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back to article 'We must all stop washing to save the planet'

A "world-renowned expert on carbon emissions" has stated that Western consumers must avoid five "eco crimes" committed every day in order to save the world. Dr Dave Reay's main assertion, in fact, is that we should stop washing so much - but the national press has chosen rather to highlight his assertion that drinking instant …

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Troll

GO NUCLEAR OR GIVE UP COFFEE!

There you go Lewis , I wrote your subscript for you. How long before your "Go nuclear or give up sex" piece is ready?

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Joke

dirty and smelly?

demanded (demonstrated?) by climate activists mean we'll all have to become very dirty and smelly...

Like they are?

-m-

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Flame

Fuck off

Next person to tell me to reduce my carbon footprint gets kicked in the spleen.

If you seriously believe people washing their shirts and driving about accounts to more CO2 than people waging fucking WARS against each other then you really need your fucking head seeing to. Or removed, which ever is more carbon efficient.

</rant>

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Stop

Yourself

And if you believe that human-produced CO2 accounts for everything they say it does, then you're just as bad. Remember that earth has had ice ages regularly throughout history... is it really a surprise that we're heading towards another one (which is due anyway).

And if the planet floods and freezes, killing lots of the population, then life will be a lot easier and THEN there will be less CO2 being produced - everyone (that's left) is happy!

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Badgers

How dare you!

How dare you question the noble carbon-intensive pastimes of our Britard overlords! War is a privilege for the Prime Britard to enjoy with his closest chums, along with the Olympic circus and an endless parade of grinning, private jet-setting IOC VIPs.

With only the freshest, softest banknotes acceptable for IOC bottom-wiping, it'll be strictly no TP for you for the next three years. Now get back to wiping yourselves off with an otter, carbon cheats!

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ARGH!

' is it really a surprise that we're heading towards another one (which is due anyway).'

No it bloody isn't!

Can you please find a geological textbook that says the next glacial maximum is due? The best claim you can make is that in the early 1970s a *minority* of scientists studying the climate proposed that the Earth was likely to head into a period of general cooling which might end up as an ice age (we'll skip the technicality that we're actually still in an ice age).

The work began with Stephen Schneider at NASA Goddard Flight Center and got into the New York Times. Around the same time, a report by the National Academy of Sciences also suggested a 'finite possibility' that the Earth's climate would begin cooling within the next century. The stories got traction for a number of reasons:

Research had been going on into Milankovich Cycles - regular changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis on a geological timescale which appear to be *partially* related to glaciations. Running the Cycles forward showed that the Earth was heading towards a part of the cycle which would produce greater amounts of cooling.

The then state of knowledge of glaciations was very poor - we had not done any deep drilling of ice cores. There was a general assumption that the warmer interglacials, such as the current Holocene, lasted no more than 10,000 years; and that the previous interglacial had lasted less than 5,000 years. The Holocene interglacial had been going for about 10,000 years, so it was reasonable to assume the ice sheets were most likely to begin expanding again in the geological near future.

There had been a very mild cooling from the 1940s onward which was believed to have been driven by rapid industrialisation producing smoke, soot and dust and by the cultivation of previously virgin land producing even more dust.

Schneider performed a simulation contrasting the cooling effect of these aerosols against the known warming effect of increased CO2 from fossil fuels. He made a prediction of the future climate if the known trends continued into the future. His 1971 paper suggested the cooling effect was dominant and would tip the Earth towards another glacial.

Schneider quickly realised his numbers for future cooling were not realistic (he had used local concentrations of pollutants on a global scale - there were too many of them), when he dialled the aerosols back to more realistic values in his second simulation, it was clear that the warming effect was dominant.

Since then we've learned a lot. Milankovich Cycles are a good, but not total explanation of glaciations. We now know interglacials last up to about 100,000 years and we're pretty sure (again from the ice evidence) that much of the cooling in the middle part of the 20th Century was caused by an upspike in volcanic activity.

Schneider's paper came in a poorly established field without a large amount of supporting work. It was a good piece of work and he deserves credit for re-running his work with better figures. But he was not the only person researching future climates. Between 1965 and 1979, 44 scientific papers were published that predicted a warming world - and some were pointing to CO2 as the driving force, 20 thought there would be no overall change; just 7 predicted cooling.

There's a review of those papers here:

http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

Can we now bury that myth alongside the person who suggested I should take up drinking instant coffee?

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Anonymous Coward

mass

Mass depopulations are "good" for the "natural" environment.

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Boffin

Actually it would be very possible.

A good analogy would be the fact that the total biomass of all elephats is but a insignificant fraction of the total biomass of ants. little steps for a few days will take you farther away than running for a few secs. and so on

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Anonymous Coward

Washing? - just stop breathing

Never mind washing -now that the US Environmental Protection Agency has declared greenhouse gases to be hazardous substances, you'd better think twice about breathing out any carbon dioxide. And as for coffee - it makes no difference. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas so you'd be breaking the law boiling the kettle.

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Pint

Do read before commenting

The EPA ruling concerns facilities which emit more than 25,000 tons of emissions per year. And they're not talking about anybody emitting more than that amount of any of six specific greenhouse gasses per facility per year being legally required to monitor their emissions. Nothing in there at all about those gasses being illegal, nor indeed is any enforcement.mentioned. Merely the fact that emitters must implement monitoring in order to work with the EPA to reduce their emissions.

If you breath more than 25,000 tons of CO2 and water vapour per year or your kettle produces more than that amount of water vapour per year then carrying on with your nonsensical rambling. Otherwise feel free to read things before you comment on them in future.

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Grenade

If you ask me

the only way to save the planet is to reduce the population. I suggest we eat all the eco loons like this guy for starters. Perhaps we should save him for dessert though as he is a complete fruit loop.

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Joke

It would be most fitting...

Since we could called Soylent Green for more than 1 reason :D

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WTF?

This is the kind of rubbish

That makes me see red every time somebody says "Green"

Eco-crime? Some more of this crap and I'd be ready to commit a real crime.

What do these jokers expect? That evolution has completed, earth has reached steady state and there should be no more variations in temperature?

OK, I'll end the rant.

Mine's the freshly washed one to remove the filter coffee stains...

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So much for fair trade

Screw those Costa Rican and Kenyan coffee growers, they don't need luxuries. Like food.

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Paris Hilton

Hot fill washing machines?

Why is it so hard to find a washing machine with a hot water inlet?

If you go into a washing machine specialist and ask for a hot fill washing machine, they look at you like you're trying to launder a stoat. If you insist, they'll eventually start producing strange excuses like 'but it's cheaper to heat the water from electricity because then you're not wasting all the hot water in the pipes' or even 'heating the water from cold washes better'.

The bulk of the energy use in a washing machine is the water heater. Not only is this electric, which is the most expensive kind of energy around, it's usually peak time electric. Even gas is cheaper. Being able to fill with hot water --- or even the kind of luke warm water we get from British solar panels --- would vastly reduce the energy budget. But they appear to be impossible to get.

Paris, because *everything* puzzles her.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm....

My washing machine has both hot and cold inlets. Where do you shop?

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WTF?

Really?

Almost all of the washing machines I've looked at have had both hot and cold inlets.

And if you REALLY can't find one with both, just connect your hot/warm water to the single inlet - yes, it'll rinse in warm water but that's not so bad really.

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There are plenty that don't

The quality of washing machines has gone downhill over the past few years - from metal to plastic drums and from hot and cold fill to cold fill only.

However, doing a quick google it looks like the washing machine manufacturers may actually be right that cold fill is in the end just about as efficient - it's not a straightforward answer.

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Flame

Hot fill question

A mate who works for Friends of the Earth (and is extremely rational about the environment, for what it's worth) looked into this.

Apparently the the fact is that modern washing machines take so little water that in most cases by the time the machine is filled the hot water feed is still running cold (the hot hasn't reached the outlet yet).

So a hot water fill drains your hot water tank, or cranks up your combi-boiler - but it does actually deliver much hot water to the machine.

There's a fairly thoughtful run through of the issues here: http://www.washerhelp.co.uk/buying-related_2.html

Flame - if you want to do a boil wash

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Actually...

Just to dissagree with the other replies.

Its not practical to have a hot inlet. Efficinet modern washing machines don't use much water believe it or not. If you have an efficient combi boler like I have, then it takes a few seconds for the pipes to flush and hot water to come through, fine for running a bath, but by which time the washing machine would have taken enough water and shuts off its request for water.

So your combi bolier has gone through its startup and shutdown process without actually generating any useable hot water.

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Workaround

I've also encountered this stupidity, so i devised a work around of a short piece of garden hose that reaches from the hot tap to the soap draw. Our meter shows that the cost of a wash fell from 0.85p to 0.55p, so add that up over the year.

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Manual correction

..to underfilling washing machines. When a load of towels are washed the newer machines are simply not putting enough water in to wash properly, but again this too is solved with a hose from tap to soap draw.

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Alert

More hot fillage

Yes, but ---

My washing machine is immediately under the combi boiler; total pipe length is under a metre. And it's currently winter, which means the combi boiler is nearly always hot anyway, and can produce hot water instantly. Even in the summer I have the washing machine set to run early in the morning, at about the time I want hot water for the shower anyway. And a combi boiler produces hot water at mains pressure (makes for great showers), which undermines the third argument on the page you linked to.

Another advantage of filling from the hot tap is that boilers can heat water much faster than the crappy electric heater in the washing machine, which makes for far faster washes.

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Anonymous Coward

What about ironing?

Forget washing, stop all ironing now. It's not like it's actually important for anything at all, is it?

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Thumb Up

Excellent!!

I'm going to use that excuse next time I can't be ar$ed to iron my work shirt (most likelly tomorrow) "I'm saving the f*cking planet!!"

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Nev

Smoking Ban

I'm surprised no one has shouted about the eco benefits of the smoking ban(s)!

Everyone not having to wash every single item of clothing after a night out must have vastly reduced to amount of washing people do.

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Smoking is not all bad

Smoking is carbon negative, as the lungs store some of the stuff that is in the cigarette.

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Silver badge

save the planet - die young

*benefits* of not smoking? surely if everyone took up the weed, the average life expectancy would drop like a rock, the population would decrease and therefore the amount of energy / CO2 that each person used in a lifetime would decrease, too?

Maybe starting smoking, like not having children or doing dangerous sports, is one of the unpalatable truths that whle very, very effective at acheiving the goal, would lose a lot of the "trendy" votes that the climate change brigade depend on so much.

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FAIL

Riiight

Would those be the eco-benefits of having doors constantly opening and closing to let in/out the smokers, and the eco-benefits of all the outdoor space heaters to prevent them from freezing to death as well????

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Grenade

But what about...

All those patio / ceramic heaters that have sprung up outside every drinking hole with a spare inch of pavement (sidewalk for the septics)? My local goes through roughly 3 19Kg Propane tanks a week just to keep us warm - I'm going to stop washing altogether to try and offset that! The ironing and hoovering can sod right off as well.

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Anonymous Coward

actually

I'd of thought smoking was good for the environment because it has a good chance of killing you quicker.

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Re: actually

That's correct, at least we smokers have the decency to pop our clogs early. Unlike all you sanctimonious healthy buggers who live long enough to enjoy the delights of senile dementia, alzheimer's and sitting around all day in pools of your own piss and shit.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Space Solar?

Maybe it's time to get our "space-based" solar energy by now. After all, SimCity 2000 promised me I would have one by 2020... and it seems it will be the case!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10408897-54.html?refresh=1259948006200

That, and Fusion would be the solution for energy stuff. Nuclear's fine as well, but after Chernobyl most ppl seem to be terrified by those.

As for washing, well, I'd complain more about people using their washing machines at half load, but at full water marks. Eek!

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Bronze badge

How about tea?

Or maybe cola... but that has carbon dioxide IN it. If you want a cold drink with caffeine but not taurine OR carbon dioxide, it's difficult to find.

But how MUCH CO2 is there in cola?

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Anonymous Coward

heh

Everyone is wasting so much energy in attempting to prevent the inevitable, as opposed to planning for what to do when the inevitable comes. Human population shall continue to increase and demands for energy shall continue to rise the world over.

For better or worse it's inevtiable, people can make all the promises in the world, but in the end the practicalities of life will win out. We need more power, as a world, we'll always need more power, even as thing become more efficent we will want more things, as will those who don't have anything yet. There are essentially 3 continents that have almost nothing (wealth/captial wise), and they want things. Don't think that in 20 years time their population will still accept being poor and downtrodden.

Our energies need to plowed into improved power, and preperation for when climate changes. Humans can survive in space and underwater with power, we are perfectly capable of surving climate change of any sort as long as we are prepared, and as long as we have power.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Save the world with instant coffee?

Switch from real coffee to instant? I don't think so! The instant coffee has to be brewed in the first place to get the coffee out, and then processed into garbage. How much additional energy does that take? Quite a lot, I think!

Want people to use less energy? Jack up the prices. Simple enough.

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Anonymous Coward

well

becouse the processing is done in bulk it probably has very large efficiencies built in, you can transport more of it with less energy etc.

Jacking up prices hasn't really worked for driving though, most people need most of the power they need, but then the whole energy saving debate is alot like Government departmental efficency saving. The government always seems to be able to find a few billion that they can save, and when it comes to carbon emissions they seem to think that they can squeeze the savings out of us.

Innovation? We don't need that, we're British *squeeze, squeeze*

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Bronze badge

Not sure I buy that argument.

I make a cup of brewed coffee with approximately one cup of boiling water. I use the same for a cup of instant but that doesn't take into account the water and energy used in the processing - unless freeze drying has somehow become a carbon-neutral process. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I'm inclined to think that the relatively small differences in the figures can be put down to differences in reporting methodologies. Or perhaps the difference is merely due to economies of scale derived from the popularity of instant coffee in which case we'd have an argument for switching to brewed. Maybe someone who has read the article can enlighten me about the source of the figures?

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Coat

Why aren't artificially carbonated drinks banned?

Typical Navy. We know you 'orrible lot only ever needed 3 socks. Wear 2, one spare. Remove 2, throw at wall. Wash the one that sticks.

As for instant coffee, should also factor in the healthy-but-oh-so-boring decaff given the good stuff gets removed by soaking it in high pressure CO2.

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Joke

New excuse

Ah, a new, socially acceptable, excuse for smelly nerds around the world!

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Anonymous Coward

Given that

junk mail (in US I think, though it may have been the world) is responsible for the equivalent of 9,000,000 cars worth of CO2, why not simply ban junk mail? Lots less CO2, lots of happy voters...

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Bronze badge

Seconded

And while they're at it, telephone books as well. When are those damn things going to die?

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Coat

we'll all have to become very dirty and smelly

And veggies according a Green on TV yesterday.

Mine's the one standing up in the far corner.

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FAIL

Mine's a double espresso

So much for FairTrade(tm) then.

Also hippies in soap-dodging shocker. I reckon that's the only reason half the Greens are in it.

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FAIL

Bloody eco-wallies

I could be sympathetic to their cause, I *should* be sympathetic to their cause, but when this sort of loon-head academic twit starts telling me I should stop washing and give up coffee, it makes me want to go buy the largest most obnoxious SUV I can find then have it adapted to run on a mix of whale blubber, pureed baby seals and charcoaled rain-forest.

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Coffee?

1.6 cups of coffee on average a day? I have 2 before I've even woken up, I'm destroying the planet with my coffee addiction :(

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Silver badge

bath with a friend

Back in the 70's I had a button-badge "save water, bath with a friend".

Looks like it's time to dig through the stuff in the loft and find it again - maybe with a small change to the wording. Just goes to show, nothing's new.

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Thumb Up

Geeks

Well that should be no problem for the Reg's reader base.

Apparently they just turn em inside out every month or so

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Instant/real coffee?

Isn't the production of instant coffee somewhat higher? Instant coffee is made by making a normal filter coffee then freeze-drying all the water from it.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Well that's a disappointment

A rare well-balanced piece on environment and energy use. And there I was hoping for an easy "follow-the-money" screencap from the kind of superstitious anti-science claptrap mr Orlowski usually spouts to the Shell greenwash advertising that keeps popping up over the news stories every time I move my mouse...

Now I like the environment so much I actually live there, but no bastard is taking my decent coffee away.

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