GreenYes Digest V96 #17

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Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:12:51 -0500

GreenYes Digest Fri, 8 Nov 96 Volume 96 : Issue 17

Today's Topics:
Is more recycling the answer?
More GreenHouse Stuff
Proposal for Zero Waste Legislation

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Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:58:19 -0500
Subject: Is more recycling the answer?

Christ, I've gotten copies of this Jim Poll question - Is more recycling
the answer? - than election campaingn fliers these past few days!
Why is it that everytime this question gets asked all the hackles go up?
Is this a sensitive group that perhaps does not have a whole lot of
faith/confidence in what they think/hope is the right thing to do?
It seems to me that as a whole Americans and much of the rest of the
planet do not think wasting resources is such a cool thing to do. Lets have
a look at how we as a whole work:
Industries are spending countless dollars each year trying to make
something for less (yes sometimes that works in the wrong direction resource
wise, but that is due to imperfections in the economic system, that silly
people like John Tierney mistake for reality).
People as a whole do not like throwing away things that are valuable,
and even if we do it, no one feels good about throwing away a lot of
The planet is full of scavengers looking for discards of value.....
Why the place is crawling with people looking for things of value!
(Remember one mans trash is anothers gold.)

Conclusion: We don't like to waste! OK? End of discussion!

Next: The three R's! Most anyone who thinks about it will agree that
it is better to Reduce, then Reuse, and then Recycle! Problem is that when
you start with a system that has spent enourmous resources to create a truly
vast infrastructure that creates mountains of trash it just ain't so easy to
turn the hip overnight. The easiest olution to begin with is to recycle. As
people get used to this, and as they get used to worrying about what they
throw away, well then the preasure to reduce and reuse grows. In Europe
industry is responding with less packaging that is easier to recycle, and
with the reintroduction of reuse packaging. Here we seem less able to demand
the same of our industries....why is that?

We ought to stop defending out actions and beliefs! We ought to get
back on the attack and make them defend theirs! Untill we do that we will be
on the losing side, and frankly I am sick of being on the losing side!
That is why we've launched the Grass Roots Recycling Network. That is
why we've chosen ZERO WASTE as our next goal, and that is why ZERO WASTE is
the theme for our 1997 annual conference in Moneterey California. Why don't
you come join us in planning the Agenda for the Next Millenium there????


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:57:56 -0500
Subject: More GreenHouse Stuff

I got this from the Sierra Club. If it is true, something I believe to
be, then all these parks and nad nature preserves we are creating are all for
nought. as the climte changes due to the greenhouse effect these preserves
will change and the creatures in them will not be able to survive there in
the now incorrect climate. A more suitable climate will require these
creatures to travel through human changed areas such as farm belts, and
cities, and this is not someting most creatures are up to. Thus they will
simply die out. One could ask: If this is the future,then the parks and
preserves are useless in preserving life!


The New York Times reported yesterday (Oct 29) that a change in
the jet stream may be responsible for the chaotic weather that
mid-atlantic and northeast states have experienced in recent
years. Scientists are now studying whether global warming caused
the jet stream shift.

The jet stream, the current of air that runs west to east in our
upper atmosphere, has shifted in recent years, scientists say.
It now flows further south and east over the United States than
ever before.

The shift has increased the severity and reduced the frequency of
storms the northeast experiences. The blizzards of 1993 and
1996, the torrential rain storms earlier this year, and the
massive "Halloween Northeaster" of 1991 may all have been at
least in part related to this shift in the jet stream.

This is in keeping with the predictions scientists have made
about the results of global warming. Dr. Tom Karl, Senior
Scientist at the National Climate Data Center, has reported that
the number of extreme weather events, rainstorms and blizzards
that produce large amounts of precipitation (over 2 inches) in 24
hours, has increased dramatically in recent years. This research
has led him to conclude that global warming has begun.

Even notable climate change skeptics are admitting the
possibility of a human influence on the jet stream. In a major
shift Dr. Robert E. Davis, a global warming dissenter at the
University of Virginia, was quoted by the New York Times as
saying "the bottom line is we just don't know" when asked whether
or not global warming was behind the shift. In the past Dr.
Davis has argued that the majority of the world's climate
scientists are wrong in saying that climate change is occuring,
and that global warming is just a myth.


Last week (10/21-10/25) we reported on the impacts of global
warming on migratory birds. As the climate changes droughts
occur more frequently in areas such as the US Sourhwest. Also,
red tides -- algal blooms -- are linked to warming waters.
Today's Greenwire carries a story on the endangered whooping
crane and how it will face some of those hazards during it's
winter migration.

At a time when the crane's population is making a modest
comeback, many could face starvation. The Aransas National
Wildlife refuge in Texas, where 158 of the rare birds spent the
winter of 1995, has suffered from a combination of drought and
red tides that have drastically cut the available food supply.
An extremely dry year has reduced the population of blue crabs,
their favorite winter food source. A recent bloom of the algae
that causes red tides may have contaminated many of the bird's
other food sources, and could make many of the cranes sick. As
the process of global warming continues, more and more of the
world's wildlife could become extinct.


Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:56:41 -0500
Subject: Proposal for Zero Waste Legislation

1.) With the Olberg hearings and now the Republican control of our
state legislature it has beome crystal clear to me that 1997 is the year the
California State legislature is going to take up the question of what to do
with AB 959 and specifically the 50% recycling mandate.
There is a growing movement to forget about recycling, or at least
change the 50% mandate to a goal. I am meeting more and more local
governmental officials and their agents who are more than anxious to get out
from under the potential fines, and who are resentful that the whole driving
force of AB 939 falls on them! With the passage of proposition 218 it is now
much harder for local governments to raise money and the preasure to do away
with AB 939 will only increase.

2.) With Zero Waste the theme for our 1997 CRRA conference I've been
finding myself speaking with more and more people bout just what this Zero
Waste thing is about. Much to my surprise I am finding that almost everyone
is interested in this topic and seems willing to accept it as a GOAL.

3.) During this past election I've come to know a number of people
who've been very active in the election of a number of state and federal
officials. One question that comes up is:
"What kind of legislation would youlike to see us write?"
It seems that NOW, before the new session begins is the right time to get
ideas in motion.

I, along with my staff and several others am embarking on a campaign to
get legislation introduced and passed in the California State Legislature to
replace the AB 939 50% recycling mandate with a ZERO WASTE goal!
In addition I am proposing that the state initiate a tax (could be
called tipping fee) on all landfilled or incinerated waste. This tax should
gradually increase over the next ten to twenty years, and the bulk of the
revenues raised ought to go to the general fund of the state. A percentage
(10-20%) should go to an agency such as the Integrated Waste Bord to track
and promote waste reduction. This promotion can take the form of promotion
via advertissing and education campaigns to the public and industry, the
funding of R&D, and the granting and lending of funds to organizations
creating programs to help with this goal. (Since the goal is
ZERO WASTE we need only concern ourselves with the abolute tonnage going into
landfills and incinerators, leaving out all this gray stuff we are measuring
these days in calculating recycling rates.)

I am asking for support on what are workable details to such
legislation, volunteers to help, CRRA Board support, CAW support, and help in
getting the dialog with all the interested groups in this state that have a
stake in such legislation.

Pleae let me know wht you think and what you can do to help.


Stephen Suess
(408) 462-1565 FAX 462-4368


End of GreenYes Digest V96 #17