By Means of Convenient Environmentalism

Carbon footprints per country; China (10,540.8) and the US (5334.5) come out vastly ahead of everyone else. [Formatted]

This is a snapshot of a handy little web app icon-external-link-12x12 on British Gas’s website that shows every country’s carbon footprint from the year 1992 up to the year 2014. Take a look and see what you think.

Here are my own takeaways from this data:

If you live in America, you are not an environmentalist. (I consider these terms to be mutually exclusive.) Anyone who has ever read anything about Americans’ lifestyle habits will already know how badly we over-consume compared to people of other countries.

If you live in China, you may or may not be an environmentalist. This is because there are still plenty of rural, nonindustrialized societies—at least for the time being—but holy shit… the industrialized societies are doing a tremendous amount of extra damage.

If you live in Ethiopia, you are likely an environmentalist, but you are so hungry you don’t even know, or care.

Right now, there are 7.45 billion people in the world and all of them want to consume like Americans do. There is no way this is possible, and it makes me wonder if World War III will be started over something ridiculous, like a coconut oil dispute.

I now feel obligated to point out that if you drive a Toyota Prius, wear Birkenstocks and think you are doing your part to save the planet, you are a serious asshole.

The Extra Mile to Make You Smile

College students. [Formatted]

Below is a transcript of an online chat session with a student loan support employee at the company Nelnet. According to Wikipedia, Nelnet icon-external-link-12x12 is a “United States-based conglomerate that deals in the administration and repayment of student loans and education financial services… The company provides a range of products through its subsidiaries that include; customer service for student loan borrowers, technology related to student loan customer service, outsourcing services for guaranty agencies, tuition payment plans, education planning, enrollment-related services and higher education planning tools.”

I was inquiring why my monthly auto-debit amounts were suddenly less than $100, an amount at which they had been fixed for an entire year. Somehow the deductions from my checking account began to steadily decline on their own from $100 down to $5.93 over the course of about 14 months, and I only just noticed that something was off earlier today.

The natural result of this is that extra interest was being generated on my account that otherwise would not have existed.

Live Chat
CHAT STARTED AT 12:26PM, 04 Apr 2018.

Chad: I had auto-debit set to $100 a month and this was changed by your system, not by me. For the last year, it has been a random amount every month that keeps getting lower and lower. This shouldn’t have happened. (12:26PM)
DYLLIAN: Thank you for contacting Nelnet. My name is Dyllian. May I please have your first and last name as it appears on your account? (12:27PM)
Chad: Chad Johnson (12:27PM)
DYLLIAN: Thank you. To confirm who I’m chatting with, may I please get your account number? You can locate the number on your online account by selecting ‘Loan Details’ from the menu. Your nine-digit account number will be located on the left and will start with an E, D, or J. (12:28PM)
Chad: EXXXXXXXXX (12:29PM)
DYLLIAN: One moment while I review your account.. (12:33PM)
Chad: OK (12:33PM)
DYLLIAN: Thank you. (12:35PM)
DYLLIAN: Thank you for your patience! Because you are in a income based plan auto debit will not pull the full amount if you are paid ahead. You can manually make payment. (12:39PM)
Chad: Okay, this is very inconvenient for me. (12:40PM)
Chad: I have more than a year’s worth of extra interest that I don’t feel should be there. (12:41PM)
Chad: Is there not any way to lock in a set amount every month? (12:41PM)
Chad: I seem to remember that this option was available in the past. (12:41PM)
Chad: Even when I paid ahead. (12:42PM)
DYLLIAN: I understand, It has always been like this. (12:42PM)
Chad: Was I not paid ahead back when $100 payments were being made automatically every month? (12:44PM)
DYLLIAN: We have not took payment of $100.00 since 01/28/2016, because you made the payment it gradually start advancing due date and we withdraw less and less. You can stop auto debit and manually make the $100.00 payment. (12:48PM)
DYLLIAN: Thanks again for contacting Nelnet. I assume you have no further questions and will disconnect in 2 minutes if I do not receive a response. Should I disconnect and you have further questions, please contact us at 1.888.486.4722 or visit our web site at to chat online with an advisor. (12:51PM)
Chad: one moment please (12:51PM)
DYLLIAN: Okay. (12:52PM)
Chad: According to the payment history, my last manual payment was 01/27/2016. (12:54PM)
Chad: Then the account was configured to make $100 withdrawals every month (12:54PM)
Chad: I was paid well in advance by this time, and specifically remember clicking an option on a menu to ensure that a payment was made every month, regardless of how “far ahead” the system considered me to be. (12:56PM)
Chad: Something happened to my account that should not have happened (12:56PM)
Chad: And I am very upset (12:56PM)
Chad: There is extra interest on my account that shouldn’t be there. (12:57PM)
DYLLIAN: My apologizes the last $100.00 payment was 06/28/2016. Our system set up not to take any higher payment if you are on income based plan and you are paid headed. I understand you frustration but this is the way it has always been. (1:00PM)
Chad: But I was already paid ahead by that time. (1:01PM)
Chad: This is what I don’t understand. (1:01PM)
Chad: From my perspective, there was 12 months of automatic payments and then for some reason it changed on 02/28/2017. (1:02PM)
Chad: …and a charge of $99.83 was made instead of the expected $100. (1:03PM)
Chad: Then it steadily declined from there until only a few dollars was being paid every month. (1:03PM)
Chad: For 12 months I was paid well ahead and $100 was being deducted every month. (1:07PM)
DYLLIAN: When you make higher payments it pushes you due date ahead and because you are on a Income Based Plan. Auto debit will not withdraw anything higher amount. Auto debit will withdraw a lesser and less amount. if you don’t want this to happen you can cancel auto debit. (1:07PM)
Chad: If this is true, would you please explain what happened with my payment history? (1:09PM)
Chad: It suggests that what you are saying is not the case. (1:09PM)
DYLLIAN: I don’t understand what you mean explain what happen to your payment history? (1:11PM)
Chad: What I explained earlier: I was paid ahead–I made payments of $432.72 on 12/21/2015 and $596.65 on 01/27/2016. Then I had 12 full months of auto-debit for $100 before it suddenly changed on its own. (1:13PM)
Chad: Please give me concrete information as to how this happened. (1:14PM)
Chad: I do not intend to be troublesome, I’m just trying to point out that it is inconsistent with your previous statements. (1:15PM)
DYLLIAN: How what happened? (1:15PM)
Chad: And I am upset. (1:15PM)
Chad: You asked “How what happened?” I want to know how there was 12 months of auto-debit for $100 after my account was already paid ahead by a considerable amount. (1:16PM)
Chad: Please answer. (1:16PM)
DYLLIAN: When you are on an Income Based Repayment Plan, actively on Auto Debit, and the due date is advanced, auto debit will not withdraw . (1:22PM)
Chad: What advanced the due date? (1:25PM)
Chad: Was I always on an “Income Based Repayment Plan,” or was my account changed automatically? (1:26PM)
DYLLIAN: THis is done at the group level. So some groups may be paid ahead while others are still due that month, but only have a partial amount due. Therefore, AAuto Debit will only draft the minimum due for that month, while the account is in an Income Driven Repayment Plan. (1:26PM)
DYLLIAN: *Auto (1:26PM)
DYLLIAN: Over payments advance the due date. (1:26PM)
Chad: Okay, I understand that over payments advance the due date, but I was already overpaid and $100 was taken from my account for 12 months. (1:27PM)
Chad: According to what you said, that should not have happened. (1:27PM)
Chad: Since I was already paid ahead, why did the auto-debit amount suddenly change on 02/28/2017 to be less than $100? (1:29PM)
Chad: Please answer. (1:29PM)
DYLLIAN: One moment please. I am still reviewing this for you. (1:30PM)
Chad: Thank you. (1:30PM)
DYLLIAN: Your welcome. (1:32PM)
DYLLIAN: The payment still taking out $100.00 is a error, our system is not supposed to do that. We cannot change it to continue to pull the higher amount. (1:37PM)
Chad: Okay, but I specifically remember setting the auto-debit the continue to make withdrawals even when I was “paid ahead”. (1:38PM)
Chad: So at some point in the past your website allowed this. (1:38PM)
Chad: And for a time it was doing what I told it to do. (1:39PM)
Chad: But then it changed suddenly and without notice. (1:39PM)
DYLLIAN: It only allows that if you are on a Standard Plan, is does not allow that when you are on a Income Based Plan, the rule have never changed. (1:40PM)
Chad: Well, there was some sort of error, because it was doing it for me and then stopped suddenly. (1:40PM)
Chad: For how long has my account been an “Income Based Plan?” (1:41PM)
DYLLIAN: I do not have that information. (1:42PM)
Chad: Was it possible that it was changed by accident, or by error? (1:42PM)
Chad: Or intentionally? (1:43PM)
Chad: ..on your end? (1:43PM)
DYLLIAN: We can not change your plan with you apply for a Income Based Plan. (1:43PM)
Chad: Ok, thank you for your time. (1:44PM)
DYLLIAN: Is there anything else I can assist you with today? (1:44PM)
Chad: No, that will be it. (1:45PM)
DYLLIAN: Thank you for contacting Nelnet. We’re here for you when you need us. If you have any questions, please call us at 888.486.4722, visit Please email to let us know if our chat associate went the extra mile to make you smile (1:45PM)

Dyllian has ended the chat
Live Chat by eGain

Also from Wikipedia: “Nelnet holds over $25 billion in student loans as of 2007, roughly one-third of all federally subsidized student loans currently held by students in the United States.”

I wonder how many other former students out there they suckered with this unnamed and apparently inconsequential error (that was somehow still my fault), and how many hundreds of thousands—or possibly millions—of dollars it ended up adding to the company’s bottom line?

Mental Unhealth

A couple of news stories caught my eye today.

The first was of a man who was riding his horse on the side of a Los Angeles freeway icon-external-link-12x12 . He was subsequently charged with a DUI after being detained by police—apparently there is no such thing as an RUI. This makes me wonder if he’s going to lose his license to drive his car? And was his horse impounded?

Police officer performing a DUI test on man. The man's horse is in the background. [Formatted]

The second was about a mother speaking out about the hazards of drugs icon-external-link-12x12 . A news story like this may seem unremarkable in 2018, but earlier this month the woman’s 20 year old daughter gouged out her own eyes while standing in front of a church. It’s rather difficult for me to wrap my head around something like this; I have a hard enough time when I cut myself shaving. Don’t do drugs, kids.

The good news is that there weren’t any school shootings today! Although it is Sunday, and most gunmen are detail-oriented enough to not shoot up a school on the weekend.

“Uncandid” Plus 999 Others

It bothers me whenever I’m in the checkout line at a grocery store and notice an entertainer I enjoy and respect vying to grace the cover of a shitty magazine.