Apple Green! The i-pad
By: Lee Kent Hempfling
Apple Inc. is underfire from Greenpeace. I don’t have an Apple. But I do have a solution for it.
Now that Time Magazine has given the world 51 reasons to like Ebenezer Scrooge, and an emotional disorder frenzy has ripped the least defensive of their minds, Hollywood has popped veins (again) and some big wig, billionaire feelgooder is funding research into stopping what Time losely, refers to as ‘everybody’s most distressing emotional depression’ (or at least they try to make it that): wouldn’t a good ol’ common sense solution be in order?
OK I’m Convinced. Global warming (I’m presuming you’ve heard that term before) caused mainly by CO2 is a real possibility (learn where it comes from: http://www.nsc.org/EHC/climate/ccucla4.htm) and humans are solely responsible for it’s becoming the problem we have heard tell about (whether that is now, or some time in the future: minus the sun, the planet’s cycles and magic [ok, its a slim chance humans are solely responsible, but for what we are responsible for; we need to fix]) and it will be one heck of a bad outcome if it is not fixed. Quick. Panic! How I reached that conclusion is far more interesting than my conversion. And I don’t follow indoctrination from others well.
A number of years ago (coincidentally around the time humans started doing things with internal combustion engines) the rain forests in South America started to be ripped down to make room for ‘progress’. CO2 is consumed by trees (see photosynthesis at http://www.nsc.org/EHC/climate/ccucla4.htm). No trees, too much CO2. But humans did not stop there. While the industrial revolution was winding down, the need to document everything increased exponentially, and the demand for paper products grew as the rain forests were gutted. When you are losing great wood species’ to disease and no one cares, you need to get that offall made pulp from somewhere.
Paper. Industrial development. Land clearing. Trees. Gone. CO2 with no place to go, but up, while inventions changed from creations to innovations and adaptations.
At the same time as the industrial revolution, the population of the world’s humans began a steady and likewise exponential growth. The more people there are, the more breathing there is, and since what you breath out is CO2, do the numbers and add in all other creatures and the oceans as well and only THEN add in what humans have done. There are simply too many humans doing too much breathing in our two century old technology.
A couple of solutions came to mind.
Ebenezer Scrooge had one idea. (Where’d I get that from?) Decrease the surplus population. Bad idea. Wrong and immoral to consider. It was just a book. Cow flatulence can’t take the whole brunt of responsibility. Those obnoxiously stupid 51 ways you can do your part to help with global warming are a total farce. Humans have been making industrial and transportation gases far too short to become any form of problem for the planet, unless you don’t quite comprehend the size of the planet and its cycles and its history and discount the power of volcanos. It isn’t the progress humans have made that is the cause, it is the path left by that progress. The vacant path where mighty trees used to stand. Those trees were a part of a balanced natural environment that once increased CO2 was created, should have been increased. Instead, humans cut them down, and never replaced them. Trees. (No I’m not a closeted tree hugger. I like to cut them.) But the problem everyone is trying to solve with laws against progress are worse than morally wrong. They are suicidal.
Luckily, the answer was staring me in the face. The computer. The computer has freed us from the need for more paper. If we can just get people to stop using paper. One way would be for some computer company to put together a notepad (No, not that ‘little ‘puter’ Allen is hawking). Just a simple LCD display that allowed people to read what would have been printed by connecting it to their computer, accepting the file if they wanted to, or read it there. Just a simple flat notepad. No writing. No frills. Perhaps a way to ‘sign’ a document would be helpful. Do the screen right so it could show a picture and it could double as a desk top photo frame. Now THAT would be a gift every spouse would want for their ah, well, spouse.
Log into the notepad dock on line and acquire the morning papers, get the weather forecast, acquire stock values and exchange ‘read later’ email, or buy the latest book. If Apple Inc. wanted to really rule the world (Apple Inc. is in trouble as Greenpeace has attacked Apple’s ‘greenness’), just make the i-pad. A 9 by 12 flat panel with docking ability and a nice scroll and page navigation so you could enjoy reading your newspaper, latest book or company report from the easy chair, just like it used to be. The market for a replacement for paper would be immense. And by golly, it would be ‘green’. And profitable. And with a teacher in possession of an i-pad port, students would stop taking home books, taking notes in class and missing their assignments. Anything readable could be displayed. Wish I would have thought of it.
The computer is staring us in the face, yet it has not gained the dependability that paper enjoys. If it had that dependability the demand for paper would decrease. That would mean more trees would remain working on the CO2. It would also mean technology would finally do something in favor of the balance of nature. And it would mean in a matter of no more than a minute you could have your morning paper without trudging through the elements, fighting the dog and spilling the coffee.
Better yet, you don’t have to fool yourself into thinking you can buy absolution with ‘credits’. ‘Credits’ is normally the term used by futuristic movie script writers to refer to the currency of that future day. It is a metaphorical protest, NOT a goal. Credits are what the word says they are. You owe for them. Whether it is owing money so someone else can plant a tree to make you feel all warm and fuzzy with a worthless carbon credit scam, or owing your freedom because you accepted the credit not paying attention for one second, what it was you were dealing with when you signed on to the global warming frenzy, the childish conspiracy theories and the method of inductive thinking so readily sought by tyrants throughout history.
Is there too much CO2 in the atmosphere? Probably. We’ve been procreating, producing and cutting trees at the same time. We have lived within an industrial revolution that has not changed one bit since it emerged from the dark ages. Oil burned, so we burn oil. Engines ran on oil, so we put oil in our engines. We make everything we use with oil. We flat quit looking for things to make things from when we found oil. We have spent the last 100 years designing ways to make things, made with oil. We have created essentially nothing truly ‘new’ since the early and mid 20th century. Advances today are acceptable when they are nothing by enhancements or downright ripoffs. Musings in the blogosphere and mainstream opinion columns alike, wonder what prohibitions can be done to stop the problem, if one exists today or tomorrow. Not one is considering what humans do that is an additional difference between us and other creatures.
Instead of lamenting what we would do without oil, start research into replacing it for use in making things. That alone would drive the price of fuel oil down, ease the purge on the consumer and give birth to a whole new scientific industry, as well as entice the oil companies to invest in and therefore complete with others in the scientific revolution yet to come. Why are we not making ‘plastics’ out of organic things? Why are we not advancing the science materials? Why are we concentrating on finding ‘alternative’ fuels when the use of oil for making things is far larger?
Stop using paper. Find other things to make things out of. Create something new. Again. Put your mind and efforts for saving the planet in the right perspective and stop addressing the planet’s perceived ills with fines, prohibitions and inhibitions. Address the species that is the only one to stand a chance at effecting the rock, and do the right thing to reverse any potential problem. Slow the emotion train, carrying fear and dread, with a concentrated effort to do the right thing.
Do that and put the rain forests back and sometime in 50 to 100 years we would have fixed the mess our ancestors created by being human. Humans differ from other creatures in many ways, but one most important way is that humans do not adapt to our environment. We adapt our environment to us.
CO2 may be a problem now, or it may be a problem in the future if trees keep leaving. So we can fix it. Stop crying about it.
If you are a politician, stand up like a leader and make sense out of the global warming hype, now: before the reactionary among us, gain power, for good or evil and start to cash in those credits you were taken for when your emotions controlled your intellect.
Trees. Plant trees. Put the rain forest back where it can grow like one (and thin old growth forests, they are not history to be cherish, they are inefficient photosynthesis hangers on: natural forest fires clear those things out until we decided to stop every fire that happened). Not only can the most subconsiously controlled Hollywood actor bite into photo ops with Mahogany, Teak, Elm, Oak, Chestnut and IpÃª (look it up)….. but those of us who love to reproduce old things out of high quality wood can agree. Every tree planted is one notch less CO2. It is also, when it is ready for harvest, the stuff of woodworker dreams and heirlooms.