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When viewing some of the dumpier parts of the earth, it is hard to imagine that there might be arguments in favor of pollution. And yet there are.
By any standard of measurement the majority of people on earth are now richer, healthier, and longer-lived than they ever have been. So say the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, et cetera.
These improvements in the human condition came with the industrial revolution, which created most of our pollution.
National well-being might almost be said to be a by-product of pollution!
This post was edited by lockedNloaded on Dec 06, 2002.
Sorry, lNl, you're wrong, awfully wrong! And cause of this argumentation its so hard to gain any understanding for this problem! Most people *believe* in this what you just said!
But you tend to forget the most important fact about it: what we realize being a pollution today will effect our environment and ourselves only in 20, 50, in some cases only in a thousand years from now! So we're actually leaving the problem to our childeren and grandchildren! Not a very kind behavior if you ask me.
Just a few examples:
CO2 emission: even if we'd manage to reduce CO2 emissions to zero *today*, the ozon layer around earth will continue to vanish for the next 50 years. What that means in the final stage noone is really facing the facts today, cause it just seems too cruel to take. We will see a dramatically rise of skincancer during the next decades until its about to be fatal to expose to the open sunlight at all. All outside activities will just cease, or only possible with massive precautions. And who actually believes in a serious reduce of emissions in the first place, so expect it to get even worse...
Modern Civ's waste: Do you know how long a simple plastic yoghurt cup is going to last? I tell you: it'll be in the ground completely untouched still when all human kind is vanished for a long time. What a coming civilization's archeologists will find out about us is the fact that we used plastic cups like mad!
Nuclear waste: how clever is it to produce highly toxic and lethal nuclear waste without knowing *any* solution of how to get rid of it? With a half-life period of 400.000 years this highly radiating Plutonium waste is the most threatening idiotism this human kind ever thought of. And we're handling it like little children: just dig it in the ground, noone sees it, so its not there... great, fantastic! D'you think those steel barrals will last 400.000 years? And who will remember it at all in 400.000 years? How will earth be looking like in 400.000 years, maybe the caves that we put it now are the tops of mountains then, or overfloaded by an ocean. Wonderful prospects, since it'll be as lethal then as it is today.
Now, dont tell me "lets just rocket it into space". Its enough to destroy our own planet, we got no right to destroy the universe with us!. But looking how we all act (everybody, me as well) I guess we are just not interested in what happens tomorrow...
After decades of construction my website is finally up an running: www.kkds.de
The people who believe that, as a result of industrial development, live is about to become a hell, or may be one already, are guilty, at least, of sloppy pronouncements.
On page 8 of "Earth in the Balance", Al Gore claims that his study of the arms race gave him "a deeper appreciation for the most horrifying fact in all our lives: civilization is now capable of destroying itself."
In the first place, the most horrifying fact in many of our lives is that our ex-spouse has gotten ahold of our ATM car. And civilization has always been able to destroy itself. The Greeks of ancient Athens, who had a civilization remarkable for lack of technological progress during its period of greatest knowledge and power, managed to destroy themselves fine. :-)
Pollution is just the byproduct of industrialization, it's true. After many years of progress in industrialization, it was always known that factories produced pollution into the air. What wasn't realized until it was too late was that the pollution in the air had horrible results on the environment. Of course, this couldn't have been foreseen beforehand. I mean, how do you know that toast can be burnt and blackened if you've never cooked it long enough to find out?
There are several ways to look at this problem. If you saw it as an enviormentalist, you'd see that since the amount of pollution is increasing more than it is being "handled" by the environment, it is obvious that this problem is only going to get worse and that to do anything else is to indirectly kill many forms of life on this planet.
If you saw it as a scientist, you'd see that pollution is an inevitable side-effect of progress in mankind's desire to excel technological improvements. The only thing keeping us from remaining in the Renaissance Era was the fact that we created more efficient ways to mass produce products. Something as harmless as the Guttenburg press revolutionized the old way of creating copies of things. No longer would you have to physically write a book from one book to another from word to word and from page to page. Without this invention, the mass populace might have never had access to a book and therefore wouldn't have learned anything about past history except from what they've heard orally from their parents. Accelerate this line of thinking approximately 300 years and you have modern day mankind.
A part of me is an environmentalist and a scientist. I don't think mankind should selfishly eliminate life on this planet, but I also don't think mankind should destroy whatever records we have about technology that we've learned over the past 300 years. Comprimises will have to be made, but I don't think that will be the difficult part. The difficult part will be convincing the factories to not hurt the environment and invest in a much more costly and expensive environmentally sensitive mass production line. Do that, and the rest will be easy as 3.14.
"If I die of a heart attack eating bacon, I'll be a happy man." -My father
Yes, it would seem that our modern comfort is borne aloft on a dense cloud of factory smoke.
You can say, "Yes, but all these good things will be bad for mankind in the long run." And I can quote John Maynard Keynes, "In the long run we're all dead". You can say, "We're poisoning the earth for future generations." And I can say, "I thought you were in favor of population control." You can say, "All this pollution may be fine for man, but we're destroying the rest of nature." And I can say, "There's always one fox who thinks burrowing should be abandoned because it makes life so hard on the hounds." And you can say, "lockedNloaded, SHUT UP!"
Dec 08, 2002 01:00 # 6856
Man damages the environment. Kids damage the carpet. Does it matter? Is it worth it? Depends on the kids. Depends on the carpet.
Even when the greatest degree of ecological caution is being exercised humans wreck havoc. So do cow farts. "The world's 1.3 billion cows annually produce nearly 100 tons of methane -- a powerful greenhouse gas", claims the book "50 Simple things You Can Do to Save the Earth.
The environment itself plays hell with the environment. A storm will ravage a beach no matter how eloquently the Sierra Club argues that the shoreline should be left in pristine condition. Lightning will strike a stand of old-growth timber with ever so many endangered owls roosted therein. Coyotes in California have been exposed to "50 Simple Things" and "Earth in the Balance" and know they should be eating lower on the food chain, but they'll still gnaw the guts right out of Bambi.
No amount of self righteousness will turn the bloody tooth and claw of nature from tearing flesh to catching Frisbees.
You can't seriously compare cow farts with the emission of 600 million automobiles.
So what if an occasional thunderbold hits an ancient oak tree? This is no proof of nature's overall violent nature, no pun intended. Nature has a well-tried tendency to balance itself. If the coyotes overdo it with their bambi meals, a lack of said bambis will reduce their numbers to a balanced level again. We humans are the first species who has evolved to a point where it isn't subject to the ever present balancing nature practices.
We have a special responsibility because of that. For when we're going to be balanced out of the game, we're going to take nature with us.
And this is where we're heading for.
'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion
Of course, I'm not saying this is an excuse for running a speedboat through a family of manatees or paving Monument Valley and building a Six Flags amusement park there. Fervent ecologists argue that we should be nice to the earth because animals, plants, rocks, and such have as much right to be here as we do. They are our equals. This is exactly wrong. We are endowed with a moral capacity that animals, plants, rocks and many fervent ecologist lack.
We should not be dirty, wasteful, or cruel. To do so harms others. That's wrong. Therefore, we don't disembowel Bambi live the way coyotes do,......we shoot him first. :-)
We are endowed with a moral capacity that animals, plants, rocks and many fervent ecologist lack.
Not taking any position here, but isn't their point that these morals are the reason why we should be expected to let those plants/rocks/bambis live while the same can't be expected from a coyote?
'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion
Getting facts right is a fundamental requirement of morality. Mankind is accused of numerous and grave environmental crimes. Each of these alleged felonies must be thoroughly investigated and fairly judged. Otherwise we won't know how large a fine to levy upon ourselves, which type of community service we should sentence us to, or what kind of prison we should lock each other up in. :-)
This post was edited by lockedNloaded on Dec 17, 2002.