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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 4:06 am 
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Jonathan, I don't believe you and I really disagree here. As I said, I'm all for people doing whatever they can to pursue an environmentally smart lifestyle and encouraging others to do likewise. :beer: I just recognize that it's even more important that they vote rather than continuing to leave the voting to those who care little or nothing about this goal and are in fact being driven to the polls by rabble-rousing, dishonest propagandists with a vested interest in people not pursuing this goal. The free hand of the market is notoriously bad at protecting the commons; it's just too easy to push environmental costs off onto future generations in order to make the heftiest profits today.

I would suggest, though, that you drop the use of the term "liberal."

For one thing, it has been perverted by the propagandists into something of a scary word for a great many people, like "communist" and "socialist." I'm not saying it's right that this has happened (and I don't think that those other words should necessarily scare people, either), but it has indeed happened.

For another, it's not actually an accurate term for what you're talking about (look up "liberalism," its foundation). A better term for what you're talking about is "progressive." But keep in mind in any event that until fairly recently in American politics, there were at least some politicians in both major parties who were environmentally aware and endeavored to pursue broad, long-term goals. The Republican Party (aided hugely by Fox News and talk radio) has had great success for some time now in focusing instead on short-term corporate well-being and stirring up the votes to support them via fear- and hate-mongering, including most notably toward government itself, and for the present that seems to have driven the more environmentally aware and longer-term-thinking politicians from their ranks. It wasn't always so, though; in fact, some of the most powerful pieces of legislation the U.S. has ever passed for protecting the environment were championed by Republicans. Hopefully this will be possible again some day so that people with diverse views on various other subjects can nonetheless comfortably coalesce around politicians of whatever party who are concerned about the environment (for the sake of our own future generations even if not for the diversity of life that relies upon it), but I wouldn't recommend holding one's breath waiting for it. And it won't happen at all until enough people get out and vote for non-Republican candidates for office.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 5:19 am 
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While I agree with you in principle, Gerry, the sad fact is that the pool of worthy political candidates has been rendered nearly non-existant by rampant partisanship and myopic focus on re-election at all costs. To me, this is analogous to the myopic focus by business on profit margin, at the expense of workers, the environment, and of society as a whole. Wasn't always this way - as you know, years ago business acknowledged its debt to the society that enabled it to thrive, but those days are long gone, as exemplified by the loud (and completely erroneous) reaction to Obama's "you didn't build it" comment a couple years ago. By the same token, in days past, politicians acknowledged their debt to the constituents who voted them into their jobs, but I'm afraid those days are long gone as well. Now we see many politicians voting for measures that a large majority of their constituents disagree with, out of fear of being replaced in the next election cycle.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 6:24 am 
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Gerry, can you be specific about what portion of the things I said that you don't believe?

I'm fine with saying progressive instead of liberal. Now, as I said, even the most progressive developed countries in the world are still at 200% to 800% of sustainable carbon production levels (and many nations far more progressive than us failed to live up to their Kyoto goals, despite the fact that even those goals would have been far insufficient to stop global warming). Considering that the US will never get as progressive as those nations, why do you think that electing Democrats will get us where we need to be? Especially before we're willing to make the necessary changes in our own personal lives?

Every single significant change starts with individuals. Government-legislated change that conflicts with what people are willing to do is always worked around. Other individuals won't make the changes necessary in their lives until we make the changes (and probably above and beyond) in our lives, and show both that it can work, that we can live good, happy lives, and that we live in the reality that the cause is that important. And no government will change until a LOT more private individuals care to the level necessary to put it into effect.

Not that the government can even make all the necessary changes. Government can legislate industry - which is what, 19% of the contributor to global warming? So even if you half that, you've only reduced carbon levels by 10%. What is the government going to legislate around driving? Improving gas mileage is a small help, since people saving money on gas are willing to drive more and more. (Not to mention that the vast majority of progressives in my life, and myself and most of my close friends are progressives, have no problem flying almost habitually) Is the government going to end meat production? Has either party even shown any interest in taking significant steps towards localization, and could that even be "legislated" without significant constitutional issues?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 6:27 am 
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haha what a fun & whacky thread ... permeated w/ the usual pearls of wisdom, ... mists of passion : }
yes accelerated anthropogenic climate change is supported by science, we're in it & nothing we do now is likely to change the trajectory ... add a solar cycle & we see the current intense regional droughts ?? But as a biologist; if change is the norm ... i think id rather see us facing an abnormal warmup over a cool down! An energized system has more potential than a partially dormant one, and we will experience it all again ... eventually.
We who choose to be educated can also choose to behave responsibly; start w/ being kind, reduce, reuse, recycle.
We chose to stop w/1 child, ... dumbest thing in retrospect we ever did ... its another beautiful morning on the desert, think i'll go out for a ride : }

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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 6:45 am 
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jonathan wrote:
There have been lots of countries that have stopped their population growth without a draconian one-child policy. They've done it by reducing abject poverty and improving education and women's rights. Unfortunately, two many people think we have to have one or the other - that we must be either poor and uneducated, or educated and mind-numbingly rich and wasteful.

The only way in which this planet is going to move forward in a sustainable and even remotely humane manner is if those of us who are rich begin to realize that we are living far, far above our means, and back off to a point where we can still be plenty happy (more crap has never made us happier anyway), AND the planet can sustain us.


krisbell wrote:
It is unbelievably draconian and will never in a million years occur as who (other than me and a few other crazies) would ever willingly vote for that system? Unfortunately we have not got a million years, not even 1,000 years if the majority of population economics papers are to be believed.


And it wouldn't do any good anyways. How long would it take for the 1-child policy to actually happen, everywhere (in India? in Africa? in the Middle East?), how would it actually be enforced by non-totalitarian governments, how long before it would actually start to stop population growth, and how would the world be able to sustain us anyway as even the current population began moving toward European/North American production levels?


Hi Jonathan, thanks for your responses - I totally agree with you with regards education and womens rights being a superb way of controlling population growth but even in the wealthiest countries in the world with the best education levels, populations are essentially stable. Unfortunately, as you mention, this is not good enough as we are already consuming WAY more than what is sustainable in the long run. We need significant population decline, which brings me back to the 1-child policy. IN THEORY if a 1 child policy was introduced worldwide and strictly adhered to it would be effective immediately, and have population back down to sustainable levels within a few generations. Its never going to happen - but its the only solution that I can see that is within our capabilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 6:52 am 
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A libertarian friend of mine (don't worry, I'm eons away from libertarianism) calls these sort of conversations "red vs. blue" fights. That's when you champion the Democrats or the Republicans as the absolute answer to a major problem, despite the fact that they're almost certainly both far closer to creating the problem at hand than to solving it. I agree that the Republicans right now are a complete mess, and some of the most popular ones are almost disgusting. I'd never suggest they area viable alternative, nor have they been for a few years at least now. But in terms of what has to be done right now in terms of environmental sustainability, the Democrats simply aren't anywhere near where they need to be either, and get far too much money from businesses and the wealthy and the self-interested middle-class (and wanna-be wealthy) to be where they need to be.

On a scale of -100 to 100, where a positive score is actually improving the problem and negative is making it worse, I'd say that Republicans are about a -80 on this issue. Or even worse. But Democrats still aren't much better than a -40, and don't really have any pressure to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 6:54 am 

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krisbell wrote:
We need significant population decline, which brings me back to the 1-child policy. IN THEORY if a 1 child policy was introduced worldwide and strictly adhered to it would be effective immediately, and have population back down to sustainable levels within a few generations. Its never going to happen - but its the only solution that I can see that is within our capabilities.


In theory, we could be down to <1 billion people in 3 generations if a one child policy were instituted today. If strictly adhered to, each generation would be half of the parents'. It's an interesting thought, for sure, to think that it would be possible, albeit unlikely, to bring the human population down so much in a century with such a simple policy.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 7:09 am 
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MonarchzMan wrote:
krisbell wrote:
We need significant population decline, which brings me back to the 1-child policy. IN THEORY if a 1 child policy was introduced worldwide and strictly adhered to it would be effective immediately, and have population back down to sustainable levels within a few generations. Its never going to happen - but its the only solution that I can see that is within our capabilities.


In theory, we could be down to <1 billion people in 3 generations if a one child policy were instituted today. If strictly adhered to, each generation would be half of the parents'. It's an interesting thought, for sure, to think that it would be possible, albeit unlikely, to bring the human population down so much in a century with such a simple policy.


My thoughts exactly. Just think what a beautiful place earth would be with only 1 billion people - vast areas of land given back to nature, pollution massively reduced, massive increases in wildlife abundance, cheap house prices, superb fishing....I could go on. It really doesnt seem that much of a trade off to have just one child in exchange for all that, and not only that but the world our children and grandchildren will grow up in will be significantly better than the one we have grown up in, rather than significantly worse if we carry on doing what we are doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 7:31 am 
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jonathan wrote:
A libertarian friend of mine (don't worry, I'm eons away from libertarianism) calls these sort of conversations "red vs. blue" fights. That's when you champion the Democrats or the Republicans as the absolute answer to a major problem, despite the fact that they're almost certainly both far closer to creating the problem at hand than to solving it. I agree that the Republicans right now are a complete mess, and some of the most popular ones are almost disgusting. I'd never suggest they area viable alternative, nor have they been for a few years at least now. But in terms of what has to be done right now in terms of environmental sustainability, the Democrats simply aren't anywhere near where they need to be either, and get far too much money from businesses and the wealthy and the self-interested middle-class (and wanna-be wealthy) to be where they need to be.

On a scale of -100 to 100, where a positive score is actually improving the problem and negative is making it worse, I'd say that Republicans are about a -80 on this issue. Or even worse. But Democrats still aren't much better than a -40, and don't really have any pressure to be.


Can't find a thing to disagree with here, Jonathan.....our political system is broken at best. And I don't see any positive signs for improvement down the road, barring revolution. When we send our representatives to Washington or to our state government to do our bidding, and they immediately adopt their own agendas and ignore ours......well, how do you solve that dilemma? I sure don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 8:14 am 
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krisbell wrote:
Hi Jonathan, thanks for your responses - I totally agree with you with regards education and womens rights being a superb way of controlling population growth but even in the wealthiest countries in the world with the best education levels, populations are essentially stable. Unfortunately, as you mention, this is not good enough as we are already consuming WAY more than what is sustainable in the long run. We need significant population decline, which brings me back to the 1-child policy. IN THEORY if a 1 child policy was introduced worldwide and strictly adhered to it would be effective immediately, and have population back down to sustainable levels within a few generations. Its never going to happen - but its the only solution that I can see that is within our capabilities.


1) I don't think anything further than population stability is healthy. Serious population decline causes terribly lopsided age structures (massive elderly population supported by smaller group of working folk), not to mention a world with no brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles/cousins, not to mention the side-effects of having such a draconian, totalitarian government and the terrible measures they would have to use to implement it. The one-child-enforced declining-population society you envision would be an ill society.

2) 1-child policy is not effective immediately, because most high-population-growth countries are extremely heavy on youth, at 50% of the population or more. Even if you enforce 1-child policies today, those countries don't see population declines until after that huge contingent has their kids and starts to die off, decades in the future.

3) We are NOT above our carrying capacity for population. We are above the carrying capacity for a population that wants to live like rich Westerners. If we all live like Americans, we'll have to reduce population to a billion or so, which would have ridiculous unintended consequences, such as the previously mentioned problems plus a lot of collapsing infrastructure. But if we lived like, say, environmentally conscious middle-class Indians, we could support the current world population and then some. With continued technological advances, I think we could live much better than that. But we'd have to be willing to not be so ridiculously greedy. The idea that more cars and bigger houses and more meat makes our life better is a false hope, but we've let industry drive us there and most of us are reluctant to let go.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 8:19 am 
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MonarchzMan wrote:
In theory, we could be down to <1 billion people in 3 generations if a one child policy were instituted today. If strictly adhered to, each generation would be half of the parents'. It's an interesting thought, for sure, to think that it would be possible, albeit unlikely, to bring the human population down so much in a century with such a simple policy.


No offense, but I can see that you guys haven't actually done much research in this area. Population doesn't decrease until people die. There are far more people under the age of 18 than over the age of 50 in the world. Population doesn't have just because one generation has only 1 kid - it completely depends on the current age structure of the population, the life expectancy, and medical advancements. Look at actual projections - it would take longer than you think.

As far as it being a thing of beauty - it's not just about having only one kid. You're throwing completely altered population age structures, completely altered family and relational dynamics, and all the consequences of draconian government into the mix.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 8:38 am 
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You make some good, interesting points there Jonathan. I agree a 1-child society would be a pretty ill situation but the alternative consequence of massive overpopulation is much much worse.

Though I take your point regarding population structure affecting the speed of population decline I think you're splitting hairs with regards timing. Within a human lifetime (70years-ish) there will be a marked reduction in population. 70 years is a blink of an eye and is to all purposes 'immediate'. Once the decline starts to occur and that youth 'lump' works through the system decine will be extremely rapid. Either way we are talking a scale of less than a few hundred years - effectively no time at all.

And finally - we ARE above our carrying capacity. Yes, I agree, there is no need to be if that small fraction of affluent humans stopped consuming so much, but for the time being we do and therefore we are consuming more than the earth is capable of producing. I do not believe humans as a whole would ever selflessly consume significantly less than they are able to which is why with a massively reduced global population you can effectively let them consume as much as they like as individuals, just reduce the number of individuals. My case in point is you and I, we are sat discussing these matters thousands of miles apart, on whizzy computers, with fast internet connections. We both also enjoy going out looking for animals, which almost invariably requires a vehicle, gas, photographic equipment, mobile phones, possibly GPS and a billion other things. We are those top consumers that are killing the world and we are more or less cognizant of the issues and thus the implications of our actions but I'm not giving up my computer or herping anytime soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 9:05 am 
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I'm not sure how old you are, jonathan; I'm tempted to say you're too young to be so cynical, but then I was pretty cynical when I was younger, as well. And I still am, but I've recited my personal mantra - "hope for the best, but expect the worst" - to myself for so long now that I do believe I've managed a more balanced outlook overall. It keeps me fighting the good fight, anyway, despite being convinced that it's all for naught. I don't disagree with your or the other doomsaying in this thread. I don't disagree with either the need to take personal responsibility to avoid (at least a meaningful part of) our doom nor the exceedingly high likelihood of that not occurring. Again, I just recognize that an essential - I'd argue perhaps the most essential - part of the behavior that we need to change is our voting behavior. If we have any hope at all, it stems from there as much as or more than anywhere else. That doesn't at all mean that I hold the "anywhere else" of low regard.

The extreme political partisanship we see today is not a chance occurrence. It has been greatly fostered, among both politicians and the public that elects them, by folks who benefit from it. They don't want a large proportion of the public to vote. They do want those who vote to do so out of short-term self-interest, stirred up by fear- and hate-mongering, rather than a longer, broader view. And they contribute hugely toward climate-changing and other forms of pollution, habitat destruction, you-name-it in terms of environmental harm.

They found the Republican Party easiest to work with when they began their political efforts in earnest, and it has paid off handsomely for them. Thanks to their unprecedented, unceasing propaganda campaign, a great many people today distrust scientists and their findings, and hold educators in little regard. These people worse than distrust "the government." The biggest problem in most of their eyes is that everyone won't get out of the way and let the free market solve all our problems, and thus the folks behind it all have achieved their end: less and less oversight and regulation of their profit-seeking activities. And those that haven't fallen for the free market line of BS are targeted by the same folks and their propaganda machine with an endless parade of hot-button issues (mostly gays, guns and God) to distract them from more serious matters and keep them toeing the company line.

I suspect you're young enough to think that this is the way it's always been in America, or at least this is the way it's been for so long that there's no reason to believe it could ever be otherwise. But that's not the case. Things really only headed this way in earnest in the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan's election. That's only (the word "only" being a matter of the perspective granted by one's lifetime and understanding of the history before one's life) a few decades. And it's only gotten really bad much more recently than that. I'm not saying that the problem of climate-changing pollution has only gotten so terrible over that time period, mind you, but rather the political will and ability to meaningfully address it has done so. And climate-changing pollution and many other environmental issues have certainly worsened at a correspondingly faster rate during that time period as a result. (Contrast how we deal with any widely produced pollutant today with how we dealt with CFCs in the 1970s. Then, scientists identified it as a serious and growing atmospheric problem, the public heeded scientists and so government acted fairly promptly and effectively to address it.)

If you've much of an independent thought in your head, the folks that benefit from our current dysfunctional political system don't want you to vote. Things changed rapidly in their favor, after all, so there's at least a possibility they could change just as rapidly back to a system that is much more effective in controlling the situation. (Again, I'm not by any means saying the situaton was well controlled; I'm saying it was better controlled, and more importantly the system was much more capable of controlling it.) But if you're going to vote, they certainly want you doing so for the party they've selected to champion their cause and carry their supporting messages, the Republican Party.

I'm not a Democrat. In fact (and believe it or not), the only party I've ever been a member of was the Republican Party, but for a very long time and henceforth I refuse membership in any party. I don't believe the Democratic Party is somehow inherently better than the Republican Party, at least not historically. I know there are plenty of Democratic politicians who are every bit as smitten with short-term self-interest politics or even as outright corrupt as is the worst Republican. But a combination of the fact that the corporate/industrial folks have chosen the Republican Party to carry the great majority of their water - and enjoyed great success thereby (in no small part by driving politicians who won't do so out of that party) - with the fact that the Republican Party is achieving an alarming degree of hegemony - as I pointed out earlier, they already have firm control of most states' legislatures and the House as well as modest or greater control of the Supreme Court, will likely have control of the Senate after this year's election, and might even have control of the presidency and much greater control of the Supreme Court within a couple of years - leaves me no thoughtful choice but to urge people to vote against the Republican Party. If you have access to that exceedingly rare Republican politician who is still willing to stand up to his/her party and its corporate masters and actually fight for government oversight and regulation of industrial activities on behalf of the environment (if such a person does indeed still exist), then by all means vote for him/her. But otherwise vote for a Democrat, a Green, an independent or anyone else. Run for office yourself, under any label you choose.

I understand people believing that both major parties are the problem, neither the solution. But it's nowhere near entirely true, and the only (scant) hope we really have at present to improve the system and thereby our real chances for improving environmental prospects is to vote against the party and its growing hegemony that have become by far the largest part of the problem from a political standpoint, the Republican Party. By instead simply not voting out of disgust for the whole system, jonathan and Mark, people with views such as yourself are doing exactly what those corporate/industrial folks and their propaganda machine very much want and are strongly encouraging you to do.

I greatly appreciate your receptivity to switching to "progressive" where you've previously used "liberal," by the way, jonathan. Do you mind another quick language/history lesson that you might find informative and possibly even useful? Here it is, in any event:

Don't think too badly of your friend's or others' libertarian leaning, as they've simply been duped and so coopted by the corporate/industrial folks I've been talking about. Hey, that propaganda machine of theirs is extremely effective on all kinds of people, in all kinds of ways, and this is actually one of their very slickest tricks. See, when I was a young voter and before, libertarianism concerned itself with civil liberty - let me be who I want to be and do what I want to do so long as I'm not harming anyone kind of stuff, sort of an intersection of the civil rights and hippie movements - but somewhere thereafter it was perverted to include corporate liberty, and now in fact the latter is mostly what it concerns itself with. "Corporations are people, my friend!" Just wanted you to know that it wasn't always so.

I don't much bother with labels anymore, and haven't in a long time, but if I were to attempt to label myself I'd probably still go with something like "socially conscious, environmentally aware libertarian." But really I'd have to add still more caveats, including at least a touch of "capitalist," "socialist," etc. Likewise I'm "conservative" in some ways and "progressive" in others. Shouldn't every thinking person be, really? I think that people who are foolish enough to believe that any one, pure political philosophy is the answer for all of human society deserve a far worse name than merely "ideologue" (or "hypocrite," which also fits).

And I agree that at home and internationally we should make women's rights - unabashedly including their reproductive rights - and education one of our most fervent causes, right up there with governmental oversight and regulation of corporate/industrial activities. I reckon it's not so coincidental that the Republican Party here in America has concerned itself so much with curtailing women's rights (to equal pay, modern reproductive healthcare), too.

Sorry for the longwinded post, everyone. For what it's worth, I think I've already said everything I felt I needed to in this thread (and then some! ;) ), and won't bother going on unless specifically asked to on something or other or prompted to repeat/clarify myself by someone who seems to need it.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 9:57 am 

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jonathan wrote:
No offense, but I can see that you guys haven't actually done much research in this area. Population doesn't decrease until people die. There are far more people under the age of 18 than over the age of 50 in the world. Population doesn't have just because one generation has only 1 kid - it completely depends on the current age structure of the population, the life expectancy, and medical advancements. Look at actual projections - it would take longer than you think.

As far as it being a thing of beauty - it's not just about having only one kid. You're throwing completely altered population age structures, completely altered family and relational dynamics, and all the consequences of draconian government into the mix.


I'm talking about effective population size. Effective population size would be <1 billion. But if we take into account longevity, let's say a generation takes 20 years. So in the three generation, the effective population size would be less than a billion, and 60 years will have passed. And, really, anyone who is greater than 20 now would be near death. By the passing of a century, virtually everyone alive today will be dead. That's 7 billion people from generation 0 people. The 3.5 billion people in generation 1 will be close to death and start falling off. Generation 2 will only be 1.75 billion people, and will be in their 60s. Generation 3 will only be 0.875 billion and in their 40s. So in a century, at best 6.125 billion would be alive, but realistically, it'd be between 6.125 billion and 2.625 billion (accounting for generations 4 and 5). It would be a significant reduction from today's population.

I don't think you've given it much thought. It's just a thought experiment. And you called it a thing of beauty, not me. I thought it was an interesting thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 12:34 pm 
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Here's a just-updated Gallup poll that I thought folks following this thread might be interested in, showing the partisan split between Democrats and Republicans with respect to whether the environment or the economy should be prioritized, and when that split originated (when George W. Bush took office in 2001). Note the article's subtitle: "Partisan gap over priority largest recorded"

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168017/ameri ... rowth.aspx

It also shows that a clear majority of all Americans have almost always prioritized the environment (including at present). But if that's the case, why is that priority so poorly represented among our elected officials? Hmmm, you think who votes and who doesn't might have something to do with it?...

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2014, 3:47 pm 
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We (in America, at least) seem to treat elections like Oscar predictions--"who should win vs. who will win." If more people voted their conscience and/or values, third-party candidates would have a much stronger showing and may even have a chance at winning.

Ultimately, I think a not-insignificant number of voters don't vote this way, but rather who they think will ultimately prevail in the overall vote count. And I think the major-party politicians know this, and pander to this segment of the population through peer-pressure-type campaigns (don't "throw your vote away" on a third-party candidate, etc.).


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 3:19 pm 
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http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-23/i ... ia/5339654


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 5:25 pm 
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Australia knows what is coming. Sydney already has plans laid down for the impending water rise. They're good as long as it doesn't crest over a meter or two.

Unfortunately, a meter was the worst-case prediction made based off data about 7 years ago, and the recent IPCC report (from 2013) says we've already exceeded the CO2/temperature predictions for the current year by 60% (ie, the rate of increase is more than 1.5 times higher than predicted), and the sea level rise might actually be closer to 3+ meters by 2100.

We're in deep trouble. The environment will be highly impacted by climate change, and many species will go extinct, but we humans are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 6:09 pm 
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VanAR wrote:
We're in deep trouble. The environment will be highly impacted by climate change, and many species will go extinct, but we humans are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this.


I think the species that go extinct will bear the brunt of it even more than humans do.

John


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 6:14 pm 
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Ribbit wrote:
VanAR wrote:
We're in deep trouble. The environment will be highly impacted by climate change, and many species will go extinct, but we humans are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this.


I think the species that go extinct will bear the brunt of it even more than humans do.

John


I have to agree with you, John. We caused it....we could have stopped it.....and of all the species, we are the only one that may be able to adapt to it. All the rest of the species are unwitting victims.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 6:16 pm 
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I am not aware of anything documented to have gone extinct due to the altithermal.


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 6:32 pm 
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gbin wrote:
That's a gross oversimplification that could easily lead nonscientists astray. Skepticism is inherent to good science, yes, but a good scientist also knows to put the bulk of his/her belief behind the bulk of the available scientific evidence (said evidence being far more important than the people who produced it).


Gerry


I agree with the second sentence. I look at the work critically, I don't care who wrote it. I don't care about any "consensus" or trend. It's either good work or it isn't. I've seen too many shenanigans by too many people. I've seen cases where people who normally did good work dropped a turd. People that aren't scientists should be cautioned to do likewise rather than trust a scientist or journalist/TV show reporting on a scientific topic.

Very few people have the knowledge to critically read and come to an educated conclusion on this matter. You need to be able to critically read and understand the primary work. Not be guided by some potentially biased source. People should also be cautioned that climate science is for the most part in it's infancy.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 8:35 pm 
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Ribbit wrote:
VanAR wrote:
We're in deep trouble. The environment will be highly impacted by climate change, and many species will go extinct, but we humans are the ones who are going to bear the brunt of this.


I think the species that go extinct will bear the brunt of it even more than humans do.

John


My point being that we aren't going to escape it. It isn't just an "environmental" issue pushed forward by the left. It's a real problem that is going to shape the future of humanity, via mere displacement at best. Even if displacement is the only consequence for humans, that means the ~50-60% of the human population that lives in coastal cities is going to SOL.


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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2014, 8:46 pm 
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M Wolverton wrote:
I agree with the second sentence. I look at the work critically, I don't care who wrote it. I don't care about any "consensus" or trend. It's either good work or it isn't. I've seen too many shenanigans by too many people. I've seen cases where people who normally did good work dropped a turd. People that aren't scientists should be cautioned to do likewise rather than trust a scientist or journalist/TV show reporting on a scientific topic.

Very few people have the knowledge to critically read and come to an educated conclusion on this matter. You need to be able to critically read and understand the primary work. Not be guided by some potentially biased source. People should also be cautioned that climate science is for the most part in it's infancy.


So we need to be scientists to understand the primary literature, but we shouldn't trust scientists because they make mistakes? Does anyone else see the logical fallacy here or am I nuts?


Good science is self-correcting, and if anyone was making a huge mistake, it would have been noticed by now. The fossil fuel industry would be parading it in front of every news outlet/politician they could find! In fact, the exact opposite has been true: the studies the fossil fuel industry has presented in denial of climate change have been disproven in every case. Thus, although I somewhat agree that climate science is sort of in an "infant" stage relative to other sciences, the alarming part of that assertion is that every time climate science has "advanced", or been "improved", the severity predictions of climate change have gotten worse, not better.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 1:11 am 
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gbin wrote:
It also shows that a clear majority of all Americans have almost always prioritized the environment (including at present). But if that's the case, why is that priority so poorly represented among our elected officials? Hmmm, you think who votes and who doesn't might have something to do with it?...


I started to make a long post about how much money influences politics, but I realized it was besides the point.

Here's a much better point.

If "a clear majority of all Americans have almost always prioritized the environment", then why have they done such a horrible job of showing it in their own lives, much less their votes? The % of Americans who are living with a sustainable ecological footprint is minuscule. The % of Americans who would chose to preserve the environment over their own family's bottom line is certainly far less than a majority.

It's just a bad poll question that falls apart when actual issues are looked at. If you instead asked, "Have you turned down a job that would have paid you more money and otherwise been more favorable to your family due to its negative environmental impact?", what % of Americans could answer "yes". I've seen far, far too many people make job decisions to believe that it could be anything like a majority.


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 1:35 am 
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krisbell wrote:
And finally - we ARE above our carrying capacity. Yes, I agree, there is no need to be if that small fraction of affluent humans stopped consuming so much, but for the time being we do and therefore we are consuming more than the earth is capable of producing. I do not believe humans as a whole would ever selflessly consume significantly less than they are able to which is why with a massively reduced global population you can effectively let them consume as much as they like as individuals, just reduce the number of individuals. My case in point is you and I, we are sat discussing these matters thousands of miles apart, on whizzy computers, with fast internet connections. We both also enjoy going out looking for animals, which almost invariably requires a vehicle, gas, photographic equipment, mobile phones, possibly GPS and a billion other things. We are those top consumers that are killing the world and we are more or less cognizant of the issues and thus the implications of our actions but I'm not giving up my computer or herping anytime soon.


I think that you assumed I'm living in a glass house. My consumption isn't perfect, but I'm certainly putting my lifestyle where my mouth is, and most of what you assumed about me is wrong. I actually think that in everything other than international flights, I live far below what the developed world would need to accept in order for our entire world's population to be sustainable. And we're working on getting better on the flights, moving from one round-trip a year to one round-trip every 2-3 years.

My wife and I do own one cheap computer between us that's a few years old, but for internet we're only using about 2GB/month of the same cell phone lines available to the most of India's population. We don't own a private vehicle and haven't since 2010 (before that we had 1 Civic), and here where we live and spend 80% of our time, we virtually never even ride in a private vehicle. Nearly all our long-distance transport is very full trains, most of the short-distance is walking or natural-gas-based public transport. So I'm not doing what you think is necessary with the vehicle or gas (though I did borrow a car and/or carpool from time to time the last time I visited America). My wife and I also own 1 mobile phone and 1 camera between us, which are both rather old and small and aren't really taxing the environment much (that phone and that camera are the only ones of either that we've bought in over 5 years). To herp, I own neither a GPS nor a billion other things - in fact, other than the fantastic HP-15 headlamp that my parents just got me for my birthday (like my other presents, carried here by someone coming anyway to avoid shipping costs), I don't have any "herp specific" equipment. Though I am looking to buy hiking boots for an upcoming trip to the rainforest, since otherwise I've just been wearing sandals.

If you want to go beyond the herping stuff, we live in an 8'x9' brick room in a slum that costs $18/month in rent. Our electrical appliances are 1 fan and 1 CFL light bulb, plus a solar lantern (and several things that need to be charged - the phone, laptop, camera batteries, and a flashlight). We eat a 95% vegetarian diet, and it'd be 99% if you don't count eggs or meat that we're served by other people. And we buy very, very little that's been packaged or shipped any significant distance.

Like I said, I think that is WAY below what people actually need to do to make our current population sustainable. I do NOT believe everyone needs to emulate our lifestyle - we've chosen it because of our particular career/lifestyle decisions around service among the poor, and that's not everyone's life direction. But I think we're living a great life - we seem to be relatively healthy and happy in comparison with most people we know back in America, and I really don't think we're missing out on anything that would make our lives "better".

I think that if people really tried to live more sustainably, there is a LOT of room above our lifestyle to make that happen. And you still get to have a computer, and do plenty of herping (though perhaps not quite so much road-cruising, at least not in a gas-powered car). The only problem is that industry, businesses, advertisers and most of your peers are doing everything possible to make you believe that you'll be happier if you just consume more and more and more and more, and most people are too afraid to take a chance and believe anything else.


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 2:16 am 
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gbin wrote:
I'm not sure how old you are, jonathan; I'm tempted to say you're too young to be so cynical, but then I was pretty cynical when I was younger, as well. And I still am, but I've recited my personal mantra - "hope for the best, but expect the worst" - to myself for so long now that I do believe I've managed a more balanced outlook overall. It keeps me fighting the good fight, anyway, despite being convinced that it's all for naught. I don't disagree with your or the other doomsaying in this thread. I don't disagree with either the need to take personal responsibility to avoid (at least a meaningful part of) our doom nor the exceedingly high likelihood of that not occurring.


I don't really think I'm being cynical. Like you, I'm certainly hoping for the best - you need a lot of hope to suggest the changes that I'm suggesting and actually believe that people could begin to embrace them! I don't believe that my assessment of the situation is all that different from the assessment of people who a) know the science and b) want the world to survive and c) don't want anyone "left behind" in the process. I'm just more aggressive about wanting to personally do something about it and convince others to as well.

gbin wrote:
Again, I just recognize that an essential - I'd argue perhaps the most essential - part of the behavior that we need to change is our voting behavior. If we have any hope at all, it stems from there as much as or more than anywhere else. That doesn't at all mean that I hold the "anywhere else" of low regard.


I think that's just a philosophical difference between us - one that I believed I've reached from careful study, but is of course up for debate. I think that the political sphere is almost always on the trailing side of personal behavior - political change happens after significant personal change, not before. That's true on every issue. That doesn't mean everyone has to change first - but on an issue like this, where (as a proportion) virtually no one has, of course the government isn't going to change either. Especially on this issue, which is so close to people's dreams (for wealth and "success") and fears (about financial "security") and so heavily driven by moneyed interests.


gbin wrote:
The extreme political partisanship we see today is not a chance occurrence...

They found the Republican Party easiest to work with when they began their political efforts in earnest, and it has paid off handsomely for them.....

I suspect you're young enough to think that this is the way it's always been in America, or at least this is the way it's been for so long that there's no reason to believe it could ever be otherwise. But that's not the case. Things really only headed this way in earnest in the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan's election....


I don't really disagree with the details of all you say within there, just with the conclusion you reach from those details. The political sphere has not always been this partisan. Republicans were not always this crazy. But, like I said before, you don't need to be this crazy to still fail to care for the environment. Every administration has failed to do a tenth of what it needed to in regards to the environment - even the "heroes" like Roosevelt and Nixon ( :thumb: ). No one has ever made the country take on significant sacrifices for the good of nature that people weren't already taking on themselves at a significant level. And, most importantly, right now we can look around the world at every administration, not just myopically at America, and see that even the most liberal ones are prioritizing their economies far more than they need to, prioritizing their wealth far more than the world can sustain. You show me the big liberal country that has gained a sustainable ecological and carbon footprint via voting and government action. If they aren't doing it, then why would America, even if the pendulum swung back and America's political climate got much better than it is today?


gbin wrote:
I'm not a Democrat. In fact (and believe it or not), the only party I've ever been a member of was the Republican Party, but for a very long time and henceforth I refuse membership in any party.


Interesting - I was a Democrat most of my life, quite a passionate one for some of it, but I also now refuse membership in any party. In many ways I'm too liberal for the Democrats, but I'm also too non-partisan.


gbin wrote:
I don't believe the Democratic Party is somehow inherently better than the Republican Party, at least not historically. I know there are plenty of Democratic politicians who are every bit as smitten with short-term self-interest politics or even as outright corrupt as is the worst Republican. But a combination of the fact that the corporate/industrial folks have chosen the Republican Party to carry the great majority of their water - and enjoyed great success thereby (in no small part by driving politicians who won't do so out of that party) - with the fact that the Republican Party is achieving an alarming degree of hegemony - as I pointed out earlier, they already have firm control of most states' legislatures and the House as well as modest or greater control of the Supreme Court, will likely have control of the Senate after this year's election, and might even have control of the presidency and much greater control of the Supreme Court within a couple of years - leaves me no thoughtful choice but to urge people to vote against the Republican Party.


I think if you look carefully at your argument, you feel the same ways in the details that I do. Now just look at where the conclusion should lead. Everything I just quoted doesn't even hint at the idea that the Democratic party could come anywhere close to making the enormous changes necessary to reach sustainability. You're just arguing that the Republican party is even worse on the issue right now, perhaps far worse. I agree - I'm only saying that even if you got your way, and everyone voted Democrat, you still wouldn't gain any ground - you just might have somewhat less water to try to bail out by other means.


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 3:43 am 
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VanAR wrote:
Good science is self-correcting, and if anyone was making a huge mistake, it would have been noticed by now. The fossil fuel industry would be parading it in front of every news outlet/politician they could find! In fact, the exact opposite has been true: the studies the fossil fuel industry has presented in denial of climate change have been disproven in every case. Thus, although I somewhat agree that climate science is sort of in an "infant" stage relative to other sciences, the alarming part of that assertion is that every time climate science has "advanced", or been "improved", the severity predictions of climate change have gotten worse, not better.

It's also quite telling that at least some in the industry itself have come to acknowledge both that climate-changing pollution is a serious problem and that the industry needs to change to address it. Of course, they're not about to unilaterally change the way their own company does business because it would put them at a competitive disadvantage in the current enviroment (of laws, regulations, subsidies...) and shareholders would call for their removal on those grounds. Lots of changes need to come from the bottom up, but some others need to come from the top down.

To reinforce what Van said, it's wrong to equate the skepticism called for by science with an ideal of not trusting anyone or anything (or at least anything you haven't personally studied in depth). The goal of science overall is the accumulation of unbiased information about the natural world. In the sociopolitical arena (and elsewhere), that means that science overall (not this or that cherry-picked study, but a broader view of the available evidence as is represented by a scientific consensus) should be helpful in decided what to trust. There's a reason so much of that corporate/industry-funded propaganda is aimed at encouraging people not to believe scientists and their work.

jonathan wrote:
I think if you look carefully at your argument, you feel the same ways in the details that I do. Now just look at where the conclusion should lead. Everything I just quoted doesn't even hint at the idea that the Democratic party could come anywhere close to making the enormous changes necessary to reach sustainability. You're just arguing that the Republican party is even worse on the issue right now, perhaps far worse. I agree - I'm only saying that even if you got your way, and everyone voted Democrat, you still wouldn't gain any ground - you just might have somewhat less water to try to bail out by other means.

I've already mentioned that we agree in a great many respects. :beer: Where we differ seems to be specifically in the political arena. As I read you, you argue for acting responsibly with respect to personal lifestyle but ignore politics (and maybe even argue for ignoring politics). I argue for acting responsibly with respect to personal lifestyle and politics. And again, the way I want isn't for everyone to vote for Democrats, it's to vote for anyone but Republicans (excepting that rare, maybe mythical Republican who stands up to his/her party and shows responsiblity for the environment) rather than not to vote at all or to vote for whoever pushes this or that antisocial/anti-government hot button. Things are worsening for the environment at an accelerating rate in a number of ways, not just in terms of climate-changing pollution, but we haven't seen anything yet compared to what increasing Republican Party hegemony in the U.S. will bring. Obviously the Democratic Party would benefit from what I'm advocating, but that's not my goal. I'm not enamoured of either major political party, but I don't have to be to see what the Republican Party has been doing for some time now and will do with the even greater (= more harmful) ability that comes with greater hegemony.

Gerry


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 5:39 am 
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VanAR wrote:
M Wolverton wrote:
I agree with the second sentence. I look at the work critically, I don't care who wrote it. I don't care about any "consensus" or trend. It's either good work or it isn't. I've seen too many shenanigans by too many people. I've seen cases where people who normally did good work dropped a turd. People that aren't scientists should be cautioned to do likewise rather than trust a scientist or journalist/TV show reporting on a scientific topic.

Very few people have the knowledge to critically read and come to an educated conclusion on this matter. You need to be able to critically read and understand the primary work. Not be guided by some potentially biased source. People should also be cautioned that climate science is for the most part in it's infancy.


So we need to be scientists to understand the primary literature, but we shouldn't trust scientists because they make mistakes? Does anyone else see the logical fallacy here or am I nuts?


Good science is self-correcting, and if anyone was making a huge mistake, it would have been noticed by now. The fossil fuel industry would be parading it in front of every news outlet/politician they could find! In fact, the exact opposite has been true: the studies the fossil fuel industry has presented in denial of climate change have been disproven in every case. Thus, although I somewhat agree that climate science is sort of in an "infant" stage relative to other sciences, the alarming part of that assertion is that every time climate science has "advanced", or been "improved", the severity predictions of climate change have gotten worse, not better.


Is anyone but the well versed in a field going to understand a paper? Probably not. I take a dim view of that because I am not doing this just for other scientists, I work with a publicly owned resource, so do many of you. I am not going to pretend I know enough about climate science to say much about it either way, not going to be convinced either way by any biased or politicized bandwagon.

I wasn't talking about mistakes, those are going to happen and are a given. Science is supposed to be self-correcting but is not always- primarily because scientists can have other motivations besides doing good work or critically reading work. We still have people like Dennis Stanford out there saying things on TV to the public like "there weren't bifaces until the Solutrean," which is not a mistake, it's an outright lie. Currently nobody is taking him to task for it because none of us has the time or cares to, but the public is eating it up. There isn't a single one in my field I'd trust enough to skip to the conclusions of their work and just buy it off hand.

I know my field is different than biology, but science in it's essence is a universal method. Critical reading of it has always been and will continue to be a necessity no matter the credentials. Burmese pythons are not going to spread from Florida to Idaho, that was corrected somewhat, but someone still said it and got the public fired up with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 6:30 am 
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You keep trying to use examples of individual scientists or studies that may be wrong (or worse than wrong) as if they justified distrusting entire large, diverse bodies of scientific work with a clear consensus. I'm sorry, but that's not rational behavior for a scientist or anyone else.

And scientists aren't the ones who politicized - let alone polarized the politics of - the subject of climate-changing pollution, and the folks who did so did it for an exceedingly self-serving reason.

Gerry


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PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 7:26 am 

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The AAAS just came out with a fairly accessible summary of what we know about climate change: http://whatweknow.aaas.org/


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2014, 12:50 pm 
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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


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 12:31 am 
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gbin wrote:
I've already mentioned that we agree in a great many respects. :beer: Where we differ seems to be specifically in the political arena. As I read you, you argue for acting responsibly with respect to personal lifestyle but ignore politics (and maybe even argue for ignoring politics).


I'll clarify, then, that I'm not in favor of ignoring politics. I am all for campaigning for specific political actions and decisions. What I think is generally much less helpful is campaigning for persons or parties. As you imply, they shift with the wind, and will never do anything brave without a huge public campaign behind it.

I am also in favor of action always being the leading edge ahead of advocacy. I'm a fan of personal lifestyle changes being the leading edge ahead of telling the government to force everyone else to change. We have to walk the walk before we talk the talk. That's one reason why Gore gets made fun of so much - no one saw his personal behavior as being in line with his words (there were other reasons too, many of them unfair, but that was a major reason). But the thing I'm most afraid of is people thinking there is a government solution to this that just involves voting for the right folks, and not major personal changes. If these people think that voting is the main tactic, we won't get anywhere (voting has never, at any point in American history, been the primary tactic that changed anything). Since there are already tens of millions of Americans voting for Democrats, but there are only tens of thousands of people making the personal lifestyle changes that are actually necessary to get to a reasonable carbon and ecological footprint, I think my fears are provably justified.

And, of course, the challenge that I've made to you again and again. There are many other developed countries where the "right folks" have been in power for decades, politicians far more liberal than American Democrats. Why haven't any of these countries attained a sustainable ecological footprint or carbon footprint?


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 5:17 am 
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jonathan wrote:
I'll clarify, then, that I'm not in favor of ignoring politics. I am all for campaigning for specific political actions and decisions. What I think is generally much less helpful is campaigning for persons or parties. As you imply, they shift with the wind, and will never do anything brave without a huge public campaign behind it.

I am also in favor of action always being the leading edge ahead of advocacy. I'm a fan of personal lifestyle changes being the leading edge ahead of telling the government to force everyone else to change. We have to walk the walk before we talk the talk. That's one reason why Gore gets made fun of so much - no one saw his personal behavior as being in line with his words (there were other reasons too, many of them unfair, but that was a major reason). But the thing I'm most afraid of is people thinking there is a government solution to this that just involves voting for the right folks, and not major personal changes. If these people think that voting is the main tactic, we won't get anywhere (voting has never, at any point in American history, been the primary tactic that changed anything). Since there are already tens of millions of Americans voting for Democrats, but there are only tens of thousands of people making the personal lifestyle changes that are actually necessary to get to a reasonable carbon and ecological footprint, I think my fears are provably justified.

And, of course, the challenge that I've made to you again and again. There are many other developed countries where the "right folks" have been in power for decades, politicians far more liberal than American Democrats. Why haven't any of these countries attained a sustainable ecological footprint or carbon footprint?

As much as we agree upon and as strongly as we agree upon it, jonathan, I must admit that sometimes you nonetheless confuse me.

We've known each other quite a while through this website, you and I. When have I ever given you the impression in my interactions with you or others that I would respond as desired by someone who is trying to get me to defend an argument I never made and don't agree with? When, too, have I ever given you the impression in my interactions with you or others that I would quietly allow someone to misrepresent my position?

I never said that having "liberal" politicians in power is the answer to climate-changing pollution. I've repeatedly stressed that meaningful government oversight and regulation is an essential part of the answer - along with enough people accepting personal responsibility for their lifestyle, the one thing which I've seen you advocating - and that in America voting for the Republican Party or not voting at all is currently aiding those forces who are fighting against meaningful government oversight and regulation. Heck, I never even said that we will actually succeed by pursuing either or both political and personal means. In fact I believe we won't succeed no matter what those of us who care try to do about this problem, at least not until things get much worse than they already are, and much more is irretrievably lost - just as I've said repeatedly. I advocate what I do simply out of hope for, not an expectation of, making things better because that hope is really all I see that we've got, and it's better than nothing. Hence my repeatedly ignoring your foolish "challenge" that I show where having "liberal" politicians in power has worked to solve the problem.

I have also taken pains to explain to you that I am not campaigning for a particular political party. I am instead campaigning for 1) voting rather than abstaining, and 2) voting against the Republican Party (with the repeatedly mentioned possible rare exceptions where Republican politicians have shown themselves willing to stand up to their party and fight for tighter governmental regulation of corporate/industrial activities). And I'm doing so for two very specific reasons: 1) As a body, the Republican Party has adopted a goal of reducing or eliminating government oversight and regulation of corporate/industrial activities, in accordance with the wishes of the folks in control of the party (and especially its purse strings). 2) The Republican Party already has a very harmful degree of political hegemony in America, and all signs show that is going to worsen partly because of people being tricked into voting for Republicans by hot-button social issues but mostly because of people being tricked into not voting at all. You can talk all you want about how many people are already voting for Democrats (or against Republicans, which again is what I actually advocate), but it is abundantly clear that not nearly enough Americans are voting, especially in mid-year elections such as this fall's will be. That's the biggest part of the reason why Republican Party hegemony is expected to drastically worsen. Though the Democratic Party is obviously the main political beneficiary of what I advocate, that doesn't justify you talking as if that's what I'm after. If the situation were reversed from what's currently the case I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Democratic Party behaving every bit as badly then as the Republican Party is now, but the current situation is the one we presently have to deal with.

How many times do I have to repeat this stuff, within the same post or in post after post, before you focus on the arguments I'm actually making rather than those which exist only as fantasies within your own head? :roll:

At the heart of American politics is voting. In a practical sense (and we should all endeavor to live in the real world if we hope to effect real change), it's meaningless to say that you're "all for campaigning for specific political actions and decisions" when at the same time you are apparently not voting yourself and are even going so far as to discourage others from voting. I for one consider that at least as irresponsible as any decision someone might be making with respect to their personal lifestyle, in terms of climate-changing pollution or other environmental issues.

If you don't agree with me about this then you don't agree. I'll thank you to stop misrepresenting my stance in order to have something you find easier to argue against, in any event.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 5:57 am 
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You're right about one thing Gerry - I know you well enough to be quite certain that your response would sound pretty much like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 5:58 am 
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WACKADOODLE! used to work sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 26th, 2014, 6:35 am 
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jonathan wrote:
You're right about one thing Gerry - I know you well enough to be quite certain that your response would sound pretty much like that.

Then why didn't/don't you stick to the things I've actually said and the arguments I've actually made? (As I endeavor to do for you.) Is it really so difficult for you to understand the difference between "I think both of these things are important" and "I think this one thing is important"? (Etc.) And are you really so capable of making the same "mistakes" in interpreting somone else's views again and again, despite them again and again pointing those "mistakes" out to you? As I said, your behavior here confuses me. :?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 8:02 am 
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PM sent. This personal stuff should not derail what is way too important a topic for that.

Everyone can see everything you and I have said, and I'm not afraid of confusing them about your views - they can read your views for themselves and laugh at me if I got anything wrong. Let's just leave it at that at get to the important thing - what we should be doing about our environmental impact - okay?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 10:33 am 
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Truth Radio for those caught inside the enemy's line (https://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8& ... &sa=Search). http://www.kabc.com 790 give it a week and the brainwashed mind will be cured.


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 11:00 am 
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Climate change or not, the single greatest threat to all animal life on earth is habitat loss and fragmentation.

Bart


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 11:37 am 
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jonathan wrote:
PM sent. This personal stuff should not derail what is way too important a topic for that.

Everyone can see everything you and I have said, and I'm not afraid of confusing them about your views - they can read your views for themselves and laugh at me if I got anything wrong. Let's just leave it at that at get to the important thing - what we should be doing about our environmental impact - okay?

That's all I really want, too, jonathan. (Lest anyone think otherwise, I don't particularly enjoy correcting others' misrepresentations of my views - let alone again and again - but do so when it seems necessary. It's just too easy to misunderstand people here, and let's face it, that problem is made worse by the fact that not everyone reads every post in a long thread, nor reads them all as carefully as they should. And yes, that's true of me sometimes, too; if I've taken someone wrong and especially if I've represented them wrong to others then I would welcome being corrected. I think we should all endeavor to write as clearly as we can on contentious issues here, especially where we're restating or responding to others' views rather than just our own.)

In the context of our discussing our respective views about what we should be doing on behalf of the environment (and because your PM led me to think I might be mistaken in what I believe on this matter), I'd like to ask you:

Do you vote?

Do you think other people should vote?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 11:50 am 
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RenoBart wrote:
Climate change or not, the single greatest threat to all animal life on earth is habitat loss and fragmentation.

Bart


I assume you mean human-caused habitat loss and fragmentation?

If some (or many) projections of an ultimate 6-degree Celcius temperature increase turn out to be true, the resulting habitat loss will dwarf anything that we've been able to accomplish through development, agriculture, and all the rest.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 2:55 pm 
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Fieldnotes wrote:
Truth Radio for those caught inside the enemy's line (https://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8& ... &sa=Search). http://www.kabc.com 790 give it a week and the brainwashed mind will be cured.


Image


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 3:28 pm 
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Wait a minute, Van. You mean to say that when it comes to an issue that could affect the future of the planet, you don't get all of your information from talk radio? :?


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 Post subject: Re: Global warming effecting Amphibians (true or false)
PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 5:47 pm 
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This page seemed remarkably on-topic: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 031914.php

John


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2014, 5:54 pm 
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A search for "montane species climate change" yields some pretty disheartening results....

http://tinyurl.com/oe2w9ml


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 8:29 am 
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RenoBart wrote:
Climate change or not, the single greatest threat to all animal life on earth is habitat loss and fragmentation.


I definitely agree. Like I said, they both make each other worse though. And both are primarily caused by our overconsumption.

Nearly every significant human-caused environmental problem (habitat destruction, climate change, air pollution, water pollution, soil erosion, overharvesting of fisheries and other resources, etc.) can be most significantly addressed by wealthy humans realizing that it is time to reduce our greed and consumption.


Mark Brown wrote:
I assume you mean human-caused habitat loss and fragmentation?

If some (or many) projections of an ultimate 6-degree Celcius temperature increase turn out to be true, the resulting habitat loss will dwarf anything that we've been able to accomplish through development, agriculture, and all the rest.


I don't think that's really true. The amount of the Earth's current usable land mass that has been taken up by humans, especially via agriculture, is insane.

I don't want to downplay global warming at all. But even if there was no global warming, we're easily on pace to use up all of the Earth's usable land mass in the not-so-distant future.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 8:45 am 
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gbin wrote:
I'd like to ask you:

Do you vote?


I can't remember the last time I missed an election that I was in America for. When I am there, I vote very consistently. I haven't requested an oversees absentee ballot though - the extra trouble and resources that would go into that would certainly not be worth my vote (not to mention the extra time it would take for me to become informed about local and state issues that I haven't been focused on). But yes, in America I voted, consistently not only in off-years but even in primaries and special elections.


gbin wrote:
Do you think other people should vote?


Generally I think that a voting society is better than a non-voting society. And I encourage votes on many specific issues. I don't oppose people voting for candidates, but I haven't campaigned strongly to get others to vote for a person since 2008 - I've lost faith in both major parties, and I don't agree with enough of the stances of any of the minor parties that I've been aware of.

And, like I've been saying consistently in this particular discussion, nothing that anyone within a 10-foot-pole of office in America has ever done or proposed, or has ever shown the slightest likelihood to do, will come anywhere near what needs to be done to stop global warming. And there's good reason for that - even the people who are campaigning for change the hardest are not willing to make the changes in their own lives that are needed. We have to realize how big those changes are, and make them ourselves, before we will ever have the political will to make big enough changes as a group.

I came into this discussion because the only changes that had been brought up were "drive a Prius" and "vote". I don't think either of those things will cut it. And despite my voice, the only thing anyone else has suggested at all is "totalitarian world enforcement of the 1-child rule for decades upon end".

I really, really think there was a space for me saying that we need to do something more, and that we can do something more, and that every one of us can start doing it now. Until we start talking about how big the changes are that need to be made - until we start actually crunching numbers, seeing what needs to be done, and doing it ourselves - then we're just playing around.

I've already been doing this on a personal and on an organizational level. I'm talking about a real reduction of carbon footprints down to the global sustainable level, a real reduction in ecological footprint down to what will leave enough natural space left for everything else, a real empowerment of the poor that could end continued overpopulation. Until we see what those steps would take, and are willing to take them ourselves, then we're not going to get anywhere.


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 9:51 am 
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jonathan wrote:
I can't remember the last time I missed an election that I was in America for. When I am there, I vote very consistently...

...

Generally I think that a voting society is better than a non-voting society. And I encourage votes on many specific issues...

Well, you might benefit from realizing that you've come off very differently in this thread. :?

From my perspective there isn't much point in debating whether climate-changing pollution or habitat loss/fragmentation is worse. They're both serious problems in their own right, and their combination is that much worse than either alone.

Gerry


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2014, 9:56 am 
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jonathan wrote:

Mark Brown wrote:
I assume you mean human-caused habitat loss and fragmentation?

If some (or many) projections of an ultimate 6-degree Celcius temperature increase turn out to be true, the resulting habitat loss will dwarf anything that we've been able to accomplish through development, agriculture, and all the rest.


I don't think that's really true. The amount of the Earth's current usable land mass that has been taken up by humans, especially via agriculture, is insane.

I don't want to downplay global warming at all. But even if there was no global warming, we're easily on pace to use up all of the Earth's usable land mass in the not-so-distant future.


I totally agree with this - there is very little pristine habitat in the world left and almost none whatsoever that hasn't been altered already by humans in some respect.

jonathan wrote:
I came into this discussion because the only changes that had been brought up were "drive a Prius" and "vote". I don't think either of those things will cut it. And despite my voice, the only thing anyone else has suggested at all is "totalitarian world enforcement of the 1-child rule for decades upon end".

I really, really think there was a space for me saying that we need to do something more, and that we can do something more, and that every one of us can start doing it now.


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.

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. 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. Drastic measures are needed and no matter which method we take there are going to have to be major sacrifices. I just cant ever see the wealthy elite sacrificing their consumption for the greater good of the planet. Even if all the current wealthies did just that (not a chance in hell), there would be a bunch more that would seek opportunities to take advantage and they would become the new over-consuming wealthies.

Maybe the real answer is a middle ground between all our arguments - a general improvement in responsible living and consumption levels, which includes women's education and considerate reproduction, combined with more environmentally-aware voting? A less drastic verson of my 1-child policy may well be enacted by introducing disincentives for couples to have children, rather than incentivising them as most countries currently do through tax benefits.


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