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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oregon strategic plan: Don't buy stuff

This is going to be an awfully hard sell. And if it succeeds, will the state's economy survive? Lighter garbage trucks have got to equal lighter cash registers for retailers.

Comments (22)

Just another step in Portland’s planner's master plan to take Portland back to the 1920's (see Sam Adams' city club speech).

The next step is a bit further back. The steps will continue until we de-industrialize. (ie: live like middle age peasants with the Goldschmidt goons as our masters)

Then we can truly have a small footprint because most of us will be dead because of our lower standard of living and the complete absence of a modern society.


Abrams and I will probably be talking about this latest illustration of lunacy, Oregon style, on our show this morning.

I especially love the quote: "Where are the businesses that have a financial interest in telling people to buy less stuff?"

You really can't make this stuff up.

Rob, glad you are going to bring this up this morning. This is absolutely insane. It is just another example of the agenda of the state to close the door on economic development. I believe that DEQ needs to reverse it's acronym: QED "quit economic development". That is how I will refer to it from now on.

Just sayin' it again....maybe it's time we just put a fence around Oregon, pull the plug and declare it a National Park and fuhgedaboudit. The silliness volume increases....the lack of outrage is pathetic.

When are people going to realize that the only way to maintain our current standard of living is to increase immigration (to increase the solvency of Social Security), blanket the state with more industry to increase employment (and tax revenue), and to usurp our natural resources to the fullest extent possible? Lord knows that increasing our material wealth is the only possible way to fulfill our "pursuit of happiness".

It is reasonable to ask how well thought out this "plan" to reduce consumption is. But the knee-jerk condemnation of the very concept of being more thoughtful about what we consume -- and perhaps reducing needless consumption -- is telling. Is it "absolutely insane" to be less wasteful? Is it axiomatic that less consumption equal less economic development? Is GDP really the best measure of the health of our economy and society? Is buying more stuff (and throwing it out) our only hope?


Yes, a "knee-jerk" condemnation is precisely the correct response. The notion that it should be a function of government to essentially harrass us (or worse, tax us) to make us consume less, is so incredibly backward and contrary to any reasonable concept of the appropriate role of government, that scorn and ridicule is absolutely called for.

Yes, it actually IS axiomatic that less consumption is the equivalent of less prosperity.

We don't need the government to ration prosperity, all in the name of their arbitrary recycling and CO2 targets.

Someone tell me: what is wrong with putting trash in landfills?

Don't stop buying stufff....just stop buying stuff that isn't made or grown in the USA....duh

"a strategy that suggests people consider smaller houses, avoid cramming their homes with junk, try drinking water from the tap instead of plastic bottles, buy used instead of new, repair things that break, downsize that big-ticket remodeling project."

"Reduce, reuse, recycle" has been a green mantra for many years. In principle, there's nothing wrong with drawing people's attention to the first and second words instead of just the third.

So long as these are just suggestions I don't see anything wrong at all. The business models of the manufacturers of mcmansions, bottled water, disposable razors, and freddy-fall-apart consumer goods are not our problem. If demand sinks, tough. Markets change over time, and successful businesses are prepared to change with it.

(And really, if your business model depends on no one mentioning to the public that you're producing a wasteful piece-o'-crap, then you're asking for trouble anyway.)

Rob, I mean ROB?! C'mon, you can't be serious (and either can the rest of you):

Wow, Rob Kremer's comments are a perfect example of why, even if Democrats and environmentalists fail to argue their positions effectively, Republicans won't win any significant political momentum on the coasts for a long, long time.

1) Consuming less things that go into landfills is not the same thing as consuming less. Services, including repair of old technology, are part of the economy. I can't remember where I was reading it, but in a survey of overworked Americans, going out to eat with friends rated as one of the highest-satisfaction forms of time spent.

2) Landfills are bad on so many levels, it is shocking that you wrote your question without stopping to think for the 1/1000 of a second it would take to think of a few reasons why. First of all, they pollute. They stink, thereby reducing surrounding land value. They seep contaminants into groundwater, an increasingly precious resource (though this has been greatly reduced in new landfills). And they are an admission of failure by what is supposedly the most advanced civilization: why can't we re-use more of these materials?

3) Democratic governments are absolutely the tool of harassment used by the majority, and that's the way it should be. Especially in this case, where an undisputed public-interest, waste management planning, is at issue. Otherwise, what exactly are we voting for? There are Constitutional limits as to what they can do, but I must have missed the cogent argument as to why they cannot, nor should not do this.

Honestly, is this stuff really not abundantly clear? Please, somebody convince me otherwise. I am absolutely open to listening to any reasonable argument that this isn't a decent thing to start addressing. I also look forward to some good ol' fashion vitriol, hyperbole, and richard-headed comments.

Wow, all that and I don't feel better.

I suggest we change the name of our state from Oregon to Orwell as in author George Orwell. And what about dead humans? Maybe we should eat them before they spoil so as to reduce their disposal and require less agricultural products. Heck we should be encouraging people to smoke more so as to keep people thin and closer to dead. We should eliminate public healthcare so as to speed death, reducing the number of mouths that need to be fed. Yeah, everything is looking up here in Orwell.

Services, including repair of old technology, are part of the economy.

In most cases, old technology can't be repaired, as there are no parts available because new technology - in some cases, governmentally-mandated - has replaced it. In other cases, it's simply less expensive to buy new than to pay for repairs. Most people look at personal cost first. That's a good survival strategy. Despite the hysterics who claim that human activity is "killing the planet", the fact of the matter is that human activity in general exerts little effect upon the planet. It's just that everyone is so full of themselves that they delude themselves into somehow believing that they can have any significant planetary effect by bicycling.

They won't. But it makes them feel good.

Adherents to the religion of recycling don't really do anything to "save the planet", they just feel good about recycling. Actually, recycling uses about as much total energy as making new stuff from scratch. But we can't talk about that, because it might hurt somebody's feelings. And of course, that is a huge crime in America today.

Anybody ever noticed exactly who in the hell is buying all the bottled water? It's the "greenies". Me, I like Bull Run water, straight out of the tap. I'm not paying the petroleum industry to produce all of those delightful plastic bottles to hold water. Nope: that's your basic environmeddlist who's doing that. You know, the folks who know better than you, the folks who claim to be "green", the folks who claim that you're killing the planet while they suck "pure" water from petrochemical bottles.

"Actually, recycling uses about as much total energy as making new stuff from scratch."

All the more reason to reduce! :-p

I actually like the nanny state telling me what I should and shouldn't do (at least the leaders... Sten, where are you in this debate, hiding in your new 5,000 sq ft, 1 million dollar mansion?)

I read that using up an automobile up to 175K miles or even 200K saves up to $30K, compared to trading it in every 50K-75K miles. I can be considered green, even though it is more of thing of being too cheap, at least for me!

so, we're perfectly fine with being encouraged to consume more, but dismiss being encouraged to consume less as "insanity"?

but, anyway, you don't change the world by making slightly different purchasing decisions.

I am reminded of that silly man Gore hopping around the planet in a private jet while chirping to the rest of us in steerage about "carbon footprints." What crap.

Yeah,, he'd be so much more effective if he traveled by bike.


If you want to spend $20K a year heating your house & fly around in a private jet instead of commercial, it's fine by me. It's a matter of choice and personal finances.

But, like Eric Sten's new pad, his pontifications on global warming seems to be simply the disingenuous brayings of another limousine liberal.

his pontifications on global warming seems to be simply the disingenuous brayings of another limousine liberal.

devoting your life to raising awareness and changing public policy about a possible planetary disaster is "disingenuous"?

you mean, like braying about the actions of public figures instead of proposing your own solutions to the problem?

Here's one aspect to this discussion. I don't have quoted studies to post, but as a member of the older generation I sure notice that the younger generation that probably advocates a higher percentage of the "sustainable hype", are generally the ones who don't even know: what a washer is to stop a hose or faucet leak to save water; how to patch a bike tire to continue saving gas; how to push a broom properly to clean a sidewalk instead of not doing so or using a gas/electric blower; not turning a light bulb off; using a open-flame propane flame to roast an ear of corn using twice the energy; not knowing how a screwdriver works, or all the different types of screwdriver heads that can fix a simple home tool, or household product-but just throw it away and buy another; how to clean/maintain a deck, but how to call a contractor; or how to wash a window.

The point is, we are developing (have) a generation that will be consuming more energy than what is required. If only they would just learn a few simple things on how to exist. And this also applies somewhat to my generation.

No Allan, he'd be much more credible AND effective he practiced what he preached. Or is that beyond your comprehension?

the lack of outrage is pathetic.

You seriously think in a "progressive" state like Oregon it is a "lack of outrage?"
Its more like an agenda.

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