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RE: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's. -Why makeit at all?
Appropriate technolology vs. technology for its own sake is a valid point -
but let's not attach blame to one nation for this type of thought. The
mentality truly does extend world wide.  The modern ballpoint, or papermate
pen, was actually first developed by the Biro brothers . . . Hungarians . .
. after trying to commercialize the technology in . . . Argentina.  They
formulated a pen that relied upon capilary action rather than gravity (as
earlier models had done)to provide ink flow.  American and British military
pilots later adopted the pen because of its reliability at high altitudes
(my understanding is that pilots didn't want to have to fumble around for a
new instrument if the lead broke on a pencil). I have to plead ignorance on
any later NASA involvement (it wouldn't suprise me) but the "barn doors" had
been open for some time.   

I'll agree with the comments on full-cost accounting but wonder if anyone
has any insight on successful examples where the tool has actually been used
to effectively internalize environmental and social costs - or at least how
those costs have been quantified - for a typical consumer product.  Until
that can be done, proponents of more sensible accounting alternatives will
be forced to rely upon qualitative, anecdotal arguments to battle corporate
political support and the multi-million dollar advertising campaigns
targeted at consumers - most of whom have never heard the term
sustainability. 

Anyone know of any areas where some progress is being made here?

Happy Holidays,

Jeff   

-----Original Message-----
From: Muna Lakhani [mailto:muna@iafrica.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 3:41 AM
To: Mike Morrow
Cc: Wayne Turner; swolpow@abacus.bates.edu; sp@cast.uark.edu;
gottlich@infi.net; info@edensterling.com; greenyes@grrn.org
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] recycling plastic number 5's and 6's. -Why
makeit at all?


Mike Morrow wrote:
> 
> I appreciate the reasoning and sentiment, but we can't go back.  The
weight
> and breakability of the glass places it at an economic disadvantage.

that is the key - "economic" disadvantage, and to h%&ll with the people,
health and environmental costs....

> Furthermore, recovery costs are driving glass out of the MRFs which must
> adjust their operations to reduce costs. 

again: including full cost accounting would resolve these discrepancies
- it is the perverse subsidies that we allow, and the power of lobbies,
that is the barrier, not whether the product (for example, glass) is
worthwhile or not..

> Our best bet is to use technology
> to solve our problems.

*grin* I have to laugh - please don't take this personally - but we
often debate the technology issues here in South Africa - and people
seem to have problems (worldwide) understanding that the issue is not
hi-tech or low tech, but appropriate tech - the usual story? USA
astronauts went into space, and due to a lack of gravity, pens did not
function well... NASA budgeted US$1 million, and developed what I
believe later became the Papermate pen... the then USSR cosmonauts had
the same problem - they were given pencils!!

take care all....

Muna


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