Beware false prophets

rogerjolly

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In the 1967 film “The Graduate” Mr. McGuire offers some unsolicited career advice to Benjamin, a confused young man who has yet to determine how he wants to live his life:

“I want to say one word to you. Just one word.…….. Plastics.”

This is my all-time favourite funny line because it was addressed to somebody who was seeking to somehow do his bit to make a difference in the world.

Plastics was forecast to be the new big money spinner but nobody had any inkling of the terrible problems it would later create.

In the previous decade nuclear power was believed to be the saviour that would provide clean, safe and ridiculously cheap energy for home and factory. That didn’t work out well either.

Roger.
 

Indian Summer

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We're sooo much older & wiser now - science & technology have made huge progress in the past decade - so we couldn't possibly make these kinds of mistakes again now.

We just couldn't. Could we?
 
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QualityGains

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The further we advance with science, the smaller will be our tolerance of errors. While our problem solving capabilities are often linear, destruction tends to be exponential.
 

Lou

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Ok, time for my 2¢.

Science isn't bad. Plastic isn't bad. Neither is a nuclear power.

Knowledge is never bad. It is how you use it.

Look at it as a tool or how to make a tool. Hammers are great tools - unless you use it to murder someone.
 

Forest Nymph

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Ok, time for my 2¢.

Science isn't bad. Plastic isn't bad. Neither is a nuclear power.

Knowledge is never bad. It is how you use it.

Look at it as a tool or how to make a tool. Hammers are great tools - unless you use it to murder someone.

Often with science the problem has been the accompanying greed and arrogance. Making everything plastic and selling it to people in tiny plastic straws and flimsy grocery bags was a terrible idea. But plant-based plastic Tupperware-type containers and reusable Nalgene really helps people at a minimal cost.

Silicone is a rubber-plastic polymer. It can be made into a safe menstrual cup for women that lasts 2-5 years, so has a minimum of 24 times the usefulness of a box of tampons or pads, creates less waste, is connected to less health issues and while an up front investment pays for itself in about six months. Even if you only kept a Diva cup for a year you've spent half as much (especially with taxes on feminine hygiene, the only complaint I've ever seen is homeless women without access to clean bathrooms and showers. Similar to veganism, the only argument I see to menstrual cups are homelessness, which means homelessness shouldn't exist not veganism or menstrual cups).

But really getting down to the brass tacks, electricity was always renewable from Tesla forward. That means fossil fuels have always been an obstacle of greed. So I wouldn't say that plastics, a product of fossil fuels, are as neutral as a hammer for their ability to support greed and oligopoly.