| Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - 06:14 am |
The most eco friendly living arrangement aside from serving on a nuclear powered naval vessel, is to reside in a high rise apartment building.
My new, top of line incinerator is more inefficient and polluting by scale than the worst coal fired plant. My use of deadfall as fuel from my 120+ acres of woodland disrupt the habitat of everything from insects to small game. It also disrupts the carbon cycle by burning what should be left to decompose naturally and return to the ground from where it came. Likewise for our burned trash. Furthermore, it reduces the efficiency of my small part of the local watershed.
My hefty investment in a PV panel array that will make me a power producer for a few hours a day will only ever pay for itself due to tax considerations from which I benefit. Whatever eco fool I sucker into buying this place will pay the full costs of this system, as well as its considerable maintenance, and finally for its eventual removal a few decades down the road when it is so much junk. Tax subsidies aside, it will never pay for itself unless the costs of electricity increase dramatically. The former grass airstrip it will occupy must be kept clear cut to allow for maximum exposure. Shadows and solar don't mix. That's 12 acres that won't be returning to forestland.
My wife's passion for gardening costs us money, not saves it. Honestly factoring in what we spend on plants, fertilizer, and chemicals, we would be better off buying produce than growing our own. We would never be as efficient as modern farmers. Another acre+ with greenhouse that isn't returned to it's natural state.
Paying a neighbor to fatten up auction bought cattle for us is economically neutral as I avoid the costs of slaughter and butchering. I doubt, however, that my neighbor uses his property as efficiently as an actual cattle ranch. It's just a hobby thing with us.
I have over 4 acres of grass that serves little ecological pupose.
To sum up, the 150 acres of this property that would appear to be a eco paradise is in fact an exercise in what not to do if one actually cares about environmental health.
The friendliest it could get would be to go full electric with power lines running straight to a nuclear plant. Every bit of ground that isn't occupied by building should be permitted to grow wild and left alone.
The guy living on the 42nd floor of the yuppie box in Manhattan lives a more eco friendly life than I do.
His is the modern, economically and evironmentally efficient habitat.
Mine is the wasteful, inefficient bio confusion of the third world.
I use the products and space of my piece of the biosphere for my own benefit. The environment would be better served if I purchased what I needed from the most efficient sources rather than doing it myself.
If every American lived like me, we wouldn't have a tree standing or a spot of natural ground uncultivated within a generation.
Thank God we Americans are too lazy to actually try to "live green".