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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:45 PM

If you really think the environment is less important than the economy ...

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Reply If you really think the environment is less important than the economy ... (Original post)
Scuba Jan 2013 OP
frazzled Jan 2013 #1
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #4
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #6
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #8
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #11
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #12
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #13
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #25
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #29
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #30
frazzled Jan 2013 #7
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #9
frazzled Jan 2013 #21
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #14
dreamnightwind Jan 2013 #17
el_bryanto Jan 2013 #22
dreamnightwind Jan 2013 #31
ronnie624 Jan 2013 #23
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #34
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #2
Scuba Jan 2013 #3
tama Jan 2013 #20
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #5
tex-wyo-dem Jan 2013 #15
Chathamization Jan 2013 #18
Romulox Jan 2013 #10
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #16
JVS Jan 2013 #19
AverageJoe90 Jan 2013 #24
dreamnightwind Jan 2013 #32
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #35
pampango Jan 2013 #26
Scuba Jan 2013 #27
chervilant Jan 2013 #28
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #33

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:54 PM

1. It's not necessary to pit one against the other

That's a kind of false argument. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:59 PM

4. What is wealth? How do you build it? What does it come from?

 

Isn't wealth created from extracting resources from the environment while consuming energy to do so (a process that creates waste as a by-product)? And further wealth is created by consuming further energy to rearrange such resources into things useful for humans? And ultimately, doesn't wealth in its most abstract for merely represent the ability to consume energy and obtain resources of the earth?

How can we all take more and more from the earth, burn more and more energy doing it, and create more and more waste in the process, while also healing the earth at the same time? Are these two goals compatible? Are they compatible in the manner that we can grow the economy 5% each year while reducing emissions 6% each year *immediately*.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:31 AM

6. We can not continue looting the natural resources to sustain human life.

I doubt that man can stop the slide into extinction. Nature has a way of taking care of these things. The real question is, will we have time to create the robots that will take over for us?

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:33 AM

8. We don't have to create anything

 

The natural systems have a knack at creating multitudes of different species. Its humanocentric to think we have to create something to be here in our name when we are gone.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:40 AM

11. I agree that it is humanocentric to "think we have to create something to be here in our name when

we are gone." But then IMO humans are basically humanocentric. I hope you dont think I condone that action. I was just commenting that there will be a race to see whether we perfect robots before the earth becomes uninhabitable for humans.

It's my opinion that nature will win and humans arent smart enough not to fight it.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:43 AM

12. We got close

 

The next 50 years are going to make it difficult to have the necessary free resources to push the envelope into singularity.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:52 AM

13. We may not have as much time as some hope.

The climate condition is currently getting worse geometrically approaching asymptotic. But I believe there may be a stage we reach where a step function occurs. For example, we reach a condition where the oceans die quickly. Our robots are no where near the stage needed to take over.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:16 AM

25. Nah, we won't be going 'extinct', that's for sure....or at least not due to climate change alone.

As for Robots taking over anytime soon, while I'm sure some would love to see that, the truth is, like human extinction via climate change only, it ain't happening.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:11 PM

29. I would be interested in how humans are going to reverse climate change.

Also, re. robots, I believe we will improve them until they make us obsolete. If you have an alternate vision, I would like to hear it.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:05 PM

30. Well, TBH......

There are, unfortunately, a few things which may not be reversible, whether entirely or in part, by us humans, mainly Arctic ice melt and species extinctions......However, though, there has been much research devoted to mitigation and it turns out, there are many solutions that would each provide some positive benefit if applied. I may refer to the Pacala & Sokolow paper from 2004, for example, which lists just a few things that could be done.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/solving-global-warming-not-easy-but-not-too-hard.html

It's a good piece of research, although, unfortunately, some of our resident cranks have decided to devote pretty much whatever time they have allotted to this subject to throwing up mud of all sorts whenever a real viable solution, like those presented in the link, is presented(and, TBH, debunking the B.S. gets to be a real pain in the ass after a while).




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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:31 AM

7. Sorry that you didn't understand my post

I don't need preaching to. And the "economy" is not coterminous with "wealth." Not at all.

My simple point was: it is not necessary to choose between trying to achieve a stable economy, in which people can seek life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and attempting solutions for the preservation of our natural resources, by which people can seek life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If you can't focus your attention on both of these things as significant issues, then you are either a brute capitalist or a lone mountaineer.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:35 AM

9. The economy is the system in which wealth is created

 

This system dictates how energy is consumed and resources are extracted.

What else do you suppose the economy is?

Yes, it gives us products and jobs, but only after the exploitation and consumption first occurs, which that depends upon.

As long as we keep our existing conceptions of the system in which resources and energy are transfered, we can't do both at once.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:53 AM

21. But you're not saying we should not pay attention to the economy,

which is what the OP suggests. You're saying we should change it. Fine. I don't disagree. But the OP's premise is that the economy is not important (or at least, it's not as important as the environment). Of course it's important, whether you support the current system or oppose it. And it needs to be paid attention, in one way or another, at the same time as we pay attention to the environment. There will be an economy, of some sort (capitalist, socialist, market, fixed, barter), no matter what you think of it, and it is not an insignificant factor in our social existence.

That was my point, with which I can see you generally agree: we need to pay attention to both the environment and the economy. It's stupid to say one is not "as important."

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:24 AM

14. Oh really.

Then why haven't "we" managed to do so?

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:43 AM

17. Here's the link

for those that haven't seen it (I don't think I've seen it in this thread):

http://guymcpherson.com/2012/12/kill-the-economy/

And though I'm stopping just short of advocating that solution, I do think our current economic system is incompatible with humanity (or much of anything else) surviving. Human population and activity needs to radically scale down, but has no way to do so without economic collapse.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:56 AM

22. We should start rounding up the unproductive people and getting rid of them

We can start with trailer parks and ghettos. Poor blacks and whites and latinos already have shit lifes; it won't really matter if we take those lives away from them.

Right?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 06:41 PM

31. Hell, start with me

Nobody's less productive than me these days.

Not sure where you're coming from, though. Sometimes I miss the obvious, so forgive if that's the case.

Seems to me, though, that the poor generally have small carbon footprints, it would be more efficient to start at the top.

I'm mostly concerned about 2 different paths. One is inaction, resulting in catastrophic failure. That's the likely outcome. The other is the kind of solution that some of the elites are likely to come up with, which might be where you were coming from. I worry about them releasing a devastating virus that only the elites will get the shots to prevent. I don't know how likely this is, it's a rabbit-hole too scary to look into, at least for me.

What needs to happen is for capitalism to be either destroyed (per the kill the economy web site by the guy who is featured in the OP) or reworked so it can function well while rapidly contracting. Much of human activity, especially in the so-called first world, and manufacturing processes in the less developed world, has to either end or be transformed to produce a tiny fraction of its current environmental impact.

Depopulation by lowering the birth rate would work, although it would have to be a vast change and even then the environmental benefits of that change might not arrive before a climate tipping point is crossed. Seems like a good idea to me, though, there are way too many humans on this planet. This would also end up collapsing our economic system, I think, I doubt it could gracefully scale down that rapidly.

Current systems are built on the assumption of growth, not contraction. So that's a problem that needs a lot of attention, retooling our economy to survive and provide for its citizens while rapidly scaling the system down. I'm pretty sure nobody that matters is even working towards this, unfortunately.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:09 AM

23. A capitalist economy, by its very nature, is at odds with preserving our biosphere.

Capitalists depend on rampant consumption, to accumulate their 'wealth'.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:24 AM

34. +1

 

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:55 PM

2. Yeah, but if we don't kick up more carbon to create a techno-utopia

 

How are we ever going to figure out how to make something to fix all the carbon we kicked up?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:59 PM

3. Yeah, it's a regular jobs program. That's it.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:02 AM

20. It's a no brainer

 

Plant's etc. do that just fine. When you need to cook and heat, you burn some wood. Then you put the biochar in the soil to create terra preta, and use ash instead of lime (for various purposes), so you don't have to use extra energy to mine lime.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:17 AM

5. I think both are important

 

I don't think we have to make a choice. If something has to give -- and I believe it does -- I will sacrifice the wealthy before abandoning either.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:43 AM

15. The problem is that our basic economic...

Model is unsustainable. In order for our economy to be considered "healthy" it must be undergoing constant +3% growth per year. The model assumes limitless growth potential with no hard ceiling. In order to grow, resources have to be extracted and consumed, which releases carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the Earth system. Also, by philosophical extension, resources are assumed to be limitless, which is fallacy.

I look at the situation like this: the Earth is like a sponge. It can absorb so much water and unless the rate of evaporation is equal to or greater than the amount of water being absorbed, the sponge will sooner or later become saturated and their is no more balance. The water is analogous to carbon we are pouring into the Earth system.

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Response to tex-wyo-dem (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 04:17 AM

18. Resource consumption only goes so far

There are enough people that wouldn't want to buy 5 houses to live in just because they can afford it or 30 cars. Vulgar materialism of the rich loses it's appeal when anyone can do it and it becomes just more hassle without the accompanying social status. People can only eat so much and drive so far. There are certainly new things that can be invented that people will feel they will need, but it's possible that more and more of those will be digital, and/or they will come more and more slowly.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:39 AM

10. Poor people never get to see those vistas. They are reserved for the rich. nt

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:14 AM

16. I could pretty easily hold my breath while counting what little money I have



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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 04:20 AM

19. A bad economy is like a house fire. Its significance is directly proportional to it's proximity.

If Dr. McPherson is well situated economically, he can afford to make such quips.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:12 AM

24. Guy McPherson actually gets something right for once. n/t

(P.S. lovely picture, thanks for posting....where is that, btw? Austria, China, Cascadia, where? )

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #24)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:21 AM

32. Looks like Yosemite to me

not sure though.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:30 AM

35. Yes, Yosemite. Ansel Adams took the same famous shot years ago, Pirkle Jones printed it

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:03 PM

26. I'm all for perserving the environment, as long as that does not affect my job.

Those other guys, well they should bite the bullet and sacrifice for the sake of the environment.

Lots of versions of that around.

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Response to pampango (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:05 PM

27. NIMBY

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:47 PM

28. Try eating your money

when global climate change reduces crop yields to nothing (photosynthesis stops at 104 F) and renders access to potable water dicey (or exorbitantly expensive).

I find it fascinating that we are so committed to our economic behavior that we continue to debate this false dichotomy rather than discussing how to survive our puerile hedonism.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:24 AM

33. The economy is not about counting money. It is about procuring one's next meal.

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