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E-M:/ What about the numbers?

Enviro-Mich message from "John Rohe" <john@rohemail.com>

This is in response to Lowell Prag's E-M submission on numbers.
I wish to someday inhabit the land imagined by Mr. Prag.
Nuclear physicist Albert Bartlett offers this observation: "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is the inability to comprehend the exponential function."
If the amnesty/guest-worker provisions now making news in the Senate were to pass, when compounded exponentially by the family reunifications and fertility rates, this single bill will cause the U.S. to become a billion person nation by 2100! Many people alive today can be expected witness that day.
If Mr. Prag truly believes that a nation with replacement level fertility should not take this seriously, then he should offer advice on where our waters are too pure, where there's too little urban sprawl, where the air is too fresh, the roads too uncongested, where our national parks are not loved to death, and where are our landfills too underutilized.
No problem of concern today that will be improved by ignoring the effects of mass immigration.
John Rohe

----- Original Message ----- From: "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>
To: "enviro Mich" <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 2:29 PM
Subject: E-M:/ You changed the subject ...

Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag" <lprag@mail.msen.com>

Roger Kuhlman said:

... see below ...

Hello Roger,

You changed the subject.

1) I do not agree that we have enough energy. Demand for electricity is
rising at an exponential rate which cannot be met in the near future, with
our present power plants and infrastructure.

2) Our population numbers have nothing to do with our problems and
suggestions to limit immigration is counterproductive to a sane

We produce plenty of food for everyone, we have the brains to compete
against anyone globally, and if we would improve our educational system so
everyone can live a productive life, we can continue to accommodate anyone
who wishes to live here.

3) The main problem is our economic system which is based on an ever
increasing Gross National Product. At some point, we must stabilize the
GNP and live within a sustainable use of resources.

As you point out, energy conservation is part of that issue but it goes
far beyond that.

We need an industrial system which wastes nothing, where everything is
recycled and our present throw away mentality is eliminated.

We also need an industrial system which is based on zero toxic emissions
for all aspects of production, rather than postponing the costs for lack
thereof, to future generations and at the peril of destroying our planet.

One could explicate many more such examples but for the sake of brevity,
all those problems are not engineering problems, as solutions can be
implemented right now with present technology.

Rather, they are political problems which are presently unsolvable, due to
corporate power controling our political process, to achieve ever
increasing profits without any responsibility for the results.


Lowell Prag

Roger Kuhlman said:
Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com>

I really don't know why we are talking about new
sources of energy. We already have plenty of energy
supplies. The real problem we should be persistently
addressing is reducing energy demand. The focus here
should be on energy efficiency, energy conservation,
and reduction of energy use. America has less than 5%
of the World's population but uses about 25% of the
World's energy. That pattern is not ecologically
sustainable in the long term nor is it fair to the
rest of the World's population. Also this fact is a
potent argument why the United States needs to
stabilize its population now. The only way the
American population can do be brought under control is
by restricting legal immigration to pre-1965 levels
and stopping illegal immigration completely.

Roger Kuhlman
Ann Arbor, Michigan

--- Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com> wrote:

Enviro-Mich message from "Lowell Prag"


Mark Richardson said:

... see below ...

Hello Mark,

The issue on whether or not there is a net energy
savings in using corn to
produce ethanol for fuel, has been debated for many
years and there is
much data available. The answer is yes and no,
depending upon which study
you read.

To me, the whole issue is stupid.

There is enough fuel contained in all of our waste
organic bio-mass in
this country which can be extracted as methane (it's
natural gas: the same
as you use in a stove) and it can easily be used to
power both cars and
trucks without resorting to using our farm lands to
produce fuel.

In Europe, anaerobic digesters to produce methane
from waste organic
bio-mass, are widely used.

The issue in the USA, is why we have not widely
employed this proven
technology which could while producing fuel, rid us
of most of our land
fills and incinerators, resolve the manure problems
with cafos, etc., and
solve all of the other problems created by our
present methods of dealing
with our other organic wastes.


Lowell Prag

Mark Richardson said:


> Enviro-Mich message from "Mark Richardson"
> <Mark.Richardson@macombcountymi.gov>

> I'm asking myself these questions:
> 1) Is there likely to be any net energy savings
from using ethanol for a
> percentage of transportation fuel, given the
energy expended in mining and
> transporting coal, and growing and transporting
corn and other feedstocks?
> 2) Is there likely to be any net environmental
improvement from using
> ethanol, given the tradeoffs between reductions in
pollution from vehicles
> and increased pollution from ethanol plants and
further up the fuel
> manufacturing chain?
> 3)  Is there likely to be any net economic benefit
from using ethanol,
> given the cost of manufacturing ethanol and the
increase in cost of coal
> resulting from increased demand due to a host of
> I'm suspecting the only real benefit of using
ethanol is decreasing our
> dependance on foreign oil, but maybe even that is
open to question.
>>>> "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
03/01/06 6:02 PM >>>

> Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady &
Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

> OK Michigan....courtesy of the BUSH EPA....get
ready for
> a spate of coal-fired ethanol plants.  EPA is
proposing to
> relax Clean Air Act new source review rules for
> plants by declaring the major stationary source
level for
> such plants to be 250 tons per year rather than
the current
> 100 tons per year.
> This will encourage large, but poorly controlled
coal-fired ethanol plants
> in the midwest, including Michigan.   Under the
proposed EPA
> rules, ethanol plants emitting less than 250 tons
of any criteria
> pollutant will no longer have to ensure that
facilities are controlled
> with best available control technology and to
evaluate air quality
> impacts around the plants.
> This is another example of big time agriculture
trying to extend influence
> to allow high impact facilities that are also
subsidized with taxpayer
> dollars.

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