What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

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batbatmanne
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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by batbatmanne » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:37 am

Ego wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:28 pm
The most ecologically minded people I know are right here on this board. They know far more about it than I do. Yet they continue to consume meat. I simply don't understand how that can be. That's why my posts in this thread are full of question marks. It is one of the highest impact choices a person can make.... next to not having kids....
I completely agree and am also sometimes confounded that members of the forum fall prey to the mental gymnastics that are part and parcel for meat eaters everywhere. That being said, I have noticed that there is a higher representation of veganism here compared to a ton of communities that otherwise claim to be full of free thinkers, so I think this bodes well. I also am glad that most meat eaters on the forum just admit that they don't care about animals and don't think they have any moral worth. Most of the mental gymnastics I see here are of the form:

"Well, hypothetically, we [who?] could have a polycultural rotating crop eco-optimized blah blah blah where we eat animals that have a "good life," so it's not really so bad that I buy meat at the supermarket, plus, I don't do all of this other bad stuff!"

I much prefer the honesty of nihilism.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by GandK » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:39 am

Ego wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:28 pm
The most ecologically minded people I know are right here on this board. They know far more about it than I do. Yet they continue to consume meat. I simply don't understand how that can be. That's why my posts in this thread are full of question marks. It is one of the highest impact choices a person can make.... next to not having kids.... which, by the way, is the ultimate in defining yourself by what you don't do.
I'm probably just at the beginning of the ecological part of my education. But as to why I eat meat:

1. Habit. Both my grandfathers raised beef cattle, so I grew up eating meat raised by my own family. Today I still prefer buying from those who raise their own animals.
2. Taste. Meat is very good, when prepared by someone who knows what he's doing. This taste is probably cultivated, so again see #1.
3. I was vegan for about 3 years, vegetarian for 2 more. But either because of habit (!) or from biology or both, I discovered to my financial chagrin that my body and brain respond better on a diet that has occasional, high quality, hormone-free meat. So I reintroduced it.

So, yeah. Habit. Culture. Inertia, even.

Fire away... 🔥

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:38 am

@Ego:

The reason why I neither practice nor preach "no meat" is because I honestly believe it is not sufficient or necessary as solution.

Another rule of thumb that might be applied would be to simply note that money spent on anything, including food, is fairly accurate reflection of footprint. Let's call that the Jacob Rule. However, there is also the Michael Pollan Rule that states that people (Americans in particular) should spend more money on food. The reasons why I believe both of these superficially completely contradictory rules are quite valid are the same reasons why I think some people eating some meat is likely best equilibrium solution towards MY ideal which would include preservation and expansion of wilderness areas, libraries, art districts, and symphonies, and human beings enjoying and thriving on varied delicious, nutritious meals shared with others.

The very important, very energy intensive processes that are frequently ignored in these types of simple analyses are harvest, transportation, storage and preparation for eating. For instance, we understand that preservatives and over-processing can render food unhealthy or less nutritious, yet not taking measures to process and preserve foods will result in much waste, and also inability for humans to survive anywhere crops can not be grown year round. The Native Americans of my cold fertile region practiced sustainable hunting and agricultural practices at population density of approximately 1 human / square mile prior to arrival of European settlers. They preserved venison from bacterial growth by "salting" it with maple sugar, since they only had access to fresh water. I highly doubt they suffered from a diabesity epidemic during this era.

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a global citizen, I think you have to recognize that the ideal would be a global set of regional solutions, because the planet we inhabit is not a uniform blank slate with all places being equally suitable for growing soybeans or grazing cattle or preserving owl habitat. For instance, it would be absolutely senseless for my BF to attempt to either grow soybeans or graze cattle on his dunes/forest climax acreage which is covered with three layers of edible wild berries and wintergreen, mature white oak, and inhabited by red fox, bear in newly recovered Southern range, and many species of birds which follow the coastline in their yearly migration. It would, obviously, be equally senseless for me to attempt to graze cattle or bother to grow and process soybeans on my small urban garden site (nobody chooses to grow icky soybeans in small garden given so many other more delectable varieties of legumes.)

Anyways, I am far from living my own ideal, because it is complex and difficult to achieve, but given the particularities of my region and projects, it would include eating some venison, rabbit, domestic fowl and eggs. This is because,IMO, the best solution is for everybody to engage more directly in growing, hunting, gathering, transporting, processing, storing, and preparing their own food (inclusive of sharing and trading with known others .) I would also note for the record that advanced medical costs put aside, riding an exercise bike to nowhere in order to burn x calories/day is equivalent to carrying around x lbs of extra human flesh in your person which is the equivalent of supporting one dependent unit of dog flesh which is the equivalent of supporting 1 four year old child which is the equivalent of burning x calories of your own labor towards food production vs. substituting petroleum powered machines.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 am

@batbatmanme:

Given complete conversion of humanity to veganism, how many Rhode Island Reds, Water Spaniels, and heads of Angus do you think we should preserve as zoo specimens fed on texturized vegetable protein? I personally think it is more shameful to keep a working breed of dog as a pampered pet in a small apartment than to hunt a moose in the wild. Domestic species and varieties of animals and plants will only survive with human support. Essentially no different than the symbiotic relationship between legumes and the soul bacteria which they lure with sugar into providing them with nitrogen.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by batbatmanne » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:01 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:38 am
The very important, very energy intensive processes that are frequently ignored in these types of simple analyses are harvest, transportation, storage and preparation for eating. For instance, we understand that preservatives and over-processing can render food unhealthy or less nutritious, yet not taking measures to process and preserve foods will result in much waste, and also inability for humans to survive anywhere crops can not be grown year round.
But these things aren't ignored. In our contemporary form of petroleum-based industrial monoculture, the net effect of these energy intensive processes for plants pales in comparison to animals. This is a rather obvious point to grasp when you consider the large fraction of our intensively farmed plants that we feed to animals and how much food energy we lose in the process. We could rather easily feed all humans if, hypothetically, the world went vegan and we diverted all plant production to humans. It is better for the environment for me to ship plants halfway across the world than it is for me to buy even locally raised meat, unless I am buying a surplus from some uber-permaculturalist (never).
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:38 am
Whether or not you consider yourself to be a global citizen, I think you have to recognize that the ideal would be a global set of regional solutions...
Political veganism is definitely globalist, but I would push on the last two points here. First of all, it's not entirely clear that the ideal is anything like practically every country being agriculturally self-sustained. The transportation of food goods internationally need not be heavily polluting or otherwise ecologically intrusive. For example, we could feasibly transport food internationally using nuclear-powered ships and railways with the right infrastructure, and such an infrastructure could be "sustainable" for centuries, leaving plenty of time for some real energy innovation to come along. I do agree that regional solutions for less ecologically intrusive production is in order, but this can be done with the goal of producing a surplus for export as well.

The second point that I would push on is your use of the ideal as meaningfully engaging with the real-world problem at all. We could argue about whether my ideal solution just proposed is more realistic than your decentralized, self-sufficiency-aspiring agrarianism, but even that argument would not, on its own, shed light on what is expedient for us as individuals and communities in the present. In the present, one of the most expedient things that we can do is to boycott the animal agriculture industry and to advocate that others follow suit.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 am
Given complete conversion of humanity to veganism, how many Rhode Island Reds, Water Spaniels, and heads of Angus do you think we should preserve as zoo specimens fed on texturized vegetable protein?
I don't expect the world to convert to veganism anywhere outside of my star trek fantasies. I don't think that vegans should politically advocate for anything close to making animal husbandry illegal, although the removal of agricultural subsidies and possibly the implementation of Pigouvian taxes is in order. I'm not really sure how to answer this question, since the issue is so far removed from my political interests. I personally wouldn't care if the answer was very few or zero. I am much more interested in conserving wild animals than domesticated ones.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 am
I personally think it is more shameful to keep a working breed of dog as a pampered pet in a small apartment than to hunt a moose in the wild.
I agree, that's why I do neither of these things.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:05 am
Domestic species and varieties of animals and plants will only survive with human support. Essentially no different than the symbiotic relationship between legumes and the soul bacteria which they lure with sugar into providing them with nitrogen.
Well, I have no ethical objection to domesticated plants, since they are not sentient. There may be some ecological problems with them, but I'm not very knowledgeable about that. I reject "parasitic" forms of symbiosis with sentient beings as far as possible and practicable. I use quotation marks because parasitism is technically defined by biological fitness, whereas I am more interested in harm in an existential or phenomenological sense.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:59 am

GandK wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:39 am

So, yeah. Habit. Culture. Inertia, even.

Fire away... 🔥
I can't fire away because I use a similar rationale to rationalize my airline flights every few years.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:16 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:11 pm
Again, I am childfree because I like it like that, not out of any virtue I wish to signal.
I agree that there are plenty of people in the world who do things (like become vegan) for no other reason than - as you say - to virtue signal. You've taken pains to show that your decision to be childfree is not a virtue signal in part I assume because virtue signaling is rather shallow. I agree, it is.

But refusing to do something worthwhile because shallow people use it as a virtue signal is.... well... not much different from virtue signaling itself.

I am not saying you are doing that. You've made your reasons clear. But I think there are many who are.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:28 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:38 am
@Ego:

The reason why I neither practice nor preach "no meat" is because I honestly believe it is not sufficient or necessary as solution.
Insufficient? Unnecessary? Really?

Insufficient: If you mean that it won't fix all of the problems that we have, then I agree. It won't. But I could quote a dozen experts who say it is the change any one individual could make that would have the greatest impact.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_i ... my_of_good

Unnecessary: How so, in the context of this thread about the things we will be ashamed of in sixty years?

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:46 pm

Ego wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:59 am
I can't fire away because I use a similar rationale to rationalize my airline flights every few years.
Ah, I see how you are ;-)

Here's a good example/discussion of the difficulty in aligning behavior, knowledge, and values. It's not easy at all. I present this more in the spirit of understanding the psychology of "shame", which one can define as not living according to one's values, than to argue what one ought to feel more, less, or most ashamed about according to other people's values.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtaYqioug0 [6:18+]

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:45 pm

But refusing to do something worthwhile because shallow people use it as a virtue signal is.... well... not much different from virtue signaling itself.
True. I guess I should make my position a bit clearer. I am fine with veganism. Just as I am fine with folks going gluten free, or Paleo, or all Oreos, all the time. Eat what you like, or if that's a problem, eat what works for you. What you eat is literally your business.

Where it gets to be a problem for me, is when you MAKE it a problem for me. Strangely, gluten free folks, and Paleo folks can pretty much do their thing, and not make it my problem. Vegans, on the other hand, seem constitutionally incapable of this. So much so, that in my experience, vegans don't seem to be eating vegan for themselves, rather they act as if it were a piece of very dreary performance art.

There's only so much BS I am willing to tolerate from some self righteous Oreo eating vegan. And I'm certain that not all vegans are like this, but functional vegans disappear into the crowd, as functional people of all stripes do. It's the problem vegans who feel the need to make their choices my business, but there sure are a lot of them.

So, while I am sure there are plenty of good, capable, healthy vegans out there, the one who make an issue of it are the ones I see. And I have every incentive to not join that group.

Of course the other side of it is I don't find diet something to be "worthwhile", as you put it. I have no moral qualms with eating something with a face, as one vegan put it. The closest I come to that is hunting. I have been hunting (deer) once. I feel like hunting and snaring are skills I should have, and I keep getting invited, but I'm not very comfortable with it. No moral quandry about the deer, more that I am not in need of the meat, and I really don't want to screw that up. Nobody should suffer for my mistake, not even the deer eating my garden. I honestly don't know if that is morals or squeemishness.

While I understand that you feel you are making the world a better place by eating as you do, I don't. You chose to eat plants. Me too, just not exclusively. You think veganism is sustainable. I don't. Yes, we could feed more people if we all chose as you did. But your decision to trim your toenails hardly decreases your footprint. All the vegans I know still use all the same resources as the rest of us, which are all still being used at completely unsustainable rates.

There is only one decision we make that has a real environmental impact. Everything else is just window dressing. I made the right decision for me, without factoring in the environment. I expect you made the right decision for you. If you are happy with your choice, I am happy with your choice. I harp on about not having kids to remind people that it IS a choice. I really like parents who go into it with eyes open and with intent. And the folks who choose not to. It's the folks in between that I am talking to. If you aren't certain you want kids, with a plan to make it work, and the resources to do it well (more mental/emotional than financial, there's ways around the financial) you are better off delaying the decision, or just finding other things to do. And the rest of us are better off, too.

There is no part of being human that is aided by having 7 billion other humans on the planet. And there is no offsetting that fact by abstaining from eating things with faces.

None of us chose to add ourselves to the 7 billion, but each of us chooses to add to the total, or not. It looks like "not" is getting more popular. So I rather imagine the thing we are most likely to be embarrassed by is trying to explain to world with far fewer children, is going to be why we let this go on as it has, despite all that we know and all our capabilities.

Or, I'm wrong, and I will have to explain in embarrassment why 7 billion seemed like so many, before we had 14 billion...

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm

@Ego:

The reason "no meat" is an insufficient solution is that you have to include preferred densities of various species populations, including humans, in your model. You also have to include flows of consumption and predation, migration and reproduction, etc. etc.

The reason why it is not a necessary solution is because some, although almost certainly less, meat consumption might be a better solution.

@batbatmanme:

One common method of harvesting garden greens is referred to as "cut and come again." Instead of cutting the whole head, you just pull or tear some of the leaves, and allow the plant to keep growing so you can harvest more later.

Recently, I learned that some species of greens emit a chemical signal when they are torn that communicates to other nearby members of their species that they should change their chemical composition to cause a more bitter taste. This "green scream" ability evolved due to predation by herbivores.

When previously undisturbed soil is plowed, an extremely complex under ground ecosystem is destroyed and rendered asunder. All the carbon that was sequestered underground is exposed to the atmosphere and starts burning. It is a process very analogous to cutting the skin of an animal in order to feed a horde of small creatures on its blood.

In order to acquire the energy a complex living creatures needs to maintain its boundaries and complexity, it must ingest other living things that are more complex than what it excretes. Law of the jungle.

The reason I promote personal production and regional agriculture is that it makes it easier to have some level of knowledge and stewardship. My crappy thrift store bike was the only one on the rack located between a Whole Foods and an REI this morning, and the parking lot was filled with cars. I don't want to put my trust in the likes of some J. Bozo to eco-efficiently robo-ship me a box full of tofu dogs, almond-carob-flax crunch bars and always-fresh-in-Venezuela avocados.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:44 pm

So.... how likely is it that having children (particularly having more than one or two per couple) will be seen as a shameful thing in the future? Especially world-wide? When will the pope tell the Catholics to stop having so many kids? And the mormon leaders? And so on.. And will/would the ideal of unending maximum economic growth prevent this from happening?

Side note - 7w5 - I think you and Vicki Dominguez would get along extremely well (If you haven't heard it, she was on a Podcast recently.. she's essentially transitioned her life's work to focus on regional agriculture and tighter-knit (smallish) communities.)

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:24 pm

Ego wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:28 pm

..I could quote a dozen experts who say it is the change any one individual could make that would have the greatest impact.
They're wrong. Maybe they know it, and are making the best possible suggestion to drive the kind of change that can actually happen now. Maybe some of them are actually that short-sighted.

But they're clearly wrong. The impact of living vegan has only a tiny fraction of the impact of having no children. And then, having all of us 7 billion people stay alive is infinitesimally smaller than 3/4 of the population just killing ourselves. Of course that last one isn't going to be presented as an option, but the problem is: where do you make the cutoff of what is considered an option? ~10 years ago, the option was having a Prius in your driveway instead of a Suburban. Now, it's being vegan. Meanwhile, (I believe/assume) the population is growing much faster than our green efforts, and we're getting more and more fucked.

Your questions and challenges of why more people are vegan are still just as valid.

I think the framing is important. To try to answer your question, it's a simple variance of what factors influence a person's decisions. Those factors/priorities then apply to multipliers. For an individual who's very self-centered (like me and a lot of other INTJs), our personal preferences/health/etc. has a higher weighting than environmental concerns. Or, essentially, we don't care.

A big problem here is that being vegan is being framed as the one thing to do to check the box of "I'm saving the world". When, if I understand correctly, it won't, it will just make it so the world could support, what, 25% more human vegan population than meat-eating. But, at our other rates of environmental impact, and with them growing rapidly worldwide, we're already way past either of those population numbers.

It seems to be a strategy of expecting that the next steps and next steps will be ones that have more and more impact. And it seems that in reality, the growth of impact of next steps would need to be a very unlikely amount of exponential.. unless huge population reduction comes up very soon.

This all is part of why when SOME of us meat eaters are challenged by vegans, including that assumption/message of veganism being the one box a person has to check to save the world, our reaction is along the lines of "ohhh, fuck off". (especially for me, where I believe, even while eating a lot of chickens, that my current environmental impact is about 1/10th of the average American... So, when someone who owns both a big house AND a van they could live in, drives a ton, was about to book a helicopter to shorten a hike, and so on said to me "A person can't call themselves an environmentalist if they aren't vegan", I #1-get annoyed and #2- questioned their ability to think clearly, and became dismissive of their opinions.



Anyways, aren't these types of things already quantified? For example, starting from a basis of exactly zero (ie vs. killing oneself right now or having never been born):
- eating meat vs being vegan adds X tons of ghg emissions per lifetime
- driving a car ## miles/year ads Y
- Living in a house or apartment ads...
- Working certain types of jobs ads...
- having a child ads... (using expected birth rates, expected changes in impact, etc)

As a self-centered INTJ meat eater, knowing these kind of numbers is more or less the only thing that could tip the scales and convince me to become vegan (if they get to a point where their multiplier of my environmental concern overrides the reasons I want to eat meat).
Last edited by C40 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:38 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:35 pm
My crappy thrift store bike was the only one on the rack located between a Whole Foods and an REI this morning, and the parking lot was filled with cars. I don't want to put my trust in the likes of some J. Bozo to eco-efficiently robo-ship me a box full of tofu dogs, almond-carob-flax crunch bars and always-fresh-in-Venezuela avocados.
I wonder what the carbon footprint calculator would say about the woman driving a G-class Benz to Whole Foods in perky yoga tights, ¡Ay Chihuahua!, to buy a veggie burger with plump Venezuelan avocados for lunch vs. the one riding a bike to the farmers market food stall in drab overalls, ¡Ay, caramba!, to buy a beef burger with a slab of cheddar cheese for lunch. Who would have the larger carbon footprint?

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:57 pm

Producing a car like a G-wagon requires a very very large amount of raw materials and energy (partly because they have a make a bunch of them for crash testing, and make a lot of specialized equipment to build each model, and those things don't average out well on small-production vehicles). Comparing that to a lady buying a cheeseburger, how often, weekly? I'd love to see the numbers.

anyways.. I'll take the curvy gals in overalls with bicyclist's legs and higher sex drive from eating beef every day.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:15 pm

C40 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:24 pm
As a self-centered INTJ meat eater, knowing these kind of numbers is more or less the only thing that could tip the scales and convince me to become vegan (if they get to a point where their multiplier of my environmental concern overrides the reasons I want to eat meat).
Understood. I guess that info has been flooding my world in the past year and I assumed it was the same for everyone. First page of google produced this....

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-top- ... int-2015-9

Beef is 30 times more polluting than lentils by weight and roughly 15 times by calories.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by BRUTE » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:24 pm

batbatmanne wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:37 am
I also am glad that most meat eaters on the forum just admit that they don't care about animals and don't think they have any moral worth.
brute doesn't think no animals have any moral worth. but moral worth is in the eye of the beholder, and brute seems to give moral worth closely related to how well he knows entities, not their categorization. for example, brute seems to care very little for children in Africa that he's never seen, ever, and never will. he cares to a degree about humans he meets every week, and more so for ones he's known a long time.

thus, brute doesn't care for the animals he's never met, except in that he likes how they taste.

if veganism was an option in terms of taste and health, brute would consider it (again, he's tried it). but vegan food doesn't taste nearly as good, and most vegan diets are not sustainable from a health perspective. for brute, health and taste easily outweigh distant moral worth of some animals.

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:28 pm

@Ego - That's not what I'm looking for though.

I'm looking for the impacts of different types of things like I listed above, with a zero-emission starting point.

Part of the problem is, I don't care quite enough about environmentalism to find the exact data that I'm talking about. (and you don't have any need to find it for me)

Edit - to add - actually, that chart makes me feel a bit 'less bad' about the eggs, sardines, and chicken I eat, as their impact compared to other things I'll always eat a lot of - like brocolli, aren't all that crazy (3x the impact per kg, but the eggs and meat have way more calories per kg)
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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by C40 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:30 pm

BRUTE - your statement/reminder of not caring much about people on the other side of the world reminded me of a fun thought game I play with people sometimes - present some kind of ultimate prize (whatever they want - living forever, infinite wealth, having some god powers) and then figure out how many people in China or India they'd be willing to cause to die by pushing a button in order to get that ultimate prize. (it's usually quite a lot of people)

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Re: What aspects of today's society will we be ashamed of in sixty years?

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:49 pm

Hum. I was pulling 7wanns leg in the same way she does with me and tofu dogs. I hope she knows that.

I get the feeling you guys are not joking. I hope I'm wrong.

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