Let's consider our greatest waste of resources

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,609
Florania
Due to the fact that we are overshooting our home planet's resources (and we absolutely lack the mean to overcome confinement to the home planet), we need major waste reductions to make the various human civilizations sustainable.
Although negligences on security and military generate crisis even at peace, being belligerent is simply the highway to demise.
List a few major human wastes:
1) Waste of food: 1/3 of our food production is not consumed and lay wasted.
2) Investments in the closed-source modern medicine system; I'm not denying some merits in modern medicine, but modern medicine has quite a few shortcomings. Often enough, a skilled and experienced medical professional is more valuable than all these medical instruments.
3) Excessive investments in military and security: while military and security are essential issues, we certainly invest excessively in the military BY FAR.
Any other major wastes that are threatening our sustainability?
 

constantine

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
8,545
Due to the fact that we are overshooting our home planet's resources (and we absolutely lack the mean to overcome confinement to the home planet), we need major waste reductions to make the various human civilizations sustainable.
Although negligences on security and military generate crisis even at peace, being belligerent is simply the highway to demise.
List a few major human wastes:
1) Waste of food: 1/3 of our food production is not consumed and lay wasted.
2) Investments in the closed-source modern medicine system; I'm not denying some merits in modern medicine, but modern medicine has quite a few shortcomings. Often enough, a skilled and experienced medical professional is more valuable than all these medical instruments.
3) Excessive investments in military and security: while military and security are essential issues, we certainly invest excessively in the military BY FAR.
Any other major wastes that are threatening our sustainability?
Humans are the main problem this planet faces, we have way too many of them. The solution is obvious, decrease the number of humans. Perhaps we could decrease the number of humans while decreasing investments in military and security spending, but that doesn't seem particularly efficient.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,811
A few of other wastes:

very long delivery routes for various products based on the fact that labor is cheaper far away (for examples fruits or vegetables transported all the way from Africa because african farmers get paid very little) and transportation costs are not as high

road/railroad building: most of them dont follow the shortest route from point A to point B because of various consideration (initially its cheaper to go around a mountain than to bore a tunnel..... eco warriors prevent roads being built in certain places etc..).... the result is that more land and various material is used up by the road and then a lot more energy is spent because every vehicle has to travel more miles to get to its destination

Egypt is an interesting case.. Only the Nile valley (less than 3% of the territory) is suitable for agriculture but also pleasant for living..... So a lot of building happens there (Cairo the capital for instance), thereby using up fragile agritucutural land....... where as there is plenty of empty space in the nearby desert (the valley is just a few kilometers wide) which could be use with little or no environmental impact

Insulation of buildings is a classic.... its still far from optimal, thus we lose heat or cool (depending on season) that is much needed

Entertainment: lots of waste there, from needless "world wide events" that lead to corruption and doping to dubious travel to ecologically fragile places

Administration: forms and more forms, most of which are useless... waste of paper and of energy (that of people but also of the infrastructure required by bureaucrats)
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,609
Florania
A few of other wastes:

very long delivery routes for various products based on the fact that labor is cheaper far away (for examples fruits or vegetables transported all the way from Africa because african farmers get paid very little) and transportation costs are not as high

road/railroad building: most of them dont follow the shortest route from point A to point B because of various consideration (initially its cheaper to go around a mountain than to bore a tunnel..... eco warriors prevent roads being built in certain places etc..).... the result is that more land and various material is used up by the road and then a lot more energy is spent because every vehicle has to travel more miles to get to its destination

Egypt is an interesting case.. Only the Nile valley (less than 3% of the territory) is suitable for agriculture but also pleasant for living..... So a lot of building happens there (Cairo the capital for instance), thereby using up fragile agritucutural land....... where as there is plenty of empty space in the nearby desert (the valley is just a few kilometers wide) which could be use with little or no environmental impact

Insulation of buildings is a classic.... its still far from optimal, thus we lose heat or cool (depending on season) that is much needed

Entertainment: lots of waste there, from needless "world wide events" that lead to corruption and doping to dubious travel to ecologically fragile places

Administration: forms and more forms, most of which are useless... waste of paper and of energy (that of people but also of the infrastructure required by bureaucrats)
In Canada, 80% of all the foods are imported; should this be considered a great waste of distance and labour?
(Fact: the Kingdom of Netherlands is so small, but its value of agricultural exports is second only to the USA, and what does this mean?)
Building and living in the desert is possible, yes.
Taking away all entertainments will be unrealistic, but we can certainly limit these.
The eco-warriors might want to protect certain areas, but they might end up harming even more, and this does sound ironic!
 

David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Humans are the main problem this planet faces, we have way too many of them. The solution is obvious, decrease the number of humans. Perhaps we could decrease the number of humans while decreasing investments in military and security spending, but that doesn't seem particularly efficient.
If you want to volunteer to be one of the decreases, raise your hand.

Personally, I believe that humans are the world's greatest resource. The problem is not that there are too many, but that not all are contributing all they can.

As the OP says, too much food is wasted, but that is an effect of politics; it does not follow that there are too many people. Back in the good ol' days, famine with its partner epidemic disease was a frequent menace to even the most developed countries. Today we have the means of feeding and providing drinking water to everyone, if we would only devote the resources.
 
Jun 2013
451
Sybaris - Italy
Greatest waste of resources: The financial markets. An idea that was good in theory in its inception that has become this bloated monster gone haywire mostly functioning as a playground/casinò for a few to the detriment of the rest of the world. It's the greatest anti-humanistic tool there is on earth.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
I would say packaging for convenience. Plastics are needed, but one could carry a water bottle or bag lunch. Things are always over wrapped, especially non perishables. Cans and bottles for single serve drinks? Not necessary for survival or for our evolution.
 
Sep 2012
1,633
London, centre of my world
We burn extraordinary amounts of fossil fuel to power the vacuous inanity that is 'Reality TV'.
It is a true waste of electricity.

Future ages of man will look back (through the ubiquitous yellow smog covering the Earth) and curse us for eternity. And I won't blame them.
 
Jan 2016
172
Scranton, Pennsylvania (that's right, ladies...I'm
A wasteful defense spending plan. More money does not equal a better, more prepared force...but who wants to be the politician who "guts the military in the face of ISIS"?