Do we have a "Green Police" in our future? If so, is that bad?

fivepoint

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 28, 2007
1,175
4
IOWA
The commercial that most caught my attention tonight during the Super Bowl was the spot entitled "Green Police" by Audi. In the spot, the "Green Police" go around busting people for things like asking for plastic bags at the grocery store, or using incandescent light bulbs, and the most humorous one... to the couple in the hot tub who had the temperature too high!

For those of you who didn't see it, here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq58zS4_jvM

Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting discussion topic. I'm specifically interested to know if you think this is a possible look into our future, or a completely over exaggerated falsehood that could never happen. Also, I'm sure that some of you here might even think that the "Green Police" as shown humorously in this piece, might actually be a good idea to some extent. I would like to hear a bit more on what things we should prosecute, which we shouldn't, etc.

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl... it was a good one!
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
The commercial that most caught my attention tonight during the Super Bowl was the spot entitled "Green Police" by Audi. In the spot, the "Green Police" go around busting people for things like asking for plastic bags at the grocery store, or using incandescent light bulbs, and the most humorous one... to the couple in the hot tub who had the temperature too high!

For those of you who didn't see it, here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq58zS4_jvM

Anyway, I thought this might be an interesting discussion topic. I'm specifically interested to know if you think this is a possible look into our future, or a completely over exaggerated falsehood that could never happen. Also, I'm sure that some of you here might even think that the "Green Police" as shown humorously in this piece, might actually be a good idea to some extent. I would like to hear a bit more on what things we should prosecute, which we shouldn't, etc.

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl... it was a good one!
Only in the minds of the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists out there.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
I do not expect it to ever get as exterm as it was in the ad but in many ways we already have the "green police"

If I remember right CA already has laws in place requiring you to compost all food waste. CA either has or will be out lawing incandescent light bulbs. I expect a tax on plastic grocery bags in our future.
To see the green police issues just look to the states of California. They already are working on it.

I would not be surprised in our future to see throwing away batteries to be against the law. We already can not throw away old computers or monitors
 

IgnatiusTheKing

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2007
3,652
0
das Fort
I found it odd that a German company would attempt to use "Green Police" in a humorous way. Makes you wonder if they're using "Grüne Polizei" in Germany. Somehow I doubt it.
 

djjclark

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2008
191
5
In CA we are not that far away. San Francisco has laws requiring composting, several cities forbid plastic and paper grocery bags. It will soon be illegal to buy incandescent lights and fluorescent lamps and batteries must be treated as hazardous waste and can not be thrown in the trash.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,985
15
Penryn
I found it odd that a German company would attempt to use "Green Police" in a humorous way. Makes you wonder if they're using "Grüne Polizei" in Germany. Somehow I doubt it.
Most Germans live in multi-family buildings and each has a "Hausmeister(in)" who closely watches the bins for waste transgressions. If something is in the wrong bin, the disposal company may either charge more or not pick it up. So, while there isn't a separate police force, waste is heavily policed by the citizenry.
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
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...I would not be surprised in our future to see throwing away batteries to be against the law. We already can not throw away old computers or monitors
I don't see the problem. Both batteries, monitors, and computers are full of heavy metals and toxic materials that can leach out of the components and poison the water-table.

Moreover, each has material that can be recycled.

The problem is, and has always, been that if 200 million (now 300 million) people do something, no matter how small it is, it's going to have a significant effect.

As the Onion put it, "How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?" 30 Million People Wonder
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
I don't see the problem. Both batteries, monitors, and computers are full of heavy metals and toxic materials that can leach out of the components and poison the water-table.

Moreover, each has material that can be recycled.

The problem is, and has always, been that if 200 million (now 300 million) people do something, no matter how small it is, it's going to have a significant effect.

As the Onion put it, "How Bad For The Environment Can Throwing Away One Plastic Bottle Be?" 30 Million People Wonder
The problem that we run into is with the those items that we can not throw away like batteries and monitors is the lack of a system set up to recycling them. If you put in curb side recycling like they do for news papers and minor items people are very willing to do them because it is not hard to do.
As it stands to recycling batteries you have to find a place that takes them and then drive there. Not convenient to say the least.
For things like battery to be really successful you need a system that requires very little work for the people.
 
The problem that we run into is with the those items that we can not throw away like batteries and monitors is the lack of a system set up to recycling them. If you put in curb side recycling like they do for news papers and minor items people are very willing to do them because it is not hard to do.
As it stands to recycling batteries you have to find a place that takes them and then drive there. Not convenient to say the least.
For things like battery to be really successful you need a system that requires very little work for the people.
Exactly! Would I throw a car battery in the dumpster, no, AA batteries, yes. There has to be a common ground for recycling vs. trash to become viable. IMHO
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
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The problem that we run into is with the those items that we can not throw away like batteries and monitors is the lack of a system set up to recycling them. If you put in curb side recycling like they do for news papers and minor items people are very willing to do them because it is not hard to do.
As it stands to recycling batteries you have to find a place that takes them and then drive there. Not convenient to say the least.
For things like battery to be really successful you need a system that requires very little work for the people.
Sure, a system would be great, but these items get consumed at much lower rates than paper, plastic, and glass.

I don't really think it's a huge issue. I collect the batteries into a box, fill the box, and then take the box to the local hazardous-waste facility. It takes like 20 minutes and that happens only every couple of months. I once went twice because all these battery backups failed at once.

It's not convenient compared to tossing everything into the big blue bin, but it's not prohibitive either.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
What's so special about the car battery, except for the loud bang it might make when you toss it in there?
well car battery normally have a core charge put on them when you buy a new one. You have to bring back the old car battery and they will refund the core charge on it for you.
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
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Birmingham, AL
What's so special about the car battery, except for the loud bang it might make when you toss it in there?
I'm not up to speed on the latest in car battery tech, but aren't they still basically the lead-acid kind? Tossing a bunch of lead in a landfill can't possibly be good.

Rodimus Prime said:
well car battery normally have a core charge put on them when you buy a new one. You have to bring back the old car battery and they will refund the core charge on it for you.
This. We do the same thing with tires here as well.
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
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well car battery normally have a core charge put on them when you buy a new one. You have to bring back the old car battery and they will refund the core charge on it for you.
That's not really my question, but I get your point. Car batteries, motor oil, etc. have their own recycling chains, an artifact of the business and environmental legislation.

I think a similar structure for AAs (or AAA, C,D, 9v, etc.) would be difficult only because they're sold at so many more places, many without the facilities to deal with recycling batteries.

Very good point, I dunno, I guess the sheer size reminds me that it should go elsewhere. I'm just saying, convenience > practicality in many cases. :eek:
That's a fair point. I think it's partly to do with what Rodimus addresses—getting a new one is also the place to recycle the old one—and size. I don't want to throw a car battery into my trash can either.

I'm not up to speed on the latest in car battery tech, but aren't they still basically the lead-acid kind? Tossing a bunch of lead in a landfill can't possibly be good....
Neither are computer monitors, computer cases and motherboards, nor are NiCad, Lithium, or regular Duracells. They all carry a load of toxic chemicals.

We need to figure out a way to deal with this waste and recycling or reuse might be the best way.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
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I'm not up to speed on the latest in car battery tech, but aren't they still basically the lead-acid kind? Tossing a bunch of lead in a landfill can't possibly be good.
As far as I know the tech has stayed relatively the same. So yes, throwing batteries in the dump would be a terrible idea.



This. We do the same thing with tires here as well.
There are quite a few recycling plants for tires that make them into all kinds of stuff. No real reason to subsidize as far as I am concerned, let the private sector buy them.
 

GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
3,211
373
Terminus
Good commercial.


Something it reminded me of:

A couple weeks ago my family had our lawn sprinklers on past 10 am. The new rule, besides them increasing our water rates 250%, is that you can water your lawn from 10 am to 4 pm or something. So it was on (because of the recent daylight savings time switch) and some inspector from the Department of Water and Power came up and cited my family $50 for using the lawn sprinklers past 10am. Mind you, this is in addition to the already crazy high water rates that were just increased.

Sounds kind of similar to the commercial.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
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The Mergui Archipelago
Good commercial.


Something it reminded me of:

A couple weeks ago my family had our lawn sprinklers on past 10 am. The new rule, besides them increasing our water rates 250%, is that you can water your lawn from 10 am to 4 pm or something. So it was on (because of the recent daylight savings time switch) and some inspector from the Department of Water and Power came up and cited my family $50 for using the lawn sprinklers past 10am. Mind you, this is in addition to the already crazy high water rates that were just increased.

Sounds kind of similar to the commercial.
We have a similar sort of system. Most of it is pretty common sense though i.e. don't water your garden in the middle of the day when 90% of it will evaporate. They'll usually give you a warning for first infringement though.

As an aside I find it absolutely ridiculous to be using drinking water for watering the garden in the first place. As it is to be using it to flush the toilet. Hopefully this will change as it is the 21st century. I certainly support codes that make it a requisite for all new houses and renovations etc to install some sort of rain water tank system.
 

GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
3,211
373
Terminus
We have a similar sort of system. Most of it is pretty common sense though i.e. don't water your garden in the middle of the day when 90% of it will evaporate. They'll usually give you a warning for first infringement though.
Common sense or not, it shouldn't be legislated. They already raised the rates through the roof; let that bring down demand for water. More government infringement in my life isn't what I need.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,946
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Common sense or not, it shouldn't be legislated. They already raised the rates through the roof; let that bring down demand for water. More government infringement in my life isn't what I need.
Which looks to me to be justification of entitlement. I pay for it so I should be able to use as much as I can afford whenever and however I choose.

Like it or not it is a scarce resource (and getting more so in many localities). There is absolutely no reason why steps to reduce demand should only be through price alone. The aim is for water to be affordable, available, and substainable in the long term. Infringing restrictions is easily avoidable with a bit of common sense. The problem is that the status quo is changing and people have the perception that they are losing something. Such initiatives have done a wonderful job at reducing per capital consumption in Australia. If one wants to use water the garden willy nilly they can easily install rainwater tanks or greywater systems. It shouldn't be what processed drinking water classed for human consumption is used for in the 21st century.

How much do you pay for these "through the roof" water rates per litre?
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
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I think a similar structure for AAs (or AAA, C,D, 9v, etc.) would be difficult only because they're sold at so many more places, many without the facilities to deal with recycling batteries.
Don't you guys have other ways of dealing with that (e.g. kerbside recycling).

Which looks to me to be justification of entitlement. I pay for it so I should be able to use as much as I can afford whenever and however I choose.
I think it really depends how scarce it is. However in this case they should have let you off with a warning, as the circumstances seem pretty unfair.

Its a funny ad though.
 

GfPQqmcRKUvP

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2005
3,211
373
Terminus
Which looks to me to be justification of entitlement. I pay for it so I should be able to use as much as I can afford whenever and however I choose.
I should be able to use as much as I can afford whenever and however I chose; I'm paying for it. You can criticize my usage all you want, but don't make it illegal for me to use water however I want as long as I'm paying the bills.

I'm sure raising the rates is effective, I don't doubt that. The vast majority, including me, will reduce their usage. But don't add restricting rules on top of that. Raising the price will reduce demand by definition. All this makes me want to do is turn on a hose and run it down the driveway.