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If you are in grizzly country and expect to protect yourself with a pistol, you better research the subject before deciding what the caliper of the gun you will purchase.  From what I've heard the minimum is a .44 magnum.  A .45 or .50 are probably better, however all three guns I've mentioned are pretty heavy. A takes a lot of practice to hit an object even as large as a grizzly effectively even from 10 to 15 feet away.  You have to be able to hit the right areas. In Alaska high caliber rifles are used when walking in grizzly country, at least by companies and agencies whose employees go into the field.  A shotgun with slugs is probably the best.  I can't imagine carrying a 12 gauge on a backpacking trip in the lower 48, and it is difficult to conceive carrying one in Alaska, but I suppose I would.  I would also think about how fast I could get a 12 gauge off my backpack and wonder how effective the gun would be.  

 

I hate to see a discussion like this turn into a liberal vs. conservative volley.  That doesn't get a single thing done as the Congress is showing.  I'm really both.  I'm liberal on health care and the environment, but lean a little toward the conservative on immigration, gun ownership, drugs, moral values and religion.  On the latter I'm scared about the program of the Christian right and trying to lobby for declaring this a Christian nation. On the gun issue I think that the laws in California in should be adopted nationwide as just a start.  The NRA scares me more than the Christian right, well maybe.  I don't have a problem with gun owners and their guns having to be licensed.  It may take decades to make a change the situation, but I think that illegal guns in the wrong hands will be reduced.  

 

To call me either a liberal or conservative is offensive to me, because it depends on the issue. On the gun ownership issue I can't imagine not being able to possess one for home protection.  I have four guns and a couple thousand rounds of ammunition for two rifles and two shotguns. The last shotgun I bought is a pump action that will hold 9 shells. The pump action is, in itself, a deterrent. The sound seems to be universally recognizable.  

 

I also know that shooting someone, even in self defense is a life changing experience.  A friend of mine in high school did not graduate. He shot a murder suspect at his father's gas station while he was being held at gunpoint. He was gone for about a month, returned to school for about 3 weeks and then I never saw or heard from him again.  PTSD is likely the cause. I've seen a couple of deceased people who died of a gunshot wound when the shooter was very close. Once you have seen that some very serious thinking about the responsibility of gun ownership.      

1 year, 5 months ago on Guns in National Parks | Adventure Adviser, Trip Adviser, Travel Adviser | OutsideOnline.com

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%I also have 20 year old Subaru with 150,000 miles. I agree with you about how cars are running longer, more efficiently and with increased safety.  Plastics are a part of that. What I object to is the waste of plastics.  Two examples, we seem to have been duped that water in plastic bottles costing at minimum about $1.00 per gallon even though we can get safer water out of our taps.  At least those taps fed by a public water system where the requirements and standards are the best in the world.  On the other hand, water in bottles is not subject to stringent requirements. We are shipping water, that usually comes out of a tap anyway and using huge amounts of oil to produce the bottles and ship them to stores for the consumer to purchase. After they are used 95% of them end up in a landfill.  

 

I also object to excessive packaging. I can't see the reason for it. The loss prevention folks might disagree with me, but we are subjecting ourselves to huge costs of creating, managing and maintaining the liability of its existence for many decades.  I object to low cost appliances, and even some higher cost appliances that can't be taken apart for repairs.  

 

 

We need to catch up and make widespread and fundamental changes in our waste stream.  It has started but much more needs to be done.  The cities that have done the best need to be supported nationwide and haven't gotten as far as we need to get. We need fundamental changes in energy use.  The marketplace decisions are not moving us as far and as fast as we need to do.  We can't have trucks delivering bottled water with distances of more than a thousand miles from source to use, returning to the source empty (deadheading).  We have trucks deadheading and wasting energy.  Plastics, population, and energy, et. al., need to be addressed.

 

As far as technology solving increasing population, remember that technology has been responsible for many improvement in our lives, but has also allowed us to make the crisis worse.  There are limited resources on the earth, there are huge ecosystems that sustain us and we can't build them. We've already lost the North Atlantic cod fishery and tuna is expected to be extinct in years. It has already gone from some large fisheries.  

 

As for getting two crops due to global warming, the effect of drought will likely negate that.  The Ogallala aquifer is already been drown down to the point that acreage in the grain belt is no longer suitable for crops.  We have to accept our limits or we are going to have them given to us.  The disaster that would result would be far worse than the plagues that have occurred in the past.  Check out the book "The Coming Plague" to understand what increased population density is playing a role in the author's conclusions.  

 

The writings I read are all from credible scientists, of course remembering that a scientist without credibility is an oxymoron.  

1 year, 5 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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 @awilkins  @joel longstreth  @BethTerry  @retiredranger 

 

I now know, by just reading your post that you are completely correct, Better we should stay at home, ignore high infant mortality rates, not send our doctors and nurses to provide for and educate people on health care,  not educate women about birth control and not empower women by means of education. Oh, and I forgot, we should end the Peace Corps program, one I have experience with, as its never been effective anywhere at any time.  This no matter that eventually people adapt to what works and thank you profusely for living in their country just to help them. No matter that the effort is not to give a man a fish but to teach them how to build their own fishing pole.  No, it would be far better if we stayed at home and continued to rearrange the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

 

You've lumped me in with some others whose comments I don't agree with.  But wait, I think your stereotyping is dead on. Wow, I've been living and working me entire life, living in radically different cultures than the one I grew up in and know I realize that all of it was a myth.  Thanks, I'm 62 now and there is still time to make a 180 turn here.  First I think the off white chairs and the large chairs should be kept in the rear and will someone please tell the band to stop playing? 

1 year, 5 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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The Land Cruiser is 35 years old and I'm the original and only owner. I use it to drive in the snow and pull out the stuck cars of my friends and their friends. I drive it to remote trailheads and car camping sites. Most of its mileage has been off-highway and that has resulted in such a low mileage accrual. I use it far less now than when I first owned it.  The knees have pretty much ended my ability to take even short day hikes, so now I'm riding my road bicycle 1,000 to 1,500 miles a year!

1 year, 11 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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I don't see any other place to comment on this as I can't find it listed as an issue.  I realize that you are just working on a small portion of the environmental challenges we face.  However we can meet all those challenges and still fail.  There is a elephant in the room and it will be our downfall unless a solution is adopted and adopted quickly.  The issue is population growth.  I believe, based on some solid resource condition information, particularly the study of soils, that the earth is past its ultimate long term carrying capacity of humans.  As we use more and more technology to make up for the gaps in resources and food supply we just put of the inevitable and dig ourselves a deeper hole.  

 

Carrying capacity is used in range management, recreation facility design and wildlife management.  It works rather well and a huge effort to establish and refine the methods used to gain the validity of the principle has been made.  We are smart enough to do that but stupid enough to be arrogant in our thinking that this principle doesn't apply to us. 

 

There are means to accomplish stabilization and slow reduction of the world's population.  They aren't draconian and don't involve genocide and all those other methods conservatives call it.  But, to avoid the necessity of them when we have finally painted ourselves into a corner, we need to make huge strides immediately.  A hot potato politically as people turn on all of their emotions to evaluate the problem instead of using the other 20% of our brain responsible for rational thinking.  I'm pessimistic as I don't think our current political systems can even come close to addressing the problem.  

 

There isn't any room under the carpet to keep sweeping this under the rug.  

1 year, 11 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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Another couple of comments.  In some products plastic is more durable than metal alternatives. A few products last longer due to the use of plastic. Cars built today run with less pollution and get better gas mileage because they are lighter as a result of plastic. I purchase my first car in 1969. The car had 80,000 miles on it at ten years old. I nursed it along for another two years and it could not run short of a restoration.  

 

I now have a twenty year old Subaru with 150,000 miles, a Honda that is 21 years old and a Toyota Land Cruiser that I drive less that 800 miles per year. For the most part his was not possible for cars before about 1970-1980. Quality has increased as has durability and efficiency.  Plastics play a large part in that. We have to make darn sure that all plastic is recycled! 

 

Question:  is that 10% of the oil supply that plastic is made from useful for any other purpose?  

1 year, 11 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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Kaycee, it would seem as though you are writing off the entire green movement. Remember that the green movement has accomplished a great deal. Recycling, at a limited scale, was started in the early70's by people who understood that we were throwing energy and materials into holes dug in the ground or by filling in canyons. People pushed for recycling laws and so called "bottle bills."  I think if this situation was left to "the market place to decide" industry would not have started recycling until many decades later. The early green movement and a great deal of education was needed to convince private industry that greener practices lower expenses and increase profits.  

 

Europe has it correct. They charge the manufacturers for the impact their packaging will cost in the entire waste stream. They reduce the size and type of packaging so they aren't charged as much and then turn that into a lower priced product that out competes those who were doing "business as usual."  

 

In the U.S. we have huge plastic containers for everything.  They make a profit and pass the problem on to the consumer. Eventually it ends up in the government's lap and we all pay through taxes to increase the profits of the manufacturers. No wonder we are finding it difficult to keep governments afloat. This to increase the profits for large corporations.

 

 I realize that all of this is not as straightforward as this limited space allows me to explain.  Packaging is getting larger and the number of non-serviceable products has been increasing. Example, I can't replace parts or the battery in my Dustbuster vacuum.  The battery life has expired and I can't replace it.  A waste of oil, steel and the chemicals use to make the battery.  I will, like I do everything else, break the thing apart and sort plastic from metal and recycle the batteries correctly. I use an electric toothbrush to improve my dental health, but it is put together just like the vacuum. I have to take the time and the State of California has to subsidize my small county in order for the recyclable materials to reach the facilities that can reuse the material. Now we used energy to bring the items into our local stores and use energy to recycle it.

 

This can only be changed when a movement starts to raise the conscience of the public, who then start making consumer choices differently. It is only then that manufacturers have to change. The movement is called "green."      

1 year, 11 months ago on What's Wrong with Plastic Anyway?

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