Danielle Nierenberg
Danielle Nierenberg

Going green: 12 steps for 2012

Crossposted from the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet.

As we head into 2012, many of us will be resolving to lose those few extra pounds, save more money, or spend a few more hours with our families and friends. But there are also some resolutions we can make to make our lives a little greener. Each of us, especially in the United States, can make a commitment to reducing our environmental impacts.

The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Broadening access to sustainable energy is essential to solving many of the world’s challenges, including food production, security and poverty.

Hunger, poverty, and climate change are issues that we can all help address. Here are 12 simple steps to go green in 2012:

Recycle
Recycling programmes exist in cities and towns across the US, helping to save energy and protect the environment. In 2009, San Francisco became the first US city to require all homes and businesses to use recycling and composting collection programs. As a result, more than 75% of all material collected is being recycled, diverting 1.6-million tons from the landfills annually-double the weight of the Golden Gate Bridge. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, for each pound of aluminium recovered, Americans save the energy resources necessary to generate roughly 7.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity-enough to power a city the size of Pittsburgh for six years.

What you can do:
Put a separate container next to your trash can or printer, making it easier to recycle your bottles, cans and paper.

Turn off the lights
On the last Saturday in March-March 31 in 2012, hundreds of people, businesses and governments around the world turned off their lights for an hour as part of Earth Hour, a movement to address climate change.

What you can do:
Earth Hour happens only once a year but you can make an impact every day by turning off lights during bright daylight, or whenever you will be away for an extended period of time.

Make the switch
In 2007, Australia became the first country to “ban the bulb”, drastically reducing domestic usage of incandescent light bulbs. By late 2010, incandescent bulbs had been totally phased out, and, according to the country’s environment minister, this simple move has made a big difference, cutting an estimated 4-million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2012. China also recently pledged to replace the 1-billion incandescent bulbs used in its government offices with more energy efficient models within five years.

What you can do:
A bill in Congress to eliminate incandescent in the US failed in 2011 but you can still make the switch at home. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use only 20%-30% of the energy required by incandescents to create the same amount of light, and LEDs use only 10%, helping reduce both electric bills and carbon emissions.

Turn on the tap
The bottled water industry sold 8.8-billion gallons of water in 2010, generating nearly $11-billion in profits. Yet plastic water bottles create huge environmental problems. The energy required to produce and transport these bottles could fuel an estimated 1.5-million cars for a year, yet approximately 75% of water bottles are not recycled-they end up in landfills, litter roadsides, and pollute waterways and oceans. And while public tap water is subject to strict safety regulations, the bottled water industry is not required to report testing results for its products. According to a study, 10 of the most popular brands of bottled water contain a wide range of pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, fertiliser residue and arsenic.

What you can do:
Fill up your glasses and reusable water bottles with water from the sink. The US has more than 160 000 public water systems, and by eliminating bottled water you can help to keep nearly 1-million tons of bottles out of the landfill, as well as save money on water costs.

Turn down the heat
The US energy department estimates that consumers can save up to 15% on heating and cooling bills just by adjusting their thermostats. Turning down the heat by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours can result in savings of 5%-15% on your home heating bill.

What you can do:
Turn down your thermostat when you leave for work, or use a programmable thermostat to control your heating settings.

Support food recovery programmes
Each year, roughly a third of all food produced for human consumption-approximately 1.3-billion tons-gets lost or wasted, including 34-million tons in the US, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Grocery stores, bakeries and other food providers throw away tons of food daily that is perfectly edible but is cosmetically imperfect or has passed its expiration date. In response, food recovery programs run by homeless shelters or food banks collect this food and use it to provide meals for the hungry, helping to divert food away from landfills and into the bellies of people who need it most.

What you can do:
Encourage your local restaurants and grocery stores to partner with food rescue organisations, like City Harvest in New York City or Second Harvest Heartland in Minnesota.

Go through your cabinets and shelves and donate any non-perishable canned and dried foods that you won’t be using to your nearest food bank or shelter.

Buy local
“Small Business Saturday”, falling between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”, was established in 2010 as a way to support small businesses during the busiest shopping time of the year. Author and consumer advocate Michael Shuman argues that local small businesses are more sustainable because they are often more accountable for their actions, have smaller environmental footprints, and innovate to meet local conditions-providing models for others to learn from.

What you can do:
Instead of relying exclusively on large supermarkets, consider farmers markets and local farms for your produce, eggs, dairy and meat. Food from these sources is usually fresher and more flavourful and your money will be going directly to these food producers.

Get out and ride
We all know that carpooling and using public transportation helps cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as our gas bills. Now, cities across the country are investing in new mobility options that provide exercise and offer an alternative to being cramped in subways or buses. Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC have major bike sharing programs that allow people to rent bikes for short-term use. Similar programs exist in other cities and more are planned for places from Miami, Florida, to Madison, Wisconsin.

What you can do:
If available, use your city’s bike share program to run short errands or commute to work. Memberships are generally inexpensive (only $75 for the year in Washington, DC), and by eliminating transportation costs, as well as a gym membership, you can save quite a bit of money.

Even if without bike share programmes, many cities and towns are incorporating bike lanes and trails, making it easier and safer to use your bike for transportation and recreation.

Share a car
Car sharing programs spread from Europe to the US nearly 13 years ago and are increasingly popular, with US membership jumping 117% between 2007 and 2009. According to the University of California Transportation Centre, each shared car replaces 15 personally owned vehicles, and roughly 80% of more than 6 000 car-sharing households surveyed across North America got rid of their cars after joining a sharing service. In 2009, car-sharing was credited with reducing US carbon emissions by more than 482 000 tons. Innovative programs such as Chicago’s I-GO are even introducing solar-powered cars to their fleets, making the impact of these programs even more eco-friendly.

What you can do:
Join a car share programme. As of July 2011, there were 26 such programs in the US, with more than 560 000 people sharing over 10 000 vehicles. Even if you don’t want to get rid of your own car, using a shared car when traveling in a city can greatly reduce the challenges of finding parking (car share programs have their own designated spots), as well as your environmental impact as you run errands or commute to work.

Plant a garden
Whether you live in a studio loft or a suburban McMansion, growing your own vegetables is a simple way to bring fresh and nutritious food literally to your doorstep. Researchers at the FAO and the UN Development Programme estimate that 200-million city dwellers around the world are already growing and selling their own food, feeding some 800-million of their neighbours. Growing a garden doesn’t have to take up a lot of space and in light of high food prices and recent food safety scares, even a small plot can make a big impact on your diet and wallet.

What you can do:
Plant some lettuce in a window box. Lettuce seeds are cheap and easy to find and when planted in full sun, one window box can provide enough to make several salads worth throughout a season.

Compost
And what better way to fertilise your garden than using your own composted organic waste. You will not only reduce costs by buying less fertiliser but you will also help to cut down on food and other organic waste.

What you can do:
If you are unsure about the right ways to compost, websites such as HowToCompost.org and organisations such as the US Composting Council, provide easy steps to reuse your organic waste.

Reduce your meat consumption
Livestock production accounts for about 18% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for about 23% of all global water used in agriculture. Yet global meat production has experienced a 20% growth rate since 2000 to meet the per capita increase of meat consumption of about 42kg.

What you can do:
You don’t have to become a vegetarian or vegan but by simply cutting down on the amount of meat you consume can go a long way. Consider substituting one meal day with a vegetarian option. And if you are unable to think of how to substitute your meat-heavy diet, websites such as Meatless Monday and Eating Well offer numerous vegetarian recipes that are healthy for you and the environment.

The most successful and lasting New Year’s resolutions are those that are practiced regularly and have an important goal. Watching the ball drop in Times Square happens only once a year, but for more and more people across the world, the impacts of hunger, poverty and climate change are felt every day. Thankfully, simple practices, such as recycling or riding a bike, can have great impact. As we prepare to ring in the new year, let’s all resolve to make 2012 a healthier, happier and greener year for all.

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    My water is fresh from a borehole – tap water is fine for me. My daughter in London says their water has been recycled 8 times, turns her blonde hair green, and destroys her delicate fabrics, never mind what is does to her skin.

  • Judith

    Use wash balls instead of polluting washing powders – they work just as well. Dry clothes in the sunshine not in a dryer.

    Use white vinegar as a cleaner – it works and costs far less than polluting options.

    Get walking – I’m practising this having been unable to walk easily for some years!

  • http://www.homecomingrevulsion.com Guinnessholic

    You could have sold us on every one of these points by selling them as a cost saving exercise instead. The problem with Greenies is that your marketing strategy is one of guilt, rather than one of financial or economic sense. The reason behind that is because some of your more whackier changes involve giving up some serious creature comforts, adjusting your lifestyle considerably and becoming a slave to a New Age Religion.

    The Greenies ultimate goal is to destroy capitalism. Of this there is no doubt. But instead of being honest with us, you slip in these relatively sensible cost saving exercises which are surreptitiously passed off as Going Green, and then ratchet up our dedication and responsibility to becoming ‘Green’ by playing rope-a-dope.

    Well I won’t have a bar of it. I practise 11 of your suggestions, but not through Green guilt, but because it saves me money, which I of course use to buy bigger SUV’s for the family!

  • http://www.vegansociety.org.za Aragorn23

    Oh if only it was that simple…

    Here’s what Derrick Jensen has to say on 12 step consumer programs for ‘saving the world': http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/4801/

    The problem,as Derrick sees it, is that these kinds of solutions reify “capitalism’s redefinition of us from citizens to consumers. By accepting this redefinition, we reduce our potential forms of resistance to consuming and not consuming. Citizens have a much wider range of available resistance tactics, including voting, not voting, running for office, pamphleting, boycotting, organizing, lobbying, protesting, and, when a government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we have the right to alter or abolish it.”

    And here’s my 2c: http://www.meme.co.za/?p=93

  • Enough Said

    @Danielle

    Very laudable. Unfortunately what you recommend is not enough to save the planet or humanity. We now know that 90% of large fish in the oceans are gone, there is ten times as much plastic as phytoplankton in the oceans, 97% of native forests are destroyed, amphibian, songbird and mollusk populations are collapsing, and as many as 200 species are driven to extinction each day. Our civilization will collapse and dissappear like other previous high civilizations without the eco-system to sustain us.

    My new years resolution is to read “Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet” by Derrick Jensen et.al

    I have been told by people whose knowlegde and opinions I respect Jensen et.al provide the most practical way forward.

  • Enough Said

    PS. The book “Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet” is available from many outlets including Amazon
    http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Green-Resistance-Strategy-Planet/dp/1583229299

    >>>

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Guinnessholic: As long as we continue to frame our continued existence on this planet in terms of ‘marketing strategies’ and what makes ‘financial or economic sense’, we’re perpetuating the very same irrational ‘rationalism’ that got us into this mess.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m perfectly explicit about my views: capitalism must be destroyed, sooner rather than later and by whatever means possible. Its expansionary, acquisitive, instrumentalist logic – the very core axioms of its operation – are completely out of touch with both the material constraints of the planet and our humanity. Like the State, capitalism is an arbitrary and recent aberration; we can and should cultivate other ways of living that are more sustainable, more enriching, more egalitarian, more liberatory and, at the very least, not wholly mad.

  • Peter Vos

    It’s all rubbish. Bandaid twaddle. Capitalism, socialism, communism – and all the other -isms – all meaningless guff. The only meaningful contribution an individual can make to the future of the planet is not to breed. If only to spare his children and grandchildren the horror of the descent into want.

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    Aragon

    You have not a clue what capitalism is – it is precisely the lack of capitalists that has caused massive unemployment.

    The rich can’t be bothered to build factories and employ workers anymore – it is easier to make money by speculating.

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Lyndall: Sure, speculation sucks. The ‘real economy’, as old-school capitalists like to call it, is just as problematic, however, as it implies the same relations of production, the same class antagonisms, the same irrational exuberance, the same externalities, etc.

    No, I think you’ll find I have a reasonably clear idea of what capitalism is. Would you like to talk about the problems inhering in the works of Keynes? Friedman? Mises? Rothbard? Shall we dredge out the Coase theorem or discuss the fabricated history of exchange in The Wealth of Nations that still gets dragged out today even though it has no basis in reality?

    …but no; you probably derived your knowledge of ‘capitalism’ from watching the riveting movie remake of Atlas Shrugged (Part 1) 😛

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Peter: Unfortunately, capitalist relations and patterns of consumption are what drive overpopulation in much of the developing world…which is not to say that those of us in developed countries, or who enjoy middle-class lifestyles, shouldn’t eschew reproduction for, say, adoption.

    There’s nothing inexorable about the descent into want either – it’s dependent upon very specific conditions and very specific relations between human beings (and the natural world). Perhaps we simply need to think about trying to live in another way and cultivate different values. On this front, I suspect it’s the anarchist ethos (oh dear – an ism) that is most worth exploring.

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Enough Said: I’m glad to see you sharing this important book :-)

    I have some concerns with its latent authoritarianism / vanguardism (and I have even bigger concerns with the disingenuous Lierre Keith, DGR’s co-author), but the analysis is spot on and the call for ecological justice by whatever means necessary deserves to be heard by many, many more people. Jensen and McBay’s earlier book, ‘What We Leave Behind’, is also well worth reading; it’s the most thoroughly researched and honest analysis of waste and pollution I’ve ever encountered.

  • Enough Said

    @Peter Vos – The overpopulation political ruse – Those living on less than one to two dollars a day contribute very little pollution, a very small carbon footprint, and use very few resources. Education is the best form of birth control. Educate a population and births decrease to less than replacement numbers, so populations decline.

    Capitalism increases use of resources and environemtnal destruction through market expansion. The gap between rich and poor also increases, and capitalism will lead to the sixth major extinction of life on earth if we don’t do something about it.

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    Aragon

    “Capitalists” i.e. people with capital to invest, can move their money anywhere in the world to tax havens or cheap labour countries.

    It is multi nationals, not governments, who rule the world now.

    “Das Kapital” was out of date even when it was written.

  • MLH

    Done most of the above long since.
    I am still not convinced about he bulbs…all that mercury. Seven of our new-type bulbs have either burst or succumbed since 2006. Several other lights that still have the old-type bulbs, have been functioning perfectly from around 2000.
    Eskom’s one true efficiency is making sure our power goes off with monotonous regularity and sometimes stays off for over twelve hours. I worked out yesterday, that our services bill has moved from R339.59p/p in 2009, to R395.11p/p in 2011, inclusive of rates increases. That convinces me we are doing our best (as we always were), since one person is now a tenant who I cannot treat like a naughty schoolboy.
    Our nearest bike rental programme is at least 10km away. Most days I drive around 4-10km; would dearly love to walk them, but am no longer able. In my youth, I happily walked 10km on a daily basis to work and back.
    Car pooling remains one of the most impractical suggestions for most South Africans. My son gives our tenant a lift most days, but I’ve yet to meet many people who both live and work close to each other in most cities. The only reason we don’t use public transport is that it doesn’t exist in Durban for our respective destinations or times of travel. Evening safety is a huge factor, plus employers who only take on own-transport workers.
    For a household of three, we seldom go over our free allocation of water a month.

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Lyndall: I’m an anarchist, not a Marxist, thanks. Marx does offer some great critiques of capitalism though, and he’s certainly more lucid than the gaggle of sociopathic yes-men spewed out by the Chicago and Austrian Schools.

    The state and capital are deeply intertwined: multinationals (which are always, in practice, nationals with transnational reach) rely on and the co-opted governments of the countries they invade (yes, I’m using that term seriously), as well as state-tied trade institutions, to implement and enforce the policies that render their invasions most lucrative. Additionally, one only needs to look at the whirring of the revolving doors between governments and corporations to see how things really work (and, in fact, always have worked: collusion at all levels between all sectors. Read Polanyi (and no, Mises provides nothing in the way of a cogent rebuttal) or Graeber (Debt: The First 5000 Years) on the role that states have always played in supporting markets.

    So no, corporations don’t ‘rule the world'; they are simply one face of the deep-seated structures and relations of hierarchy and domination that result in the massive centralization of power and the reification of the same facile values I mentioned earlier. Fixing these problems involves dismantling these structures and producing new relations. This is not Marxist economic reductionism, by the way, this is simple common sense.

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    Aragon

    Actually one of the biggest problems is the countries of the world linking their currencies to the dollar, the dollar de-linking from gold, and the politicians allowing the Reserve Banks to abrogate control of money supply by allowing commercial banks to “gear” i.e. to lend money they don’t have, which effectively lets commercial banks print non existant money, and causes run away inflation.

  • Enough Said

    @Aragorn23

    1) Why do you choose anachism over Marxism?

    2) How is anarchism going to stop overuse of resources and environmental destruction? Surely we need strong government to stop that?

    3) Does Libertarianism have anything to offer?

    Please keep your replies to me simple and short. Thanks. :-)

    PS. Some of my best friends are staunch Marxists, one of my favorite authors is an anarchist, and I have some friends who are Ron Paul (US politician) type Libertarians.

  • Enough Said

    My Marxist friends say Karl Marx predictions of the end of international capitalism are more relevant now than ever before.

  • Peter Vos

    Sorry folks, it’s like a bunch of bacteria on the Petrie dish arguing about rearranging the colony when the food is almost done and we’re all starting to drown in our own excrement. Overpopulation is decidedly neither political nor a ruse. It’s ecological. Cheap oil has enabled our clever species to overshoot its finite habitat. The earth could probably support the 7, 8 perhaps even 10 billion of us for a while longer – provided we all lived like North Koreans. But come End Oil, chances are our population will crash far below the 1 billion we were back in 1850. Anarchists’ wet dream?

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Lyndall: You should read Graeber’s ‘Debt’ – what you describe is a problematic aspect of all monetary systems, even the ones that are supposedly ‘linked’ to supposedly intrinsically valuable items like gold.

    @Enough Said:

    1) I’m an anarchist because, unlike most Marxists, I am critical of all relations of hierarchy and domination, not just economic relations. Similarly, my analysis isn’t an economic-reductionist one. Finally, Marxists almost always see the state as something that can be used strategically (e.g., the revolutionary working class can seize state power and then hold it until it ‘transitions’ or ‘withers away’ so that we have conditions of full communism, i.e., anarchy), whereas anarchists have always seen the state form as corrupting those who enter it.

    2) Anarchists have always been passionate about ecological issues: Elisee Reclus was a vegetarian who wrote about living in harmony with nature and even Kropotkin talked about the need for human-scale societies. Murray Bookchin wrote at length about what he called ‘social ecology’. It’s easy to imagine that a philosophy that values like egalitarianism, mutual aid, freedom and equality – and that is also opposed to relations of hierarchy and domination – will encourage a more harmonious, less production-centric relationship with the natural world. In short: anarchism seeks to remove a lot of mediation from our relationship with the world and each other, which in turn cultivates…

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Enough Said: cont…

    2) On the other hand, strong government means hierarchy (and corruption, and capitalism, eventually), which means deferred responsibility, which is one of the reasons we’re in such a mess and can’t seem to work our way out of it. Anarchism says its up to each of us, as individuals and as communities, and it thus works to take power from a hegemonic minority / ruling class and put it back in the hands of the people, where it belongs.

    3) Libertarianism used to mean anarchism, and still does in parts of Europe. The term has been co-opted by the free market fundies on the far right though and, in its current form, is just a perpetuation of the same Enlightenment hubris that got us into this mess.

    PS: Who is the anarchist author you mentioned?

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Peter: You’re being an ecological / biological reductionist, which is as arbitrary as being a particle reductionist when you think about it. Material forces are important, sure, but so are the subtler structural forces that emerge from the interplay of material flows and processes: mind, language, ideology, society, capitalism, states.

    Peak oil is a problem (as is peak phosphorous, peak water, peak soil, peak rare earths…) and we should, as Richard Heinberg and others have observed, prepare for multi-systemic collapse, but we can at least be heartened by the example of post-oil Cuba: after 90% of their oil supply was cut off at the end of the Soviet-era, they managed to transition incredibly successfully using a combination of relocalization, agro-ecology, a renewed focus on public transport, a reconfiguration of learning, and a move to a mostly plant-based diet. There’s a great film available on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Power_of_Community:_How_Cuba_Survived_Peak_Oil

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Enough Said and others: If I may, I’d like to share some further reading on the subject:

    1) These first three pieces by Peter Gelderloos answer a number of questions around why anarchism is an effective solution to climate change and other ecological issues, and why green capitalism / personal consumer change is not:

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Peter_Gelderloos__An_Anarchist_Solution_to_Global_Warming.html

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Peter_Gelderloos__Anarchy_Works.html#toc38

    http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Various_Authors__Dealing_with_Distractions__Confronting_Green_Capitalism_in_Copenhagen_and_Beyond.html#toc13

    2) Finally, here’s a great little piece by well-known anarchist author Iain McKay on the differences between anarchism and Marxism: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/anarcho/marxism-and-anarchism

  • Enough Said

    @Peter Vos

    Overconsumption is more of a problem than overpopulation.

    The world can feed 10 billion people, not under capitalism and th efree market system though, that increases poverty and starvation.

    If each person consumed what the average American consumed we would need five planets resources to survive. Americans overconsume, and capitalists overconsume.

    The best form of reducing the population is education, well educated societies have sub-replacement fertility rates, so if they don’t have immigration they have declining populations, that is happening in some countries around the world already.

    By the way, whats your solution to overconsumption and capitalism?

  • Enough Said

    @Peter Vos again..

    Hooray for end of oil, peak oil etc. Fossil fuels are a climate killer. Renewable energy can supply 100% of the worlds energy by 2030.

    “Anarchists’ wet dream?” Try a more intelligent ad hominem next time. You are on a blog called ‘Thoughtleader’ not ‘Industry Spindoctor and Mud Racker’.

  • http://n/a PJ

    I may be convinced to try “green” initiatives if they really equated to cost savings, but the example of light bulbs is a falacy. After meticulously measuring daily consumpion of electricity while using the old globes, and measuring the same consumption using the new globes, no change in electricity consumption was recorded.

    Who is fooling who?

  • Peter Vos

    @ Aragorn – Not an intellectual exercise I’d care to try to actually live through. Forget Cuba, consider the Easter Islanders at End Tree.

    @ Enough Said – I’d forgotten just how serious a business anarchy is. Considering your evident joy at the prospect of End Oil, your sunny confidence in renewables and your apparent conviction that climate change is THE issue, perhaps my gentle ad hominem was spot on?

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Peter: The example of Easter Island actually underscores my point: if we don’t change our patterns of production and consumption, Cuba-style, we’ll probably end up like those poor, out of touch islanders who denuded their land base and destroyed themselves. There’s nothing predetermined about any of this.

    PS: I don’t think anarchy / anarchism is at all what you think it is. Perhaps you should consult the Wikipedia entry on the subject?

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    Aragorn

    It is difficult to “debase the currency” when it actually is gold, silver or bronze, not paper – as it was for thousands of years.

  • Enough Said

    @Peter Vos

    You forget I have been blogging on Thoughtleader for many moons. There is always someone who tries the overpopulation and the bunch of bacteria in a petrie dish analogy, almost identical wording, so a little gentle ad hominem of my own; don’t the right wing think tank trolls and public relations companies want to vary their arguments and examples a bit?

    Maybe I too am spot on. :-)

    PS. – 1) A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables by 2030 – Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world’s energy, eliminating all fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Here’s how:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030

    2) Germany creates 300 000 new jobs in ten years with solar and renewable energy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfRmxdukN1I

    >>>

  • Enough Said

    Thanks Aragorn for your response. Found it very interesting, and am now going to busy myself with the links you suggested. I am a Noam Chomsky fan, I read his political books, not his language books.

  • Porcupine

    @PJ

    Why don’t you go really green, stop using light bulbs altogether and save on electricity at the same time? Use eco-friendly candles made from beeswax or vegetable oil.

  • Porcupine

    PS. Even better, make your own eco-friendly candles.

  • Enough Said

    @Aragorn

    Read the link you gave on anarchist answer to global warming, read more links tomorrow.

    If anarchism and original libertarianism are the same thing, why the name change, libertarianism is a much more people friendly word than anarchism?

    Are there any communities living according to the principles of anarchism at the present moment? Kibbutz in Israel who were socialst have had to use the profit motive to keep going. And to the best of my knowledge there is no society that has been able to live up to Marx true philosophy.

  • Enough Said

    PS. I have heard there were Spanyards who lived according to anarchist principles before Franco annialated them.

  • http://www.missingshelf.co.za Aragorn23

    @Enough Said: Sounds like you need to peruse the Anarchist FAQ: http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnAnarchistFAQ

    Libertarianism was co-opted by the free market right in the US, hence the use of the term anarchism (which has been used in this sense since 1840 or so). Many European anarchists still use the term ‘libertarian’ to describe their views, although some prefer the more accurate ‘libertarian socialist’. Anarchism sees freedom AND equality as only attainable in mutual presupposition, i.e., each supported and strengthened by the other. This distinguishes it from what is now known as libertarianism (free market fundamentalism, i.e., negative freedom) and also from state socialism (e.g., Cuba, Soviet-era Russia).

    Spain in 1936 is a commonly-cited example of anarchy in action; there’s a ton of literature on the subject 😉

  • Enough Said

    Thanks Aragorn.

  • #17

    12 ways for Americans to go green. Am I the only one who feels that this doesn’t apply to me?

    Come up with 12 ways I can go green, maybe I’ll listen.

  • Enough Said

    Very ‘doff’.

  • Andrew

    These twelve steps have to be adjusted somewhat for sa context. The energy saving lightbulbs idea does not work so well here. Power surges tend to destroy the bulbs frequently and they are too expensive to replace often. We have an abundance of sunlight and should use solar energy more. The simple tube type solar geysers are affordable and can reduce electricity usage dramatically. Our biggest environmental problem is fresh water quantity and quality. Dry toilets reduce wasteds water and pollution. Most rivers are phosphate limited in regards to problematic algal growth, meaning that we can limit eutrophication by limiting phosphate input. We can use phosphate free detergent to do this

  • http://none Lyndall Beddy

    I am fed up with this new religion – going green, with no common sense or brains behind the concept.

    The latest is a big fuss about the right to kill a rhino for a million rand having been auctioned. Some greenie is sobbing about how the money must be used to feed the poor! A million rand should mean they could kill 100,000 sheep to “feed the poor”. What is the difference between one dead rhino and one dead sheep?

    The only animals safe from extinction are those that earn money – which includes those that are farmed. Why do you think the Dodo is extinct but not the ostrich when both are flightless birds? And why are there still wild pig in Africa but not in Britain?

    If vegetarians think they can avoid killing by eating veggies, they can think again – they have to kill the bugs and locusts before they eat the crops as well! Every person and animal has to kill to eat – which is precisely why Buddhist monks are not allowed to farm!