Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Hi. After the last post I got a couple of emails. One was asking about plastic bottles, particularly the Nalgene plastic bottles, and if they're safe for drinking water. So I decided to look into that a bit.

Apparently the colorful, hard plastic Lexan bottles by Nalgene (and other manufacturers) are polycarbonate based and they do leach harmful chemicals into the water, especially if exposed to heat and/or sunlight. These bottles can be identified by a recycling symbol with the number 7.

The disposable plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene teraphthalate (PET) and identified by the recycling symbol 1. They're often marked "do not refill" because they are known to release toxins into the water in increasing levels as they get older. The molecular formula for this compound is (-CO-C6H5-CO-O-CH2-CH2-O-)n, where C6H5 is a benzene ring. Benzene is known to be a carcinogenic substance.

Here are a couple of links for more information:

Then I got an email from a friend who said they were skeptical of the idea that the changes in climate over the last couple of decades are attributable to human activity. At first I was a little bit shocked, but then I realized that this is still a widely-held opinion amongst the general public. Although my friend admitted to not having done any research into it, there were a few reasons why he rejected the idea human impact on the climate. The reasons were mainly about some local 'environmental' bylaws that kept him from doing what he wanted with his waterfront property.

A couple of points were interesting to me.
  • That people who research environmental issues are usually concerned about them because of what they've learned, and people who don't research it usually aren't concerned.
  • That our perceptions of injustices or inconveniences done in the name of environmentalism have often affected our ability to think without bias on the subject.
  • That a lot of my own info comes from going out and digging it up on the web, in books, lectures or presentations -- and that is purely because I don't have television. Seems like most people get their information from the TV, and I wonder if that's healthy. I think this is beginning to change with the younger generation.
So now I have three whole new things to think about and possibly write about, and they're all very interesting! 1. Human Impact on Climate Change 2. Critical Thinking 3. The TV Free lifestyle.

I'm reading a couple of books right now that relate in one way or another, so I hope to get around to commenting on them pretty soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

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