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quietaustralian

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Officeworks is one of the largest suppliers of Reflex Paper in Australia - paper produced through the destruction of Victoria's native forests.

Victoria's forests are the most carbon dense on earth, and logging releases enormous amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The logging is taking place in important water catchments and in habitat critical to the survival of Victoria's magnificent native wildlife, including orchids.

Officeworks are well aware of the environmental costs of native forest logging - and that ready alternatives exist - but they continue to support this by stocking the Reflex range.

This is despite their own Corporate Social Responsibility policy, which states that "Our goal is to fully integrate environmental responsibility into every facet of our operations" by "select[ing] better products for the environment."

It is time for Officeworks to start taking their own policies seriously and to refuse to stock Reflex Paper until its producer, Australian Paper, no longer sources wood fibre from the logging of native forests.

Sign the Ethical Paper Petition www.ethicalpaper.com.au
 
D

Dokmai Garden

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Since there have been at least 25 major global warmings during the past 400 000 years, and none of them were due to human activity, it is not surprising if that same mechanism is operating now too (http://dokmaidogma.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/who-is-afraid-of-carbon-dioxide/).

I fear the Carbon dioxide hypothesis makes us chase ghosts so that we forget about a real problem, i.e. biodiversity decline. South of Yunnan will be turned into rubber plantations, the orchid rich forests of Laos and Burma will be gone in 8-10 years, but in the eyes of politicians any tree would be fine due to the sacred CO2 mantra. There is a slim chance small fragments of orchid rich forests survive in Thailand: www.dokmaigarden.co.th/orchidark.php
 

gonewild

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Since there have been at least 25 major global warmings during the past 400 000 years, and none of them were due to human activity, it is not surprising if that same mechanism is operating now too (http://dokmaidogma.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/who-is-afraid-of-carbon-dioxide/).

I fear the Carbon dioxide hypothesis makes us chase ghosts so that we forget about a real problem, i.e. biodiversity decline. South of Yunnan will be turned into rubber plantations, the orchid rich forests of Laos and Burma will be gone in 8-10 years, but in the eyes of politicians any tree would be fine due to the sacred CO2 mantra. There is a slim chance small fragments of orchid rich forests survive in Thailand: www.dokmaigarden.co.th/orchidark.php

In Peru where conservation has made logging illegal they are clearing the land to plant oil palm plantations. Since the timber on land can not legally be sold as lumber they just cut it and burn it. The habitat is destroyed, the wood is not used and the CO2 goes into the air, all in a conservation effort to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by not burning fossil fuels.
 

gonewild

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Too many people on planet Earth. That's the basic problem.

Actually I don't think the total human population is the real problem. The problem is that there are too many people living concentrated in cities. Generations of people have grown up without any physical connection to "Nature". Without an emotional bond of respect to the "natural" environment these people have no reason to care about it.

If people were dispersed more evenly throughout the environment they would no doubt take better care of it.
 
E

etex

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In Peru where conservation has made logging illegal they are clearing the land to plant oil palm plantations. Since the timber on land can not legally be sold as lumber they just cut it and burn it. The habitat is destroyed, the wood is not used and the CO2 goes into the air, all in a conservation effort to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by not burning fossil fuels.

That's such a waste!Slash and burn. You'd think they'd use a little common sense and think before all the wildlife habitats are destroyed.
 

TyroneGenade

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If people were dispersed more evenly throughout the environment they would no doubt take better care of it.
\

I agree, we have not yet reached the carrying capacity for the human population. All the world can still be fed using just the arable land in Texas. The problem is we are too spread out!

Spreading people out means more energy has to be expended carting goods backwards and forwards. It also means that crops get more expensive locally as the markets are smaller and the is a higher risk of stuff not getting sold. While electricity can be transmitted across a continent at relatively low cost the operation of the powerplant requires both lots of labour, ready supply of fuel and a large support population (i.e. a city) to supply the skills to keep everything running. Human beings do not congregate in cities because we like it, it just the invisible hand doing its work imposing the most cost effective/energy efficient system.

Pound per pound, you can't beat fossil fuels like coal and oil for energy production. You need to burn a lot more wood to get the same energy as you would from coal or oil. And you need to occupy a lot more land (which could be better used) for wind or solar power to meet energy needs than you would if you used coal, gas or nuclear.

We may think of wind or solar as being nice solutions to a dirty problem but the end result is more natural land being destroyed and biodiversity being lost.

The choice is not clean versus dirty energy sources but between just which natural resources we are going to sacrifice. Everything comes with a cost. Anything which is going to cost people is going to cost the environment and vice versa.

For a better understanding of cost-benefit I suggest Thomas Sowell's Applied Economics.

P.S. For the last 20 years I have been told that sea levels are going to rise 10 m. I'm still waiting. We make a big joke about that stupid Camping fellow and his End-of-the-world prophecies but Climatologist have been pulling the same joke on us for 20 years without us so much as batting an eye-lid.
 

gonewild

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\

I agree, we have not yet reached the carrying capacity for the human population. All the world can still be fed using just the arable land in Texas. The problem is we are too spread out!

The other way to look at it is that we need to spread out more. Distribute the weight evenly over the earths surface.

People concentrate into large cites to produce "useless" stuff. The stuff is all stuff we desire and stuff that we do not need to survive and have a comfortable life. The problem is that in the last 100 years we have redefined the meaning of comfort.

I f we spread out and went back to how the human species was designed to live the environment would be fine. That means back to living in family units, tribes or how ever you want to describe it. Maybe a less primitive way to define it is "a family farm". Each family works to produce what they need. If they can't provide then their family does not grow to overcrowd the environment.

It's all about human desire and not human necessity.

I'm fortunate to have several Peruvian native friends that lived in the jungle before civilization arrived to their river. One of my best friends lived as a "wild" human until he was 14 years old. He now lives near town in a native community that owns part of a tourist lodge and has a little more money than others in the area. His life should be good, he has a TV and a boat and "stuff". But I always remember what he told me his dream in life is.... he wishes he could be "wild" again. His idea of life is to sleep on the beach until he get hungry, then to get up and walk until he finds something to eat. Maybe work a little on his garden plot, maybe eat some fallen fruit, maybe catch a fish, maybe go to the neighbors for a snack. Then go back to the beach and lay in the warm sand until he he gets hungry again. That is what he considers being alive. I tried his way of life for a while and it was great and then I got a phone call.

What a shame we need so much "stuff", we have ruined it.
Check out this video... "The Story of Stuff"
 

Shiva

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I agree with Tyrone. The more efficient system has already been invented by ants and bees among others. Concentrate the population in one place and save the land and use it to feed and clothe people.
Spreading population around creates pollution, waste energy, destroy lands, forests, foul lakes, rivers and seas, encroaches on nature, destroy habitats and is enormously expansive in building infrastructures. Better to have large cities of tens of millions that recycle water and air before releasing it. Then everyone could use the land and protect if from themselves and others. We do not own the land, we're just using it in passing and we should try to leave it as it was for those that come after us. I know this sounds ''apple in the sky'' but nature will restore the balance eventually, one way or another. Our present civilisation is unsustainable and the Earth will take care of itself on its own if we don't.
 

gonewild

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I agree with Tyrone. The more efficient system has already been invented by ants and bees among others. Concentrate the population in one place and save the land and use it to feed and clothe people.
Spreading population around creates pollution, waste energy, destroy lands, forests, foul lakes, rivers and seas, encroaches on nature, destroy habitats and is enormously expansive in building infrastructures. Better to have large cities of tens of millions that recycle water and air before releasing it. Then everyone could use the land and protect if from themselves and others. We do not own the land, we're just using it in passing and we should try to leave it as it was for those that come after us. I know this sounds ''apple in the sky'' but nature will restore the balance eventually, one way or another. Our present civilisation is unsustainable and the Earth will take care of itself on its own if we don't.

You do know about army ants don't you? The ones who don't have a permanent home and travel across the land consuming every living thing they encounter? And then of course the "killer" bees that steal and plunder peaceful colonies. Sounds almost human.

How does spreading population around create pollution?
 

Shiva

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Because you need to duplicate things ad-infinitum: every house has to drop its wastes in ever growing pipes that can leak, or be picked up by trucks powered by oil. Every house has to be heated individually with enormous energy losses overall. All the waste water has to end up in water treatment plants that cost fortunes to build, money that many small settlements can't afford to spend. What's more you'd have to stretch electrical grids and gas lines even more: more waste. Then you waste gas to go to work and come back. And the more cities, the more roads you need to build in all directions, and bridges to cross over rivers and everything has to be repaired continuously because it's outside all the time under the rain and snow and ice, not to mention the stress of ever growing trafic. Roads have to be kept open all the time, especially in winter, more wasted oil, and so on. Spreading people around was fine when humans could be counted in millions or even hundreds of millions, and at a time where their energy need was a small fraction of what it is today. Then, the more we encroach on the land, the more we destroy nature, the more we pollute by destroying natural systems like trees and marshes that handled pollution and wastes in the past. Wild animals are deprived and end up dead or in our backyards or both.
What if we lived in very concentrated areas? We could burn our wastes to provide both energy and heat. Recycling could be done on the spot. We'd always be close enough to our school, our work place and our home, and all needed mass transport could be electric. We could even walk protected from the elements. And outside could be just a few meters or hundreds of meters away, with trees and golf courts and summer camps that could be rented by everybody. Maybe even an open seaside beach.
With today's material and plenty of great architects we can count on, we could build humongous cities that could house tens of millions of people and that would be fun and healthy to live in.
Imagine for instance a step pyramid shape building that could be miles across and hundreds of miles long, snaking away across the land. Everybody's roof would be the garden of the people living above. All roads would be inside. The central atrium open to the light above could house sport stadiums, parcs, bicycle paths, pools, ponds and, every now and then, perhaps a great glass hub for those who wish to grow their orchids inside amidst a tropical forest. Your imagination is the limit. And all the air, water and wastes could be recycled inside and never get out.
Most cities were never built for modern man. The old streets were built for horse drawn carts moving on cobblestone. They keep evolving in their confined space, constantly breaking apart and being repaired and polluted because they were never designed for automobile in the first place. And all this leading to more urban sprawl. We're too far gone with this model to change. We still love our old wasteful cities. We even celebrate their aging years.
We need to start anew but that won't happen until we all crash, and we will. Don't think I'm a pessimist. On the contrary, I'm sure we'll manage somehow to get through as a species, probably spread sparsely across the land as you wish before our number start increasing again. :)
I sincerely hope we'll take time to think all this through before we start over with new cities.
And as for ant warfare and killer bees, they don't stand up one quantum bit to us, and I'm afraid that won't change for a long time.
 

gonewild

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With today's material and plenty of great architects we can count on, we could build humongous cities that could house tens of millions of people and that would be fun and healthy to live in.

:sob::sob:

I can't imagine a worst place to live.
:sob:

When I suggest people spread out it is to separate them into more viable low densities. In my concept there is virtually no waste to dispose of.
 

gonewild

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:sob::sob:

I can't imagine a worst place to live.
:sob:
QUOTE]

How about Afghanistan, Syria, Lybia, Siberia...:rollhappy:


Equally bad, just for opposite reasons.
:wink:

Except Siberia, I think they have trees. I think we can make it there as long as we cut the wires and block the roads to the outside cities.
 

Rick

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There's more than 1 factor than food to account for carrying capacity.

Besides food intake there's waste output, water requirements, and behavioral compatibility.
In closed simple non human systems (like bacteria in a test tube) you could shovel in unlimited food, and everything still poisons itself to death with its own waste. Is CO2 analogous yet ? My job is ecotoxicology, and I can think of other chemicals if you like.

Fresh water availability is constricting things faster than food shortage.

I think behavior is coming up now. No one can stand their neighbors at a distance let alone in a hive.

The old expression "to many rats in the cage"? Terrorism analogous??
 

Shiva

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No one can stand their neighbors at a distance let alone in a hive.

I don't think we'll have much of a choice in the future. We may have to live in protected environments of some sort and that will only be possible if we concentrate the population in some places. That doesn't mean we can't go outside.
In the best of scenarios, people could live there but would be free to go out for camping trips or sight seeing. My concept is to protect what nature we have from ourselves so that it can be shared by everyone. If we were to spread humans around all over, there would be no real natural sites left. The challenge is to manage our freedom and our need for some solitude as well as the space for wildlife. Astronauts who go to the planet Mars may have to live in confined space for years, without much solitude, gardens or wildlife. There are ideas to create cities in space. They may be beautiful golden cages, but cages nonetheless.
In the worst of scenarios, we go on as we do now, picking endlessly at the fibers holding our nest until nothing is left of it. What then?
 

Mark Sullivan

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Population Growth

From: http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/chinapopulation.htm

With just over 1.3 billion people (1,330,044,605 as of mid-2008), China is the world's most populous country.

As the world's population is approximately 6.7 billion, China represents a full 20% of the world's population so one in every five people on the planet is a resident of China.

China's population growth has been somewhat slowed by the one child policy, in effect since 1979.

As recently as 1950, China's population was a mere 563 million. The population grew dramatically through the following decades to one billion in the early 1980s.

By the late 2010s, China's population is expected to reach 1.4 billion. Around 2030, China's population is anticipated to peak and then slowly start dropping.

In the next few decades, India, the world's second most populous country is expected to surpass China in population. By 2040, India's population is expected to be 1.52 billion; that same year, China's will be 1.45 billion and India will become the world's most populous country. As of 2005, India has a total fertility rate of 2.8, well above replacement value, so it is growing much more quickly than China.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbanization_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

While the urbanization rate in China is 46%, lower than the world average , the speed of China's urbanization is, nonetheless unprecedented.

According to Professor Lu Dadao, president of the Geographical Society of China (GSC), China's urbanization took 22 years to increase to 39.1% from 17.9%. It took Britain 120 years, the US, 80 years, and Japan more than 30 years to accomplish the same.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2007/jan/10/china.waste

China's fast-growing cities will no longer be able to cope with the amount of rubbish they produce by 2020, according to a government study.

By that time the garbage produced annually by urban households and businesses in the world's most populous nation will reach 400m tonnes, equivalent to the figure for the entire world in 1997, the China Daily reported.

So you can see population is problem, consumption, and over consumption is a problem. India and China are the two biggest but the problem is shared worldwide. As more people get richer the earth get poorer as we consume more and make it into waste. Think about everything you buy and everything you throw away. Recycle, Compost, use reusable shopping bags.
The Earth will thank you for that and so will orchids in situ.
 

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