Are we hypocrites?

Discussion in 'Diving, Collecting and Environmental Discussions' started by Broder, 15 Jun 2009.

  1. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    So I, as I'm sure others do, think about the issue of power consumption around about the end of every month when we receive our electricity bill. This leads on to thoughts on reducing our carbon footprint and saving the reefs from over-harvesting fish and corals.

    I am by no means a tree-hugger, but in this day and age, most of us are aware of the impact we're having on the planet. Can we justify our hobby, with its electricity hungry hardware and knowing that each newcomer to the hobby that we encourage, will exert further pressure on dwindling resources?

    I'm not singling out anyone here, as I'm as guilty as the next, but would like to hear thoughts on the subject and ways the we see this hobby going forward. Or am I being over-dramatic?
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Afsal

    Afsal

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Dbn,Kzn
    over-dramatic .... lol .... gud points u brought up ....
     
  4. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    14,546
    Likes Received:
    287
    Location:
    Gonubie East London
    ya its something thats been on my mind aswell, like all the fish and coral that die to reach us and then only a small percentage live their lives out no matter how good our intentions (unfortunatley human error will prevail). i just wish we could find something that met us halfway Eg: a solar panel system thats economical and with a good power yield.. also i have been looking at LED lighting as i see many of our members have not only for the enviroment but my pocket aswell.
     
  5. Boendoe

    Boendoe

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wilropark Roodepoort
    Deep stuff for a Monday, But I see it as a balance. Yes we do use electrical equipment to keep our reefs going but we are in the ideal situation to save and protect or wonderfully marine resources, by learning more about them form our systems and in turn teaching others about life in or oceans.

    I take a example, most people visiting my home does not have a clue of the wonderfully verity of life we have in our tanks and on our coral reefs. And if we just use this opportunity to educate people. Maybe we will be able to save some of our reefs.

    Well thats my opinion.
     
  6. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Johannesburg (Alberton)
    Must say that I agree!

    For me the problem is, beign an extreme animal lover. I fully support all enviroumental issues and love to watch and support 50/50.

    I think because I love animal so much, that is why I started "Marine" for example. I currently have a Cat, Dog, African Grey and now started with Marine although this uses more electricity to maintain!!

    I do however always keep the enviroument in mind when I buy pumps, heaters and lights. You will sometimes find stronger pumps that uses less energy than some. This just depends on the brand. Flurecent tube lighting is also a better option because it uses less energy and I can't wait for the "Leds" to become cheaper as this uses 40% less energy!

    Well, I guess by keeping the enviroument in mind when you plan your marine certainly helps and will go a long way.

    As for harvesting fish and coral, most species are bred these days with little impact to our natural sources. It always helps to ask your LFS where they get their stock from.
     
  7. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    Hmmmm... Saving the world issue... This is a VERY big concern to me. People are all waiting for the apocolypse or what ever name they give it, but ultimately this world will only end due to us destroying it...

    My tank on this hobby is that I feel that the world wildlife federation should issue much stricter laws on coral and fish harvesting. The reality is that most of our corals and fish comes from fish / coral farms, and not even the natural ocean. These specimens tend to be stronger and not as succeptable to disease and death. So that is moving in the right direction at least. However we still harvest too much i.m.o. I would also like to see licenses being introduced before one can be sold any marine life. You must also apply for this, by writing an exam.

    There are too many people just popping in petshops, buying what ever just to get their reef running within a weekend, and next week everything has died, and they abandon the hobby. Ignorance is the worst enemy to this hobby. A license structure will make sure that hobbiests know the basics at least.

    Then on power consumption... This is a difficult one. Yes, we can scale down from MH to T5's, but then you may not be able to propogate corals to contribute to breeding rather than harvesting. 150W MH is equal to 150W T5, but MH' use WAY more amperage, so MH is not "green." I would rather suggest that we walk through the hose, and see whether we have energy savers in all light sockets, do we use a tumble dryer or do we hang clothes? Do we switch off lights when we are not using them? A TV on standby still uses power... These are basic things we need to look at. Other equipment in the aquarium does not really use that much power, but it all adds up.

    LED is the way to go YES, but you really need a decent unit like the Solaris to really make it worth your while, and at +/- R22000 we are not all able to have this. Even when you go DIY on LED's, it still works out VERY expensive. The moment I can however get a Solaris, I will, and I hope that this techno does become more affordable to us. ;)

    Thats just my VERY long 2c
     
  8. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    I turn my geyser off and it's only on for 5 hours a day. There is only two of us in the house so that's perfect and I always have hot water even in winter. I now want to go solar with the geyser. I don't use heaters in the house as a good blanket suffices. Switch off all unnecessary appliances during the day at the socket. All of these things help.

    There was a post on MASA a few days ago about a guys making a DIY LED fitting for his tank on reef central. Why not encourage that. Just like a solar geyser, I'm sure it will pay for itself over time.

    We always have te attitude that we are destroying the planet but we forget that earth has survived ice ages, meteor strikes, a collision with her sister planet Thea and life has always come out second best whether it be dinosaurs or whatever. So we are ultimately destroying ourselves as a species.
     
  9. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
     
  10. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    9,750
    Likes Received:
    789
    Location:
    Cape Town
    considering the other ways we use energy, like cars, food production etc, keeping an aquarium isnt exaclty impacting on glabal warming.
     
  11. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    I agree with all of the everyday powersaving tips that we should all be doing anyway. But are we not being slightly hypocritical if we say that that gives us licence to use more elsewhere? Aquaculture and breeding are great, but money will always look for the rare and elusive specimens.

    I'm not trying to say that we should all feel guilty about what we are doing, but maybe we should start shifting the focus from tweaking the most colour out of a piece of acro, to how we can keep that acro healthy in a more sustainable manner. I don't think that enough research is going into the use of sunlight in our hobby by example.
     
  12. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,991
    Likes Received:
    782
    Interesting thread and some good points being brought up, personally I'm more worried about the blatant theft of electricity, taps that are left to run 24 hours a day, global hunger issues, civil wars etc. etc. There are so many problems facing our planet that it's difficult to put everything into perspective, but yes, fixing it has to begin somewhere and it starts with you. But then again, you do your utmost to conserve water, bricks in the toilet cistern etc. then you take a drive around the country and you see taps running full blast with no one in sight, is the little bit that you do and the time and effort you put into it really worth it at the end of the day?

    With regards to our hobby - I would like to see less fish in our tanks and more propagated corals. The powers that be should triple the price of corals so that it forces people to propagate, breed snails and hermits, but then again, another argument comes into play here - what about the people that feed their families by collecting these fish and corals for us, if we stop buying then their families begin to starve and would probably turn to crime to try and survive, there are so many vicious circles out there with repercussions for all of them, both good and bad.

    Anyway, what would make me happy is to see our livestock for sale forum loaded with propagated corals for sale and swop, for me that is a start and where we could make the tiniest difference in conserving our oceans. YOU ALL NEED TO FRAG!!! :D
     
  13. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    9,750
    Likes Received:
    789
    Location:
    Cape Town
    is collecting ornamental fish any different from fishing for hake, tuna etc?
     
  14. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,991
    Likes Received:
    782
    Yip, good point, same thing just on a different scale.
     
  15. crispin

    crispin

    Joined:
    22 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    12,223
    Likes Received:
    160
    Location:
    Lilliehammer, Norway
    perhaps viper, but then you will get a decrease of the genetic diversity of the propogated materials and a massive threat to the propogation. A perfect simplistic example is the loss of genetic diversity of bee material in the states that has lead to large scale death, and inadvetadly put human food sources under threat.

    i agree whole heartedly that the planet is under threat and that the best way to do something is to start with oneself. I am not certain that the biggest concen is within a glass box with marine inhabitants in it, although mudshark raises intresting issues with regard to how we keep the aquarium and what we can do to reduce its footprint on the environment.

    the one aspect of the environment and its place in this plannet with regards to human's protection of it, is that it MUST have an economic function or else we as a species destroy it. Not correct in my view but in reality its the way it works.

    perhaps energy consumption is the best way for us to look at reducing the carbon impact on the environment. A solar pannel to run a 12v battery to power return pumps and internal flow could indeed be one sollution.
     
  16. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    I'm not asking the question of what we can do save the earth. That's up to every individual to decide what he or she can do. What I am asking though is what we can do to move further into the arena of being conservation minded? I'm talking about practical things that we can do when designing our next system.
    Maybe we can start a list here of concrete things that we can do that will make us feel prouder of our tanks than we do already. eg.

    1) The use of sunlight in displays
    2) The use of sun-powered scrubbers
    3) Useing LED technology
    4) Only buying cultured corals
    5) Only buying fish which are accompanied by SITES permit
    6) Use minimal amount of pumps (eg.returns double as dump bucket flow)
    7) useing insulation to reduce heating(eg. polystyrene covers)

    OK, so continue adding to the list and let's see which points are useable.
     
  17. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,991
    Likes Received:
    782
    Replace your old pumps with new ones. A lot of the newer pumps and powerheads are coming out with much reduced power consumption (less watts) yet still produce the same amount of flow.
     
  18. moz

    moz

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    638
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    The big problem with power is that in SA most of our electricity comes from coal. If and when we start getting "cleaner" sources of power then the environmental impact from our power needs is not as much of a problem. The problem is that the most effective source of "clean" power is nuclear. The problem with nuclear power is that a large percentage of the population have a knee jerk reaction whenever the the word nuclear is mentioned, and they react irrationally.
     
  19. petercandid

    petercandid

    Joined:
    19 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Hi Mudshark,

    Well,Yes, and hypocrisy is responsible for many of our social ills. Everyday we meet people criticising others, while their own back yard is unkempt and dirty.you cant give a generalise statement like this...every one may not fall under that category and may be maximum or half of us.

    Thanks
     
  20. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

    Joined:
    30 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    674
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi
    I am sure nuclear is probably one of the most efficient ways, in SA we also have ample sunlight for solar panels and geysers (just unfortunately not cheap enough). Wind, wave power and sunlight should definitely be considered more thoroughly especially in a Country like ours with such a big carbon footprint due to coal powered generation of electricity.
     
  21. Tony

    Tony

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,093
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Honeydew, Johannesburg
    Now the government is talking about water running out in Gauteng. I don't know why it's only gauteng but that is a problem. MAybe they should fix all the water leaks gushing onto our streets and into the sewers which account for over fifty percent of all water wasted/consumed.

    Coming back to the electricity thing, there was a green complex built in CT somewhere and they are totally self sustained and actually sell electricity back to Eskom. THe houses are all linked electricity wise and the generating of electricity is moved from one unit to another depending on consumption so that houses not using a lot of generated electricity give power to a house using more and at the end of it all they have enough to go around and sell to eskom
     
Recent Posts