green design
November 20, 2007 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Ecoble, an environment design and living site includes some interesting stories and info: Man (Re)Builds Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles l Who Has the Oil? Geography of the World’s Most Contentious Resource l BituBlock - The Sustainable Building Block Built from Trash and Sewage posted by nickyskye (12 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The "Who has the Oil" link is what Bush means by "our strategic interests".
posted by stbalbach at 9:16 AM on November 20, 2007

over a quarter-million plastic bottles...destroyed years later by a hurricane

Anyone know where the first 250,000 plastic bottles are now? Someone else's paradise maybe?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:24 AM on November 20, 2007

That guy is my hero.

(avoiding the obvious one-man's-trash joke).
posted by iamkimiam at 9:26 AM on November 20, 2007

Thanks for a great bunch of links, nickyskye. That map is certainly sobering. You might like this short film a friend sent me the other day.
posted by maryh at 9:41 AM on November 20, 2007

maryh, I found that this video was far more nuanced and informative.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:48 AM on November 20, 2007

The oil map should include recoverable "tar sand" reserves, too.

That would make Canada and Venezuela much larger, once we figure out how to crack these hydrocarbons economically (cough, nuclearpowerplants).

And yeah, the island thing is my dream too. I see an interesting combination of battery arrays, solar collectors, hydrogen-cycle fuel cells possible in a few year's time. Problem is I'm more a mountain guy than a beach bum. I'd take a crackling fireplace on a cold fall night over a muggy and sticky mosquito-buzzed sand spit any day.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:15 AM on November 20, 2007

The oil map is unfortunately based on information from the EIA which has been pretty thoroughly discredited. Not that they're admitting it, but the remaining Saudi reserves are much smaller than the figure listed on the chart.

The same is likely true for many of the other OPEC countries, who inflated their reserve estimates in the 1980s and 1990s for political reasons.
posted by kowalski at 10:27 AM on November 20, 2007

manmade mountains of trash?
posted by Sam.Burdick at 10:27 AM on November 20, 2007

What I don't get about that map - shouldn't Iraq fit in Saudi Arabia slightly more than twice? Saudi Arabia seems much larger comparatively.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:43 AM on November 20, 2007

Wouldn't the plastic bottles under the island leach chemicals into the surrounding waters?
posted by oddman at 11:10 AM on November 20, 2007

oddman: most likely. Is it better than they leach chemicals into a landfill, polluting groundwater? Better that they are downcycled into carpets or plastic lumber that is unrecycleable, which then ends up in a landfill, and continues to leach chemicals? It's hard to say, really. Re-using them as pontoons doesn't stop the manufacture of virgin plastic for drinking fountains, but it does mean that something that is essentially garbage from the moment the soda is gone now has had a longer useful life in relation to it's embodied energy/pollution than it normally would, and it means that he is not purchasing any new material for that purpose.

Ideally, soda would come in glass bottles from a local bottler who then collects, sterilizes, and re-uses the bottles. They would never be thrown away because people would want their deposit back, and even broken glass can be recycled in a process that takes less energy than manufacturing virgin plastic soda bottles.

Oh wait, we used to do that, in like, 1963.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:15 PM on November 20, 2007

They're making drinking fountains out of plastic now? Yuk.
posted by BinGregory at 10:54 PM on November 20, 2007

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