From plastic bags to intelligent energy usage

I fully support the reduced plastic bag usage policy, even though it does cause some inconvenience to shoppers.  I think we should not let our convenience affect future generations and we need to start protecting our environment as much as we can.

When I was small, we hardly had any plastic bags. Whatever rubbish or even grocery was wrapped in newspapers. If people could survive then,and survived we have,  there is no reason why we cannot do away with using lesser plastic.

In the States, which is the biggest energy user, the use of paper bag is widespread.

Paper can be easily recycled. Not all plastic can. That is reason enough for us to use less plastic.

Speaking about energy conservation, perhaps energy producers should introduce a different way of charging energy usage. During peak hours, charge higher and during non peak hours, the rate should be cheaper, just like telecommunication companies.

Many people in the west, including the author of the World is Flat Thomas Frieldman, are advocating a better system of producing and charging the users. As it is, power producers have to produce more than what is necessary during peak hours just to cater for a reserve margin, and this reserve energyy is wasted.

If there is a more intelligent way of detecting the peak demand and thus producing just enough ( or just slightly more) so that there is always enough energy but at the same time not too excessive so that wastage is reduced, then there should be much lesser usage of energy and this will at least give the world a breathing space.

To the consumers, if energy rate is charged according to peak or off peak, then we can reduce our usage during peak hours (like day time when most offices turn on their air conditioning, and most factories functioning at top capacities), and turn on our washing machines, kettles, irons and so on during off peak ours. All these can actually be done by computer micro chip technology, and intelligent energy production and usage will probably be the next innovation that can keep economic growth progressing.

We really need to think out of the box now since energy sources like coal, petroleum and natural gas are depletable substances.


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rhan
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 14:07:58

    Honestly I am getting very confuse on topic related to climate change, global warming, environmental issue and now this plastic bags measure and its effectiveness. Too many expert reports that is contradicting to each other. However, I think the reduced plastic bag policy in super and hypermarket seem to be a good propaganda to alert the public not to waste / over consume anything. It truly has a direct impact that infiltrate into the brain of shoppers as compare to talk, seminar, writing and so on.


  2. CYC
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 16:12:24

    Energy conservation and saving the environment begins with SHARING and CARING. Develop our caring attitude and broaden our horizon in assessing the TRUTH behind what we see everyday. There are simply too many sham or faked info disseminated to us with an ulterior motive. These are strongly aided by highly educated intellectuals. To borrow a phrase from someone, its “intellectual masturbation at its lowest ebb”. It is akin to attaining personal happiness or joy through the sacrifice of others lives. Dr Hsu, USA is a worse example as they are the main culprit that endanger the environment in the name of preserving the interest of their nation.


  3. klm
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 16:44:31

    With all this politics taking our attention, where got time for the environment.


  4. disgusted
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 22:29:53

    Whatever “small measures” only can create some public awareness on environmental improvement and hence, generate little consolation that we are doing a very small part.

    Climatic change really needs the concerted collective effort of world governments and unfortunately, moving at snail pace while the ice and snow is melting (i.e. Arctic and Antarctic, North and South Poles) at a more rapid pace. Consequently, rising sea levels.

    There is actually a drastic need changing of human’s mindsets, stopping extracting fossil fuels, stopping deforestation, unscrupulous logging, damaging environment (destroying and polluting water catchments). Sadly, there is no stopping to Planet environmental damage and climatic change , only can delay the final D-Day destruction. We have already passed the critical stage and actually heading for disaster.

    Over population is one of the prime cause of climatic change, too many adverse human activities. Look at our consumer production, producing unnecessary “garbage” for the consumerism industry, wasting resources and generating pollution including “nuclear power plants” (a potential danger).

    The list is bloody long actually but the atmosphere (layers) everybody talked about, the ozone layer is thinning like a 90 year old man with receding hairline, also inviting “solar tsunami” in years to come due to the SUN’s activities. Flares of “solar conveyor belts” (a astronomic term) will hit the earth surface can potentially cause great damage to electricity cables, wires etc and burn them like Kentucky Fried Chicken. So electricity grinds are potentially the crucial targets….complete blackout….kaput! You can imagine the rest……!!!


  5. klm
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 13:26:39

    Saw today the news that CERN had managed to trap anti-matter. Now, this could lead to unlimited clean energy in time to come. This is fiction come true ala Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons.


  6. Albert
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 22:24:32

    My daughter made an interesting observation that all her friends houses (as well as own) has a storage for huge load of plastic bags, which the parents said are required to wrap the rubbish before putting the plastic of rubbish into the rubbish tong. This has thus become our Malaysian culture- storing plastic bags!!


  7. firing.line001
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 23:10:45

    Hello disgusted

    You certainly have a very fertile and imaginative mind around eh…2012 got into you? 😉

    Don’t worry, when 2012 comes around a solar storm of the like no one has ever experienced will knock out everything related that uses electricity and by then we don’t have to worry so much…it will be back to basic and you don’t have to feel offended by this post because we will be offline and have all the time to spend with our dearest and most beloved people around us, again 😉



  8. firing.line001
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 23:28:50

    Sorry Dr Hsu

    Reducing plastic usage is what I am trying to do myself and in our household. It does makes sense from habit point of view. Even economic sense though we probably won’t be able to fully realized it.

    I spend a few months living in a Swiss town and they are very conscientious on environmental issue, at all level of the society from the Federal level of government to most individual persons. Of course, there are cases of people who can’t be bothered, but majority are conditioned to segregate their rubbish, manufacturer ensure their packaging are environmentally friendly and so on. It does comes with a cost. And the pre-requsite education on the population from young.

    As for Malaysia, I do what I can. Of course, there is no special disposal rubbish bag which can be obtained from the local council or the community level supermarket ONLY. That is, only special rubbish bags are allowed to go into the rubbish bin. Anythings will stay in your rubbish bin until the correct bag is used.

    For me, it is an adventure to get our fellow Malaysians to practice such wonderful and thoughtful habits.

    Reducing plastic bag usage does mean encouraging us to be more conscious in our spending pattern and consumption habit because it means something for us, because … because… etc…

    Of course you are most aware of such things. Hope to hear from you on such issue as buying from the local vegetable seller even though the price is slightly higher, spending on the local community so that jobs stay within the local community, and so on…

    Ah…yes, one more, the people within the local community has a say in the affair of the local community. The Swiss and their democracy.

    Nah… will work in Malaysia because this Malaysia, not Switzerland.


  9. firing.line001
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 23:31:08


    …will not work in Malaysia because…


  10. Dr Hsu
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 13:46:53

    Local community should be governed by people from that local community elected by members of that community.

    There must be local elections and political parties should not be allowed to take part. If any of their local memebrs wish to contest, he or she needs to stand on his or her own tickets and as candidates from any particular political parties. That way, local issues can be settled more to the needs of the community.tat is why in the states, small town choose their own law enforcement heads… so that if suspected to be corrupt, just vote him out.


  11. disgusted
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 22:15:45

    Hi Firing Line,

    It’s nothing to do with my imagination. Nasa already reported its solar dynamics observatory had watched shock waves rippling outwards from the surface of the Sun. The explosion, called a coronal mass rejection aimed directly towards Earth can travel up to 93 million miles across space. It (small flare) happened recently causing spectacular displays of aurora or northern and southern lights.

    And I don’t believe the Earth’s D-Day falls in 2012. Scientists have already warned a really big solar tsunami which could be called the “Once-in-a-Generation” space storm could take place after 2013 when the Sun wakes up from a deep slumber in 2012.

    if it ever happens, we won’t be the only ones, the whole world can send time with their loved ones in living hell, no water, no electricity, tourist indutry grinds to a complete standstill. Millions of homes in total blackness as power and communication grids across the globe face damage. Hopefully, our Hell Minister will have his stupid “mosquito” project completed, with or without dengue mosquitoes.

    Oh, just an imagined scenario.


  12. firingline001
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 14:00:14

    NASA = Never A Straight Answer 😉


  13. sosong
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 17:21:12

    A few ways to conserve energy,
    use more energy efficient equipment, e.g lighting, should consider switch to LED (light emitting diode) lights, more efficient motors, etc
    encourage to install photovoltaic (solar-electricity) (PV) system in houses, factories, schools, utilizing roof space to generate electricity by installing PV modules (panels).
    use recycle-able products


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