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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Most Americans Don't Know Plastic is Made from Oil

Most of the time I don't poach articles to comment on but this is so typical of societies naivete about oil, pollution and over consumption I had to share. Also the fact that I pulled it off of a Financial site makes me believe most of the political bloggers would not have seen this. Enjoy, and try not to hit your head against the wall in disgust.

More than 70% of Americans Don't Know Plastic is Made from Oil

40% believe plastic will biodegrade at some point

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a nationwide online survey released today, 72 percent of the American public does not know that conventional plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil. The survey was conducted by national online market research firm InsightExpress for Telles(TM), a joint venture of Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX - News), a company using bioscience to provide clean solutions for plastics, fuels and chemicals, and Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM - News), one of the world's largest agricultural processors and the world leader in BioEnergy. Plastics are everywhere and most Americans have come to rely on plastics in all aspects of their lives. However, very few people realize that plastics are made from oil, further contributing to the problems of energy dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and depleting resources. In fact, nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption - approximately 2 million barrels a day - is used to make plastic.

The survey also revealed a misunderstanding about another important characteristic of traditional plastic - it never goes away. Despite the fact that petroleum-based plastic will never biodegrade, 40 percent of respondents believe that it will biodegrade underground, in home compost, in landfills, or in the ocean. Plastics will not biodegrade in any of these environments. In fact, the only way to rid the planet of existing plastic is by incineration in those cases where it can be recovered."Everyone knows about our country's unhealthy reliance on oil and the impact that petroleum use has on climate change," said Jim Barber, President and CEO, Metabolix, which has developed a brand of fully biodegradable Natural Plastics. "Similarly, people see a lot of plastic waste in the form of litter. But the fact that so many people are unaware that plastic is made from oil and that it will persist in the environment for thousands of years, shows the need for education about the impact of plastic on the environment and the various alternatives made from renewable resources."Americans also have a much more optimistic view of the country's recycling efforts than is supported by the facts. On average, those surveyed believe nearly 40 percent (38.2%) of plastic is recycled, when in fact that figure is less than six percent (5.7%) nationally, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.There is hope, however. When informed that plastic is made from oil and that it never biodegrades, half of Americans indicated they would be willing to pay a premium for natural, biodegradable plastic.Mr. Barber concluded, "The more Americans understand the environmental impact of using conventional plastics, the more they will look for and demand new solutions for meeting their needs for these essential materials."

Snapshot of Survey Results:

72% of respondents do not know that plastic is made out of oil/petroleum
On average, respondents estimated 38% of plastic is recycled (the reality is less than 6%, according to the EPA)
Nearly 40% (38.1%) of respondents said plastic will biodegrade underground, in home compost, in landfills, or in the ocean (plastic will not biodegrade in any of these environments).
After learning that plastic is made from oil and never biodegrades, half (50.1%) of respondents stated they would be likely or very likely to pay 5-10% more for a natural, biodegradable plastic. Only 24% were unlikely/very unlikely to pay this much more.
62% of respondents rate their own level of environmental knowledge as fair or poor, with only 5.6% rating it as excellent.
About the Survey

The survey was conducted online between the dates of April 5 and April 10, by InsightExpress, a leading national online market research firm. Survey participants were recruited online via InsightExpress' patented sampling methodology. A representative sample of 501 respondents completed the survey, reflecting a +/-4.89% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.

About Telles's Natural Plastics

Telles Natural Plastics are produced from renewable resources such as corn sugar using a fully biological fermentation process, producing a versatile range of biobased natural plastics with excellent durability in use but that also biodegrade benignly in a wide range of environments. Telles is a joint venture or Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland, which is now building the first commercial scale plant to produce Natural Plastics in Clinton, Iowa. This plant will be starting up in 2008, with a nameplate capacity of 110 million pounds of Natural Plastics per year, which can be used as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics in a wide variety of conversion processes including injection molding, paper coating, sheet, cast film, blown film and thermoforming.

Scary stuff kiddies.

Recommend this Post

Monday, April 23, 2007

Harper's secret plan

I think Steven Harper has a secret Green house emission plan that only the deep insiders with their secret handshakes and fancy cloaks are allowed to be in on. Its clear Harper wants no substantive reductions goals and has no intention of “crippling” the economy with the cost of Kyoto. Why is this?

It’s my belief that Harper is looking 10-30 years down the road into the Long Emergency of Peal Oil. It is arguable that we have already hit peak oil and I think Harper knows and accepts this.

So what is the premise of Harpers plan?

1. Each year less oil will be found, pumped, refined and burned than the previous year, less oil being consumed means less GHG

2. The cost of energy will go up, leading to reduction in use, leading to less GHG.

3. Desperate energy consumers around the world will buy Canadian Tar Sands Oil regardless of whether it’s clean or not, so why bother?

4. We will be the entire cost of Kyoto ahead of the game and still have our customers over the barrel

5. Costly hydrocarbon pesticides and fertilizers will become out of reach to the developing world leading to less GHG through a pronounced population die off. Such a die off will also reduce the demand for coal which equals less GHG emissions.

Added advantages

6. The longer we stay inefficient and continue to use more than our share the faster we can starve off all of those foreigners.

7. A look at sea level maps shows Canada will be affected far less than most countries from rising sea levels, so who cares?

8. As the prairies heat and dry out new northern lands will be opened up to farming.

Baird I’m sure see this as the perfect (perfectly evil) market solution to the GHG problem. Ignore it and it will go away on its own impacting rest of the world far more than ourselves. It will not cost the government anything so they can look like a champion saving the common tax payer from rabid, money sucking environmentalists. “After all we only produce 2% of the green house gases and China and India don’t have to comply so why should we?” There are many short sighted boobs who would accept this kind of an argument and many of them sit with Harper, as is obvious with the decision today to shelve the Clean Air Act.

I wonder if Layton sees the folly of working with Harper yet?Recommend this Post

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lights out in Ontario

Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan announces a ban the incandescent light bulb by 2012.

I’m glad someone got around to doing this but bending over to industry with a five year lead time seems excessive.

Does this mean we can expect the coal plants to stay on line until 2012 as well?

Next I hope they ban those damn inflatable Christmas decorations.Recommend this Post

Monday, April 16, 2007

Newmarket-Aurora Green Party nominations

I would like to invite any current Green Party member or any Green curious voters to attend the Newmarket-Aurora Federal Green Party Association nomination meeting.

"The Membership will be voting at a special Nomination Meeting Saturday, April 21, 2007 which will take place at 10:00am in the Aurora Town Hall. The meeting will be followed by a Tree Planting in celebration of Earth Day."

While it is too late for non members to join and still vote for this nomination it is not too late to join, offer your support or just come and meet your future Green Party candidate and MP.

With Belinda’s departure from politics and the recent reciprocal Green/Liberal leader love in, there is sure to a great deal of lively discussion on many topics and opportunities to corner your candidate and ask questions, or give suggestions.

How better to spend the Earth Day weekend than kibitzing with other like mined people, meeting your candidate and planting a few trees.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Goodbye Belinda

Its official, the turncoat home wrecker is leaving politics to go back to Magna. I suspect with Franks age and his big plans to bid for Chrysler it was time for Belinda to stop playing at politics and get back to work. Her recent low profile makes me believe that the Dion faction did not like her or found it hard pretending to be Green when they had big auto interests in their midst.

As a resident of her riding I could not be more pleased to see her gone. As a Green I’m ecstatic that someone apparently unbeatable regardless of party is gone.

Rumours have it that long time NDP candidate Ed Chudak is also calling it quits, leaving us with the Conservative perennial loser Lois Brown as the only know quantity in the next election. I’m not arrogant enough to predict Newmarket-Aurora will be won by the Green Party of Canada but I’m damn sure it will be a decent race this time around. This will be fun.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Canada shops at ACME rent a Tank

Canada to Lease Tanks Toronto STAR article.

Lease a tank? Why did no one tell me this was possible?

The Green Assassin Brigade has considering for some time, ways of increasing our offensive power from mere Garrottes and other low impact weapons to something that would really put us on the map. Of course this would not make us the first Green Assassin chapter to get a tank. The Iraqi Green Assassin Brigade had several tanks but after blowing up a depot full of GM wheat seed, Monsanto claimed it was Sunni extremists and had the U.S. Air Force call in an air strike.

While I admit that it’s bad that we are in Afghanistan I have to begrudgingly acknowledge that the Harper Government has been very reactive to the needs of the soldiers on the ground in comparison to the previous Government. Liberals where quite willing to let our troops do the job with little to no equipment, Conservatives spending like a drunken sailor have at least made moves to supply our men with the tools they need to do the mission and hopefully survive. It’s not our troop’s fault they are in mortal danger and they should not be punished with death trap vehicles and other faulty equipment. There are only two reasonable ways to deal with the Afghanistan mission. Firstly pull them out, bring them home, let them retrain, reequip, rest and be prepared for the next mission. The second option, they stay and are given what ever they need. I’d rather have these soldiers home but I’m not willing to risk these men and women over a few bucks. So Harper made the wrong call extending the mission but at least he is trying to treat our people right. I guess he rates a 5/10 on this one, a vast improvement his other issues.

So how do you lease a tank? 10% down, 10,000 km and 100 shells per year with penalties if you go over your quota. What are the provisions for scratches and dents? It seems weird, I’m quite sure that you will not be able to return the tank in the same condition it was received in and will be responsible for repairs so why not buy rather than lease? Everyone knows that it costs more to lease than buy, but then again maybe Hillier wants to trade them in for a new model in 3 years.

I still want a tank for the Green Assassin Brigade.
Do they come hybrid or E85?Recommend this Post