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Old 08-04-2012, 03:44   #226
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Originally Posted by barnakiel
I noticed it is "easier" to lead a simple life in places that are highly civilised. In such places most of my footprint gets painlessly externalised. Energy? No issue. Waste? No issue.

In remote areas my footprint becomes immediately and tangibly visible.

I hated that horrible stench in some Polynesian 'pristine' locations. I know places that are not labeled pristine, with much higher density and with much lower pollution.

Not to criticize any rural Pacific culture. That's the way they are. It is us who are in the lucky position of being capable of building sewage treatment facilities. It is also us who have the awareness of the need for such facilities.

Sad facts but big lessons on how to act and what to preach back home.

b.
Im glad someone said this as it is a bit of a an elephant in the room for environmentally minded people...
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:14   #227
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I've been watching a lot of TED talks lately (since they've been released on Netflix), and a lot of what I get from the environmentally minded people has little to do with the 'big picture'.

The basic concept of actually making big changes to the environment revolve around many individuals making small changes in their lives. Roz Savage makes this point quite clear when she talks about how many millions of oar strokes it takes to cross an ocean, and that you can't think about that big number or it'll seem impossible and futile, and eventually make you crazy and give up....you can only focus on each individual oar stroke until, over time, they all add up to the ultimate accomplishment.

So, while it may be a bit ironic to 'run away' from the system by means of using the system, or to become 'environmentally minded' while sailing a plastic boat with dacron sails, etc.. The smaller steps, like not feeding the system (as much), or using wind/sun to power our plastic existence, are , in-fact, contributing to the greater good in the realm of the 'big picture'.

Of course, this only works if many other people are also doing their own small parts. But, I do think there are a few million people in this world that are starting to make changes in their lives. It's bordering on revolutionary status in the US and other countries. The average family of 4 that still drives 5 cars are recycling more, and composting, and buying organic foods, etc... They ARE affecting the big picture, despite it's apparent futility.

As for other countries/islands that have little or no regard for the environment. Well... I don't know... But I think if while we're there, if we at least do our best to not contribute to their problem, then we are doing our part.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:21   #228
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I find TED talks catchy but I believe they may be aimed at the 'wrong' audience. It is easy to talk smart and be lauded by already open minded, well read, and environmentally aware listeners. It is easy to convince a single rower that he will have to spend days rowing. Rowers ARE motivated individuals, motivated individuals are an easy target. Now go and try to convince your kids to clean up their rooms.

With the broader audience of somewhat less educated masses, if you tell people to row, they will say they won't - because at the end of the day they will prove to be the only idiot rowing while the rest was taking it easy. No wonder, with such mindset, this is exactly what happens.

To me, the answer is the following: we all do what we love to do most: those who love nature will protect nature, those who like to lay belly up and drink beer, will keep on doing just this. Behaviors and attitudes are perpetuated in families, societies and cultures.

So, to make a change, we do not have to talk smart; what we have to do is to point our attention to the beauty of nature. Now go say this to nations and governments that will have the rain forest cut down to cultivate soya beans to make fuel to run those 5 cars in a family of 4.

For one who loves beauty will not turn against what they love. Keats was right and we owe to Greeks more than they will ever owe to the ECB.

May beauty and truth be with you,
b.
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:30   #229
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Having scanned this thread I say this

I agree , the sailing is the easiest part, living together under the duress of a boat is the difficult one.

I don't think it matters a wit, whether you sail a complex or simple craft , etc. if your happy that's fine, if it's all a big pain then as the Kama sutra says, your doing something wrong.

Arguing about the track of modern society is somewhat pointless, anyone can sail, if they want to. It's just the consequences mount up. Take me I did lots of deliveries, it tended to scare my family back home ( all of whom sail) going missing at sea a few times didn't help. I always wanted to circumnavigate. But now I know I never will, because to do so I'd have to leave my family behind. That's a consequence to high for me. Now I will fulfill my sailing dreams in a less destructive way.

Debt, wealth have little to do with it, desire does. There are wealthy people who will never sail and poverty stricken ones that always will.

Trying to put forward sailing as some sort of environmental good, is totally self-aggrandisement. By all means recycle your used yoghurt pots. Don't tell me your lifestyle is changing anything. I totally disagree about small changes help. They do not. To make any sort of environmental progress we need co-ordinanated international change. The rest is a middle class glossy magazine form of self pats on the back. I'm not knocking it, by all Means do it, don't tell me it makes a difference. ( it doesn't and it hasnt) equally you have a boat that probably generated more pollutants in its manufacture then anything else.

Leisure Sailing is a white mans western pre occupation, it requires a degree of wealth irrespective. It's worth noting that even in wealthy Asian or Arab cultures , like say Japan, cruising is a virtually unheard of activity. possibly because sailing as a way of eeking out a living is still recent history in these areas.

There is a danger that we get dangerously overly self indulgent.

Take liveaboards, they exist on the back of a social support structure uniquely western. Because elsewhere its a basic subsistence living. Any body on a boat relys on the luxuries of modern western industrialised societies to even exist.


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Old 08-04-2012, 07:46   #230
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
(...) To make any sort of environmental progress we need co-ordinanated international change. (...)
Dave,

I love your post.

I would like to notice that, (IMHO), co-ordinated international change has failed to bring any progress this far. Why should the future surprise us with any improvement in this respect? International action may have slowed down some pollution issues but in our situation slowing down is simply not enough (except that we will suffer - longer). This is a difficult and broad subject anyways.

I would also like to add that the co-ordinated international change and individual actions (think globally act locally) do not seem to exclude each other at all. Perhaps what we need is both kinds of actions and the more of it, the better.

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:00   #231
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There is also the issue with attempting to obtain global support for reduction in consumption and trying to simplify our lives and that is the one china makes when we ask her to reduce emission and consumption...

..."you got yours and now you ask us to not have ours...". Many of the largest producers of pollution and environmental devastation are the emerging economies of china, brazil, india and the re-emerging economy of Russia. We ask them to slow down their economic expansion to help save the world when as westerners we got all the benefits of unregulated growth and expansion and now we turn around to shut the gates and say, "no more room at the inn"

...one can understand it is a tough pill to swallow and why there is so much resistance at UN meetings on the environment, especially when the largest consumer per capita, the states, will not support any changes and instead a majority of the reductions in consumption come from grass roots movements...
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:02   #232
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Originally Posted by barnakiel

Dave,

I love your post.

I would like to notice that, (IMHO), co-ordinated international change has failed to bring any progress this far. Why should the future surprise us with any improvement in this respect? International action may have slowed down some pollution issues but in our situation slowing down is simply not enough (except that we will suffer - longer). This is a difficult and broad subject anyways.

I would also like to add that the co-ordinated international change and individual actions (think globally act locally) do not seem to exclude each other at all. Perhaps what we need is both kinds of actions and the more of it, the better.

Hugs,
b.
There is an increasing if somewhat factionalised agreement on the major environmental issues, look at CFCs, Marpol, etc. when we get it right at national or international levels we do see big improvements. But there are big issues, one being that developing countries want their 100 years of pollution just like we had. As I said by All means act local, just don't tell me your yoghurt pots are making a difference. that was my point. ( on that piece)

I agree with the poster that said some of paradise is actually a cesspool, and often developed countries are more pristine.

I love everyone
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:24   #233
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

I have to disagree with the above posts on the environmental issues...
For one, TED talks are for the Leaders and Teachers of the world, so they can go out and educate the "somewhat less educated" within their own communities.
It's a very appropriate audience.

As for small changes not making a difference, well... My feeling is, if you're not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

Doing anything on an international level will never work until every government of the world becomes un-corrupted.

To each his own, of course. The great thing about freedom is that we are free to make the wrong choices too.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:32   #234
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
There is an increasing if somewhat factionalised agreement on the major environmental issues, look at CFCs, Marpol, etc. when we get it right at national or international levels we do see big improvements. But there are big issues, one being that developing countries want their 100 years of pollution just like we had. As I said by All means act local, just don't tell me your yoghurt pots are making a difference. that was my point.
By insisting that only governments can change things, you absolve any responsibility that you may have. That is the main problem with this type of philosophy.
We do have a responsibility. We can and do make a difference. In the US, we are high consumers of refined products. We can reduce that, and buy local things that are made with less impact on the environment, less packaging.
So how does this equate with sailing a "rich man's pastime". First all, we see people from all socioeconomic groups sailing, and cruisers do not just come from first world countries. Second, and perhaps the most important of all- We are an example to the rest of the world. If we show up in Vanuatu and show them how to take care of their land and sea, it will make an impact. If we do not make a big imprint because our boat is simple and environmentally friendly, we make a statement.
IMHO that is how it all fits together.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:36   #235
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Trying to put forward sailing as some sort of environmental good, is totally self-aggrandisement. By all means recycle your used yoghurt pots. Don't tell me your lifestyle is changing anything. I totally disagree about small changes help. They do not. To make any sort of environmental progress we need co-ordinanated international change. The rest is a middle class glossy magazine form of self pats on the back. I'm not knocking it, by all Means do it, don't tell me it makes a difference. ( it doesn't and it hasnt) equally you have a boat that probably generated more pollutants in its manufacture then anything else.

Leisure Sailing is a white mans western pre occupation, it requires a degree of wealth irrespective. Dave
By insisting that only governments can change things, you absolve any responsibility that you may have. That is the main problem with this type of philosophy.
We do have a responsibility. We can and do make a difference. In the US, we are high consumers of refined products. We can reduce that, and buy local things that are made with less impact on the environment, less packaging.
So how does this equate with sailing a "rich man's pastime". First all, we see people from all socioeconomic groups sailing, and cruisers do not just come from first world countries. Second, and perhaps the most important of all- We are an example to the rest of the world. If we show up in Vanuatu and show them how to take care of their land and sea, it will make an impact. If we do not make a big imprint because our boat is simple and environmentally friendly, we make a statement.
IMHO that is how it all fits together.
BTW my boat was made when I was 12 and I did not have any say in the matter. I did have say on rescuing from a landfill and keeping another boat from being made with its resultant pollution. When, many years in the future it does finally wear out, I hope that it is recycled the the compounds in it used to make something else useful for mankind. The problem is not in the creation of common useful things as much as it is in the consumption. We probably have enough plastic in the world, lets just use what we have and refuse to create lots more.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:43   #236
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So how does this equate with sailing a "rich man's pastime". First all, we see people from all socioeconomic groups sailing, and cruisers do not just come from first world countries.
You see people from all western socio economic groups sailing. Our economic strata doesnt apply to the rest of the world. Someone from the lower class In china not only can't go cruising,but it doesn't even register in their world view as an option. Let's talk about Kenya or morocco or ???? Let's not derail the valid arguments thet you have been putting forward by not acknowledging our privilege. There is not shame in winning the birth lottery, in being born with priviledge and then choosing to do the most with it, including denying the need to consume or capitalize on our advantage. There is shame, however, in pretending that the birth lottery isn't fixed and that someone born anywhere has the same opportunities because it is simply not true.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:57   #237
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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You see people from all western socio economic groups sailing. Our economic strata doesnt apply to the rest of the world. Someone from the lower class In china not only can't go cruising,but it doesn't even register in their world view as an option. Let's talk about Kenya or morocco or ???? Let's not derail the valid arguments thet you have been putting forward by not acknowledging our privilege. There is not shame in winning the birth lottery, in being born with priviledge and then choosing to do the most with it, including denying the need to consume or capitalize on our advantage. There is shame, however, in pretending that the birth lottery isn't fixed and that someone born anywhere has the same opportunities because it is simply not true.

I think there's plenty of poor people in America that don't have the 'privilege' of going cruising. Something in the order ~millions...

So to put this argument in the context of 'americans are privileged and others are not' doesn't go very well, in my opinion.

That said, There is an obvious privilege that certain people, in any country, have the option to use to their advantage.

But, I'm not sure how this privilege has anything to do with what newt was saying...
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:05   #238
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Agreed, there are a lot of people in the world on a hand to mouth existence. And I will agree that being born middle class in the US is being rich in the rest of the world. I am just saying that we all have a responsibility to take care of this world, no matter were we come from. I guess I did not say it very well...
And if I have more means, then I have the obligation to walk the walk and to teach the talk (to those that will listen).
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:08   #239
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

Think I prefered the thread when it was about sailing...

Fascinating topic, so here's a few random thoughts,,

It's always so polarized on forums This or that, big boat/small boat, fridge/no fridge etc. Back to the first post, I think an awful lot of long term cruising boats will be much simpler after a load of years than they were when they set out. Possibly due to both practical and more personal reasons.

So in general broad, brush strokes..
Things keep breaking, that's what happens on boats, after a while I think you notice that many of the broken bits you don't miss much so ditch them. They cost money, power, space and are just a wind up when you can't find parts. So the boat evolves into a simpler but more robust set of systems. At the same time the people onboard evolve to be less reliant on constant day to day luxuries which the western advertising business insists we cannot live without.
But I don't think there's any line in this general sort of path which limits it to a boat.
Just started this which might interest a few on here
Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom - Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius - Google Books
Not far in but absolutely fascinating so far, looking into why we get fed up in the first place from an evolutionary perspective.
And as the brain constantly rewires itself how it's possible to have some say on that rewiring.
Which is what happens (imho) cruising for a while, as, amongst so many other very subtle changes, those instant gratification impulses slowly fade a little as the circuits fire less and less..

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Old 08-04-2012, 10:30   #240
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Re: The Philosophy behind Sailing Simply and cheaply

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I think there's plenty of poor people in America that don't have the 'privilege' of going cruising. Something in the order ~millions...

So to put this argument in the context of 'americans are privileged and others are not' doesn't go very well, in my opinion.

That said, There is an obvious privilege that certain people, in any country, have the option to use to their advantage.

But, I'm not sure how this privilege has anything to do with what newt was saying...
Apologies if I have misdirected the thread, but the sub context of what barnakiel, goboatingnow were discussing was the idea about the difficulties of being responsible environmental caretakers based on income and more specifically different connutries ability to be environmentally aware based on thier respective economies and then Newts comment rebutting saialing being a "rich mans sport"...

I was firmly stating that sailing is totally and completely a "rich mans sport" as well as environmentalism being a rich mans sport, but not rich within ones own socioeconomic strata but within the global economic strate.

To support what I am saying lets look at global income levels

via : Global Rich List so you can go yourself

Only one stat really matter: Poverty level un the us which is approx 11k/year. Assuming you arent mentally ill and unable to take advantage of welfare this is the least you can earn in the US as a single person. This puts you in the lowest percentile possible within the US. The 1%...on the wrong side of the bell curve

But globally it puts you earning more than 87% of the world. And if you put it in comparison to only thrid world countries it puts you at wealthier than 93% of the world.

So yes, americans and most anglized, english speaking, and western european countries are most definitely priviledged by any definition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Agreed, there are a lot of people in the world on a hand to mouth existence. And I will agree that being born middle class in the US is being rich in the rest of the world. I am just saying that we all have a responsibility to take care of this world, no matter were we come from. I guess I did not say it very well...
And if I have more means, then I have the obligation to walk the walk and to teach the talk (to those that will listen).
Not just middle class, simply being born in the states is the equivilent of having a silver spoon from 98% of those born here...

but as usual you respond with clarity and intelligence, and I agree with you more often than not...
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