Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Double-sided pages

I didn't bite in lecture but here's my opinion about double-sided pages...
Professor Tantillo said something to the effect of he realized that the grader could just staple a blank sheet at the end of the paper for comments, but this would have an effect on the paper's readablility. We take for granted that we are entitled to good readability, regardless of whether it is good or bad for the environment. How important is readability, or any of the other luxuries that we take for granted? What about saying "driving a hybrid car might be better for the environment, but it won't be as powerful," or "sure I could get by with just using one light, but turning on a second would make the room brighter," or "I could save water by taking a shorter shower, but it wouldn't be as enjoyable" ? They might seem trivial but I really think that all those types of things add up, and at some point it's going to be important for us to take them seriously. Plus, it's not really decreasing your quality of life that much to make small changes like taking shorter showers.
Of course if you start to debate whether hybrid cars are really better for the environment, or if printing single-sided term papers will save grouse, etc. then it gets more complicated. My point is just that we tend to use more than we need, and we're so used to it that we don't realize that what we think are necessities are really luxuries.


Stephen Zelno said...

I commend you for this post and I especially commend Margaret in lecture for speaking up, but I ultimately think arguing about it won't get us anywhere. Its stupid, and a waste of time. What's more stupid, and a bigger waste of our time? -Arguing for it. You had it right from the start- don't bite.

emilierennie said...

If nobody bites, what's the point of having a blog?

I agree that arguing about things doesn't always improve the situation. But how are we supposed to move toward improvements without discussion? I think that's ultimately more important than whatever stance you decide to take on saving energy, recycling,clear-cutting, whatever. Professor Tantillo pointed out the "wrong-headedness" of several environmental dogmas -- for example, not clear-cutting trees or using paper instead of styrofoam cups. I think the fact that there is discussion about how to manage forests or which cups to use is a good thing. It can't possibly hurt to be more informed, and the best-case scenario is we'll figure out which option is best for us and the environment and improve quality of life. So yes, hopefully arguing about it will get us somewhere. It's worth a try.

Jim Tantillo said...

don't get me wrong--I'm thrilled when people bite. Plus you, Margaret, and all the other bloggers are earning genuine brownie points by blogging and by stirring up controversy. I mean that in all seriousness.

Discussion is a great thing. A great thing.