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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:15 am 
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Indeed, the tragedy of the commons is very real when it comes to environmental issues. One selfish or simply misguided person can undo a whole lot of other people's responsible behavior. Responsible lifestyle choices are essential, and so are governmental oversight and regulation.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:23 am 
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krisbell wrote:
We're fighting the same battle but I just can't ever see all the wealthy people of the world voluntarily and significantly reducing their consumption. Its been shown time and again that civilizations carry themselves to destruction with unsustainable consumption (Easter Island being the classic example of this). Furthermore you have the free-rider problem that no-one has found a workable solution to, in that if everyone else is selflessly consuming way less than they would like for the greater benefit of all, then if someone thinks they can get away with it, they will consume way more than their fair share. If someone even suspects someone else is doing this, then they will follow suit. It is one of the key reasons why over-fishing continues to occur. On a smaller scale, my brother is a fisherman in Thailand and even though all the locals know they are damaging their own livelihoods they all dynamite fish because one person started doing it and they dont want to be the one to miss out on the last grab for the remaining fish.


Quickly, here are the reasons I don't feel the same way:

1) I think that most of our overconsumption is corporate-and-advertising driven. It's not making us happier, or healthier, or really anything good. To stop overconsuming is not just "selfless" - overall, it's a lot better for you. And a big way to help people realize that is to do it yourself and show them that there's a better way. They need to know that advertisers are not working for their best interests.

(As a coincidence, I did a classroom lecture on this very topic - the positive benefits of consuming less - today. And I can ensure you that without my pictures and stories, the impact of what I had to say wouldn't have been nearly as strong as it was.)

2) Peer pressure goes both ways. A lot of the pressures to conform that drive people to overconsume now could begin to cascade in the opposite direction.

3) You don't always need to get everyone on board. Companies fail when they don't profit. To sink a lot of overpolluting industries, you don't need everyone to stop consuming, you just need enough of the people with money to stop consuming that the businesses stop profiting, and the businessmen fold the polluting/consuming businesses to match the new consumer base.

4) The number one thing that we all agree on (well, except Fieldnotes), is that the problem is drastic, and that drastic measures need to be taken, and that this is really hard when most people don't realize how serious the problem is. Well...

* Talking about a 1-child policy that you have no power to enact isn't going to make people start taking the problem seriously, because people talk about all sorts of crazy ideas when there's no current chance of reality.

* Not voting for Republicans won't make people start taking the problem seriously, because it doesn't take much commitment at all to change your vote, and most people who care a ton about climate change are already not voting Republican anyway.

* Making serious personal lifestyle changes that reduce your consumption to sustainable levels challenges people and begins to make them take you seriously. Because you have real skin in the game, you're making a difference already that shows itself over and over in your everyday life, and they can no longer have any doubt about what you really believe the priority is.



krisbell wrote:
The 'beauty' of a 1-child policy (or similar population control method) is that people can continue being the selfish, ignorant consumers they always have been and always will be, but the reduced population means consumption, no matter how high per capita, is perfectly sustainable.


How could that be true? It can't be "no matter how high per capita" - even if you reduce the population to a billion, then one billion upper-class Americans, at current consumption levels, would overconsume the entire planet by a significant amount. If you reduce the population to even less than that, I'm sure that the consumption could grow accordingly. We've never shown that there's any upper limit to our ability to consume, and until we address that issue, the population will never be low enough.

Even if we think we can do it by voting, we at least have to get a majority who are willing to make decisions as tough as the ones that need to be made. And, as I've said multiple times, so far only a very, very small minority are voluntarily doing enough in their personal lives. That minority needs to grow before the voting can have any effect.


krisbell wrote:
I admit there are a hell of a lot of ugly side effects to a policy such as this, though in developed countries with good levels of women's education, couples are producing close to 2 children over the course of their lives anyway, so this isnt such a big jump in comparison.


Don't you think that one ugly side effect could be even more selfish, even more overconsuming children? I'm under the impression that that is exactly what has happened in China, whose consumption has continued to skyrocket and whose pollution is the worst in the world despite horrible things that happened under their one-child policy.

Besides the other terrible side-effects, imagine what it would take to maintain this one-world totalitarian hegemony over the entire planet, enforcing house-to-house mandatory one-child control (does this include forced abortions like China did), for over one hundred years. Not only is that ridiculous - there'd be too many rebellions long before that - but the very thought has to be horrifying. If the world survived it, it would not be for the better.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 11:33 am 
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gbin wrote:
Indeed, the tragedy of the commons is very real when it comes to environmental issues. One selfish or simply misguided person can undo a whole lot of other people's responsible behavior. Responsible lifestyle choices are essential, and so are governmental oversight and regulation.


A brilliant development expert I'm friends with first introduced me to the major ideas around this tragedy concerning the commons. His opinion was that the absolute best thing that we could do to address the problem was the address the discrepancy in living situations (a "The Spirit Level" kind of argument), and that the absolute best way to do that was for rich people and poor people to be involved in each other's lives. As long as the rich are distanced from the poor, both physically and materially, then they won't be concerned with using up the commons that the poor rely on to survive.

I agreed strongly with him. People simply tend to care more about people who they have more in common with, and whose lives they have more contact with. If our lives aren't interconnected, we're not really going to see that our withdrawals from the commons are having an effect on everyone else until it's too late.

Actually, this brings up yet one more issue with the one-child policy. The less buy-in people have with the next generation, the less they'll probably care about whether things will last for that generation. If people have no nieces, no nephews, only one child or none, one grandchild or none, and know that they may or may not have any great-grandchildren and beyond...where will their personal buy-in be to preserve for the future?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 12:23 pm 
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jonathan wrote:
Actually, this brings up yet one more issue with the one-child policy. The less buy-in people have with the next generation, the less they'll probably care about whether things will last for that generation. If people have no nieces, no nephews, only one child or none, one grandchild or none, and know that they may or may not have any great-grandchildren and beyond...where will their personal buy-in be to preserve for the future?


Although I agree with most of the points you are making here, this particular one doesn't make sense to me. If having fewer children would make people want to preserve for the future less, then people should have lots and lots of children so that they want to preserve for the future more and more. It seems obvious that this would not help with climate change or any of the other serious ecological problems that people have caused.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 1:50 pm 
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jonathan wrote:
... To sink a lot of overpolluting industries, you don't need everyone to stop consuming, you just need enough of the people with money to stop consuming that the businesses stop profiting, and the businessmen fold the polluting/consuming businesses to match the new consumer base.

Maybe you should try taking your own challenge: "You show me the big [polluting industry] that has [folded its polluting businesses] via [enough consumers no longer patronizing those businesses]." ;) Let alone without governmental oversight and regulation working in conjunction with that change in consumer behavior. Good luck!

jonathan wrote:
* Not voting for Republicans won't make people start taking the problem seriously, because it doesn't take much commitment at all to change your vote, and most people who care a ton about climate change are already not voting Republican anyway.

First, what I advocate is voting, but doing so for anyone but Republicans - not just "not voting for Republicans" (sigh... :? ) And I advocate this in addition to making responsible lifestyle choices.

And for the sake of clarity, I advocate voting for non-Republicans because 1) they are currently (and have been for some time now) the major party that has really taken industry's interests to heart and adopted a goal of reducing/eliminating governmental oversight and regulation on behalf of the environment (or anything else), and 2) they already have a harmful degree of political hegemony, and it's worsening. Republicans already hold most state legislatures, the House and the Supreme Court, and if enough people don't get out and vote this fall they'll very likely take the Senate as well; if they win the White House in two years, which is always a possibility, then they'll not only have the presidency, too, but also probably lock down the Supreme Court for a very long time. If and when the Democrats hold so much power and they behave the way Republicans do now, then I'll argue for voting against them, but that's not the current situation confronting us.

Second, it does take commitment, in the first place to vote, and in the second place to vote out of concern for broad, long-term interests rather than just in response to someone arousing this or that sociological passion. (Indeed, the Republican Party has been for some time and is presently working to make voting more difficult, and a fair bit of industry/corporate influence has been aimed that way. Why do you suppose that is?)

Third, part of the usefulness of voting as a strategy to combat environmental problems is that it is at least easier to do than it is to make profound lifestyle changes. Were we to examine whatever data exists on all these subjects rather than merely spinning out a slew of personal opinions about them as if they were facts ;) , I feel rather sure that we would find there are an awful lot of people who care about climate-changing pollution but who don't currently vote. I suspect that more than a few even "care a ton" about climate-changing pollution but don't currently vote. This is at least partly by the design of industry and their paid mouthpieces, who as I've said on the one hand want to discourage most people from voting by trumpeting that "all politicians/parties are alike, so there's no point in voting," and on the other hand want to encourage to vote only those who will be misled into voting for Republicans based on some hot-button sociologial issue. Voter apathy isn't just occurring, it's being engineered for a specific purpose.

jonathan wrote:
Even if we think we can do it by voting, we at least have to get a majority who are willing to make decisions as tough as the ones that need to be made. And, as I've said multiple times, so far only a very, very small minority are voluntarily doing enough in their personal lives. That minority needs to grow before the voting can have any effect.

See above, both about not trying to do it by voting alone and about it being at least easier to vote than to make profound lifestyle changes.

See also the Clean Air Act as just one example of things that government has accomplished on behalf of the environment in the past because in the past enough people voted for politicians who were willing to act on behalf of the environment. Did a majority of people change their behavior to minimize their contribution to air pollution before they voted for said politicians? I don't know, but I seriously doubt it. And before coming back with some question like "did the Clean Air Act solve everything?" consider instead the question "did the Clean Air Act help at all?" I think there's plenty of evidence that it not only helped at all, it helped tremendously - and it might still help much more (including with climate-changing pollution).

I don't believe that anything short of the earth's imminent destruction would be big enough to change everyone's behavior - with respect to personal lifestyle changes, voting, what-have-you - all of a sudden. If things are ever going to improve substantially, they're going to do so by stringing together a much longer series of changes. It makes no sense to me to naysay (or poor-mouth if not actually going so far as to naysay) voting for non-Republicans, one of the easier, quicker changes we can make in current American behavior on behalf of the environment, even if you think it won't make as big a difference as something else will.

It's kind of like those foolish debates many conservationists used to have over whether a single large or several small wildlife reserves would be better. The painfully obvious answer is that whatever wildlife reserves can be established should be established, be they large or small, few or many. Duh! :roll:

jonathan wrote:
gbin wrote:
Indeed, the tragedy of the commons is very real when it comes to environmental issues. One selfish or simply misguided person can undo a whole lot of other people's responsible behavior. Responsible lifestyle choices are essential, and so are governmental oversight and regulation.

A brilliant development expert I'm friends with first introduced me to the major ideas around this tragedy concerning the commons. His opinion was that the absolute best thing that we could do to address the problem was the address the discrepancy in living situations (a "The Spirit Level" kind of argument), and that the absolute best way to do that was for rich people and poor people to be involved in each other's lives. As long as the rich are distanced from the poor, both physically and materially, then they won't be concerned with using up the commons that the poor rely on to survive.

I agreed strongly with him. People simply tend to care more about people who they have more in common with, and whose lives they have more contact with. If our lives aren't interconnected, we're not really going to see that our withdrawals from the commons are having an effect on everyone else until it's too late.

You appear to have a misunderstanding of what the tragedy of the commons is all about with respect to environmental issues. It's not a rich versus poor thing, at least not mostly. I'd explain it to you (more than I already have in what you quoted from me above), but I've already done way more typing than I care to ;) and you don't seem to get me very clearly, anyway. I'd suggest you look it up in some source you feel you can trust.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 3:32 pm 

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What it boils down to is politics. The Republican voter is not going to believe in global warming period. Reason, because the Democrat voter does believe. It does not matter what kind of proof is presented. It does not matter that there are thousands of men and woman with intelligence that far exceeds Einstein himself, warning us about GW. The whole act is so immature and shows very low intelligence.

Not to mention, anything that threatens mans ability to make easy money without responsibility is greatly frowned upon by that same group.

Let me add that I have never voted and never will. However, if I had to, I am going to side with the mature, intelligent, sharing group.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 3:56 pm 

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Jonathan- Can you give some examples of the way you have changed your lifestyle to have less of a carbon footprint?

Please don't take that as an attack, I am asking so that maybe I, or others reading, can try to incorporate them into our own lifestyles. I think it would go right along with what you are saying about leading by example and challenging others. Think of all the views this thread has gotten.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 4:16 pm 
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dthor68 wrote:
What it boils down to is politics. The Republican voter is not going to believe in global warming period. Reason, because the Democrat voter does believe. It does not matter what kind of proof is presented. It does not matter that there are thousands of men and woman with intelligence that far exceeds Einstein himself, warning us about GW. The whole act is so immature and shows very low intelligence.

There's more to it than that. Republican voters are being persuaded to adopt that extremely partisan view by industry/corporate folk who are using a great deal of money and influence to push it. And the reason they're doing so is because they are directly benefitting from it.

dthor68 wrote:
Let me add that I have never voted and never will...

Which frankly makes you almost as big a part of the problem - at least it's political side (which I see as substantial, even if jonathan doesn't) - as those knee-jerk Republican voters you mentioned above. Again, it's no coincidence that so many people with intelligence aren't voting these days; it's in good part by the design by those same same industry/corporate folk I mentioned above. The Republican voters are being duped into voting Republican, and you're being duped into not voting at all. The end game is the same: increase the political hegemony of the party currently most willing to do industry's bidding by reducing/eliminating government oversight and regulation of industry practices.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 4:16 pm 
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Kfen wrote:
Jonathan- Can you give some examples of the way you have changed your lifestyle to have less of a carbon footprint?

Please don't take that as an attack, I am asking so that maybe I, or others reading, can try to incorporate them into our own lifestyles. I think it would go right along with what you are saying about leading by example and challenging others. Think of all the views this thread has gotten.

I think this would be a fine idea. :thumb:

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 5:23 pm 

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gbin wrote:
dthor68 wrote:
What it boils down to is politics. The Republican voter is not going to believe in global warming period. Reason, because the Democrat voter does believe. It does not matter what kind of proof is presented. It does not matter that there are thousands of men and woman with intelligence that far exceeds Einstein himself, warning us about GW. The whole act is so immature and shows very low intelligence.

There's more to it than that. Republican voters are being persuaded to adopt that extremely partisan view by industry/corporate folk who are using a great deal of money and influence to push it. And the reason they're doing so is because they are directly benefitting from it.

dthor68 wrote:
Let me add that I have never voted and never will...

Which frankly makes you almost as big a part of the problem - at least it's political side (which I see as substantial, even if jonathan doesn't) - as those knee-jerk Republican voters you mentioned above. Again, it's no coincidence that so many people with intelligence aren't voting these days; it's in good part by the design by those same same industry/corporate folk I mentioned above. The Republican voters are being duped into voting Republican, and you're being duped into not voting at all. The end game is the same: increase the political hegemony of the party currently most willing to do industry's bidding by reducing/eliminating government oversight and regulation of industry practices.

Gerry


Hey Gerry you can blame it on me if you like. Everything about politics suck and no corporate folk swayed my way of thinking. First of all you would have to listen to someone to sway your thoughts, I have yet to listen to anyone. I have watched people waste away full of anger and hate because of politics. I am happy 99% of the time and I plan on keeping it that way. I am also free of paranoia.

I disagree with your thinking that Fox News or whatever is the reason Republicans do not believe. Their hatred from Democrats (Liberals) goes way beyond Fox News. I have had to work and live beside these people and I can tell you they are full of hate. They live to hate. If you are not a white Christian, than they hate you too. And the few that don't hate cant seem to focus on anything other than the ol'mighty dollar. The Dems have a few issues as well. Not for me, happiness is great.

Really, I can not believe this topic has went this long. GW is not something that someone is going to change their mind on, ever. Why waste your breath? In time the Government will do something about it, by then it will be too late. Even if we did something tomorrow what makes you think China will? Funny thing is that as a child of the 80's when all of my friends said that we will all die in WW3 against Russia, I was saying that overpopulation and pollution would be the cause of our extinction.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 6:53 pm 
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dthor68 wrote:
Hey Gerry you can blame it on me if you like...

We're each responsible for our own actions, and I don't see as it makes much difference whether we're blamed for them unless illegality is involved. Besides, you're irresponsible in this regard, and I reckon I'm irresponsible in another. (In fact, I feel sure my wife would confirm the latter.) All I can do is hope you come to think and act differently at some point (just as my wife doubtless hopes for me).

dthor68 wrote:
... no corporate folk swayed my way of thinking...

It's curious, so many folks doing just what a fairly small number of very rich and powerful businessmen want and spend a lot of money trying to persuade them to do, and yet none of those folks are doing it because they've been persuaded in the slightest. It's all just a huge coincidence, and those very rich and powerful businessmen are being uncharacteristically wasteful with their money. ;)

Really I think we're all susceptible to propaganda to at least some degree, especially when we don't realize we're being propagandized (or think we're immune to it).

For the record and despite how people might sometimes think I appear here, I'm actually a pretty happy fellow, too, and also pretty free of paranoia. I'm of the James Taylor school of thought - "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time" - and I do. One of the ways I enjoy passing the time, though, is trying to make the world a better place. To each his/her own, I guess.

dthor68 wrote:
I disagree with your thinking that Fox News or whatever is the reason Republicans do not believe. Their hatred from Democrats (Liberals) goes way beyond Fox News...

And I'm sure they'd say the same thing. Tsk! All those poor, foolish propagandists out there, wasting their lives persuading no one but luckily finding so many behaving just the way they want regardless. ;)

For folks who have been around a while and looked at the world and their part in it with open eyes, though, it's apparent that America's currently extreme political partisanship is a rather new phenomenon, really taking off about the time that Fox News and talk radio did likewise. It's also apparent that the aforementioned rich and powerful businessmen encourage and benefit tremendously from said extreme political partisanship; "divide and conquer," as they say.

dthor68 wrote:
... GW is not something that someone is going to change their mind on, ever. Why waste your breath?...

Funny your saying that, as I've personally known quite a few people to change their minds on it (and I'm not talking about my fellow scientists, who are relatively easy to persuade as evidence accumulates). Pretty much always in the direction of finally coming to realize that climate-changing pollution is indeed a serious problem, too, rather than the other way around. More than a few of them have even been in good, old, Republican-as-they-come TX. I'm also a big Richard Bach fan; one of the quotes from him that seems to fit well here is "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours."

And if I enjoy wasting my breath this way, why shouldn't I do so?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 7:02 pm 
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dthor68 wrote:
Even if we did something tomorrow what makes you think China will?


China is doing something about it. They've invested a ton of money into renewable power- not just because of climate change, but because they realize they are killing off everything in China as a result of their catastrophic pollution of just about everything, and their very survival depends on reversing that trend. The idea that the US or Europe or the west shouldn't do anything about climate change because its mostly the fault of China (and India), and they aren't going to change, is a giant myth.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 7:51 pm 
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Kfen wrote:
Jonathan- Can you give some examples of the way you have changed your lifestyle to have less of a carbon footprint?

Please don't take that as an attack, I am asking so that maybe I, or others reading, can try to incorporate them into our own lifestyles. I think it would go right along with what you are saying about leading by example and challenging others. Think of all the views this thread has gotten.


jonathan described earlier what he and his wife are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. See his post in this thread from Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:35 am (on page 3 of this thread).

John


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:03 pm 
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Ribbit wrote:
Kfen wrote:
Jonathan- Can you give some examples of the way you have changed your lifestyle to have less of a carbon footprint?

Please don't take that as an attack, I am asking so that maybe I, or others reading, can try to incorporate them into our own lifestyles. I think it would go right along with what you are saying about leading by example and challenging others. Think of all the views this thread has gotten.


jonathan described earlier what he and his wife are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. See his post in this thread from Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:35 am (on page 3 of this thread).

John


Thanks John. I could get into that a ton more. It might be good if I describe what I was already doing in America too. Since several people asked, I'll do that at some point when I have a little more time.

Some easy general things to say, though, are:

Live in a much smaller home, and let your land be natural.
Consume fewer things, especially resource-heavy things, and try to consume things that were ethically produced.
Don't follow trends, hype, advertising built around consumption.
Buy locally.
Eat less meat, or none at all (that can be lightened if you get meat via the next point).
Buy from food producers who responsibly care for their land.
Don't commute by car, drive less, fly less or not at all, and share a car if possible.
Use less electricity (especially heating/cooling), and avoid fossil-fuel based production.
Live in touch with the poor.

With those steps, it's possible to reduce your carbon footprint from the American average by an order of magnitude without reducing your quality of life.

The ideal solution might be something like a full-on Wendell Berry-type life, centered around a local community and deeply in touch with the land. I didn't read Berry until last year, but I've been moving in his direction without knowing it for almost 15 years, and I consider him something of a prophet on this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:06 pm 
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VanAR wrote:
The idea that the US or Europe or the west shouldn't do anything about climate change because its mostly the fault of China (and India), and they aren't going to change, is a giant myth.


For the moment, India is actually sustainable. Despite all the pollution, 7 billion people living like the average Indian could live on this planet without destroying it. However, the combination of overpopulation among impoverished Indians, and the increasingly American-modeled consumption among the middle-class and wealthy Indians, means that this state won't hold for long and soon enough they'll be a massive part of the problem...just like we already have been, for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:27 pm 
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gbin wrote:
jonathan wrote:
... To sink a lot of overpolluting industries, you don't need everyone to stop consuming, you just need enough of the people with money to stop consuming that the businesses stop profiting, and the businessmen fold the polluting/consuming businesses to match the new consumer base.

Maybe you should try taking your own challenge: "You show me the big [polluting industry] that has [folded its polluting businesses] via [enough consumers no longer patronizing those businesses]." ;) Let alone without governmental oversight and regulation working in conjunction with that change in consumer behavior. Good luck!


Of course it hasn't happened. Consumers aren't refusing to patron polluting businesses. Don't you get that that's the problem I'm trying to address?

The difference between my challenge and your challenge is that there are tons of examples where people already choose to "vote for someone other than Republicans", both in US history and all over the world. It didn't make nearly the difference it needed to. If you could point out a case where people stopped patronizing overpolluting businesses, and it failed to make the necessary impact, then you would have an analogous example.


gbin wrote:
First, what I advocate is voting, but doing so for anyone but Republicans - not just "not voting for Republicans" (sigh... :? ) And I advocate this in addition to making responsible lifestyle choices.


Then please, give a little ink to the responsible lifestyle choices. Other than liking a hybrid, I haven't seen you give an actual practical word to that in 4 pages of conversation, despite your thousands of words about voting and Republicans.


gbin wrote:
Third, part of the usefulness of voting as a strategy to combat environmental problems is that it is at least easier to do than it is to make profound lifestyle changes.


Which is why it's so easy for people to support a political party (or build support against a political party) and than sit back in their 1000 square foot house and their 20 ton carbon footprint and think they've done their duty.


gbin wrote:
You appear to have a misunderstanding of what the tragedy of the commons is all about with respect to environmental issues. It's not a rich versus poor thing, at least not mostly.


I simply disagree with you a lot there. I think the primary issue behind the tragedy of the commons is that people act independently rather than acting with empathy for the other users, and the primary reason this happens unabated is because of the physical and communal distance between the rich (who have the means to use far more than their share of the commons) and the poor (who experience the most immediate suffering from abuse of the commons).

The original proposals about the Tragedy of the Commons were Malthusian in nature, and simply wrong in their assumptions like everything else Malthusian. Look up Elinor Ostrom's work to get some more recent examples of how communities who actually preserve their commons work - the key factors are that they are a tight network with social bonds, they know what's there and that it's in real danger of depletion, and that they experience real difficulty from the potential lack of the resource. Until the rich (who are depleting and funding the depletion of the commons) and the poor (who are typically the ones actually present where the commons are depleted, and who suffer directly from their depletion, but may not have access to the long-term information about what is there and what will happen) are communicating and forming tight social-bonded communities together, than those conditions aren't going to be met other than in independent rural communities.

I can't say that I've thought through this more than you, but I am quite certain that my friend I was speaking of has thought it out more than you and is applying it more in his own life and development work. Please don't assume that I'm ignorant of the issue only because my opinion on it differs from yours.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 10:32 pm 
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Ribbit wrote:
jonathan wrote:
Actually, this brings up yet one more issue with the one-child policy. The less buy-in people have with the next generation, the less they'll probably care about whether things will last for that generation. If people have no nieces, no nephews, only one child or none, one grandchild or none, and know that they may or may not have any great-grandchildren and beyond...where will their personal buy-in be to preserve for the future?


Although I agree with most of the points you are making here, this particular one doesn't make sense to me. If having fewer children would make people want to preserve for the future less, then people should have lots and lots of children so that they want to preserve for the future more and more. It seems obvious that this would not help with climate change or any of the other serious ecological problems that people have caused.

John


It's only a little side-point, not fundamental to my opinion on the issue. I'm basically just saying that if the assumption is that people are incredibly selfish and don't have the necessary empathy for others now or for future generations, than a one-child policy seems likely only to exacerbate that problem.

I don't we need to have more children to care more about the future. But, for some people at least, there is certainly at least some correlation between having children in their lives that they care about and having a concern for the well-being of future generations.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 5:57 am 
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Quote:
... [Rational people] aren't [voting in sufficient numbers to undo the Republican Party's political hegemony and thus make it possible to meaningfully oversee and regulate] polluting businesses. Don't you get that that's the problem I'm trying to address?

Quote:
[People have in the past successfully voted for politicians who enacted legislation that did a lot to curtail the harmful activities of] polluting businesses. Don't you get that...?

jonathan wrote:
... please, give a little ink to the responsible lifestyle choices. Other than liking a hybrid, I haven't seen you give an actual practical word to that in 4 pages of conversation, despite your thousands of words about voting and Republicans.

I've already given it more than "a little ink" in this thread - whether or not you've seen it - and every bit as much as I care to. I choose what causes I'll champion and how much just as you choose what causes you'll champion and how much. The difference apparently is that I am capable of understanding that someone can support more than one cause (or more than one worthwhile approach to a cause), even those they don't champion enough to please someone else. You've been acting from the start as if it's some kind of personal affront for anyone not to agree entirely, in every way and only with what you advocate. That's both ridiculously egocentric and counterproductive.

jonathan wrote:
... it's so easy for people to support a political party (or build support against a political party) and than sit back in their 1000 square foot house and their 20 ton carbon footprint and think they've done their duty.

Which is why (for the umpteenth time... :roll: ) I never advocated such an approach, of course, instead advocating a tandem approach of voting responsibly and making responsible choices in personal lifestyle.

jonathan wrote:
gbin wrote:
You appear to have a misunderstanding of what the tragedy of the commons is all about with respect to environmental issues. It's not a rich versus poor thing, at least not mostly.

I simply disagree with you a lot there...

Of course you do. From what I can tell, it's not possible for you to accept having someone point out a mistake of yours, let alone correct that mistake. It's all just water off a duck's back to you. As I said, try looking into the matter on your own sometime, in sources (not just your friend, who apparently explained the concept to you only in economic, not ecological, terms) that you trust. Maybe then you can come to recognize and correct your own misunderstanding.

jonathan wrote:
... I think the primary issue behind the tragedy of the commons is that people act independently rather than acting with empathy for the other users, and the primary reason this happens unabated is because of the physical and communal distance between the rich (who have the means to use far more than their share of the commons) and the poor (who experience the most immediate suffering from abuse of the commons).

Coincidentally, I just mentioned in another thread elsewhere a recent scientific study showing that people selected for special treatment almost always quickly adopted the attitude that they deserved said special treatment and that those who weren't selected for special treatment didn't deserve it - even though they knew the selection process was completely random. And this attitude developed not only incredibly rapidly but also while the participants were both physically close and continuously interacting, by the way.

For the record, in environmental terms everyone - rich and poor - has the potential (and fulfills at least some of that potential) to degrade the commons, and everyone - rich and poor - ultimately suffers from its degradation. The rich just have better ways to forestall or mitigate the harmful effects on themselves. If a neighbor dumps used motor oil near yonder stream, the water quality and everything/everyone dependent on it suffers whether the neighbor was rich or poor.

And in biological terms, the "selfish gene" isn't going to stop being selfish simply because it got to know other genes better.

jonathan wrote:
... examples of how communities who actually preserve their commons work - the key factors are that they are a tight network with social bonds, they know what's there and that it's in real danger of depletion, and that they experience real difficulty from the potential lack of the resource...

So you're also carrying around the mistaken belief that there are actually communities out there who have successfully preserved their commons, eh? Good to know they at least are free of any of the effects of pollution on their air, land, water and biota that the rest of us are suffering, anyway. :roll:

Gerry


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 6:26 am 

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VanAR wrote:
dthor68 wrote:
Even if we did something tomorrow what makes you think China will?


China is doing something about it. They've invested a ton of money into renewable power- not just because of climate change, but because they realize they are killing off everything in China as a result of their catastrophic pollution of just about everything, and their very survival depends on reversing that trend. The idea that the US or Europe or the west shouldn't do anything about climate change because its mostly the fault of China (and India), and they aren't going to change, is a giant myth.


I had no idea that China or India was doing something positive, that is great news. I would think that everyone in the US knows that much of what China produces is for the US. So, that makes us part responsible for the mess.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 6:44 am 
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For those interested (not jonathan, of course, with his already perfect understanding of the subject ;) ), here's a link to the original paper Garrett Hardin (who was an ecologist, not an economist like Elinor Ostrom, by the way) published in Science laying out the tragedy of the commons: http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/art ... mmons.html

As I see it, the real problem (once our population became large enough to seriously affect the environment) is a combination of:

- the fact that folks' natural focus is most often on short-term self-interest, as long-term self-interest would discourage them from "fouling their own nest" even if they didn't care one whit about the nests of others

- the fact that there are always going to be at least some folks who give in to that focus if they're allowed to, and that a very few can thus mess things up for a great many

Both Hardin and Ostrom strongly believed in regulation - not just counting on individuals learning to live in harmony with nature and each other - to protect the commons, by the way.

dthor68 wrote:
VanAR wrote:
China is doing something about it. They've invested a ton of money into renewable power- not just because of climate change, but because they realize they are killing off everything in China as a result of their catastrophic pollution of just about everything, and their very survival depends on reversing that trend. The idea that the US or Europe or the west shouldn't do anything about climate change because its mostly the fault of China (and India), and they aren't going to change, is a giant myth.

I had no idea that China or India was doing something positive, that is great news. I would think that everyone in the US knows that much of what China produces is for the US. So, that makes us part responsible for the mess.

Yeah, it's not so great for my stock holdings in U.S. solar companies that the Chinese government has been heavily propping up their own solar industry on the one hand and slapping heavy tariffs on solar imports on the other, though. :lol: (Seriously, a number of folks have argued that in the area of renewable power in particular, it would really be best for the environment if countries allowed at least a semblance of a level playing field.)

Gerry


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 8:24 am 
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Garrett Hardin did great work coming up with the original idea about the tragedy of the commons. I respect that. But he also was a Malthusian in the broad sense, which I think shows how badly he misunderstood human behavior and society (his assumptions about population growth have since been proven quite wrong). He derided sociology and any other study of human behavior outside of the natural sciences. He held attitudes that I would label as racist, arguing for the lesser intelligence of Blacks and Hispanics (and for the use of eugenics in the form of abortion and forced sterilization in order to limit their influence), arguing against aiding 3rd-world countries in famine and natural disaster because the deaths would be better for society, and arguing for severe limits to non-Westerners immigrating into Western countries (he was in FAIR and wrote for a number of other severe anti-immigrant groups). He quite clearly believed and wrote that northern Europeans were superior to others, both socially and on an individual biological level. I believe that his original analysis of the tragedy of the commons is a very ecological analysis, was completely focused on saving the rich at the expense of the poor (the entire focus of his "Lifeboat" article), and ignored the knowledge of human behavior which is actually necessary for a solution.

On a personal level, I also think he was far too focused on the analysis of individuals rather than communities, always evaluating people based on assumptions about their own self-interest rather than understanding how people's choices affected each other on an interpersonal level (as opposed to merely a resource-use level) and downplaying communal mentalities and decision-making processes (as nearly all Westerners do, as we come from far more individualistic societies than most of the world).

Here's a popular article about Hardin and Ostrom's different beliefs about the Commons which goes in much the same direction as what I've already said. I should note that Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work on the Commons, which came 30 years after Hardin's original paper.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frances-moore-lappe/commons-care-how-wrong_b_3039549.html

Here's another comparison, quite strongly worded:

http://lajicarita.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/the-future-of-the-commons-part-i-elinor-ostrom-garret-hardin-and-the-logic-of-population/


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 8:26 am 
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I do believe in government regulation too. Like I said, I believe it's the trailing edge (at least it has always been in US history - other than the US and India, I have pretty limited knowledge of the progress of legislative change). The Clean Air Act represented the amount of change the American public was willing to make at that time, due to the degree of the problems they perceived. I think people need to realize that the degree of change needed now is far greater, and I think that the best way to convince others of that is to make the necessary changes in our own lives and convince others to do the same. I not only believe that is the most important step to take overall, but that it is more likely to change the political tides than telling people to vote against Republicans.

A gargantuan sea change would have to occur in the American voting public before Republicans got worried that they need to get more environmentally concerned than Democrats or any other party. There's been no sign for many years now that the Democrats think they need to get much more progressive on the environment to get those votes, since they've already clearly staked out that territory as opposed to the Republicans and are happy with their moderately-to-substantially pro-industry stance (as opposed to rabidly pro-industry). And unless we argue against voting for the Republicans and the Democrats in order to support a 3rd party that actually wants to do what it takes on the environment, we're in danger of just supporting the status quo, the Red vs. Blue fight where both parties are concerned far more about maintaining power than improving the country, and where policy decisions are aimed at getting the 51% that they need, and not much more.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 8:26 am 
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Gerry, if you gave any other practical suggestions about responsible lifestyle choices, I apologize. I looked back through the thread and couldn't find any such suggestions. But it's a long thread and I may have missed them. I still think that you have decided to focus on advising people on voting far, far more than on changing their own lifestyle(which makes sense, because you clearly said that responsible personal life style decisions pale in importance to voting.) I disagree with that focus, and I thought that I'd been respectful about it. But, if I ever misconstrued you and you really did give practical suggestions other that first one about hybirds, I apologize.

As for everything you say about me personally Gerry, it's not worth responding too. Thank you for your concern about the environment.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 1:27 pm 
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... cant possibly keep up w/ it all, but im seeing lots of worthwhile thoughts, but have missed re: human populations; disease, likely a flu, is nearly assuredly going to greatly depopulate our world, particularly dense 3'rd world countries, so our current abundance is very unlikely to persist, (though the ecologic damage is done & increasing) ... further out vulcanism & asteroids will have their way ... the future is fixed (hence the need for myths) that is if we dont irradiate our world 1st : { Thats why i majorly agree w/ your theme Johnathan; walk the talk ... & later vote for the least of 2 corporate shrills even if that vote does legitimize a faux choice. Big changes are coming, unfortunately, we just cant say when?


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PostPosted: March 30th, 2014, 4:14 pm 

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Quote:
Some easy general things to say, though, are:

Live in a much smaller home, and let your land be natural.
Consume fewer things, especially resource-heavy things, and try to consume things that were ethically produced.
Don't follow trends, hype, advertising built around consumption.
Buy locally.
Eat less meat, or none at all (that can be lightened if you get meat via the next point).
Buy from food producers who responsibly care for their land.
Don't commute by car, drive less, fly less or not at all, and share a car if possible.
Use less electricity (especially heating/cooling), and avoid fossil-fuel based production.
Live in touch with the poor.

With those steps, it's possible to reduce your carbon footprint from the American average by an order of magnitude without reducing your quality of life.


Thanks Jonathan. I do some of those things already. The very sad thing is that it is a lot more expensive to buy local organic food than mass produced food from the grocery store chains. My wife and I believe that the extra money we spend is worth it for both the health of our family and environment. Unfortunately there are a lot more families that don't, or cant afford to.

Something people should consider which I just did, and noticed a difference in only a month, is add insulation to your attic space. It did not cost me very much and I got a rebate. "They" say that 30-40% of your heat is lost through the ceilings. It helps for houses in the south for cooling as well. Sorry to take this topic off track even further, but it can save you money and help the environment.


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PostPosted: March 31st, 2014, 5:57 am 
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jonathan wrote:
Garrett Hardin did great work coming up with the original idea about the tragedy of the commons. I respect that...

I'm sure he'd be pleased to hear that, excepting the fact that you don't seem to really understand nor at all accurately represent the concept.

jonathan wrote:
... He held attitudes that I would label as racist, arguing for the lesser intelligence of Blacks and Hispanics (and for the use of eugenics in the form of abortion and forced sterilization in order to limit their influence), arguing against aiding 3rd-world countries in famine and natural disaster because the deaths would be better for society, and arguing for severe limits to non-Westerners immigrating into Western countries (he was in FAIR and wrote for a number of other severe anti-immigrant groups). He quite clearly believed and wrote that northern Europeans were superior to others, both socially and on an individual biological level...

And the purpose of your personal attack on him is ...? Do you think the theory of natural selection should be dismissed (or reinterpreted as suits you) because Alfred Wallace, one of the people who first came up with it, later got into spiritualism and other kooky ideas?

jonathan wrote:
... I believe that his original analysis of the tragedy of the commons is a very ecological analysis, was completely focused on saving the rich at the expense of the poor (the entire focus of his "Lifeboat" article), and ignored the knowledge of human behavior which is actually necessary for a solution.

And I believe that anyone who doesn't already have a much better grasp than jonathan of what the tragedy of the commons is all about should look it up for themselves, via the link I provided to the original paper above or just about any of the many other internet sources on the subject. Check out a few of them to get a flavor for the actual subject and its relevance to conservation. You'll find that at its basis it's not a rich-versus-poor problem, and learning to live in harmony with nature and each other is not by itself an adequate solution for it. It's about the conflict between what individuals deem best for themselves versus what's actually best for all with respect to resources all are dependent upon, and it emphasizes the need for regulation at the highest levels achievable. (Hence jonathan's apparent need to mischaracterize it.) Don't take my word for it, either; see for yourself.

From the links that jonathan provided, ostensibly to bolster his view:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frances-m ... 39549.html :

"... the late Elinor Ostrom received a Nobel Prize in economics for showing the conditions under which commons do work: when participants make and enforce fair rules for their use..."

Not just "when participants learn to minimize their impact while using them."

http://lajicarita.wordpress.com/2012/06 ... population :

"[Elinor Ostrom] was the first, and only, woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, an award she shared with Oliver E. Williamson of the University of California at Berkeley in 2009. The two were recognized for their work analyzing how people can create rules to manage shared resources such as fisheries and forests..."

This citation spends much more print on the facts that Hardin and Ostrom differed markedly in their understanding of population growth's role in the issue and that Hardin's concerns about population growth led him to a very dark place - which I suppose is why jonathan selected it for presenting here - but none of that changes the issue's real relevance to conservation nor the fact that both Hardin and Ostrom, despite coming at the issue from very different angles, were both convinced that regulation was an essential part of the solution. And in America, at least, rules and regulations are obtained via a legislative process - not just a bunch of individuals getting together and deciding to do the right thing - and legislators are elected. Don't vote or vote in a manner that reduces regulation (i.e. vote for a Republican, these days) and you're undermining this essential process.

The news is rife with reports on how it's becoming virtually impossible to pass legislation aimed at improving the situation of climate-changing pollution because of the power Republicans already have, and that power is expected to increase because of low voter turn-out in this fall's mid-year election. Just a few recent examples of how the Republicans are determined to block action:

Republicans Pledge To the Kochs That They Will Oppose Any Climate Change Bill

And, as best they can, even to block speech which might someday result in action:

Republicans block science laureate vote over climate change stance fear

jonathan wrote:
I do believe in government regulation too...

You've done a great job of actiing otherwise in this thread, in your apparent eagerness to promote "jonathan's One True Path up the mountain" and attack any other paths others might propose.

jonathan wrote:
... Like I said, I believe it's the trailing edge (at least it has always been in US history...

Right, like when the Clean Air Act wasn't passed until after almost everyone had already stopped contributing to air pollution in their personal lives (rendering it pointless, I guess)... :roll:

jonathan wrote:
A gargantuan sea change would have to occur in the American voting public before Republicans got worried that they need to get more environmentally concerned than Democrats or any other party...

True enough, but the thing with that is... This is not at all what I've argued for (making it just the latest of the many straw man arguments jonathan has offered against voting responsibly as part of the solution). What I advocate is voting against Republicans to reduce the political hegemony of their party and the ability it's giving them to block meaningful governmental oversight and regulation of climate-changing pollution. As I pointed out earlier ( http://www.gallup.com/poll/168017/ameri ... rowth.aspx ), most Americans prioritize the environment over the economy; unfortunately, because propagandists for industry have been so successful, most Americans also don't vote, and too large a percentage of those who do (especially in mid-year elections) tend to do so based on some foolish sociological cause that said propagandists whipped them up over. This needs to change every bit as much as do our personal lifestyle choices if we're going to have a chance of getting the situation under control.

jonathan wrote:
... There's been no sign for many years now that the Democrats think they need to get much more progressive on the environment to get those votes, since they've already clearly staked out that territory as opposed to the Republicans and are happy with their moderately-to-substantially pro-industry stance (as opposed to rabidly pro-industry).

The first part is a ridiculous argument, essentially reading as "voting for Democrats won't help because Democrats are already on the side of regulating climate-changing pollution." :crazyeyes:

And the second part is flatly untrue, at least with respect to this particular environmental issue. I've no particular desire to defend the Democratic Party (as I said, I advocate voting for anyone but Republicans, not for Democrats per se), but we should be honest about things; they've been overwhelmingly in favor of regulating climate-changing pollution for some time now, and they've generally acted like it. To the point where it makes news when even a few of them join the Republicans in working to prevent it. One recent example: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index. ... house.html

jonathan wrote:
As for everything you say about me personally Gerry, it's not worth responding too...

Sorry, jonathan, I guess I had a hard time keeping track of when you were dumping personal garbage on me here in this thread versus in your string of PMs. (What are you up to now, six of those?) Which as you've probably noticed, I've stopped responding to. ;)

regalringneck wrote:
... re: human populations; disease, likely a flu, is nearly assuredly going to greatly depopulate our world, particularly dense 3'rd world countries, so our current abundance is very unlikely to persist...

I don't know, John. I think history would argue otherwise. The human population has taken some pretty hard knocks from disease in the past, to be sure, but the recovery has always been remarkably rapid and strong. And we're getting better and better at dealing with communicable diseases and the epidemics they cause all the time.

I see somewhat more hope, in this regard, in the fact that human fertility is decreasing around the globe. It appears very likely this is a pollution effect, and as we're doing less and less to get such issues under control it seems likely to continue to worsen. (Funny thing: My major professor for my doctoral program used to speak to government bodies all over the world about the dangers of endocrine-disrupting pollutants and their reproductive effects. A number of countries' equivalents of our Congress took him quite seriously - at least to his face, as I don't know what if anything they subsequently did about the issue. But here in the good, old U.S., Congress listened to his presentation and then pretty much responded with "Ok, but those are all animal studies you're showing us. Can you offer any direct evidence to us that this problem is affecting humans? Maybe it's just a wildlife issue." "No sirs, I'm afraid we're not allowed to conduct such experiments on humans. But it's quite clear from the wealth of correlational rather than experimental evidence in humans that the same phenomenon is..." [interrupting] "Thank you for your time, Professor.") I personally believe it'll be a hugely impoverished world by the time anything gets our population under control, though.

regalringneck wrote:
... i majorly agree w/ your theme Johnathan; walk the talk ... & later vote...

That is indeed how jonathan (strongly) comes off, isn't it? Even though when directly asked he said that he does vote and he does encourage others to do so.

I'm afraid I just don't get it. Even if you buy into "jonathan's One True Path up the mountain," why knock other paths that folks present that might also help get you there? Voting doesn't take no effort at all (in fact, the Republicans are doing whatever they can think of to make it harder, and have already made it a real chore for many), but it's nonetheless one of the easier things individuals can try. So why not keep it where it belongs, with the other individual responsibilities (such as personal lifestyle choices) we should all endeavor to live up to? It's not as if I or anyone else here has argued that it's enough just to vote, despite how often jonathan has pretended otherwise.

Gerry


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PostPosted: April 1st, 2014, 2:37 pm 
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The facts about climate change being discussed now by predominate scientist (3-6 pm April 1,2014) at http://www.kabc.com/ or on the radio at KABC 790 am

http://tunein.com/radio/Talk-Radio-790-KABC-s31317/#


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PostPosted: April 1st, 2014, 10:17 pm 
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Gerry, I don't think you've understood my position at all. The personal attacks don't help you to understand me or get us anywhere on this issue. On this board and in PM's you unloaded tons of things on me that make it clear that your animosity is quite personal. If you want to get somewhere with me, I'll try to work with you. But since I trust that everyone else understands my position quite fine, I'm not going to bother until I see you try a different approach.

* I think regulation is good and necessary.

* I think that essential parts of the problem cannot be regulated.

* I don't think anyone will approve remotely the regulation needed even for the aspects that can be regulated until they realize how big a change is really needed and how much our lives will be affected. People's personal lifestyles show that they simply don't yet understand that.

* Neither party in America with access to power has shown willingness to make remotely the changes needed, nor do a see a way to make them except with massive concern, action, and personal sacrifice on the part of environmentally-concerned citizens that will have to extend far beyond voting. (closer to the Civil Rights Act than the Clean Air Act)

* Hardin assumed people's selfishness and made an entirely individualistic analysis of the problem. He didn't understand people, he set the rich against the poor and set White people against anyone with dark skin. That severely distorted his view of the nature of the problem.

* I believe that the lack of connection between rich and poor is at the center of the problem because the lack of such a connection increases the likelihood of selfishness, hides the full extent of the problem from the rich, hides the information necessary for addressing the problem from the poor, makes both groups more cold-hearted towards change, and blocks any opportunity to create the community solidarity necessary to effect change.

* The fact that I disagree with Hardin on sociological factors, and can cite that he despised sociology (and most people) and therefore didn't understand the root causes of the problems he modeled, doesn't mean that I therefore don't understand the ecological effects of those sociological problems.

And that's enough of that.


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PostPosted: April 1st, 2014, 10:36 pm 
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Thanks for the positive comments Kfen and regalringneck.

gbin wrote:
Kfen wrote:
Jonathan- Can you give some examples of the way you have changed your lifestyle to have less of a carbon footprint?

Please don't take that as an attack, I am asking so that maybe I, or others reading, can try to incorporate them into our own lifestyles. I think it would go right along with what you are saying about leading by example and challenging others. Think of all the views this thread has gotten.

I think this would be a fine idea. :thumb:

Gerry


Here is my fuller answer to that question. It is extensive, so just scroll down unless you really care a lot about my life and/or living a simpler lifestyle. 8-)

I should note that my wife and I did not choose this kind of life only out of “desire to reduce our carbon footprint due to global warming projections”. I believe that when wealthy people (as 90+% of Americans are) choose to live a sustainable lifestyle, it is better for the environment right now, it is better for poor people across the world right now, it is better for the other rich neighbors, it is better for future persons, and it is better for our own hearts and souls. So often several different factors, not merely environmental ones, have led us to make decisions that may appear radical to some.

Most of what we do isn't a big deal, but you might think it looks that way as a whole. I don't feel we live a weird sacrificial life or anything like that. It's more a different way than a lesser or more difficult way. It's only getting past the constant mantra of advertisers and society that the “different” way must be missing something or “bad”, because we consume fewer of their products. Of course, I don't believe that I've adopted every good strategy out there, and I don't believe that everyone needs to do everything I do (or say).

I should also add that corporations and advertising agencies have done everything to question your masculinity if you don't buy their products. You're not a "real man" if you don't drive a huge truck or an SUV. You're not a "real man" if you don't own a huge home, and a boat, and God knows what else this particular year. You're not a "real man" if you don't eat a lot of meat, especially beef, and drink a lot of beer. You're not a "real man" if you don't buy diamonds and gold for women. That list could go on for a long time. Try not to fall prey to that as you read through my alternative choices.



Transportation: Other than a 2-month period in the summer of 1998, I've avoided commuting by car. Some years I lived close enough to work (about a mile or less) to walk. When I was 7-8 miles away, I biked 3-4 days a week instead. When I took a job on the opposite side of Los Angeles, I combined a bus commute with walking, and managed to avoid driving to work a single day that year. Car commutes feel terrible to me.

Still, I used a car for other purposes, and I regret the amount of miles I put on it. If I had to do it again I'd significantly reduce all my car use.

My wife biked to work nearly every day of her adult life, so we were always a 1-car family (a '98 Civic my wife got from her parents). In 2010 we gave that car away to charity and haven't owned a car since, nor do I ever expect to own a car again. Here we walk a lot, and take public transportation a lot, both for short and long distances.

Flights are something we take seriously. I don't have much to say about that, except that it should be done as little as possible. India has an adequate railway system, so we never fly in-country.


Home: I've never lived alone, always sharing an apartment with others prior to marriage. I think that the lust for enormous homes doesn't add much to life and takes a lot away, and that contemporary American homes are far too large and resource-heavy. We didn't use heating or A.C. - though heating is difficult to avoid in some parts of the country. A.C. can be avoided everywhere unless you have serious health problems. We almost never used major appliances. We've washed and dried our clothes by hand and sun since 2010. Dishwashers seem ridiculous to me. If you have a choice, use a sustainable energy source, whether via the grid or with a personal system. We have a solar lantern, which isn't much but the only other things we hook up to electricity are our fan and rechargeable batteries. Most water use is way more than necessary too, especially bathing, washing, and outdoor use. We now get our water by bucket, and it's driven home to me how little water you really need in a day if you use it responsibly (we use perhaps 10-15 gallons/day per person at most).

I don't think there's anything wrong with the home being situated on a large property if it is managed well. To me that either means maintaining a wild, natural landscape, or farming in a sustainable way (especially soil and energy sustainable) that is friendly to the local ecosystem. We've never done this ourselves though, always renting an apartment or a room from a family instead. Large manicured lawns and large expanses of concrete both repulse me in a private setting, although I think there can be a place for both in public common space.


Eating: This is a huge one for me. Agriculture may be anywhere from 10-50% of the contribution to global warming, depending on how you crunch the numbers and which parts of the process you place in the category of “agriculture”. Half of the world's available land is now being used for agriculture, most of that for the support of meat production.

Remember, when you think about the environmental effect of farming, you have to consider:
the natural landscape that was lost to put the farm there (and the soil loss that continues)
the pollution created when nature was destroyed and the farm was built
the pollution created and energy used in the everyday operation of the farm equipment
the pollution emitted by farm animals themselves
the pollution and energy and land loss required to produce the animals' feed and water
the pollution and energy and material expended in processing/packaging the final product
the pollution and energy created by disposing all of the waste
all the transportation costs every step of the way

The total environmental costs are tremendous. Food matters more than we realize.

Around 14 years ago, when I learned more about how beef was produced, I choose to stop buying beef for environmental and social justice reasons. (There was also a twinge of animal rights reasons involved, plus the health benefits.) Soon I stopped purchasing any mammal meat. Later I began buying meat again for a couple of years, but then about 7 years ago quit everything except chicken and fish for good, and I try to be careful about which fish. As of two years ago my wife and I began buying even chicken and fish only a few times a year.

Remember, more than a quarter of the Earth's available land space is being used in some way to support meat production. That seemed impossible to me, so I encourage help in correcting that number if I'm wrong, but it looks like meat production really is that resource-intensive.

That doesn't mean that no one should buy meat. I think that responsible hunting is great and environmentally friendly. I think that even farmed meat can be done with respect for the animal and the land. However, this could only happen in certain landscapes, and at levels far below what is being done today.

In general, I think that we need to totally reorient how we produce food. I'm a fan of buying locally and from responsible farmers to whatever degree possible. Most current farming methods use far too much energy, far too much outside pesticide/fertilizer/water/feed/antibiotics, are completely unfriendly to the local fauna, and destroy the long-term productivity of the soil. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I only read Wendell Berry for the first time last year, but I'm already a huge fan. He's been saying and practicing these things for 40 years.

Also, we buy almost entirely unprocessed and unpackaged food and use reusable bags. We try to save time and energy in our cooking processes (using a pressure cooker, cooking more than one meal at once, etc.). We don't have a refrigerator, which is a huge energy sink, but in America we did and it did help us to cook 4-5 meals at one time which then could be eaten over the course of weeks. We don't waste food – uncooked food scraps are fed to the neighbors' goats and there isn't uneaten cooked food because we only buy and cook what we will eat. In America over half of all edible food is thrown away, and a good bit of that is in the home.


Commercialization: I don't buy based on trends and styles and advertising. Ever. My wife and I own one simple phone between us, plus a small laptop. We don't feel the need to replace these things every year just because a new one with an extra feature came out.

I'm not saying that technology is bad. Though I don't own a smart phone or tablet, I think that a good one (which could replace a camera, cd player, laptop and/or television) might be a worthy investment if you bought it instead of those other things rather than just in addition to them. But I fear that technology has become extremely over-commercialized, and is driven by advertising and the attempt to create false needs in the consumer rather than actually making the lives of consumers any better.

We rarely buy new clothes, and when we do we either buy clothes made by people we know or those certified as having been produced in an ethical way. We refused to get diamond engagement rings (DeBeer's, the most successful advertising B.S. in history!) and when I learned more about the awful environmental problems associated with gold mining and production we stopped buying gold as well (until then, our wedding rings and simple earrings for my wife were the only gold I'd ever bought anyway).

We buy gifts in line with our values. I try to be extravagant with Christmas and other gifts, but it almost always involves some form of doing things for people, making things myself, getting people experiences (especially if they're educational), books, donating to causes in people's names, and spending time with people. I figure that there's no need to fill people's homes with more crap that they hadn't chosen to buy themselves, and I try to use personal thought, time, and love to replace fancy packaging and material trends.


Pets: This might be controversial, but we gotta face it: cats, dogs, and other large animals are an environmental resource drain. This can be mitigated, but if you own a warm-blooded carnivore and you feed it store-bought food, the total environmental cost over the course of the year is astounding.


Community: Like I've already said, buy locally-made products whenever possible and live as locally as possible. Know the people in your community, know the land you live around, spend as much time as possible in it, and help your community work to take good care of their place. Learn from each other and invest in the land and each other. The ultimate responsibility for taking care of any piece of land will always fall on the people who live on or near it. I would advocate living among the poor, both to learn from them and to share what you know. I don't think we have a chance of sharing the limited resources we have equitably as long as there's a social divide between the rich and the poor.

It should go without saying, but don't work for businesses that survive by polluting, overconsuming, or encouraging others to overconsume. And work to influence your workplace culture.

Personally, my wife and I live in an Indian slum. We've only been living in this particular slum for a year and are still building relationships and learning the language and life in general, but over time we hope that through our presence we can help to reduce the suffering that happens here on a daily basis. We've already learned and gained a lot from the people we live with. We also hope that we can be a bridge between the rich and the poor, to make the difficulties faced by the poor real to those who live completely distanced from them (I focus on this in my blog a lot). When we lived in America, I worked as an inner-city science teacher, living in the same gang-infested neighborhood as my students. I also worked in NGO's that focused on education and outreach to the homeless.

I try to be an influence on any organization I'm associated with (part of why I'm speaking out about this stuff on FHF, of course). I've started recycling programs that continue today, educated coworkers on environmental issues, and tried to affect the workplace commuting culture. Recently I chaired a climate change task group for an international organization. I was quite proud of the recommendations we made, and several were adopted organization-wide, including writing environmental care into the stated organizational principles, educating new members on environmental issues, and spacing out international meetings in order to reduce environmental impact. It remains to be seen to what level the more specific team-based recommendations will be adopted, but the teams are already doing an excellent job on these issues and I think we made some quite good recommendations for continued work.


Globally: As I said earlier, all the evidence we have shows that overpopulation is best addressed by eliminating poverty and increasing women's education and access to family planning and health care. Continued poverty, famine, disasters, war, etc. actually incentivize people to have more children (for a large range of reasons). Across every religious and cultural line, family size has reduced when education increased and the uncertainty of poverty was taken away.

Support programs across the world that achieve these goals ethically and effectively. Don't support businesses who succeed by tapping into the cycles of uneducation and poverty. Buy ethically-made products that support people – which means buying a few things that are better-made and require skill, rather than buying tons of cheap, sweatshop or slave-produced goods. Try to support businesses that value people. (Of course, this is all easier to monitor in your local community than in some place on the other side of the world, which is why I support buying locally.)


Carbon offsetting: I'm mixed on carbon offsets. There are abuses, they're sometimes hard to verify, for many there's no guarantee the benefits will continue over time, and as long as we're still way over the sustainable limits globally then we each need to reduce our own impact as much as possible no matter how many offsets we buy. However, there are good carbon offset programs that have side benefits beyond just trying to take a bit of carbon out of the air. Last year I bought 40 tons of carbon offsets (something like 8 times greater than our family's own carbon use) because the program involved (subsidizing people to replace their wood-and-trash burning stoves with more environmentally and economically efficient ones) has great local environmental and social benefits.


I'm happy to answer any questions about any of those points, especially if we can keep it issue-based rather than personality-based.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2014, 3:33 am 
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Heck, I'd be pleasantly surprised if we could get people to simply:

- Not sit in a running car for fifteen minutes while their passenger runs into a store to "buy a few things quickly."
- Flush every other time or so ("when it's yellow, let it mellow")
- Not think their clothes are dirty and in need of washing after they wore them for two hours to an indoor, climate-controlled event

:?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2014, 6:15 am 
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jonathan wrote:
Gerry, I don't think you've understood my position at all...

Any confusion I - and obviously others - might have about your position is readily explained. You've written post after post naysaying/poormouthing the idea that voting responsibly could help address the problem of climate-changing pollution (as you did again in the post I'm quoting from) and misrepresented my view/ignored my points on the subject innumerable times apparently to make it easier to argue against, and then once in a while when pressed you've said ever so briefly, tepidly otherwise.

jonathan wrote:
... The personal attacks don't help you to understand me or get us anywhere on this issue. On this board and in PM's you unloaded tons of things on me that make it clear that your animosity is quite personal...

You began PMing me, not the other way around. You were more prolific in those PMs, not the other way around. You continued them after I'd ceased, not the other way around. And your purpose throughout them was quite clear, to dump personal garbage on me; my responses to you were primarily defending myself against such, until I saw it was pointless to try to reach you. I guess this is why some people endeavor to cultivate a habit of speaking one way to a person in private and another way to that person or others in public (although you have indeed staged personal attacks on me here in this thread as well, including in the quote above) - a dishonest habit I've never indulged in - so they can pretend that the other(s) are reacting unjustifiably to what they say in public. You should be advised that I not only have no respect whatsoever for such dishonesty (or the people who indulge in it), I also will not respect the wish for privacy that such people depend upon for their dishonesty to have a chance at working. Persist in pretending that the PMs between us were something different than they were, and you'll quickly find that I have no qualms about posting them to the message board for folks to see what's really up for themselves.

jonathan wrote:
... If you want to get somewhere with me, I'll try to work with you. But since I trust that everyone else understands my position quite fine, I'm not going to bother until I see you try a different approach.

Again, "pointless" is very much the word for this offer. Trying to work with someone includes recognizing their position for what it actually is, not restating it again and again in a way that makes it easier to argue against. Trying to work with someone includes actually addressing their points, not pretending those points were never made. Trying to work with someone generally entails trying to seek some kind of middle ground, not acting for all the world as if there is but his own "One True Path up the mountain" and no other path could possibly have any merit, indeed, they must be dishonestly denigrated to try to discourage others from considering them.

jonathan wrote:
* I think regulation is good and necessary.

You've spent much of your typing here giving the strong impression otherwise, and even more giving the strong impression that voting in pursuit of regulation is something people shouldn't bother with.

jonathan wrote:
* I think that essential parts of the problem cannot be regulated.

And neither I nor anyone else who understands that climate-changing pollution is a serious problem has ever said otherwise. Not once in this now long thread. In contrast, I have repeatedly said that both responsible voting and responsible personal lifestyle choices are important. You've been the one acting as if only one of these is necessary, not me.

jonathan wrote:
* I don't think anyone will approve remotely the regulation needed even for the aspects that can be regulated until they realize how big a change is really needed and how much our lives will be affected. People's personal lifestyles show that they simply don't yet understand that.

The way that things work here in America is that (enough) people don't have to approve a given regulation for it to be passed, what has to happen is that (enough) people have to vote for politicians who will see to that regulation being passed - and these days, (enough) people have to vote against politicians who are determined to see to it that the regulation is not passed. You can pretend voting and enacting a law/regulation are the same thing or otherwise ignore my point, but the truth remains regardless.

You can also continue to ignore a glaring example that I have repeatedly offered with this point as it relates to your "people have to change their personal behavior first, before voting can do any good" nonsense, but the truth remains here regardless, too: The Clean Air Act hasn't solved all our problems, but it's done a heck of a lot of good - and it was passed without requiring that most people personally stop contributing to air pollution first.

jonathan wrote:
* Neither party in America with access to power has shown willingness to make remotely the changes needed, nor do a see a way to make them except with massive concern, action, and personal sacrifice on the part of environmentally-concerned citizens that will have to extend far beyond voting. (closer to the Civil Rights Act than the Clean Air Act)

Yet again :roll: , it doesn't have to be and I've never argued for it being an either/or situation. (What are you, a Sith? :? ) Rather, I've argued that voting responsibly (which nowadays equates to voting against Republicans) can and should - needs to, actually - be part of what environmentally concerned citizens do.

You're also painting a flatly untrue picture of the current political situation in America. There are many examples in the news and have been for years now of the administration and/or Democrats and Independents in Congress trying to improve oversight and regulation of climate-changing pollution but being blocked by Republicans in Congress. There are many examples in the news of Republican-controlled state legislatures working to eliminate or just refusing to enforce such oversight and regulation. Neither major political party is perfect, not by a long shot, but one particular party - the Republican Party - has for quite some time been and is now by far the problem from a political standpoint. And that's only the first part of the issue I've raised. The second part is that Republican control over our political system is worsening - hence the difficulty in obtaining meaningful oversight and regulation of industry is worsening - in large part because people who care about the environment aren't bothering to vote as an expression of that concern. Because they've been listening to people like you (and much worse than you) effectively tell them not to bother. Again, your pretending these points don't exist doesn't change the reality of the situation.

jonathan wrote:
* Hardin assumed people's selfishness and made an entirely individualistic analysis of the problem...

And he and the economist who worked on the same subject, albeit from an entirely different angle, came to the same conclusion: that regulation is essential to protect common resources. (And yet again, in America regulation ultimately comes about because elected officials endeavor to bring it about.)

jonathan wrote:
... He didn't understand people...

Well, no, of course not. No one does who sees people even slightly differently than you do, right? :roll:

Your misrepresentations of it notwithstanding, the tragedy of the commons shows that even a single selfish individual can mess a common resource up for everyone, no matter how harmoniously everyone else might be living. I've seen plenty of evidence that selfishness, specifically in terms of people pursuing short-term self-interests, is a natural, evolved impulse in all of us which none of us is successful in resisting all the time. The "selfish gene" is an extremely apt metaphor (and more than just a metaphor, really) which you, of course, have persistently ignored when it's brought up. In contrast, I've never heard anyone of any note and I've seen no evidence whatsoever to suggest that people can simply be redirected sufficiently from short-term self-interest - everyone, mind you, as just one or a few failures in this reorientation can do a whole lot of harm to everyone - to prevent the tragedy of the commons. There is nowhere this has actually been accomplished by any means, and those who have addressed it at all successfully either on paper or in the real world have strongly advocated regulation (which, again, in American results from people voting) to deal with this problem.

jonathan wrote:
... he set the rich against the poor and set White people against anyone with dark skin. That severely distorted his view of the nature of the problem.

Well, it enabled you to try to distort the nature of the problem, anyway. He could have been the worst racist among the 1% of the 1%, but the real nature of the problem remains the ability of individuals acting out of short-term self-interest to mess things up for everyone thereby, regardless.

jonathan wrote:
* I believe that the lack of connection between rich and poor is at the center of the problem because the lack of such a connection increases the likelihood of selfishness, hides the full extent of the problem from the rich, hides the information necessary for addressing the problem from the poor, makes both groups more cold-hearted towards change, and blocks any opportunity to create the community solidarity necessary to effect change.

And because you persist in ignoring the fact that the tragedy of the commons isn't just a rich-poor problem. If it doesn't fit precisely with your view, you distort it so you can argue against it, or you simply pretend it doesn't exist.

jonathan wrote:
* The fact that I disagree with Hardin on sociological factors, and can cite that he despised sociology (and most people) and therefore didn't understand the root causes of the problems he modeled, doesn't mean that I therefore don't understand the ecological effects of those sociological problems.

No, but you use your disagreement with Hardin on sociological factors as part of your attempt to discredit his idea, and show no real understanding of that idea itself. In terms of what we should do about the environment, it doesn't really matter what kind of person Hardin was or why he came up with the idea he came up with, what matters is that the idea he came up with - which at its basis ultimately has application to everyone who relies on a common resource, meaning everyone period, not just rich versus poor, white versus black, etc. - demonstrates that a larger solution is required than just individual effort.

But that doesn't fit your "One True Path," so of course you have to misrepresent and argue, or simply ignore...

I said this to you in my last (and probably every) PM before I finally gave up on you: If you want to try making headway with me (or anyone who expresses a view that isn't perfectly in 100% alignment with yours), you need to take people's arguments for what they actually are (not your reinterpretation of them) and actually address them (not pretend they don't exist). That's the personal issue I have with you, in a nutshell, and the source of any animosity (which is just frustration that at this point is also colored with some distrust, as I can't possibly imagine how you can ignore something that's been pointed out to you many times without doing so deliberately) I don't expect this to finally get through to you now, either, though. At this point I'm just laying it out so anyone else who might be interested can see what the issue really is here.

. . .

For folks interested in "what you can do with respect to your personal lifestyle choices," you do realize there are actually at least a few decent books listing such ideas, right? Maybe someone who's up on these books should recommend a few titles they think are especially good.

From what I can see, the biggest impact I can think of that people can make is with respect to their parenting choices:

- Don't have your own children (indulging the selfish gene in the truest sense) if you can find enough satisfaction in life not doing so, as they've carbon footprints that accumulate over the entire course of their lives, most of which you'll have no control over. Remember that you can always adopt or help rear others' children, and that a great many people - even among those who really wanted but simply couldn't have children - do indeed manage to find happiness without them. Some folks might argue with the contention there are too many people, but it's hard to imagine any rational person arguing that there are too few people.

- If you do have your own children, have no more than absolutely necessary for you to find said satisfaction.

- Look especially hard for ways to minimize the environmental harm per child, too, e.g. don't use diapers to toilet train them. Hey, more and more people aren't; if you don't believe me look it up. If you do use diapers go with reusable rather than disposable.

It's been my experience that even very environmentally aware people suddenly become much more interested in short-term self-interest over environmental concerns when it comes to the ease and expense with which they raise their children (e.g. the diaper issue).

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2014, 6:31 am 
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Gerry, if you want to start an anti-Jonathan thread, then start a new thread, and I welcome you to post the full in-context content of all the PMs we just exchanged. But don't do it on this thread, which is supposed to be about something important, not about your issues with me.

I do post different things in PMs than I do on the board. In the PMs I tried to address what was going on between you and me, which would have been a distraction and a waste of other people's time here. That's why I started the PM conversation rather than making long posts about our personal issues here, and that's why I sent a PM (exactly 1!) after your last PM to me. I'm not at all ashamed of the PMs, because they're not at all what you're portraying them to be. If you really want to start a different thread where you expose the "real me" to the world, then do that. As long as you keep the full context and don't edit or omit any of the PMs, I promise not even to respond - no one who knows me here would think any differently of either of us than they already do.

Now, can we get back to the topic at hand here, and stick with the issues instead of the personal disputes?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2014, 6:58 am 
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To an extent I agree with Gerry's advice regarding children. There are more than enough children out there in the world, and a lot who need loving care. From the beginning my wife and I have planned to adopt, though we've found that the legal situation here has become difficult and we're no longer sure if it will be possible. If it really looks impossible to adopt, we aren't completely sure how we'll proceed.

Also, it is ridiculously true that people will find ways to compromise their own values "for the sake of our children" - even when the very act is actually a detriment to the long-term future of their children! Hopefully I've spent so much time preaching that very fact over the last 10+ years (and deeply believing it) that'll I'll be able to withstand the societal pull to compromise with our own kids. But I know I can't predict the future, and that makes me wary.

However, I'm not completely sure if no children is the best idea for everyone. If the most environmentally conscious people went without children, then I'd be concerned that that would reduce the potential for everyone else to be positively influenced. And right now, even if every single committed environmentally conscious person went without kids, there'd just be a LOT of big-time consumers left out there.

Of course it's a very difficult calculation to make - can one very environmentally conscious person (your child) cancel out their own impact by having a much more positive impact on everyone else? Of course they could - it's not even close. But only if they were both making a limited impact themselves and seriously influencing others to a simple lifestyle and other (individual, community, and society-based) means of carbon and ecological footprint reduction. That, of course, is only likely to happen if their parents raise them in an environment where both of those things are already happening.

And, of course, everyone wants to believe that their child will be special.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2014, 7:29 am 
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jonathan wrote:
Gerry, I really couldn't read very much of that. If you want to start an anti-Jonathan thread, then start a new thread, and feel free to post the full in-context content of all the PMs we just exchanged. But don't do it on this thread, which is supposed to be about something important, not about your issues with me.

I do post different things in PMs than I do on the board. In the PMs I tried to address what was going on between you and me, which would have been a distraction and a waste of other people's time here. But I'm not ashamed of the PMs, because they're not at all what you're portraying them to be. If you really want to start a different thread where you expose the "real me" to the world, then do that. As long as you keep the full context and don't edit or omit any of the PMs, I promise not even to respond.

Now, can we get back to the topic at hand here, and stick with the issues instead of the personal disputes?

So now you're putting up posts with the single, solitary purpose of attacking me - and pretending in them that the problem here is me attacking you, eh? Hilarious! :lol:

The facts remain:

gbin wrote:
You began PMing me, not the other way around. You were more prolific in those PMs, not the other way around. You continued them after I'd ceased, not the other way around. And your purpose throughout them was quite clear, to dump personal garbage on me; my responses to you were primarily defending myself against such, until I saw it was pointless to try to reach you. I guess this is why some people endeavor to cultivate a habit of speaking one way to a person in private and another way to that person or others in public (although you have indeed staged personal attacks on me here in this thread as well, including in the quote above) - a dishonest habit I've never indulged in - so they can pretend that the other(s) are reacting unjustifiably to what they say in public. You should be advised that I not only have no respect whatsoever for such dishonesty (or the people who indulge in it), I also will not respect the wish for privacy that such people depend upon for their dishonesty to have a chance at working. Persist in pretending that the PMs between us were something different than they were, and you'll quickly find that I have no qualms about posting them to the message board for folks to see what's really up for themselves.

gbin wrote:
jonathan wrote:
... If you want to get somewhere with me, I'll try to work with you. But since I trust that everyone else understands my position quite fine, I'm not going to bother until I see you try a different approach.

Again, "pointless" is very much the word for this offer. Trying to work with someone includes recognizing their position for what it actually is, not restating it again and again in a way that makes it easier to argue against. Trying to work with someone includes actually addressing their points, not pretending those points were never made. Trying to work with someone generally entails trying to seek some kind of middle ground, not acting for all the world as if there is but his own "One True Path up the mountain" and no other path could possibly have any merit, indeed, they must be dishonestly denigrated to try to discourage others from considering them.

Put another way, I have been focusing on the topic of the thread all along, but unfortunately that has also required me to spend some time (way more than I've wanted to or should have had to) dealing with what your personality issues are prompting you to do with my contributions.

If you want to discuss the topic of this thread then discuss the topic of this thread. If you want to deal with my contributions to this thread at all then endeavor to do so honestly. But if you want to continue with all the personal crap - which definitely includes your misrepresenting my views ad nauseam - then understand that I will treat it as such.

. . .

jonathan wrote:
... I'm not completely sure if no children is the best idea for everyone...

This argument is painfully evident on its face, and obviously I wouldn't advocate that people have no children of their own if I thought that absolutely everyone would follow my recommendation. There are plenty of people out there who do feel that having their own children is necessary for their satisfaction in life (quite understandably, thanks to the selfish gene) that I don't think this is too much of a concern.

jonathan wrote:
... If the most environmentally conscious people went without children, then I'd be concerned that that would reduce the potential for everyone else to be positively influenced...

People don't give up their ability to positively influence children by not having any of their own, of course. Parents who instead adopt, people who contribute to the rearing of others' children in the various ways this is possible, educators, folks who serve as role models via other environmentally influential careers, etc. can probably all be counted on to pick up the slack for the decrease in representation of a few particular genes - even be they the clearly best, most environmentally aware genes out there :?: - in the human population.

Another thing people can do is modify their investment portfolios to reflect environmental concerns. For example, divest yourself of "dirty" stocks and invest at least a portion of your money in "green" stocks. There are plenty of examples of both out there (and I suspect some good essays or maybe even books to help guide you away/to them), but particularly in energy production and manufacturing. There are even a number of green funds to relieve you of the responsibility for picking individual companies. Keep in mind that you might have to accept greater risk of loss or at least lesser profits by investing in green businesses, as they are both 1) more likely to have been newly created rather than long-established, and 2) generally interested in things besides just the financial bottom line (although they should obviously be interested in that, too ;) ). Try to think of the greater risk/lesser profit you're accepting as a donation you're making to the greater cause, and as always, don't play with money you can't afford to lose.

But here in America, don't forget that individually one relatively easy but in aggregate one very powerful thing that you can do is vote against Republicans to stop them from blocking environmental legislation, especially in this fall's mid-year elections (when low turn-out by thinking voters is expected).

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 5th, 2014, 3:36 am 
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Glad I won't be around in fifty years, the way things are looking

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168236/ameri ... rming.aspx


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 5th, 2014, 3:40 am 
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monklet wrote:
I find the following to be somewhat profound given the source (I guess even Exxon Mobil is in cahoots with Obama, who apparently fabricated global climate change in the first place, according to the OP anyway).

Exxon Mobil wrote:
Keeping in mind the central importance of energy to economies of the world, ExxonMobil believes that it is prudent to develop and implement strategies that address the risks to society associated with increasing GHG emissions.

Effective strategies must include putting policies in place that start the world on a path to reduce emissions while recognizing that addressing GHG emissions is one among other important world priorities, such as economic development, poverty eradication and public health. ...


Read the whole thing at: http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climate-policy-principles/overview


Don't believe this propaganda BS for a second. ExxonMobil spends millions of dollars every year supporting API (American Petroleum Institute) which, in turn, spends millions of dollars a year blocking climate change legislation.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: April 7th, 2014, 7:07 pm 
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Speaking of propaganda BS, here's the results of the Union of Concerned Scientists' recent analysis of Fox News' treatment of the subject of climate-changing pollution:

Image

In contrast, they found that CNN reported accurately on the subject 70% of the time, and that "Most of CNN's misleading coverage stemmed from debates between guests who accepted established climate science and other guests who disputed it. This format suggests that established climate science is still widely debated among scientists, which it is not, and also allows opponents of climate policy to convey inaccurate statements about climate science." And MSNBC reported accurately on the subject 92% of the time, with "The handful of misleading statements... all [being] overstate[ments of] the effects of climate change, particularly the link between climate change and specific types of extreme weather, such as tornadoes."

Fox News: "We disinform. You get duped."

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: May 10th, 2014, 5:24 pm 

Joined: June 6th, 2013, 2:57 pm
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Saw this on the Orianne Society's page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/26687833

Global warming absolutely affects amphibians.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: May 12th, 2014, 3:03 pm 
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A clip regarding global warming debate which some of you may find humorous, I know I did.

A statistically representative climate change debate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: May 12th, 2014, 3:06 pm 
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I saw that last night - funny as hell, and very true, too. I looked forward to his show on HBO with great anticipation but I thought he was much better subbing for Jon Stewart. He's just as funny but his writers haven't gotten up to speed yet, IMO.

On a far less humorous note, this came out today:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/huge- ... -1.2639989


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