiated that is the distance that food is transported before it reaches your table, it also includes the increase in fuel costs to run farms, and my guess is it will hit the broadacre factory farmers the most as they use much larger equipment, and their farms are even further away from the tables of the consumer (not to forget the fuel itself has to be transported all adds in a real snow ball effect). Add in there the extra cost of cold storage with gas and power increases and there is going to be a lot of cost factored into food before it hits retail levels.
Vehicles & Transportation
Ok lots have that same warm fuzzy feeling they have with renewable energy (that won't deliver well not affordable power to the masses), anyhow i digress some, of late the "Catch Cry" of forums discussing the advantages of Eco' cars mostly based around battery technology needed excess solar power production the recharge them and other infrastructure whatever?? No mention of carbon footprint for manufacture of car or componenets lots of petro plastics in use, suppose next they will say they are going to use corn starch to make components guess corn won't get any cheaper for food for the poor?
To put it simply won't work! can't work! will never ever be affordable to the masses. With restrictions on distance running at best if we ever see any amount of them on the road they will be shopping carts for the pseudo wealthy, the yuppies, the feel gooders with no fore sight. Current model on offer over here fetches around $45k AUD go figure, the poor can barely afford $2k to $10k AUD. That's it short and sweet. There are other ways, they'll never go there not enough money to be made.
Sorry nearly forgot what replaces Trucks, Buses, Ships and Planes?
Ok coal fired power stations aren't sustainable (nothing to do with possible carbon emissions), well then neither is nuclear nor renewables, one creates long life hazardous waste the other uses lots of polymers derived from the fossil fuel industry none of which is recyclable and is recycling polymers/plastics any better for the environment than making it the first time around?
Haven't found anyone yet who wants to do the math on renewable's that is from creating ingredients to disposal of components after a somewhat short period until obsolescence occurs (up to 25 years for PV panels and up to 15 years for some and around 10 years for other components in the set up). Artificially forcing the price of current power up to make other sources appear more attractive has a big sting in the tail for everyone in the community not only the ever increasing poor who are now having difficulties affording the rights of life ie.,. Water, power and somewhere to live. To keep in mind though! Some may feel quiet affluent here and now they can not be assured that they won't become one of those poor people later on, manipulated shifts in demographics can do that as can sudden changes in circumstance bought on by health issues for one.
Instead of planting wind farms we should be returning the bio-diversity that once stood there, if we can't put wind farms where they can be part of the bio-diversity then might be best not to put them anywhere? Same with solar farms, the catch is renewable energy needs to be produced in an almost centralised way so there is no loss of produced power transmitting it over long distances as power currently is. In short each construction should provide its own power using wind &/or solar. As solar is sun reliant and you could have anywhere between 1/3 and 50% of the year without sun depending whether it is a wet year or a dry year, and the shorter hours of sun in winter most noticable in temperate and colder zones, then solar alone might be seen as not to be reliable enough for the cost outlay to install then replace it along the way. So dual wind and solar might be better? But nowhere is there any talk of this, and as solar has become so much more expensive since rebates came in no company will talk about installing stand alone units for homes/business's where the grid is for standby only, the reason they don't as that then shows the much truer cost of being solar wise. And with wind they bring in all sorts of negatives, which would not be a usable issue if they moved away from propeller drive alternators, anyway there are cases were people are running wind systems in 'among the gum trees', so don't believe all you are told.
At the end of the day if renewables are on your agenda, then do research on real values ie.,. How much less grid power is your home going to use after installation (real figures that is), had a consultant try to get me to buy by saying that the solar water heater would save $500 off of our power bill and less the $80 something dollars to run the solar our savings would pay for the unit in app' 8 years, our water heating power use is around $80 per year not the $500+ he alluded to?
Are the costs redeemable over a reasonable period of time? Not counting rebates, after all it is the all up cost that determines how much you are going to be paying for electricity, you also need to have a kitty building, that will replace components as they become obsolete, and pay for servicing of some components along the way.
Some obsolescence time frames:
Solar Collector panels around 25 to 30 years, BUT are owners going to wait that long when newer technology comes along that could be lesser/smaller units that collect energy more efficiently?
Electronic components again with technology improvements but the wear out factor just like any other electronic component will break down at or before around 10 to 15 years.
For stand alone batteries need replacing at around 6 to 10 years, batteries are recycleable.
So apart from initial outlay money will be needed to be put aside to buy units as needed, along with possible yearly maintenance.
Talk to those who will discuss all aspects in a down to earth manner with no theatrics ie.,. Stand alone & dual systems, so you have a full understanding.
We did the exercise about a decade ago, called in this reserved type fellow who counted all power points, lighting units etc.,. at that time we had a natural gas hot water system, room heater and a stove, the only power users were standby powered microwave, washing machine, TV & Computer & heated water bed he took into account the use of the vacuum cleaner as well. The end result for stand alone power was at least $30,000, and that was to run our house all except for the fridge/freezer which would still be left running on grid power, so basically appliances and lighting.
When considering not using stand alone don't forget to count the cost of the special inverter needed to feed your power into the grid, that unit like batteries is the other side of the equation.
The big question can every family in our community afford the end product? What i see would tell me no they/we can't afford it.
As power costs are pushed up artificially then it will seem that nuclear power will be affordable as currently it is a more expensive source, and as the costs are further elevated then renewables will seem affordable, it all looks like rabbit out of the hat stuff!
'Feel Good' is not sustainable, currently under that premise people are installing the minimum amount of solar panels on their roof connected to the grid, the minimum being what is needed to avail of an about $8,000AUD government rebate, after the rebate those people are still out of pocket around $7,000AUD, even that over the anticipated life expectancy of components is not redeemable to bring the books into balance against current power costs. Something to think about as it will be a factor in my agenda when looking at another home to buy, any solar fitted could be viewed by prospective buyers as being a down side to the purchasing the home, keep in mind the buyer of your solar gets no rebate as a sweetener.
Another "Feel Good" or "Being Seen To Be Doing Something" fad doing the traps is to do with Carbon sequestration (the sting in this tail those of us little able to afford will carry the tab for these activities), Agri-Forestry will not return the expected gains, as the forest gets completely cut down every 15 to 25 years, and the effort required to harvest, transport and mill the trees into chip or paper will add the ever increasing carbon woes, and the false prophecy of the sciences already know this but they will go this path in an effort to prove the rehabilitating the habitat would make no difference!!
News Flash on power windmills, no one ever mentions what will happen if safety backups technology fail with wind strenght particularaly, well the propellors and alternators blow apart hey? Spreading flying debris great distances, keep that in mind should you ever have the opprtunity to live near one. They are only man made objects like planes hey?
Carbon sequestration goes something like this:
Someone has some carbon rites to sell these may in the form of a certificate supplied when installing solar power or a holder of large tracts of land that fits the false science criteria of doing a management practise that is scientifically recognised as acting as a carbon sink or whatever. this person(s) can then sell those rites(for those who purchase solar over here now teh Gov' rebate is finished so the selling of these certificates is paramount to the solar purchaser getting rewarded for installing solar) now considered to be a commodity just like shares on the open market, these certificates are bought by the big polluters (who silly enough! might be tens of thousands of kilometers away from where the supposed carbon sink is), now that realy makes sense hey?? Surely where the carbon sink capacity is, is already sucking up its carbon intake from the local area?? and if so why then can it not be shown that the carbon emitted in that area is reduced? and if they could demonstrate that in real terms how can that carbon sink ability be sold to someone far far away?
So the big polluter buys these certificates to off lay their penalties imposed on them by the science backed Gov', but do they absorb those costs? NO!! they don't they add that to their bottom line and pass it onto the consumer and extra profit for them and their shareholders. Does this reduce carbon in the atmosphere of course not, well only in hypethetical scientific terms it does like that gossamer suit, in the mean time we continue to decimate our habitat forests (the only thing that can save us), and we continue to mine coal in the USA they are knocking the tops of mountains to harvest small seams of the stuff, while in the same breathe they are saying we must shut down our coal fired power stations in preference initialy for nuclear power thence into renewabe power which will then look more affordable, hey and there is nothing safe about yellow cake power nothing at all nothing cheap about it either. So if we are to get real lets do real things, if we are to stop coal fired power then we should stop coal production, this is a "one in all in" process.
Agri-Forestry bears no relationship to replenishing the habitat of all its bio-diversity (so it will do little if any at all to improve climate change or carbon sequencing. After all the plan si to cut down all those trees in a time frame of 15 to 25 years to convert them to chip, and that action alone will add even more carbon than the trees may have soaked up), if we hope to return some normality to our rainfall patterns it is habitat re-generation that is most likley to do this long term. Yet still the deception continues, they show scenes of our power stations but barely show the chimney stacks all they ever show is steam belching out of the cooling towers (sometimes wonder how naive the Gov' and Media think the masses are, but then some of the stuff I read on sustainability type forums! maybe naivity might run rampant), the cooling towers are used to condense steam back into water, so the steam that is seen at least only represents wasted water as well as some energy. The chimney stacks will never be seen belching smoke because our power stations are more efficient, now if you want to see power stations belching smoke check the chinese stations, and they are going to about double those coal fired stations from some 300+ to 600+. So some so called green group camps on a chimney stack to bring attention to an unseen plight but to gain more notoriety for their organisation, same with the whale thing.
At the end of the day, Australia contributes something less than 2% to the global carbon issue, why should we as one of the least affluent nations be the ones to wear the biggest cost of reform, what about the high end polluters cleaning their act up first then we see what we can contribute after that?
There are those who use wonderfull processes to hide the real polluters or wasters as it might be. It's call Per-Capita, that is an averaging figure tool ie.,. if 10 people use 1,000 litres of water then they all averaged a personnal use of 100 litres per person, so as it can be seen this allows wasters to be hidden and would also indicate that the target figure if it is for conserving purposes is set too high. So how would you feel if you only used 50 litres yet you had to pay a penalty the same as everyone else even those who obviuosly must have wasted? so Per-Capita does nothing to identify the real wasters or in the case of this Carbon issue who are the real polluters, as Per-Capita does not take account of any variables eg.,. how many people actually avail of power produced in a country, so a country with a huge population could say they individually don't cause any more pollution than a smaller country, even though say less than 50% of the people in a larger country may avail of the power produced.
So at the end of the day it is the total of the problem caused by any one nation which becomes the issue to the environment, not the average of what that nations individuals cause.
Rehabilitation of full bio-diversity habitat forests is the longest term answer, the false prophecy scientists know all this, but they support the "Feel Good" process of Agri-forestry? Here is a link to an explanation to climate change Climate Change.
Here is a link to a medieval fable by Hans Christian Anderson, in those days Weavers would have attained the level of some high esteem much like our scientists so the story might be thought provoking in these days of "Fear Hype of Climate Change", we should always apply a good dose of common sense into what is placed before our eyes, just like that medieval King. The Emporers Clothes the moral to the story will be clear "if you can't see it or feel it then it probably isn't there". There was another ditty we also got taught in our early days of school about a King called "Kanut", he thought his power was so great he could sit on his throne at the waters edge at the seaside and command the tide to stop rising, some of this climate stuff has that impression, needless to say as you all would know the tide did not stop rising, and the rest is the moral to the story.
At the end of the day an educated guess is just a guess I guess.
Seen on bumper sticker - "EVOLUTION - When Scientists made a monkey of themselves".
Star Date 15th day of December, in the year of our Lord 2008, shock horror as the Head Honcho of Australia (remember that is the nation that delivers a poultry less than 2% to the total mess of the planets pollution levels), so our target is by 2010 or thereabouts we will cut our emmissions by 5%, even if we plunged our society into the depths of starvation and ruination and cleaned up all of our something less than 2% of the total, boy would that make a huge difference in the world stage hey? Think about it! let common sense prevail read that Hans Christian Anderson fable, it fits this current emotional fable perfectly. And what about the "Rent A Crowd" um!! greenies, there to apply the right emotional picture at the right time (hope they get paid well, the Gov' need their taxes). Oh and the Gov' with its eyes set firmly on an impending election in the year that this is all to be delivered, has put in sweeteners for some enough to more than cover any losses, and "HEY?" where is all this tax funding going to come from with a reducing base of employees paying taxes down at the end where real taxes are collected? OH!! silly me the asset wealthy middle earner yuppies who support this process will be paying higher taxes (they won't mind but will they? after all it is going to a good cause), well there ya' go hey? All neatly packaged, whilst the big end polluters roll along in their jugernaught ways creating even more pollution, whilst they hide behind the per-capita factor.
Just to demonstrate how a per-capita equalizer can allow waster and big end polluters somewhere to hide:
Our community is on water restrictions the current level is called "Target 170", that means that each individual in a house can use up to 170 litres of water each, that includes clothes washing, dishes and 30 minutes on one day of the weekend for garden watering (not lawns) or car washing, this watering would average about a total of 600 litres of the weekly total.
so for a single occupant that would equate to 1190 litres per week for 4 people that is 4760 litres of total water use per week.
Our current personal usage for 4 people per week is about 2227 litres per week, or a target of 79 litres per person per day against the allowable 200 litres(2009), we don't do any watering or car washing, and many in the community wouldn't either, so the per-capita standard allows for a wastage margin of around 91 litres per peson, so it can clearly be seen that there is a huge margin for wasters in the community to go un-noticed but stay within the limits, as it is when per-capita applies to carbon emmissions, and there is no real incentive for people to strive for better water management in their homes, as at 2009 we are achieving 35 litres per person day..
I think it needs to be said before we take this trip into renewable energy: "This source is unreliable to begin with, it won't deliver what feel good says it will, it can't deliver especially on the affordability stakes, and for the main the subsidies are good money after bad. It is definately a "Being seen to be doing something program", to impress the world stage. For the main by calculations available online the 1 and 2 kilowatt/h systems being installed as grid connected systems could be too little for most homes the average needs seem to be calculated at around 3kw/h to 4kw/h.
On the broader scale a simple math done by anyone will show that we are never likley to get enough dwellings with solar (and it would have to be stand alone) on the roof to make an iota of difference to power production, that's what it is all about and this does not include business the largest user of power.
Here is a starting point for Australia:
We have app' 5 million dwellings (this includes tenaments/flats/units/resorts, and the homes of the rich and famous or infamous as well as the would be rich and well famous), so you would also need to find out from the power generators how much reliable renewable power would be needed on roof tops to save the smallest amount of power production.
So roughly those 5 million dwellings might be split 3 ways ok, now here I like working in round figures just to get the idea ok? so out of the above there could be 2 million free standing homes involved(does not include multiple dwellings)
So now that needs further breaking down to try and determine who out of those might afford or install Solar power so lets say 1/2 belong to the rich and almost rich so for now the rich who can afford to buy water and air and power at any price realy aren't interested in renewable expensive energy, some of the pseudo rich will for a conversation piece or to feel good.
Now when we take out the pensioner home owner (barely scraping through), and rental homes(you really think landlords are going to install Solar? imagine the price of rent then?) we could easily come down to a mere 700 thousand homes that could install renewable power on their roofs (in that will be homes that simply don't get enough sun), that is about the bottom line, 700 thousands homes spread around the coast line of Austrlia (notice we have taken no account for the amount of homes in rural that may need to do stand alone in any case, that is yet another variable). So now for the mathemeticians out there research how many power stations are involved (most are coal fired), and how many of the 700k of homes that are on their individual grid, I think if the eutopian was reached of all those homes having Solar it would not make any diffrence to power reproduction or be a mere drop in the bucket.
Not in the calculation, but certainly should be:
The pollution caused procurring the raw ingredients to make components with, the transportation of those ingredients to the factory(lots of activity involved here), from initial manufacture (individual componenets) to the assembly plants, from the assembly plants to distribution outlets from there to retail outlets and the to the consumer. We did not cover obsolescence this is not a life time project, replacement starts at about year ten to year 20 in that time you would need to save as much as the original cost plus the inflated price (nothing ever gets cheaper and Solar is only getting dearer) to eplace the whole system and with no rebate on offer(something that will play a part in the mind of any thinking person who may want to buy your house when you are ready to sell).
As of this date star date 24/11/2011, the prices of PV cells from China are falling last known prices was $1.16USD/$1.17AUD per watt. Points to price gauging in Australia with Governement subsidy assistance, still and all one solar company I heard of went bankrupt.
And another thing that I got confirmation of was that solar panels need to be keep as clean as, there are many links out there showing self cleaning panels (not sure what action occurs but bet it is not goo for the environment, fit your panels so that you can clean them yourself.
KEEP YOUR SOLAR PANELS CLEAN
Wonder how many installers tell consumers this one?
Solar Panel cleaning gear
Another cleaning system
Ok both of the above systems should give and idea, and yes in the USA they are well versed in keeping panels as clean as new. My last information was that PV cells are only 87% something efficient at best, so that means the whole panel is only that efficient (saying: a chain is as strong as its weekest link). Hint: Try to install panels where you can more easily access them for cleaning, unless paying for the service is an option?; Latest research on teh topic from Australia says cleaing the panels can increase efficiency by up to 40%, imagine they mean no more than app' 87% total though?
SOLAR EXPERIENCE INFORMATION LINKS:
Solar power project
Solar power project
Solar power project
Downto earth Aussie' Solar link:
Why rent power when you can own it? In real terms owning it means "stand alone" systems.
DIY Extruded pipe type Solar Hotwater retro-fit.
Build a Solar Hot water System
DIY Windpower links:
Scoraig Wind Electric
The Back Shed
Vertical Axis Wind Turbines wow there is a myriod of designes here! some even roof mounted, suit suburbian application down the the ground
Government rebates for non-essentials can also come under the non-sustainable catagory, along with Solar rebates, there is a rebate for converting cars to run on fossil fuel derived gas, again the recoup cost time frame for the consumer (there are those who are converting vehicles 5 years and older up to 10 years, just doesn't make sense) is not achievable. And the great Rainwater Tank rebate scheme the scheme that encourages the installation (by all who participate) of tanks of minimum sizes ie.,. commonly 3,000 to 5,000 litre capacity (people prioritise water so low on the scale, that even a person on a 2hectare property installed a triffling 5k litre tank, that surely was only to qualify for the rebate?), which as the government now realise does nothing toward conserving water in real terms.
Ok for those who live on properties where it is only possible to install a small tank, but also those people must have good water management skills in place to make the rebate value for money ie.,. not to simply connect a tank to their toilets then use water at a great rate they need to manage toilet flushing which is flush solids only so that capacity of water they collect will go toward making a difference. Same as if those tanks are connected to hotwater or laundry, all to be used as wisely as it would be if taken from the water supply system, there are instances of people simply using that water to hose driveways, water lawns, wash cars & keep roses alive.
And then how fair is the system to those who go the effort and install a large tank, who then only get the same value rebate, when with a large tank (larger than 15,000 litres) people can use their own water for periods of time and not use supplied water at all, why then do they not get a larger rebate? Often those with smaller tanks are covering the total cost of the exercise with the rebate and in some instances actually paying less for the tank and accessories than the value of the rebates available.
Seems everyone is wanting more money spent on essentials ie.,. health, education, emergency services even roads, yet the Government doesn't have a bottomless pit of tax payer funds (and there again tax payers always welcome reduced taxation)at the ready. And then most expect rebates on all mentioned above and even on giving birth, on rents etc.,. none of which was available to the older community, if we didn't need it then why do we need it now?
Here is a link to an article about a book some may like to read:Affluenza by 'Clive Hamilton'.
Following is a quote that i have taken from the web site listed below, the quote is used with permission:
"Rampant consumerism is the primary cause of environmental degradation. Yet thanks to the GST the government now has a real vested interest in us continuing to consume and degrade the environment in the process."
Courtesy of: Little Green Guide
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