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Old 16-02-2010, 14:44   #91
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I'm not arguing that humans are pretty insignificant in the big picture. The earth would certainly continue if we manage to eliminate ourselves and I believe it would heal itself from the damage we caused.
But I would rather see us living in harmony with this powerful living thing that we call earth so that we don't go extinct.
Isn't that the whole point?
Agreed that we should all be more responsible with our impact, regardless of the tiny footprint we may individually actually leave.

What is not often discussed in the issue is that 100 plus years ago we humans were probably putting as much junk into the atmosphere as today. Everyone cooked on wood, coal, cow dung, peat, etc. Slash and burn farming was the norm. Then add the natural emmisions such as volcanic eruptions and the above mentioned seepage of fossil byproduct.

I just read a friend's blog Cruising on "ARITA" about the accumulation of plastic trash on an otherwise pristine Bahamian island. Disgusting to say the least.
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Old 16-02-2010, 16:58   #92
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And a little microscopic bacteria couldn't possibly cause a problem in a human being either. Could it? Oops!
Jim
Infectious disease is the most insidious threat facing humans, IMO. More so than climate change.

So far, medical technology has fought to a draw. But each one of us is a walking, talking Petri dish of evolutionary experimentation for viruses, bacteria, etc. More people, more evolutionary development in the arsenal of disease. Someday I fear disease will pull ahead and multiple plagues will afflict the earth. The thing is, if enough people get killed, then modern society crumbles and the very technology we depend on to defend against these diseases will be neutralized. From that day forward, disease will have the upper hand.

Experts in this field are privately very scared because the speed at which infectious diseases are evolving is accelerating. This is a natural by-product of our population explosion. Our population success aids the evolutionary development of news diseases that feed on us. All it will take is one or two super bugs that are genuinely infectious--unlike AIDS--and we have a problem of biblical proportions.

Any farmer will tell you that if you have a monoculture of crop, disease is soon to follow. It's nature's way. That's why pesticides are used so heavily in industrial farming.

Humans have conquered the planet to point where we are the monoculture crop. In the evolutionary war among life that has wracked the planet since the beginning of time, we now have the bulls-eye on our forehead. We are now THE prime target of evolution's carnivorous ways. And each one us holds the potential to breed the next superbug that changes history. And the more of us there are on this planet, the greater the chance a new superbug will evolve to infect the species.
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Old 16-02-2010, 17:47   #93
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Heck, we don't need superbugs. Things like colony collapse disorder will probably be enough to take care of us insignificant beings. Yeah, we're insignificant. But we have, and continue to have an effect on this world and the natural systems that it has relied on for eons. An unhealthy effect according to many.

We humans are just as much a part of nature as the snail darter or the whales and we have just as much right to exist. It's just that until the snail darters and porpoises invent their own internet and start their own research labs, the responsibility for being stewards of the natural resources that this earth provides falls to us.
It's not "absolute humanist arrogance to assume that humans can have any affect on this living and powerful planet.".
It's our responsibility to assume it and to live accordingly.
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:11   #94
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Knot,
I agree with you that we need to be stewards of our resources, and have a right to exist. If you look into the origins of the green movement, the very movement promoting a centralization of environmental regulation, their value is not placed on human life.
Forgive me for not wanting to surrender any more liberty or capital for "the greater good". I think individuals should be allowed to make the decisions affecting their future .
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:24   #95
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As a capitalist pig, I believe that economic liberty is the key to more efficiency. What system has created a cleaner more efficient society than the capitalist system? Through our progress we have become rich, and now have the ability to clean up the mess we've made in the past, can the same be said for Communist China? Soviet Russia? Any number of Communist Sub-Saharan countries?

The natural enemy of capitalism is waste. The natural byproduct of government regulation is waste, by placing more power to "fix" the environment in the hands of a government bureaucracy, we are wasting resources. Which would you rather guide us toward efficiency and innovation?

With this said, I have yet to see definitive evidence that Global Warming is a result of man-made co2 emissions. Do I want to intentionally dump acid into pristine mountain streams and shoot baby Seals in the head? No.
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Old 16-02-2010, 21:41   #96
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"It is absolute humanist arrogance to assume that humans can have any affect on this living and powerful planet. We are gnats in the grille of a Mack."

absolutely!!!!!!
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Old 17-02-2010, 05:50   #97
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Knot,
I agree with you that we need to be stewards of our resources, and have a right to exist. If you look into the origins of the green movement, the very movement promoting a centralization of environmental regulation, their value is not placed on human life.
Forgive me for not wanting to surrender any more liberty or capital for "the greater good". I think individuals should be allowed to make the decisions affecting their future .
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Originally Posted by IronRoamer View Post
As a capitalist pig, I believe that economic liberty is the key to more efficiency. What system has created a cleaner more efficient society than the capitalist system? Through our progress we have become rich, and now have the ability to clean up the mess we've made in the past, can the same be said for Communist China? Soviet Russia? Any number of Communist Sub-Saharan countries?

The natural enemy of capitalism is waste. The natural byproduct of government regulation is waste, by placing more power to "fix" the environment in the hands of a government bureaucracy, we are wasting resources. Which would you rather guide us toward efficiency and innovation?

I think what we have here is a failure to communicate. I find very little to argue with in what I read above.
It was your statement, "It is absolute humanist arrogance to assume that humans can have any affect on this living and powerful planet. We are gnats in the grille of a Mack." that I find absurd on the face of it. Evidently zeehag understands it differently than I do.
There is no way that anyone with a set of functioning eyeballs can believe that humans can have no affect on the earth. You even concede that we should be good stewards of our resources. Why should we if we don't have any affect.
If you are saying that humans aren't powerful enough to destroy the planet by our pollution or overtaxing of resources, you may be right. I don't know. I'm pretty sure we can blow it up if we wanted to.
But we damn sure can and do have some negative affect. I know that a single volcano can spew more smog in the air in one eruption that man can produce in years. But smog from a volcano doesn't hang over Los Angeles or Mexico city like a pall most days of the year. That is an effect of man.
I know that mercury is naturally found in nature. The fact that it can be found in unnatural amounts in fish is an effect of man.
The fact that soil is depleted by the things that grow in it is completely natural. The fact that when man grows crops without replenishing the soil as it is replenished in nature until it is a barren wasteland is an effect of man.
We do affect the earth in countless ways everyday. Not always in a negative way either.
Why is this so hard to understand?
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Old 17-02-2010, 06:07   #98
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"It is absolute humanist arrogance to assume that humans can have any affect on this living and powerful planet. We are gnats in the grille of a Mack."

absolutely!!!!!!
I couldn't AGREE more...thanks Z for a sane opinion
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Old 17-02-2010, 06:36   #99
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It may be absolute arrogance (hubris) to assume that (7 billion) humans can NOT have any affect on this living and powerful planet.
It also seems ironic that the claimant himself is arrogant enough to assume a mantle of scientific knowledge and analysis sufficient to contradict the vast majority of professionals (in the field).
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Old 17-02-2010, 06:59   #100
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Old 17-02-2010, 08:06   #101
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It may be absolute arrogance (hubris) to assume that (7 billion) humans can NOT have any affect on this living and powerful planet.
It also seems ironic that the claimant himself is arrogant enough to assume a mantle of scientific knowledge and analysis sufficient to contradict the vast majority of professionals (in the field).
Since it appears that many of the "vast majority of professionals" in the global warming arena have recently been exposed as outright liars and frauds, one must question the "scientific knowledge" they so arrogantly claim.

Notwithstanding that "inconveinent truth", I must dissagree that we humans have little impact on our envirionment. On the contrary, we have far more than a knat, baby seal or even chimpanze - none of whom drink their coffee from a styrofoam cup or carry their diner home in plastic bags.

Having risen to the apex of the evolutionary chain, we humans lay claim to certain "rights". However, along with all rights comes responsibility and I propose that we humans have neglected many of our responsibilities.

If the earth is a living organism then we animals (humans included) are simply parasites. It is the unwise parasite that kills the very host that sustains it.

Hmmm, I better stop my tirade now as I am having a strange desire to wear Birkenstock sandals and drive a Volvo.
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Old 17-02-2010, 12:02   #102
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It may be absolute arrogance (hubris) to assume that (7 billion) humans can NOT have any affect on this living and powerful planet.
It also seems ironic that the claimant himself is arrogant enough to assume a mantle of scientific knowledge and analysis sufficient to contradict the vast majority of professionals (in the field).
Gord,
You are right, a "vast majority of professionals (in the field)" have never been wrong before.

If you have a hypothesis that states "every bird in existance posesses the ability to fly". You do not travel the world looking for birds that fly, and upon finding one, then two, then three, claim: "I've found many birds that fly". Rather, you search for the EXCEPTION that break your "rule".

Thus far, the frenzy of enviromental research being excecuted around the planet is in search of only warming. Anytime a "sceptic" uncovers a contradiction to the global warming alarmist's hypothesis, they are disregarded as a flat-earther, and ostracized from the scientific community.

Science is not about consensus, if it was, we would know nothing about our world. Fact.
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Old 17-02-2010, 12:08   #103
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It also seems ironic that the claimant himself is arrogant enough to assume a mantle of scientific knowledge and analysis sufficient to contradict the vast majority of professionals (in the field).

As an aside, I'm sure you've never heard these words on the news:

"Experts are shocked..."
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Old 17-02-2010, 13:03   #104
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If you have a hypothesis that states "every bird in existance posesses the ability to fly". You do not travel the world looking for birds that fly, and upon finding one, then two, then three, claim: "I've found many birds that fly". Rather, you search for the EXCEPTION that break your "rule".
Sounds like you have stumbled upon the peer review process except that it is up to others to disprove someones claim. Do you think all climate research is outside the peer review process. Though there have been a few incidents recently where it appears to have been abused. And look what happened - they got found out. It doesn┤t mean that every piece of research is rubbish.

Quote:
As an aside, I'm sure you've never heard these words on the news:

"Experts are shocked..."
What has the media got to do with science?? If you want to get a more balanced view then you could do worse than spending a year on google scholar, read the articals themselves rather than sensationalist media hype. But there perhaps lies the problem. How many people without a solid scientific background can even begin to understand what is being presented?? So most people hear what they want to hear.
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Old 17-02-2010, 13:19   #105
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Oh NO! It was all going so well, almost a calm and considered climate thread. Couldn┤t help but to add my own rant, sorry all Oh well, they all go that way in the end
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