Russell D. Hoffman's World Famous Environmental Issues Page
High Tech Environmentalism
Russell D. Hoffman's Own Home Page for Environmental Issues
The following is a special announcement:
The Hoover Dam was
built to last -- as a working hydroelectric dam -- for 3,000 years. The
concrete won't even be fully set for centuries. The rest of government
policy should also recognize that America expects to have a future.
The web pages presented here are designed to be scientifically
accurate but easily understood. They discuss some of the most complex
issues faced by today's environmentalists, from the point of view
of a humanist, technologist and futurist.
These essays and articles have been linked to by prestigious
environmental organizations around the globe -- and we thank everyone
kindly for each of those links!
I love technology and I believe it is vital to mankind's
I have been a computer programmer for nearly twenty years. I ride
the fanciest high-tech mountain bike money can buy (well, the
fanciest my money can buy, anyway!). I have some
pretty good computerized tools. But we must temper our use and our
love of technology within the limits of our fragile and
complicated ecosystem. And most of all, we
must believe that with our efforts, our world will survive!
Oh look! Mankind put another 1000 years under our belts!
But it will surely be our last 1000 if we don't change something.
Right now, as we turn to a new millenium, our world is in crisis.
Hardly a soul alive really believes the world is a clean, fresh, healthy
place to bring up baby humans and other living things. We all see
the effects -- cancers among our friends and family, even our pets
and livestock. Chest pains when we visit "the city" (whatever city
we live near. Or if we live in a city, just chest pains, day
in and day out.) Piles of garbage unattended, oil spills on T.V.,
old cars and old car batteries left to rot. Everywhere we are assaulted
by excessive packaging, throw-away tools, and eco-deadly lifestyles.
Somewhere there's a balance but we know we haven't achieved it.
We haven't even come close.
We in the "environmental" movement have been torn among tasks -- our
resources are stretched too thin. We must unify! Every voice
counts. Every problem needs ten thousand voices to fix but only ten
people to do the damage. In times like this -- in these times
-- each individual in the "environmental" movement must be as strong as
a hundred polluters!
Frankly, we are losing a lot of the battles.
Maybe even most of them. And so, many of us have become passionate.
Others of us have given up--lost hope. Many of us have focused on
one topic -- we have learned to focus, we
have learned about empowerment -- but we must not lose sight of the
war while we fight our own individual battles. There are no generals
to guide us. (The other side seems to have all the generals.)
It seems we cannot unify because the individual causes are so vital,
so drastic, and yet so varied, that each of us burns out in our own little
world. Sometimes we are fractured at the outset--one wants to save
the snail darter by not building a hydroelectric dam, while another
wants the dam built to stop the spread of nuclear power. And
meanwhile, nuclear, coal, and oil are wiping out or deforming equally
We live in a real world, with daily problems.
Two billion people do not even have electricity--they will
never read this. And there is no way we will be able to
save every species, every habitat, or even every person.
Let's all try to keep our eye on the ball from now on.
We can't stop fighting for the things we each really care
about. Nor should we. But I believe that
everyone who wants a clean earth must somehow show a common
spirit so that the politicians and bureaucrats and most of all the
polluters themselves know that the jig is up -- we demand a
clean earth with free expression for everyone! And I believe there
are more of "us" than "them". But we are so divided, and
so torn, and are working so hard trying to solve each
individual crisis, that as a movement, we are burned out.
So when you read through these articles and you think "Gee, I should
do something" by all means do it. Click on
email address and send him a message! Send four or five
different ones before you leave
this site! Please! They want to hear from you! They
need you to show them you are out there! I've made it as easy
as I can for you, trying hard to give you lots of hotlinks to other
organizations if you want more information and giving you lots of
information to start with, in a nice, easy-to-read form! So take the
ball and run with it, for goodness sakes! Now is as good a time as
you will ever get! Before they get good at filtering out our voice,
or before they silence us all by cutting the Internet connection or
pricing it out of existence!
So please, read these essays, get angry about one or two of the
topics (your choice which ones), fire off a message to our
and then get on with your life and the things you feel
passionate about in your own world. (But tell others to visit us!)
You Can Do It To It Too!
Learn from these examples how to empower yourself, and get out and
build your own web sites about the things you care about!
But don't forget that each person who cares about the health of this
planet must take part in many, many causes. A movement divided is as good
as a movement defeated -- and "they" know that.
And if you are moved to do anything, thank you so very very
much! I thank you. The fellow environmentalists who have worked so
hard inside these movements I can only write about, thank you. And
believe me, Mother Earth thanks you and your children and your
children's children will thank you. You might even thank yourself
Made in U.S.A.
These stories are written by an American. A proud, free,
American living in a proud, free land. They are distributed through a free
Internet. I've lectured from London to Florida to Boston to Los
Angeles about computers and technology. Nothing I've seen in twenty
years of computer work compares with the Internet for what it can do
for us. Without the freedom that my blessed country has given me these
pages could not, would not exist.
I believe that the so called-environmentalists so outnumber the
polluters that if we were unified we would surely be able
to change the world -- stop much of the utter madness. And I
believe the tool for that unification is available to us right
now, but who knows for how much longer?
We love the Internet and believe it is the greatest tool mankind has
ever had. Let's use it.
But... There's always a but...
But even that freedom is being eaten away! If you value
your free voice, or mine for that matter, if you want to be able to
talk about the things you care about the way I talk about the
things I care about, please honor and thank the people who are
fighting that battle. They have names. They have faces.
Let's not waste this tool, and let's not let them take it away!
I had the opportunity to interview some of the people who are on the
front lines of the freedom-of-speech battle. One of these
interviews, with Phil
Zimmermann, the author of an encryption program called PGP or
Pretty Good Privacy, has become a download classic at
this web site and is used in college courses and by movements and
individuals around the world. Another interview is with famous computer
magazine publisher and "electronic freedom fighter"
If you wish to preserve our freedom of speech on the Internet,
I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with what these people are
saying. And then, maybe you'll understand how important it is that
you click on "send" a few times and let other people know how you
We can be a united voice!
We don't need to march on Washington (or maybe we do for our own
catharsis) but if enough of us simply let the politicians know what
we think, simply let them know that we are out there, we might start
seeing some changes. And anyway it's never too late to start trying.
The following web pages describe a variety of environmental problems
and contain links to other sites and to other areas of this site where
you can get more information. But try to take the time to look at
each issue, because each one desperately needs your voice added
96% of The California Redwood Forests have been destroyed. Is a Zero Cut
policy really necessary? Here are the environmental issues involved.
Space Debris is a problem few people have ever heard of. Read our shocking exposé about
the incredible pollution problem in an area of space known as 'near earth orbit'!
From the Folks Who Brought You Chernobyl:
A plutonium-powered Russian space probe falls to earth, November 17th, 1996.
Cassini: NASA's deadly dilemma.
The Cassini mission to Saturn will carry 72.3 pounds of the deadliest substance known to man -- plutonium. Does it make any sense to try to send this into space?
Global Energy Network International
A plan to interconnect the world through an electrical energy grid so
that renewable resources in distant locations can supply the energy
needs of populations centers around the world. By crossing borders and
cultures, it will interconnect the world in more ways than one.
Tutorial written be GENI staff members.
Table of Contents
The Animated Software Company
Last modified March 27th, 1997. (Y2K-announcement added October 28th, 1999, Nuke announcement added Nov. 2001))
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman