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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:25 AM
Original message
Worrying about sustainablility is the selfish pastime of rich spoilt brats
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 11:26 AM by nam78_two
wtf???!!!!

:wtf:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/8/3/85054/55611

(the wtf is for the Le Monde article not the Kos diary)
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. Philosophy and dialectic
This is a political, not a scientific article. The problem is not debating "sustainability" but that the word is abused just as globalization has been. In other words, the global notion and the limiting notion are controlled and defined by rich nations to "sustain" the second place and in fact decreasing status of other nations. It IS about selfishness.

I submit it is easier to debate this article in terms of globalization. We have come to see, i think, that globalization is a progressive reality hijacked in the nick of time by narrow imperialists who seek to abort the progress of humanity to old advantages. The sustainability doctrine, preached by the same people, many well intentioned perhaps, rankles as a tenet of sacrifice which imposes not only disproportionate sacrifice but increased advantage to the biggest violators.

This is a degree above the simple visceral resentment people have when attempting by their own efforts and fair participation to achieve what others have- after suffering much at their hands of stifling economic injustice. They haven't had the luxury of achieving the glutted stage when dieting becomes a desire. ironically it is the breeding of the vices of capitalism that also joins in at this point, making it a big majority opinion. But for this segment of European thinkers it is a matter of global justice- and hypocrisy.

Now enter perhaps the equally sanguine scientist who says bravo. Now can we get to the issue of how we are going to all live fairly without killing ourselves, because the environment is nor respecter of feelings or resentment or compromises? Political points and the favored dictums of the powerful are more condemnable for not addressing what they claim to address by half measures fully dumped on the other half of the world. There is nothing wrong with sustainability or globalization or anything else except as it comes from the mouths of manipulative hypocrites.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The hypocrisy charge is one that
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 12:17 PM by nam78_two
to me, seems an expedient one to crush down any argument which you fundamentally dislike-but there are few cogent arguments against the idea itself :shrug: (not coming from you but from them)?

I do agree with the kos diarist here:
But most of all, the argument is dishonest because saying that there are not enough resources on the planet to sustain a Western lifestyle for 6 billion humans or more does not mean that you actually want to deny any progress to the have nots (in fact, it says more about the sacrifices expected of the current haves). Saying there isn't enough for all and that we must learn to share better does not mean favoring poverty, it simply means that our current model will NOT solve poverty either, because it cannot. Chinese growth may be reduce poverty in China (an assertion that would need more substantiation, as studies appear to show that most gains on that front came in the 70s, from agrarian reform, and not in more recent years, which have mostly seen the enrichment of the coastal urban minority), but it is only making our global resource problem worse because of the way it is happening.


So the author reaction is one of typical denial: shoot the messenger and the bad news will go away - or even better, blame the messenger itself for the bad news ('the degrowers love it that billions in the poor world are poor and want to keep them that way')


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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Once upon a time
I tried to frame "good globalization" and "bad globalization" similar to what Clinton later took up- a step forward under a successful reaction by anti-globalists. I agree about the article being mainly of tone and emotional reaction rather than the reality of declining resources. When you want to get mad remember there may be something more to the point and more effective to do. Joining certain things together to dispose of both is dangerous sometimes.

More to the point is getting some real organ of global consensus that would call upon more proportionate sacrifices and help from richer nations, or, the world will sink by its own past vices no matter who currently employs them. Writers like this I would be tempted to think, would consider humble sacrifice and leadership on the part of rich first world nations to be guilt and never enough and move perhaps from their to more suspicion or unseemly gloating over their submissive fall from power. All emotional baggage of the evils the criticism stems from- none of which has anything to do with the global crisis. The baggage has to go and so does the nation state competition, and capitalistic interplay, where dog eat dog until the last dog gets to its own tail innocently reposes with can do optimism and supposed world order.

As an article and in a French liberal perspective it seems not too extraordinary, unfortunately as anachronistic as it believes some of its competition is.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. very good points
When you want to get mad remember there may be something more to the point and more effective to do. Joining certain things together to dispose of both is dangerous sometimes.
ining certain things together to dispose of both is dangerous sometimes.


:toast:


I do believe that ultimately balance and reason are the key to finding solutions and getting rid of mindless finger-pointing would help a lot...
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. "sustanability" has degenerated into a feel-good buzzword
It has become nothing but a buzzword to get knee-jerk suport from naive suburbanite luddite radicals.

This part of the article pretty mush sums up what I think:

"Degrowers" claim to be humanists, but they do not believe in man. Their pessimism makes them say that mankind will not be inventive enough to find substitute energies to oil nor reasonable enough to avoid environmental disaster. But they leave to their own devices the billion human beings who live with less than a dollar a day
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. where is the balance then?
Is the idea of "sustainability" not even one to be discussed?

Speaking of radicals people like John Stossel and Michael Fumento have been using arguments about the "infinite resources of our planet" etc. for decades now. They also make vague claims about how "man will find a solution" without bothering with the specifics and while viciously attacking those that seek a solution.

It is unarguable that there exists a strain of thinking that discounts
the lives of the billions living on less than a dollar a day. But, to condense the entire philosophy of sustainable living to that?
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Sustainability itself
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 10:57 AM by PATRICK
might be the wrong word inspired by the wrong reasons. With moderate change and "innovation" the goal is to stabilize and continue the entire current socio-economic system.

A quick look at a sub-issue raises the same disquiet about one small "sensible" solution. Recycling is not 100% by any stretch and garbage dumps grow, the population grows. It stretches out the inevitable, perhaps, and we become dependent upon recycling. Yet I know that the recycling bins, because they are troublesome and costly to sort and process are too often simply put in the dump no matter how strictly enforced are the rules for the householder to separate one's trash. Nor has every region taken up recycling. Like seat belts, it is hardly a draconian measure but required a lot of PR, strict enforcement and time. The main issues meanwhile are not addressed.

I am reminded of the same kind of thinking when I hear about making an end run around the electoral college by some states changing the way electors are required to vote. An overweight bunter sliding into first and the game is called on account of rain.

The gradual loss of resources is not sustainable. The exact same way of life and growth is not possible as an arithmetic progrsssion of any sort. Damage, degradation and loss surrounding the exhaustion of non-replaceable resources seems to be a complete negative complex all the way to environmental death. Merely adding to the heat in burning up oil shows there is far more wrong than merely the loss of oil itself. Sustainability is a less scary word than survival. From panic and primitivism to patching up our destructive ways of doing things one quickly passes over the unattractive road mankind has always lived on. Pain, sacrifice, lower goals, grim priorities. They become increasingly worse, like a ballooning unpaid debt. Sustainability is ambivalent. At least it is a first step toward facing reality though it is intellectually oversold to the point of irritating all sides of the question of unstoppable change. It is a softie that can be hit that is not protected by corporate lawyers and economic godhood.

Let the sustainabilty fans, like environmentalists who think in terms of preserviong beauty as much as breathable air, do what they can. When it becomes a larger issue and an issue that asks people to jump aboard, it IS high time to bring up the larger issues the whole world needs to work on. In the end all government and economics and biology and everything will change more drastically on a scale truly never seen before in human or biological history. Eking out a few more days to carpe diem is pitiful in that perspective. Political ideologues, business adherents, and any other groupos should be ready to throw it all out in an effort to "sustain" human life with the least suffering and backward drift as a new way of life asserts itself. Or the new times will begin with the unimaginable worst.
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