Hypocritical Greenery

Two semi-random environmental notes from a complete evironmental hypocrite (me):

Thumbnail of waste movement mapFirst, Tessa Blake, who shared her fantastic soon-to-be-release film, The Pink House at the Zap Your PRAM conference mentioned the weekly Chicago radio show This American Life. When I saw the link to This American Life on Matt Rainnie’s new weblog, I knew it was worth checking out.

The first thing I saw on the This American Life website was this amazing map of the movement of solid waste in the United States. It speaks for itself.

While I admit to only having copped the context-free statistic and not having read the article yet, I thought it was worth sharing anyhow: Slashdot links to an article that suggests that:

“A staggering 98 tons of prehistoric, buried plant material is required to produce each gallon of gasoline we burn in our cars, SUVs, trucks and other vehicles.”


3 thoughts on “Hypocritical Greenery

  1. You should give the NPR web radio version a try as I recall you are a fan of CBC’s Ideas. Not every night (like the CBC smarty pants) just every week but I’ve never been disappointed with T.A.L..

  2. Eh. Someone on Slashdot summed up my thoughts on the 98-tons argument pretty well:

    Assuming that it _DOES_ take 98 tons of plant material to produce one gallon of gasoline, they’re still wrong. Gas is just one of the things that comes from crude oil. Think they just throw the rest away? Nope. It all gets used: Grease, Fuel-grade oil, Diesel, whatever. There’s a market for every grade. How many plants does it make for a gallon of crude? And how much of that becomes gasoline? That’s the real number that matters.

    From what I know, crude oil processing is fairly efficient–every recoverable byproduct is removed and re-used.

  3. There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.
    –Benjamin Disraeli

    couple of weeks ago there was a site at – http://www.mapscience.org/
    which showed you how close you were living to a nuclear waste transportation route (usually a railroad track). the page opened with a flash animation stating how in 1999 a train had derailed in baltimore carrying nuclear waste (nothing leaked however). well, the site was backed by an eco group so people started questioning their stats. as you can see the site is down. who knows if it was a bandwidth issue or if the stats they were serving weren’t entirely relevant since it seemed to basically calculate the nearest train track to you.

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