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

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  #21  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
No. Sorry. Me breathing does not compromise the ecosystem. It is part of the ecosystem. Do you know what an ecosystem is?
Do you know that all organisms do not breathe compatibly in symbiosis? One organism's nutrition can be another organism's waste. That's why you need metaphysics.

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Illogical. Non sequitur.
OK, so besides nature, why else is the ecosystem valuable?

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I believe we were talking about the realities of pollution, not our right to do it.
Why is pollution relevant if you don't talk about rights?

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Moving the goal posts much?

Well you can go jack off, but I'm just wondering about other things that erupt...

...like say volcanoes. Why can't I dump toxic waste in your backyard and say that you should be practical and go move next to a volcano?

I mean a volcano is part of the environment too, is it not?
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  #22  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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I'm not sure how you can definitively say this. If I go tramping around in a system with lots of delicate flora that has no heavy animals otherwise, I think some would certainly argue that I am polluting it. I think what you're saying here is a lot more based in philosophy than you're acknowledging -- the wiki site itself says that ecosystems may be 'permanent' (this seems a little misleading) or temporary. Adopting that latter categorization, one could argue that anything that introduces an external influence, including pollution could be nothing more than ending one temporary ecosystem and creating another.

At the very least, I'd say the notion of pollution generally relies on definition by convention and has some degree of aesthetics to it. An erupting volcano would certainly wreak havoc on a nearby ecosystem, but this is generally not considered to be pollution. I think the standard definition of pollution involves "something we did" by implication.
Ecosystem is objective in the sense that it acts as a life support system - and harming it is bad for the persistence of life.

Andrew
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  #23  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

Honestly, Dak, I rarely know what you're talking about. I don't know whether you use intentionally obtuse language, or whether we're just on completely different wavelengths.
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  #24  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Unfortunately for climate most of what we are doing is irreversible over the short term. So when things do start to get serious for those in the developed world who can potentially do something about it (it is already very serious for those in many non-developed countries) it is mostly too late.

Humanity has a tendency to invent and fix when it is about war or economic activity - we do not have a tendency to invent when there is nobody to kill or nothing to sell.

Andrew
Well, I suspect that most of the innovation would be focussed on adaptation, particularly in the short term, rather than on attempting to control the climate. In the longer term future, controlling the climate may become feasible, though I don't know if attempting to freeze our environment as-is and prevent "climate change" would be natural in and of itself, since the climate has always been in a state of flux.

The angle of that involving fossil fuel consumption is likely to be fixed, I think, more as a matter of economic scarcity than impact on the environment. Fossil fuel prices go up, there's money to be made in an alternative, so one is developed. Hopefully that alternative is both more sustainable and less environmentally damaging.
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  #25  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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The "environment" is the collection of earth processes that makes life possible and able to persist. How could it not be relevant?

Andrew
I think you're assuming life is relevant which is something many people would disagree with because they live lives of burden rather than joy. There are points in many people's lives where they wonder why they ought to have been allowed to have been brought into the world, especially the developing world that's loaded with corruption, dilapidation, and conflict.

It's also important to note that ecosystems kill organisms all the time in predator-prey relationships. Nature is not all fun, bubbles, and sunshine.
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  #26  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
I think you're assuming life is relevant which is something many people would disagree with because they live lives of burden rather than joy.
BTW, when i say life im including all non-human life as well. I seriously doubt most or even anything but a tiny amount of humans or non-human life on the planet would rather there be no life.

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There are points in many people's lives where they wonder why they ought to have been allowed to have been brought into the world, especially the developing world that's loaded with corruption, dilapidation, and conflict.
I don't agree that this somehow makes life irrelevant. This is just part of life. Most people who live miserable lives still want to live. It is pretty easy to kill themselves otherwise, yet most don't.

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It's also important to note that ecosystems kill organisms all the time in predator-prey relationships. Nature is not all fun, bubbles, and sunshine.
Not sure how this disputes the objective fact that the entire ecosystem acts as a life support system for the earth. Indeed, the fact that humans have used fossil fuels to temporarily swell the human populations well beyond the normal carrying capacity of its landbase is a serious violation of this basic law of ecosystems.

Andrew
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  #27  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
Well, I suspect that most of the innovation would be focussed on adaptation, particularly in the short term, rather than on attempting to control the climate. In the longer term future, controlling the climate may become feasible, though I don't know if attempting to freeze our environment as-is and prevent "climate change" would be natural in and of itself, since the climate has always been in a state of flux.
The long term goal would be to allow the environment to continue its natural state of flux, which on a global scale is very slow. I doubt we would ever have the ability to control the climate. Adaptation and mitigation are currently the only options. The option to mitigate is vanishing. But since we do not know where the tipping points are (we only know that there are tipping points) we can't just stop attempting to mitigate.

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The angle of that involving fossil fuel consumption is likely to be fixed, I think, more as a matter of economic scarcity than impact on the environment. Fossil fuel prices go up, there's money to be made in an alternative, so one is developed. Hopefully that alternative is both more sustainable and less environmentally damaging.
More likely we just add the alternatives on to gas, oil, and coal consumption. Just as we did when gas and oil were added on to coal use. The idea that we just replace a polluting technology with something sustainable and cleaner is a bit of a myth. We live in a culture that consciously and deliberately replaced sustainable and less eco-damaging rail travel and urban living with automobiles and suburbs. The companies involved were convicted of a conspiracy and fined $5000.00 dollars for systematically destroying americas urban rail systems so that they could grow the economy and build what they called the "defense highway system" under the guise that the country needed a highway system to transport missiles in case the Russians invaded.

The institutions of this culture cannot do anything but destroy the earth's life support systems, even when the people within these institutions want the opposite.

Andrew
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  #28  
Old May 11th 2011, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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BTW, when i say life im including all non-human life as well. I seriously doubt most or even anything but a tiny amount of humans or non-human life on the planet would rather there be no life.
Well you'd have many problems there. Even socialist outlooks on the industrial and feudal west acknowledge the burdens of lives past, and those are easily comparable to today's developing world.

Likewise, I don't think you can talk to animals, and what about say more passive life? What about plants? Plants don't communicate much, yet we still cut them down and make houses out of their bodies.

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I don't agree that this somehow makes life irrelevant. This is just part of life. Most people who live miserable lives still want to live. It is pretty easy to kill themselves otherwise, yet most don't.
No, suicide is not an easy thing. If it was, people would be killing themselves by the plethoras everyday, nor would those who do leave notes behind or kill others or save others to justify their actions. There's a tremendous amount of physical and mental anxiety to be overcome when you seriously contemplate killing yourself.

Many people are willing to live, but that doesn't mean they like it. What they could be more intimidated by is the transition to the unknown. They could think life is less painful than death or at least that miserable life is less painful than dying (or they could worry about the risk of becoming a vegetable).

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Not sure how this disputes the objective fact that the entire ecosystem acts as a life support system for the earth. Indeed, the fact that humans have used fossil fuels to temporarily swell the human populations well beyond the normal carrying capacity of its landbase is a serious violation of this basic law of ecosystems.

Andrew
OK.

I think the most basic skepticism you have to account for is how the ecosystem fundamentally depends upon depletable resources such as solar energy, the earth's magnetic field, the ozone layer, etc.

If anything, it can be interpreted that the ecosystem depletes life support rather than enhances life support. We interpret it to be a cycle because things appear to be in balance, but in reality, it all depends on extremely long term reserves.

Environmental usage depends on how quickly you're willing to deplete life support, and different people have different schedule preferences.
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  #29  
Old May 11th 2011, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Originally Posted by Daktoria View Post
Well you'd have many problems there. Even socialist outlooks on the industrial and feudal west acknowledge the burdens of lives past, and those are easily comparable to today's developing world.
Life comes with burdens, yes. I do not equate that to meaning that people with life wish there was none. More likely those in the developed world wish for a better life rather than the end of all life. Life is relevant to all those who experience it, generally.

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Likewise, I don't think you can talk to animals, and what about say more passive life? What about plants? Plants don't communicate much, yet we still cut them down and make houses out of their bodies.
Right, i can't talk to animals or plants. Nor can i talk for them, as you presume to do.

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No, suicide is not an easy thing. If it was, people would be killing themselves by the plethoras everyday, nor would those who do leave notes behind or kill others or save others to justify their actions. There's a tremendous amount of physical and mental anxiety to be overcome when you seriously contemplate killing yourself.
bingo. Life is relevant to them, IOW.

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Many people are willing to live, but that doesn't mean they like it. What they could be more intimidated by is the transition to the unknown. They could think life is less painful than death or at least that miserable life is less painful than dying (or they could worry about the risk of becoming a vegetable).
We were talking about whether life is relevant, not whether it is always full of satisfaction and happiness. I do not think these are the same things.

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OK.

I think the most basic skepticism you have to account for is how the ecosystem fundamentally depends upon depletable resources such as solar energy, the earth's magnetic field, the ozone layer, etc.

If anything, it can be interpreted that the ecosystem depletes life support rather than enhances life support. We interpret it to be a cycle because things appear to be in balance, but in reality, it all depends on extremely long term reserves.

Environmental usage depends on how quickly you're willing to deplete life support, and different people have different schedule preferences.
Not balance. Rhythm is a more appropriate metaphor. Yes, it is also temporary - i.e., long before the sun explodes the earth will most likely go through a few more ice ages and ultimately become a hothouse. This is true regardless of human impacts. The earth is destined to be a mostly lifeless planet in hundreds of millions of years. In fact we live in the last 5% of the "window" for when life as we know it could possibly exist on this planet.

Yet there is still a moral issue here. Destroying most life (including human life) on this planet in a matter of a few centuries is immoral. Not preserving a life sustaining planet for as long as possible is wrong. Whether or not you can use philosophy to label this moral position "subjective" is not really important to me. It is interesting though - but actually living life as if such philosophy really matters in any practical sense is madness.

Preserving the conditions for life on this planet for as long as possible is relevant/important to me (and most others i bet).

Andrew
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  #30  
Old May 12th 2011, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Enviropessimism

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Life comes with burdens, yes. I do not equate that to meaning that people with life wish there was none. More likely those in the developed world wish for a better life rather than the end of all life. Life is relevant to all those who experience it, generally.
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.

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Not balance. Rhythm is a more appropriate metaphor. Yes, it is also temporary - i.e., long before the sun explodes the earth will most likely go through a few more ice ages and ultimately become a hothouse. This is true regardless of human impacts. The earth is destined to be a mostly lifeless planet in hundreds of millions of years. In fact we live in the last 5% of the "window" for when life as we know it could possibly exist on this planet.

Yet there is still a moral issue here. Destroying most life (including human life) on this planet in a matter of a few centuries is immoral. Not preserving a life sustaining planet for as long as possible is wrong. Whether or not you can use philosophy to label this moral position "subjective" is not really important to me. It is interesting though - but actually living life as if such philosophy really matters in any practical sense is madness.

Preserving the conditions for life on this planet for as long as possible is relevant/important to me (and most others i bet).

Andrew
To the first bold, why? You need a reason.

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.

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?

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.

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We were talking about whether life is relevant, not whether it is always full of satisfaction and happiness. I do not think these are the same things.
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.

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.

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.

Last edited by Daktoria; May 12th 2011 at 07:03 AM.
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