Some of you might be reading this and thinking "What is this guy doing here? He should be sitting at home, watching Fox News or out driving a big SUV for all his concern he shows for the environment."
Aitrus wrote:I think that Mother Nature's a big girl, fully capable of taking care of herself.
Corwen wrote:Aitrus wrote:I think that Mother Nature's a big girl, fully capable of taking care of herself.
Apologies for being slow to reply, I only just noticed this thread.
I think you have chosen some very skewed examples to promote a view which I think (if I understand you correctly and you express yourself rather ambiguously) is total rubbish.
We have already caused untold damage to Mother Nature, tens of thousands of species driven to extinction, we have changed the climate, the oceans and thus sea-birds, fish, turtles etc are full of plastic (been to the beach lately?). We have drained wetlands, replaced ancient forest with clearcut or timber monocultures, I could go on. Yet you think Nature is big enough to take care of itself? Where do you live that you haven't noticed? We have f*cked this planet over to a vast degree and if we carry on doing that there won't be any nature left soon. I live in one of the least populated areas in Southern England and still there is hardly a scrap of genuinely wild, unhumanised landscape for miles. Even the nearby New Forest, touted as a wildlife sanctuary, is a heavily man made landscape. Human actions tend to make complex and interrelated systems into simple isolated ones. Simple isolated ecosystems are much more vulnerable to destruction, by climatic changes, by disease or random fluctuation.
Therefore what we need to manage is our own behaviour, and work hard to conserve what is left of untouched land in it original complexity, and intervene where possible to protect species on the edge and to join small pockets of wild land into larger more wildlife friendly areas. Captive breed and release can save species and have positive effects on ecosystems, see the recent release of beavers in Scotland for an example. Yet you would presumably see all this as unnecessary management?
I certainly don't agree that Greenpeace and similar groups are in any way self serving. If it wasn't for groups like Greenpeace there would be no whales left in the sea, and untrammelled capitalism would have destroyed what is left of the natural world at an even greater rate than it has.
Aitrus wrote:Thanks for taking the time to write that out, Corwen. It's very much appreciated.
However, your arguments, while chock full of emotion, are lacking in logic. Weren't the ancient druids the local sages and judges for their people, using wisdom and thought to lead and advise? Let us do the same.
Aitrus wrote:You say that I have chosen very skewed examples to promote a view that you think is rubbish. My examples did nothing more than show my belief that there are those who believe the world is in trouble, and in trying to fix those "problems" only succeede in making it worse by causing other problems. I also showed that Earth is constantly changing, and we humans are a part of that change. We are not outside the Circle, but a part of it. Everything we do is part of Earth's natural evolution.
Your arguments, however, paint humans as the Bad Guys, doing Evil things to Mother Earth, and we should be ashamed of ourselves. You suggest that we are wrong to be at the top of the food chain. We are no more evil than the other animals on this planet that change their environment to suit themselves. Such as beavers, for example, or gorillas.
Aitrus wrote:You asked where I live to have missed the "damage that humanity has caused". I was born and raised in central Alaska, have lived in Florida's Panahandle, have visited all over the US, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Mexico, Canada, and Hawaii. I now live in Eastern Washington state, near Idaho and Canada.
In all my travels I have seen one thing constantly over and over again: humans that are both aware and unaware of their surroundings, and nature's adapting to humanity's presence. I see those that are doing their best to help, and doing it the right way. Recycling programs, planting trees, etc. I see those that trash the wilderness when the go camping and hiking. I also see those that go overboard to make up for the things that "evil humans" have done by working to enact legislation that hurts individual freedoms (which, being English, you may not understand) or vandalizing private property (PETA and Greenpeace).
Aitrus wrote:It may be that since you live in Southern England, a small place that's been populated by lots of humans for thousands of years, you must be seeing the effect of all that living in such a small area. You think that there's hardly any wilderness left when in fact the vast majority of Earth's landmass is unpopulated. The next time you take a plane trip, look outside the window. Outside the metropolitan areas there are vast amounts of land which don't have roads, powerlines, people, etc. True, there may be small towns or the odd country road or powerline, but it is no way built-up. Perhaps this is a rare ocurrence in Europe, but in the West it is commonplace. And many places are still wild in the sense that you would be a fool to go hiking unarmed and unprepared. Almost all of Alaska, Canada and South America are that way. Here in America we hear reports all the time of people getting mauled, getting lost, or dying of hypothermia due to being unprepared.
Aitrus wrote:I agree with you that we need to manage our own behavior. My stance, however, is that we need to manage ourselves, not the environment. We have proven that we are incapable of fixing one thing without harming another. We can't manage anything in it's "original complexity" because there is not "original complexity". Earth has been changing for billions of years, so who are we to demand that She stay static in Her current phase? We humans are simply changing one change of clothing to another. Nothing we do is "unnatural" because we are a product of Earth, all the things we use to build with come from Earth. In time, they will crumble and go back to where they came from, but for now their form and use serves us.
Blaming everything on capitalism is just looking for a scapegoat. If it weren't for capitalists we would still be living in the Dark Ages and dreading plague every year. Where were the likes of Greenpeace and PETA back in the Renissance or the beginnings of the Industrial Age, the times when we humans were beginning to really take off technologically?
Aitrus wrote:I say again that Mother Nature is a big girl, fully capable of taking care of her problems herself. She gave the Dinosaurs a good run, then took it away. She did the same with the dodo bird, which was well on it's way to excinction when we first encountered it, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of species that came and went before we were ever here. She let humans advance after the thaw of the Ice Age. When she gets tired of our antics, she'll get rid of us the same way. It's all part of the Circle. Change is part of who Earth is, and trying to prevent that change is trying to be outside that Circle. By trying to manage Her, we only show that we are ignorant of Her and Her ways.
Moderation is the key. If we are moderate in our living, and moderate in our actions, then the balance is maintained. Too much industrialization is just as bad as too much activism, and we have lots of both these days.
Corwen wrote:Because of capitalism half the world still lives in the Dark Ages fearing the plague, the only difference is that that half also has to work to make our lives easier, plus the wealthy half is changing their weather making their lives even harder. Remember half the world's population still lives on less than $2 a day. I know that the US news media s very skewed on its coverage of global events, but there is no reason for such ignorance of the true state of human life on this planet in this information age.
Aitrus wrote:Thanks Corwen again for letting me know your thoughts.
You have your opinions based on your upbringing, education, life experiences and social circles, as do I. I think it's clear that while we're not on polar extremes of the debate, we're certainly not close. As with most things, the truth is probably someplace near the middle.
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. There's no way either one of us can convince the other, so we'll just have to let it be.
It's been good chatting with you.
I come from a left wing English radical tradition which traces its roots back to the Diggers and beyond, without a clear parallel in the US...
Avariel wrote:Now Corwen makes a point that I don't think you can ignore; you can say that Mother Nature can "come back" from the abuse being whalloped on Her, but in reality we don't really know that. To our knowledge, there's never been a civilization that's advanced THIS far on the technological scale and thus required THIS MUCH natural resource to maintain that level of advancement (or even advance beyond that) so we don't know if the Earth will bounce back like a 20 year old pregnant woman after her first child. And to be honest, it seems irresponsible to me to, for instance, go along with the mindset that "We can tear down that forest, put up a strip mall, and eventually thousands of years from now once all humans are gone it'll fall apart and be reclaimed by another forest, so it all works out in the end."
Aylyn wrote:And I can tell you one thing Avariel: as long as there is a single bacterium alive, life will eventually come back. Whether we shoud drive it that far is another matter.
Aelfarh wrote:Aylyn wrote:And I can tell you one thing Avariel: as long as there is a single bacterium alive, life will eventually come back. Whether we shoud drive it that far is another matter.
I think that was the point I was making, life has survive biggest and more hard natural disasters (ice ages, meteor clashes, etc.) than this new natural disaster called humanity, so I pretty sure that life will go on, but there's no doubt either that we are erasing thousands of species and putting dangerously our own at risk if we continue with our same behaviour.
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