RE: Calgary Flames - Five Edmontonians

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Keam: "Silly hypothetical question frankly. There's a huge difference between people lighting
and heating their homes or using a computer, and jet travel for the purposes of entertaining."

But you were talking about *playing* sports such as hockey, which you identified as
something that should be eliminated because of the environmental impact of all the gear
loading up the landfills.

How is using a computer to to post on the VUL forum somehow an acceptable use of energy
(and electronics filling our landfills), but participating in a sport somehow is not acceptable?

In light of everything you've posted, give us one rational argument for why you shouldn't turn
off your computer right now. Justify the hundreds of hours you've spent entertaining yourself
on the internet.

At least own your hypocrisy.

The only difference between you burning fossil fuels (using electricity) for your entertainment, and jet travel for entertainment is scale. I agree it's more fruitful to target the worst offenders first, but then I guess we should count up how many people are entertained per unit of energy burned.

I guess we'll need to formulate some kind of super "entertainment unit" U and compare how much energy in non-renewable fossil fuel (F) is used per unit. We can then put some kind of minimum standard of how much fossil fuel can be used per entertainment unit (F/U). We'll have to set that bar, and since you're the originator of the scale I nominate CK as that constant.

So long as F/U < CK we're in great shape!

OK, that was a long road for a bad joke that probably nobody else will even chuckle over, sorry.

Gin-Boh, point taken about recycling. While important to the strategy for how to reduce impact, I believe my assertion that it is possible do such a reduction still stands. (Regardless of likelihood.)

Dugly: totally worth the trip.

"But you were talking about *playing* sports such as hockey, which you identified as
something that should be eliminated because of the environmental impact of all the gear
loading up the landfills."

Nope. I was talking about the non-sustainable nature of professional sports and have been ever
since I held a gun to this thread's head and told it to fly to Cuba. Hockey gear was one example
I gave in relation to the bigger picture.

"The only difference between you burning fossil fuels (using electricity) for your entertainment,
and jet travel for entertainment is scale."

I absolutely agree. However, scale is the key issue. If we scale back the energy-intensive things,
we can continue to enjoy other things.

The idea of energy/people entertained is an interesting one. But it also requires valuating the
utility of entertainment too and then placing it somewhere in relation to other human needs. To
make an either/or comparison... which is more important, a hockey game or disadvantaged
children going to school? If it really is the former, we should just 'fess up and stop pretending
otherwise.

"We'll have to set that bar, and since you're the originator of the scale I nominate CK as that
constant.

So long as F/U < CK we're in great shape!"

I can't take the credit for your idea. I think F/U<GLY might be better.

:-)

"In light of everything you've posted, give us one rational argument for why you shouldn't turn
off your computer right now."

Because of instead of having a conversation about where some athletes are from, I managed to get the discussion to focus on the issue of where we are all headed? (in terms of addressing climate change).

I'll step off now and you can get back to discussing the housing arrangements of hockey players if you like.

I think it's very misleading to phrase the question as "a hockey game or disadvantaged children".

Can you show show how tomorrow's Canucks vs. Flames game directly inhibits any child's ability to go to school?

A lot of these big organisations also do a good deal of charity work (Canucks Place being a fine example). Whether or not it's more of a tax shelter than a genuine good thing is irrelevant, they still do some good in the world, even if it's only in their own backyards.

I don't think there's any argument that tomorrow's game directly inhibits anything, aside from people trying to move around the traffic routes. I understood the argument to be that if the resources currently going towards pro sports were reallocated, a great deal of good could be accomplished. I realize that there is a lot of over-simplification involved, but using tomorrow's game as an example, if you were to redirect the players' salaries (23 players per team at an NHL average of 1.9million /year, divided by 94 games - assuming a couple of playoff rounds) you'd put almost a million dollars into something useful. If you took a small portion of the minimum 55$ (mostly much more) each of the 18600 seats costs and assumed it got donated you'd easily break a million. Conservatively, you could probably employ an extra 10 teachers for a year (including all admin, salary, benefit etc costs) from that one game, which would enhance the ability of some children to attend or succeed at school. A season could build and probably staff a new school.

As I said, this is an oversimplification, as it doesn't take into account the employment provided by the stadium and concessions, property/income tax implications, transit income or many other community benefits, but it also ignores broadcast rights, travel costs, traffic congestion and more.

I don't intend to argue any of the (guesstimated) numbers, but the point is that if the resources were redirected, a lot of good could be done. IN pointed out that the organizations do some good, but I think that's a small portion of the total amount of money and resources involved.

Sorry, I've made the point I came to make and probably won't be making any more comments
in this thread. You'll have to decide how things are or aren't connected for yourself if the topic is
of further interest to you.

cheers.

Gin-Boh (since CK is bowing out)

Point taken about over-simplification, however, while I agree if the resources were re-allocated that there's the potential to "elevate" some standards of living for some people.

My point is that there's actually not a correlation between THAT game or any particular game and the reallocation of those resources. If we as a society wanted to do that, we could simply raise some taxes and redistribute based on that. What this means is that there is already a mechanism of reallocation of wealth.

I think many people feel that we already have a huge reallocation of resources based on our existing tax structure. Fully 50% of our efforts are given back to the public good. Some of that is reallocated in foreign aid, some goes to schools, some goes to hospitals.

So what's the correlation between a professional sports league and waste? Nothing that isn't the same for any persons chosen mechanism of entertainment. It's worthwhile discussing how to make them less impactful (and preferably completely sustainable) but there is no ethical reason why professional athletes and professional shouldn't exist.

Dugly,

I actually agree (at least mostly) with everything you said. The issue of whether pro sports exist comes down to what our society chooses. If society as a whole thought it useless, people would speak up by closing their wallets and the leagues would crumble. Obviously, that's not happening. Personally, I think it's a shame that society places so much value on pro sports. An interesting juxtaposition occurred recently in the Sun - in the same section (maybe on the same page?) there were two stories: one about the provincial government cutting 100k in support of high school athletics and the impacts that would have, and the other about Luongo signing a contract that sees him paid over 5M per year to play a game. And hockey is a "poorly" paid pro sport compared to baseball and basketball, possibly soccer and others as well.

I don't think it's feasible to try to stop pro sports, but I would like to see (and I think it's necessary to our survival) the prevailing attitude shift to a point where fewer people place such disproportionate value in it, although that may be more a social issue than environmental one. To that end, I'd agree with your last sentence on the condition that they exist somewhat differently than they do now.

Until that happens, though, I agree that it's worth discussing how their current operations can be improved upon.

allow an old man to ramble here...

Hockey player salaries and ticket prices are WAY over-inflated. There used to be 6 teams.
Youth hockey is seen more as a career choice or an investment rather than a wholesome, fun
thing for your kids to do.

This is the way of all things in "today's society". Things get bigger until they fail. Not
sustainable. Capitalism has failed us and the environment. Democracy isn't changing quick
enough.

Where is our moon city? Our hover skate boards? We were promised jet packs. and Mr.
Fusion with garbage fuel to power them. Where is the United Federation of Planets and the
peaceful exploration of space the final frontier? Capitalism has got in the way of progress.
Money over the greater good of humanity.

Victory gardens helped us beat hitler. (and a crack team of Jewish soldiers surprisingly,
according to a movie I just saw but I digress) Victory gardens and the mindset behind them
can help save us beat global warming. It's a piece of the "what are we going to do" puzzle.

Steering the giant ship humanity back on course will not be easy.

Until then we need disturbers like CK to start these topics and talk about them until mindsets
change.

Having said that I'll be watching the game on TV tomorrow and muting all the commercials.
All those Edmontonians will have their hands full with our mercenaries. Win or lose I don't
care as long as it's good hockey. GO overpaid Canucks GO!

"Until then we need disturbers like CK to start these topics and talk about them until mindsets change."

Sorry old man, but, changing mindsets is not going to change anything, nor is starting or talking about these topics.

It appears that CK honestly believes that forumites' reactions to his posts are a product of a collective self-conciousness of our way of life, our values, & a percieved eco-ignorance. He thinks that making us "uncomfortable" or "upset" is a way to "open our eyes" to the effed up nature of society and the looming collapse of our motherland. He does nothing more than write disdainful comments and provide "radical alternatives that are much too far out of the realm of reality to be a) feasible or b) preferable; and yet markets these "solutions" as the "new way to think" and that we need to "change the way we think" / "change society", etc. And if we do not agree with these "solutions", he pegs us as ignorant of the "bigger picture" / "real scope of the problem". "Changing mindsets" and "creating dialogue" about the issues is, I agree, a great start...but it is crazy to believe that talking / debating will achieve any more than just that: talk.

There, I vented. Momma-OUT.

"Sorry old man, but, changing mindsets is not going to change anything, nor is starting or talking
about these topics."

Words have been the most powerful agent of change in human history. Talking and debating are
two ways we employ words to precipitate change. That's why all great democracies enshrine
freedom of speech.

Don't worry about the crazy people with strange ideas. Worry about those who would silence
them, or try to ridicule the ideas they disagree with.

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
-- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

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