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Old 21-09-2012, 13:58   #76
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

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My birth was not an accident, while it was not my choice, it was the responsible choice of my parents, and theirs before them. Their decision was to maintain a standard of living that they enjoyed, and could not maintain by having a large family.
In another part of the world, the responsible thing for your parents might well have been to have as many children as they physically could. In a poor country, a large family is often the best way to ensure personal financial security. Your parents were lucky to have been born into an affluent society after its demographic transition.

For you and I, the decision to not have children (or a small family) is a selfish one. We enjoy a higher standard of living by doing so, so I'm reluctant to pat myself on the back for being a responsible citizen.

I sympathize with your argument that the third world has too many people. However, I don't think any single person deserves credit on the back end for the circumstances of their birth. Every person alive today is just as deserving as every other person alive. This is, of course, a personal normative value, and one I can't defend with a positive argument. It's simply how I feel, take it as a data point.
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Old 21-09-2012, 14:52   #77
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

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the responsible thing for your parents might well have been to have as many children as they physically could. In a poor country, a large family is often the best way to ensure personal financial security
And thus my point. That is just as much a personally selfish decision as my personally selfish decision to pollute as much as I want.

Many, many of the people that are alive today are alive, even in third world countries, because of advances in hygiene, sanitation, and medicine that were developed in first world countries. To accept those changes, increase population dramatically, and then blame the first world countries for overuse is just as unfair as my first world overuse.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:03   #78
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

@Dsanduril;

Looking around nature throughout history, you can easily see that it's so that ecosystems regularly get thrown out of balance and collapse catastrophically when one species becomes too 'successful'. I make no judgement that this is morally wrong or right, only that it leads to an undesireable situation.

Personally, I don't think it's fair to impose a judgement on a less developed society for not having the values of a developed one.

Eventually, the world's population will level off. I think the question of what would be a sustainable lifestyle for all at that point, is an important one. Morality aside, I'm eager to avoid a catastrophic ecosystem collapse.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:16   #79
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

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I'm eager to avoid a catastrophic ecosystem collapse.
On that we are in complete agreement, and I make my own real-life personal choices with that in mind.

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Personally, I don't think it's fair to impose a judgement on a less developed society for not having the values of a developed one.
Or vice versa.

The subject of this thread was the first passage through McClure Strait, and on the level that that feat matches my own interests I think it is pretty cool, and would actually like to think about doing the same thing some time. The very fact that I can consider it is scary as hell.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:38   #80
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

Yes, me too.

I also have to confess to a perverse curiosity in seeing what AGW will actually do to the planet.

Unfortunately, my ivory tower is grounded on terra firma.
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Old 21-09-2012, 17:00   #81
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

Timing is everything, the thing that got me on this rant was the jab at Americans earlier in the thread, and I have a chip on my shoulder about being an American and being blamed for everything that is wrong in the world (global warming, credit crisis, recession, Islam bashing) and having my entire nation tarred with one brush.

Then I went to the break room for my afternoon cuppa (and yes, I mean tea, imported from the other side of the world at great logistical, er.. carbon expensive, effort) and saw an ad for this group:

America's Power

The ad argued that EPA restrictions on coal are too tough, and that proposed tougher regulations ought to be dropped outright. Now I want to turn around and rant at my own neighbors who don't seem to see the handwriting on the wall.
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Old 21-09-2012, 19:17   #82
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Re: First Sail Boat Through the McClure Straits

Sorry guys... this thread has foundered on the rocks and will never see the center of the channel again!
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