Jump to content

Environment and housing


offense74
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a general wondering to (mostly) the Americans here.

I've recognised that having a house with a lawn and a swimmingpool is more or less essential for Americans. To me the cars that Americans drive is just a consequense of this thinking.

If 4 million people needs to own their own house, you get Los Angeles. If 4 million people live in apartments, you get Manhattan. 8% of the residents of Manhattan owns a car whereas probably close to 100% of the residents of LA have a car.

A transporttation system is more or less inadequate for a city with such a large gegraphical area as LA so that is hardly a solution.

Also if you build a house for many it's easier to coordinate garbage disposal, better isolation of the walls and windows, etc as is evident in some of the newer buildings on Manhattan.

Does anyone ever discuss this in the US? It seems to me that this is one of the roots to the problem that the US have with the global warming crisis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of people in southern California live in apartments and condos. I think the problem out there is caused by a combination of poor planning and rapid growth

 

There are some new planned communities springing up around where I live where people have the house and yard and all that, but it is also organized around a town center so commuting is minimized, and opportunities for walking/bicycling or using small electric cars are maximized

 

A lot of Americans definitely think about the problems you are talking about (it's hard not to notice the problem when you're stuck in rush hour traffic), and its usually referred to as "sprawl"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike Europe, the demographic density of the western countries still really low ( except that the population is growing a 1000x faster than europe, ), and therefore, they believe that everything is ok, there's nothing to worry about and that the government is going to take care of that, and in reality, they end up forgetting that forests are being cut down every single day, not only that but millions of other problems that people would love to get rid of, but i guess they're just to lazy to find out how.

 

In Europe, in places like Netherlands, they're all squeezed already and the government tries to do all kinds of things to maintain that certain amount of forest, and even though we all know that, people still careless, they just don't care about the future generations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike Europe, the demographic density of the western countries still really low ( except that the population is growing a 1000x faster than europe, ), and therefore, they believe that everything is ok, there's nothing to worry about and that the government is going to take care of that, and in reality, they end up forgetting that forests are being cut down every single day, not only that but millions of other problems that people would love to get rid of, but i guess they're just to lazy to find out how.

 

In Europe, in places like Netherlands, they're all squeezed already and the government tries to do all kinds of things to maintain that certain amount of forest, and even though we all know that, people still careless, they just don't care about the future generations.

 

It amazes me how parents want to "raise their children well" by giving them money for school, but don't care about what kind of food they eat or not caring about things that their kids will have to worry, like enviornmental issues. That's why I don't want children for the most part, I can't imagine raising a child in a world like this where it's already too crowded, but I seem to be one of the only ones who notice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike Europe, the demographic density of the western countries still really low ( except that the population is growing a 1000x faster than europe, ), and therefore, they believe that everything is ok, there's nothing to worry about and that the government is going to take care of that, and in reality, they end up forgetting that forests are being cut down every single day, not only that but millions of other problems that people would love to get rid of, but i guess they're just to lazy to find out how.

 

In Europe, in places like Netherlands, they're all squeezed already and the government tries to do all kinds of things to maintain that certain amount of forest, and even though we all know that, people still careless, they just don't care about the future generations.

The single biggest problem we have when it comes to global warming is the belief that the govrnments will fix this problem. They won't, because they can't.

Have you ever asked yourself if people in Germany didn't see what was coming when they voted for Hitler in the 1930's? After the war started did they still not see?

Since we live in more open societies (information wise) today global warming is even more obvious today than was Hitlers plan in the 1930's. The consequences of global warming will probably be alot bigger than the negative impact Hitler had on the world and the solution is painfully clear.

Housing is just a part of the cultural mind set that needs to change, according to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Housing is just a part of the cultural mind set that needs to change, according to me.

 

I think population is the real issue, although much harder to solve than housing issues. I agree that if the population problem continues, and it likely will, that we will have to adjust to denser high rise residences. You are correct, that is a necessary step in solving global warming, urban sprawl and a host of other environmental problems.

 

But to me at least, that is very sad. I don't think most humans thrive in these settings. We aren't meant to be stacked in like bees or ants. Especially those of us in cold northern climates, we need bigger and brighter indoor spaces, not smaller darker apartments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike Europe, the demographic density of the western countries still really low ( except that the population is growing a 1000x faster than europe, ), and therefore, they believe that everything is ok, there's nothing to worry about and that the government is going to take care of that, and in reality, they end up forgetting that forests are being cut down every single day, not only that but millions of other problems that people would love to get rid of, but i guess they're just to lazy to find out how.

 

In Europe, in places like Netherlands, they're all squeezed already and the government tries to do all kinds of things to maintain that certain amount of forest, and even though we all know that, people still careless, they just don't care about the future generations.

The single biggest problem we have when it comes to global warming is the belief that the govrnments will fix this problem. They won't, because they can't.

Have you ever asked yourself if people in Germany didn't see what was coming when they voted for Hitler in the 1930's? After the war started did they still not see?

Since we live in more open societies (information wise) today global warming is even more obvious today than was Hitlers plan in the 1930's. The consequences of global warming will probably be alot bigger than the negative impact Hitler had on the world and the solution is painfully clear.

Housing is just a part of the cultural mind set that needs to change, according to me.

 

I know, that sucks, that's why people hate when we try to help the environment in our ''hippie'' way, they not only ignore what the government usually does with our taxes, but they also believe that the government and god ( for religious people ) is going to help them.

Even with all these prophets in major religions being simple and telling us that we shouldn't be materialistic and all that, i can't believe people still call temselves religious and loyal for their religions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unlike Europe, the demographic density of the western countries still really low ( except that the population is growing a 1000x faster than europe, ), and therefore, they believe that everything is ok, there's nothing to worry about and that the government is going to take care of that, and in reality, they end up forgetting that forests are being cut down every single day, not only that but millions of other problems that people would love to get rid of, but i guess they're just to lazy to find out how.

 

In Europe, in places like Netherlands, they're all squeezed already and the government tries to do all kinds of things to maintain that certain amount of forest, and even though we all know that, people still careless, they just don't care about the future generations.

The single biggest problem we have when it comes to global warming is the belief that the govrnments will fix this problem. They won't, because they can't.

Have you ever asked yourself if people in Germany didn't see what was coming when they voted for Hitler in the 1930's? After the war started did they still not see?

Since we live in more open societies (information wise) today global warming is even more obvious today than was Hitlers plan in the 1930's. The consequences of global warming will probably be alot bigger than the negative impact Hitler had on the world and the solution is painfully clear.

Housing is just a part of the cultural mind set that needs to change, according to me.

 

I know, that sucks, that's why people hate when we try to help the environment in our ''hippie'' way, they not only ignore what the government usually does with our taxes, but they also believe that the government and god ( for religious people ) is going to help them.

Even with all these prophets in major religions being simple and telling us that we shouldn't be materialistic and all that, i can't believe people still call temselves religious and loyal for their religions.

 

I saw someone say once that global warming is the work of god, and that they don't care if they still pollute, because god is at work.

 

It does indeed look strange (and bad) when we try to offer our suggestions, only to be called things along the lines of "hippie", because we don't want to have to deal with the already-occuring problems that people don't seem to want to fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-Humans, the only specie considered to be rational, i wonder if rationality is a bad thing.

 

-super population, famine, wars, global warming, and people still calling themselves as rational with pride.

 

Are humans irrational and for lack of understanding of others species they only consider humans rational, or rationality is too much for most of humans?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the experts say that pollution is the reason for global warming, other experts say that global warming is normal cycle that the earth goes through, and still others say that we haven't been tracking temperatures long enough to determine whether what we're experiencing is normal or not. Personally, I'm not 100% convinced by any of them.

 

What I am convinced of is that we've got a multi-faceted problem caused by lots of poor planning. For the most part, our cities aren't well planned, our public transportation systems don't (or simply cannot) serve everyone in the city well, and individuals don't plan their lives well. As a result, we've got a huge pollution problem, we're completely dependent upon petroleum but we're running out, and all the time spent stuck in traffic takes away from our family and personal time.

 

People should, if at all possible, try to live near their jobs. Just a little bit of personal responsibility would solve a lot of the problem. If people demanded housing near where the jobs are or jobs near where the homes are, things would have to change, wouldn't they? I know people who commute 30 minutes, 60 minutes, even longer... every day... one way. In Houston, this is perfectly normal and accepted. I guess I could understand doing that for a finite period of time, like maybe for 6 months until you're able to find a suitable home closer to work if the career opportunity warrants it, but I can't understand how anyone can do that indefinitely. Who wants to spend 10 hours per week commuting? I do live in the suburbs in a small house with a yard (no pool, and I don't want one) but my commute is about 2 miles. If it was safe to do so (no sidewalks!!) it's close enough that I could walk to work. For all except about two months of the past 20 years, I've not had a commute that was longer than 10 miles - by my choice.

 

Public transportation could be improved, in many cases. Even in Houston, which is so spread out that it takes me an hour to drive from one corner to the other. For example, we had unused railroad tracks that ran parallel to I-10, which is one of the main highways to the suburbs. For reasons that I can't comprehend, the highway was expanded to accommodate an extra lane or two of traffic, and the railroad tracks (which logically could've been used by some sort of commuter train) were removed. Things like this frustrate me so much.

 

Check out this documentary: http://www.endofsuburbia.com/ if you haven't already.

 

Another issue is our choice of housing. My grandparents live in a 200-year old house, that will probably be around that much longer it's so well-built. The McMansions I see being built in the neighborhoods surrouding mine don't look like they'll still be standing in 30 years. Then what happens, they bulldoze and replace them? Not to mention, they're going to require lots of energy to heat & cool and require excessive resources (wood, etc) to build in the first place. I'd like to see more efficient homes like these: http://www.aidomes.com/ or, like offense mentioned, sensible apartment buildings.

 

And one more thing I'd like to complain about while I'm on a roll... our choice of vehicles. I don't know what the rest of the country and rest of the world are doing, but in my area people go for the biggest vehicle they can find, whether they need it or not, which makes life dangerous for those of us who prefer a bicycle or a little tiny fuel-efficient car. I talk to single guys, who own a HUGE 4-door pickup, they drive 50 miles each way to get to work, and maybe actually use the pickup for hauling purposes once a year... they have the nerve to complain about gas prices and I wanna smack 'em in the head. What's worse is, the government encourages this. Check out this article about tax deductionsfor the self-employed. If I remember what I was told in the small business administration workshop I attended, we can buy a vehicle over 6,000 pounds and write off the full purchase price during the first year of ownership, so long as we use it at least 50% of the time for business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have named our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens: tool-making, bipedal primate, wise, wise. But have we named ourselves wisely? Or have we merely engaged in typical human self-puffery? It turns out that our species is not wise, but we believe it is, and this is a serious failure of reality testing.....

 

To read the whole text ---> http://www.enformy.com/$homosap.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion!

 

I think a lot about these issues. I believe having a whole lot less people in the world would be a very good thing - but the main/real issue is our levels of consumption & waste. Americans in particular (With Europeans, Canadians, etc close behind!) consume way more then we need & then waste so much that millions could easily be clothed, fed, etc - just from our trash...

All while the degradation & destruction of the natural world worsens daily!!!

 

Ideally, I want to live in a world that is overwhelmingly in a natural state, where humans live in far greater harmony with other life & keep our impact to a minimum...

Edited by loveliberate
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Overpupulation is a small problem but it's not a fixable problem for an individual in the West, at least not in a direct sense. There are other things that are reachable and easier to fix than this.

The problem with overpopulation is usually conected with the fact that people uses future generations as a retirement fund.

This is obviously not a problem in the rich countries (that are contributing the most to global warming). This problem usually resolves itself when people get a little richer and uses the surplus from their income for insurance instead of their children. This is also when they get enough money to contribute to global warming. Families in Africa with 30 children, on the brink of starvation are not to be blamed for global warming. It's families with 1 child in the US or Sweden that is the problem. The families of 1 obvoiusly are not contributing to overpopulation though. For this reason I believe that overpopulation is a small problem when it comes to global warming, although not neglectible.

Some of the experts say that pollution is the reason for global warming, other experts say that global warming is normal cycle that the earth goes through, and still others say that we haven't been tracking temperatures long enough to determine whether what we're experiencing is normal or not. Personally, I'm not 100% convinced by any of them.

Al Gore brings this up in "An inconvenient truth". There is really no contradiction. The reason why even a lot of the sceptics are turning is a report that looked at the research concerning whether humans are contributing or not to global warming. They looked at 900-something reports and 100% showed that we do contribute. There are politicians, money and old habits involved in the decision to believe in this or not which usually makes logic and reason go out the window. In this case the research is not why people are confused but other interest. As you know the same thing goes for peoples diet.

Humans, the only specie considered to be rational, i wonder if rationality is a bad thing.

We also want to find the easiest solution which sometimes gets us into a lot of problems since the easiest is not always the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe having a whole lot less people in the world would be a very good thing - but the main/real issue is our levels of consumption & waste. ...

 

Ideally, I want to live in a world that is overwhelmingly in a natural state, where humans live in far greater harmony with other life & keep our impact to a minimum...

 

I agree on all counts.

 

The problem is, when most Americans think of 'overpopulation,' they don't consider the US to be overpopulated (I do!), they just think of China or India or someplace 'out there.' And when somebody pops out 7 kids at once (remember a few years ago?) it's seen as something wonderful, even a 'miracle' (note: this "miracle" was attained through artificial means, and therefore seems to go against what nature/God intended for the family, doesn't it?). Some few desenting opinions in the press were quickly slammed.

 

The last stats I read showed that the typical US citizen uses 4-7 times the amount of natural resources that someone in a developing country does. I think the US is worse than Europe in general. I lived in France for a year, and I was amazed at how much less they use than we do here. But that may have changed, unfortunately.

 

I'd also love to see a world where space is left for animals and plants. Just left to be. It seems like we humans are taking over every bit of natural space, as if we somehow feel compelled to dominate and control it for our uses.

 

On Satellite photos of US populated areas, the distribution of humans looks like the growth of a cancer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think overpopulation is only a small problem for people...for the environment and animals...overpopulation is a terrible problem

I agree with that but when it comes to green house gases it's more important how everybody lives their lives than how many people there are. If we were 50 billion people that emitted no green house gases we wouldn't have global warming and yet the environmental impact of that amount of people would be devastating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even if we were all vegan that wouldn't be possible because 50billion flatulating humans is far too many

 

At least we'd be expending less space, and perhaps living in a Vegan-world i don't think it would be hard to find food that doesn't make us fart that much, we would have a lot more options ( a lot of ''gas-free'' options.. =D ) , and being raw would be really simply.. ( does raw people really fart that often? )

 

The thing about the population is that the bigger our population grows, the harder it is to control or live in harmony with everybody else, it requires a lot of communication or perhaps a advanced system or people start acting like irrationals. If our population wasn't so gigantic, i don't think we would make such an impact on Earth for each step we take.

We are like giants, we consume more, we make the difference, we live in a smaller world than other species.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's families with 1 child in the US or Sweden that is the problem. The families of 1 obvoiusly are not contributing to overpopulation though. For this reason I believe that overpopulation is a small problem when it comes to global warming, although not neglectible.

 

I totally disagree. If there were a reasonable number ( 10-20 million or less? )of people on the earth, we could all live in giant houses with pools, drive SUVs, eat at McDonalds for every meal, run the air conditioning with the windows open etc. The impact on the environment would be marginal at most.

 

I don't disagree with your more practical ideas for cleaning up the environment, without exterminating most humans. I just think it is a sad chapter in human history when we will be relegated to tiny cubes in concrete cities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's families with 1 child in the US or Sweden that is the problem. The families of 1 obvoiusly are not contributing to overpopulation though. For this reason I believe that overpopulation is a small problem when it comes to global warming, although not neglectible.

 

I totally disagree. If there were a reasonable number ( 10-20 million or less? )of people on the earth, we could all live in giant houses with pools, drive SUVs, eat at McDonalds for every meal, run the air conditioning with the windows open etc. The impact on the environment would be marginal at most.

Yes. But what I meant is that we have a de facto situation where we are 6 billion people and I would guess that 1,5 billion of those are contributing with say 80% of the green house gases. No need to blame the other 4,5 billion for this problem.

I don't see the point in blaming a problem that is not fixable by you and me when we know what action we can take to lessen our ecological footprint. I don't want to give up just yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's families with 1 child in the US or Sweden that is the problem. The families of 1 obvoiusly are not contributing to overpopulation though. For this reason I believe that overpopulation is a small problem when it comes to global warming, although not neglectible.

 

I totally disagree. If there were a reasonable number ( 10-20 million or less? )of people on the earth, we could all live in giant houses with pools, drive SUVs, eat at McDonalds for every meal, run the air conditioning with the windows open etc. The impact on the environment would be marginal at most.

 

I don't disagree with your more practical ideas for cleaning up the environment, without exterminating most humans. I just think it is a sad chapter in human history when we will be relegated to tiny cubes in concrete cities.

 

Bah, why would you want to eat at McD's every meal (even though I know you're not advocating it)?

 

I think it is sad if we can't fix our problems to only let a person have such a small amount of space, because we've wasted most of our other space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...