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The religious implications of climate change
Posted: 04 June 2017 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The religious implications of climate change

Current rapid climate change and ocean acidification is due to the rapid increase of green house gasses, primarily carbon dioxide although other gasses such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and ozone are also involved. The release of these gasses in exorbitant amounts is due to humanity’s ever increasing use of fossil fuels, continuous diminution of forests, grasslands, and native plants, extensive animal agriculture, ever increasing urban development, control and change of natural water distribution, and many other effects of our increasing populations.

In long time, hundreds of thousands of years, there are natural cycles in climate and sea levels; ice ages, warm ages, higher sea levels, lower sea levels, they all occur over great time, but such changes do not occur with the exceptional rapidity of current changes. The apparent, actually obvious, cause is the rapid and extensive increase in human populations with accompanying industrial activity and rapid increase of the effluents of our affluent civilizations.

But wait… What’s God’s position on this? OK, He may be a fictional character, but approximately 75 percent of the total population of the world believes in one form or another that He and/or other supernatural creatures do actually exist. Believers in the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, make up about 54 percent of this 75 percent. So when it comes to the God(s) situation, although there are innumerable variations on what to believe, most of this 75% of people in the world today, 5.625 billion, apparently believe that in one way or another, supernatural beings interact with human beings on many various levels. According to the apparent words of the Abrahamic God, about 4 billion people believe that some or all of the Genesis story of the origin of humanity is, well, the gospel (or Koranic) truth. So the religious beliefs and cultures of at least 5.625 billion people work to shape the philosophies, values, and life styles of most people in our world today; so yes, it is important to know what people think God is thinking about with climate change, if He believes that it is real or not, and whether or not He plans to do something about it.

What could God(s) do about climate change? Well if He really is all knowing, omnipotent, and omnipresent, then He certainly knows all about it and He could certainly just make it just go away if He really wanted to do so. Well, He hasn’t done so yet, and although He apparently could do so overnight if He really wanted to, He hasn’t, and there is no sign that He plans to do so. Maybe this is all part of His great plan to see what we can do together to resolve the catastrophe that is bearing down on our civilization. Or maybe this is a long drawn out, sort of a great flood situation. Reportedly, only a few humans survived that bottleneck.

Humanity will survive the worst that climate change can deliver, we did survive the ice ages of 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago, including times of drought, famine, floods, and also times of stability and environmental richness. Oh, wait according strict Biblical history we weren’t around until about 6,000 years ago. But if that might be just an accounting error, then in pre Biblical times, as a species, we did survive, grow, and evolve for a couple of hundred thousand years through bad times and good times. So baring total and complete catastrophe, an extinction event, we will survive, although our institutions, our cities, our religions, our knowledge, and our science may or may not survive, and what does survive will not be as it was. Maybe that’s what He wants, a complete “do over”. We don’t know, and as far as I know He isn’t saying. Maybe this time our “ark” will be a spaceship.

On the other hand, maybe 75 percent of the world’s people are wrong and an influential, maybe controlling, supernatural “para world” does not exist, and we are on our own with this climate change situation. But what is important, is that we prepare for climate change and that must include those folks that believe that everything that happens is part of God’s “plan”. And if He is in human lives all day, every day, then maybe it is part of His plan to lift us up a notch or two, watch us come to grips with what we have created, and help us to help ourselves resolve this situation, repair what has been broken, and fulfill whatever destiny He has in store for us. We can’t do this unless we are all on the same page and so maybe He wants us to drop our differences, our animosities, our hatreds, and our exclusiveness, our impossible beliefs, and work together and help each other to preserve and maintain the life He created on this bright little speck of blue and green that He is said to have given us in this vast black cosmos of fire and ice.

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Posted: 06 June 2017 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Martin Moe - 04 June 2017 11:49 AM

The religious implications of climate change

Current rapid climate change and ocean acidification is due to the rapid increase of green house gasses, primarily carbon dioxide although other gasses such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and ozone are also involved. The release of these gasses in exorbitant amounts is due to humanity’s ever increasing use of fossil fuels, continuous diminution of forests, grasslands, and native plants, extensive animal agriculture, ever increasing urban development, control and change of natural water distribution, and many other effects of our increasing populations.

In long time, hundreds of thousands of years, there are natural cycles in climate and sea levels; ice ages, warm ages, higher sea levels, lower sea levels, they all occur over great time, but such changes do not occur with the exceptional rapidity of current changes. The apparent, actually obvious, cause is the rapid and extensive increase in human populations with accompanying industrial activity and rapid increase of the effluents of our affluent civilizations.

Up to here I’m with you.

Martin Moe - 04 June 2017 11:49 AM

But wait… What’s God’s position on this? OK, He may be a fictional character, but approximately 75 percent of the total population of the world believes in one form or another that He and/or other supernatural creatures do actually exist.


Believers in the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, make up about 54 percent of this 75 percent. So when it comes to the God(s) situation, although there are innumerable variations on what to believe, most of this 75% of people in the world today, 5.625 billion, apparently believe that in one way or another, supernatural beings interact with human beings on many various levels. According to the apparent words of the Abrahamic God, about 4 billion people believe that some or all of the Genesis story of the origin of humanity is, well, the gospel (or Koranic) truth. So the religious beliefs and cultures of at least 5.625 billion people work to shape the philosophies, values, and life styles of most people in our world today; so yes, it is important to know what people think God is thinking about with climate change, if He believes that it is real or not, and whether or not He plans to do something about it. . . .

But God is not real, it’s the people who believe in him who are the ones putting thoughts into his head. 
For those in denial about scientific facts and who prefer the lalaland of religious make-believe, why would they think god believes in something they don’t.
That implies critical thinking.  Something that doesn’t exist amongst the religious crowd.

What could God(s) do about climate change?

Nothing, if God is about this Universe, than She’s been around many billions of years, watched the evolution of our solar system and planets and Earth’s evolution into what might well be the most spectacular speck in the known universe, this experiment come to an end and Earth will live on and god having millions and billions of years to watch knows there will be something new and amazing once the damage is processed. 

Humanity will survive the worst that climate change can deliver, . . .

Given the rate we are adding greenhouse gases (not to mention the many other assaults upon our life supporting biosphere), and the many tipping points passed and the current commitment to reinvigorate rather than phase out fossil fuels production and burning - there’s less and less chance of this planet remaining in any sort of position to continue hosting humans with their many needs, expectations and demands.

On the other hand, maybe 75 percent of the world’s people are wrong and an influential, maybe controlling, supernatural “para world” does not exist, and we are on our own with this climate change situation. . . .

We certainly are!

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Posted: 06 June 2017 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 06 June 2017 06:01 PM
Martin Moe - 04 June 2017 11:49 AM

The religious implications of climate change

Current rapid climate change and ocean acidification is due to the rapid increase of green house gasses, primarily carbon dioxide although other gasses such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and ozone are also involved. The release of these gasses in exorbitant amounts is due to humanity’s ever increasing use of fossil fuels, continuous diminution of forests, grasslands, and native plants, extensive animal agriculture, ever increasing urban development, control and change of natural water distribution, and many other effects of our increasing populations.

In long time, hundreds of thousands of years, there are natural cycles in climate and sea levels; ice ages, warm ages, higher sea levels, lower sea levels, they all occur over great time, but such changes do not occur with the exceptional rapidity of current changes. The apparent, actually obvious, cause is the rapid and extensive increase in human populations with accompanying industrial activity and rapid increase of the effluents of our affluent civilizations.

Up to here I’m with you.

Martin Moe - 04 June 2017 11:49 AM

But wait… What’s God’s position on this? OK, He may be a fictional character, but approximately 75 percent of the total population of the world believes in one form or another that He and/or other supernatural creatures do actually exist.


Believers in the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, make up about 54 percent of this 75 percent. So when it comes to the God(s) situation, although there are innumerable variations on what to believe, most of this 75% of people in the world today, 5.625 billion, apparently believe that in one way or another, supernatural beings interact with human beings on many various levels. According to the apparent words of the Abrahamic God, about 4 billion people believe that some or all of the Genesis story of the origin of humanity is, well, the gospel (or Koranic) truth. So the religious beliefs and cultures of at least 5.625 billion people work to shape the philosophies, values, and life styles of most people in our world today; so yes, it is important to know what people think God is thinking about with climate change, if He believes that it is real or not, and whether or not He plans to do something about it. . . .

But God is not real, it’s the people who believe in him who are the ones putting thoughts into his head. 
For those in denial about scientific facts and who prefer the lalaland of religious make-believe, why would they think god believes in something they don’t.
That implies critical thinking.  Something that doesn’t exist amongst the religious crowd.

What could God(s) do about climate change?

Nothing, if God is about this Universe, than She’s been around many billions of years, watched the evolution of our solar system and planets and Earth’s evolution into what might well be the most spectacular speck in the known universe, this experiment come to an end and Earth will live on and god having millions and billions of years to watch knows there will be something new and amazing once the damage is processed. 

Humanity will survive the worst that climate change can deliver, . . .

Given the rate we are adding greenhouse gases (not to mention the many other assaults upon our life supporting biosphere), and the many tipping points passed and the current commitment to reinvigorate rather than phase out fossil fuels production and burning - there’s less and less chance of this planet remaining in any sort of position to continue hosting humans with their many needs, expectations and demands.

On the other hand, maybe 75 percent of the world’s people are wrong and an influential, maybe controlling, supernatural “para world” does not exist, and we are on our own with this climate change situation. . . .

We certainly are!

In what situation are we not on our own?

Lois

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Posted: 06 June 2017 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Martin Moe - 04 June 2017 11:49 AM

Current rapid climate change and ocean acidification is due to the rapid increase of green house gasses, primarily carbon dioxide although other gasses such as methane, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and ozone are also involved. The release of these gasses in exorbitant amounts is due to humanity’s ever increasing use of fossil fuels, continuous diminution of forests, grasslands, and native plants, extensive animal agriculture, ever increasing urban development, control and change of natural water distribution, and many other effects of our increasing populations.

Water vapor isn’t a gas, it’s a vapor and readily precipitates out of the atmosphere as the conditions like temperature and pressure that hold it in equilibrium change. Gases like carbon dioxide and methane don’t.

Humanity will survive the worst that climate change can deliver, we did survive the ice ages of 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago, including times of drought, famine, floods, and also times of stability and environmental richness. Oh, wait according strict Biblical history we weren’t around until about 6,000 years ago. But if that might be just an accounting error, then in pre Biblical times, as a species, we did survive, grow, and evolve for a couple of hundred thousand years through bad times and good times. So baring total and complete catastrophe, an extinction event, we will survive, although our institutions, our cities, our religions, our knowledge, and our science may or may not survive, and what does survive will not be as it was. Maybe that’s what He wants, a complete “do over”. We don’t know, and as far as I know He isn’t saying. Maybe this time our “ark” will be a spaceship.

Where’s your evidence of that?

The current climate change is much different that the cycles of change that brought glacial and interglacial periods which required thousands of years to transition. And the human species came very close to extinction about 74,000 years ago with the population being reduced to as little as 2,000 individuals. The changes we’re forcing now are going to be on the scale of the end Cretaceous or possibly end Permian extinctions depending on how far we take things. It is highly questionable that many large animals will survive such drastic changes in the Earth’s ecosystems.

On the other hand, maybe 75 percent of the world’s people are wrong and an influential, maybe controlling, supernatural “para world” does not exist, and we are on our own with this climate change situation. But what is important, is that we prepare for climate change and that must include those folks that believe that everything that happens is part of God’s “plan”. And if He is in human lives all day, every day, then maybe it is part of His plan to lift us up a notch or two, watch us come to grips with what we have created, and help us to help ourselves resolve this situation, repair what has been broken, and fulfill whatever destiny He has in store for us. We can’t do this unless we are all on the same page and so maybe He wants us to drop our differences, our animosities, our hatreds, and our exclusiveness, our impossible beliefs, and work together and help each other to preserve and maintain the life He created on this bright little speck of blue and green that He is said to have given us in this vast black cosmos of fire and ice.

Going by the record so far that is a very long shot, the divides between Christians and Muslims right now is vast and growing. It’s also been impossible to implement any plans to mitigate or even prepare for climate change due to politics that is often faith based as with the strong fundamentalist support for the US republican party which goes out of its way to deny or at least seriously downplay the risk of climate change. Waiting for “god” to step in is almost guaranteed to bring about the kind of Armageddon that many people of faith seem to be praying for. That is one aspect of religion that must not be discounted, the belief of an ordained end time.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 03:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There is no religious implication simply because there is no god.  If thing continue as they are the believers and the non believers will cease to exist on planet Earth.  Please don’t say Earth will come to an end. No, it will still be here just void of life.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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These are all good comments and interesting opinions. In something like this, speculative opinion (which is mostly what my little essay contains) has to be considered as, I hope, reasonable speculation and opinion based on generally accepted science and observed social and cultural mores, and not a pointed argument for a particular point of view or school of thought. That said, I don’t disagree with the substance of these comments, and I think that this agreement is at least implied within the essay. The essence of my writing is that I sincerely hope that the catastrophic threat of uncontained anthropogenic climate change can be recognized as such and striven to be corrected by the preponderance of human cultures, despite beliefs in a supernatural origin and culmination of the human species.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I doubt religion has such to do with attitudes on climate change. Many Christians support efforts to mitigate climate change and clean up our planet. The evangelicals who oppose climate change action are self-selected conservatives with poor critical thinking skills. Lumping the rest of Christians in with them is bad logic.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378009000648

The religious voices in the US public debate on climate change emphasize the moral dimensions of the issue. Three ethical themes are at the forefront of the debate: the effects of human-induced climate change on nature (creation care; environmental/climate stewardship), the implications for future generations (care for one’s children; intergenerational equity), and the implications for the poor (environmental justice; interregional equity among other things). Many recent initiatives stress the latter. Observing the religious discourses, a robust policy strategy (regarding support in US Christian communities) would have to pay careful attention to the effects of both climate change and climate policy on the poor in developing countries and the United States itself. Religious groups have added to the basis of societal support for both progressive and conservative politicians and the religious framings of climate change could contribute to bipartisan climate-policy efforts.

We need to put aside out religious differences and work together on this issue.Painting all Christians with a broad brush accomplishes nothing.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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DarronS - 07 June 2017 10:08 AM

I doubt religion has such to do with attitudes on climate change. Many Christians support efforts to mitigate climate change and clean up our planet. The evangelicals who oppose climate change action are self-selected conservatives with poor critical thinking skills. Lumping the rest of Christians in with them is bad logic.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378009000648

The religious voices in the US public debate on climate change emphasize the moral dimensions of the issue. Three ethical themes are at the forefront of the debate: the effects of human-induced climate change on nature (creation care; environmental/climate stewardship), the implications for future generations (care for one’s children; intergenerational equity), and the implications for the poor (environmental justice; interregional equity among other things). Many recent initiatives stress the latter. Observing the religious discourses, a robust policy strategy (regarding support in US Christian communities) would have to pay careful attention to the effects of both climate change and climate policy on the poor in developing countries and the United States itself. Religious groups have added to the basis of societal support for both progressive and conservative politicians and the religious framings of climate change could contribute to bipartisan climate-policy efforts.

We need to put aside out religious differences and work together on this issue.Painting all Christians with a broad brush accomplishes nothing.

I think it comes down to moderates of whatever stripe coming together to work for sustainable policies that are opposed by often inflexible fundamentalists. There is a lot more people in the center than there is out on the fringes and that includes evangelicals and far right politicians they often end up supporting.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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DarronS - 07 June 2017 10:08 AM

I doubt religion has such to do with attitudes on climate change. Many Christians support efforts to mitigate climate change and clean up our planet. The evangelicals who oppose climate change action are self-selected conservatives with poor critical thinking skills. Lumping the rest of Christians in with them is bad logic.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378009000648

The religious voices in the US public debate on climate change emphasize the moral dimensions of the issue. Three ethical themes are at the forefront of the debate: the effects of human-induced climate change on nature (creation care; environmental/climate stewardship), the implications for future generations (care for one’s children; intergenerational equity), and the implications for the poor (environmental justice; interregional equity among other things). Many recent initiatives stress the latter. Observing the religious discourses, a robust policy strategy (regarding support in US Christian communities) would have to pay careful attention to the effects of both climate change and climate policy on the poor in developing countries and the United States itself. Religious groups have added to the basis of societal support for both progressive and conservative politicians and the religious framings of climate change could contribute to bipartisan climate-policy efforts.

We need to put aside out religious differences and work together on this issue.Painting all Christians with a broad brush accomplishes nothing.

Sorry, but it’s the hard core conservative Christians complaining the most. Just a little googling shows this. Unfortunately, if non-conservative Christians don’t want a bad rep they themselves need to take on their conservative counterparts or yes, they WILL be lumped in.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I realize it is hard core Christians complain the most. We need to work with the Christians who believe in man-made climate change. They already have their friends’ trust, so they can spread the word more effectively than outsiders who have not established any trust. I know several dozen Christians who understand and accept the consequences of burning fossil fuels. Lumping all Christians together and blaming the many for the sins of the few is counter productive.

Shall the Christians lump us together with atheists who are AGW deniers?

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Posted: 07 June 2017 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It comes down to accepting fundamental science.
then
It comes down to people collectively deciding to do with less - to be content with less.

It depends on a whole new kind of personal awareness, appreciate and sense of stewardship towards our Earth and her story.

Yeah, fat chance on all counts.  long face  So we keeping doing what we do, until our number is up.


Lois, we are on our own in that no “higher power”, or anything else, is going to come swooping in to rescue us from what we have done to our planet.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 07 June 2017 05:58 PM

It comes down to accepting fundamental science.
then
It comes down to people collectively deciding to do with less - to be content with less.

It depends on a whole new kind of personal awareness, appreciate and sense of stewardship towards our Earth and her story.

Yeah, fat chance on all counts.  long face  So we keeping doing what we do, until our number is up.


Lois, we are on our own in that no “higher power”, or anything else, is going to come swooping in to rescue us from what we have done to our planet.

Where there’s life there’s hope, we’re far from done.

And while some of us might not be formal members of any religion or even believe in god, that doesn’t mean that belief in a higher power can’t be a very powerful motivating force in the world.

I think the thread starter and Darron make some important points, there is more than enough room to include people from all walks of life and belief systems in making this world a better and sustainable place to live. There will always be people who want and need religion in their lives based on human history so far, that doesn’t make them the enemies of people who don’t need or want that in their lives.

By finding common ground we make this a better world to live in not worse.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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DougC - 07 June 2017 08:23 PM

Where there’s life there’s hope, we’re far from done.

True enough, there is a fairly long road ahead.

Recently on the radio I heard someone talking about hope as an essential survival strategy, particularly when your situation is hopeless.

It’s one of those concepts that seems worth chewing on.  cheese

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Posted: 07 June 2017 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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DougC - 07 June 2017 08:23 PM

There will always be people who want and need religion in their lives based on human history so far, that doesn’t make them the enemies of people who don’t need or want that in their lives.

It’s not the religions in themselves that are bad, it’s people tacking-on the assumption of absolute truth, or of “knowing” god’s will and crap like that.

Absolutism,
Self-certitude,
Refusal to see and accept physical facts,

those are the down fall of religion, and societies for that matter.

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Posted: 07 June 2017 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 07 June 2017 08:48 PM
DougC - 07 June 2017 08:23 PM

There will always be people who want and need religion in their lives based on human history so far, that doesn’t make them the enemies of people who don’t need or want that in their lives.

It’s not the religions in themselves that are bad, it’s people tacking-on the assumption of absolute truth, or of “knowing” god’s will and crap like that.

Absolutism,
Self-certitude,
Refusal to see and accept physical facts,

those are the down fall of religion, and societies for that matter.

There are over 250 different Christian sects alone and they do not all hold the same beliefs. Some of the core values of Christianity include compassion and moderation, something they also have in common with many other people and things that are applicable to environmentalism and social justice.

Most people aren’t to stop believing in god because some don’t, which means we need to find common ground, not scratch the lines in the sand even deeper.

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Posted: 08 June 2017 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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DougC - 07 June 2017 10:34 PM

Some of the core values of Christianity include compassion and moderation,

Sounds like something from a bygone era.

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