July 30, 2009

Humans are lazy: discuss

I know, I know, humans have been to the moon and back, landed robots on Mars, built pyramids, saved the world from Hilter, cured smallpox, and so on and so forth.

But sometimes, I just think we're not even trying.

Yeah, sure, let's get hysterical and worry about how to "reverse" the temperature in 100 years time - or to put it another way, in six generations time, when every person presently inhabiting the planet will be long dead - because humans thrive on end of the world scenarios, complete annihilation. There's a reason why the bible includes some lengthy Armageddon scenes. Wouldn't have been a best seller without them.

Our salvation, apparently, relies on human ingenuity and cooperation of mammoth proportions, not to mention heroic technologies not yet imagined. Good luck with that.

Over in Utah the state has saved cleaning and electricity costs of $1.8M in the last year via the dead obvious and not at all stupid mechanism of squishing the normal working week of 40 hours into four days for state workers. That economic saving to the state is cold hard cash, and doesn't capture the savings for employees in travel costs, not other direct and indirect environmental savings, such as nasty emissions or general pollution and wasted resources.


Won't be implemented here any time soon, of that you can be sure. Unlike in the US, we plucky Aussies have stared the recession down, so we're hardly going to start implementing smart cost savings and environmental savings when, you know ... why the heck would we do such a thing unless Armageddon was upon us, right?

Should Thursday become the new Friday? The environmental and economic pluses of the four-day work week

But wait, there's more simple stuff that should have been implemented decades ago.

White roofs.

Yes, white roofs!

The scientist Mr. Chu calls his hero, Art Rosenfeld, a member of the California Energy Commission who has been campaigning for cool roofs since the 1980s, argues that turning all of the world’s roofs “light” over the next 20 years could save the equivalent of 24 billion metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions.

“That is what the whole world emitted last year,” Mr. Rosenfeld said. “So, in a sense, it’s like turning off the world for a year.”


Notice how he's been "campaigning" on this not at all stupid, not at all high tech, not at all complex idea for a couple of decades?

White roofs catch on as energy cost cutters

There are no doubt tens of thousands of other not clever, not high tech, dead obvious things that we humans should have started doing 30 or 50years ago. Some of them might have even saved us no end of human histrionics and allowed us all a calmer, more contemplative existence.

Are we complacent, lazy, stupid?

Why are we so awed and excited by pumping CO2s into the ground (oh yeah, that is such a good idea), so busy looking for the single fix, the sexy fix that the mundane things that could have averted no end of idiocy and hysterics are shoved aside?

How is it that humans can be awfully clever, yet pike when it comes to refining the small stuff, daily, day after day, instead of laurel resting five seconds after the first decent idea comes to mind?

All too often we drop the ball at the point of "that'll do".

Meanwhile, we obsess about perfecting the useless, such as synthesized pheromones, specifically to aid and abet humans as sexual attractants, which is a bit like using a push up bra to give the illusion of having an amplitude of breast. Take away the synthesized pheromones and what's left is your own odor, which may or may not be the sexual attractant that the attractee had been expecting.

Banking on a chemical reaction


  1. Meanwhile, the first fully operational clean carbon plant is now working in Great Britain... and still pumping all its CO2 into the atmosphere because of local protesters object to the CO2 being stored near the site!

  2. Yes, exhibit A: the clever species!