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Old 09-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #41
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The irony is... it was Judas who complained that a certain gift should be sold and the money given to the poor. But Judas, who kept the money bag, was not really interested in the poor. He was stealing from the money bag. That might explain why some charities have high overhead.

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Old 09-17-2016, 04:01 PM   #42
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You wouldn't use so many elephants if you had to scoop up after them.
Good one.

I found out that a 1999 Chevy Silverado could hold all the 'stuff'. Including a two drawer file cabinet with tax and DRIP 'stuff'. Courtesy Katrina.

heh heh heh - totally lost it since then. Farm action in the Spring.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:14 AM   #43
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I don't see how you can say that "people in developed nations have an obligation to our brothers & sisters (people) in less developed parts of the world to do what we can to eliminate the unnecessaries".......I don't feel I do, and there is no basis that I know of that says we have any obligation to anyone in other nations, developed or otherwise, unless we have some sort of contractual agreement.
+1

I do not consider myself very frugal and such when it comes to things and material resources (for example: I hate to separate "recyclables" at home, I would prefer it was done centrally at the dump etc. and only do it under penalty of law in areas where it is enforced).
I guess I am when it comes to my money (because I save a lot so that we can be FIRED early) and I don't buy loads of things just because I can afford it? I do however buy things that I want, when I want (after I have satisfied myself that I can afford it without jeopardizing our FIRE goals).

I do not pay much (any?) real attention to what I have versus what significantly less someone else has, and I don't think I am the most charitable person on the planet....although I have not knowingly let someone starve because of my specific inaction.

Guess I am not the greatest person on the planet, but I seem to have no problem sleeping at night.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:36 AM   #44
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DH and I de-cluttered a year ago and I'm happy to say we haven't added much back but we've still got more than we need. I have mixed feelings abut the excess of "stuff" in this country. There's too much of it, of course, especially the cheap crap that wears out (or, to some, is out of style) and gets thrown out less than a year later. Ever go through a thrift shop and look at all the dust-collecting decorations and other merchandise? And that's after they're sorted through the trash bags of donations and pulled out the good stuff. If DH and I buy something, it's usually to replace something that's unwearable or un-fixable. (And don't get me started on how short a time it takes for that to happen with the Wal-Mart-ization of America.)

I do, however, realize that all those people buying stuff they don't need, buying food in bulk and throwing out what goes bad, buying new cars, etc. is good for the economy and, as a consequence, my investments. I feel mildly guilty about that.
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:54 AM   #45
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Amen

Jesus said it is not good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs.

However, the dogs do eat the crumbs that fall from the table.

In other words, the whole world benefits from the overflow of abundance. It works on a similar principle as "a rising tide raises all ships."

.
Here is what I am getting at - This planet we live on has finite resources and we are consuming them at an unsustainable rate. As citizens of the world whose lives are interconnected with one another, all of us (IMO) have an obligation to do all we can so as not to waste our abundance and/or create an abundance of waste. This is what we owe ourselves, our neighbors, our progeny and others who must walk this earth.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:07 AM   #46
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Here is what I am getting at - This planet we live on has finite resources and we are consuming them at an unsustainable rate.
John Mccarthy, one of the founders of AI, inventor of lisp, and Stanford CS professor has an interesting counter argument that due to scientific progress notions of unsustainability are simply not true:

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With the development of nuclear energy, it became possible to show that there are no apparent obstacles even to billion year sustainability.(1) . A billion years is unimaginably far in the future.

Humanity has progressed over hundreds of thousands of years, but until about the seventeenth century, progress was a rare event. There were novelties, but a person would not expect a whole sequence of improvements in his lifetime. Since then scientific progress has been continual, and in the advanced parts of the world, there has also been continued technological progress. Therefore, people no longer expect the world to remain the same as it is. [Very likely, the greatest rate of progress for the average person occurred around the end of the 19th century when safe water supplies, telephones, automobiles, electric lighting, and home refrigeration came in short order.]

This page and its satellites will contain references to articles, my own and by others, explaining how humanity is likely to advance in the near future. In particular, we argue that the whole world can reach and maintain American standards of living with a population of even 15 billion. We also argue that maintaining material progress is the highest priority and the best way to ensure that population eventually stabilizes at a sustainable level with a standard of living above the present American level and continues to improve thereafter
See more at Sustainability of Human Progress

I've only skimmed this page and not followed through checking any of his arguments. I don't know if new information has come to light that would have changed any of the details. But it's an interesting argument to consider (Perhaps its only interesting to me due to McCarthy's career).
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:09 AM   #47
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DH and I de-cluttered a year ago and I'm happy to say we haven't added much back but we've still got more than we need. I have mixed feelings abut the excess of "stuff" in this country. There's too much of it, of course, especially the cheap crap that wears out (or, to some, is out of style) and gets thrown out less than a year later. Ever go through a thrift shop and look at all the dust-collecting decorations and other merchandise? And that's after they're sorted through the trash bags of donations and pulled out the good stuff. If DH and I buy something, it's usually to replace something that's unwearable or un-fixable. (And don't get me started on how short a time it takes for that to happen with the Wal-Mart-ization of America.)

I do, however, realize that all those people buying stuff they don't need, buying food in bulk and throwing out what goes bad, buying new cars, etc. is good for the economy and, as a consequence, my investments. I feel mildly guilty about that.
Athena53, one thing to remember is that we, as humans, have figured out how to manufacture items faster than we can consume them.

It's a good thing we know how to recycle metals and other materials we manufacture from the earth or the piles would be bigger.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:54 AM   #48
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Here is what I am getting at - This planet we live on has finite resources and we are consuming them at an unsustainable rate. As citizens of the world whose lives are interconnected with one another, all of us (IMO) have an obligation to do all we can so as not to waste our abundance and/or create an abundance of waste. This is what we owe ourselves, our neighbors, our progeny and others who must walk this earth.
And though the 1st world countries are using more of the resources, they also do a far, far better job of using them.

Pollution control laws in 1st world countries are far stricter, and regularly enforced. I would not be surprised if many of our pollutants are produced at a far lower rate, enough to more than account for the increased consumption.

As an example, our modern US autos produced pollution levels that are literally thousands of times lower than what they were before pollution controls were used. Just one smoke belching vehicle in a third world country is probably hurting the environment more than several hundreds of our clean vehicles.

In fact, a big old pickup truck produces far less pollution than a little leaf blower:

Emissions Test: Car vs. Truck vs. Leaf Blower

Quote:
The Raptor packs a 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, weighs more than 6,200 pounds and has the aerodynamics of Mount Rushmore. .... The two-stroke leaf blower ... generated 23 times the CO and nearly 300 times more NMHC than the crew cab pickup. Let's put that in perspective. To equal the hydrocarbon emissions of about a half-hour of yard work with this two-stroke leaf blower, you'd have to drive a Raptor for 3,887 miles, or the distance from Northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.
Those two stroke leaf blower engines are probably pretty similar to the engines used on the little scooters we see in less developed countries.

2011 Ford Raptor
2012 Fiat 500

Driving a modern car can actually clean the air!

Quote:
When the Raptor (and the Fiat) was running Phase 2 of its tests on the dyno, it was cleaning the air of hydrocarbons. Yes, there were actually fewer hydrocarbons in the Raptor's exhaust than in the air it and we breathed. In the Raptor's case, the ambient air contained 2.821 ppm of total hydrocarbons, and the amount of total hydrocarbons coming out the Raptor's tailpipe measured 2.639 ppm.
I'm not disagreeing with your overall view, I just don't think it is as cut and dried as you see it.

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Old 09-18-2016, 01:51 PM   #49
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Juliet Schor has a term she coined called "high tech self provisioning." I try to find products that fit into that mold like solar lights and our energy and water efficient washer.

I just like the idea of being self sufficient as much as we can and not adding to landfills. I do think it is better for the planet and it is sure better for our pocketbook to not buy a lot of disposable stuff and to buy used when we can. We don't do everything low consumption. We take the train into the city when we can but we also do a fair bit of driving. There's a lot of fun day trips near us and we wouldn't stop going to places like wine country or Yosemite just because we can't ride our bikes there or easily take public transportation.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:35 PM   #50
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I suppose like many others on this forum and elsewhere here are a few things DW & I do in an attempt to reduce our footprints:

- We've switched to vegetarian diets. The commercial raising of livestock consumes disproportionate amounts of the planet's resources for grazing and distribution. We aren't militant about our choice and will defer to whatever is being served food-wise when we are guests of others.

Actually there is an intermediate step switch from Beef to Chicken and reduce the feed needed per pound of meat by at least 50% Partly this is because of the much shorter life cycle of chickens compared to cattle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feed_conversion_ratio

Note Chicken is 1.6 lbs per pound of meat, pork is between 3.5 and 4 and beef is about 6, farm raised fish is about 1.5.
So you can have a affect by choosing the meats you eat. Note that the ratio for chicken has decreased by 250% over the last 50 years.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:53 PM   #51
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Here is what I am getting at - This planet we live on has finite resources and we are consuming them at an unsustainable rate. As citizens of the world whose lives are interconnected with one another, all of us (IMO) have an obligation to do all we can so as not to waste our abundance and/or create an abundance of waste. This is what we owe ourselves, our neighbors, our progeny and others who must walk this earth.
Ah yes the Malthusian theory which has held the view posted above for over 200 years and for at least a long time has been proven wrong. Just like I suspect that the trends in electricity cost from solar now being for utility scale solar being such that if build in deserts cost less that any other source of power, give one hope. If you think about it the western edge of the great plains in the US is ideal for solar as it is to dry for much but cattle grazing. Further you can also integrate wind and solar on the same plot. (the wind tends to blow stronger at night that during the day for example).
Another point 83% of steel made in the US is now recycled. The energy needed to make a ton of steel from iron ore is down over 60% from 110 years ago.
(now for the electricity issue a big piece is now the NIMBY problem for power lines to move the power to where it is needed all be it DC lines are are a lot less intrusive and much better for long distance lines i.e. from the western great plains to east of the Mississippi river, just like pwer moves to new england from Churchill Falls in Labrador.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:28 PM   #52
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Potatoes and poop. I read The Martian. It's nice to know we humans can figure things out.

heh heh heh - Mother Nature can still toss in a curve ball now and then. I still have Tsunami on my bucket list - river flood, volcano, earthquake, forest fire, tornado, hurricane/s are checked off.
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Old 09-21-2016, 05:28 PM   #53
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Here is what I am getting at - This planet we live on has finite resources and we are consuming them at an unsustainable rate. As citizens of the world whose lives are interconnected with one another, all of us (IMO) have an obligation to do all we can so as not to waste our abundance and/or create an abundance of waste. This is what we owe ourselves, our neighbors, our progeny and others who must walk this earth.

It is my nature to live simply and frugally.

Another poster here said to pay attention to how much trash you generate.

In times past, physical assets would be repaired... today the are routinely thrown away and replaced.

Blame our consumer-driven economic system which encourages people to throw away the old [even if it is still functioning] and replace it with the "new and improved."

As for me... I am typing on a 16 year old keyboard/computer.

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Old 09-22-2016, 05:24 AM   #54
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We live in an area of conspicuous consumption. Some have 4 of the larger trash cans that get picked up by town collection. We walked last evening and a family of 3, including young child, generates over 200 gallons of waste, I estimate, every week.
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:46 PM   #55
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Sometimes when I take bags of clutter to the charity thrift shops they say they are full and not accepting donations. I dropped some bags off at Goodwill the other day and a person from the back came out and told the register clerk to to accept any more donations for the day, so I got in under the wire. I was glad as that was the second shop I'd been to that day the first one I tried was already full.

We had an all wood desk with a small water mark on top and had trouble finding a place to accept it, even with giving it away for free, just because of the water mark. I'm not sure what that all means exactly but it seems like a sign of too many consumer goods floating around if it is hard to even give things away for free.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:24 AM   #56
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Sometimes when I take bags of clutter to the charity thrift shops they say they are full and not accepting donations. I dropped some bags off at Goodwill the other day and a person from the back came out and told the register clerk to to accept any more donations for the day, so I got in under the wire. I was glad as that was the second shop I'd been to that day the first one I tried was already full.

We had an all wood desk with a small water mark on top and had trouble finding a place to accept it, even with giving it away for free, just because of the water mark. I'm not sure what that all means exactly but it seems like a sign of too many consumer goods floating around if it is hard to even give things away for free.
'In another Galaxy er time far far away(sic)' a certain relative worked for a Goodwill that accepted donations from 'Microsoft Millionaires'. They hired a woman with 'expertise' out of fear they were mispricing or didn't know what had been donated.

heh heh heh -
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