Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Greed will destroy the human species. If climate change doesn't do it first.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 10:48 AM
Original message
Greed will destroy the human species. If climate change doesn't do it first.
Edited on Thu Apr-23-09 11:00 AM by Cyrano
More than 50 years ago, there was a Humphrey Bogart film titled "Key Largo." In one scene, the bad guy, Edward G. Robinson, is asked by the actor Lionel Barrymore what he wants. Robinson, stumbling over his answer, utters, "I want, I want ..."

Bogart completes the sentence: "He wants more."

Robinson nods, "Yeah, that's what I want. More."

Barrymore asks, "Will you ever get enough?"

Robinson replies, "No. I guess I never will."


That scene petty well sums up the danger that threatens us all. There are those among us who want "more." Pause for just one moment and grasp the meaning of the word "MORE" as used by those who want it. What they really are saying is that they want everything there is.

We're in the hole we are now because the Wall Street "Masters of the Universe" wanted MORE. Dick Cheney, who in a short time in office turned Halliburton from a multi-million dollar company into a multi-billion dollar company (through no-bid government contracts), wanted MORE. Every conquerer or banana republic dictator in the history of the world wanted MORE. And today, your very existence is threatened by financial powers using their banking practices and credit card usury to accumulate MORE.

I sometimes wonder if a few thousand years from now, some explorers from elsewhere will land on our barren planet. And, after studying what we left behind, will they conclude that we were made extinct by greed -- the drive by some to possess MORE?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. And the great taboo topic: we want more kids, and the planet can't
sustain the population we have. Science and technology won't save us; only curbing our greed and desire for more and more children will save the living things that exist on our planet today.


Earth 'will expire by 2050'


http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jul/07/research.waste
Our planet is running out of room and resources. Modern man has plundered so much, a damning report claims this week, that outer space will have to be colonised

The end of earth as we know it? Talk about it here


Earth's population will be forced to colonise two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week.

A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to be released on Tuesday, warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.

In a damning condemnation of Western society's high consumption levels, it adds that the extra planets (the equivalent size of Earth) will be required by the year 2050 as existing resources are exhausted.

The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades.

Using the image of the need for mankind to colonise space as a stark illustration of the problems facing Earth, the report warns that either consumption rates are dramatically and rapidly lowered or the planet will no longer be able to sustain its growing population.

Experts say that seas will become emptied of fish while forests - which absorb carbon dioxide emissions - are completely destroyed and freshwater supplies become scarce and polluted.

The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now.

Systematic overexploitation of the planet's oceans has meant the North Atlantic's cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated spawning stock of 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995.

The study will also reveal a sharp fall in the planet's ecosystems between 1970 and 2002 with the Earth's forest cover shrinking by about 12 per cent, the ocean's biodiversity by a third and freshwater ecosystems in the region of 55 per cent.

The Living Planet report uses an index to illustrate the shocking level of deterioration in the world's forests as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. Using 1970 as a baseline year and giving it a value of 100, the index has dropped to a new low of around 65 in the space of a single generation.

It is not just humans who are at risk. Scientists, who examined data for 350 kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, also found the numbers of many species have more than halved.

Martin Jenkins, senior adviser for the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, which helped compile the report, said: 'It seems things are getting worse faster than possibly ever before. Never has one single species had such an overwhelming influence. We are entering uncharted territory.'

Figures from the centre reveal that black rhino numbers have fallen from 65,000 in 1970 to around 3,100 now. Numbers of African elephants have fallen from around 1.2 million in 1980 to just over half a million while the population of tigers has fallen by 95 per cent during the past century.

The UK's birdsong population has also seen a drastic fall with the corn bunting population declining by 92 per cent between 1970 and 2000, the tree sparrow by 90 per cent and the spotted flycatcher by 70 per cent.

Experts, however, say it is difficult to ascertain how many species have vanished for ever because a species has to disappear for 50 years before it can be declared extinct.

Attention is now focused on next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the most important environmental negotiations for a decade.

However, the talks remain bedevilled with claims that no agreements will be reached and that US President George W. Bush will fail to attend.

Matthew Spencer, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: 'There will have to be concessions from the richer nations to the poorer ones or there will be fireworks.'

The preparatory conference for the summit, held in Bali last month, was marred by disputes between developed nations and poorer states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), despite efforts by British politicians to broker compromises on key issues.

America, which sent 300 delegates to the conference, is accused of blocking many of the key initiatives on energy use, biodiversity and corporate responsibility.

The WWF report shames the US for placing the greatest pressure on the environment. It found the average US resident consumes almost double the resources as that of a UK citizen and more than 24 times that of some Africans.

Based on factors such as a nation's consumption of grain, fish, wood and fresh water along with its emissions of carbon dioxide from industry and cars, the report provides an ecological 'footprint' for each country by showing how much land is required to support each resident.

America's consumption 'footprint' is 12.2 hectares per head of population compared to the UK's 6.29ha while Western Europe as a whole stands at 6.28ha. In Ethiopia the figure is 2ha, falling to just half a hectare for Burundi, the country that consumes least resources.

The report, which will be unveiled in Geneva, warns that the wasteful lifestyles of the rich nations are mainly responsible for the exploitation and depletion of natural wealth. Human consumption has doubled over the last 30 years and continues to accelerate by 1.5 per cent a year.

Now WWF wants world leaders to use its findings to agree on specific actions to curb the population's impact on the planet.

A spokesman for WWF UK, said: 'If all the people consumed natural resources at the same rate as the average US and UK citizen we would require at least two extra planets like Earth.'

The world's ticking timebomb

Marine crisis:
North Atlantic cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995.

Pollution:
The United States places the greatest pressure on the environment, with its carbon dioxide emissions and over-consumption. It takes 12.2 hectares of land to support each American citizen and 6.29 for each Briton, while the figure for Burundi is just half a hectare.

Shrinking Forests:
Between 1970 and 2002 forest cover has dwindled by 12 per cent.

Endangered wildlife:
African elephant numbers have fallen from 1.2 million in 1980 to half a million now. In the UK the songbird population has fallen dramatically, with the corn bunting declining by 92 per cent in the past 30 years.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JonLP24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. My fundie aunt and uncle is on their 6th or 7th kid and want more
Seriously I honestly lost count but whenever I think of them I always think about the planet needing more then it can sustain.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Recommended. I see it not so much of a threat but as fate.
Homo Sapiens are an evolutionary dead end -- unable to sustain themselves.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Ultimately, it's greed.
Even greed is both the cause of disastrous
climate change trends as well as the
obstructor of solutions.

Radix malorum est cupiditas.

Greed is the root of all evil.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
4. What occurs when The Many allow (and exalt) The Few to dictate the framework
...which allows the superficiality, social status and greed bullshit to be considered good and normal, something all should aspire to.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I take a more scientific view- and one that doesn't rely
on the notions that humans are the center of life on this planet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Apparently you're excluding social sciences
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. well, they are sort of immaterial in the big picturel.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. it would be more accurate to say that human nature will destroy
the human species. greed is clearly part of that. but so what? species come and go. that's in the nature of things. big deal.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cyrano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Those with children, and/or grandchildren, and/or great grandchildren
Edited on Thu Apr-23-09 11:25 AM by Cyrano
should probably care more than most about the future of their descendants and the future of planet Earth.

I'm often amazed at how many such people are totally clueless as to the ecological disasters that are just around the corner, as well as the deadly threat of overpopulation.

It' difficult for me to be as cavalier as you by using the term "big deal" regarding our oncoming extinction. However, as post #1 on this thread lays out, the extinction of the human species would seem to be virtually unavoidable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Here's the problem with ignorance and denialism.
Much of global warming can be counter intuitive.

You have a cold winter with lots of snow, or
you have a relatively mild summer. Then, you
read all the pseudo-science articles funded by
oil corporations that make you believe that
warming is caused by cow farts or sunspots.

It's a tough world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Species populations collapse due to overpopulation all the time.
Happens with deer regularly, unless they're thinned by predation or hunting. That doesn't mean deer are at risk of extinction.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
oedura Donating Member (347 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. There aren't any deer "overpopulations"...
We've nearly wiped out the bulk of the major predators that would normally prey on them and we keep encroaching on their natural habitat.

We're the pest species.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Yes, there often are, even when there are predators. Have you not heard of predator-prey cycles?
You're only like eighty years behind the times then.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RufusTFirefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Totally agree. Classic anthropocentrism
The Earth will survive. We'll be gone.

Reminds me of Douglas Adams' classic, wonderful puddle metaphor


". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. "


We're not the center of the solar system, we're not the center of the galaxy, we're not the center of the universe, and we're not the focus of the Earth either. When will we ever catch on?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
11. That seems somewhat unlikely.
Edited on Thu Apr-23-09 11:39 AM by Occam Bandage
Overconsumption of limited resources might cause the collapse of the global society, but even that's not a sure thing. To destroy humanity as a species? Well, that would be somewhat difficult to do. Humans, even with only stone-age era tools, are able to live successfully just about anywhere on Earth.

There have been many partial and complete societal collapses due to resource overconsumption, from the Pueblo societies in the American Southwest, to Easter Island, to the Mayans, to Viking Greenland. In none of those cases were humans completely eradicated.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. More cures for disease, more opportunity to travel
more ability to travel further and quicker, more social programs, longer life spans, more affordable energy for all, more time off, higher wages, more jobs, etc, etc, etc, more, more, more. It's not just the few at the top. We live in a totalizing system. So the more the top gets, the more everyone has to be able to get, as that is only fair.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NOW tense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
13. I am Greed.
"We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realize, not intellectually but actually, as actually as we would recognize that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all this existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world because we have contributed to it in our daily lives and are part of this monstrous society with its wars, divisions, its ugliness, brutality and greed ‐ only then will we act."

Jiddu Krishnamurti - Freedom From the Known

I am Greed. I make you think that the grass is always greener somewhere else. I make you think others are less then you. I make you hide your purse as your mirror image walks by. I make you destroy yourself for the made up currency based upon a shiny metal found in the planet. I make you wipe out entire species for your ever expanding need for me, greed. I am here to ensure, that you will never live free.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-24-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
19. Evolution works ...
primarily by negative selection.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Sep 19th 2014, 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC