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Environment Climate Change, Pollution, Endangered Species, Industrial Agriculture, Degrading Habitats & Renewable Energy.

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  #51  
Old May 12th 2011, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Ethics systems are entirely constructed. Environmentalists view preservation, or non-interference in the global ecosystem as a moral imperative. It need not be based on the fact that trees are nice to look at.

Indeed, probably the basis of the morality is sustainability.
OK, but breathing, walking, and talking are forms of interference no matter how minute. Say you step on an insect because you were... focusing on some sort of sustainability activity. Technically speaking, that insect is no longer sustained.

Even making a footprint in dirt or changing the organization of air molecules in the atmosphere does not sustain the structure of that dirt or atmosphere.

Likewise, learning how to identify the global ecosystem requires interfering with it in order to use resources to investigate that identity.

Again, not trying to be judgmental, but you need some way of drawing the line. If you boil it down to pragmatism... then other people could hurt you under the excuse of your existence not being practical to them.
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  #52  
Old May 12th 2011, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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OK, but breathing, walking, and talking are forms of interference no matter how minute. Say you step on an insect because you were... focusing on some sort of sustainability activity. Technically speaking, that insect is no longer sustained.

Even making a footprint in dirt or changing the organization of air molecules in the atmosphere does not sustain the structure of that dirt or atmosphere.

Likewise, learning how to identify the global ecosystem requires interfering with it in order to use resources to investigate that identity.

Again, not trying to be judgmental, but you need some way of drawing the line. If you boil it down to pragmatism... then other people could hurt you under the excuse of your existence not being practical to them.
Absolutely, there needs to be a line drawn. Can we agree that digging up fossil fuels, turning them in to toxic sludge, strip mining mountain ranges, gushing radioactive water into the ocean, etc. is not the same as eating an apple?


Edit: I think there is also an argument that there is a difference between participation and interference.
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  #53  
Old May 12th 2011, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

No, unfortunately we can't.

Say you have two alien societies that live different ways, and say those lifestyles are physically incompatible. Why should either society have the right to culturally imperialize the other?

I think gushing radioactive water into the ocean is the only example you gave that I could agree upon because it would affect both alien societies. However, if someone contained a portion of the ocean such that radioactive particles could not escape, then even that would be permissible.

Maybe you don't like fossil fuels, but that doesn't give you the right to tell people how to interact with them. What gives you the right to oppose pollution is how pollution specifically affects others, not how it affects the environment in general. If you own a portion of the world, then and only then is it your right to not have your portion polluted.
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  #54  
Old May 12th 2011, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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No, unfortunately we can't.

Say you have two alien societies that live different ways, and say those lifestyles are physically incompatible. Why should either society have the right to culturally imperialize the other?

I think gushing radioactive water into the ocean is the only example you gave that I could agree upon because it would affect both alien societies. However, if someone contained a portion of the ocean such that radioactive particles could not escape, then even that would be permissible.

Maybe you don't like fossil fuels, but that doesn't give you the right to tell people how to interact with them. What gives you the right to oppose pollution is how pollution specifically affects others, not how it affects the environment in general. If you own a portion of the world, then and only then is it your right to not have your portion polluted.
Which brings us back to the point I was originally making about the earth being an interactive, global system. You apparently don't want to accept it, but I believe I have observable science on my side.
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  #55  
Old May 12th 2011, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

Yes, and that's why I referred you to the problem of induction before.

Interaction is a subjective predicate. It depends on how confident you're willing to be that actual function is taking place. It also depends on the style of stimulus you're observing which is why I referred to aesthetics before. You have to make personal decisions on things like, "How blue is blue?" and "How dense is dense? and "How hot is hot?" These aesthetic judgments let you decide whether or not the environment is stable.

The point I'm making is that environmentalism imposes a benchmark (and framework) of functional stability upon everyone which prohibits exploration and creativity.

I mean lets quantify things.

Say we agree for a fact that the environment is going to persist for... a trillion years.

OK, but we don't know everything about the environment, so in order to investigate the environment, we have to construct tools from the environment and experiment with the environment to understand things.

Say one method of exploration degrades the environment by 100 years, but it's more difficult and less reliable.

Say another method of exploration degrades the environment by 100,000 years, and it's easier and more reliable.

How are we supposed to choose among those methods of exploration?
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  #56  
Old May 12th 2011, 12:03 PM
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Wtf does "How blue is blue?" have to do with "Strip mining is destructive to our environment and our long term society on a dramatic level?"

Sorry, I prefer to live functionally.
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  #57  
Old May 12th 2011, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

How do you think geologists discover and extract metal ore? They interpret things like colors, density, and heat. Prospecting is ultimately about speculation which is no different from what those profiteering greedy capitalists do.

What I'm saying here is what's functional to you isn't necessarily functional to everyone.
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  #58  
Old May 12th 2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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You're making an empirical claim here. Empirical claims take empirical evidence, and unfortunately, even if you had the ability to survey all life, that still wouldn't be good enough because your survey would depend upon your interpretation of their responses.

Even if it's true (which I'm doubting), I still don't think it's possible to prove your point here.
My point is that a thriving ecosystem is required for life (basic fact) and that those who live tend to want to persist and reproduce.

This seems very obvious to me. You have stated nothing here that would contradict either of the above statements. Nor have you provided any evidence for your claim that because life can be burdensome the environment becomes irrelevant.

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To the first bold, why? You need a reason.
Weird, i would think somebody better have a damn good reason for not preserving the environment. It's like if you broke into my house with a blow torch and when i attempted to stop you from burning my house down you demanded a reason for why i should stop you. Your question sounds absurd to me.

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To the second bold, that sounds like speculation which is no different from how investors speculate on natural resources (as you even literally said, "bet"). OK, so an indefinite time horizon is important to you. That doesn't necessarily mean an indefinite time horizon is important to everyone.
It is not speculation. All survey results on the environment clearly show that most people believe that the environment should be cared for and preserved. A simple google search reveals this.

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&h...5&pf=p&pdl=300

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You have to be openminded here... or not, but then I don't see how your position can be said to be considerate of rights. For example, why is a human being allowed to take a chainsaw to cut down a tree for lumber, but not say allowed to take a chainsaw to another human being for bone marrow?
One tree does not equal an ecosystem. Nor does one fish in the ocean, etc.. Your question does not make sense if you frame it as you did. A discussion of rights on this issue considers the rights of people to feed themselves vs. the right of a corporation to remove all forests, pollute all rivers, deplete all fisheries, and destabilize the climate system.

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I think your position on living practically is arguably equal to total anarchy, and if that's the case, then there's no reason why someone shouldn't have the right to kill you just to be practical and claim it's all natural. It's kind of like you're arguing against free will. If you do that, then people could commit crimes against you, and you wouldn't have a defense in the world.
The physical reality of our situation is that the environment is a real thing that has real impacts on human health, human happiness, and long term survival of most species on earth. Your argument that this is all subjective nonsense, and living according to such view, is what would would equal pure anarchy.


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I think this is an incredibly prejudicial statement because you're asking people who aren't necessarily satisfied or happy with living to still put up with life as relevant.
You still have not provided any evidence that misery makes people view life as irrelevant. In fact your response to "why is their not more suicides" actually indicated the exact opposite. Your view sounds like the more prejudicial one.

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That's slavery, plain and simple. It's like a predator demanding that prey remain subordinate for the sustenance of the life cycle instead of allowing prey to be inventive, creative, and evolutionary.
I view our situation as the exact opposite. Allowing the environment to be destroyed is precisely what would complete the enslavement of the human species, as those who would survive would be forever and totally dependent on governments and corporations for subsistence. (living in an industrial consumer civilization is actually very much the enslavement of the human species).

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Heck, I'd say you sound more conservative rather than liberal in your statement because it implies there's an orderly natural pecking order that must be preserved.
I'm implying only that i need food, clean water, clean air, and a stable climate in order to persist and be content. Most people agree (according to surveys). I don't care in the slightest if that view is liberal or conservative.

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Last edited by andrewl; May 12th 2011 at 02:00 PM.
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  #59  
Old May 12th 2011, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

BTW, i do not consider myself an environmentalist. If i had to pick a label it would be anarcho-primitivist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-primitivism

That gives sort of a general outline of where i stand.

Environmentalism to me is mainly about trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. I don't agree with the mainstream environmental view that consumer society and industrialization is compatible with the ecosystem.

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  #60  
Old May 12th 2011, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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My point is that a thriving ecosystem is required for life (basic fact) and that those who live tend to want to persist and reproduce.

This seems very obvious to me. You have stated nothing here that would contradict either of the above statements. Nor have you provided any evidence for your claim that because life can be burdensome the environment becomes irrelevant.
I don't buy this because it is possible to grow vegetables on say a hydroponic farm or bacteria in a lab. You don't need an organic conglomerate to have life.

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Weird, i would think somebody better have a damn good reason for not preserving the environment. It's like if you broke into my house with a blow torch and when i attempted to stop you from burning my house down you demanded a reason for why i should stop you. Your question sounds absurd to me.
No, I see things very differently from your example because your house is an exclusive region. The environment is not yours to manage, govern, protect, control, oversee, etc.

Containment (as artificial exclusiveness) is crucial when it comes to defining purpose because without containment, it's impossible for outsiders to know that a purpose has been assigned to resources. For example, if your community depends upon a lake, but you don't signal your activity, then I don't know whether or not it would be violating to come in and use (and more importantly, HOW, to use) your lake. Heck, I might not even know about the existence of your community because I could be on the opposite side of the lake. You need to make a claim in order to tell the world that you exist.

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It is not speculation. All survey results on the environment clearly show that most people believe that the environment should be cared for and preserved. A simple google search reveals this.

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&h...5&pf=p&pdl=300
I'm not denying that the environment ought to be preserved or not. What I'm denying is everyone believing in the same rate and style of depletion of the environment. Even if you have multiple people who agree that the environment ought to be cared about, that doesn't necessarily mean they agree on how it ought to be cared about. This report, for instance, is very vaguely worded, and it even conflates religion with environmentalism in some of its questions: http://ecoamerica.typepad.com/blog/f...EVS_Report.pdf

For example, maybe we agree on alternative energy to oppose fossil fuel pollution.

However, that doesn't mean we'll agree on what form of alternative energy to pursue. One thing I know from personal experience is most people don't think of geothermal power off the top of their heads despite how heat pumps can be installed anywhere even where you don't have a hot spot or fault line.

I like geothermal power, I really do. Why should I be forced to go along with say solar or wind or hydroelectric power instead?

On the other hand, I don't see a problem with fossil fuels as long as the pollution is contained such that it doesn't impose upon the property rights of others.

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One tree does not equal an ecosystem. Nor does one fish in the ocean, etc.. Your question does not make sense if you frame it as you did. A discussion of rights on this issue considers the rights of people to feed themselves vs. the right of a corporation to remove all forests, pollute all rivers, deplete all fisheries, and destabilize the climate system.
A group is nothing without its parts. If you oppress the minority's right to association (such as shareholders in a corporation versus nonshareholders throughout the rest of the community), then you're question begging over the right of the majority because the majority is made of the same unit type as the minority.

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The physical reality of our situation is that the environment is a real thing that has real impacts on human health, human happiness, and long term survival of most species on earth. Your argument that this is all subjective nonsense, and living according to such view, is what would would equal pure anarchy.
Reality doesn't depend upon people being healthy, happy, or alive though.

I don't see why health, happiness, or survival are relevant if you take subjectivity out of the picture. If you objectify people, then there's no reason to not treat all forms of life as natural resources themselves to be harvested and cultivated at will.

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You still have not provided any evidence that misery makes people view life as irrelevant. In fact your response to "why is their not more suicides" actually indicated the exact opposite. Your view sounds like the more prejudicial one.
I think it comes down to the definition of the word misery. Why would you want to live a life of more misery than joy (and hope)? Likewise, if someone forces you to endure certain forms of joy, are you really living, or is that person living through you?

I'm making a rational claim, not an empirical claim, here. Rational claims come down to definitions, not evidence.

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I view our situation as the exact opposite. Allowing the environment to be destroyed is precisely what would complete the enslavement of the human species, as those who would survive would be forever and totally dependent on governments and corporations for subsistence. (living in an industrial consumer civilization is actually very much the enslavement of the human species).
I'll agree that industrial consumerism is very miserable, but enslavement is about being positively forced and threatened to work, not negatively threatened with resource withdrawal. The problem is in how people objectify children as permissible costs for pleasure when having sex because those children become addicted to incomplete parenting and dysfunctional households.

Likewise, the problem with governments is how governments assert authority in undeveloped areas. This is different from a commercial enterprise because a government can take the excuse to tax people within an area in order to sustain itself, rates and styles of taxation which influence how civilization develops within its area. A commercial enterprise, on the other hand, cannot. Instead, it has to agree to rates of compensation which means the enterprise has to develop technology, infrastructure, and administration itself in order to afford its own existence. A government does not have to do that since it can simply beat people up to do those things for it.

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I'm implying only that i need food, clean water, clean air, and a stable climate in order to persist and be content. Most people agree (according to surveys). I don't care in the slightest if that view is liberal or conservative.
OK.

Say you're in an environment and someone who wants to destroy the ecosystem promises to put you in a chemically induced life supporting vat for the rest of your life.

What's the problem?
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