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Our planet is being destroyed, does anybody care?

 
 
CarbonSystem
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 01:39 pm
It's okay everyone;
living with compassion and foresight is nothing to be ashamed of, even if glen beck or bill o'reilly or anyone else tries to make you feel foolish.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 01:41 pm
@CarbonSystem,
CarbonSystem wrote:

Zetherin wrote:

rosbourne979 wrote:
A focus on cleaning up the planet will come naturally once people are freed from the immediate concerns of short term survival.

Yes, let us tell the starving children of the world to free their concerns of short-term survival. That'll clean up this planet in no time.


- For once, I think Ros and I can agree on something here.

You have obviously missed the point.

Yes, I agree Smile He missed the point completely.
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 01:46 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
All liberals think like that. When are they going to solve the humanitarian needs and stop heinous crimes being committed? Never is the answer otherwise they would all be out of a job.

You don't read the Guardian by any chance do you?

Not often, I get it on Saturdays for the Guide. I prefer the Times and Independent though I'm not a patron of any particular paper. Nor would I define myself as a liberal. Nor do I think journos wish to chase heroism rather than earn money.

You seem to have jumped to a number of rather bewildering conclusions based on a single post. My sole point was that you were wrong to paint journalism (TV at that - not the papers) on lightweight news alone. Do you really have to leap to the cliched old ad homs of "liberal" and "I bet you're this sort of person" just because you're challenged on some issue? I think that's pretty weak of you.

Those journalists who reported on Haiti undoubtably contributed to a humanitarian effort, just as those who reported on Watergate undoubtably uncovered a crime. Obviously not all journos ever get to report on something of such import, but they don't just spend their time on lightweight guff like the Lindsey Lohan trial (which TBH I found a decent story, as it's nice to see a celeb treated without the usual kid gloves).
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 03:27 pm
@Dave Allen,
I was really pointing to the amount of time it was given on a UK News channel. Women discussing with women a woman being judged by a woman and represented by a woman (I think) on some trivial point 5,000 miles away in a foreign country. And nothing happening. 25 unbroken minutes at peak news time. 4 dead soldiers being brought home got a minute. Maybe less.

It seemed significant to me. Bernard Shaw's jest came to mind. The content being lightweight was the point. It was what gave the event its significance. Kay was wearing black stockings in case you didn't notice and the other lady in the studio was posed somewhat provocatively I thought.

I think there are plenty of journos who are in search of heroism or the hem of it. Most of the best ones could earn just as much elsewhere.

I tend to think celebs should be treated with kid gloves. Not for serious things but Lindsay hadn't done anything like that. I don't really know what she had done actually. What had she done?
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 03:36 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
What had she done?
Driving under the influence (of alcohol and cocaine) and violating the terms of her probation.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:02 pm
@Dave Allen,
Hello
Dave Allen wrote:

Chumly wrote:
Overpopulation, pollution, war, species-extinction, deforestation, ozone layer decimation, global waring, limited planetary resources of clean air, clean water, clean land, much more.

Not to want to get at you too much chap, because I would generally see us as being on the same side here - but I think you are missing the game that is being played with you.

All these things will probably have a dramatic impact on human life if they occur to the extremes shown in some of the more pessimistic models espoused by scientists and pundits in that particular field, or if they occur in combination to lesser extents.

However, even if they occur together to their most extreme degree it is highly likely that some humans will find some ways of coping.

So when you say "we will destroy ourselves" and are asked for evidence of such, giving a list of unpleasant things that we might well have deal with is not actual evidence. If the seas rise masses will have to migrate, if resources dwindle there will probably be resource wars, if the population increases beyond sustainability it will have to drop to a level where it can be sustained, if the ozone layer vanishes people spending time in daylight will probably develop cataracts and cancers more often.

All this and more will plague our descendants if we are damaging our environment like the environmentalist gestalt say we are (except maybe the ozone thing - because actually we have mitigated our impact here after following the advice of environmentalists and reducing our use of CFCs - the hole is currently shrinking rather than growing). I would be a dark future I think - but humans would cope. Robbed of much of what I currently find life worth living for - but there would be survivors.
Nope modern humans will not so-called "cope". Most assuredly modern humans will die off. Witness fossil records versus extinction rates, as such there is no evidence that modern humans are any more immune than were now extinct creatures.

Further there is no evidence to argue that the intelligence of a species is a function of it's ability to survive long-term.

Now as I mentioned, it's also unlikely mankind will stay the same going forward, in fact future-mankind will likely be unrecognizable by comparison due to the integration of technology (let alone the forces of evolution and mankind's self-destructive nature as discussed).
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:22 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:
Nope modern humans will not so-called "cope". Most assuredly modern humans will die off.

Hello to you too.

So will we destroy ourselves or not? Because "most" implies the possibility that "some" aren't doomed to the fate of the many.

To remind you of what you said - you claimed we would destroy ourselves as a consequence of our lack of care for the environment. I essentially agree that our disregard of our situation within our environment is likely to cause much suffering, but I think some people will cope. Not all - that would be a strawman characterisation of my position - but some.

The niche that we have evolved to live in will still be available to some humans even after the worst models of climate change and waste mismanagement are run. South Sea Islanders have had it tougher, or bushmen on one extreme, and eskimos on the other end of things, than those living in a world without the resources we currently exploit.

Seeing as their trials didn't result in them becoming inhuman, why should those of people living on a warmer and more polluted earth? It's our civilisation that we risk losing, and our comforts and our proliferation - however, none of these thins are required for us to exist.

Eventually something will arise that leads to a post-human world, even if it is a lifeless one. The sun will eventually burn out after all. But human action is not likely to precipitate such things as directly as you suggest. The species has coped with worse.

Quote:
Witness fossil records versus extinction rates of which there is no evidence whatsoever that modern humans are any more immune than the now extinct creatures that came before.

Sure there is - our paramount ability with tools has already seen many human populations cope with adversities that would have killed off many other organisms and thrive in ecological niches that would be inimicable to human life without them.

Also, we are not yet extinct, and they are.

Our ability to take our habitat with us due to tools mitigates a lot of the dangers animals facing extinction have had to deal with (or die trying to).

Does this mean I think we could weather the sort of planet killing asteroid that is thought to have destroyed the dinosaurs?

No - but even the most gloomy prognoses of man made environmental catastrophe fall short of such events.

Does that mean I'm lassez faire regarding damage to the environment?

No - but let's be accurate about what's likely to happen. Death and suffering? I think so. 100% wholesale destruction? I think not.

So to preach wholesale destuction is scaremongering, and counter productive - because people will call you on the fact that the scenario you're running is worse than those proposed by the most pessimistic experts in the actual relevent fields.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:30 pm
@Dave Allen,
Quote:
Driving under the influence (of alcohol and cocaine) and violating the terms of her probation.


You forgot 5000 miles away and in a foreign country. Does that justify 25 uninterrupted minutes on the top news channel just when people are arriving home from work.

We were even shown the pictures of the pictures being turned off.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:39 pm
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:

Chumly wrote:
Nope modern humans will not so-called "cope". Most assuredly modern humans will die off.

So will we destroy ourselves or not? Because "most" implies the possibility that "some" aren't doomed to the fate of the many.

To remind you of what you said - you claimed we would destroy ourselves as a consequence of our care for the environment. I essentially agree that our disregard of our situation within our environment is likely to cause much suffering, but I think some people will cope - not all - that would be a strawman characterisation of my position - but some.

The niche that we have evolved to live in will still be available to some humans. South Sea Islanders have had it tougher, or bushmen on one extreme, and eskimos on the other end of things, than those living in a world without the resources we currently exploit.

Seeing as their trials didn't result in them becoming inhuman, why should those of people living on a warmer and more polluted earth?

Eventually something will arise that leads to a post-human world, even if it is a lifeless one, but human action is not likely to precipitate such things as directly as you suggest. The species has coped with worse.

Quote:
Witness fossil records versus extinction rates of which there is no evidence whatsoever that modern humans are any more immune than the now extinct creatures that came before.

Sure there is - our paramount ability with tools has already seen many human populations cope with adversities that would have killed off many other organisms and thrive in ecological niches that would be inimicable to human life without them.

Also, we are not yet extinct, and they are.

Does this mean I think we could weather the sort of planet killing asteroid that is thought to have destroyed the dinosaurs?

No - but even the most gloomy prognoses of man made environmental catastrophe fall short of such events.

Does that mean I'm lassez faire regarding damage to the environment?

No - but let's be accurate about what's likely to happen. Death and suffering? I think so. Wholesale destruction? I think not.
We will either destroy ourselves (as mankind is now) or naturally evolve into something else, or change into something else by a combination of our own hand, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybernetics and genetic engineering.

It is also reasonably probable that combinations and multiple branches of the three above scenarios will take place. It is also reasonably probable that mankind (as it is presently) will continue to consume the resources of the earth without consequential regard to the future.

To argue that mankind will muddle on basically unchanged into the future is a virtually impossible argument to make. As such a number of your preconceptions and constructions may well be of little importance in the future.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:47 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:
You forgot 5000 miles away and in a foreign country. Does that justify 25 uninterrupted minutes on the top news channel just when people are arriving home from work.

I've no idea what other stories Sky News felt required reporting on or were available to them on that day. To be honest I only knew about the story via an American internet news source, and hadn't paid it much attention until you brought it up.

Aside from things like morris dancing or taking creationists seriously - we do share a common cultural appreciation with the US. Many of it's celebrities are public figures here too, and a Hollywood star means a lot to those who care about celebrity lives. As we share a similar conception of justice to the US in comparison to most other nations the conviction of a celebrity for an offence serves much the same purpose in the UK as the US.

* It highlights the offence - don't drink and drive or take cocaine or break parole.
* Think that big shots get away with what little people don't? Look, it happens to Hollywood stars too.
* It's some celebrity gossip for all the Heat readers.

The story might lack the gravitas of seing how many coffins arrived from the Middle East that day - but let's face it, we all know there's is a war on don't we? So the News in it's capacity to inform isn't served by making Afghan death tolls the daily headline (nor do I think it would be compassionate to the families of servicemen to make it an unrelenting 24 hour roll). The News in its capacity to act as reminder of our shared ethical and cultural norms is well served by the story - it's a moral tale of getting your comeuppance for breaking the law, and people unfortunately prick their ears up more at celebrities receiving a sentence than one of the great unwashed.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:51 pm
@Dave Allen,
Your "unfortunately" undermines the rest of your post Dave.

I'm talking about 25 unbroken bloody minutes. I was getting embarrassed after 5 minutes.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 04:58 pm
Spendius without doubt should be the future evolutionary template by which all forces would best ascribe.











not
0 Replies
 
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:02 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:

We will either destroy ourselves (as mankind is now) or naturally evolve into something else, or change into something else by a combination of our own hand, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybernetics and genetic engineering.

It is also reasonably probable that combinations and multiple branches of the three above scenarios will take place. It is also reasonably probable that mankind (as it is presently) will continue to consume the resources of the earth without consequential regard to the future.

To argue that mankind will muddle on basically unchanged into the future is a virtually impossible argument to make. As such a number of your preconceptions and constructions may well little importance in the future.

I don't think it's impossible to make such an argument, and I think your own scenarios have little place outside of science fiction. I think I have outlined why it would require catastrophic change of the sort that environmental damage is unlikely to bring about to cause a post-human world - because humans have existed for lengthy periods in very hostile environments without becoming in any way less human.

To destroy ourselves would require unleashing destructive forces we simply don't have at our disposal. Sure the world could enter into a new nuclear arms race and attempt warhead annihilation - but is that likely? The environmental catastrophe scenarios (bad as they are) fall short of such upheaval.

But you're saying this sort of thing "will" happen. Well, why?

In order to naturally evolve into something else according to a process of natural selection we will have to be faced with a niche we cannot exploit as easily as a likely set of mutations that result in something post-human. But is this likely? We've conquered every terrestrial environment on earth without speciation, so is it somethign we really should expect to see because of the changes we make to the environment?

But you're saying this sort of thing "will" happen. Well, why?

As for self improvement along genetic engineering lines, I doubt it because as a species we've been so fundamentally opposed to eugenics that I think there will always be some who prefer to "keep it natural". There will be some who run at any such thing, but will it be enough to stop us being human (cybernetics, of course, need not stop people being human at all, unless you think a man with a prosthetic arm is inhman).

I think it would take a worldwide calamity on the scale of a large meteor to give humanity the sort of hard times required to usher in a post-human world.
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:08 pm
@Dave Allen,
You clearly have a very weak ability to note present and future implications, let alone a solid basis in the hard sciences.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:11 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Your "unfortunately" undermines the rest of your post Dave.

No it doesn't - it might do if it were aimed at the news channel, but it's aimed at human nature. The news channel has to pander to human nature or humans will tend to watch other news channels. Therefore the news channel were quite right to prioritise the story they thought would be best for the ratings unless a better story was ignored in its favour.

You were embarrassed (though apparently kept on watching) but you aren't their audience.

Given that human nature is a fact of life despite it's unfortunate facets, how am I undermining my point if I choose to bemoan human nature? It was my moan that was futile - not the rest of the post. Neither you nor I are that interested in Lindsay Lohan, but so what? That's not what they care about and it isn't what they (to return to the original point) justify their careers by. In fact both you and I admitted to a certain appreciation of the fact that we were elucidated to justice being served on a pampered elite.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:20 pm
@Dave Allen,
These people are trying to create a new human nature.

I don't give a damn about justice for pampered elites for offences resulting in probation. The jails are full of people who wouldn't be there if they were aristocrats. Tens of thousands.

It was Ladymedia on full bore. I'm not surrendering. It is bad for Mrs Average so a few can Lady it over them. Schopenauer explains it.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:21 pm
@Chumly,
Chumly wrote:

You clearly have a very weak ability to note present and future implications, let alone a solid basis in the hard sciences.

But absolutely nothing you have presented is hard science, and some of it is outright science fiction. You are talking about something you say "will" happen - but when pressed for details say "it might be this, or perhaps this, or perhaps this, or maybe a combination".

The implications of our present situation is that there are billions of humans on the planet, and they spend a fair bit of time producing more humans. Whilst this isn't sustainable as far as I see, it certainly doesn't set a precedent for humans to vanish. We're pretty successful as far as large complex organisms go. For us to vanish or be usurped there has to be a fundamental alteration to the ecological niches we currently exploit (most of the ones on dry land) and the scenarios you provide either will not do that or are unlikely to occur.

I think we would cope a lot better, and minimise a lot of pain, if we learned to live more harmoniously with the environment. But if the seas rise and go acidic and hundreds more species perish and deserts spread there will still be pockets of human life. Wouldn't want it myself really, but I think it'll be there.
Dave Allen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jul, 2010 05:31 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

These people are trying to create a new human nature.

I don't give a damn about justice for pampered elites for offences resulting in probation. The jails are full of people who wouldn't be there if they were aristocrats. Tens of thousands.

It was Ladymedia on full bore. I'm not surrendering. It is bad for Mrs Average so a few can Lady it over them. Schopenauer explains it.

I'm sure he does - but whilst he explained it he didn't dare to suggest there was any point trying to defy or deny it. The reason I rate Schopenhauer is precisely because he faces up to uncomfortable truths about human nature, but he isn't of the opinion he can change anything. Other than undermine Hegel, which hasn't really worked for the guy. Little girls are interested in the sort of things little girls are interested in - and why shouldn't they be? (If there's one thing I don't agree with Schopenhauer on it's his misogyny).

I think you miss my point about pampered elites. Yes the jails are full of people who wouldn't be there if they were aristos - so an aristo getting shoved in the clink is a form of redress. I suppose it depends on the proportion of people who had one of the following reactions to the story:

- Poor girl!
- So what?
- Good stuff!

I don't think the media is organised enough to attempt to form a new sort of human nature. If it is involved in a progress of any sort it is in becoming better at attracting existing forms of human nature.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 12:28 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:

Chumly wrote:

You clearly have a very weak ability to note present and future implications, let alone a solid basis in the hard sciences.

But absolutely nothing you have presented is hard science, and some of it is outright science fiction. You are talking about something you say "will" happen - but when pressed for details say "it might be this, or perhaps this, or perhaps this, or maybe a combination".

The implications of our present situation is that there are billions of humans on the planet, and they spend a fair bit of time producing more humans. Whilst this isn't sustainable as far as I see, it certainly doesn't set a precedent for humans to vanish. We're pretty successful as far as large complex organisms go. For us to vanish or be usurped there has to be a fundamental alteration to the ecological niches we currently exploit (most of the ones on dry land) and the scenarios you provide either will not do that or are unlikely to occur.

I think we would cope a lot better, and minimise a lot of pain, if we learned to live more harmoniously with the environment. But if the seas rise and go acidic and hundreds more species perish and deserts spread there will still be pockets of human life. Wouldn't want it myself really, but I think it'll be there.


You seem to have a fair grasp of the scenario that appears likely to play out. Yet, I feel you may have missed something here.
The possibility of isolated groups of humans surviving seems plausible on first inspection, but, in reality is very unlikely to occur.

All of the scientific evidence, to this point, makes a clear case for this scenario: Our entire universe ( all known and unknown things) is relative, from the tiniest microbe on our planet to the pinnacle of evolutionary development, all things are interdependent.
It is possible to remove the element at the pinnacle of that evolution without too great an effect on the whole, the whole will produce another pinnacle, different yet fully functional.
The real problem , though, is that the pinnacle is destroying the base. Basic systems are being affected that we know little about, and likely some we know nothing about. We are even affecting the microbes in the soil.

Great faith has been placed in the adaptability of the human species ( for good enough reason) and the standard for a least the last century has been that technology will develop to solve the problems it creates.
The great fallacy of this belief lies in the inevitability that technology must be prepared to take over every function performed by an ecosystem so complex that we have only just begun to understand it's existence, let alone how it all works. Every repair technology makes, requires another multiple of repairs to mend broken connections, exponentially.

The greater likely hood is that at some point the ecosystem will begin to collapse ( may have begun to collapse) and the rate of this collapse will increase exponentially beyond the capacity of evolution or the great adaptability of man to keep up. This collapse will continue to the level where life becomes sustainable and evolution will then move forward again.
The likely hood of higher forms of life surviving this collapse is nil, due to the complexities of interdependence. Those pockets of humanity will probably occur as a part of the process but don't count on them lasting for too long. The survivors will be far less complex than we.

This may seem an absurd fiction to many, but the possibility may be greater than we know. This description is in the extreme, we have survived certain isolated collapses of ecosystems before, a case in point might be the dust bowl. But the fact remains, we know very little about the severity of our impact on these basic systems at this time. Who can state with any degree of certainty the minority or majority of our disruption.


William
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jul, 2010 03:18 am
Caroline wrote:

I heard the other day that one country produces 152 million tons of raw sewage a year. The sea is our dumping ground. It's only a matter of time before it bites us on the bum, what I dont get is that nobody seems to give a hoot.
P.S. How come I've got a green thumbs up on all my posts.


kennethamy wrote:
First of all, the ocean is not the same as the planet.


(?) Damn, what a statement! A land lubber, ay?

Fido wrote:
What are you worried about...Only the outside of our planet is being destroyed and even if that happens completely, we can still live in the past with the dead people...


Caroline wrote:

We can still live in the past with dead people? What does that mean?


Hello Caroline, this was your last post on this topic and it seems either Fido doesn’t know the answer to his own statement. By the way it’s nice speaking with you again. If I might weigh in here to offer a little.

First, as you spoke of the Earth, she is our Mother and as it should be with all Mothers, she nourishes us. There is no doubt that can ever be expressed that can refute that. So coming from you, I can understand your worry.

Caroline we can’t destroy her, we just don’t know her yet as to all the things she does to keep her balance. Ha, like you balancing your check book. In that our understanding is so very limited of all she does and can provide for us all become out of balance and it that imbalance we can lose all sense of her except the pain. It will be reflective in the pain we caused her and all will continue to suffer from a loneliness without her as all begin to starve from her paying no attention to us, “man kind” who seems to think he owns her. Such a grievous thought to think that in the first place. Tsk, tsk.

She is in perfect shape and will maintain a balance and from our perspective we can’t see that; only feel the sorrow of our imbalance in that we don’t understand how so very important balance is. That’s the inequity and the inequity WE, man has brought about, a consequence of him in his limited capacity to think he knows her. Ha! When it comes to women that (?) still baffles those so mighty men who seem to think they know her, LOL!

They can't understand her tears, her tantrums and her whirling dervishes that maintain her balance and the deeps of her seas that separate us as ken so unknowingly said in affect, the depth of those oceans don’t matter. God, what a naive statement of for any one to make.

As far as Fido's statement. Yes we will continue to be the ghost of our past as long any one frequents that domain that does not exist anymore and will continue to suffer from that circular erroneous reasoning man has always suffered from. Zombies everywhere with no sense to reason with anymore. Let you all hope you will come to know your senses some day as to what a great Mother she truly is. Then life will truly begin. Ahhh, what a great word that will be then.

By they way sweetheart, it’s been a while; how’s the engagement going? Well, I hope!? If you ever do come to America, please look me up, you and he, and let me prepare a meal for you. I’m pretty good in the kitchen. Ha!

William
0 Replies
 
 

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