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humans have never had it better.  In what way?
Posted: 16 January 2014 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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sine dues - 16 January 2014 08:27 AM

I am going on and on about this because I see and hear so much about how terrible the state of the earth is these days…...it is not true. The general state of the earth-how livable/comfortable it is for humans has never been better. That is because we have TAMED nature. Yes ! It is OK to say it. Without science and the energy accessibility it provides we could not TAME nature. TAMED nature is way better than tooth and nail and viral/bacterial/fungal suffering.

Sounds like hubris talking there - but out of curiosity what does “TAMED nature” mean to you?
Mind you I agree, we have learned many of nature’s secrets, and how to make use of them, but that’s a far cry from taming nature -

But, all that aside, the thing we haven’t tamed is our own tendency, particularly among the rich and powerful, towards megalomania, and a disregard for the consequences of short sighted actions.

You imply things have never been better in human history.  For some of us that’s plenty true enough, but many are paying the price for our comforts. 

Global Income Inequality: GlobalPost Puts America’s Gap Between Rich And Poor In Perspective
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/global-income-inequality-globalpost_n_2526425.html

An objective review of the whole of humanity reveals most are living in conditions we can’t even imagine these days.
People who’s cities have been bombed to hell, with death and loss heavy in the air of neighborhoods that never get rebuilt?
People who’s homelands have be destroyed by one sort or other of industries’ fall out.
Or the dispossessed and refugees?

Refugee population by country or territory of asylum
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM.POP.REFG/countries/1W?display=default

Number of refugees worldwide at a 14-year high – UN
19/06/13
http://www.euronews.com/2013/06/19/world-refugee-day/

Or the many who’s nations have been impoverished due to a long history of sucking ‘em dry.

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats


Of course we shouldn’t forget the great wonders and modern marvels that progress and scientific knowledge has made possible -
but why should that make us ignore the damages that all these wonders are inflicting on our one and only life support system?

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Posted: 17 January 2014 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting discussion. I like to view ourselves, human beings that is, as a part of nature, neither being ruled by nor trying to subdue it, of course the latter being what we like to view it as (see Genesis).

Daoism has a better viewpoint I think. “Go with the flow.” And that is not meant wishy-washy, unless you perceive Kung-Fu to be a powerless exercise.

We will care for this planet if we understand ourselves to be a part of it. The “Indians” understood that part as well. The “white man” apparently didn’t.

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Posted: 17 January 2014 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Michelle D. - 17 January 2014 01:57 AM

Daoism has a better viewpoint I think. “Go with the flow.” And that is not meant wishy-washy, unless you perceive Kung-Fu to be a powerless exercise.

Makes me think of something Joseph Campbell used to say: “follow your bliss” - which wasn’t about a happy bliss-ies place at all - it’s about finding the path that best helps develop your particular spirit, being, talents within one’s particular world situation.  He does a much better job of explaining it, but you get the idea.
Quite different from the pop media bromide “you can be anything you want to be”

Michelle D. - 17 January 2014 01:57 AM

We will care for this planet if we understand ourselves to be a part of it.

Ah yes, and this brings us back to the issue of having a realistic understanding and appreciation for the flow of evolution and all it took to get us to this point in history.

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Posted: 17 January 2014 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sounds like hubris talking there - but out of curiosity what does “TAMED nature” mean to you?
Mind you I agree, we have learned many of nature’s secrets, and how to make use of them, but that’s a far cry from taming nature -

Exactly CC, the whole concept of “taming” nature here was derived from the philosophy of Manifest Destiny, first espoused by Jefferson but used to great effect by Polk. It’s the civilized white European vs. the untamed and savage native which translates to exploitation of the environment and the native population in it. It was the same excuse used by the imperialists for the exploitation of the African and Asian Continents in the middle and late 19th Century and the philosophy is alive and kicking today, i.e. nature was put here for human use only and damn the consequences. There’s always more land, always more water, always more energy, never thinking that these are finite. Jefferson declared that it would take generations to fill this continent but by the end of the century in which he made his observation, the frontier was declared officially closed (1893). So, here we are now over 300 million strong and growing by leaps and bounds to despoil rivers and streams, pollute the very air we breathe, build condos on tillable soil as cities expand into the countryside, and turn the oceans into garbage heaps. Ok, that’s the problem in a nutshell so what are we going to about it? How do we back away from this policy of unbridled spoilage for profit and learn to live with nature? We already have partial solutions in viable soft energy projects, wind and water power we once used a century ago! Couple that with geothermal energy (an inexhaustible source) and solar power and we’re beginning to solve the problem. It can be done before we reach the brink. And that will be here sooner than you think at present use. However, we can’t just imitate the blinkered thinking that convinced our ancestors concerning the environment and hope that someone will come along to build a better lightbulb. It won’t happen without pressure from the electorate who have to bypass the political BS offered instead of solutions because their hands are tied by lobbies such as the coal industry. Just yesterday as an example Gov. Tomblin (WVa.) announced that the spill had nothing to do with the coal industry! Amazing due to the fact that the very chemical that’s still polluting the rivers and streams here is used to process coal into coke! A classic example of deniability. Expand this on a national scale and this is the delimna we face. And it won’t be solved by head-in-the-sand thinking and useless arguments over the infinity of nature and the relationship of higher thinking primates. Nature may be infinite but we aren’t, and we’re making it harder to survive as a species by our cavalier attitude and childlike belief that it will always be here for us to destroy for our immediate benefit. Ann Coulter said it best when she remarked that she didn’t care about the environment because god would give us another place to use after we destroy this one. Manifest Destiny at its worst.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 17 January 2014 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 17 January 2014 09:32 AM

Sounds like hubris talking there - but out of curiosity what does “TAMED nature” mean to you?
Mind you I agree, we have learned many of nature’s secrets, and how to make use of them, but that’s a far cry from taming nature -

Exactly CC, the whole concept of “taming” nature here was derived from the philosophy of Manifest Destiny, first espoused by Jefferson but used to great effect by Polk. It’s the civilized white European vs. the untamed and savage native which translates to exploitation of the environment and the native population in it.

It was the same excuse used by the imperialists for the exploitation of the African and Asian Continents in the middle and late 19th Century and the philosophy is alive and kicking today, i.e. nature was put here for human use only and damn the consequences. There’s always more land, always more water, always more energy, never thinking that these are finite. Jefferson declared that it would take generations to fill this continent but by the end of the century in which he made his observation, the frontier was declared officially closed (1893).

So, here we are now over 300 million strong and growing by leaps and bounds to despoil rivers and streams, pollute the very air we breathe, build condos on tillable soil as cities expand into the countryside, and turn the oceans into garbage heaps. Ok, that’s the problem in a nutshell so what are we going to about it?

How do we back away from this policy of unbridled spoilage for profit and learn to live with nature? We already have partial solutions in viable soft energy projects, wind and water power we once used a century ago! Couple that with geothermal energy (an inexhaustible source) and solar power and we’re beginning to solve the problem. It can be done before we reach the brink. And that will be here sooner than you think at present use.

However, we can’t just imitate the blinkered thinking that convinced our ancestors concerning the environment and hope that someone will come along to build a better lightbulb. It won’t happen without pressure from the electorate who have to bypass the political BS offered instead of solutions because their hands are tied by lobbies such as the coal industry.

Just yesterday as an example Gov. Tomblin (WVa.) announced that the spill had nothing to do with the coal industry! Amazing due to the fact that the very chemical that’s still polluting the rivers and streams here is used to process coal into coke! A classic example of deniability. Expand this on a national scale and this is the delimna we face. And it won’t be solved by head-in-the-sand thinking and useless arguments over the infinity of nature and the relationship of higher thinking primates.

Nature may be infinite but we aren’t, and we’re making it harder to survive as a species by our cavalier attitude and childlike belief that it will always be here for us to destroy for our immediate benefit. Ann Coulter said it best when she remarked that she didn’t care about the environment because god would give us another place to use after we destroy this one. Manifest Destiny at its worst.


Cap’t Jack

Good observations and questions,
I used to have a lot of hope and desire to help and be part of the change - but decade after decade of seeing the right wing getting ever more bizarre and disconnected from reality, and then all that Jesus as only Savior lunacy, and then that total dogmatic rejections of learning about our planet, lordie, lordie,
if they haven’t been able to figure out over the past few decades what hope is there now that the easy days of plenty are over. 
And these clowns still think consuming as much as fast as possible will save our economy   downer

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Posted: 17 January 2014 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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cc- I did not imply that things have never been better….I stated it. Then you turn around and write ‘for some of us thats plenty true enough but many are paying the price for our comforts” I never said or implied any kind of fairness. Not everybody can ride the train…..yet ! The limiting commodity is ENERGY. When energy becomes cheap and accessible to all humans then and only then can we begin to see equality. When there is a limited commodity….the strong shall possess and control access to it. It is not fair. It is the way the whole world works. There are more happy ( i don’t mean it in a silly way…safe, fed, housed) people in this world then ever before. That does not mean every single person is better off….if that is what you meant.

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Posted: 17 January 2014 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Interesting the easy with which you write them off,  “I got my! fuk u and yourine”  Yea, that’s the way of your world ain’t it.

sine dues - 17 January 2014 01:13 PM

The limiting commodity is ENERGY.

You really believe it’s that simple?

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Posted: 17 January 2014 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes. It really is that simple. If you have cheap energy…you can make almost everything else that you need.
No I do not write off anyone. I can not make a poor person less poor by giving them my money…..that makes me poor. They must get the money by themselves.

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Posted: 18 January 2014 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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sine dues - 17 January 2014 04:38 PM

Yes. It really is that simple. If you have cheap energy…you can make almost everything else that you need.

What about the raw materials, equipment and supplies, transportation, experience and know how, and all those other real world logistics?
“Energy” is only part of the equation!

You make me think of the guy at the bar, drawing a business plan on the back of a bar napkin, while doing a splendid job of convincing himself of how fool proof his plan is.  Sounds great, but in the morning light of another working day on a real job site , it just don’t add up. 

sine dues - 17 January 2014 04:38 PM

No I do not write off anyone. I can not make a poor person less poor by giving them my money…..that makes me poor. They must get the money by themselves.

It seems to me you see the whole world only through business/money eyes - everything’s about the money; it’s effect on you; your control over it; the potentials for harvesting it; and all that jazz.  Sadly that a very slit-eyed-viewed of the whole.

An appreciate for this planet as an entity in and of itself,
together with an understanding of the processes and lucky breaks that got this planet to the point where
it could support a complex society with all its money obsessions,
then you would better understand this world you inhabit for your few short years - and possibly do less damage to it and to other’s lives.

Also, perhaps than you might appreciate that endlessly growing consumption is impossible and in fact suicidal.

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Posted: 18 January 2014 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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excuse the “you” - it’s not about you individually - I’m talking at that whole Reaganomics, and religiossifying Right Wing thing that happen to America over the course of my life - and the incredible damage it has inflicted on our planet, it’s people and the future.

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Posted: 20 January 2014 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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There is nothing wrong with the guy at the bar and his bar-napkin business plan…..the break down is usually the guy gets drunk goes home forgets the napkin at the bar….it gets thrown out….most great plans start that way….the problem is not how or where you started….it is the fact that it never goes beyond that point.” Energy is only part of the equation”...You are correct cc but when energy is the limiting component of your equation then that is where you must concentrate your efforts…right? If you have cheap accessible energy then you can find resources, create equipment and pay for transportation….c’mon this is basic stuff….and then you rant about Reagan…I know very little about that….I am not aligned with those people or policies so don’t paint me with that broad brush.  I can not make a poor person less poor by giving them my money…..that makes me poor. They must get the money by themselves. Tell where I am incorrect with that statement….I will try to understand.

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Posted: 20 January 2014 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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sine dues - 20 January 2014 07:25 AM

There is nothing wrong with the guy at the bar and his bar-napkin business plan…..the break down is usually the guy gets drunk goes home forgets the napkin at the bar….it gets thrown out….most great plans start that way….the problem is not how or where you started….it is the fact that it never goes beyond that point.” Energy is only part of the equation”...You are correct cc but when energy is the limiting component of your equation then that is where you must concentrate your efforts…right? If you have cheap accessible energy then you can find resources, create equipment and pay for transportation….c’mon this is basic stuff….and then you rant about Reagan…I know very little about that….I am not aligned with those people or policies so don’t paint me with that broad brush.  I can not make a poor person less poor by giving them my money…..that makes me poor. They must get the money by themselves. Tell where I am incorrect with that statement….I will try to understand.

Sorry but from your words I have no choice but to paint you in the Reaganomics mould even if you don’t appreciate that’s where it comes from.
Greed is good . . .
Government regulations are bad . . .
God gave us this planet to plunder until we’ve sucked it dry . . .
let’s all pretend we still live in a wide open wild west and that our planet is an endless cornucopia . . .
Maximize profits, minimize expenditures at all cost, and ignore the fall out . . .

Oh and then there’s that weird ability to believe youz don’t owe anyone anything, but it’s OK to take whatever youz can from others.
Seems to me, before bitching about the poor third world trying to pick your pocket, learn a little about the colonial subjugation and plundering of the world.  It’s a long hideous history and all we witness today is an out-growth of those actions and policies, none of us the west is innocent or pure.  Meaning your attitude of I got mine and fuk them and theirs - stinks.

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Posted: 20 January 2014 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I am enjoying this cc…..first you state how terrible the world is….then i counter with how great it is. Then you tell me how terrible the west is…I assume that you mean first world countries…usa/can/euro….when and where did you get the information that I say greed is good? I don’t believe in the god/religion thing so thats out….then you accuse me of taking whatever I can from others…I applaud your creativity but you are making this **it up as you go so that i can fit in with the groups that you hate…..I don’t care if you are a left-wing pinko tree-hugging wing nut or not….I will try not to hold that against you and put words in your paragraph….( that was an attempt at humor…not a personal attack)
Do you think that giving people money will make them less poor ? I believe that is more complicated than that. It has been repeated many times usually with the result of creating a line up of people who prefer being handed money than making it themselves. And yes I know that I am simplifying things….that is about all I can do with issues like this.
  Wealth can be created but it is WAY more difficult to do then to re-distribute it and think that you are improving things…..

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Posted: 02 February 2014 10:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Nice discussion. I’ve seen you have great observations.

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Posted: 03 February 2014 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Jump in nicoleallenB- Do you think that things are better or worse ?
Einstein wrote that it is the theory that determines what you can observe….not the other way around. If you think that humans are the cause of all ills in the world today then you will certainly see that where ever you look.

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Posted: 03 February 2014 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Of course humans are responsible for all ills in the world.  Ill is a word that assigns value, and only humans have been demonstrated to do that.  Without humans a volcano could wipe out all life on an island.  We might feel that is bad or an “ill”, but without us to assign a value, it’s merely a natural phenomenon.

Occam

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