The Religion of Stuff

This is apparently a new video of Dr. James Hansen, discussing climate change, politics, energy and China.

What causes climate change is not today’s emmissions, it’s today atmospheric composition, and we are primarily responsble for the excess CO₂ in the atmosphere, more the 3 times more then China, per capita basis, more then an order of magnitude, so to blame China is nonsense.

United Kingdom, United States and Germany are the most responsible for the excess c02 in the atmosphere (in that order).

Which is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. It’s self-evident and common sense that the industrialized nations with the highest living standards would be the ‘most guilty’ contributers to atmospheric concentrations of CO₂.

Hansen argues for alternative energy and a DC power grid in the video. Such a low-loss system (as opposed to converting to AC) would require an unspecified, but significant effort in terms of time, money, energy, infrastructure and effort.

Doable? Probably. But I’ll at least mention the obvious – what would it actually solve in the long run? Electricity for humans and ‘no more coal fired power plants’ while we keep consuming the rest of the world’s resources?

Someone should calculate the emissions generated by such an effort (from conceptual design to life expectancy, ie., the entire life cycle). But this does not answer other questions as to how we could hope to keep this up anyway. At some point, exhaustion of our energy supplies / infrastructure will still occur. I’ve often wondered if would occur sooner too, as we entirely retool our entire industries.

Even renewable energy like solar and wind (when stored) require massive energy inputs to capture, distribute and maintain. And there is the small problem that electricity alone simply isn’t sufficiently enough to mine and extract the resources to build the technology in the first place.

I’m only guessing here, but perhaps scientist cannot easily envision living in an entirely different way then we do now. In a way, this is contradictory to the basis of science, which seeks to advance knowledge and even application of that knowledge. Science itself is largely dependent upon technological advancements in order to advance knowledge, a kind of self-perpetuating exercise.

Building a DC grid would simply perpetuate the status quo we’ve already gotten saddled with. Someone like Exxon would own the power grid (or General Electric), a patent on sunlight would be granted to them by the US government, and everyone would be forced to buy their power from the same source at ridiculous prices. In other words, the names might change, but everything would pretty much remain the same, but only as long as it lasted, and that is the real issue that I’m still not seeing anyone address.

The ‘solution’ seems to be to keep everything going, just as it is, as long as possible, with a total lack of foresight on what this is going to mean in the long run. If we wind up consuming every possible resource like I think we will, we are absolutely positively guaranteeing the extinction of all life on Earth except mold, mildew, bacteria and an occasional arthropod.

Why can’t we honestly consider a new type of living, that does not rely upon constantly advancing technology? The truth is, if this is the best we can do, then we also need to understand the truth of what this ultimately means. Technology requires a constant stream of energy intensive inputs which ultimately come from solar power (even oil is a byproduct of solar power). Technology also requires a constant stream of raw resources, even recycling isn’t going to be sufficient.

Going further, technology helps create capitalistic competition among nations and companies (or even your neighbors) as they all jockey for position and the raw resources (including labor, ie., nothing is manufactured in America anymore). Even wars are sparked over technology, who is allowed to have what and who isn’t and who can use their toys first. Entire industries, such as the ‘military-industrial complex’ have been built around the entire to world to ensure this technological race is won by the fastest, bestest, brightest and deadliest.

Essentially, this entire quest for technology is a religion of “stuff”. More stuff, better stuff, faster stuff, glitzier stuff, cooler stuff, deadlier stuff. But stuff that is entirely isolated from the basic human relationship to the Earth’s natural production and maintenance of the essential elements for our existence: air, food, water and heat. We’re biological creatures, not robots. We don’t need any of this ‘stuff’ to maintain our lives in comfort and relative ease. But we’ll tear the entire world asunder to get it, because we’ve been sold a bill of goods that is now saying, “Payment due in full, or your life”.

Perpetuating this flawed paradigm of stuff is a problem I think. Even Richard Heinberg made a rather startling statement that caught my attention. He said “resiliency involves more redundancy“, which while true, he applied this to technology “stuff” also. His thought was for us to absorb the shocks headed our way and make a “come back”.

It’s becoming more evident to me that scientists and most others are having a great difficulty in embracing a entirely new paradigm for human existence. They appear addicted to the religion of stuff just like everyone else (including me). While we can agree that this is wrong for the planet and ultimately, all future human existence, we cannot seem to wean ourselves off the technological teat and grow up. We remain totally dependent upon technology ‘saving us’ from the world itself because we killed off the world we actually needed!

It’s a conundrum alright. Without technology today, we would almost all simply die for lack of water, food, shelter and heat (probably in that order too). Our environmental conditions are in such precarious plight right now from extensive overuse and depletion, that the vast majority of us simply could not live without our technological ‘stuff’ that is now keep us alive.

What this means should be obvious — we have leveraged the Earth, far, far beyond its natural ability and cycles to maintain and permit human life and we’re foolishly continuing to do so. Our ‘manufactured dependency’ upon technology is now our weakness and it is also our fault since it did not have to be this way, it was a conscious choice made long ago. This is a path of disaster, all we can really do now is worsen the situation (like the proposals suggest above) until such time it all collapses, and population levels die out, and the Earth naturally restores itself over a long period of time. Whatever life remains, if any, would be able to be sustained through the natural cycles and rhythms of the planet.

It might be possible, but probably not advisable, to ‘green the Earth’ again. But not to try and change things like climate change, which is going to happen no matter what we do now, but to restore the environmental imbalance. But I still think this would be better done by doing absolutely nothing at all, the biosphere on Earth is much better suited to doing this entirely on its own.

New plant and animal species would take over niches abandoned by other species, we need do nothing except leave it entirely alone. A natural balance would be restored automatically, but not of course, on human timescales or demands.

The only thing that I believe humans can do now that has any chance of actually ‘helping’ is by undoing or stopping almost everything we’ve already done. Here’s a short list of what that might mean, in no particular order:

  • Stop all industrial activity; stop emitting all greenhouse gases and environmental pollution; stop all industrialized agriculture and farming; stop increasing population; stop mining the oceans and the Earth for raw resources; embrace a sustainable, low-impact, non-technological lifestyle;
  • recycle everything already produced into durable, usable goods required for human existence and preserve the recycled rest for later essential use; abandon all fossil fuel usage; preserve as much remaining natural diversity and life on Earth as ‘humanly possible’; reduce human population dramatically;
  • abandon capitalism; immediately return to localized growing and farming practices using sustainable methods; abandoned most cities, desert areas and any locations of high human density, reducing their usage by humans to a fraction of their present population;
  • disband all the governments of the world; outlaw all corporations over fifty or so people; abandon fractional reserve banking and return to real money; abandon all “isms”; abandon all religions; abandon consumerism entirely;
  • disband all military armies and bases; return all American military personnel to the continental United States; abandon the “war” on drugs, terror and everything else;
  • create fair and equitable tribes with local governments; abandon all concepts of ‘nationhood’ and racism; promote human leisure and education at local levels; take back all ‘public lands’ and restore them to the people; remove all state and national boundaries and barriers, including Indian reservations;
  • preserve all indigenous tribes still in existence; preserve critical habitats and oceans; restore essential wildlife corridors; remove most highways and roads; remove economic inequality worldwide.

Of course, absolutely none of these things will actually happen. Not one, which goes to show you just how seriously unserious we really are about learning to live on this Earth in ways which do not actively destroy it. If I was to be a part of a effort for a lifeboat community, something I now strongly advocate, I would be most interested in seeing all of the above as part of the goals to be accomplished (or at least worked towards).

The relationship humans have to their social and cultural conditions directly affects the denuding of the environment, which is really the heritage of all life on Earth, not just humans and not just the ones that live there. It is the lack of economic freedom (in the modern world) that creates oppression, inequality and environmental degradation and exploitation (which also encompasses all life on Earth too). The present concept of money, material wealth, possessions and ownership would also have to be abandoned.

I would fully support the abandonment of money, but that would only work if there were small tribal communities that could barter with each other. Humans will always remain dependent upon other humans, but ultimately our dependency is really rooted in the environment and what it offers to sustain us.

We can barter for our needs and requirements from other humans, but the only efficient and effective, non-intrusive way to do this is for human communities to remain small. Small communities, small tribes, small everything. There have been a number of studies that have pointed this out, we are ill-suited for large groups, large civilizations, or large anything. This contradicts our present world of bigger, better and supersized, but is an important fact to our psychological disorders and conditions that are epidemic today.

This ethic that treats the Earth as a living organism (we’re the fleas, remember?) recognizes the host as being essential to our survival. It is not a religion of ‘Earth worship’ as some have claimed, but the scientific and ethical understanding that we cannot live without a healthy planet. Our present lifestyle, particularly those in the modern world, are at serious fault. The rest of the ‘undeveloped’ world wishes to emulate our mistakes. We really ‘cannot let that happen’ but we already are.

China isn’t the real problem and really never was. The problem was always us in the developed nations of the world that believe we can always move upwards, taking and raping whatever we needed when we wanted it. Not anymore, or certainly, not for much longer.

Along the way, we truly forgot our inherent connection and dependency to the Earth. Only (and if) we return to this, can humans have any true hope of living very long on this planet. When you consider the tiny span of time that industrial civilization has been in existence, and how incredibly fast we depleted the majority of the planet’s resources, you will understand what this means. We traded away ten thousand years for a miserly one hundred of ‘regal splendor’ and squalor. Along the way, we manufactured bogus reasons to justify it all.

This is a crime against all humanity. Even George Bush hasn’t done this much damage (yet).

We need to stop now. If we can. Before it’s too late. Which to be honest with you, I think it is.

admin

admin at survivalacres dot com

19 thoughts on “The Religion of Stuff

  • July 2, 2008 at 2:16 am
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    [If I was to be a part of a effort for a lifeboat community, something I now strongly advocate].
    Hummm Admin;
    I guess you haven’t had a chance to read the novel I sent you about a year ago, “Chakari Insights to Truths”.
    It backs up just about everything that you believe in, and then some, about creating a lifeboat community that is very much sustainable. ;o)

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:53 am
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    You overlooked the word “if”. I have written on community concepts many times, much from actual experience and background.

    There is a reason why no such communities as I envision actually exist (populated by modern people), and why I have not tried to build one (again) myself or embraced others proposals, including yours.

    A scattering of lifeboat communities are ‘needed’ throughout the world (caution: needed only means if modern man is to survive, that’s certainly not needed or even advisable anymore) in various locations / continents.

    But there are basic questions that I’ve not seen answered anywhere. We’re probably not ready for such a community, we certainly don’t actually ‘deserve’ one, we’re still packing around far too much baggage and hangups, and we’d only repeat the same mistakes that got us here in the first place.

    Almost every community proposal I have seen embraces technology. We already know where that leads, but think we can somehow ‘manage it better’ this time. There is a saying I employ, “if you do what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”. Don’t expect different results in other words.

    This hints on the Mars Project and colonization of Mars too. Even if we could overcome the technological problems (which creates another whole set of more problems and dependencies), humans are not fit yet to colonize space, or escape this planet to repeat their errors someplace else.

    Some think we will magically change once we escape the atmosphere (or whatever) and that we will become better then we presently are. I know how untrue this myth really is. We all should if we remain honest to ourselves. We will take our problems with us, we always do. This is the same for any Earth-bound community that would be established by indoctrinated humans — nothing changes.

    Going further, there is only one bit of direct evidence that humans are fit to live on this particular planet, and that is because “we are here”. Nature selected us long ago just like it selected the lions, tigers and bears (and bacteria and fungus).

    We’re “here” as a direct result of natural selection through eons of time. But we jumped the tracks rather badly, destroying millions of years worth of other naturally selected species in very short order.

    Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel” shows for example how modern humans wiped out species after species everywhere they went. We’ve been doing it a long time, and it’s not something we’re going to just stop doing, no matter what someone may say.

    Nature has tried to accomodate for this imbalance, but at a speed that was no match for our destructive ways. Then, the technological revolution came about and we could kill and rape with impunity on a global scale.

    We’ve become dangerous fleas with guns pointed at all life on Earth, even to ourselves. Why should any of us continue to presume we have the right to survive?

    It is an ethical question, one that is not simply ‘solved’ by building a community. I have yet to see a community offer anything new — they’re all patterned after other efforts that have tried and failed.

    The pattern isn’t the problem and never was however. The problem remains in us. We are not ready for this and may never be ready.

    There are however, communities of “other humans” that exist that are not like us, not at all. They did not embrace the things that have led to our downfall and the widespread destruction of the Earth.

    Because they live off the “solar output” energy of the sun, and have learned to do so and flourish, remaining happy, healthy and content with their lives, they remain in a relative balance with their world. But now they are constantly threatened, or even extinguished, by us. Again. And again.

    This is going to continue as long as we keep embracing our destructive ways. We’ve lost all respect for everything living (and dead) and deem it all “ours” for the taking. So why then, should any human that lives like this deserve to live in a post-collapse world? It makes no sense at all.

    What makes even less sense is to go into the collapse, survive the death and destruction and then repeat the same mistakes of the past. But that is exactly what many scientist and people are proposing and hoping / planning for. They demand and insist upon the technology, their wealth, their toys and their tools. They cannot envision any other life without them.

    This makes them ill-suited for this planet. They are not needed, nor were they “naturally selected”, not anymore, a very important point. By preempting the entire natural cycles (of everything), they gained an existence and an advantage that permitted them to flourish, but not without a cost. That payment is now due and they themselves will be wiped out. It’s just a matter of time.

    We could live with technology and toys if we behaved ourselves and limited our destructive ways. But we won’t, and we never have. The Earth is resilient and will recover from us without our help — and without us if need be.

  • July 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm
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    Lonewolf sent me this, I think this fits right in.

    The Toddler King’s Insufferabel Reign is Doomed

    By Jason Miller

    6/30/08

    Both George Bush and Dick Cheney have emphatically proclaimed the American Way of Life as “non-negotiable.” As hard as it may be for the feeble-minded, deluded, conscienceless, or hopelessly addicted to grasp, Mother Nature and billions of human beings are going to force us to the bargaining table. We can kick, scream, stomp our feet, and hold our breath all we want, but our abhorrent mode of existence is going down.

    Aside from the fact that they are utterly unsustainable, why is it such a certainty that American Capitalism, consumerism, militarism, and the myriad associated ills that exist to maintain our obscene lifestyle are a house of cards on the verge of collapse?

    Quite simple really. With our overwhelming wealth, power, and military firepower, the United States exercises virtual hegemony over the globe. Granted our influence is waning, but we still call most of the shots. As lord and master of the planet, we are doing a miserable job. Emotionally infantile, we have a sense of entitlement that dwarfs Mt. Everest, we are absolutely certain that we are center of the universe, and we throw incredibly destructive tantrums when we donâ’t get our way, the American Way that is. We are massive toddlers inflicting our version of the “terrible twos” on the world. Were we not wielding such a massive cudgel, our childishness would be laughable.

    Under our “good stewardship,” as our current unitary executive loves to call it, the world is careening down the highway at break-neck speed with an infant at the wheel. And if he crashes before an adult can wrest control from him, weâ’re looking at a major accident with multiple fatalities. Weâ’ve already pushed the world to the verge of economic collapse, the brink of starvation, the initiation of perpetual war, and impending environmental disaster.

    Collectively, we act without conscience or concern for the consequences of our actions. The American Way of Life is “all about me and to hell with everyone else.” We revere narcissism, hyper-individualism, greed, wealth, and status as virtues. Becoming a rich, acquisitive careerist by clawing oneâ’s way to the top of the hierarchy through deceit, betrayal, sycophancy, and whoring oneself out in any way imaginable is enshrined as the penultimate achievement in our sewer of a society.

    Contrary to the common misconception, the psychological umbilical cord between our mothers and us is severed at a very young age. Nearly the instant we are able to intellectualize we drop mom like a hot potato and become psychically parasitic, our hosts being those ubiquitous devices known as televisions.

    When we were in the womb, our mothersâ’ rich and nurturing blood flowed through our veins, quite literally providing the essence of our physical being. Fast forward a few years. Our psychic umbilical cord detaches from mom and is immediately seduced to fuse itself to that seemingly innocent yet deeply nefarious pusher of mind crack. In stark contrast to our motherâ’s wholesome blood that nourished us in a way that ensured healthy physical growth, the rancid filth we derive from television cripples and malforms our psyches in profound and perverse ways.

    Planned or not, television has become the power eliteâ’s primary weapon in the daily propaganda war they wage to maintain the American Way of Life, furiously beating down any and all challengers. Calling the content of television “programming” is quite fitting. Through our addiction to pixilated images, the lords and masters of American Capitalism manipulate us into participating in the banality of evil without giving it a first thought, let alone a second one.

    Much like the Leatherman, TV is an incredibly multi-faceted tool that enables the ruling elites in the US to hone the masses into the infantilized little sociopaths they need to man the bulwarks of American Capitalism, spreading our “corporatocracy and freedom from the pangs of conscience and critical thought” the world over.

    If you donâ’t know the stats, youâ’ve been somnambulating, but here are a few:

    1. We are 5% of the population and siphon off 30% of the worldâ’s goodies, while 35,000 people starve to death each day.
    2. We, the land of the free, exercise a higher degree of social control than even those “tyrants” in China and Russia. We have the worldâ’s largest prison population, many of whom are non-violent drug offenders. And then thereâ’s our clever way of imposing our agenda in Latin America via the “War on Drugs…..”
    3. We lost about 500,000 people in WWII while Russia lost over 20 million yet we arrogantly boast that WE “defeated fascism.” And thatâ’s not to mention the fact that many of our beloved capitalists, including members of the Bush dynasty, supported Hitler until they faced potential criminal prosecution.
    4. We have staged coups and incursions the world over (our interventions are far too numerous to document in this dispatch, but visit this site to familiarize yourself with the reach of our malevolent imperialist tentacles: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/US_ForeignPolicy.html)
    5. Ironically, we justify our trillion dollar a year military budget by waging wars against nations with phantom weapons of mass destruction–while we are the only nation to have deployed such weapons. Ask Japan about the devastating impact.
    6. We pour billions of dollars into the support of those miserable Zionist squatters in Palestine because a very small percentage of our population (which has very deep pockets, a strangle-hold on mass media, and a juggernaut lobbying organization) has many of us brain-washed into believing “poor little Israel” is fighting for its very existence—when the reality is that it has a more formidable military than all of its alleged threats combined and has ruthlessly brutalized the Palestinians like the terrorist state that it is.
    7. We slaughtered over two million Vietnamese in an attempt to keep the world safe for capitalism and are poised to consider putting one of the perpetrators in the White House.
    8. We have murdered untold millions of Iraqis since the Gulf War via invasion, brutal economic sanctions, fomenting civil war and chaos, illegal occupation, and destruction of infrastructure. And neither of the performers in the theater of the absurd we call a “presidential election” has promised to bring an immediate end to this moral and legal abomination. If we enforced the Nuremberg Laws that WE crafted, all responsible would be hanged, including whoever replaces Bush and perpetuates this genocide.

    And that is just a brief and very incomplete summary of the evil that we openly or tacitly support simply by being Americans, even if our role is very banal or pedestrian. As cogs in a murderous machine built on stolen land and primarily with the blood, sweat and tears of slaves and poor immigrants, we all bear a degree of responsibility for the atrocities we commit. Even those who choose to remain and fight the system from within are still buttressing the American Way to some extent.

    How do we sleep at night? Some of us donâ’t and some of us have pharmaceutical help. But by and large our television programming has given us the “gifts” of a pathologically muted conscience, heavy doses of blissful ignorance, and the attention span of anencephalic sheep.

    Desensitized to violence, mentally malnourished by a steady diet of brain candy, conditioned to putting our brains in neutral and letting the “idiot box” do our thinking for us, psychologically beaten down by constant reminders that the subjects of our idolatry are “better than us,” and manipulated into believing that the spiritually vacuous American Dream is more than just a mirage that keeps the working class trudging through the desert of perpetual corporatism, many of us remain true believers, prefer wage slavery to sleeping under a bridge, or recognize that (despite the shop-worn and inane rhetoric about freedom and democracy) the system has harsh consequences for those who donâ’t at least ostensibly toe the line.

    Regardless of our individual level of consciousness or level of participation in this criminal enterprise known in some circles as the American Empire, we Americans as a collective are an intriguingly repulsive synthesis of excessively spoiled brats and sociopaths. We want what we want when we want it, consequences be damned. We have the means to get what we desire, virtually no capacity to delay gratification, and the ability to punish those who stand in our way. To top it off, we donâ’t let trivialities like conscience restrain us. We are a nation of sociobrats.

    Individually, we can change. Many have transformed and many more will. But there are some pretty long odds against enough of us shedding our grotesquely malformed psyches and evolving beyond our state of infantilization before the American Way of Life collapses under the weight of its own excrement or is eradicated by its hordes of victims.

  • July 2, 2008 at 4:39 pm
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    Thanks Admin for posting this, and LW for digging it up.

    What can you say? If the cheerleaders imagine we Americans are the highest expression of the human condition they are certainly mad, and worse.

    Always more feed for the rage rhino. Sometimes I wonder if there is any value to any discussion of the human prospect. It is clear nothing can stop the train wreck.

    Harry Truman had it approximately right when he lamented that he had hoped as a child to grow up and be the piano player at a whorehouse. As president, he claimed he could not see much difference. Of course, whores provide a service, our politicians commit crimes against humanity and posterity, tragically, in keeping with the consensus trance of our imperialist pig culture.

    I planted another crop of beans today. I am working out barter deals with the neighbor. Locality is the only refuge from the madness we seem unable to impact.

    There is a perfect breeze off the canyon. F*ck it. I have these moments regardless of the madness. I will do what I can do, and enjoy the moments I am given.

    MD

  • July 2, 2008 at 7:29 pm
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    Jason Miller has it EXACTLY right!

    Of course if I forward that email at work I will be charged with antisemitism for point 6 and fired.

  • July 2, 2008 at 9:52 pm
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    Not bad. I think, from all I see coming, we may just get the chance. As toys are being taken away and the economy drops, so does moral. Having a small time farm, I especially like the getting rid of corporate farms. It is funny though, nobody ever mentions that the main reason for starvation is not the lack of food, but rather the lack of nutrition in the food itself. I see Monsantos and others similar using these countries as testing grounds for their GE & GM Foods, then again, aren’t we all.

    My wife and I grow pretty much all we need to eat, but even that day will soon end. I do real estate now and see all the BS of being self-sufficient by buying fragments of farms, farms that after being broken apart, no longer can produce. I see people watching TV shows that are instantly experts on farming, flipping, remodeling, maybe they even read a book. When practical experience hits them, suddenly many are shocked and quit. College teaching Monsantos sponcered agriculture is like Hitler spreading democracy, ain’t likely.

    One need not worry about population as children alive today will not outlive their parents, odd fact but proven. Those that do lead a longer life will certainly not be luckier, hospitals will, pharmaceutical companies will, but not the actual kids.

    Somehow, H.A.A.R.P. never gets mentioned in all this stuff. Those with an electronics degree can relate with magnetic pulses, frequencies, etc.

    In short, if we are looking for someone to blame, look into a mirror. If we search the ring leaders, look at central bankers. Looking for teachers? Than look at the TVs in the houses. Comparing who does what on what scale is pissing in the wind.

    As for China, yes, they are part of the problem. I love those light bulbs that use less energy and last 10 times longer, soley produced there in China, all Mercury filled. If one breaks, one must leave the area because of Mercury, for fifteen minutes and air our the house. Where does all that Mercury go when they go to the trash?

  • July 3, 2008 at 5:17 am
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    All fluorescent light bulbs, including the old fashioned long tubes, contain a low pressure mercury vapor, and always have.
    The mercury is slowly absorbed into glass, phosphor, and tube electrodes throughout the lamp life, where it can no longer function in its intended role.

    Newer lamps now have just enough mercury to last the expected life of the lamp. Loss of mercury will take over from failure of the phosphor in some lamps. The failure symptoms are similar, except loss of mercury initially causes an extended run-up time to full light output, and finally causes the lamp to glow a dim pink when the mercury runs out and the argon base gas takes over as the primary discharge.

  • July 3, 2008 at 10:18 am
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    To continue with the thread drift, WRT those so-called “energy saver” light bulbs – UTTER TOXIC BULLSHIT.

    So far, I’ve installed 6 of these. NOT one of them lasted for more than 10 hours (TEN)- ha ha ha “10,000 hours” my draining ass. How do you spell H-O-A-X ? or S-U-C-K-E-R? Also, I ‘see’ NO “energy’ conservation” with these pre-trash trash. Plus the spectral distribution emitted by these Cheney butt-plugs is so ‘harsh’ it literally hurts my eyes (immediately if not permanently). NTM the mercury hazards.

    Now, my solution to this utter fraud, is to return said butt-plugs (both burned out and not) to an empty shopping cart at the local China-Mart whence this Spawn of Satan originated in the first place. {if I have kept the receipt I be demanding full refund). After all, it IS their shit, so let them deal with (eat) it.

    Anyone wishing (choosing, serious about) to ‘save’ energy, A) unplug your electro-shit when it is supposedly turned-off (another power LIE),r B) unplug it permanently or C) ‘recycle’ it too (responsibly). Suggest starting with the television which even when ‘turn-off’ draws more power than any standard household light bulb when turned on.

  • July 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm
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    On the flip side, I swear by them, and have them installed in every can light and almost every other fixture in the house. Even designed the new house with them in mind in terms of lighting.
    Significantly less heat, noticeably less energy usage, less glare, good color spectrum from the 20W GE or Sylvania models, and I have some in the kitchen that have seen over 10,000 hours of usage (5+ years) and are still kicking. Occasionally you’ll get a bum one damaged in transit/shipping that won’t least a few months, and that is a known problem.

    Prices on them have gone up noticeably in the last year, however, and yes, like all fluorescent tubes they contain mercury, but my place of employment accepts them for recycling (along with the thousands of burned out warehouse and office lighting bulbs).

    As with most, your mileage may vary.

  • July 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm
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    I’ve had mixed results with compact florescent bulbs – some burn out almost immediately, some go on forever. Not sure if it’s lack of ‘quality control’ in the sweat shops they are made in or if the problem is power issues (both brownouts and power surges) in my neighborhood. In fixures hardwired into the electrical system, such as the chandelier I’m under right now, one of the two died a quick death, one has been going for a year. All of them in freestanding lamps, with more electrical loss between then and the house wiring, they have been going for years.

    In our old house, in hardwired ceiling fixtures, they’d burn out so quickly we gave up on them there.

    We have the old fashioned florescent tubes in the laboratory/office. THAT is a stable technology.

    Fern

  • July 3, 2008 at 7:14 pm
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    I too feel CF bulbs are a scam. We bought a bunch initially and it didn’t take long to see that at least half were defective from the start, as they didn’t last more than a few weeks each. The main reason they are a scam is twofold: mercury is mercury, even in “small” amounts, and is still a nerve poison among other things. Notice how the new CF bulbs are the exactly the right size to toss into the regular trash. Industry purposely sized them so that consumers would throw them away without a second thought. Out of sight, out of mind. An easy way to let industry off the hook. We checked into recycling these bulbs and found that, yes indeed, we could recycle them by mailing them back to the source for $15 each at consumer’s cost.

    Hilly7: interesting comment about today’s children not outliving their parents. Yesterday I read the interview in ACRES,USA July, 2008 issue, in which nutritionist Deidre Earls states, “America now rates 42nd in the world for longevity. We’ve been outpaced by some Third World countries such as Jordan.”

    As today’s youth continue to stuff themselves with chips, cheeseburgers, and fries, while frying their brains with cell phones, computer gizmos, mercury vaccines, and fluoridated water, our longevity rating of 42nd in the world will probably continue to plummet. Full-belly starvation is alive and well right here in the USA.

  • July 4, 2008 at 2:19 am
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    Bulbs last 1/3 – 1/4 advertised. I have them but have always thought they are BS.

  • July 4, 2008 at 3:17 pm
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    I am holding out for decent LED lights. They seem pretty dim still, and too expensive. But in view of the runaway costs of energy, they might be pretty affordable soon.

    I always use the tiniest light that will give me sufficient light for the use. Low watt CF bulbs have been pretty durable for me. I get daylight spectrum.

    I am working on navigating in the dark. If it works for the blind, why not me too?

    If anyone is getting decent results with LED bulbs I would like to know. This is one technology the government should really be backing. Of course, structured obsolescence is a problem with LEDs, but I imagine they could work that out.

    MD

  • July 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm
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    Actually I’m looking at trying to use buffalo chips or goat chips to make a night-torch. Has anyone done this? If you shaped them just right and coated them in some substance (salt?) wouldn’t they sort of sparkle as they burn?

  • July 5, 2008 at 7:28 am
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    For those using or planning on trying CFT’s, heat is their biggest enemy, and consequently expected operational life declines precipitously in enclosed fixtures (such as ceiling fixtures covered in a glass dome or similar), and declines somewhat if placed in a partially enclosed or upside-down orientation, where the rising emanated heat can bakes the ballast electronics in the base (such as in recessed can lights). Look for discoloration of the plastic base as a sign.
    The packaging typically contains a warning concerning this.

  • July 5, 2008 at 8:33 am
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    I’ll say it again. CFT are complete utter BS. There is nothing economical or ‘environmentally friendly’ about them – nor of those who promote and use them. Willful delusion is still bushing delusional. See the sheeple, be the sheeple. This train is racing toward the shearing shed and all the bleating sheeple lust for is to primp and preen and bathe their feces stained fleece in fluorescent light so ewe can feel your very best (aka something, anything) as ewe’r life force drains into the slaughterhouse gutters. Baaaaa Baaaaa. Blinded by the light (poisoned by the gas canisters). Stupid sheeple. You’re time has come (is up).

    “think, rant, gibber, slobber, slobber.” ~ St. Deek

  • July 5, 2008 at 6:31 pm
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    CONNEDsuption is bushing great as long as all the pollutants from resource extraction thru manufacture all stay ‘where they rightly belong’- specifically China. Sure, everything is just hunky dory – no problem here – what a wonderfully bright life it is. Out of sight, out of mind. Cool too. The ad-man said so. Plus, you’ll get to watch the slide show at the end of the universe without staining yourself. Nothing to see, folks, Move along.

  • July 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm
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    Speaking of communities and continued destruction habits of mankind, I just want to say look what happened to Mars…

    Millions and millions of years ago humanity gone wild and then a group splits from there after spending years evolving this present planet to liveable conditions for their “garden tillers” and now them same elite genes/DNA are destroying this world and eventually when a group splits from here and plants their “garden tillers” on a new evolved planet somewhere in a far out universe, the same will happen over and over

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