Jump to bottom

Closed Thread Icon

Topic awaiting preservation: With eyes wide shut (Page 1 of 2) Pages that link to <a href="https://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=14359" title="Pages that link to Topic awaiting preservation: With eyes wide shut (Page 1 of 2)" rel="nofollow" >Topic awaiting preservation: With eyes wide shut <span class="small">(Page 1 of 2)</span>\

 
Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 08-12-2003 22:31

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1016597,00.html

quote:
Our dreaming will, as it has begun to do already, destroy the conditions necessary for human life on Earth. Were we governed by reason, we would be on the barricades today, dragging the drivers of Range Rovers and Nissan Patrols out of their seats, occupying and shutting down the coal-burning power stations, bursting in upon the Blairs' retreat from reality in Barbados and demanding a reversal of economic life as dramatic as the one we bore when we went to war with Hitler. Instead, we whinge about the heat and thumb through the brochures for holidays in Iceland. The future has been laid out before us, but the deep eye with which we place ourselves on Earth will not see it.



Well, I'm pretty sure we all here are aware we are destroying our world. It is something tipically human to know we destroy our ecosystem, the land we live on, the future of our children, without reacting... Perhaps humans are too bound to their self-comfort to give up anything. Or perhaps they can't actually understand, consider something which will outlive them, as if beyond their life humans were blind or didn't care... I wanted to know your opinion on this article... and if you think something can be done.



[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-12-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-12-2003).]

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 08-12-2003 22:43

Ahem... We are not destroying the world. That is an arrogant statement. We are making the world unable to support human life. In our selfishness we are arrogant enough to want to "save the planet". When in reality we want to "save the planet for ourselves". The planet will be here for a great deal longer than we will be and will continue to grow and breathe life into itself long after we are gone.

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 08-12-2003 22:51

That said, there's a lot of evidence to suggest that intelligent life, even on earth-like planets, could well be a one-in-a-billion chance... so maybe causing our own extinction would still be an irreparable loss. Although of course "loss" implies that someone besides us cares about our own fate. Call it the disappearance of something that might be unique or nearly so.

Cell 1250 :: alanmacdougall.com :: Illustrator tips

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 08-13-2003 00:20

i saw george carlin do a bit about the environment in one of his stand up routines...it's been quite some time since i saw it, so don't remember the whole thing... but it basically was about our arrogance in "destroying the planet" with plastic... he basically said that the earth would get rid of us when it thinks we've gone too far and/or are no longer useful to it. i tend to agree with that. i don't think that we're "destroying the planet".... like GD said... we're just making it inhospitable to "us". humans, as a whole, tend to really screw everything up (usually with the notion that we're making things better)! this is just a larger scale of it. the earth was here bajillions of years before we were... and it will go on, with or without us. eventually, the earth will go through another "cleansing" (numerous ice ages prove this) and it will start again.
i don't think though, that means that we should just throw our hands up and let the pieces fall where they may. obviously, i think we should do what little bit we can to slow the ball that we've started rolling....

__________________________
Cell 1007::

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: out of a sleepy funk
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 08-13-2003 01:14

yeah, one of my favorite George Carlin quotes:

"F*ck the planet!!! Save the people!!!"

Jason

edit typo

[This message has been edited by JKMabry (edited 08-13-2003).]

jstuartj
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 08-13-2003 01:29

I have always found it stranged to think we could destorying our world. I am with GrythusDraconis, It's only distroy the world as we know it.

Just think, what if in the long run perventing those changes is the real problem? You never know.

Maybe we're destroying the trigger to our own evolution? Perhaps by simply perventing the change to the enviroment we are perventing or prolonging changes that may need to happen?

Perhap:

Destroying the ozone layer now could trigger UV protections in human skin 1000's of years from now.

Increases in weather extremes brought on by Green house gasses. Could lead to increase human tolerance for extreme in tempture.

Maybe more polutents could stimulate natural antibody productions or reduce dependents on current oxygen/nitrogen levels.

Wouldn't these changes be a benifit for space travel, living off world, or using the oceans?

Not to mention increased CO 2 could benifit plant life, maybe there is a new form of staple crop that could feed millions and all it needs is an increased CO2 levels.

Either way the world is going to change. Sure is could make it imposable for use live as we know it. But then who is to say we should. I for one think human's can and will adapt. Even thou some may not like those changes.

Besides "Resistance is useless." and the perfect astroid is just around the corner.

J. Stuart J.

"We'll never survive!"
"Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has!"

The Princess Bride

krets
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: KC, KS
Insane since: Nov 2002

posted posted 08-13-2003 03:48

Save the planet? Nope, I think it will be just fine for the next 5 billion years or so. That is, until it's swallowed by the Sun.

Save the humans? I'm becoming more and more convinced every day that we're not a species worth saving.

:::11oh1:::

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-13-2003 05:01

Nature has always had ways to balance itself. That balance hasn't always been in favor of any one species. Humans are not the only species capable of exterminating another. The lesson of living in balance with the land is always a hard one to learn. Humans have been guilty of over-harvesting their resources since the dawn of the species. Some learned to change their habits, reduce their impact on the environment around them. This is yet another stage in that lesson. We've given ourselves the capability to live in climates that our ancestors would never have wished on their worst neighbors. We can coax more food out of an acre of land than they could have ever possibly dreamed. We are most certainly over harvesting our resources. But to the extent that our entire species is threatened with extinction? I hardly think so. That is not giving nearly enough credit to the human ability to adapt.

As to the environmental impact that we are having? Well, we have only been collecting climatic data consistently and accurately for just over 150 years. This is not nearly enough time to deterimine the impact that we are having on the climate. Are we solely responsible for the melting of the ice caps? No. Are we helping the process along? Quite probably. Same for the thin spots in the ozone. The earth is still in an inter-glacial warming period, which can last much longer than the 10,000 years since the glaciers were receding. In this time we have experienced bizarre climatic shifts, periods of extreme heat and extreme cold. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what the past climates have been like in human history. Up until recently we only had historical accounts of strange weather. Through glacial ice cores and lake bed analysis we are starting to have a better understanding of past climates. But none of these techniques have the precision to say, "There was a 3 degree rise in global temperature starting in 1352AD and ending in 1507."

The point I am trying to make is that we don't fully understand the impact we are having because we don't have a way to measure our past. The earth is so complex in its systems and functions. There are so many variables that can cause change, how can we be so certain it is us that are "turning up the heat?" Through the data revealed in ice cores, interestingly enough there have been significant rises in global temperature before the beginning of another ice age. (And we're worried about global warming...) The fact of the matter is, this planet has been much warmer than it is now, and much cooler with life happily moving along adapting- or not.

This isn't to say I don't enjoy breathing clean air. I enjoy swimming in clean water. But I am not so quick to blame our species for everything that ails this planet. We tend to separate ourselves from the rest of the living earth- and forget that we are a part of it. In the same way that we like to glorify ourselves and raise our species above all others, we also have a tendency to view ourselves as the scum of the planet. In my view, we are neither. We are simply another part of nature that learned how to build a more comfortable bird nest.

Alevice
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Mexico
Insane since: Dec 2002

posted posted 08-13-2003 07:22

But what if nature actually wants us to do all the shaz we do?

Maybe mother nature has grown tired of green bs and likes metla better for her new kind of strains. Who really knows?

__________________________________


Alevice's Media Library

Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 08-13-2003 17:32

It wouldn't bother me to know we are only destroying ourselves... But the fact is that we are also destroying (and already destroyed) thousands of species. We are making the world unable to support human life, and hereby we are also making it unable to support a good part of animal species. Perhaps you don't care... You know, it reminds Blade Runner, in which most animals are machines... I'm sure a good part of the folks around here are fathers or mothers. Would it please you to give to your children a world in which animals can only be seen in videos ? We're not at this point for now (fortunately), but it will happen someday. I don't care about humans killing themselves. What makes me go mad is that we, humans, are destroying the beauty of this world, its landscapes, its animal and vegetal species to achieve our own self comfort. We're some sort of species scourge, we don't care about anything else than ourselve. You said our concern about destroying Earth was arrogant... I would rather say letting things as they are, letting animals and beauty vanish, is selfish.

And of course Earth will still be here in 5 billions years... We can atomize it, poison its atmosphere, make impossible to live on it, but I don't think it will go as far as destroying it completely. But is this what you really want ? Doesn't a photo of our blue and green Earth taken from space make you feel regretful about destroying it ? Don't you want to keep it as it is ? Let people repaint it in a gloomy grey ? Wonderful. Let fill the galaxy with desert and ugly planets, there aren't enough yet. I wonder if humans will ever think to something else than themselves...

Edit : Last of all, I noticed some people here think nature (or Earth) has its own will. Well, let me tell you I doubt about it... I don't think the nature has a conscience and wants to change its strain...

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-13-2003).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-13-2003 18:08

MS: I read that when it was in the paper - good stuff

And yes if it was only us it might not be too much cause for concern but we are also in the midst of the largest mass extinction ever (and the Creteacous Terminal Event, when the dinosaurs, died was nothing compared to the Permian extinctions). People should read 'The Sixth Extinction' (it is nearly 10 years old but they were frighteningly accurate):
www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385468091/

While having a look round for that I came up with:
www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html
www.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/9902/fngm/

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

helloelise
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: around
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-13-2003 23:10

Quick note about the "one in a billion" chance that we, as intelligent life, are, and that earth, as a planet that sustains life, is.
I'm not sure where this was from (sorry, I cannot give credit where credit is due...i think it may have been a philosophy book) but, as the universe is (theoretically) infinite and always growing, does that not mean that there are infinite chances for anything at all to happen? Even a planet that has intelligent life? And taking it one step further- if there are infinite chances and instances, does that mean that there are planets like ours, where everything happens exactly the same...except maybe one tree is out of place? Or we dont invent automobiles? Or the depression never happened?
Maybe we arent as special as we think, just a thought.

jstuartj
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 07:21

Perhaps it was this article in Scientific American. It's along a similar theme.
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000F1EDD-B48A-1E90-8EA5809EC5880000


The cool things I only manage to read going to the Doctor's office.

J. Stuart J.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 08-14-2003 07:39

Rev.11:18

quote:
And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.



[This message has been edited by Xpirex (edited 08-14-2003).]

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-14-2003 08:09
quote:
What makes me go mad is that we, humans, are destroying the beauty of this world, its landscapes, its animal and vegetal species to achieve our own self comfort.



I just have one thing to say about this... the beauty you speak of is only understood in the human perspective. This planet is constantly changing its own landscapes independently of human interaction. In the grand scheme of things, a hole we dig matters not on a planet that can create its own crater the size of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, US. (Which is a volcanic caldera) Humans do not exclusively use vegetation and animals for their own self-comfort. Comfort is part of survival. Animals eat other animals & plants to survive. Hunger causes discomfort. All manner of species from the smallest bacteria to the largest mammal change this planet. The planet changes itself through it's own geologic processes. Our impact is ultimately only important to us.

Humans are very good at sitting back and complaining about how bad things are. We aren't so good at getting up and doing something about it. If the current situation causes you so much unhappiness, then do something about it. Stop using any mode of transportation that requires fossil fuels. (This includes electric cars & bicycles, by the way. The parts are manufactured using fossil fuels as both and energy source and "ingredients".) Virtually every part of our daily lives is tied to a fossil fuel. The challenge then becomes, does one cut down a tree to make a home? After all, this creates a negative impact. How about tilling the land for food. That's a sticky one also, it's changing the landscape and leaching nutrients from the soil.

Nature does not need a will to balance itself. It is a simple principle of supply and demand. As long as rabbits are plentiful, a lynx population grows. They hunt more rabbits to support their growing numbers. After a time, the rabbits can't support the lynxpopulation. Two things can happen: The lynx adapt and find different food (this is actually the more difficult option) or they begin to die of starvation, bringing their numbers down. Either way, the rabbit population rebounds, and the cycle begins anew.

Humans are part of nature. Animals have to adapt to us among myriad other things to survive. We have to adapt to our environment as the lynx do. We created a situation where our means for survival is in short supply, the choice is simple: adapt or die. This is the very essence of evolution.

And yes, I do see the beauty of this blue-green planet. I see the beauty of our species as well - and I do not see us as any different from any other species on the planet in terms of importance. I believe in conservation and preservation both for our own benefit and that of the rest of the ecosystem. A balance will be achieved and life will continue.


Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 08-14-2003 12:46
quote:
jstuart - Destroying the ozone layer now could trigger UV protections in human skin 1000's of years from now.



That's an interesting way to look at it. Thanks.




.quotes.

Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 08-14-2003 15:14

Moon Dancer :

I think you ignored or misunderstood one of the points above. Of course Earth evolves, its landscapes change, eroded by time or created by geologic moves, species evolve, weather changes. But, as long as we weren't alive, everything changed slightly, and always kept a precious harmony and equilibrium. As you said, 'Nature does not need a will to balance itself. It is a simple principle of supply and demand'. The example you gave about lynxes and rabbits was perfectly right, but again I think you missed something : we are not acting like lynxes. To quote Emps' article :

quote:
Agriculture represents the single most profound ecological change in the entire 3.5 billion-year history of life. With its invention:
- Humans did not have to interact with other species for survival, and so could manipulate other species for their own use.
- Humans did not have to adhere to the ecosystem's carrying capacity, and so could overpopulate.



Humans are not a part of nature, this is false. Animals always evolved on Earth during billions of years without destroying thousands of other species, and altering Earth as we do. And they evolved, and they survived ! This is evolution ! Humans also adapted to this world, but in the wrong way : instead of adapting themselves, they are trying to adapt the world to their needs. Never another animal species acted in this way. Humans are breaking the ecosystem which auto balanced itself during millions of years.

Moon Dancer, if you think we are equally important with all the other species, why do you accept that we destroy them ? If they are our equal, why would we have the right to kill them, or to destroy the ecosystem they live in ? If you see the beauty in them, why do you accept them to vanish ? I think despite what you said you are only concerned by the fate and comfort of mankind. No matter what happens as long as I live in happiness and comfort, that's it ?

I think such opinions could be sumed up by :

Are humans aware they are destroying the world ? Yes.
Can they do something about it ? Probably.
Do they want to ? No.
Why ? Just think about the answer.

Edit : spelling, grammar, rephrasing, the usual stuff

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-14-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-14-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-14-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 15:48

I think you are assuming far too much about "nature".

Nature is gross. (remember when mobrul said sex is gross?)

I mean, if you don't believe in any transcendent reality, which I suspect you don't, how can you say humans are not part of nature? Anything and everything we do in that context is natural. Whether we make our environment inhospitable for ourselves or cause the extinction of other species makes no difference whatsoever to the natural process.

I am often told that the Xian view of our role in this universe is arrogant but what you are suggesting is equally so. You are setting apart we humans from the rest of the world and saying we are special and that the survival of the planet falls 100% onto our shoulders.

Someone mentioned that Yellowstone National Park is actually a volcanic caldera. From what I've heard it is a super-volcano waiting to erupt. If that were to happen, everything you say we are doing to destroy the planet would be ecplipsed by the results of a natural eruption totally beyond our control. Human life on this planet quite possibly could be wiped out. Perhaps only a population of a few thousand could survive such an event.

But let me agree with you, MS, that I believe the spiritual side of our species is separate from the rest of the natural process that it is precisely that element that you are alluding to when you say we are not part of nature. We alone, at least on this planet, have the ability to change the course of our history in a big way. If we really wanted to, we could destroy all human life on this planet. We actually have the means to commit specie-cide. We also have the means to live harmoniously within the current environment in which we find ourselves.

I think it is a mistake to assume that without our presence, the world would be in perfect balance and all species would get along and cuddle one another and there would be plenty of food for all. That is utter nonesense. The world in which we find ourselves is cruel and hard and requires all sorts of effort and work to make us think it's a nice place to live. We are so spoiled with our modern comforts that I believe we are beginning to take them for granted. Perhaps we have forgotten what it was like to die of terrible diseases and struggle for day to day survival. This place sucks unless we actively work to make it *comfortable*. I think we have every right to make it comfortable as well as a duty to do so. But that means we also are *responsible* for the changes we make.

Yes, responsible, and that is why my view is so often criticized by some as arrogant. God gave us the control of our own lives. We can screw it up or we can enhance it. I believe we are tasked with enhancing it for ourselves... AND for other life too. That second part is left out by so many of my brethren.

Actually we may not be disagreeing as much as my previous words suggest. I think we should work very hard to predict and avoid majory calamities in how we alter our environment both for current populations as well as those to come. We should make it a priority to work for a better world for all of us. But I mush say that I worry that much of the environmentalist movement is intent on using it to further political agendas rather than make this world a better place. For instance, why don't we hear balanced views on the effects of global warming? There are benefits to it as well as problems but the public discourse nearly alwasy focuses on the dire consequences. That's an indication of bias. But why would something that should be scientifically based be biased?

. . : slicePuzzle

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 16:06

I was just reading through some of the links Emps posted. I'm just wondering... are we forgetting the option to colonize the moon, mars, etc.? Isn't it reasonable for us to look seriously at expanding our footprint? We will be able to reach other star systems within this century if we wish. We could certainly begin local colonizations earlier.

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-14-2003 16:46

Moon Shadow -

quote:
! Humans also adapted to this world, but in the wrong way : instead of adapting themselves, they are trying to adapt the world to their needs. Never another animal species acted in this way.



This is not entirely correct. Many species alter their environment to suit their needs. And some are not very subtle about it. A perfect example is a beaver. They cut down trees to build dams across small rivers and streams to make ponds for their lodges. They do this with no thought to other species: their own survival and comfort is their business. These dams can damage fish populations up and downstream. It changes the chemistry of the water. They take down trees that birds and squirrels build their homes in. Have you seen what an uncontrolled beaver population can do to a local environment? I have: and the destruction they can cause can rival any human's. But of course- they are part of nature and that makes it okay.

I'll post more later... gotta work!

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 08-14-2003 17:36
quote:
But, as long as we weren't alive, everything changed slightly, and always kept a precious harmony and equilibrium.

Actually, through Earthquakes, volcanos, and floods there can be massive alteration to the natural equilibrium. It levels itself as the life around such occurances adapt to the new situation.

quote:
It is a simple principle of supply and demand'. The example you gave about lynxes and rabbits was perfectly right, but again I think you missed something : we are not acting like lynxes. To quote Emps' article :

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture represents the single most profound ecological change in the entire 3.5 billion-year history of life. With its invention:
- Humans did not have to interact with other species for survival, and so could manipulate other species for their own use.
- Humans did not have to adhere to the ecosystem's carrying capacity, and so could overpopulate.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is still a matter of supply and demand. Eventually we are going to run out of resources and we will either adapt or die. I disagree with the second point, also. It isn't overpopulation if the support for the population has been increased. We have enough food. Just not in the right places. There will be a point at which humans will have reached a sticking point where we will begin to die off. That's just how it works. We just have the capability to avoid it for longer.

quote:
if you think we are equally important with all the other species, why do you accept that we destroy them ? If they are our equal, why would we have the right to kill them, or to destroy the ecosystem they live in ?

For the same reason that you seem to feel it is fine for humans to destroy each other.

As far as what kind of legacy we are going to leave after we've finally killed ourselves off. The only difference between us and other animals is the ability to care about our future in a conceptual fashion rather than a contextual one, (i.e. a future that involves something we don't understand rather then a future that is required for the survival of our pups). If you start arguing to me that we don't know if animals care if they are going extinct or not, explain to me this; Why aren't humans being slaughtered by the animals in the world? Survival is the basic instinct of all life, including humans. Animals when given no other choice, will fight to survive (except lemmings... but I think they're broken). Animals do not understand, nor do they care that many of them are dying. The only animals capable of caring about that are humans. When we are gone their won't be anyone left to care which species are left or not.

quote:
Humans are not a part of nature, this is false. Animals always evolved on Earth during billions of years without destroying thousands of other species, and altering Earth as we do. And they evolved, and they survived ! This is evolution ! Humans also adapted to this world, but in the wrong way : instead of adapting themselves, they are trying to adapt the world to their needs.

We are a part of nature on so many levels. The fact that we require anything to survive shows that. When we need absolutely nothing from anywhere, including a space to exist, then we will be outside of nature. Secondly, Who's to say we evolved the 'wrong way'? Who else has experienced a highly intelligent species before? This IS the evolutionary process. We are testing our boundries and soon enough, we're going to get slapped for it. There is an equilibrium that is unavoidable. We WILL run out of resources. We WILL have to learn to adapt. If some of us cannot, some of us WILL die. Look at how many things we have created that can kill us, and only us. We are building our own balance into how we live. Its a default of the equation.



[This message has been edited by GrythusDraconis (edited 08-14-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 17:53

I think much of my view on this can be summed up with instead of shunning technology for a return to a mythical view of "nature" we must *use* technology and our God-given abilities to *make* *alter* *mold* this world into something better for all. I want more tinkering with nature, not less. I want more technology, not less. I just want that tinkering and technology used well.

Show me the organizations that support that kind of approach to our problems and then show me where to sign up!

[This message has been edited by Bugimus (edited 08-14-2003).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-14-2003 18:29

Bugs: I agree we should increase our footprint - we should certainly spread ourselves around to make sure we don't get wiped out one way or another. An interesting scenario in a book I read recently) is thatwe could send out robotic probes with human genetic material onboard which are grown at the other end - a more practical proposal than sending out generation ships or anything.

However, I'm not sure we should really use our technology to tinker with nature (we tend to screw that kind of thing up - the planet is a complex interlinked set of systems that we are no way near modelling) but we should look into using technology to reduce our consumption of energy (esp. in the US).

I think it is a good sign that the ozone layer looks to be slowly closing so we can reverse things I'm just worried that it might be too late. Things like the switching off of the North Atlantic Drift current and the release of frozen methane reserves could lead to a sequence of events that are difficult to to reverse (at least on a human generation scale).

Yellowstone is the product of flood basalts and hot spot activity (like a less active Iceland) - labelling such things dormant or active is unhelpful unless they are dead as door nails (hope that isn't too techncial ).

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 20:28

We should not be looking to reduce energy consumption here or anywhere else, IMHO. That is precisely the sort of solution that worries me. We should be looking to find energy sources that will allow us to spend as much energy as we desire. I personally believe we will, in a relatively short period of decades, find an energy source that will greatly increase usage and greatly reduce any negative impact on our environment. We probably already know what it is, or close to what it could be, but getting it marketable and viable for mass use will take time.

I would like to learn more about the distinction you're drawing about Yellowstone. I was basing my comments on a documentary I saw a while back that postulated that Yellowstone was an ancient super-volcano and that the entire region was slowly bulging upward as a result of massive pressure increases. This bulging was first noticed by a ranger investigating shifting lake shores. The documentary also postulated that a super-volcano is the type of thing that could induce a nulcear winter (super-volcano winter in this case) and could bring on near extinction to most higher order life on this planet.

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-14-2003 20:55

Bugimus-
Both you and emperor are correct about Yellowstone. It is the hotspot that is creating the "super-volcano". Unlike hotspots like Hawaii and Iceland, the Yellowstone hotspot is beneath a continent. (Crust thickness varies from just a few miles in the ocean to around 30 or so in the continents.) This is part of what makes Yellowstone unique. Because there is so much weight for the hotspot to bubble up through, when it finally makes it it is much more explosive than the fairly benign eruptions seen on Hawaii.

On a physiographic map of the United States, you can see a series of craters about the size of Yellowstone that extend to the north and west of the park. (there are 5-6 of them I believe that are visible, I'm at work so I can't check.) This marks the path that the continent has moved over this hotspot.

An eruption in Yellowstone could induce a nuclear winter. I can get more data later on this - Krakatoa, an eruption in Indonesia in the mid to late 1800's was one of the largest eruptions in human history. The amount of ejecta from that eruption would pale in comparasion to a catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone. Krakatoa managed to drop global average temperature by 2-3 degrees farenheit, and wreaked havoc on the global climate for 2 years. (Crops failing, really bad winters, that sort of thing.)

To quote emperor- I hope that wasn't too technical...

{edit- bad spelling}



[This message has been edited by Moon Dancer (edited 08-14-2003).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-14-2003 21:20

Bugs: I think that is a dangerous assumption - that something somewhere down the line will miraculously solve our problems. Part of the thrust of the article was that it may already be too late or at least it will soon be unless we do something drastic (esp. people in the US). Its a bit of a cavalry arriving over the hill kind of thing and not something I'd like to rely on.

And on Yellowstone - what MD said. Flood basalt eruptions have been the suspects in mass extinctions before. I think the deccan traps date to exactly the time of the extinction of the dinosaurs and the evidence for an impact could also come from massive volcanism. It would be like a vast number of Krakatoas erupting for a very long time indeed - if you have seen footage of some of the Icelandic eruptions then you'll get a feeling for it - large cracks open and basalts floods out over large areas (I can't remember the name of the village that was most recentl affected but it is impressive).

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 08-14-2003 22:00

Cool, I am now clear on the eruption thing

Hmm... I guess I see cutting back on energy consumption (esp. in the US) to be dangerous too. That is probably why I hate that solution. I believe enforcing cut backs would induce a world wide depression. That would have devastating effects on the human population of this planet and I am very reluctant to favor such a thing unless I'm totally convinced it's the only solution. It is entirely possible you are not suggesting we do something as rash as what the Kyoto Accords say so correct me if that is not where you were going with that line of thinking.

If it was where you were headed, then here is one thing that really bothers me about it. What is the rationale for exempting "third world" nations from any restrictions? I believe China and India are far less restricted in the Kyoto guidelines.

And are you so convinced that our energy consumption is the primary and overwhelming cause of the global rise in temperature such that you are willing to drive the world's economies into severe depression? I tend to project some of my frustrations on some of these topics onto those that bring up the issue because I can't always address the ones that originally held certain positions so please forgive me if I'm making too many assumptions about your position. Just correct me where I've done that.

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-15-2003 02:27

Moon Shadow-
To continue in my response to your last post:
The general point I am trying to make is this: This planet has endured cataclysms much more dire than the impact we humans have wrought, and life has survived and flourished. Because I don't separate the human race from the rest of the natural world I don't make the distinction between a catastrophic volcanic eruption and the current situation that humans have created on this planet. Nature does not make that distinction either. Whether carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and soot particles are created from deep within the earth or deep within our power plants the ecosystem will respond to exposure in the same manner.

Up to this point I have been trying to say that our outlook need not be so bleak. Humans have a tendency to sensationalize and overstate facts and speculations. We are constantly barraged by environmental alarmists that tell us the end is near and we are carrying this planet to hell in a handbasket. Unfortunately, you can't tell such an alarmist a more moderate point of view without being accused of not caring about this planet and the life that lives on it. I used to be one of those alarmists.

Do I think it is right all the "damage" we cause? Certainly not.

quote:
I think despite what you said you are only concerned by the fate and comfort of mankind. No matter what happens as long as I live in happiness and comfort, that's it ?



As I have said, I was trying to point out the minimal impact humans have in the grand scheme of things. I'm going to narrow the picture now so I can address this. I am not only concerned with the fate of mankind. I am concerned with the overall health of the planet, which includes us. I like to breathe clean air as I mentioned way up yonder. To do my part, I carpool, I try to minimize the electricity that I use, I walk where I can and purchase products that burn fuels more cleanly. I like to drink clean water. Again, to do my part, I don't pour used motor oil down the storm drain, I minimize the amount of chemicals I put in the garden and on the lawn. I don't support rampant deforestation by big lumber companies. I don't support the construction of high dams. These are just a few examples.

Please don't accuse me of not caring about this planet and the life on it. I care very deeply. However I can't support extremist measures that are impractical in application. This is where I echo Bugimus - such drastic measures would have economic ramifications that would be devastating. Not only would those ramifications reduce the human population, they would also create more of an environmental disaster than they would prevent. Because we can get more food out of an acre of land using modern agricultural techniques we require less land to support ourselves. If we banned all use of fertilizers we would have to expand into undeveloped, preserved land to compensate. This would occur at a much faster rate than humans would depopulate. If the burning of all fossil fuels were banned, our sanitation systems as we know them would cease to exist because we do not have a viable, cost-comparable alternative for producing electricity. The resulting squalor from contaminated water would spread rampant disease not only in the human population but amongst other animals as well.

Yes, I think we ought to do something about our current situation simply because it benefits all on the planet. And because we can. But I think the approach needs to be much more moderated. Knee-jerk solutions to alarmist suppositions supported by unproven data will not help us or the rest of earth.

Interesting reading: The Control of Nature and Encounters With the Archdruid by John McPhee
Both provide some interesting insight into how humans interact with their environment.

{edit-added reading material}



[This message has been edited by Moon Dancer (edited 08-15-2003).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-15-2003 02:50

Bugs:

quote:
Hmm... I guess I see cutting back on energy consumption (esp. in the US) to be dangerous too. That is probably why I hate that solution. I believe enforcing cut backs would induce a world wide depression.



quote:
And are you so convinced that our energy consumption is the primary and overwhelming cause of the global rise in temperature such that you are willing to drive the world's economies into severe depression?



Is making your homes more energy efficient dangerous? Or increasing the fuel efficiency of your vehicles? Or putting up solar panels, etc.?

If the US developed energy efficient technologies then they could reduce costs and become a leading exporter of these technologies to developing (and developed) countries helping them leap frog the difficult transition period (e..g Industrial Revolution).

I agree with the Kyoto accord but it pos. didn't go far enough.

Are we picking on the US? Yes and no.

As the US is a disproportionate user of energy and producer of global warming gasses (you produce 20% of the world's CO2 for example) then it does seem to be a good idea to focus on the US. that doesn't mean that other nations should be let off the hook but it doesn't mean the US can dodge its responsibilities.

See:
www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/papers/environment/individual.html#Energy%20Consumption

I suppose it may seem hopeless but there are things we can all do:

quote:
Northern Europe, according to a new report commissioned by Greenpeace, could meet three times its total energy needs simply by exploiting offshore wind. Every terraced house could produce more energy than it consumes by covering its roof with solar panels. And many of us could cut our consumption in half by replacing our clapped-out fridges and rattling windows and insulating our lofts.



from: www.monbiot.com/dsp_article.cfm?article_id=23

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 08-15-2003 15:21

Bugs : I must admit you're right about responsability and the harshness of the world. I too, strive to access to a better comfort, and most of the time I'm not aware of what it costed. It should be our duty to be responsible for the changes this 'comfort' brought to the world. However, free-will being what it is, very few humans care about it. As you said, we're free to enhance our life in this world or to screw it (whether you trust in God or not). I just find sad most people have chosen to screw it.

And don't get me wrong on our duty too, I never said it was 100% up to the humans to preserve the world. I only wished they wanted to do so.

To take again this example of Yellowstone... Indeed a giant volcano can erupt at any moment, throwing in the air billions of tons of particles, altering and pertubating our ecosystem longly enough to kill most vegetal lifeforms (Moon Dancer gave a precise example, the Krakatoa. I can add that the wave created by this eruption made three times the world tour. To give you an idea, the eruption that killed the dinosaurs (combined with the fall of a meteor) was less powerful, although it lasted something like 100 000 years). It could happen at any moment. This event would destroy a good part of our ecosystem, exactly what we are doing now. It is inevitable that such an eruption will happen someday, and we probably won't be able to do anything about it. But, contrarily to this erruption, we can do something about the human impact on the ecosystem. Someday, an eruption could destroy our ecosystem, OK. But wouldn't it be stupid to hasten things as we do ? If we can preserve our world as it is, why just not do it ? And furthermore, it isn't because something won't last that it gives us an excuse to rot it... Like if I said "I am going to change my mountain-bike in two months, and as I know I'll change it, I can do whatever I want with my actual one, for example breaking it by doing stupid things." It is a stupid example (I couldn't think to anything else), but it is the same type of reasoning. It is not because our nature will be destroyed someday that it gives us the right to slaughter it till it happens.

GD : Sure either animals or vegetals don't understand completely the concept of dying (animals have an instinct of preservation, but that's all). But again, it's not because a animal specie will never understand you're killing it that it gives you the right to dispose of its life. If this animal specie is just living its life somewhere, not representing any threat to you, don't you think it is a bit arrogant to crush its ecosystem, kill this specie to expand our territory ? Humans by this act like viruses (natural ones ), they are spreading without taking into consideration what they do. The HIV virus, in the human body, behaves like us : it reproduces itself within our cells, killing them in the process. Its single will is to reproduce, mindlessly, no matter what it does to its host cells. When its action caused the death of the being, thus the lack of new host cells, it dies... I am criticizing our human behavior because it is the same. We develop, spread and live as mindlessly as viruses without caring about other lifeforms, under the cover of what you called 'survival'. And to me, it is rather selfish...

Moon Dancer : Sorry for saying you didn't care about Earth, it was just the feeling I had reading your previous post (perhaps my English is to blame again 'cause I don't see much other people's feelings in this language). Then, it would be wonderful if everybody agreed something must be done... Which isn't the case for now.

Edit : lots of mistakes corrected (I hope).

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-15-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Moon Shadow (edited 08-15-2003).]

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 08-15-2003 18:09

Of course it's selfish. That's another function of our intelligence. I like being alive and living the way I do. The comforts and benefits of today's society are many. I don't like the cost to nature that it has so I do my best to minimize my impact without entirely contradicting my lifestyle. If we don't, as Bug's said, embrace the technology that supercedes our dependence on non-renewable resources we are going to kill ourselves. Without an infinitely renewable energy source there are too many people to remove what comforts and advances we have made without flat out killing a third of them. Reducing dependence on non-renewable resources is paramount. If we can't do that reducing the population becomes paramount. Those are our choices. Get better at resource management or start killing people (let them die if you prefer - same thing really). Whether we still have oil and coal and what not, we need to STOP using all of it and move to something new. We need to stop playing catch up and be on the leading edge of energy technology. Obviously we have to take the economy in hand as this happens, is happening (look at all of the hybrid cars that are out there now), so we don't try and save the world for nobody.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-23-2003 17:42

Some related news:
www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1028090,00.html

It appaled me when the US administration was scuppering plans to make positive changes on environmental issues but this seems to be taking actual steps backwards.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 08-25-2003 07:56

While I don't agree with the methood/policy involved, the ened for better/more power plants is obvious. We (the US) are 20 years behind in keeping up with energy consumption levels and power plant replacement schedules.

This is not meant as a shot at anyone, but as an interesting (rather opinionated) article: Alan Caruba on Newsmax.com

The Jackal
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Dark Side of the Moon
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 08-25-2003 08:54

Ever notice how folks always seem to think the world, or mankind is coming to an end? I find it amusing that every generation in recorded human history thinks they will be the one to see Armageddon. Nobody ever says, "With some hard work and careful planning the future will be better than we ever thought possible!"

Instead we hear: "The world as we know it is about to end and if people were as perceptive in any way shape or form as I am they would see it too. That wouldn’t matter though because people are stupid and would kill themselves off anyway!"

If history has taught us anything, it is that we do not learn from history!

Anyway, now on to my insightful and deeply moving remarks on the matter at hand.

*gets on his soapbox*

First, George Carlin is about as deep a thinker as Homer Simpson. The guy can be funny, but his insights on mankind and the world as a whole are, well, shallow.

Second, jstuartj is just wrong to accept an evolutionary paradigm. With the groundbreaking work of microbiology, we see that irreducible complexity shatters the Darwinian theory of evolution. Not to mention the fact that evolution itself contradicts the laws of thermodynamics.

Krets, if you don't think mankind is not worth saving, then give me everything you have and kill yourself. Since this obviously won't happen, we see that your God given instinct for self-preservation shows that you put some worth on human life. While life can be a pain in the butt, it can always be worse. Be content with what you have, it's more than most ever did.

Moon Dancer, nature does not balance itself. "Nature" is not a sentient being, and therefore cannot consciously do anything. Balance is maintained by the Creator, and is not left to random chance. I would respectfully ask that you show evidence of macro-evolution (changes from one species to another). Evolutionists have yet to show that there is any evidence of this taking place. We know that micro-evolution (changes within species) takes place. The countless breeds of dogs are evidence of this. Yet no evidence exists to show that dogs have evolved to another species. Amazingly, evolutionists have actually tried to argue that whales evolved from cows! They base this argument on the fact that cows and whales are genetically similar. My table is genetically similar to a tree, but I do not think a tree evolved to become my table! It also seems self-contradicting to state that animals evolved on earth, people evolved from animals, but that humans are not part of nature.

Helloelise, the universe is not, nor can it be infinite. If the universe is infinite, then time is infinite too. If time is infinite, then we could never get to the moment we are in right now since we would have to go through an infinite series of events to here (get it?). In fact, mathematicians are still pondering if anything infinite can truly exist. Anyway, since science reveals that all known energy in the universe is "winding down" and will eventually be used up, one can only conclude that the universe was once "wound up" as it were (hence the need for a Creator to “wind up” existence). Science also tells us that it appears no new energy is being created.

Bugimus, kudos

GrythusDraconis (and anyone else who buys that "adaptation" argument), if evolution is true, then "survival of the fittest" applies, and it should be every man (and beast) for themselves. Since this is not the case with humans (and one could argue with animals too), then we see that there is a higher calling for us as a people. We must use the resources of the world to further mankind as a whole, and at the same time take care of the world in which we live. While the resources are not infinite, they are numerous. Wise consumption and planning for future generations can ensure enough for all people.

Whew!
*gets off his soapbox*

Faith, hope and love. The greatest is love!




[This message has been edited by The Jackal (edited 08-25-2003).]

Veneficuz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A graveyard of dreams
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 08-25-2003 12:25

the Jackal: A couple of points about what you said...

You assume that evolution and 'survival of the fittest' is in regard to whole beings. That does not nessecarily have to be the case. 'Survival of the fittest' can be applied to genes, so that the fittest/best genes survive. This would explain why creatures within the same spieces/family care for each other. There are duplicates of their own genes in those bodies as well, so to increase the chance that the gene survive their protect their close family.

If you got some articles about how microbiology denouce/misprove evolutin I would be very interested in seeing them, since I haven't found any good scientific texts that goes against it...

Even if you don't look at it from the gene level, 'survival of the fittest' would not nessecarily mean every one for tem selves. Their chance for survival might greater if they work as a group.


_________________________
"There are 10 kinds of people; those who know binary, those who don't and those who start counting at zero"

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-25-2003 14:32

GD: I have to agree with The Jackal on that article. No one mentions the fact that you might have to use energy more efficiently. I think it is amazing that Clifornia is having these problems - if solar panels make economic sense here in the UK then surely subsidising solar panel production so indivudals can install them on their own homes will work well for everyone (and kick start a nice little industry too).

However, thats all I can agree on as the rest seems like textbook unsubstantiated Creationist lines:

quote:
With the groundbreaking work of microbiology, we see that irreducible complexity shatters the Darwinian theory of evolution. Not to mention the fact that evolution itself contradicts the laws of thermodynamics.



I have seen similar claims trotted out for an awful long time but they all lack a convincing arguement (unless you are already looking to be convinced of course).

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 08-25-2003 14:39

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Moon Dancer
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: The Lost Grove
Insane since: Apr 2003

posted posted 08-25-2003 15:46

Jackal-

First, show me where I stated nature as being sentient. I simply stated that nature is capable of balancing itself. Is it not Christian belief that God the Creator is everything and is therefore nature itself? Does that not make nature then sentient?

Evidence for macro-evolution? Archaeopteryx. Little dinosaur with feathers. Accepted step in the evolutionary process from reptile to bird. Or are you asking me to provide the missing link between ape and man?

quote:
It also seems self-contradicting to state that animals evolved on earth, people evolved from animals, but that humans are not part of nature.



Umm, I respectfully request that you re-read my posts and point out where I made the separation between man and nature. The point I have made consistently through all of my posts is that I do not separate man from nature.


GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 08-25-2003 16:47
quote:
GrythusDraconis (and anyone else who buys that "adaptation" argument), if evolution is true, then "survival of the fittest" applies, and it should be every man (and beast) for themselves.

Since when has "Survival of the fittest" had anything to do with every man for himself? It has to do with the propensity of certain people's surviving where other's can't/won't because of a different level of physical ability or resistence to disease or being more intelligent. Nothing has happened to cause this level of near-extinction in humans. It is only then that the "survival of the fittest" can be seen.

quote:
GD: I have to agree with The Jackal on that article. No one mentions the fact that you might have to use energy more efficiently. I think it is amazing that Clifornia is having these problems - if solar panels make economic sense here in the UK then surely subsidising solar panel production so indivudals can install them on their own homes will work well for everyone (and kick start a nice little industry too).

Oh I heartily agree. It's just that no number of solar panels or windmills and other intermittant energy sources of that type are going to provide power for the entire country. You can't just wire power from where it is windy/sunny to a part that is not windy/sunny. The drop off in transit is too great. Either we build more power plant to take up the slack until a more economical/enviro friendly option is foudn or we lay high density transmision cables all over the country. Neither of those options seems to be acceptable to the environmentalists. Look at Arizona right now. Their gas prices have jumped by $2-3 because, 10 years ago, the environmentalists stopped a new pipeline from being built. Because of that the pumping station shut down the pieline to pheonix, not only because it was getting dangerous to operate, but because the same environmentalists that stopped fixing the problem would have sued their pants off if the pipe ruptured. I agree that there are other ways to do things... they just won't cut it right now. It's something that needs to be worked towards and not dumped on the country as a do or die situation.

quote:
Well, life itself in general lives "optimally" at 20 degrees Celsisus. That is, for most life forms on earth.
Add to this the fact that earth itself needs living beings to be a living planet, eg to store energy from the sun and have it maintain
an chemical equilibrium...

A point, to be sure. As a believer in evolution I see plant/animal life adapting to changing weather conditions and tempuratures. I think it will be very difficult to kill everything on the planet. I mean we're talking own to microbes and bacteria and the like.

On the whole there hasn't been anything disasterous enough to trigger a need for a major evolutionary change. When the world is covered by water and only dogs with more webbing between their toes can swim long enough to find land to screw on... you'll start seeing web footed dogs soon enough. When something of such great impact creates a situation where one portion of a species is better suited to survival than the other portions of that same species you'll be able to see the changes. Right now, we're pretty damn stable as far as global shifts in nature go.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 08-25-2003 17:49

GD:

quote:
Oh I heartily agree. It's just that no number of solar panels or windmills and other intermittant energy sources of that type are going to provide power for the entire country. You can't just wire power from where it is windy/sunny to a part that is not windy/sunny. The drop off in transit is too great.



Well, although I was just really talking about California's problems, I can't see why you can't - we have a National Grid here which redistributes power around the country. I suspect the scale of the US could be a problem but there should be an alternative that suits most parts of the US. Even in the UK a house with solar panels on its roof will put current back into the National Grid during the summer (actually earning you money) so that kind of solution might doable in a lot of the rest of the country. With the might of the US economy behind solar panel production I suspect they'd soon be even more efficient.

Where power stations are needed why not aim for carbon neutral alternatives like willow?

What I'm trying to say that the very last solution should be changing the law to make it difficult to prosecute power stations.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

[1] 2Next Page »

« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu