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The futility of the Prius and the end of the world as we know it

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Toshi, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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  2. demo 9 Active Member

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    Your trying extra hard tonight eh? What i meant is that chances are, its going to be more usefull charging small things in a truck, its like asking me to carry something that weighs a gram in my backpack with 20 lb books, i am already carrying it, that minuscule amount isnt going to do much, obviously the energy isnt free, i assumed you all understood that, but since not, no, its not free energy. My alternator charges the battery, and i would assume (yes, assuming) it fills the battery pretty quickly, after all, even if i drove with no electronics (impossible with engine) the alternator goes no matter what, might as well take advantage of that. its .1% for headlights, imagine a cell phone
  3. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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  4. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    If you really want to trace my thoughts on similar issues over the years read these in sequence (links are to my blog--the OP in this thread is a vB-formatted version of a blog post by yours truly). Relevant quotes from each to this topic showing the progression of my thoughts are included here. Note that I learned to capitalize somewhere in the middle of all of this ;)

    Dec 29, 2007: life as a series of linear equations
    April 6, 2008: no more racing, no more RX-8
    May 23, 2008: carless
    December 21, 2008: a grab bag of thoughts
    January 10, 2009: on planning for the future
    April 29, 2009: do electric vehicles make environmental sense?
    April 22, 2010: Earth Day
    August 7, 2010: Specific Climate Impact of Passenger and Freight Transport
    August 22, 2010: Argonne PHEV and BEV well-to-wheels energy use analysis
    Finally, we have this post, The futility of the Prius and the end of the world as we know it, which I published on Feb 21, 2011.

    Looking back at things you can see how I've vacillated between hope that technology could save us with stark realism. My Earth Day, 2010 post was probably the closest to this current one, which attempted to sum up all of the above.
  5. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    seriously? noone picks up on this?:eek:
  6. Whoops New Member

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    Dude, do you have kids?
  7. N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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    This 5
  8. Whoops New Member

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    Just a slightly funnier version of "****in' magnets, how do they work?' IMO
  9. N8 v2.0 Not the sharpest tool in the shed

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  10. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    We're broke now. We'll be even more broke in the future. The military will have their nukes (and perhaps that'll cause some tensions when a large city demands that a nuke-powered carrier dock there and let the city leech off their reactor, hmm) but we plebes will have nothing of the sort.
  11. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    Toshi -
    I'm coming into this late, but what you have been doing is the right thing. I would say that you take it too far though. There is a stage less extreme than what you are doing that will allow you to minimize your output. You mentioned that you take the bus to Costco and that you have trouble getting to your outdoor activities.

    It will not hurt you to own a car, but be thoughtful about it. Look at a car that has the net minimum negative impact on the environment. I'd hesitate to say that vehicle is battery operated, as they use large amounts of rare earth metals which are primarily mined in China. The environmental standards there are a bit lower than one would want... You also have to plug into the grid, which is primarily powered by coal burning plants.

    Have you looked into a mid-sized diesel wagon? I know it will be hard to find and you will pay a premium, but it might be the best balance for your beliefs and your life. I believe that ethanol powered vehicles are the most efficient usage of a renewable energy source, but ONLY if it comes from a waste product like sugar cane. As for your moped, it makes total sense, and I would agree that you should use it for the majority of your transit that cannot be done via public transit.

    Just remember to give yourself some balance of efficiency/clean living vs. life (time spend). You have limited time due to your profession, so where you can, make the most of it. Don't forget to live your life still.

    For housing, I know you are not a believer in large houses. What about a mid-sized house with a large yard (assuming you would buy a house)? Turn the backyard into a functional garden. This will both save you money, allow you to control the amount of pesticides that are released into the environment on your behalf, and reduce emissions output due to transportation. You might still need to buy some foods (citrus for example), but you can re-use any waste in the form of compost. You can also setup systems that allow you to clean and use grey water for systems like waste water (ie toilets using stored shower drainage) and some recycling into the garden.

    Within the house, close off under used rooms so that you do not need to heat/cool them. This seems like a waste, but if you have to get a larger house to get the yard, why not? It also gives you room to build out with a family.

    And sure, PV solar is not the most effiient, but you can pull yourself off-grid with something like that. You can also build out with smart appliances and a smart in-house utility box (can't remember proper name) that allows you to maximize that off-grid electricity. What about LED lighting? Building out with renewable building materials (bamboo) and

    You can be very efficient and environmentally friendly without consuming your life with the negatives that come along with living a spartan life. You just need to find that balance that allows you to enjoy your life, while still standing to your beliefs.
  12. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    As for the country as a whole, yes we are screwed. That being said, if you can remove yourself in large part from being dependent on that infrastructure, how does its breakdown truly negatively effect you?
  13. SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    We are not. FFS.

  14. Da Peach Outwitted by a rodent

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    I thunk they already did that... The water is just really really hot.
  15. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    I appreciate you (teh Joker) coming into this thread with earnest advice, and apart from buying a VWAG product most of the items seem like good, sane things to do. However, this advice doesn't really apply to the greater point of this thread, of our world's trajectory. I'm not asking for advice on how to live my own, personal life in a "green" way through window dressing.

    We're all complicit in the sin of the modern world, if you will... and to join my cult you must accept this without denying it and also accept that our actions are ultimately insufficient. :D
  16. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    Pretty sure it's in circles around the sun.
  17. kickstand Well-Known Member

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    I think you are on to something.

    toshi for everything green you try and do, I just thought i'd let you know that people like myself believe so much in your theory that we drive 15 mpg diesel trucks, and have an outboard powered 2 stroke powerboat that burn as many as 35 gph, and I cut down trees to heat my house, using a 2 stroke chainsaw, and a still ride a two stroke dirtbike, and use a 2 stroke blower and weed whip to make my yard look all tidy when I am done mowing it with my lawn tractor, and I own 3 cars, and dirtbikes, and I'm shopping around for a polaris rzr, and since your theory is that any attempt to be green is futile and we are all gonna die anyway I'm gonna enjoy my time here
  18. mandown Poopdeck Repost

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    As a guy who just spent a bunch of time in multiple hospitals, I wonder how green they are. Did a solar amberlamps get me there? How much current did my ventilator draw when I needed it to breathe for me? The constant unwrapping of sterile items to poke in my skin and throwing away of rubber gloves used for a one minute exam must have generated tons of landfill waste, not to mention the biohazard waste from my surgery. And those big bright lights always on should probably have been driven by wind power sourced electricity. And I once saw the parking lot, which was full of cars used by employees and visiting families, just a sea of un-green vehicles converged on this one hospital. Imagine how many more there are in the city of LA?! I say we target these giant Eco-offenders with a mandate from the masses that they clean up their act or else we boycott their services until they do. It is just offensive what they get away with.
  19. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yeah, I get it, you're an unthinking asshole. Congratulations. This thread is not directed at you.

    :thumb:
  20. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yup, the very act of keeping people alive for longer is part of the energy use problem. I'm ok with that. I think people living is a good thing.

  21. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    We are all guilty yes, and Americans are by far the greatest perpetrators. The thing is, without a necessitated paradigm shift, nothing will change. What we as sound minded, and environmentally focused individuals, can do is live in a manner that lessens our impact. It's a matter of making people aware of what they can do easily that is healthier for the environment.
    You will not get someone who drives a giant SUV to give it up overnight. Showing them how they can save money buy using smart appliances, energy mgmt software, and solar panels for a negligible up front cost, is a first step.
    If you have a functional garden invite them to dinner. Explain that everything in the salad is from your garden and how easy it was to grow.
    You need to think baby steps and overall mentality of change. It won't happen fast.
  22. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    You're still talking in terms of "first steps" and incremental change, even while acknowledging that the necessary step (that won't happen until absolutely necessary) is a paradigm shift. You're still stuck in my 2008 mentality, albeit without as much guilt and fanatical drive as I had. :D
  23. kickstand Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's it! If you can't conversate with them just call them an asshole and act all superior!!:thumb:
  24. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    It's the 'The Day After Tomorrow' mentality; nothing will change until a change is forced.

    My reality check came into play out of pure cheapness. I didn't want to pay extra for things I could make/do myself. For most people it's not like that though. Americans are inherently lazy (despite our heritage) and will be damned to do something that they can just buy, then complain about how they have no money.

    There are so many things going against the concept of environmental awareness, self-responsibiilty and self-sustainability that the headwind is as you say, completely overwhelming.

    As individuals, we can only do what we can do. Living an 75% efficient life vs. 90% as you are is still a HUGE step over 0% efficient. I would love to see the US get to 50% effient, as that is still a lifestyle that people can comfortably live at. Will it happen without a paradigm shift? Not likely.

    I just do my part to be as environmentally efficient as I can, without up-ending my ability to live my life. If I wanted to go 100% green, I'd move to a ranch in Montana and live off the land.
  25. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    What "conversating" would you like to do? Your post is the verbal equivalent of a Calvin-pissing-on-a-Ford-logo sticker. :think:
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  26. kickstand Well-Known Member

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    You mean Calvin right?

    No, my post did exactly as I intended it to do, it proved to me that although you think the change is futile, you still get all pissy when people aren't sippin' your kool aid.

    While I give you credit for your insults, and your attempts at trying to make me feel as if I am not as good or smart as you, i'm pretty sure you in all of your superior wisdom should be able to come up with something better than that. But then again, I guess i have read some of your posts, and thats about par for your course.
  27. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    Toshi is like an Asian Doogie Howser. What's not to love?
  28. don New Member

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    Higher fuel prices would be the thing that gets people to rethink and then rework their spending and lifestyles. Whatever you think of in your life right now can be traced to cheap fuel.

    A really good book to read on this is the Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. It's not without it's gloom but it's a lot more positive and solution orientated than something by Kunstler. Some of his ideas sound better than what we have no - happier closer knit communities vs. the strip mall/housing that has become so prevelant.

    I read a book last year $20 Per Gallon and it's effects on our day to day life. The author had some interesting ideas and broke each chapter down by the cost of fuel rising by the dollar per gallon.
  29. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    You give me too much credit. No, really: even back in my car-free phase I probably reduced my total impact by maybe 10%, and that's a stretch. It's transportation that's a part of our energy usage, yes, and I addressed that one pretty soundly, but it's also the way we work and the things we do, construction methods, all our material possessions, the very materials our clothes and medicines are made up, our huge standing military, everything. Do you think financial analysts and derivatives traders have any role in a society that lacks the energy to provide lighting, let alone a stable, ethereal international electronic trading platform? One can't achieve a paradigm shift alone, and, again, that's my point.

    My new philosophy: let us celebrate the achievements of our society that improve our lives. The best example of this from my biased perspective is MRI, a technology only ascendant in the past several decades, a technology at the pinnacle of what we can do: superconducting magnets, fancy math to generate an image from the barely perceptible differences in spins of protons, and the resulting ability to tell what's going on better than basically anything else inside one's brain, shoulder, or spinal cord.

    There's no way such a technology could be developed or survive in a world without cheap, abundant power to give scientists a life of physical leisure so that they can work their "magic", to power the billion dollar fabrication plants that craft superconductors and meld metal and plastic, and, last but not least, to provide uninterrupted power to the sundry hospitals where such machines, now commonplace, can be found.

    It's a shame that in an era of such plenty we're reduced to bickering about whether two dudes can marry each other and the like, but that's a whole different issue entirely...
  30. moff_quigley Why don't you have a seat over there?

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    Conversate? lol wut?
  31. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yeah, Calvin. I have no idea what a Calving is or why I typed that. :D

    You didn't come here looking for conversation. You came here to prod the bear and you got the appropriate response. Period.
  32. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    don, did you see this 2007 thread of mine, from back when my doomsday thoughts were yet nascent and unformed?

    gas at $20/gallon

    (That book dude stole my idea! :rofl: )
  33. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    As painful as it would be, $10/gal would solve a lot of problems.
    At $4/g I'm start staying out of my turbo and my wife commutes by bus.
    At $5/g we stop driving my car and start driving her car as it gets 4mpg better.
    At $6/g we'll be riding our bikes to the grocery store which is 1 mile away on a busy street.
    At $7/g range and I'm pretty sure I can convince guys I work with to commute together and/or bring my bike with me to work to ride home so the wife can drive home.
    If it crossed $10/g I would have some serious considerations about shelving my car as a 'fun' car, using Wife's car as a secondary/mtn car, and buying a high mileage econo box for commuting.

    Hopefully if gas were to get expensive enough, there would be a shift of drivers to public transit, which would provide the funding to buildout and expand public transit to 24/7.

    At $10, our lifestyle would dramatically change. I think it would actually revitalize the economy though... IF I was paying through the nose for my energy costs, I would be doing everything I could to bring down my energy costs: triple paned windows, solar power, smart energy software, better insulation, LED lighting, etc.The corresponding increase in food prices would also heavily cut our meat consumption while increasing our own garden production.

    I agree that ot would be painful, but the reality is that if gas started getting that expensive, we would likely invade someone and take over their oil supply.
  34. Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Yup, you can bet that at $5/gallon even "pacifist" Dem Senators would be banging the war-drum, looking to invade Iran or some other crap like that... [/sadbuttrue]
  35. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    Gas at $20/gallon:

  36. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    I call gimp mask.
  37. kickstand Well-Known Member

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    or we could just drill for oil. prod the toshi, prod the toshi

    the reserves are there....
  38. splat Nam I am

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    Well Maybe Windows is Bearable ! Unix Rules !
    I see what you did there!

    He threw out a Line and you bit hook, line and sinker. I hate to say for every person there is out there like you trying to use as few BTU's as possible there are 10 that are toy addicts.
  39. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    How about we just withdraw our global armies? I remember read a stat somewhere that they are the #1 user of oil globally, and by a sizeable amount.
  40. .:Jeenyus:. New Member

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    where is the black plague v2.0 at?