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My concern for the environment started when earth, fire, wind, water and heart combined to fight the forces of corporate greed and irresponsibility. Yes, Captain Planet was my hero. I’ve had quite a lot of greening influences in my life, from cartoons, to a kid’s solar experimentation kit, to my friend’s parent’s weird composting toilet. I’ve developed quite an awareness of global environment issues, especially to do with energy and I think make a decent effort to change my lifestyle in order to reduce my impact on the world. But I don’t call myself an environmentalist, not in a million years. How can I care about the environment on one hand yet refuse to join the ranks of like minded individuals on the other? The reason is that calling yourself green is about as definitive as calling yourself the world’s best street fighter. Within 24 hours of making such a claim you are almost guaranteed to be in a hospital ward after being well and truly schooled by a Thai underground kick boxing champion, or in this case a vegan Greenpeace activist who lives in a solar powered mound of dirt.

Captain%20Planet.jpg

The eco-hypocrite police are the most far reaching, swift and strict global task forces the world has ever seen. Al Gore gives up his political career and devotes his life to try and educate people about climate change and gets slammed for his electricity bill. Sting puts his neck out for the environment and gets stung for his less-than-green Police concerts. The Toyota Prius is one of the most efficient and least polluting cars on the market but is somehow accused of producing acid rain. Call yourself green and you could well have reporters sifting through your garbage for un-optimised recycling practices, or calling you an eco-terrorist because you still eat meat. I’m trying my best to care for the environment; I’ve changed my light bulbs, I fill my recycling bin, I’m even planning on building an electric car to reduce my energy consumption, but I doubt that qualifies me for the elusive title of green. Frankly I think I have better chances going for best street fighter.
Maybe its time we start rewarding people for the positive contributions they have made to the environment rather than digging up dirt on them so we don’t feel as bad about still using toilet paper. The green movement can keep moving forward towards a better earth through spurring each other on. Or we can tear each other apart for not changing our entire lives for the better in one single burst. What do you think? Is there a place for being critical of other people’s green efforts or is it better to just focus on the progress they have made?
 

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I can appreciate the sentiment. I think the best thing people can do is to positively pursue win-win solutions, ones that are more environmentally friendly and also have other benefits. Like energy conservation in the broadest sense - not only does it produce less CO2 and other emissions of power generation, but it saves money and makes resources like petroleum last longer. Folks who want to go above and beyond that can invest their time and money and promote environmental issues in a positive way, without throwing guilt at other people.

Another reason folks like AL Gore get slammed is that they themselves are slamming other people for not doing what they do. For example, between Al Gore and GW Bush, Bush has invested far more into an environmentally friendly home. The fact that someone is a politician tends to hurt their post-political agendas whenever any controversy is involved. Jimmy Carter never got any flack for helping with Habitat for Humanity because helping the needy with your own efforts never hurt anyone. The fact that Pat Robertson ran for president and continues to advocate interference in foreign affairs doesn't help his ministry. The same way the Violence Policy Center makes far more enemies trying to ban guns in every conceivable way than they would if they promoted neighborhood watches, police departments, drug education and rehab, and various religious, social, and vocational outreaches for troubled youth.

I think the issues you're referring to within the environmental movement reflect the reason many people consider themselves against it - because of the blaming and lobbying for laws that give people no choice. If environmentalism was about promoting voluntary "green" living and innovation, it would be very hard to disagree with. Regulating the toxic chemicals people throw into rivers and maintaining the national parks as a safe haven for wildlife are hard to dispute. Global warming, especially human caused global warming, is much harder to prove or even define, which means there needs to be much more tolerance and room for different opinions on the subject. That way there can be friendly discussion and real learning instead of fighting. The same way religious freedom fosters peace and dialogue, because each side knows that the other isn't going to oppress them.
 

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The act of removing pain (either emotional or physical) or blame from one's self by inflicting it on another is a fundamental human trait. It's called scapegoating. This trait can actually be observed in nearly all mammals. For example, if a rat is placed alone in a cage with an electrified floor, it will start losing hair, develop digestive disorders, and perhaps even skin ulcers. However, if the rat is placed in the same cage with a smaller rat, then it will beat up the other rat and perhaps even kill it. The positive side effect of this behavior is that the dominant rat will mitigate the damage done by the stresses of living in a hostile environment. This is an extreme example, but it allows us to observe and quantify the effects of scape coating.

Likewise, if you watch a show like Judge Judy, or "Dr" Phil, or any reality situation TV show, you will constantly see these show's participants pointing the finger at one another. This is simple mammal behavior and is designed to mitigate the potential damage done by a stressful situation on confrontation. Many people when confronted with criticism -You cheated on me, Your SUV is damaging the environment, you're not recycling, you should remove your incandescents and replace then with CFL's, etc.- respond by scapegoating rather than acknowledge that they could be doing things better and respond accordingly.

Of course, humans will never free them selves from these types of behaviors. The best we can do is be aware of them and deal with them in the best way we know how. The advertising industry certainly knows how to do this. A good advertisement can sell just about any worthless object to a man for a profit. The green movement needs to work hard and work within the peculiarities of human human behavior.
 

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I had trouble accepting the Captain Planet cartoon. I just couldn't bring myself to trust anyone with a green mullet.

And what about the poor kid with the Heart ring. Talk about short-changed! All the others had impressive, heart-pounding powers and whenever they joined their forces it was a Dobly Surround experience - until you got to Heart. Of which there was a fairly unimpressive mwap-mwap-mwap noise which in itself was a burst-my-bubble style anticlimax. If I were the Heart kid, I'd ask for a refund.

Ok, I know I missed the point but I was bored. :D
Hehehe
 
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Environmentalist can mean different things to many folks. It is a catch phrase like going green is used as a catch phrase. You claim to do what you can to reduce the impact on the planet and for that you are in that realm. Now it's fine to not claim that phrase or the green phrase because they are actually quite thin in meaning. I choose to not claim all that but I do follow the path of an easy impact on the planet. It's not perfect and it never will be but I can do better. As I learn to do better I teach others what they could do and not interrupt the normal life style of that person. When they see it's pretty easy they see the light so to speak and over time they actually do make the switch to do what they can to decrease the impact on the planet. They do begin to see and they do make changes. That is the goal. As a result the corporate sect has less of a hold and the power is waning. That they hate. Too bad for them. Change or go under. It will take time.

As a single entity we can't do a whole lot but as a whole we can bring down a mountian, Want to take down a mountain?
 
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Aaa but big oil IS a mountain that needs to come down. Just for one. It is not me who has no heart.

: )
 

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Aaa but big oil IS a mountain that needs to come down. Just for one. It is not me who has no heart.

: )
You're right of course. Though the big oil mountain will crumble on its own in the next decade or two as the oil disappears.

*Sigh* The challenge is to replace big oil with a more diversified transportation energy infrastructure before diminishing oil supplies cause some sort of global catastrophe.

By the way, how are we supposed to get cheap batteries from China when all the oil is gone? Oh well, that's a subject for a new thread.

Back on topic. I prefer to be referred to as a screaming liberal hippie. :p
 

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I had trouble accepting the Captain Planet cartoon. I just couldn't bring myself to trust anyone with a green mullet.

And what about the poor kid with the Heart ring. Talk about short-changed! All the others had impressive, heart-pounding powers and whenever they joined their forces it was a Dobly Surround experience - until you got to Heart. Of which there was a fairly unimpressive mwap-mwap-mwap noise which in itself was a burst-my-bubble style anticlimax. If I were the Heart kid, I'd ask for a refund.

Ok, I know I missed the point but I was bored. :D
Hehehe
Haha, just got a MAJOR retro flashback:eek:. Yeah I felt sorry for that kid too, can't remember him ever doing anything by himself, and of course the surfer dude ends up with the power of fire, go figure!

Pretty sad cartoon as I remember, the frame rate was terrible, took only three frames for the jet to pass across the teli-screen. I think the only reason I watched it was because it was one of the few cartoons that had the odd explosion in it. Most contemporary cartoons back then were painfully boring.

As for mullet man, it wasn't so much the hair that got me, it was the spandex, at least batman only came out at night!:p
 

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captain planet was so lame i'd rather watch the grass grow... uhg!!!... too much tree-huggin goin on there... and the villians were too dramatic... like it was written by a school teacher that couldn't deal with reality...
 

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No... Captain.... Planet... Was ... AWESOME! You guys are obviously involved in cutting down the amazon, or dumping nuclear waste into kids playgrounds. That's the only reason you don't like it =P.
 

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Dramatic villians??? is there any other kind on TV!!??? LOL

As much as I'd love to take credit for cutting down the amazon, I've never taken a vacation in my life, or any other international travel, so sorry, but it wasn't me!:D

OK matt, I'll try to actually contribute to the conversation and get serious for a moment. The truth is most folks are just trying to do the best they can, and would gladly make the right choice it it were made easy, but its not always easy.

Our town started a recycling program a few years ago that had large green steel bins set up at two locations. They were consistently full.

A few weeks ago we started a bi-weekly blue bin recycling program at a cost of $50 per property tax bill. I had a hard time finding a single house that didn't have a blue bin out in front that wasn't half buried in recyclable materials. Our collector probably doesn't like us very much because ours was so full one day that he felt the need to make a phone call BEFORE even touching out bin/pile. We had a laugh over that one.

We always recycled out bottles/cans and still do, mainly a habit because there was a time that the pocket change actually made a difference in the family budget.

Recycling is pretty easy, I wish making an EV was that easy, but come hell or high water I will build one! In the mean time I do the best I can to maintain our ICE fleet, and I have mentioned before that I made extensive modifications to my workhorse truck to get better fuel economy. My other truck(kept as a spare for the business) runs on propane and is about as clean burning as an ICE can get, fuel is cheap too.
 
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The truth is most folks are just trying to do the best they can, and would gladly make the right choice it it were made easy, but its not always easy.
How sad that folks won't do what's right unless it's easy. I have never know easy. What a cop out. Captain Planet was fine for what it was. My children an I watched it when it was on. It helped instill the thinking of helping rather than hurting. Too bad you all did not see that. You only saw some hokey cartoon and just made fun of it. Sad Sad Sad.
 

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i never really cared for cartoons...

i would rather do something constructive rather than be a couch patatoe...

i only watch certain channels even now...

i watch the history channels the discovery channels (that includes the science channel and millitary channel) and not much else...

i don't even watch the news, i get all the news i need from the web...

as for kids i don't have any and i'm not lookin to have any (unless you count dogs), but, i have 2 nieces and a nephew that i deal with on a regular basis and i know from experience that the more inteligent the entertainment is the smarter the kid will be...

and what i meant by over dramatic was that the villians loved dirt, kids can't relate that very easily to real life because poluters don't love dirt they just want to get rid of it cheaply...

one more inteligent entertainment choice would be legos (check out lego mindstorms for older kids now they can make EVs too!) kids get dumber sitting in front of the BOOB TUBE :eek:

what's not easy is getting kids away from the BOOB TUBE and the gaming systems to go outside and use thier imaginations or parents taking responsibility for their own kids instead of blaming entertainment for the kids getting an idea to do something stupid. school shootings blamed on a stephen king book, give me a break the book didn't give the kid the gun or teach him how to shoot or ignore him when he needed to talk about being picked on in school...

if all parents would parent their kids there would not be so many stupid people thinking that a giant SUV is sooooooo cool when gas is $3.70 a gallon and they drive a hummer h2... 6000 lbs OUCH!...

as a point of reference i had a 12th grade reading level in the second grade...


although what they call 12th grade reading level now is different from back then..

yet my 7 year old neice can't read but she is fascinated with me so it won't be that long before i straghten her out, she'll be helping me build my EV whether she's ready or not (she'll make sure of that) although she will have competition from my 4 year old neice (she is fascinated by my old lego collection) they will both be learning about math using my legos (they are just gathering dust anyway) i improved my math skills on my own with legos without even trying (did someone call for easy)

as far as easy goes, i steer clear of easy, easy gets people into trouble (bill clinton doing his intern thing) i do things that have no easy way (like fixing my car with my hands) i have a physical disability that limits the use of my hands, yet my family expects me to do work on their cars when they need it (and they have normal functioning hands) how is that for easy? yet i won't let it slow me down i'm still spinning wrenchs when i need to, even if an oil change takes 4 hours because of the pain (accompanied by my hands locking up)...

imagine building an EV with that kind of pain, but, pain is also part of my motivation for doing the conversion, no more oil changes, radiator flushing, and pumping gas (don't get me started on the pain i go through to pump gas)

on another note: al gore gets bashed cause he makes stupid comments like the claim he made about being the inventor of the internet, carter on the other hand was promoting the environment while in office with things like solar panels on the white house roof :D

easy is sitting kids in front of the BOOB TUBE instead of showing them first hand and setting an example early in life so they won't need to learn from some under budget cartoon... TALK TO YOUR KIDS AMERICA!
 

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How sad that folks won't do what's right unless it's easy. I have never know easy. What a cop out. Captain Planet was fine for what it was. My children an I watched it when it was on. It helped instill the thinking of helping rather than hurting. Too bad you all did not see that. You only saw some hokey cartoon and just made fun of it. Sad Sad Sad.
The allusion I was trying to make was that as much as we may want to do the right thing, there are other things that are more pressing in our day to day lives and as such, the environment might take a back seat to putting bread on the table for example. I have not known much "easy" either, neither has anyone else in my family. Everyone has their own story, gottdi.
 
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Everyone has their own story, gottdi.
I'll say more like an excuse than a story. I live my style and work at the same time. They both fit perfectly well thank you much. No more excuses. There are far too many already and most are so lame it makes my puke. Putting self over environment. You live here too damn it, so do your part and more since your brothers will always come up with an excuse and you will need to carry their burden. Like I said, so sad.

Build a life style and not a cliche.

I'd rather smell the trees than hug them. They are hard and rough. The pine trees at Lake Tahoe are unique. They have many different flavors (smells). Some just smell like good ol pine while others smell of butterscotch and vanilla. Try it some time. You may get a different perspective of the uniqueness of trees and plants. Can't get that from the boob tube. What about the time spent on the computer? Gotcha.
 

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The point of the article that we shouldn't be judgemental of other peoples choices about environmental issues as long as they are taking steps to lessen their impact, just because we are confronted by something doesn't mean other people are ready to hear it yet. Let he who is without environmental impact cast the first stone.
 
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Let he who is without environmental impact cast the first stone.
Screwy twist of the word. I see that all the time too. What living thing does not impact it's environment? Name one! Think real hard before you answer that.

Cast. Did it hurt? It should.


Judgemental? Hardly. Observational, absolutely. I observe many who will make excuses just so they will not have to take responsibility for their actions.
 
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