Humans and the Environment

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
George the original one
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by George the original one » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:01 am

steveo73 wrote:
George the original one wrote:Back to the trolling so quickly when faced with facts.
Dude - your comment is trolling. Where are your facts. I would love to see them. When it came to climate warming there was no response to the one clear fact that can be verified and that is that the models aren't working.
Uh, you didn't bother looking at the peer-reviewed chart from the USGS on species extinction, did you? Or bother reading the report it is from?

For climate science, in case you hadn't noticed, the real world data is within the range predicted. Just because it is at the lower end does not mean the models aren't working.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:04 am

C40 wrote:@Stevo: I'm the only one presenting any argument here. You have shared nothing but an opinion.
You guys have got to stop this. It's crazy and delusional. You've provided nothing. You've provided a crappy chart where who knows where the data comes from and a bunch of anecdotal statements.

You guys have to start utilising facts and call them facts or opinions and call them opinions. You can't keep this type of crap up.
C40 wrote:1 - When humans first came to North America, a LOT of mammal species went extinct quite quickly. Many of these were large and slow moving animals that were easily hunted, and were hunted to extinction
2 - When humans first went to Australia, a LOT of mammal species went extinct quite quickly. Many of these were large and slow moving animals that were easily hunted, and were hunted to extinction.
3 - As human population has ballooned exponentially in the last 200 years, they have caused the rate of extinctions to increase exponentially. (I'd guess these are mostly caused by converting practically all the land in some areas monocrop style agriculture and growing only 3 or 4 different plants for millions of square miles)

Yes, large amounts of extinctions have occurred before humans were even around. In the past, they've occurred during huge and at times immediate climate changes.

Do you have any basis at all for your opinion that humans haven't caused this? Do you have any ideas for what did cause it? (Try to actually share your ideas this time instead of just saying "science" and "facts" a bunch. That doesn't convince anyone here)
What are you on about. I said humans have probably caused some extinctions as have other animals as has shit that just happens. Try and articulate your issue in a calm rational fashion. Don't give me made up facts and don't take the high moral ground and provide some sort of thought process regarding what we should do.

Just start being somewhat logical.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:06 am

[quote="George the original one

This simply is bizarre. I don't have the time to go into detail on that chart or read that report. I'm just stating that it changes nothing.

As for climate science yes the data is within the predicted range and I never said it wasn't. I said that it's getting closer and close to the 5% range where it would definitively be considered to not be statistically viable. I think it's definitely going to hit that area over the next couple of decades and then your proof is gone. At this point only a fool would be stating that climate change is a big issue.

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C40
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by C40 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:08 am

@ Steveo - Responding to some things you added to your post with an edit:
steveo73 wrote:C40 - honestly your comment is basically ridiculous. Give me proof that humans are so bad and we are destroying the world. If you can't provide that it ends the whole debate.
Ok, first, I was talking about the balance of mammals and about extinctions. You're the one that keeps talking about humans "destroying the world". Stop trying to put words in my mouth. You're not fooling anyone with that crap.

Edit for clarity: What I'm claiming is that humans are causing a large amount of extinctions.

steveo73 wrote: I'll be waiting.

I'll add some points to try and make this a more reasonable discussion.

1. The world today is looking pretty darn good. The environment doesn't appear bad.
2. There have been plenty of mass extinctions in the past and I don't believe that these were the faults of humans. They were a lot worse than anything that we have done.
3. We have saved animals from extinction.
4. Killing animals for food or furs or whatever happens. I assume we've made some animals extinct. If you believe though that humans will always hunt animals to extinction state that. I don't agree with you but at least own that opinion and try and back it up with some facts. If you are just saying sometimes we hunt animals to extinction the answer is yes we do. Other animals would do this as well.
5. If more humans are leading to less animals then what is your solution - kill off humans ?

The problem from my perspective is that yourself and others don't really have the ability to see complex issues in their totality as well as acknowledge the holes in your opinions.
2 - Are you agreeing that humans are causing the recent exponential increase in extinctions here? (and just saying it's not so bad a thing?)
3 - And? What does this have to do with whether or not humans have caused the extinctions?
4 - Humans have hunted many species to extinction. (I noted two cases above when humans first came to North America and Australia. I wished I could recall the number of extinctions that happened then, but it was a lot, and they happened right when the humans came)
5 - First let's agree on what is happening, then we could talk about whether we think changes should be made, and if so, what... If we don't even agree on what's happening, there's no use talking about any potential solutions, or making up hyperbolic ones to try to support your lack of an actual argument.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:53 am

Okay - so let's calmly try and go through this like rational human beings.

2. I'm not sure that humans are causing an exponential increase in extinctions. I'm not even sure that there is an exponential increase in extinctions. I'd like to really see what is behind that data. I'm inclined to think it's false or there is more to the picture., The next point on this is that there have been I'm sure much much more extinctions in the past that have been far more dramatic. Then the next point is what does it even mean if it is true. Will it continue ? What is the cause ? I'm just guessing but just say this is what happens when humans become more technologically advanced but at some point we actually start saving animals. I don't know all the details here but I'd like to see detail.
3. I think it shows that the issue is more complex than what is being stated. I have an example of this in the answer to your second point.
4. I don't know what you want to state about this. Yes it happens. Is that causing your massive exponential extinction rise. I really doubt it.
5. To agree on what is happening you need to give me some more information. I agree that is the best thing to do though. I don't use hyperbolic arguments or better put compared to the hyperbolic arguments on this forum in relation to environmental issues you can consider me the highest of the high zen buddhists so if I make a million or so hyperbolic arguments it will be a drop in the ocean of what the arguments that have been used against me. I just want clear rational factual information to be provided and then we can all come to different conclusions about what we believe we should do.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:46 am

Just to help out I looked this up and I found some analysis that sounds reasonable and plausible. http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/biodiversity/.

This is again a very complex issue. Here is the little reality checkpoint that people that want to go crazy about aren't going to like. The data is extremely poor when it comes to providing high quality factual information. In stating that it's still a lot better than for instance global warming.

Here is my take. I think that it's probably an issue but it's a tough issue to do something about and we need to be very careful in how we react.

So humans are changing the environment in certain ways that will lead to a loss of of habitat for some species and some of those species won't survive. This to me should clearly be defined as urbanisation and deforestation. I'm not sure what to do about this. It's a really tough issue because I don't believe you can state that humans should remain living in rural environments and not be exposed to technological advances or that this would even help in the long term. I also think that over time when communities advance this happens less and less.

There are some people that are dickheads (this is my opinion). So people will go out and kill lions and elephants and request stuff like ivory to help them get a hard dick and get laid. This sort of stuff is just plain dumb. I don't agree with it at all. I think the more advanced we become the less people will in general do this type of stuff.

Humans also have a tendency to try and fix things but they are stupid arrogant morons. So we get things like adding rabbits or foxes to the local environment or whatever (it could be a plant) and these additions to the local environment kill off other species. This is something that I think we should be extremely careful about. It's an action not bred from being a dick but trying to help but it probably has caused a tonne of issues.

The last issue is probably things like overfishing and/or over farming various animal products. I don't agree with this but it is again a tough one to handle. Maybe this will just resolve itself.

Anyway - that is my initial thoughts on the subject.

ducknalddon
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by ducknalddon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:53 am

steveo73 wrote:Climate change definitely hasn't been politicised via companies.
https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... al-effort/
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/global-wa ... ndustries/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuels_lobby

These are huge companies, the amount of money involved dwarfs that spent on science.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by EMJ » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:46 am

Shell's 1991 warning: climate changing ‘at faster rate than at any time since end of ice age’

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nd-ice-age

steveo73
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by steveo73 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:20 pm

There is no way in hell that fossil fuel companies are having anywhere near the influence on the theory of AGW than the climate change scientists who earn money from this field. It's not even close.

These comments that yourself and others are making are clearly delusional.

I'll point it out to you and see if you can accept the reality of the situation. The field of climate science is definitively not proven science. There are holes right through it and all over it. That is obvious if you do the tiniest little piece of research. We have that on one side and on the other side we have a predominant belief from lots of people including the media and the public that climate science is a real 100% verifiable fact.

We have a field of science where it is increasingly hard to speak out and state the reality of where the science is and people that do get crucified. There is also a tonne of money being poured into climate science. On top of that basically all the research that is getting completed is based on AGW being a 100% verifiable fact.

It's basically impossible to state that climate science isn't completely politicised and on the side of pro AGW.

If this wasn't politicised we wouldn't being having instances like climategate. We would have people investigating this and clearly stating the issues that surround the science. We wouldn't have movies coming out like "An Inconvenient Truth".

I compare this to for instance eating a vegan diet. The head of the American Cardiologist society comes out and says the data is really good that a Vegan diet is really healthy. At the same time he clearly states we need to do more research to prove this. Now to me the evidence for eating a lot less meat is a hell of a lot stronger than AGW alarmism and yet these comments simply state the reality of the situation. When we start hearing much less arrogant comments regarding AGW and scientists stating the issue factually and looking at the holes in the theory then you guys may have a point. That time is a long long way off at this point.

Just to be clear if this field cleaned itself up and was open and honest about the issues within the field then I would have no problems with it. At this point there is basically no integrity in the field and I think it comes down to the issue being politicised.

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Fish
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Fish » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:46 pm

Since we're 0/2 on climate change discussions I suggest we consider CC out of scope for this discussion. Let's stick to steveo's original topic and avoid making it 0/3. ;)

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:03 pm

@C40,

Correlation doesn't mean causation. No doubt the new presence of humans put pressure on N. American mega-fauna, but it's difficult to argue humans are the sole cause of their extinction. Fairly large animals (bison, elk, caribu, Moose, bears, wolves, etc.)--many of which are good to eat--survived for the tens of thousands of years since humans to the Americas. And the place on the earth where the largest land animals to survive until modern times (Africa) is where humans have lived the longest.

That said, humans are definitely the primary cause of some extinctions. Read up on North American locust plagues in the 19th century for an example of one that didn't turn out so bad. Many others are quite sad.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:10 pm

@Fish/all

+1

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4654&start=550
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5877
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=8376

We're actually 0/3 on climate science at this point in forum history. Experience suggests that any further progress when it comes to debating climate science is highly unlikely at this point. We've tried and failed too many times already.

If this thread eventually turns into yet another CC thread in disguise, I'll quickly make it 0/4 once it's gone yet another few pages w/o any sign of peer-reviewed references or physics-based arguments. If you add up the other three CC threads, we get to 54 pages already!! Nobody needs that!

I'm willing to entertain the possibility of once again opening up the CC debate in 2020 to see if anything has changed in the interim, but until then, I much prefer that those who haven't already gone through the previous ~1000 posts to please do so before continuing this line.

If I had to "advise" this thread in terms of survivability when it comes to orbital bombardments from the moderators so as to preserve a decent level of signal/noise, I'd suggest to maybe first and primarily focus of establishing a basic level of agreement from which you can all proceed from. And to stay far away from climate issues since three threads and many many hundreds of posts have already demonstrated that reconciling that issue is practically unpossible at this point.

Indeed, if any of you guys want to make my day, try to bring up some points on human progress, you can all agree on, like indoor plumbing?

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:39 pm

I think we can all agree that bringing the small pox virus to near extinction was a good thing. The Mortage-Lifter variety of tomato, pretty good and humans made that happen too. One of the things that fascinates me is the distinction between species and variety. Wolf/Dog or Wolf/Gray Wolf or Dog/Pekingese. Also, it is my understanding that biotechnology has advanced to the point that it is currently possible to attempt "rebirth" of extinct species or human-mediated creation of wholly new ones, and only ethical considerations stand in the way. How much acreage do we wish to reserve as free range for Castoroides? Of course, it also may be the case in the world of the not-so-distant future that it would prove more energy efficient to simply upload the genetic code and all related phenotype behavior outcomes into a super-computer which would generate virtual model indistinguishable from "real" Castoroides. Dunno.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:52 pm

Okay, eradicating small pox (aside from preserving a few samples in select weapons labs for "future research") was a good start ...

Actually, I'm thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to split this thread into two. Then the Pollyannas and Cassandras can present their points respectively?

1) What's the worst thing that could happen?
2) What's the best thing that could happen?

This would avoid waisting time generating tons of noise disagreeing between the two frameworks and instead providing a useful range that we can plan for.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Lucky C » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:09 pm

The worst thing that could happen is that humans consume all of Earth's resources and then move on and consume other planets' resources with no regard for the life that exists there. We become the bad guys from an alien invasion story - the brutes that will blast other lifeforms to bits, not the skinny type that just want to do some spooky abducting.

The best thing that could happen is we develop the capability to create/terraform our own planets with their own unique environments. Everyone can create their own ecosystems and try to do better than mother nature, and our most beloved species are backed up in redundant arrays of independent planets. This creation of diverse life on a much grander scale than Earth more than makes up for our little pollution and population issues we're now facing.

As this is the ERE forum I'm sure we can all agree that this ultimate form of planet consumption is bad, and this ultimate form of planet production is good. So which path are we more likely to achieve? Maybe that's looking too far in advance...

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:52 pm

Hyperbole scenarios: The worst thing that can happen is we destroy ourselves by using technology in the most malevolent or careless way (killer robots/super virus/extinction level explosion). The best thing that could happen is humanity sheds its selfish and destructive ways and proceeds to peacefully colonize the stars (we evolve into Vorlons a la Babylon 5 - https://youtu.be/9SRkjOL3tNM?t=44).

More realistic worst case: We waste time/energy/resources cyclically polluting and then cleaning up the environment thereby wasting human capital that could be directed towards better and more future thinking endeavors. Realistic best case: countries work collaboratively and find impactful resolutions to pollution, starvation, violence, education, and economic stability for everyone.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:20 am

Best case scenario: We create machines that run on renewable energy source that can produce anything we want by manipulating wide variety of input materials at molecular level.

Worst case scenario: I walk out of my front door in the morning and avoid dirty oil slicked puddles left by unseasonable heavy rainfall in giant craters formed by crumbling asphalt infrastructure. Then I encounter screaming insane human in litter-strewn alley, so must change my path. I arrive at my destination, where I planned on exerting some life energy educating refugee-status children from over-populated or war-zone regions, and I am informed that there will be no school today due to 48 hour "boil your water" warning. Yeah, that might be my prediction, if that wasn't what really already happened to me this morning. So, I'm thinking situation could get even worse.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:02 pm

@jennypenny: Just started the Bateson book you linked above. Excellent.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:54 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote: Worst case scenario: I walk out of my front door in the morning and avoid dirty oil slicked puddles left by unseasonable heavy rainfall in giant craters formed by crumbling asphalt infrastructure. Then I encounter screaming insane human in litter-strewn alley, so must change my path. I arrive at my destination, where I planned on exerting some life energy educating refugee-status children from over-populated or war-zone regions, and I am informed that there will be no school today due to 48 hour "boil your water" warning. Yeah, that might be my prediction, if that wasn't what really already happened to me this morning. So, I'm thinking situation could get even worse.
Wow. But you are working on making it better and I think you will make progress.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:32 am

OK, just a few comments. C40, your link is BS. Not your fault, it is a chart of crap, from a presentation of crap, presented to crap eaters. The whole document can be found here:
http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/do/sear ... xt=5543161

"When everyone's thinking alike, no one is thinking." Unfortunately, this is the case with environmentalists. This allows for crap charts like this to be presented, unquestioned.

Let me back up. Extinction is definined in the common lexicon as the end of a species. None left. Now, biologists have confused that issue, species used to mean a population that bred true. the classic example: Horses are a species, horse plus horse equals horse. Donkey plus donkey equals donkey. Donkey plus horse equals mule. Mules can't be bred, so are not a species.

This isn't as well defined anymore. No complaints, there seems to be some good reasons for expanding the definition and I will admit to not being too interested in the details, so I haven't read into it extensively.

However, expanding this gray area allows for some serious funny business when accounting for extinction of species. Now, it is an extinction when a species isn't where we want it to be,or behave the way we want it to.

Example, Coho Salmon. Endangered, threatened, extinct, and in your grocery store, and there's no contradiction there... Every river and stream the Coho used to be in, and is not anymore is listed as a separate extinction. They are so rare and endangered that a angler who kills one faces felony charges in WA state, but common enough that WA state allows the commercial harvesting of coho.

In WA state, steelhead are endangered. Rainbow trout are not. A steelhead is a rainbow trout that has gone into saltwater. Some fry from the same batch of eggs will go into saltwater, and some stay freshwater. We.now use the endangered species act to endanger behaviors. We spit up orcas into separate species, based on behavior, coincidentally driving down the numbers of each species, now they are each more endangered. We have a subspecies of deer that is just an inbred population on an island in the Columbia river.

So, from a technical standpoint, if you count every population that isn't where you want it to be, doing want you want it to do, as an extinction, then I'm sure you can find 50,000 discrepancies between your fantasy world and the real one. But if you mean extinction in the common lexicon, this chart is at best, fan fiction by a devoted reader of silent spring.

I'll be back later to pick apart the DU/cancer link on page 1.

In the meantime, steveo, you argue like a child. Baseless assertation followed by links to someone else's opinion, followed by a change of stance, and repeat. Define your position, and defend it. This isn't Reddit.

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C40
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by C40 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:45 am

Thank you Riggerjack. It's refreshing to get an actual explanation in this thread :-). That helps me understand the situation better.

What do you think about the other chart I posted, the one showing masses of land mammal types? When I read Sapiens, that was the one piece of the book that stood out and surprised me the most. I wouldn't have thought it was that imbalance and that struck me a lot more than the extinction numbers

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Riggerjack
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:38 pm

@ c40

Sorry, I didn't look at it. The extinction chart was so bad I went out to look at source data. I just got around to this thread, because steveo's threads follow a pattern I tend to avoid.

So I missed all the posts from last night, and the general change in tone since Jacob posted, as I dug into the extinction issue. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.

For the record, I think a world wide population of around million would be ideal. Limit the footprint by limiting the size of the foot. I'd have a lot more respect for environmental types who walked the walk, but it is usually screams of sacrifices others need to make. IE, how many think the world is overpopulated, yet still need to produce children... Yeah "other people" need to stop breeding...

Anyone who thinks humans are good for the environment is trolling, but the situation is nothing like it is portrayed by environmental groups, either.

I'll take a look at your chart and get back to you

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Riggerjack
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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:48 pm

So the land mammals by weight chart is pretty skewed, in that it choose to specify mammals, always pretty high on the food chain, by weight. We humans like our farm animals big and easy, so we don't farm beaver, for instance. I would like to see how they determined the weight of wild mammals...

On the other hand, I expect it could be fairly representative.

I live on whidbey island, in what I call suburban woods. We have deer, and rabbits, bald eagles and feral dogs/coyote, but we don't have wolves/bear/cougar.

I expect, that there are more people than deer here, but deer plus rabbits plus mice plus racoon etc probably out weighs people plus pets plus livestock, but it could be close. And we live on the fringes. The population here is nothing like human norm for this climate.

Cruise Google earth and compare with Germany for a typical human pattern.

I spend a lot of time on Google earth, not doing my job at work. So I can say that the wild areas in North and South America are fairly common. North Asia has lots, too. I expect lots of wild mammals there. Even China has plenty of wildland. But looking at India, most of the middle east, Africa, Europe, all slants back toward your chart.

If the chart included lower life forms, it wouldn't be nearly so bleak. If it went by populations, it wouldn't be so bleak. But it was created to tell a bleak story.

Life likes relatively level land. That is where soil and water are most abundant. That is where people have gone as well, and where we go, we dominate.

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Campitor » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:29 pm

Riggerjack wrote: I'll be back later to pick apart the DU/cancer link on page 1.
I hope you didn't give up on the DU/cancer analysis/commentary. I truly like to read what you have to say about it. From the few studies I could get my hands on (military and civilian), the range of analysis is "nothing to worry about" to "we can still detect DU in soldiers' urine 10 years after last known exposure".

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Re: Humans and the Environment

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:33 pm

The land I live on used to belong to a family with a beach cabin. They bought it to provide firewood for use at their cabin, while on vacation.

As the owner got older, she had it logged, to pay medical bills. Then she died, and her son got the cabin, her daughter (jane) got the 17 acres firewood lot. Jane split up the land into 3 lots. I bought the best, just over 5 acres. I cleared a road, moved an old house up it, saving it from demolition, brought in utilities, and settled in. I cleared maybe an acre, and it started growing back immediately.

Then, in 2011, I bought the neighboring 5 acres. I did it because it was cheap, and I didn't want it logged. I reasoned that real estate would come back (it has) and I could adjust the property line more to my liking and resell it at a profit (I haven't).

Then, a strange thing happened. I ran into an idea on permies about gravel mining. I have a hill on that 5 acres that seems to be made of gravel. It seems that hill could be worth more than the value of the 5 acre undeveloped land. My minimal research shows that the typical arrangement is for the landowner to be paid a royalty on each ton that leaves site, and when the gravel is gone, reclamation (landscaping) begins. I would end up with more level land, and money in the meantime. I have a few dozen 30+ year old trees that would be sacrificed, ( I would have more hobby wood), but I wouldn't see them grow bigger. Gravel pits mean noise and dust, but currently gravel is mined, crushed, and hauled a truckload at a time, from 2 hours away. The hill is right next to wetlands (a ditch that extends along the road from one county culvert to another). And keeping dust and silt out of that would be a concern, but this is established technology. I'm not a huge fan of tiny wetlands, and the all encompassing regulation that accompanies them, but I do like having frogs and salamanders on the property...

I bring all this indecisive garbage to this thread, because this is how environmental decisions are made. One person at a time, and the more prosperity the decision maker has, the more aesthetics (such as environmental tradeoffs) matter. And every decision involves tradeoffs, in this case, huge amounts of diesel use, wear and tear on roads and dump trucks, vs dust, silt, noise and younger trees.

And I believe that is relevant to the discussion.

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