Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going green?

Going “Green?”

If you want to drive a car driven mostly by batteries, that is fine with me. But please don’t act snooty about it when I pass you in my twenty foot long four wheel drive Suburban. Have you noticed that some in the so-called “green movement” have an attitude?

Unfortunately, many green activists do not understand science. Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a huge Hummer according to Chris Demorro in a March 7, 2007, article in The Recorder-Central Connecticut State University.

The Prius is partly driven by a battery, which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers.

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is then shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe.

From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a massive Hummer - the Prius’s now-defunct arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are still obsessed over gas mileage - buy a Chevy Aveo and fix that lead foot.

One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybrid car because of lower gas expenses.

If environmentalists were serious and truly considered the facts, they might ditch all the new green technology and just go back about a few years.

Back then, no one used an engine that burnt gas just to cut the grass, when a mower one pushed yourself silently trimmed it. Walking and working gave folks so much exercise, that no one joined a health club to run on treadmills operated by electricity. Back then, people returned milk bottles and beer bottles that were sterilized and refilled. Folks took the stairs rather than an elevator, and always walked everywhere. Clothes hung on the line were dried by everyday solar and wind energy at work; instead of an energy -wasting machine burning electricity. In the kitchen, all was stirred by hand because there were no electric machines to do everything.

Back then, kids rode their bikes to school, or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. Thirsty folks did not chunk a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. Writing pens, cloth diapers, lighters and razors were refilled, instead of throwing away the whole thing.

Being Green is not bad, but you are probably doing it wrong.

When Mr. Peel is not single-handedly melting the ice caps in a four wheel drive, he pursues better results for his injured clients. Mr. Peel often addresses churches and clubs and can be contacted through, wherein other articles can also be found.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Judging GOD


“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

Even those unfamiliar with the Bible have likely heard some version of this verse quoted.
Often, this Scripture is used as a sword against a condemning critic.
For instance, if a Christian is claiming that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, a skeptic might say, “So you are saying all Hindus go to Hell…that’s judging and your Bible says you can’t judge!”
It actually says, if you judge, that measure will be used in judging you. Since Jesus Himself claimed to be the only way to Heaven, and then commanded followers to go tell that to the whole world, it seems highly unlikely that the skeptic’s point was valid. To be clear, Christians can be harsher than necessary. But in the end, there is Absolute Truth, and by definition, all short of that is, of course, false.
But the skeptic might allege that there is no such thing as Absolute Truth. Oddly, he would be asserting that, “the lack of Absolute Truth is absolutely true!” (Often, this irony is lost on skeptics.)

That being said, we are likely all guilty of judging others. Further, and more disturbingly, we all probably have judged God Himself.
Steve Jobs, the late founder of Apple Computers, was a skeptic. In his self-titled biography, Walter Isaacson describes a pivotal moment in Jobs’ life. At 13, young Steve Jobs was disturbed by a photo of starving children in Africa and confronted his pastor with it. He asked the minister if God knew about these children. The Pastor tried to explain that He did. Jobs reportedly proclaimed that he wanted nothing to do with worshiping such a God, and he never again darkened a church door.

That is judging God. And, I imagine, am just as guilty of it at times. Using human reasoning, Steve Jobs had a valid point. It brings us to one of the most important questions there is:

If God is all-powerful, and He does not just stop all the suffering, can He really be all loving? If He is all loving, but just cannot stop it, can He really be all-powerful?

It is this paradox that trips up most folks. And, we sit in our lawn chairs, as it were, and judge God Almighty—this as He reigns on the massive, golden throne of all the universe.
The harsh truth is, most of us feel we could run the planet, or at least our little lives, better than God. Don’t believe me? What is your reaction when you pray for something and it does not happen?

In fact, there is an all loving, all-powerful God that exists. And it is not you. And it is not me.
The wondrous question is not about the qualities of God, and whether He cares. It is why does He care at all? He made us, and we rebelled. In a perfect environment, we could not even follow one simple rule for long. That choice brought all the sin, suffering and death that we see. The amazing thing is that He sent a ransom for us—His Only Son—that we would not be lost forever.

The deepest tragedy then, is not even the awful deaths of starving children in Africa.

The worst thing is that people are so deceived that they choose a lifetime of godless skepticism to be followed by a godless eternity of torment.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mad at God? Read this


If you have ever been mad at God, you are in good company. Most honest believers will admit that God has seemed--at times--distant, uncaring, unhearing, unjust or simply slow to react.

Given our human nature, it is understandable that these perceived shortcomings of the Divine One might outshine the things we are thankful to Him for.

We all know of Mark Twain. Born Samuel Clemens, he is the well-known author/creator of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. What is not as well known about this famous humorist is how he felt that the Almighty had utterly failed him. After he buried his son, two daughters and his beloved wife, he wrote the following:

“...a God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell--mouths mercy, and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules and foregiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!”

--Mark Twain, No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger

“The best minds will tell you that when a man has begotten a child he is morally bound to tenderly care for it, protect it from hurt, shield it from disease, clothe it, feed it, bear with its waywardness, lay no hand upon it save in kindness and for its own good, and never in any case inflict upon it a wanton cruelty. God's treatment of his earthly children, every day and every night, is the exact opposite of all that, yet those best minds warmly justify these crimes, condone them, excuse them, and indignantly refuse to regard them as crimes at all, when he commits them. ”

-- Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth

Twain’s concern is not complicated. He reasoned that God could make the world a happy, loving place without hunger, disease and death. Twain then rails at the Lord for His utter failure to do so. We all agree that we, like him, see our world darkened too often by famine, pestilence, pain, suffering and death.

None of us would dare to address the deeply personal pain and loss that this man bore. Darwin buried a daughter too early, as did Descartes. All three of them turned against the Lord. None of us know how we might react. However, when he took on the very character of God, Twain missed a critical fact.

The God of Scripture did—in fact—create the very world Twain imagined
He should have!

In the beginning, we are told there was a perfect environment, with plenty to eat, and no sickness, striving, suffering or death. That is not just a Sunday School story, it is history. The Fall of sinful man ushered in the age of struggle, sickness and our own mortality.

The truly remarkable thing is that a Holy God, so rejected by his children, would sacrifice his Only Son to rescue them from the results of their own sin. That, actually, explains why we celebrate that baby in the manger, and His atoning death on the cross. Jesus came to undo what we did. You can spend your life being angry with God, if you wish--much like a spoiled child who rebels against a loving parent, who has provided sacrificially for him.

But God made a Way for you to come home to Him. This Christmas, before you read the Christmas story that solves the sin and death problem, please read Genesis 1-3, so you will know what the sin and death problem actually was. Who knows what would have been different in the lives of those three men who buried children too early, if they had. As they are all long dead, they know the Truth. If you are reading this, there is still time for you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011



Yesterday’s cutting edge technology, like the once-cool Sony Walkman, looks silly to today’s children who use iPods. Much of current technology will look silly to your future grandchildren, according to Shane Richmond and Ian Douglas who write for UK’s Telegraph newspaper. What follows are a few of the things that they and others predict will look silly to future generations. Actually, I think they are right.

TV schedules: That week-long wait for your favorite TV show was a familiar feature of my childhood. Remember cartoons on Saturday mornings? Now, TV is transforming into a demand-driven service. Watch whatever, whenever you want.

Recipe books: In the house of the future, your fridge will know exactly what food items it contains, and what meals you can make with those ingredients, while video panels embedded within the work surfaces will guide you through every stage of the cooking process.

Laptops: "I used to have to carry a separate bag for my computer," you'll find yourself explaining to some youngster as he unfolds his e-paper, touchscreen laptop, connects it to his cloud storage database and starts watching a film.

Cordless home phones: The phone used to be attached to the wall by a cable and, for some unknown reason, it would probably be in the hall, forcing you to sit on the stairs while you chatted. Then came the cordless phone. Isn't it great to be able to walk around the house while you're on the phone? Your kids already wonder why phones were ever “attached” to homes by a curly cord.

Glasses: Wearing glasses to correct vision problems is still a social norm but with laser eye surgery and contact lenses, it's not hard to imagine a point in the near future when they become obsolete. However, the concept of hanging lenses in front of your face has been around for centuries and is still pretty useful. Sunglasses will be around for a while and your children may start wearing glasses to take advantage of augmented reality services, for example for navigation.

Video and Audio tape: Tape is already a thing of the past in most homes. There's no need to remember to rewind a rental video before you return it. The language remains, however, and your children may wonder why you talk about "taping" a TV show when what you're actually doing is saving it to a hard drive on a Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

Photo processing: The idea that you'd have to shoot a whole roll of film holding, if you are lucky, 36 pictures, before you can see whether any of them were any good, sounds odd to the digital camera generation. Stranger still is the idea of taking your film to the drugstore - after snapping three pointless shots of your cat to finish the film - and then waiting an hour while they processed them.

Watches: You spend most of your time sitting in front of a computer that shows the time in the corner of the screen. When you're at home you can see the time on your DVD player and your oven. And when you're out and about you're carrying a mobile phone that displays the time. Admit it, your watch is just a piece of jewelry now, isn't it?

Keyboards: Many touchscreen devices still make a clicking noise when you type on them but there's no real reason to. Modern keyboards are very quiet - nothing like the thump of old typewriters or the clacking of keyboards from the 80s. But the keyboard itself may not last much longer. They take up space, adding to the bulk of portable devices, and they suffer from being fixed: a British keyboard cannot transform into a Russian one but a touchscreen can. Though touchscreens take some getting used to for those who have learned keyboards it's unlikely that those who grow up with them will have the same problem.

CDs, DVDs and Minidiscs: Physical media are constantly being replaced. The path from records to eight track cartridges to cassettes to CDs to minidiscs to MP3 players is littered with laser discs, digital audiotapes and HD-DVDs. They’re replaced now by wireless downloads to your watching or listening device. Your CD collection is already as outdated as your grandfather's library of Vinyl LP Albums!

Pagers: It required someone to call a number so that a message can be sent to you, to ask you to call them back - is nonsense. Don't even try to explain it to your children.

The map and compass: The time of the paper map and physical compass has already passed. Having a map in a device, such as a mobile phone, means that it can be updated when necessary and can be made interactive.

Black & white film and TV: The world of old used to be in black and white, at least that's how it appears to children.

Letters: The art of letter writing is being killed by the internet. However, it's not just the art, but the technology of letters that has been usurped. The idea of writing something, putting it in the mail, waiting for it to arrive and then waiting even longer for a reply seems bizarre in our world of always-on communications. Plane tickets, bank statements and bills are already paperless for most people.

Fax machines: Every now and again a piece of paper can't be emailed to someone and, as discussed above, the mail is just too slow. So we have to dust off the fax machine in the corner. This technology dates back to the 1970s.

Email: As we've seen already, email has replaced letters and the fax machine. But don't think being email-friendly means you can escape the mockery of your juniors. Teenagers these days eschew email in favor of instant messenger for direct communication and prefer social networks for longer messages.

Gas-powered vehicles: Our children may be slightly perplexed to hear that we used to pump flammable liquid into our cars to keep them running. They’ll be plugging theirs in instead.

Phone booths: Yes kids, we left phones lying around the country, in giant glass boxes with sticking doors that pinched your fingers. Whenever someone wanted to use one of these phones they had to pay, which meant needing to have change on you. Good luck finding a phone booth anywhere today. (Where would Superman change now?) In the future, life long phone numbers will soon be assigned to find you wherever, whenever, forever.

Multiple remote controls: We used to have to walk across the room to change the channel on the television that had only three channels anyway. Now we have four remotes. In future, your mobile phone will probably double as a remote for whatever it is you're trying to operate.

Floppy discs: From the 1969 eight-inch format, to the mid-1990s 3.5 inch plastic case, your children will be amazed to learn that at their best, they held up to 240MB. (A few songs’ worth on their iPod).

Telephone directories: We printed every phone number into a huge book, which we delivered to every household in the country! Seriously! (Now, few have home numbers anyway.)

Dial-up internet access: It will seem odd to future generations that we used to turn our internet access on --during which you couldn't use your phone– and be charged by the minute for access.

Computers in boxes: As components get smaller still and more computing power is transferred to the cloud, cutting the need for local resources, the need for a box will be eliminated altogether.

Visiting the supermarket: By the time your children are grown up, all of those boring products will be ordered online and delivered to save you the trouble of going to the shop and getting them.

‘Owning’ music, books and film: Once data can be stored in the cloud and accessed by your device whenever you need it, the idea of 'owning' something starts to seem strange. Your children won't collect albums, they'll have every album ever made at their fingertips all the time.

Cords and cables: Wireless data transfer, battery-powered devices and cordless charging mats will make the spaghetti of wires in every office as obsolete as going into or gas station to pay for gas.

TVs and radios that need tuning: "Stay tuned" lost its original meaning and your children will never guess that you used to turn a tiny dial like a safe cracker in an effort to get your TV tuned to the correct channel.

Disposable batteries: Mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players mostly use rechargeable batteries. The idea that you used to have to throw batteries away and then go and buy some new ones already seems quite strange.

Fillings in teeth: It's good to know that in the near future all that business with injections, numb mouths and metal amalgams will be over and old, damaged teeth will be removed and replaced with shiny news ones, grown from stem cells to order. The last generation to know the special fear that comes with the rising whine of the drill is already brushing its own teeth.

Road signs: Universal Satellite-navigation will mean they’ll be tearing down those hulking sheets of metal at the side of the road and insisting that your car informs you that it's five miles to town or that road works will be disrupting traffic until July 2035. Those same devices will also keep an eye on your speed and report your movements to the traffic police.

Checks: You probably laugh at these already, and your children will be laughing right along with you. Imagine, a booklet of pre-printed IOUs that you use instead of money. You hand out details that would allow the recipient to set up direct debits on your account with every payment. They are secured only by your signature, which the person processing the check has no chance of recognizing. Mobile phones will be swiped for payment at checkout (to get your right hand used to that motion?)

Mr. Peel, who is feeling older everyday, is a local attorney seeking justice for those hurt in motor vehicle accidents, work related injuries, medical malpractice, nursing home and trucking cases. Mr. Peel often addresses churches and clubs and can be contacted through, wherein other articles can also be found.