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Added By: Jeremy
Added on: 09/12/2008 @ 11:57:12 AM
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School district considers going "green"

Hey look, a published article.

Should we turn this into a wind power debate?

You should bug them about not being on the staff page
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
09/12/2008 @ 01:37:06 PM
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That guy's math doesn't make any sense unless the new bulbs are also considerably cheaper to purchase.

I'm fairly convinced that wind power is pretty sweet.

"of removing the 152 current metal halide bulbs" would read better "of removing the current 152 metal halide bulbs". Or is "current metal" actually a type of metal?

Is "see see" a direct quote? And more importantly, when you are quoting people that stutter or repeat words should you quote them that way or kind of clean it up?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 02:00:44 PM
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Well it would be:

.5 * current_operating_cost_per_light * current_lights + .5 * current_operating_cost_per_light *additional_lights + cost_of_new_lights

As time goes to infinity the cost of new lights wouldn't be much of a factor. You would go over 50% by however many new lights you needed, which would depend on how many more lights they need, which might not even be that big of a factor if the current_operating_cost_per_light variable is fairly low.

Now, you could have meant that these new bulbs may be more expensive to replenish in the long term, which may or may not be true, but is somewhat irrelevant because the move is almost just as much about saving energy as money.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 02:20:18 PM
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Well the number of additional_lights is unknown for one thing. It is presumably less than 2 * current_lights because otherwise the increased number of lights would cancel out the reduced operating cost per_light. The other unknown is the lifetime of the light. If the new lights don't last as long and there are know more lights, there could be a considerable increase in costs to keep all the fixtures filled with working lightbulbs, plus the overall energy savings are lost as you start to consider that more lightbulbs means more shipping costs, more time spent replacing them, more garbage to dispose of, more production costs, more storage space to keep adequate stock on hand, etc.

I just meant the big picture is a bit more complicated than light bulb A uses X watts and light B uses X/2 watts therefore light bulb B is automatically more "green" and/or cheaper.

Edit: Here's a free lessen, don't use the less than symbol in a comment.

Edit: I got on tangent a bit, my main point was he said he was expecting to save %50 but seemingly was ignoring some factors.
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Alex perfected this 3 times, last at 09/12/2008 2:47:39 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 02:42:18 PM
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No, there's definitely a lot of feel good shell gaming that goes on. Have you ever looked into what a waste of time and energy (and really how not "green") recycling is?

Also, how much money do government agencies spend on "audits" a year?
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Jeremy edited this at 09/12/2008 2:47:12 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 08:35:44 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - 09/12/2008 @ 02:42:18 PM
No, there's definitely a lot of feel good shell gaming that goes on. Have you ever looked into what a waste of time and energy (and really how not "green") recycling is?


I remember reading somewhere (NYT, I think) that aluminum is still worth the time and energy to recycle, most other things (plastic/paper/etc.) are not.

Jeremy Wrote - 09/12/2008 @ 02:42:18 PM
Also, how much money do government agencies spend on "audits" a year?


I've wondered the same thing myself.
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Matt screwed with this 2 times, last at 09/14/2008 3:32:08 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 09:33:52 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 08:35:44 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:42:18 PM
No, there's definitely a lot of feel good shell gaming that goes on. Have you ever looked into what a waste of time and energy (and really how not "green") recycling is?


I remember reading somewhere (NYT, I think) that aluminium is still worth the time and energy to recycle, most other things (plastic/paper/etc.) are not.


Indeed, there are a few metals that are worth it. Aluminum is the one we have en mass. Otherwise it's just pretty much not worth it.
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Jeremy messed with this at 09/12/2008 9:34:12 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
09/12/2008 @ 09:46:33 PM
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Well, there is something to be said for recycling simply for the sake of keeping stuff out of landfills, even it would be cheaper or use less energy to just make new stuff, mainly I'm thinking about plastic here. In theory between sun, wind, and nuclear power we basically have an infinite amount of energy to burn, but unless we start launching garbage into outer space we only have so much landfill space to use. Although, I wonder if anyone has ever thought of trying to dump the garbage into a tectonic subduction area. That would be pretty sweet.
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matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 09:53:14 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 09:33:52 PM
Indeed, there are a few metals that are worth it. Aluminum is the one we have en mass. Otherwise it's just pretty much not worth it.


Once you think about it, it makes sense too. You can take a bag of pop cans to the recycling place and receive some money (not a lot, be enough to make it worthwhile to many people), but the same isn't true really for paper or plastic. Since someone is willing to give you money for aluminum but not for paper it tells you that recycled aluminum is worth money to someone else, but recycled paper is not. From here you can conclude that it is easier/cheaper/better to use recycled aluminum than new, and that it is not so for paper or plastic.

Here was where I was going to go in to the landfill issue but I see that Alex just posted about it. I will add, however, that I believe I read somewhere that, while there is finite space for landfills, we really aren't even close to "running out of space" anytime soon. I could be wrong though.
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Matt edited this 3 times, last at 09/12/2008 9:55:27 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 11:14:31 PM
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Indeed. If there was money in it, there would be money in it for you.

As for landfills, you can cover up a landfill and turn it into a park and you'd never know there's a landfill under it. It also produces methane that can be used. A 35 by 35 mile wide landfill could hold 1000 years of garbage for the entire country. We aren't going to run out of space anytime soon.

Plastic is semi-worth recycling, I guess, but only if you don't like the idea of it being in landfills. It's still a net loss and lower quality stuff in the end.

Recycling paper is a preposterous boondoggle considering how fast it would decompose. Also, virtually all paper is made from trees that are only planted in the first place to make paper. Using "new" paper likely "saves" more trees than using recycled paper anyway.

Like 40% of everything we hand sort for recycling gets thrown into a landfill anyway. After being hand sorted out of an conveyor belt at a big smog belching manufacturing plant.
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matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
09/12/2008 @ 11:22:44 PM
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Recycling Is Garbage

I went back and found the Times article I read that dealt with the recycling/landfill issues. I reread it and while it is a little long (11 pages, but they're not overly long pages), it is also very good. The article was written in 1996 so certain factors may have changed some of the cost/benefit dynamics of recycling since then, but the overall point is probably still valid. Even with this caveat, it is still worthwhile reading it, as the article touches on what caused the whole recycling craze, the dangers of government mandates and regulations that end up doing more harm than good, and even a little bit of how children were/are indoctrinated with some of these false ideas about recycling/garbage.
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Matt messed with this at 09/12/2008 11:23:00 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
09/12/2008 @ 11:37:19 PM
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As for wind power:

They are big, loud, and really inefficient. Often times they are installed in remote areas which requires roads to be built for the sole purpose of installing them. They have such big, deep, foundations they often require blasting the bedrock below the soil.

Wind speeds are lower in cities than in the country side, (so much so that they likely wouldn't ever even offset the carbon to produce/install them in cities) so more often that not wind turbines are installed in habitats that would be otherwise "untouched" by humans. I can't find any figure, not for a lack of trying, but one has to wonder if turbines in cities often don't even offset their own "carbon footprint" how long a turbine in an "ideal" area has to be operational before it even "pays" for itself.

Now, you could argue it's not ALL about being a net gain for the environment, it's part about getting off of oil, but the answer there is nuclear.

Every little bit DOES help, but to me wind power is more about "feeling good" than doing something that's going to have a meaningful long term worth.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 09/12/2008 11:40:19 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/12/2008 @ 11:41:12 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 11:22:44 PM
Recycling Is Garbage

I went back and found the Times article I read that dealt with the recycling/landfill issues. I reread it and while it is a little long (11 pages, but they're not overly long pages), it is also very good. The article was written in 1996 so certain factors may have changed some of the cost/benefit dynamics of recycling since then, but the overall point is probably still valid. Even with this caveat, it is still worthwhile reading it, as the article touches on what caused the whole recycling craze, the dangers of government mandates and regulations that end up doing more harm than good, and even a little bit of how children were/are indoctrinated with some of these false ideas about recycling/garbage.


The Penn & Teller Bullshit episode is pretty good.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1444391672891013193
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/13/2008 @ 12:16:20 AM
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You know what, I just re-listened to the episode and realized a lot of what I said above was from this episode. Then I went to read that article Matt linked to, I think P&T actually quote this very article in the show.
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goodlooking.jpgcraig - quit lurking! you're freaking me out.
09/13/2008 @ 12:28:45 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:14:31 PM
Using "new" paper likely "saves" more trees than using recycled paper anyway.


So, you're saying killing trees, kills less trees then reusing already dead trees? An interesting, and certainly wrong position to take.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
09/13/2008 @ 12:35:50 AM
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It is possible that if there is a high demand for "new" paper, then more land will be converted to tree farms. If most paper was instead made from recycled paper, this land would be used for something else and the net effect would be fewer trees.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
09/13/2008 @ 12:46:13 AM
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Indeed, that's why "saves" was in quotes. Obviously those specific trees die. Somehow it's become all about "saving" trees to those damn hippies, which is why I used that word. Penn and Teller make this point, and to a degree the article Matt posted does, but this is tantamount to claiming that by eating vegetables we're ruining the environment because we're "using up" all the vegetables, which only exist because we planted them, for the sole purpose of consumption.

Edit: And by "we" and "eating vegetables" I mean everyone else, because I'm doing my part to avoid vegetables as much as possible.
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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 09/13/2008 1:01:28 am
images.jpgcraig - 22041 Posts
09/13/2008 @ 01:06:46 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:46:13 AM
Edit: And by "we" and "eating vegetables" I mean everyone else, because I'm doing my part to avoid vegetables as much as possible.


I know from personal experience that you are doing all you can to stop the killing of defenseless vegetables. You're a regular damn environmentalist. Or at least a regular damn carnivore.
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craig edited this 2 times, last at 09/13/2008 1:09:32 am
flower .jpgPackOne - She's got the whole wide world singing baby's song.
09/13/2008 @ 05:28:41 PM
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Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:37:06 PM
That guy's math doesn't make any sense unless the new bulbs are also considerably cheaper to purchase. I'm fairly convinced that wind power is pretty sweet. "of removing the 152 current metal halide bulbs" would read better "of removing the current 152 metal halide bulbs". Or is "current metal" actually a type of metal? Is "see see" a direct quote? And more importantly, when you are quoting people that stutter or repeat words should you quote them that way or kind of clean it up?


Hey I wrote this. I don't know the deal with the savings. Apparently over the long term, regarless of cost, even though there are more lights it will save money in the wrong one.

"see see" is not in my original .doc I just checked.

Only on nutcan would there be som much debate about my article in the Altoona Star. Lovin' it.
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flower .jpgPackOne - 1528 Posts
09/13/2008 @ 05:29:48 PM
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Yeah WTF where is my name on the staff page?

This weeks assignment was WAY more exciting. http://www.altoonastar.org/home.php/?p=1783

Next week it's a guy who opened up a martial arts studio.
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PackOne messed with this at 09/13/2008 5:32:18 pm
jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
09/14/2008 @ 11:33:02 AM
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PackOne Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:29:48 PM
Yeah WTF where is my name on the staff page?


Maybe it's only for "creators."

PackOne Wrote - Yesterday @ 05:28:41 PM
Only on nutcan would there be som much debate about my article in the Altoona Star. Lovin' it.


The Altoona Star? Is that some sort of communist paper?
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Jon screwed with this at 09/14/2008 11:35:00 am
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