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That's just unaustralian!

  • Environment
  • Rant

There's this web site that asks people to add their 2 cents to the discussion on climate change. For reasons I won't go in to, I will not be mentioning this site by name, nor giving you a link to it, but I wanted to share a comment I found on it.

Most of the comments include concerns about the future of the planet, the next generation of humans, and all things green.

Cameron F of Victoria, Australia, has a different opinion, pointing out that it's "UnAustralian that we can't water our plants & wash our toy's [sic]". Cameron adds "Over 100 years of drought and the best the government can do is turn us against our neighbour's [sic] hosing their garden".

The apostrophic abuse aside, is this person serious? Are they taking the piss? I seriously do hope so.

We live in a society that is driven by consumer greed, fuelled by corporate marketing. It is desirable to own a big car. We buy power hungry electronic goods and leave them on standby because it's more convenient than switching them off. We buy carbon credits instead of a more economical car, green power or an efficient washing machine because it makes us feel like we're doing our bit. Convenience is bliss - screw the planet!

People! We only have one planet, so why are we doing our best to destroy it? Until we learn that the environment is not there for us to rape and that we have a duty to look after our planet for future generations, we will continue to head down a path towards an environmental catastrophe.

Selfishness, greed, death and destruction of living organisms for your own gain - these are unaustralian.

Have you ever met any of these types that think the planet is here to serve us, that we deserve big cars, that chucking that perfectly good 4 year old TV into the tip and buying a new one is acceptable? I'd love to hear your stories...

Are you one of these consumer hungry, planet depleting types that feels compelled to comment on this topic and persuade me that I'm wrong? Chime in!


Ben, I am not sure what you are asking here. Are you asking to be convinced that snitching on your neighbours is un-Australian? Or that global warming is/is not a government scare campaign? Or that we should/shouldn't save water (in Victoria)? What is it exactly that you have an issue with?

I can't be convinced that snitching is unaustralian. Or can I?? Global warming isn't a government scare campaign - it might be a media one, but definitely not government. And we should save water! Tell me I'm wrong...

I have an issue with people thinking that having to save water is unaustralian. Some might argue that industry uses more water than homes do, but, while that might be true, that doesn't mean homes shouldn't save water - it means industry should save water too. Why use perfectly good drinking water to cool machinery when rain water will do just as well?

"I can't be convinced that snitching is unaustralian. Or can I??" This one is a doozy. I don't think I can either, or can I?

"Global warming isn't a government scare campaign - it might be a media one, but definitely not government." Bwahahahahahahaha. Okay! I am sure we will revisit this little sentence later. Let's stay on the water issue for now.

"And we should save water! Tell me I'm wrong" To fulfill your request: you are wrong.

Should we save water – definitely, we should try to be more resource efficient, water or otherwise. By the way, do you turn your home servers off when you are at work and power them on by WOL? What that guy was saying is something very different to your statement. The issue in our case is localised to an individual state (and/or territory), in our case: VIC. The oh so wise, Victorian government is spreading just a tinsy-wittle-bit of FUD to the dumb masses, enforced by fines of course. I personally find it fascinating how much b.s. some people will swallow (discussed below). The water saving bullshit that people are so desperately try to maintain (mainly to avoid fines) is negligible. Page 18 (or 19) of: Our Water Our Future – The Next Stage of the Government's Water Plan (TV says one thing, the printed media says something different). Less than 10% of total water is used by the (VIC) households. Can you even imagine how small this number is? So, before you get a little emotional – do what your favorite uncle would do: Get The Facts, ehem. In layman's terms (at least going by the brochure) if all of us, right now and for the next year stopped using water we would not make a difference. People say that every little bit counts – not in this case, the households are negligible. So, instead of trying to bleed the general public for every cent they have, just maybe, the state government could go after the real water wasters and leave Mr Cameron F alone; to wash his toys?

"This one is a doozy. I don't think I can either, or can I?" It was an invitation for you to try...

My home servers are off when I don't use them. Soon, they'll be solar powered. In the meanwhile, when they are on, they use green power (the really green one - wind, not hydro). The modem/router/wireless access points are always on. The TV is switched off at the wall when not in use, as are the microwave, stereo, and anything else with standby mode - the only exceptions being the oven and alarm clock.

"if all of us, right now and for the next year stopped using water we would not make a difference" and "households are negligible" - don't they contradict? If it's negligible, then it does make a difference, albeit a small one.

I refer to my previous comment: the fact that home users use less water than industry doesn't mean we shouldn't save water - industry should too. It's attitudes like "I hardly use any, therefore I should be allowed to carry on" that compound the problem from an education point of view. Next we'll have small industries saying they shouldn't need to reduce their water usage because it's the larger industries that use more.

We either all save water, or none of us do. Humans are like that - we're not rational, we all want what others have. If we all use less water, we'll still have what the others have: less water.

Clarification (stats for 2004 - 2005, i.e. before the restrictions): Water used in VIC - 27% Water used in Melbourne (household and industry) - 10%

Meaning that household water usage is even less than what I initially thought. That is, Melbourne water restrictions is a complete waste of time; and is only done to make the government look like they are doing something.

Can you expand on that data? 27% of what? National usage? Available water in reservoirs? Does the 10% apply to the 27% (i.e. 2.7% usage in Melbourne)? Perhaps a link to the stats?

I'm not sure how you conclude the restrictions are a water of time - if the reservoir levels are dropping, then it's not a waste of time. Of course clarification of the stats might answer this question...

Dude do you research before you start a debate such as this one. This is the type of a debate where figures and statistics do the talking – not emotion. I have provided the source in an earlier comment, please read it (if you can be bothered).

You servers... Excuses! You need to switch them off mate; and don't forget to yank those lithium cells out of the mother boards - they leech power too you know. Solar panels: yes they do look green but are they really? Did you consider how much pollution is emitted during the production of solar panels? You, my hippie friend have just sponsored another war!

RE: Negligible…Contradiction… No, negligible means it makes no difference; or the amount of difference that is not worth the effort; and which will not yield any effect nor is realistic – I do not want to sit next to a stinky Balbo next month!

"We either all save water, or none of us d " Actually, humans are VERY rational beings, maybe not the type of humans who commit acts of piracy on the high seas; but certainly the kind of humans that live in Melbourne. Instead of bringing forwards deep and meaningful philosophical arguments about human rational, let's keep this discussion factual (as factual as this vague topic can be).

This topic started as a rant (Entry Filed under: Environment, Rant). Rants are by their very nature often emotional. You're the one who started the debate. I asked for people to tell me their stories, or convince me that being a consumer hungry, planet depleting type was a good thing. You've done neither.

You have started an interesting debate, however, and for that I had done no research. I apologise for not reading your mind in advance and preparing my defence.

The energy payback time on solar panels, depending on the material used, is around 2 years, depending on the location (less sun, longer payback time). So I'm burning 2 years worth of fuels now, to save 20+ years of fuel use in the long run. That's not perfect, I admit. But it's a hell of a lot better than the status quo.

Negligible means it can be neglected - doesn't mean is should be neglected.

Oh cry me a river.

If something is negligable, for all scientific purposes (measurements) it's as good as zero.

You asked to be convinced and I started with water... Victorian water restriction policies are a waste of time and achieve nothing. Now, laying a big mofo drain pipe from QLD to VIC, now that's an idea that solves 2 issues at once :p

Other than that, sorry! I mistook your rant for a request for a debate... Rant away, I know ranting is what keeps us geeks from stabbing people with screwdrivers :)

/me puts screwdriver away

Industry is consumer based. All water used in industry is ultimately used by the average household.

As far as using water to, well, water plants is concerned, what is the problem, really? We should have better infrastructre for that sort of thing. Living in a city/state where everything is dead is not 'good for the environment'

I wouldn't shed a tear if we utilised the water of the Yarra to keep our parks watered to the point that it is merely a creek before it flows out into the undersalinified Southern Ocean.

Envirnmental coservatism is out of control, as is consumerism, neither of these movements offer the formula to solving our problems with the decline of our planet's ecosystem.

Hi Isaac!

"Industry is consumer based" - are you saying that consumers are responsible for industry's use of water, and therefore the stats Serg quotes are inaccurate? If so, while I see the point, I'm not sure I agree. On the one hand it's like buying fair trade coffee to ensure better wages and conditions to the farmers - we as consumers should choose industries that use less water. The problem is it's not that transparent - we don't know how much water Coopers uses compared to CUB during their beer making process, for example.

"Better infrastructure" - sure, that why you have a water tank in your garden ;-) Seriously though, what would you like the government to do to improve infrastructure - are you talking about desalination plants, more suitably located reservoirs, better pipelines, higher rebates for talk installations?

"Shedding a tear for the Yarra river" - so long as it doesn't go below the minimum level to maintain the health of the banks, I presume ;-)

So, you've told us what's wrong, what we should have, and how nobody's doing it - any ideas on how to do it?

Here I go, can't help but rant at a rant....

On the consumer based industry thing;

I think it would be great thing if we knew/could rate how much potable water/carbon emissions/crude oil was spent in the making of a consumer product through careful labeling. (of course, it is difficult to think of a system that would not be tremendously exploitable) The bottom line is, we need more transparency, and furthermore, the environmental conservatives should be pushing for a much more environmentally symbiotic human lifestyle. Instead we see them pushing for a more consumerism symbiotic lifestyle.

Most of us now recycle, to 'do our bit,' which is apparently a good thing for the 'environment'. This course of action has been pushed readily by the environmentalist movement, but recycling is actually a tremendously wasteful process that gives us a 'warm fuzzy feeling' about our management of the waste that is generated by the average family household.

Do you really think that when you buy your milk in a plastic bottle, consume it, and then throw it in the recycling, that you are doing a good thing for the environment? We used to have a system of reusing glass bottles in every household, yet we did away with that. Where are the environmental conservatives calling for the renewal of this far less wasteful and more convenient system?

See my closing paragraph for the conclusion to this.

On the better infrastructure comment;

Why don't we have a separate water system to supply not necessarily potable water that is safe for use with watering parks or gardens or with industrial applications? Surely it seems that the demand for this water is far greater than for drinking water, and probably from a much more select group of consumers, including the governments responsible for infrastructure themselves....

Dealing with the problems we have with our society at odds with our ecosystem has to really be at an 'all or nothing' level. We need to cleverly ensure that the vast majority of housholds/businesses/industry produce nothing but compostable waste, and use completely renewable sources of energy/materials without a major environmental impact. This really would require the sole focus of humanity for decades to realise, and unless someone is proposing that, then we are screwed and I just wish people wouldn't pussyfoot around trumpeting the virtues of half solutions and acceptable compromises.

What was the topic again?

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