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> Size Of Your House, Environmental Impact
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flora 
Posted: 14-May-2009, 08:37 AM
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I read an interesting article today:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5525283.

The average single family home went from 983 sq. ft in 1950 to 2,349 sq. ft. in 2004.

The article talks about the social impact. Now think of the energy impact if we didn't build unnecessary huge homes. If you had the financial ability to build a megamansion, would you show restraint in regards to the environment? What do you think could be done about it? I certainly don't want government regulating how big a house you can have. What happens when the land can't support us anymore?

Flora


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Jillian 
Posted: 14-May-2009, 05:41 PM
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Very good point Flora. Growing up with 6 siblings, we had to double up with 2 per room and one for Mom and Dad. I can remember as a child thinking our house was so big! But going back as an adult, I realized how small it is in comparison to the homes being built today. We had enough hallway upstairs to barely pass by one another! One showered while one shaved! No separate baths. There are few small and medium homes built nowadays. I guess when the market boomed the builders could make more money from the megamansions. I wonder if things will change now?

I bought a townhome w/ a good sized yard for my German Shepherds...but wanted the small home for purely selfish reasons since I'm the one who will have to clean it!

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SCShamrock 
Posted: 14-May-2009, 07:02 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 14-May-2009, 08:37 AM)
Now think of the energy impact if we didn't build unnecessary huge homes. If you had the financial ability to build a megamansion, would you show restraint in regards to the environment?

If I had the financial means to build a mansion of any sort, I wouldn't do it. Being raised on a farm I learned from a young age how to be frugal. Having a home with rooms no one ever uses is ridiculous in my opinion. But not for any environmental reasons. And why does the environment get brought into nearly every discussion when speaking about affluence? It seems to be fashionable these days to condemn success and accuse those with money of damaging our environment. In fact we've been so inundated with all this concern for our "fragile" environment that I'm beginning to cringe every time I hear or read the word environment. You say something enough times it often stops meaning anything. Aside from that, people with money should be afforded the same freedoms as anyone else. If they want to own mansions, and can afford to pay for them and pay taxes on them, who are we to judge? I know I get envious sometimes when looking across the street at my neighbor's home. It makes my 2100 sq ft seem so insignificant....and the landscape is impeccable. But I would never dream of accusing them of being irresponsible with their wealth. Nope, if people can afford opulence then why stop them. If there seems to be a strain on our power grid...well guess what....it's outdated by decades anyway. We need more nuclear!


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Patch 
Posted: 14-May-2009, 10:24 PM
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I went from a 2400 square foot home when the kids were at home to a little over 1300 square feet now. Being a collector of "things", it might be a bit small but I would not want a bigger one.

Slàinte,    

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flora 
Posted: 15-May-2009, 06:56 AM
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Good points, everyone. Jillian, I bet you have wonderful memories from your youth.

Shamrock, I certainly agree that if you make the money you should spend it where you want. I just don't see the general public building 21 bathrooms, private media halls, indoor bowling alleys and pools.

Have you ever been to the Biltmore house in North Carolina? It is magnificent. Now it is an attraction, but most mansions that become outdated or no longer have a family to use it becomes a waste.

Whether we like it or not, as of this date this is the only planet that can support people. I am just saying that if everyone (not just the affluent) shows a little restraint now maybe we wouldn't have to have that nuclear power plant so soon.

Patch, I understand the "collecting"!. We do become very creative when we need to make more room. biggrin.gif

Flora
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InRi 
Posted: 15-May-2009, 12:35 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 15-May-2009, 12:56 PM)
Whether we like it or not, as of this date this is the only planet that can support people.  I am just saying that if everyone (not just the affluent) shows a little restraint now maybe we wouldn't have to have that nuclear power plant so soon.

One and a half year ago my wife and I began to build our "retirement home". Of course afore we though about the size of the house and about an economic way to heat the house in winter too.
The result looks presentable. 1300 square feet living space, values of heat insulation - beyond good and evil and a heating system based on an air heat pump. This pump prepares hot water for heating and the water demand in the house.
Hence we never have to buy oil, gas or coal for heating the house. Further I planned to build some solar collecotors (for preparing warm water) upon the roof to release the heat pump and economize on a part of the costs for electricity. My aim is to spend no money for heating and warm water.
Why I shouldn't use the things which give me the nature for free? Sure I have to spend a bit more now but in the future I'll be on the safe side.
Here in Austria are all the things that I named almost standard if you want to build a new house and there's a government aid if you want to install such systems into your house - irrespective if you build a new house or you want to retrofit this in an older house.
This way is pushed by the Austrian government because we are not interested to build some day a nuclear power plant here in Austria. Until today we haven't such a piece in Austria - the greatest part of the needed electricity is generated by hydropower.
...and I have to admit: a lot of people here take this very seriously.

Best regards

Ingo


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SCShamrock 
Posted: 15-May-2009, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 15-May-2009, 06:56 AM)
Shamrock, I certainly agree that if you make the money you should spend it where you want. I just don't see the general public building 21 bathrooms, private media halls, indoor bowling alleys and pools.

Have you ever been to the Biltmore house in North Carolina? It is magnificent. Now it is an attraction, but most mansions that become outdated or no longer have a family to use it becomes a waste.

Flora, I think the ultra-wealthy are generally the ones who have the sprawling manors you refer to. They are burdened (I can't imagine personally) with money and taxes and, believe it or not, those ginormous homes and other lavish possessions generally relieve some of their tax burden. But I wonder if that is a sole motivation??? Could it be the Bill Gates' of the world just get bored with their money and spend it as a means of entertainment? Maybe. Either way, it's their money and if they want to have a King Kong of a carbon footprint I don't think Uncle Sam should have a say in the matter....particularly when anthropogenic global warming is an utter hoax.

Been to the Biltmore Estate more than once. I lived in Asheville until 1996. Let me open another can of worms. When Dawn and I moved to South Carolina, statistically Asheville had surpassed San Francisco in the population of homosexuals per capita (this was in a publication I read....cannot confirm). I was confronted with it constantly at my work at a United Way agency. My ex had 3 children....two of which succumbed to the prevailing influence in their schools. Had that not been the case when Dawn became pregnant with Aaron, we would still be there. Asheville is unique in that it is kind of a junction of the Great Smokey Mountains and the Appalachian Mountain range. Stunning. I do miss those hills, but the trade-off was worth it.

Fire ants suck!
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Patch 
Posted: 15-May-2009, 07:27 PM
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My fathers ancestors came from inverness Scotland, settled here in Shannendoah Va. and some lived in the mountains near Rocky Ford Colorado. All beautiful places. I also have a fondness for the pristine Borael Forrest's on the BC Islands in Canada. I like the Sea of Cortez coast line in Baja Sur Mexico but Americans are not well liked there now due to sleights either real or imagined.

Now my family is here and this is and will remain "home".

Slàinte,    Patch    
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Antwn 
Posted: 16-May-2009, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 14-May-2009, 07:02 PM)
And why does the environment get brought into nearly every discussion when speaking about affluence? It seems to be fashionable these days to condemn success and accuse those with money of damaging our environment. In fact we've been so inundated with all this concern for our "fragile" environment that I'm beginning to cringe every time I hear or read the word environment. You say something enough times it often stops meaning anything.

I hear you! Its sad too, isn't it? You get to the point where you don't want to even hear about the environment any longer. I don't feel like I can trust anyone's message, they're either lying, exaggerating or just scamming, and that's on both sides of the issue. I'm just as sick of hearing lies about imminent polar bear extinctions so some environmental organization can collect more of the $2 billion per year they already get as I am about greedy corporation's irresponsible dumping of waste into watersheds. Its pathetic. One would think that a true love of the environment (which includes humans as much as polar bears) would inspire some bit of honesty, integrity and reliance on science in lieu of politics and finacial gain - gee, what a quixotic idealist I am! Like I said, its sad.

You can't even turn on the TV without someone preaching lies and half truths or guilt tripping you about our dying planet and how we have to save it. Well, if these efforts are any indication of our effectiveness at saving anything, then my hopes aren't high - yet since much of the fear mongering is exaggerated anyway, should I worry? How can those who're polluting a planet save it? Like a teenaged kid whose room is mess, all we have to do is clean it up and that doesn't require a new religion, just cooperation towards a common goal. Yet the purity of that intent is what gets polluted the most, thus the efficacy of our efforts is limited....and so it goes. When no one tells you the truth because they want to manipuate your complicity to some agenda, then they neither trust you or the truth, not to mention the democratic process.


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flora 
Posted: 16-May-2009, 07:19 PM
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Inri, it sounds like you have a great plan and are in action to make it work. That's fantastic!

I understand Antwn and Shamrock's view. There are many out there that aren't in it for the right reasons but that shouldn't discount the ones that are. Should that stop us from finding what might make a difference? Why wait until it is at the point where the government can step in and take over?

You have got to admit that we are a wasteful generation and if enough make adjustments, it will make a difference.

We all have special places that make us enjoy being alive. I would like my children and grandchildren to enjoy them as much as I do. Yes Shamrock, I agree about the fire ants!

Flora
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 16-May-2009, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 16-May-2009, 07:19 PM)
Should that stop us from finding what might make a difference?  Why wait until it is at the point where the government can step in and take over?

Flora, I'm all for being responsible. I do not think it wise to be wasteful either...I'm with you there. My point (I didn't mean to get confrontational) was that we have been deluged with environmental causes for some time now. I remember as a young boy watching the tv commercial of the polluted countryside and the Indian with a tear observing it all. Since those days most of the industrialized planet has become far more conscious of their actions and have responded to the need to be better stewards of our world. I think this is especially true for the US and Canada with all the regulations. But the urgency to act has become even greater in the voices of those proclaiming our demise at our own hand.

As to your point about waiting until its too late...the government has already taken over. The ruling party will not even allow for debate concerning the "science" behind anthropogenic global warming. Gore has unhindered access to the masses to spew his half-truths and, quite honestly, outright lies about man's impact on our climate. I have no idea how we can combat this when our own federal government has already decided there is no room for debate. As our climate appears now to be in a cooling trend, all I can do is laugh quietly to myself as I see more and more of this kind of ridiculous response to the lies:

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InRi 
Posted: 17-May-2009, 09:03 AM
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QUOTE (flora @ 17-May-2009, 01:19 AM)
Inri, it sounds like you have a great plan and are in action to make it work.  That's fantastic!

Hi flora,
you're welcome. But I don't think to have great plans - I only try to live consequently a way of life, I accept my responsibility for the next generations. And in my opinion this resonsibility doesn't start in any great projects to save the polar bears, the oceans, the world or what ever, but in very "small" things within the own house and outside the own door. I have to make sure that my children and their children come upon a worth living environment. I have a treaty with the following generations. My dwell time here is defined and I don't realize that my children have to remove my own waste...
I don't speak here about abdication but to think about a useful and responsible handling our ressources and a lot of (alleged) little things, which everybody could do.

Best regards

Ingo
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flora 
Posted: 21-May-2009, 03:28 PM
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O.K. Shamrock and Antwn, they have made a show just for you both!!!!http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid6555681001?bctid=21568548001

I saw the ad and you two came to my mind instantly.

Please note that I am not criticizing you either. I say this as a friendly joke.

Flora
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Patch 
Posted: 21-May-2009, 08:27 PM
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I like that one!!

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 21-May-2009, 09:18 PM
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QUOTE (flora @ 21-May-2009, 03:28 PM)
O.K. Shamrock and Antwn, they have made a show just for you both!!!!http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid6555681001?bctid=21568548001

I saw the ad and you two came to my mind instantly. 

Please note that I am not criticizing you either.  I say this as a friendly joke. 

Flora

That's hilarious! I'll have to try and catch that. You know, I'm not much for TV. I like my sports, but my real interest on the boob tube is anything educational, news programs, and I like shows like Forensic Files. The last series I watched was....oddly enough also by Mike Judge...King of the Hill.

I don't know about Antwn, but I think you've picked up on my utter disdain for the far left's agenda through environmentalism:

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