Saturday, July 15, 2006

Save the Earth, drive a...Hummer?!?!

So apparently, if you look at the TOTAL ecological impact - resource processing through disposal/re-cycling, I would assume - a Hummer (yes, the poster-child, er...vehicle of typically North American arrogance and excess) is better than a hybrid. Now, I'll have to follow up on this, but I already have little trouble believing it. Hybrids engines are more complex than pure fossil-fuel burners, and the large batteries must be full of fairly toxic stuff. Up until recently, I had very much desired a hybrid car; as much a status symbol and new toy as eco-savvy purchase. But with the illusion of the second shattered, I find myself faced with an inevitable conclusion: action at the consumer level is not enough. Every product we design, create, sell, send, and enjoy will pollute from start to finish. The fight to save the planet has to be taken to every level, and fast!

Maybe this is a case of stating the obvious, but really, think about this: Unless you eat, drink, wear, use, and enjoy local-only products, something has emitted a significant amount of pollution has sent it there. If you walk, the food that gave you energy was the cause of pesticide spraying (in many cases), transportation, etc. I'm no fan of reverting to earlier technology, but there may be a point where we can't build anything new anymore, for fear of destabilizing the planet.

Before, I believed it possible that new technologies could save us, and save the modern world we don't want to forsake completely...but what good are those technologies if we can't produce them in a clean fashion? Is the future riding a hydrogen fuel-cell boat to work, because the sea levels rose from the heat trapped by the carbon dioxide emitted by making the boat? How ironic can you get?

Many people (I know one or two) vilify science itself, for bringing us great good, but terrible evil. I will always maintain that it is not so. Science is the journey, and the shortsighted goals of humans - individuals - bring us that evil. A thermonuclear bomb is just a hunk of sophisticated technology without someone willing to give the order to drop it. (Incidentally, the firebombing of Dresden had a higher death toll than both Nukes dropped on Japan; the same is true for the firebombing of Tokyo)
Instead of asking how we were betrayed by science, I ask "who betrayed science itself, to bring us here?"

Sadly, I think the answer may be found in mirrors.

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