Katherine Tworsey from compareelectricityrates.com asked me to post an article called “10 Wackiest Ideas Ever for Improving the Environment” which was recently published on their blog at (http://compareelectricityrates.com/blog/2011/10-wackiest-ideas-ever-for-improving-the-environment/). I am doing so with a note or two for clarification.
Throughout human history, there have been some quite noble efforts for sustaining the Earth. Many great innovations have resulted from mankind’s attempts at preserving our environment. Then again, there have been some real doozies too. Today we’re going to have a look at ten of the zaniest ideas ever devised for improving the environment.
1. There is a proposal before the United Nations for environmental justice, in order to save the planet. Said justice calls for legal representation on behalf of the environment – plants, animals, insects – against us pesky humans, with the power to seek financial compensation for damages.
2. This one is a bit of a touchy subject. Though the thought is in the right place, the evidence seems to suggest that the concept wasn’t entirely thought through. The push to replace incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps) would indeed conserve energy. However, they contain significant levels of mercury which, without any safe means of recycling them, would introduce unsafe levels of mercury back into the environment. (Editor’s Note: The straight tube fluorescent has been sold since the 1930’s, and contains much more mercury than the little twisty compact units, which are almost mercury free in comparison. This argument is a strawman.)
3. In an effort to safeguard the sanctuary of indigent marine wildlife, the city of San Diego is set to enact laws that would ban birthday parties at local parks within the vicinity of said wildlife.
4. As a means to harness human energy and transform it into useable energy, the concept of the human-powered floating gym came into being. Imagine, if you will, dozens of sweaty fitness-minded bodies, powering their way upstream in a bubble, and you’ve got a vague idea of what this truly wacky project is all about.
5. Here’s another idea that someone pulled out of their, um … notebook: The basic premise is that the methane produced through cow flatulence is a major contributor to greenhouse gases (14%) and needs to be stopped. The answer? Kangaroo farts. Apparently their marsupial mates are methane-free down under, and possess a bacterium that it is suggested to be injected into cattle.
6. Based on the cooling effect that the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo had on the planet 20 years ago, scientists had the brainstorm idea of triggering other volcanoes in the hopes of having similar results. We can only hope that our tax dollars don’t literally go up in (volcanic) smoke, and ash.
7. The Eco-Kettle is supposedly the answer to a question we have no idea why anyone would even ask: namely, sparing our precious globe from the bane of our existence known as (wait for it) boiling too much water (gasp!). (Editors Note: I actually like this one. It cuts down on the power needed to boil water, decreasing my energy usage and costs.)
8. Asus came up with this gem a while back as a solution to excessive use of plastics in consumer product manufacturing: the bamboo laptop. We would love to have seen this sold as part of an office starter package, with a tiki torch desk lamp and margarita mixer.
9. Pig pee for plastics. The idea here is to reduce the use of petroleum in the manufacture of plastic plates. The urea in pig urine would act as a bulking agent in its place. Trouble is (among other things -ugh!) is that when these pig-pee plates are discarded? You guessed it, they will emit methane. Maybe we first need to cross-breed these pigs with kangaroos. Yeah, that’s the ticket: pigaroo plates.
10. And finally, a supremely sage environmental observation by none other than the Wizard of Wit himself, former Vice-President of the United States of America, Dan Quayle:
“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” (Editor’s Note: Can this really compare with Al Gore’s whole (possibly CO induced) notion of manmade global warming?)