Message to Climate Concerned Millenials

Paying at the checkout at the supermarket, a young assistant suggested to the woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The assistant responded, "That's our problem today, because your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

 She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the
plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a
razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to the shops and didn't climb into a 150-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.  Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 20 amps at 240 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry
our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the wall.  In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded-up old newspapers to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.  Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gas just to cut the lawn.  We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be changed by flying it thousands of air miles around the world. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 20,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

 But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old people were just because we didn't have the
 green thing back then?

 Here's a suggestion, Millenials:

 Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off!


Christian Peschken Added Apr 10, 2017 - 5:25pm
Not to mention the fact you have to use one of those cloth bags like 100 times for them to be environmentally friendlier than plastic bags.  Great article!
Leroy Added Apr 10, 2017 - 6:25pm
Very good, Mike.  I had forgotten just how environmentally friendly we were back then.  And, because we had returnable bottles, we didn't have all that trash on the highways.  We were so thoroughly environmental.
Bill H. Added Apr 10, 2017 - 10:33pm
Why is it these days that if you are concerned for the environment, you are labeled as a "Liberal left wing commie pinko"?
You guys just really hate science, don't you?
Yeah, Reality sucks, right?
Minister Peaceful Poet Added Apr 11, 2017 - 12:30am
Is our generation better because businesses were more responsible and is the new generation worse because corporations have become more greedy.  We need to stop blaming each other for shit that we're not responsible for.  
Dino Manalis Added Apr 11, 2017 - 9:02am
Plastics; coffee cups; and more should be made biodegradable.  They're useful, but cannot be used more often, they have to be discarded, but shouldn't overfill the environment.  That's why it's necessary to make them biodegradable and make everyone happy!
Billy Roper Added Apr 11, 2017 - 9:50am
Mike has a good point that we used to be less wasteful and recycled more. Joanna, though, has a point: the nonWhite population of the planet, being the least productive, should be sterilized for the good of the global ecosystem. We could start with China, which has tripled their emissions of greenhouse gases over the last two decades, while we in the U.S. have cut ours in half.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:14am
Bill H - I am not concerned with people who are environmental advocates.  I am concerned with environmental phonies who preach one thing while practicing another or blaming others.
Micahel Dolan Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:15am
great post
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:17am
Leroy - in addition to your point:
" And, because we had returnable bottles, we didn't have all that trash on the highways."
we didn't have used diapers tossed out of cars along with plastic bottles, Styrofoam hamburger containers, ashtrays full of cigarette butts, etc.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:30am
Joanna - your allegation:
"Between reliance on coal, deforestation, over-fishing and other environmentally unfriendly behaviors of past generations,"
merits further observation.  During the 1960's and prior, exactly what options were there to coal, wood, etc.??? 
We did work on other critical environmental problems like replacing sanitary sewer systems that just dumped raw sewage into our rivers and lakes with modern sewage plants across the entire continental United States that treated the contaminated water before it was discharged into lakes and rivers.  Because of this single change, life expectancy grew from 47 in 1900 to 71 in 1970. 
We did all this in between dealing with WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Space Race, the Cold War, etc.  Other than that we just sat on our ass and watched Cubs games.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:51am
Minister - your allegation:
"is the new generation worse because corporations have become more greedy?"
makes me curious.  Do you know what a "corporation" is?  Do "corporations" prosper if they serve their customers or abuse them? 
Bill H. Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:58am
Mike - Many Corporations operate in the "greed mode" simply by working together on things like price fixing (take the telecommunications industry and the pharmaceutical industries as examples here), and constant unwarranted rate increases for utilities that are rarely reinvested in their operations. As another example, in my area the local electric and water utilities are trying to achieve yet another 10 to 15 percent increase in their rates that they are trying to justify to replace infrastructure that they ceased maintaining about 15 years ago because they ceased investing in preventative maintenance and kept this money as profits simply to look good for their stockholders.
Practices like this, along with importing workers and underpaying existing employees make many corporations like this become bad community citizens.
Are you going to argue this?
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 12:07pm
Bill H - as soon as you show me that ALL corporations (public and private) are total scumbags I'll "agree".  The infrastructure replacement by utilities is required because of technological obsolescence - not lack of maintenance. 
I don't have a problem with you citing examples of individual corporations doing bad stuff - I have a problem with you painting every corporation with the same broad brush. 
Jeff Jackson Added Apr 11, 2017 - 1:05pm
Very good Mike- I remember when if we adopted nuclear power, electricity was going to be so cheap it would almost be free. I wonder what happened? We walked or rode our bicycles if we went somewhere as kids, like to school. We occasionally used the telephone, which was plugged into the wall. Some of us shared a telephone with several of our neighbors. The mailman brought messages, the television stations, if you could afford a television, went off right after or shortly after Johnny Carson. If you wanted to see a movie, you went to the theater. Our parents drank coffee at "coffee shops" and not exotic $7.00 a cup coffees from all over the world. 
It's the concern for the environment that makes the Millennials such "better" citizens "of the world" than we could ever be, as they drive everywhere, suck up power for everything, including their hand-held device hooked up to the rest of the world while they use energy to communicate frivolous events and watch videos made by their friends. It's the thought that counts here. I'm curious as to who told the Millennials that they were such environmental crusaders while we older folks just trashed the planet and left them with it.
Several of the Millennial books are nothing but adoration for a lot of lazy, spoiled slackers who refuse to learn things that "old" people consider important. The "new values" are important to the Millennials. They are one of the first generations to make up their own rules and reject tradition with impunity. As long as the media keeps kissing their feet, they'll remain convinced of their brilliance and exceptionalism, neither of which is the case.  
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 1:56pm
Jeff - thanks for your comments.  I think that people like to feel "morally superior" to others but don't actually want to expend any real effort to support their professed "beliefs".  I see millions of people protesting Trump's environmental position, but nobody volunteering to help clean up after the demonstrations (see "Women's March - the Nasty Woman" & "Occupy Wall Street").
Billy Roper Added Apr 11, 2017 - 2:21pm
LOL, That's brilliant. Environmental awareness starts at your own protest rallies.
Bill H. Added Apr 11, 2017 - 2:33pm
I said many not all corporations.
Trump has virtually no environmental position, other than to exploit it to his advantage and the advantage of his cronies.
Trump has no clue whatsoever about how the environment works, why it is important to care for it, and does not give a rat's ass about destroying it.
Trump's only concern is for himself, his fortune, and his ego.
He has no concern whatsoever for his voter base, other than being able to have convinced them to elect him. You haven't figured that out yet??
Who else would have fallen for his rhetoric?
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 4:52pm
Bill - your comments:
"Trump has virtually no environmental position, other than to exploit it to his advantage and the advantage of his cronies.
Trump has no clue whatsoever about how the environment works, why it is important to care for it, and doesn't give rat's ass about destroying it.
Trump's only concern is for himself, his fortune, and his ego."
are simply your opinions.  They're not based on anything but your misunderstanding of the environment from a scientific perspective.  You equate government programs and UN spending to environmental awareness.  When I point out that the irrefutable fact that if ALL HUMAN CO2 were somehow eliminated, the atmospheric CO2 concentration would only drop from 400 ppm to 392 ppm it GOES IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER!
Go look this up yourself.  Last year we budgeted $26 BILLION for "Climate Change", since the 1980's over $510 BILLION.  We fund Cancer Research to the tune of $2 BILLION - which is a greater immediate threat to us?  Tell me and every else out there why we should spend $26 BILLION to accomplish NOTHING instead of ridding humanity of a plague that threatens all of us regardless of race, geography, lifestyle, wealth or sex.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 11, 2017 - 5:12pm
Joanna - sorry for the apparent hostility.  As far as your generation "doing less damage" to the environment, I suggest you explain exactly what someone between the age of 18 and 30 has actually DONE to significantly reduce the damage done to the environment.  I don't count "activism", "awareness" and "concern" as actions that in and of themselves actually make a significant impact on anything. 
I saw lots of college students attend huge rallies and make noise for Bernie Sanders.  But when it came for college students to actually go through the hassle of going to the courthouse and registering to vote, and then skip the election night parties to actually vote . . . well, the results speak for themselves.
By the way, hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) has been in use for over 68 years, it takes place 5,000 feet below the water table and gets blamed for all sorts of coincidental problems that occur commonly without any fracking.  But - the "environmentalists" (the same guys that told you that Polar Bears are dying on little icebergs) say it's awful so it must be so.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Apr 11, 2017 - 8:08pm
All these bogus thermodynamic gymnastics (cold to hot flow, perpetual looping, energy from nowhere), misapplications of S-B equations (Q=σ(T_TSI^4-T_surface^4) / 4 = σT_effective^4, non-participating media, relative areas, shape/view), the absurd multi-concentric atmospheric opaque molecular shells acting as thermal diodes or gated transistors are desperate attempts to justify two notions:
1) That at 15C/288K/396 W/m^2 the surface/ground/earth loses heat, i.e. cools so rapidly (it doesn’t) that icy Armageddon would result if not for the 333 W/m^2 RGHE cold to hot perpetual loop downwelling from the sky which warms the ground (sky’s colder and can’t heat),

2) That the earth is 33C warmer with an atmosphere than without,
Two notions/theories that are either A) patently false and/or B) contradicted by physical evidence.
Utpal Patel Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:00pm
“I suggest you explain exactly what someone between the age of 18 and 30 has actually DONE to significantly reduce the damage done to the environment.”
No matter the age, no person has done anything to reduce the damage done to the environment.  However, as Joanna astutely points out, technological advancement has done much for the environment. For example, Hydraulic Fracking, while around for many decades, has been perfected so that we can ween ourselves off dirtier fossil fuels such as coal.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Apr 11, 2017 - 11:52pm
Fracking wasn't "perfected," just improved so the oil companies could make more money. "Weening" off coal had exactly zip to do with it.
Utilities are building more NG fired (can't use coal) combined cycle power plants with efficiencies on the order of 60% instead of the typical steam plant efficiencies of 35%. Older coal fired plants are retiring  because of age, low efficiencies and costs. Newer designs will keep on keeping one especially in India and China.
The market makes much more efficient decisions then a bunch of millennial snowflakes raised on magic unicorn solutions.

Believing that 0.04% of the atmospheric gases magically influences weather and dominates the climate takes a real sci fi flight of fantasy (or article of faith).
The upwelling/down welling/"back” radiation of greenhouse theory is comic book science, Saturday morning cartoon science, cinematic shape-shifting, mutant superhero science defying six of the three most fundamental laws of thermodynamics and physics.
Believing in the upwelling/downwelling”/back” radiation GHG/GHE theory is like believing in the X-men, but without the kewl movies. Not surprising since they share a common fan base.
Minister Peaceful Poet Added Apr 12, 2017 - 12:39am
Mike - My allegation was that we need to stop blaming people for things that are out of their control.  It is true that we used to recycle bottles but now we don't, but you or I, my son or my father was never involved in the process of deciding that we would or would not recycle bottles.  It was something we did but now don't because it was deemed not to be profitable.  You or I do not make the profits, neither my son or my father.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 12, 2017 - 10:20am
Utpal - your assertion:
"No matter the age, no person has done anything to reduce the damage done to the environment."
is true - no SINGLE person.  However, I suggest you check on the recent history (1940's to present) of Lake Erie. 
Bill H. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 11:14am
Mike, if you haven't figured out Trump's priorities yet, then your "lost in the ozone" like many others.
Billy Roper Added Apr 12, 2017 - 1:43pm
Bill, Trump hasn't figured out his (((priorities))) yet, but Kushner is filling him in.
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:08pm
Joanna Nutile ~ "I’m just making the point that the current generation is doing far less damage to the environment than prior generations."
How do you figure?  The point was made earlier about modern electronics and the average young adult now always has electronics in their hands.  How much electricity and plastics will these people go through over their lifetime?  How many cars will they go through?  We used to fix things like cars and keep them going as long as possible, today the modern young adult just throws things away and buys a new one even if the stuff is not broken.
Take cellphones as one example, they always have to have the latest phone, I am using an old S5 I purchased used and have had it myself for 2 years and can never imagine needing another phone.  My son and his wife have gone through 3 new phones in that same time period, just purchased two brand new I phones costing $1,000 each.
So when we assess the impact on the environment per individual, it is very clear that any modern adult these days will hurt the environment way, way more than old generations just in plastics alone.  Then we add in how much electricity they will use and how many cellphone batteries they will go through it should be pretty clear that they are doing way more damage to the environment than old people did, lol.
Donna Added Apr 12, 2017 - 2:57pm
The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plastic - BBC News

Oct 17, 2014 - Boyan Slat is a 20-year-old on a mission - Not all young ones destroy!!
Bill H. Added Apr 12, 2017 - 3:52pm
Billy - I think Ivanka may have his attention also (maybe a bit too much of his attention).
mark henry smith Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:27pm
First, let's understand something, those recyclable bottles, washed diapers, all of those reused things we not very efficient and that's why they were done away with. The cost of transporting, cleaning, the bills in fuel for vehicles and hot water were not considered in the equation. The task of storing all of those reused items and then finding a supplier to make new ones when needed, made the enterprise much more complicated than we like to admit when we look back all goo-goo eyed on an idyllic past.
The greatest advancement in human living has been the development of efficient supply chains all over the world, moving goods so seamlessly that we don't even think about it. This couldn't exist if containers weren't cheap and disposable. Now any person in the world can get clean water from a plastic bottle for a price. That we've created mountains of garbage that blow and drift around the planet is a byproduct of this advancement, but it is not an unsolvable problem. We just have to figure out new uses for our plastic waste, to give it an economic value.
The problem with biodegradable plastics is that they don't really degrade into their component compounds, but merely disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces, meaning they can then enter biological systems and cause problems on a smaller scale.
Young people are changing their habits. They aren't as likely to buy a car and have it be a status symbol, like a guy standing next to his mint Mustang. They are more likely to ride-share, or use mass-transit, looking at the automobile as more of a hassle than a benefit. And yeah, protesters don't tend to pick up their litter, thinking they're doing something more important, which I find despicable. Each action shows intent. And it's the same with our military that still burns waste in open pits when it can get away with it, fueling the fires with gasoline. It's the same with mining companies that do business in areas beyond public or government scrutiny. In the end, we're all alone with our thoughts and actions, and a lot of people have been trained not to care about what they do if it isn't part of a PR campaign. That's where we are. People shooting selfies of all their good works to share on social media, and ignoring the rest.
And that includes corporations, governments, militaries, all spinning to make themselves appear more appealing.
Thanks Mike Haluska.  
Michael McCormack Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:28pm
Brilliant article Mike. Articulate, factual and knowledge-based. And then I look at the comments. Your rebuttals are as accurate as your article facts. Keep on banging my friend!
One can hope that the millennials, and their ilk, and the other Science-ignorant commenters can, with reading and research, become more connected with reality, due to knowledge increase. However, I ain’t betting any Bitcoins on it! Ignoramuses can’t afford to let facts get in the way of progress.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 13, 2017 - 2:03pm
Thank you, Michael.  It's nice to be appreciated.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 13, 2017 - 2:08pm
mark henry -
George Carlin expresses my sentiments about your post far more eloquently than I ever could (Michael McCormack - if you haven't seen this yet you're in for a treat):
Utpal Patel Added Apr 14, 2017 - 2:06am
The question of which generation has done more harm to the environment is probably unanswerable. Either of us could inundate the other with examples like Lake Eerie. My general argument for why the current generation is better for the environment is because the fossil fuels we burn emits far less CO2 than the fossil fuel burned of the generation before us.  The point is that most of the crap the greens ask us to do for the environment, such as use plastic bags or eat organic, does nothing.  Meanwhile, big things that help the environment, such as embracing natural gas, is opposed by the greens. They are so ass-backwards, it makes one wonder whose greener, the CEOs of the major energy companies or those people standing in the way of Keystone?
Mike Haluska Added Apr 14, 2017 - 9:20am
Utpal - it takes the mind of a child to simply oppose something.  The Earth (in most modern industrialized nations) is in far better shape than it was in the 1900's.  The "Greens" couldn't give a crap about the environment in the abstract - to them it is a vehicle to initiate socialist policies like government seizures of the means of production. 
Bill H. Added Apr 14, 2017 - 1:00pm
So we have arrived at the point of where we can label one side as "The Greens" and the other side as "The Browns".
The Greens will be stereotyped by the Browns (as Mike puts it) as socialist dictators who will eliminate all that is convenient and job producing to the oil industry. And the Browns will be looked at as those who simply want to use of all of the world's resources for their convenience at the expense of the environment and the benefit of the oil industry.
And of course, each "side" must promise to oppose all that the opposite side does, as is done by subservient political party supporters on both "sides", because after all, your party has commanded that you do so. 
Mike Haluska Added Apr 14, 2017 - 1:32pm
 Bill H - All I do is take what the "Greens" say and refute it based on valid principles of Scientific Method.  They try to paint anyone who challenges their religion with name-calling - DENIER, FLAT EARTHER, ETC.
Bill H. Added Apr 14, 2017 - 2:03pm
Mike, you are well trained!
Stephen Hunter Added Apr 15, 2017 - 11:41am
Good article Mike, and good comments made for both sides of the story. However the real point is let's stop pointing fingers and start figuring out solutions. (some good ideas in the posts, i.e Billy's)
Q. Added Apr 16, 2017 - 12:50pm
beautiful..... ( you guys know what I mean)....
  this took me back....    The first "money" I ever made was when I was maybe 5 or 6 and me and a couple of neighborhood kids would go around the street gathering old newspapers and selling them by the kilo. Of curse, all we could earn was about enough for a chewing gum... but it was great for us... plus, this was at least 5 or 6 years before anyone started to use the word recycling around here....    we did not need it...
and that is the thing, the 20-year olds seem to think they invented everything and that nothing good existed before they came along
   I had a couple of similar discussions with same of the kids today and this is right up there.... they simply have no idea- they blame everything on past generations and use that as an excuse for their own non-action.  They have created this "you have done wrong... you did not care what will happen to us ...."--- while they, themselves do not have much of an idea (or policy) on how to make things better for the ones who are coming after them....
but.. it don't matter- for as long as they have generation X to blame for everything.... why would they move their own asses.
The truth is... that we have done all of this (and more) we recycled,  cleaned up the environment did everything, and more than these kids would even imagine......
 but... we are not 20 any more
Bill H. Added Apr 16, 2017 - 1:12pm
Stephen - There are good solutions and practices that we should be applying. But if you are like Mike Haluska, the words "Green", "Alternative Energy Sources", and "Clean Environment" will send chills down your backbone and create instant retaliation.
Linda Paul Added Apr 17, 2017 - 10:01am
Mike, you sure stirred up a healthy discussion. I like Minister Peaceful Poet's comment: We need to stop blaming each other for shit that we're not responsible for. We are each responsible for our own actions.
Yes, prior to the 70s, we lived in small homes with 1 bathroom for 7 or 8 people, we walked and kids peddled more and drove less, and we reused things. But there were also far fewer of us, and we lived within walking distance to what we needed: schools, churches, stores, playgrounds. Even those in urban centers at least had public transit to use and often didn't even own automobiles.
But now we live in large homes with large yards which means we have spread out and live farther from the places we need to go. "Old" people, like me, have participated in this trend; they/we actually initiated it. It is the world Millennials have grown up in. Our generation happily embraced all the modern miracles like garage door openers, air-conditioning, escalators, shopping malls....we share the responsibility for the current way of life. We need to share the responsibility for reining in our impact, and we need to keep learning more about how to rein in our impact.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2017 - 10:03am
Bill H - that's the typical response of "losers" - it's right out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals".  Paint anyone who disagrees with you as a:
(choose appropriate insult: racist, Islamaphobe, homophobe, flat Earther, DENIER, etc.)
You're allowed to toss all sorts of pseudo-science science around as "factual", but my position is based on some "Big Oil" agenda.  Grow up. 
Bill H. Added Apr 17, 2017 - 12:40pm
Then explain why when someone brings up even a small suggestion about conserving energy or resources, you are always the first to condemn it and have a "hissy fit"?
That is what myself and other readers constantly see from you.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 17, 2017 - 2:26pm
I have NEVER condemned anyone advocating conserving energy or any other resource!  This is just another example of you trying to paint me as a "CONDEMNER" just because I differ.  What I have tried to do is educate people that believe that "any alternative is a better alternative". 
I remember a Writer Beat author that advocated wind/solar as a replacement for conventional power.  Her home had dozens of lead/acid batteries to store electricity for those times the Sun isn't shining or the wind is calm.  She also had the absolute bare necessities for living - e.g. air conditioning was out of the question, as was a washer/dryer and refrigerator. 
If anyone wants to live like that I won't lift a finger to stop them.  Where I get "persnickety" is when you "progressives" start dipping into my wallet to finance your uneconomical/impractical programs - e.g. $40K windmill subsidies.  You want to drive an electric car, go ahead!  Just don't act like the power plant that generated the electricity doesn't exist anymore.
mark henry smith Added Apr 20, 2017 - 11:36am
Mike, yes, we should all take responsibility for our actions and be willing to pay for the harm we cause. That is not the issue. The issue is what is the harm.
Here you are talking about subsidies for windmills, but you don't talk about the subsidies the petroleum industry gets and has been getting for freakin' ever. Should the industry, the stockholders be required to pay that money back? The petroleum industry is a monopolistic enterprise in all respects in this country, not a free-market player. The fact that petroleum is traded in a market, or that anything is traded in a market, doesn't mean the market is free. Markets are only as free as the law requires them to be. 
We ask the question again and again, does the burning of fossil fuels harm the environment? If it does, why not limit the damage? Why not make them pay?
And you appear to have your priorities backwards. You are perfectly willing to let people live responsibly, but you are not willing to stop people from living irresponsibly. Why is it so important for you to promote that agenda?
And we honestly don't know if the world is better environmentally now than in the past. It appears that we've done a better job of limiting the amount of obvious pollutants in our environment; raw sewage, open burn pits, etc... and have created laws to enforce compliance, but we have allowed an entirely new menace, micro-pollutants that come out in our waste that once in the environment are impossible to deal with, pollutants that pass through water filters, that have long-term effects we are just starting to understand.   
Mike Haluska Added Apr 20, 2017 - 1:44pm
mark - regarding your statement:
"And we honestly don't know if the world is better environmentally now than in the past."
I wish I had a Time Machine so you could go back to 1900.  You would find NY City that foulest smelling place on Earth!  Between thousands of horses crapping in the street, to people dumping their toilet pans out their 3rd floor apartment to open air slaughterhouses . . . yewww.
Then when you actually walked up to an average person who took a bath once a week if they were frequent, once a month was more likely while wearing the same clothes day after day.  Ohhh - and people only washed their hair every 6 months or so!  The only reason there weren't complaints was that everyone smelled bad so they didn't notice.
mark henry smith Added Apr 21, 2017 - 2:40pm
Mike, that is absolutely true. Hygiene has improved tremendously and we're all appreciative of the fact. And the cities were smelly, foul, parasite, and pest ridden, the water was poisonous, and the waste was dumped in the streets, but the world was vast, and these areas of human degradation were the exception, not the rule.
Now the world is small and we're everywhere.
I do not hate technology, since that would be like hating a hammer. I believe that the only solutions we have to our problems will involve technological innovation, but what scares me is that we have become habituated to crisis management, accepting slow deterioration until there is the obvious risk of a collapse. It's why we have this problem in The Middle East. Experts saw it coming, the bombing of the Marine barracks showed what we were up against, but the powers that be couldn't be bothered to change course, they just built more barriers.
As I commented to George on another piece, the problem we have to address in the world is the inherent unfairness. Capitalism is inherently unfair in how it dispenses the fruits of society. Adam Smith understood this and came to the conclusion that there have to be mechanisms in civil society to deal with inequality. My feeling is that no one should be given anything without working for it, but no one who wants to work should be denied a job. Welfare is a stupid program since it rewards values that are completely in opposition to American ideals.
Hey, but that's another can of worms. Thanks.       
Mike Haluska Added Apr 21, 2017 - 4:19pm
mark -
That was a well thought out, lucid, intelligent post.  Regarding the "unfairness" of Capitalism, you may as well lump in the "unfairness" of life.  Capitalism doesn't reward everyone equally, but it rewards everyone who works hard and is willing to take a chance, get back up if they fail and keep trying.  I think that is the most human and moral system we can come up with.  I'd much rather try and fail on my own than have my life planned out for me by somebody else who decides what I "deserve".
Mike Haluska Added Apr 21, 2017 - 4:27pm
mark - your statement to me:
"And you appear to have your priorities backwards. You are perfectly willing to let people live responsibly, but you are not willing to stop people from living irresponsibly."
By what right do I have to stop someone from living irresponsibly, as long as his irresponsibility isn't harming someone else (e.g. drunk father)?  I feel we have a moral (not legal) obligation to try and reason and persuade someone to not behave irresponsibly, but ultimately it's their life.
Peter Corey Added May 3, 2017 - 10:41pm
>Between reliance on coal, deforestation, over-fishing and other environmentally unfriendly behaviors of past generations, I would argue the millennial has a point. 
Ms. Nutile glides into this thread like the diaphanous Eleanora Dusa back in the day and completely blows you guys out of the water. She's right, of course, and not just about coal, etc.
Recycling of bottles, for example, is more environmentally unfriendly than taking a TeraPak carton of milk and tossing into landfill. In addition to the economic inputs required to manufacture a glass bottle — and aside from the physical hazards associated with glass products breaking and cutting little fingers — recycling in the past required a truck and a driver to pick up the bottles (additional mileage added risk to the driver and pollution to the air); additional gas for the truck; additional fuel for the additional power to clean the glass and sterilize it; additional fuel and power to refill the bottle, relabel it, re-deliver it, etc.

Recycling makes us "feel good" ("Look! I'm doing good things for the environment! Ain't I grand?") but if you take into account ALL of the economic inputs necessary to do it, you'll find that you are using more resources (thus creating more waste "upstream" in the production process) than you would if you made everything out of disposable materials and tossed it into a landfill.
Keith Added May 27, 2017 - 6:16pm
I don't believe the conversation you described, with the store clerk insulting the customer, ever occurred.
Doug Cotton Added Mar 21, 2018 - 9:06am
We don't need the "green thing" for our energy needs. There will be no catastrophe. For those who wish to learn about the 21st century breakthrough in our understanding of the role of so-called "greenhouse gases" in cooling the Earth, see my article and papers. Also see "Understanding Natural Climate Cycles."

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