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grundle
01-15-08, 11:22 PM
This does not surprise me at all. I had always suspected it. Now I have evidence that I was right.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/01/13/eagreens113.xml

Survey shows eco-warriors are worst polluters

January 13, 2008

A survey of travel habits has revealed that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters.

"Green" consumers have some of the biggest carbon footprints because they are still hooked on flying abroad or driving their cars while their adherence to the green cause is mostly limited to small gestures.

Identified as "eco-adopters", they are most likely to be members of an environmental organisation, buy green products such as detergents, recycle and have a keen interest in green issues.

But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.

Geoff Wicken, the author of the report, pointed to David Cameron, the Conservative leader, as a classic eco-adopter because despite styling himself as a green warrior he also takes flights in private helicopters and planes.

bhk
01-16-08, 10:24 AM
I remember when they had "Environmental Whacko Day" known as Earth Day, they usually need many trucks to deal with the tons of garbage they generate.

JasonF
01-16-08, 11:20 AM
My guess is that the differences are due primarily to income -- people with more income are more likely to buy eco-friendly products, recycle, etc., but are also more likely to drive cars, fly, etc. I would guess that if you adjusted for income level, you'd see no difference in car ownership and flights between the people who buy "green" products, etc. and the people who don't.

neiname
01-16-08, 11:22 AM
My guess is that the differences are due primarily to income -- people with more income are more likely to buy eco-friendly products, recycle, etc., but are also more likely to drive cars, fly, etc. I would guess that if you adjusted for income level, you'd see no difference in car ownership and flights between the people who buy "green" products, etc. and the people who don't.


Exactly, poor people can't be worrying about saving the world when they are worrying about losing their jobs, getting food on the dinner table or a roof over their heads. My wife and I are "eco-friendly" (we even use G-diapers) but we probably have 3-4x the carbon impact than a typical American.

wendersfan
01-16-08, 11:45 AM
So they did a study and didn't control for income? What dumbasses.

VinVega
01-16-08, 12:00 PM
No poll, no sale.

The Bus
01-16-08, 12:50 PM
I recycle. Weirdly, I don't have a private jet. So, the article is invalid.

jdodd
01-16-08, 02:34 PM
I recycle. Weirdly, I don't have a private jet. So, the article is invalid.
The article is correct. You, however, are not. Turns out you really do have a private jet.

wendersfan
01-16-08, 02:36 PM
The article is correct. You, however, are not. Turns out you really do have a private jet.I recycle and walk or bicycle to work, ergo, I have my own fleet of jets.

Sweet! :banana:

orangecrush
01-16-08, 04:12 PM
Exactly, poor people can't be worrying about saving the world when they are worrying about losing their jobs, getting food on the dinner table or a roof over their heads. My wife and I are "eco-friendly" (we even use G-diapers) but we probably have 3-4x the carbon impact than a typical American.
What are G-diapers? Are they the kind I have seen in health food stores in the green packaging?

NCMojo
01-16-08, 04:25 PM
What are G-diapers? Are they the kind I have seen in health food stores in the green packaging?
They're diapers made of grass. Somewhat similar to the grass skirts that they wear in Hawaii, but pinned up to make a diaper.

Very eco-friendly. :up:

kvrdave
01-16-08, 06:48 PM
If I were Al Gore, I'd be so pissed I'd get into my private jet and go straighten the author out.

foggy
01-16-08, 09:03 PM
but we probably have 3-4x the carbon impact than a typical American.

Would you care to elaborate on this. Do you own a foundry or something?

Pharoh
01-16-08, 09:11 PM
Would you care to elaborate on this. Do you own a foundry or something?



That's nothing. I am sure many of us are well above that level even. Frequent air travel is the biggest culprit.

grundle
01-16-08, 09:56 PM
I remember when they had "Environmental Whacko Day" known as Earth Day, they usually need many trucks to deal with the tons of garbage they generate.


Yes, I remember that too:


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE0DD1138F937A15757C0A966958260

Grass Isn't Greener After Earth Day

By ERIC PACE

Published: April 24, 1990

Ms. Meisel said the Earth Day celebrants left an estimated 154.3 tons of refuse, compared with the 15 to 20 tons found in the park during ''a typical two-day weekend at this time of year.''

grundle
01-16-08, 09:57 PM
My guess is that the differences are due primarily to income -- people with more income are more likely to buy eco-friendly products, recycle, etc., but are also more likely to drive cars, fly, etc. I would guess that if you adjusted for income level, you'd see no difference in car ownership and flights between the people who buy "green" products, etc. and the people who don't.



That's a good point.

Superboy
01-17-08, 01:11 AM
But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.


Holy shit, that's an indication of a failed social movement if I ever heard of one.

orangecrush
01-17-08, 06:50 AM
They're diapers made of grass. Somewhat similar to the grass skirts that they wear in Hawaii, but pinned up to make a diaper.

Very eco-friendly. :up:

Here and I thought I was being eco-friendly by using cloth diapers.

al_bundy
01-17-08, 08:51 AM
That's nothing. I am sure many of us are well above that level even. Frequent air travel is the biggest culprit.

how is air travel a culprit? train travel is just as bad

bhk
01-17-08, 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by grundle

But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.

Despite posters trying to portray that this survey was of people owning or flying in private jets, the above gets to the crux of the matter. For the environmental whackos, it isn't about the earth(or that is a minor consideration). It is more about power and control over other people's lives and day to day activities. Hence the disconnect from the behavior they advocate for others and their own behavior.

monkeyboy
01-18-08, 10:56 PM
I consider myself a "green consumer". I make a pretty big effort to reduce my footprint and it's way smaller than someone in my position COULD have. But it's certainly larger than someone who's living at their parent's house, taking the bus to work because they can't afford a car or a home of their own and all the responsibilities that come with it.

Does that somehow make me a hypocritical tree hugger? That my footprint is larger than the homeless guys?

And the article states that they're slightly more likely to fly or own a car, it doesn't necessarily talk about total carbon footprints as a whole. Flying commercial is essentially public transportation. You're hopping on a flight that is going whether you're on it or not, no? Does my added 150 pounds = extra tons of emmissions? Maybe so, I don't know.

Seems like pretty vague statistics to be making accusations about the "failure" of the green social movement. Guess we should all just give up. Game over.

bhk
01-19-08, 12:52 PM
Guess we should all just give up. Game over.
How about they first live their own lives the way they want to impose others live them.

grundle
01-19-08, 05:16 PM
Holy shit, that's an indication of a failed social movement if I ever heard of one.

Environmentalists' commitment to helping the environment is just as strong as Larry Craig's commitment to his heterosexuality.

monkeyboy
01-19-08, 05:18 PM
How about they first live their own lives the way they want to impose others live them.

Most do. It's always the vocal minority that tends to rub people the wrong way. The article above proves nothing. As much as you hate hearing Eco-warriors, I hate the people who are always out there trying to discredit people who are environmentally friendly.

grundle
01-19-08, 05:18 PM
Despite posters trying to portray that this survey was of people owning or flying in private jets, the above gets to the crux of the matter. For the environmental whackos, it isn't about the earth(or that is a minor consideration). It is more about power and control over other people's lives and day to day activities. Hence the disconnect from the behavior they advocate for others and their own behavior.

Exactly.

And besides being about power and control, it's also about feeling morally superior to everyone else. "I care about the environment and you don't, so it's OK that I used more fossil fuels than you did."

grundle
01-19-08, 05:22 PM
Flying commercial is essentially public transportation. You're hopping on a flight that is going whether you're on it or not, no? Does my added 150 pounds = extra tons of emmissions? Maybe so, I don't know.



I don't know if it's tons, but it is something.

movielib
01-19-08, 06:37 PM
Most do. It's always the vocal minority that tends to rub people the wrong way. The article above proves nothing. As much as you hate hearing Eco-warriors, I hate the people who are always out there trying to discredit people who are environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately that vocal minority includes all of the leaders of all the major environmental groups. They are also the ones who get virtually all the press. Whenever one of them gets rational, he or she will get drummed out or quit in frustration. See Patrick Moore.

I don't think there's anyone who wants dirty air and dirty water. But these people are nuts and they are never satisfied no matter how many billions are being spent including well past the point where there's any reasonable benefit for the cost.

bhk
01-20-08, 10:33 AM
Most do. It's always the vocal minority that tends to rub people the wrong way.
No. They don't. The survey wasn't of the "most vocal minority". It was of 20,000 eco-conscious people.

hahn
01-20-08, 08:00 PM
So you're going to blindly believe the conclusions of a survey and assume they answered important questions that would determine whether the conclusions were accurate or not?

Like:
1) How much does airplane exhaust contribute to pollution?

2) Do "eco-adopters" drive less, more, or the same as non-eco-adopters?

3) Are "eco-adopters" more or less likely to own a gas guzzling vehicle (for example a vehicle that gets less than 20 mpg)?

4) With a sample size of 25,000, is there sufficient statistical power to determine whether a 4% or 7% difference is meaningful?

5) For that matter, does the 4% or 7% have a p-value less than 0.05 (considered "statistically signficant")?

Of course, none of those questions will matter if you have already made up your mind that eco-polluters are hypocrites and that this survey is an easy way to prove that they are the fools that you believe them to be. I see bhk has already decided the survey is right on the money. Shocking.

hahn
01-20-08, 08:03 PM
Unfortunately that vocal minority includes all of the leaders of all the major environmental groups. They are also the ones who get virtually all the press. Whenever one of them gets rational, he or she will get drummed out or quit in frustration. See Patrick Moore.

I don't think there's anyone who wants dirty air and dirty water. But these people are nuts and they are never satisfied no matter how many billions are being spent including well past the point where there's any reasonable benefit for the cost.
So does it make sense to publicly denounce China for their pollution problems when the U.S., with less than a quarter of the population, still puts out more pollution than them?

I will admit there are some environmentalists who clearly aren't entirely sane. However, that doesn't mean environmentalism is a bad or insignificant concept. That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

WallyOPD
01-20-08, 08:12 PM
Flying commercial is essentially public transportation. You're hopping on a flight that is going whether you're on it or not, no? Does my added 150 pounds = extra tons of emmissions? Maybe so, I don't know.

If enough people opt to not fly then there will be fewer flights scheduled. By making the decision to get on that plane you are adding financial incentive to the airlines to continue operating that flight.

monkeyboy
01-20-08, 10:16 PM
No. They don't. The survey wasn't of the "most vocal minority". It was of 20,000 eco-conscious people.

I'm not even sure what you're trying to argue. We have no idea who these 20,000 people were. They are labeled as "eco-adopters" but we have no way to know how they were selected, what "qualifies" you for this title and if they are indeed these overbearing, loud, militant environmentalists you seem to be encountering.

I'm not saying there aren't hypocrites out there. Of course there are, but this article and it's findings are silly.

monkeyboy
01-20-08, 10:19 PM
If enough people opt to not fly then there will be fewer flights scheduled. By making the decision to get on that plane you are adding financial incentive to the airlines to continue operating that flight.

Sure. The same could be said for buses, trains, subways, cars, etc. But to call an "ecoadopter" a hypocrite because they are more likely to take a flight now and then, without looking at the rest of their lifestyle choices is misleading.

movielib
01-20-08, 11:16 PM
So does it make sense to publicly denounce China for their pollution problems when the U.S., with less than a quarter of the population, still puts out more pollution than them?
I'm pretty sure that China pollutes more than the US. Particulates, SO2, NOx, mercury etc. I'll take our air and water over theirs any day. We are wealthy enough to have cleaned up a great deal. China will also some day. China also has a big advantage in the future because they can learn from others' mistakes and can also take advantage of new technologies that have already been developed elsewhere. They don't have to reinvent the wheel from scratch.

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=5058

...

China is already believed to be the world's largest source of nonnatural emissions of mercury. Jozef Pacyna, director of the Center for Ecological Economics at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, calculates that China, largely because of its coal combustion, spews 600 tons of mercury into the air each year, accounting for nearly a quarter of the world's nonnatural emissions. And the volume is rising at a time when North American and European mercury pollution is dropping. The U.S. emitted about 120 tons of mercury into the air in 1999 from manmade sources. Chinese power plants currently under construction the majority fueled by coal will alone have more than twice the entire electricity-generating capacity of the U.K.

...

China is phasing in several measures to tackle air pollution. But soot plus sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides often referred to as "SOx and NOx" are understandably taking priority over mercury. Even with the existence of poisoned villages like Ms. Zhang's, other pollutants affect even more Chinese people. Airborne particulates are a suspected leading cause of respiratory disease around the country. Acid rain from sulfur dioxide now pelts a third of China's territory, a ratio that is "expanding, not shrinking," says Pan Yue, the deputy director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration, or SEPA.

...
And please don't make the mistake many environmentalists make by comparing only "pollution" or consumption. The US still outproduces China many times over. 4.6 times the GDP ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal ). Per capita that translates to 26.6 times as much.

Finally, I don't denounce China at all for their pollution. I realize that it comes with economic growth when trying to ascend from the third world. I'd like to see China do that as quickly as possible. I want the whole world to be prosperous. I've said that numerous times.

If you are talking about CO2, please remember that CO2 is not a pollutant. Even so, some reports have China emitting more CO2 than the US already. If not, they will surpass us very soon.

I will admit there are some environmentalists who clearly aren't entirely sane. However, that doesn't mean environmentalism is a bad or insignificant concept. That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Who has ever said otherwise?

OldDude
01-21-08, 07:43 AM
And the article states that they're slightly more likely to fly or own a car, it doesn't necessarily talk about total carbon footprints as a whole. Flying commercial is essentially public transportation. You're hopping on a flight that is going whether you're on it or not, no? Does my added 150 pounds = extra tons of emmissions? Maybe so, I don't know.

Seems like pretty vague statistics to be making accusations about the "failure" of the green social movement. Guess we should all just give up. Game over.

To fly more weight requires more thrust for more lift; that takes more fuel.

Some airlines have looked at painting much less of the aircraft to reduce weight. The reason they are so fussy about baggage weight (and charge extra) is that it eats fuel, not that they are approaching MTOW.

(And if there were fewer passengers, there would be fewer flights, or smaller planes)

OldDude
01-21-08, 07:45 AM
4) With a sample size of 25,000, is there sufficient statistical power to determine whether a 4% or 7% difference is meaningful?

5) For that matter, does the 4% or 7% have a p-value less than 0.05 (considered "statistically signficant")?



A 1000 person election poll gives results good to 3-4%.

hahn
01-21-08, 12:42 PM
A 1000 person election poll gives results good to 3-4%.
Sample size alone does not determine statistical significance.

hahn
01-21-08, 12:47 PM
I will admit there are some environmentalists who clearly aren't entirely sane. However, that doesn't mean environmentalism is a bad or insignificant concept. That would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Who has ever said otherwise?
Oh come on. Are you seriously saying that the title of this thread or the postings by people who sneer at what they think are obvious interpretations of the results, don't carry any negative connotations about environmentalism?

OldDude
01-21-08, 01:05 PM
Sample size alone does not determine statistical significance.


?? Well there are exceptions:
*You can construct a biased sample of ANY size and it is NFG
*If either outcome P, or 1-P is extremely unlikely, a correction is required, otherwise it is pretty much sample size.

hahn
01-21-08, 10:09 PM
?? Well there are exceptions:
*You can construct a biased sample of ANY size and it is NFG
*If either outcome P, or 1-P is extremely unlikely, a correction is required, otherwise it is pretty much sample size.
Point is, we don't know the survey methodology or what kinds of questions were asked. If the questions were open ended and used continuous variables ("how many miles do you fly per year on average?", or "how many times do you fly per year on average"), then we need to know both the mean and the standard error of the mean. i.e. We need to know the distribution of the responses.

You're saying that you can calculate the p-value of a difference detected in a study based on sample size alone, and knowing nothing about the types of variables used or the distribution of their values and/or frequencies? That's quite a trick. Let me know what p-value you come up with for this study then.

But even all that is besides the point anyhow. Statistical significance is a flawed way of attributing "significance" to a study's findings. For any given study, increasing the sample size does decrease the p-value (assuming the exact same distribution of values). But is it actually meaningful? That all depends on how thorough the investigation was at weeding out potential confounding factors. For example...7% more likely to take a flight. What does that even mean? Does that mean set foot on an airplane? Or the number of times someone took a flight. And if they did fly, what was the average number of miles? As an example of confounding factors - perhaps "eco-adopters" are more likely to hold jobs where they are required to fly for meetings. Or perhaps they are more likely to own a car because they are also more likely than the average general population to have enough money to own one (as opposed to the self-contradictory conclusion that non-eco-adopters are less likely to own car because they care MORE about the environment - think about it), AND if they do own a car, it may be more likely to be a gas-sipper vs a gas-guzzler. We don't know about any of these things and somehow people here seem to think you can come to some conclusion about eco-adopters based on a summary of the survey result.

You will find that living in Florida is statistically significantly associated with a higher rate of death. So anyone who doesn't look any further would conclude that living in Florida will make you more likely to die. Then you find out there are a lot more older people living in Florida also, and it becomes clearer that it is not living in Florida that makes you die. It is the high population of older people living in Florida. Thus, if you're not an old person, you don't have to worry about living in Florida. That's oversimplified of course, but it just demonstrates how easy it is to get mislead by simply reading a summary of a study result (even if you knew the results were statistically significant, which we don't).

movielib
01-22-08, 07:04 AM
Oh come on. Are you seriously saying that the title of this thread or the postings by people who sneer at what they think are obvious interpretations of the results, don't carry any negative connotations about environmentalism?
While there are rhetoric and jokes (and please don't tell me the excesses of some environmentalists, especially the most prominent and publicized, do not invite that) I do maintain that virtually no one is in favor of dirty air and dirty water.

We are somewhat talking past each other. You're talking about this thread and I'm talking about in general. You might note I haven't commented directly on the study in this thread which seems awfully weak to me. There, now I've commented on it.

I noticed you did not respond to the rest of my previous post which was the meat of it.

hahn
01-22-08, 10:47 AM
While there are rhetoric and jokes (and please don't tell me the excesses of some environmentalists, especially the most prominent and publicized, do not invite that) I do maintain that virtually no one is in favor of dirty air and dirty water. Of course no one wants dirty air or dirty water. But there are people who could care less about preventing it from happening, and they put down those who propose ways to prevent it from happening.

I noticed you did not respond to the rest of my previous post which was the meat of it.Not much to respond to. You posted some facts. I agree with most of it except that I do count CO2 as pollution. Thus, per person, we still put out more pollution. I'm not saying that China doesn't need to do something about its pollution. I'm saying that we have a long ways to go ourselves.

movielib
01-22-08, 11:41 AM
Of course no one wants dirty air or dirty water. But there are people who could care less about preventing it from happening, and they put down those who propose ways to prevent it from happening.
I won't deny that there are people who fight every proposed standard (and some just think the market and enforcing property rights works better than command and control). But we have made great strides in cleaning up both air and water. Standards usually have a built-in safety factor of an order of magnitude which means if they are met it's pretty certain the levels are safe. Yet the extreme enviros (again, the leaders who get all the press), as I've said many times before, are never satisfied. If it cost a googol dollars to get out that last part per googol, they'd be for it and vilify anyone who opposed them (OK, maybe an exaggeration but I haven't yet seen their stopping point or any evidence that there would be one).

Not much to respond to. You posted some facts. I agree with most of it except that I do count CO2 as pollution. Thus, per person, we still put out more pollution. I'm not saying that China doesn't need to do something about its pollution. I'm saying that we have a long ways to go ourselves.
I'm not sure about what you mean about us putting out more pollution per capita. Obviously we put out more CO2 per capita since our totals are about equal. But China puts out far more of the "traditional" pollutants. Even if you count CO2 as a pollutant, theirs are far more harmful than ours, at least immediately and for a long time (I think in the long run too).

Since CO2 is absolutely essential to life, and no one disputes that plants grow better at the current 380ppm than they did at the century ago 280ppm, at what ppm level does or did CO2 become a pollutant?

al_bundy
01-22-08, 12:05 PM
Of course no one wants dirty air or dirty water. But there are people who could care less about preventing it from happening, and they put down those who propose ways to prevent it from happening.

Not much to respond to. You posted some facts. I agree with most of it except that I do count CO2 as pollution. Thus, per person, we still put out more pollution. I'm not saying that China doesn't need to do something about its pollution. I'm saying that we have a long ways to go ourselves.

when you measure our pollution compared to our economic output than the US is the most efficient.

for all the talk about Kyoto and evil Bush not following it, the US has done more to control greenhouse gasses than the countries that signed it. we have had the least increase in CO2 compared to the countries that signed kyoto


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