Can green living be accomplished on a large scale?

Well the skyscrapers look like gravestones
From out here
~Acid Bath, “Diab Soule”

Sadly, probably not.

Most of what we know as “green” is on a small scale, and on a small scale, is beneficial. But if everyone did what was green, we may not find it so green any more. Or, alternatively, it’s currently impossible to implement some green things on a large scale.

Take organic farming, for example. Remove the potential for overuse of pesticides, fertilizers, and the like? Yes, please. But the problem is, when you do that, you decrease the yield per acre. If the whole world went organic, we’d need a lot more farmland. Ideally, instead of 100% organic farming, we’d have Integrated Pest Management systems, better application of fertilizers and herbicides to avoid overuse, and organic farming in areas that are highly distressed or at high levels of risk.

Same with local food. Buying local produce of the sort that grows well in your area is a definite yes. But trying to eat everything locally grown…New York City would starve and apples (for starters) don’t grow very well in Texas. And while I advocate wild meats over domestic, we don’t have enough deer in America (even at the record levels they’re at now) for venison to completely replace beef. Even grass-fed beef wouldn’t make the cut. We can’t feed seven billion people organically and locally without making some tough decisions.

We won’t be able to produce enough biofuel to supply our current fuel needs. Currently, electric grids may not be able to handle a big increase in electric cars. I once heard, but don’t quote me, that Japan gathered more recycling than it had use for. A lot of towns aren’t ready for massive bicycling efforts.

This is why I consider going small, in almost every way, to be the best thing we can do for the environment. Smaller homes, smaller cities, smaller meals…all this means a smaller impact. I harp on it because of this. No gadget, no technology, no other means of living is going to keep this place from looking like Coruscant.

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4 Responses to “Can green living be accomplished on a large scale?”

  1. Craig Says:

    I right there with you on the going small part.

    I think it all boils down to sustainability, and it’s unlikely we can sustain our future populations even with modern technology, let alone what would happen if we tried to abandon much of that in favour of “going green”. I think it would be difficult, maybe impossible, to sustain our current global population level and be green and sustainable at the same time.

  2. shimmerhawk Says:

    I agree with the above comment. The population has to be at a sustainable level and we can’t continue to have population growth indefinitely. If there’s not enough land to have organic farms to feed everyone, then imo there are simply too many people in the world. It doesn’t seem to matter how we run our cars; there are so many on the roads that just about anything we do will have a significant impact on the environment. Going smaller with everything is great but I wish we would make an effort to go smaller with our population too or it won’t matter in the end.

    • The problem with going smaller with our population is that you either have to encourage people to voluntarily reduce their family size, or you have to legislate it. I’m not at all on board with dictating how many children a person can have.

      And the large populations in the so-called “third world” aren’t as much of a problem as are the not-as-large, but more demanding populations in the first world. So it is more of a resource issue than it is a sheer numbers issue. The problem is, the first world has progressed to the point where items formerly considered luxuries are not longer classified as such. Cars, personal phones, computers, televisions, microwaves. We can live without all of these, but we don’t realize it nearly enough.

      So while population is a huge issue as well, I think consumption is just as large, maybe even more so.

      • There’s no maybe to it. Consumption is a bigger problem, not only for environmental impact, but also the impact it has on the majority of the human population. It still blows me away how people seem to be able to ignore the fact that most of the humans on this planet /don’t/ drive cars, and /don’t/ shop at The Wal, and have never even /considered/ buying a bottle of Ozarka.

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