Humans and the Environment

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
steveo73
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Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:11 pm

There appears to be a belief system that isn't based on facts. That belief system is that humans are somehow destroying our environment and the world is doomed. This is of course factually incorrect but here are some articles going against the trend that humans are somehow bad.

http://humanprogress.org/blog/no--capit ... ty-by-2050
http://humanprogress.org/blog/a-greener ... -good-news
http://humanprogress.org/blog/urbanizat ... nvironment
http://humanprogress.org/blog/human-ing ... the-planet

Progress is good people.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:27 pm

Cease then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit.—In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony, not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

Campitor
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:13 pm

Humans do negatively impact their local environments which is why we have superfunds, in the USA anyways, to clean them up: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/national- ... ites-state. If Superfunds aren't sexy enough for you, then how about some depleted uranium to make your day shine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23729095. Google the birth-defects at your own risk.

The earth is ultimately doomed - one day our sun is going to convert its hydrogen into helium and become a red-giant at which point our oceans and atmosphere will boil away as the sun expands and consumes our planet. Hopefully we will either have moved out to the stars by that point (best case) or (worst case) we get done in by an asteroid impact, a super virus that leaves civilization devastated, or we kill ourselves off because of lack of vigilance from the lackadaisical attitude that stuff only gets better and bad stuff is avoided automagically.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:14 am

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... hange-cult

Here is another good article on how things are hopefully looking up with Trump coming to power in certain areas especially science. I'm not a fan of Trump but we need to start getting facts conveyed rather than hocus pocus theories that have no basis in science.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:14 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
I like this a lot.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:26 pm

Alexander Pope-written 25 years after the invention of the thermometer.

Felipe
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Felipe » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:07 am

Let's take the greenhouse effect out of the picture.

Humans first arrived in Australia around 30,000 BC and at this time, the dodo, marsupial lion, giant koalas, and many other genera of species went extinct. These animals survived many hardships but once humans arrived-extinct from the fossil record. Humans have destroyed the environment long before capitalism existed.

To say that the petrol released into nearby aquifers from fracking doesn't impact the life around in contact with said petrol is naive, at best.

To believe that breathing in fumes from coal is unhealthy isn't some hippy propaganda, you can plot the asthma rates around coal plants to see the impact. Move these same humans somewhere without a coal plant and asthma rates will go back down.

To say that the coal plant, the hydraulic fracturing, or that mass extinction isn't the fault of humans isn't in line with reality.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:55 am

Only Hiawatha laughed not,
But he gravely spake and answered
To their jeering and their jesting:
"True is all Iagoo tells us;
I have seen it in a vision,
Seen the great canoe with pinions,
Seen the people with white faces,
Seen the coming of this bearded
People of the wooden vessel
From the regions of the morning,
From the shining land of Wabun.
"Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
The Great Spirit, the Creator,
Sends them hither on his errand.
Sends them to us with his message.
Wheresoe'er they move, before them
Swarms the stinging fly, the Ahmo,
Swarms the bee, the honey-maker;
Wheresoe'er they tread, beneath them
Springs a flower unknown among us,
Springs the White-man's Foot in blossom.
"Let us welcome, then, the strangers,
Hail them as our friends and brothers,
And the heart's right hand of friendship
Give them when they come to see us.
Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
Said this to me in my vision.
"I beheld, too, in that vision
All the secrets of the future,
Of the distant days that shall be.
I beheld the westward marches
Of the unknown, crowded nations.
All the land was full of people,
Restless, struggling, toiling, striving,
Speaking many tongues, yet feeling
But one heart-beat in their bosoms.
In the woodlands rang their axes,
Smoked their towns in all the valleys,
Over all the lakes and rivers
Rushed their great canoes of thunder.
"Then a darker, drearier vision
Passed before me, vague and cloud-like;
I beheld our nation scattered,
All forgetful of my counsels,
Weakened, warring with each other;
Saw the remnants of our people
Sweeping westward, wild and woful,
Like the cloud-rack of a tempest,
Like the withered leaves of Autumn!"

excerpt "The Song of Hiawatha"- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- 1855- based on ethnographic work of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft -United States Indian Agent in Detroit (1822) and his Native-Michigan-Ojibwe-French heritage wife Jane (Woman of the Sound the Stars Make as They Rush Through the Sky) Jacobs.

I also like this adaptation by Mike Oldfield

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk8jaSU8NCk

IlliniDave
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:58 pm

Felipe wrote:Let's take the greenhouse effect out of the picture.

Humans first arrived in Australia around 30,000 BC and at this time, the dodo, marsupial lion, giant koalas, and many other genera of species went extinct. These animals survived many hardships but once humans arrived-extinct from the fossil record. Humans have destroyed the environment long before capitalism existed.

...
Alternately, we can recognize that humans are simply part of the environment. Every inhabitant of an environment modifies it--to the detriment of some species and the benefit of others. If you're a cockroach or rat, a dog or a cat or horse or cow, or even a deer or coyote, humans are a great boon to you/your species.

Species came and went long before humans. Extinction is to origin what death is to life: the inevitable outcome.

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C40
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:13 pm

"Simply part of the environment" eh? Of course you can say that, it's a literal truth. Let's look an example of what part of the environment we've made ourselves and our domestic animals into while pushing out everything else:

Image

The rate of extinction of species has been exponential in recent history since humans started taking over everything

Image

Campitor
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:32 pm

Alternately, we can recognize that humans are simply part of the environment. Every inhabitant of an environment modifies it--to the detriment of some species and the benefit of others. If you're a cockroach or rat, a dog or a cat or horse or cow, or even a deer or coyote, humans are a great boon to you/your species.

Species came and went long before humans. Extinction is to origin what death is to life: the inevitable outcome.
@IlliniDave

I agree with you in theory but the problem is that humans are extremely efficient at predation and environment modification - we do both at a scale unheard of in regards to speed, consistency and frequency. We can change the narrative so we don't cause the extinction to our origin. We need to let symbiosis and not consumption creep into our methodologies. If we kill ourselves off the universe won't care - it will keep going happily without us.

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Dragline
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Dragline » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:50 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote: Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
The next time I need a moniker for something, this is it. :)

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:35 pm

Campitor wrote:If we kill ourselves off the universe won't care - it will keep going happily without us.
This is the sort of stuff that just makes no logical sense. We aren't bad. Humans are basically good. Progress is basically good.

We aren't killing ourselves out. There isn't a crisis or anything close to it.

I keep stating that people need to be factual. Just take a step back and have a look at yourself and your environment. Do you have enough food to eat ? Can you breath well ? Do you have access to medical care that was unheard of 100 years ago. Imagine how different in a positive way the world will look in another 100 years ? Imagine 500 years or 1000 years ?

We are a truly amazing species in our ability to progress the boundaries of technology in positive ways. I can remember when Aids was killing so many people. Now I don't think many people die of Aids at all. That is progress. We don't kill ourselves off. We live longer.

George the original one
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by George the original one » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:35 pm

@steveo73 -

I think what you're missing is how terrible conditions would be if environmental regulations were not in place. The note about how Europe has more trees now than at the beginning of the 20th century and how automotive emissions are moderating is more a proof of how tightening regulations have helped the environment than it is proof that "technology fixes things". Even China is wising up in that regard.

Campitor
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:05 pm

steveo73 wrote: We are a truly amazing species in our ability to progress the boundaries of technology in positive ways. I can remember when Aids was killing so many people. Now I don't think many people die of Aids at all. That is progress. We don't kill ourselves off. We live longer.
We live longer because good people saw what was happening and decided to do something about it. A threat emerges, smart people decide to take action, the problem is mitigated or resolved. It took ACTIVE efforts to control the AIDS epidemic which I remind you is a virus - it may mutate into a more aggressive strain. There were 2.1million new AIDS cases in 2015. 36.7 millions are infected with it worldwide and only 17 million are receiving treatment (CDC statistics). And oddly AIDS has their denialist too (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_denialism).

Smart people are sounding the alarm on the environment and taking ACTIVE efforts to mitigate it. But the denialist are digging in their heels on the environment too. When AIDS first started showing up, everyone thought only drug addicts and the gay population was at risk - the pedal was put to the metal when heterosexuals started getting it. I wonder when the pedal will be put to the metal in regards to the environment.

George the original one
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by George the original one » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:08 pm

steveo73 wrote:I can remember when Aids was killing so many people. Now I don't think many people die of Aids at all.
Technically, AIDS never killed anybody because it weakens the immune system. AIDS victims usually die of things like pneumonia that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:25 pm

I hate to say this but don't feed the troll. The global warming thread got locked so steveo started this one on a very similar topic so he could continue arguing and posting inaccurate information. He admitted in the old thread that he just likes arguing. I gave him the benefit of the doubt before but no more. Don't waste your time.

I'm not saying steveo should go away or not express his opinion but I don't think there's a lot of sense in engaging on this topic when the conversation isn't real.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:27 pm

@Campitor

I don't think you understand what I stated. It's very clear that over time we (human beings) have improved our environment and been able to improve our life span and even quality of life. We also continue to research factually issues. Yes sometimes we get things wrong but what happens is that over time the truth eventually wins out. That gives me a lot of confidence.

So your idea that there are denialists our there is true but it's not who you think it is. You think it's people like myself who believe that when you look at the world it looks pretty darn good. People like yourself who look at the world and see all these problems to me are the denialists. You have facts and history and the current environment proving you wrong.

Maybe a better way to put it is what makes you think that the whole of human history is going to change and we are going to denigrate our environment rather than improve it. I think that you need some proof when you state these opinions. You can't just assert that you are right when all I have to do is look at my computer or my TV or my car or my bike or the environment outside my house and think how freaken unbelievably good it all is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

In the Neolithic times the average life expectancy was about 20-33 years. The 1900 world average was 48 and now it's 71. These figures mightn't be perfect but any sane person would determine that things are looking pretty darn good. Can you really continue to deny this ?
Last edited by steveo73 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:32 pm

@Gilberto de Piento

Are you serious ? The topic isn't real. Of course it's real.

There are two broad lines of thought:-

1. The world is a good place and humans are doing pretty darn well. This is my viewpoint. I think clearly it's the side of good factual reasoning.
2. The world is a good place from an environmental respective but humans are causing horrific damage to the world and we are going to kill ourselves off. This is the side of non-scientific and non-factual reasoning.

I think it's a pretty fascinating topic. When I said I admitted to liking arguing you could also state that I like discussing important and relevant topics in a factual fashion.

I really hope that some people learn from these threads.
Last edited by steveo73 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:33 pm

George the original one wrote:Technically, AIDS never killed anybody because it weakens the immune system. AIDS victims usually die of things like pneumonia that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
It doesn't change the point. Humans advance our cause in fantastic ways. The environment is part of our cause.
Last edited by steveo73 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:37 pm

George the original one wrote:@steveo73 -

I think what you're missing is how terrible conditions would be if environmental regulations were not in place. The note about how Europe has more trees now than at the beginning of the 20th century and how automotive emissions are moderating is more a proof of how tightening regulations have helped the environment than it is proof that "technology fixes things". Even China is wising up in that regard.
I agree with this. That is what we do. We see clear problems and we fix them.

I'm not stating do nothing at all about the environment and everything will be fine. I'm stating that we do positive things for the environment. This is the interesting thing as well - the more we progress the better we appear to take of the environment.

The only issue is when people make up false stories to try and divert resources towards causes that won't help the environment. It's about getting the best bang for the buck.

Campitor
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:10 pm

Progress that improves the quality of life will always have a cost associated and generate opposition stating it will "waste" money. The auto industry fought against emission standards and safety features for the longest time until forced. Power companies whined about emission standards until forced to adopt them. Sometimes progress is painful and cost money. The world is a better place but only because smart people stood up and pushed for changes that benefit us all. Smart people are now standing up about the environment - some of the changes to keep humanity on track will be painful and cost money. The attitude of "everything looks fine because I can't see bad stuff" is a silly way to manage resources or safeguard our environment.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:53 pm

Campitor wrote:The attitude of "everything looks fine because I can't see bad stuff" is a silly way to manage resources or safeguard our environment.
This is pretty close to being a false statement. We need real world proof that there is something wrong. If you take the corollary of what you are stating you can see how bad it really is. If we take your approach we will stop using all sorts of resources and human beings will regress and die off.

For instance it's clear that there are some by-products of for instance burning leaded petrol in cars or smoking cigarettes. These things are clearly aspects of modernity that require effort on the part of society to minimise. People face those issues really well.

We shouldn't though stop using electricity or eating food because we are utilising too many resources. That is madness.
Campitor wrote:The world is a better place but only because smart people stood up and pushed for changes that benefit us all.
It's not about smart people standing up. It is completely to do with rational factual evidence based decisions being made.

I have no problems at all with facing issues that are clear to see. Where I have a problem is when people like yourself make generic unfounded statements such as we are destroying our environment when clearly this isn't the case and even you can see how far we have come and how we have improved the environment.

So I think therefore we can find some clear principles that we should be able to agree on:-

1. Human beings don't denigrate the environment over time. We make it better. This is from our perspective but that is as it should be within reason. The world itself will be fine.
2. Human beings react to clear and well founded evidence based environmental and social and health issues pretty darn well.
3. Human beings technological progress is pretty amazing.

If you take these items as being fair and consistent and take a step back you can see why the future is looking brighter and brighter. There is absolutely no need for these crazy rants about how bad humans are and how we are destroying our environment for ourselves in the future. We will be better off in 50 years time and more so in 100 and so on.

Campitor
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:21 am

So I think therefore we can find some clear principles that we should be able to agree on:-

1. Human beings don't denigrate the environment over time. We make it better. This is from our perspective but that is as it should be within reason. The world itself will be fine.
2. Human beings react to clear and well founded evidence based environmental and social and health issues pretty darn well.
3. Human beings technological progress is pretty amazing.
The principles I'm willing to agree on:
1) Human beings understand that industrial practices have an impact on the environment and we adopt technologies, informed by science, to mitigate the harmful aspects of industry. We impose standards and penalties that are within reason in order to safeguard our environment.
2) Human beings react to clear and well founded environmental, social, and health issues when they are given accurate information and informed on the outcomes.
3) Human beings technological progress is amazing and its our responsibility to ensure we use it responsibly.

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:20 am

This is better. We are getting somewhere.
Last edited by steveo73 on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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