Deeper Than Simple Solutions

oil bottlesNormally, I like the memes from Give a Shit About Nature, but this is erroneous, following the same error as all the hype that was tied up in biofuels a few years ago. Remember that? They thought they could grow corn and sugar beats and turn them into low-cost gasoline? But they failed to consider that using arable ground (a very limited resource) to grow fuel for your car would cause food prices to soar and deplete the soil so fast farmers would need fossil fuel fertilizer to keep the crops growing, and between plowing, harvesting, processing and artificial fertilizers, more fossil fuel was consumed than was gained in biofuel.

You see, nothing is free in Nature, and hemp doesn’t grow on bare ground. To meet the demands of making billions of bottles, agriculture would have to be rushed, forcing farmers to forego the patient, healthy processes of organic-permaculture farming. Nutrients would have to be forced into the soil to grow that hemp, and that would require millions of gallons of fossil fuel to make and distribute the fertilizer. And that would use more oil than making plastic water bottles out of oil. Ergo, the only real solution is to legislate an end to this insane “bottled water” business.

My point is living green requires looking deeper than simple surface solutions. We are taught to do a lot of superficial things in the name of being more environmentally conscious. Like using industrial scale wind turbines which have so far failed to replace a single coal fired plant in N. America and Europe while devastating raptor populations in their vicinity. Like burning “biofuel” for power when “biofuel” is just a green sounding word for totally stripping the life out of a forest with giant “rape machines” and burning it. Like eating vegetarian because of the notion plant foods use less energy than animal-based foods; a notion which fails to consider the fact that without animals who can breath and drink and thereby metabolize atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, the soil dies.

Simple answers are rarely ever useful for anything except the clever taking advantage of the simple. Green solutions, like all meaningful solutions, take effort, change and sacrifice.

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