[lit-ideas] Re: Dishes

  • From: Andy <mimi.erva@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 06:11:23 -0800 (PST)

Chris, this is an excellent point.  Hidden costs are rarely taken into account 
in most products.  Corporations in particularly pollute with abandon then leave 
the cleaning up to the municipalities who have to spend money collected in 
taxes to clean it up.  If corporations were made to pay for the damage they 
cause, their products would be a lot more expensive.  If the hidden costs 
aren't paid in tax money, they're paid in health costs such as asthma, 
diabetes, antibiotic resistance, heart disease, ADHD in children, whatever.  
Likewise if the money our government was collecting in taxes (and borrowing 
from China et al.) weren't handed out by the bucket load to Monsanto and 
ConAgra and ADM and the others to subsidize them to factory farm (as unnatural 
a state of affairs as is possible to imagine), the $.99 hamburger would be 
impossible and we'd all be eating cleaner, more nutritious, more 
expensive food.  The fishing industry is also heavily
 subsidized to pay corporations to overfish the oceans, which is a clear and 
present danger to the oceans, meaning to life on planet earth.  Having said 
that, who would want to pay two and three and four times more for electricity 
to clean up the damage caused by mining coal?  Nobody.  Likewise had oil been 
$15 or $20 a gallon all along, the planet would be way cleaner and we'd be just 
as happy as we are now.  Economic growth would be impossible without the 
illusion of a free lunch.        

From: "cblists@xxxxxxxx" <cblists@xxxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:45 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Dishes

On 17-Jan-12, at 11:52 AM, Donal McEvoy wrote:

> People still do dishes?

Here in Germany the dishwasher (i.e. 'machine for washing dishes 
automatically') is ubiquitous, almost universal.  It is argued that using these 
machines is more efficient (with regards to both water and energy use) than 
washing dishes manually. I can't help wondering if the water and energy costs 
of producing, transporting, storing, advertising, retailing, installing, 
maintaining, repairing and, ultimately, disposing of those machines are 
factored into those efficiency calculations. (And then there is all that manual 
washing of dishes, utensils, pots and pans that people with dishwashers still 
carry out - surely that must be factored into those costs as well.)

As chief dish washer in our household, I last year briefly considered and 
discussed buying a dishwasher as we were designing the kitchen for our new 
apartment, but decided and argued against one without really researching or 
calculating the aforementioned costs to the environment (neither the monetary 
cost of the machine nor the space it would take up in the kitchen was an 
issue). Was I wrong (i.e., are dishwashers 'better for the environment' than 
dish washers)?

Chris Bruce,
who, yes, still does the dishes
- every second day - in
Kiel, Germany

P.S. I also occasionally watch (well, more 'listen to', actually) television 
programs that have been uploaded to YouTube on my laptop while washing up.  
Currently I'm working my way through the 'Rumpole of the Bailey' series.

-cb (somewhere in the middle of 'Rumpole's Return')
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: