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Thread: Changing the environmental movement

  1. #1 Changing the environmental movement 
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    The article below challenges many of the 200 year old ideas about environmentalism and the conservation movement. You might recognize the lead author, Peter Kareiva, as one of the more influential environmentalist of the past few decades.

    In the article below the authors challenge some of the romantic notions.

    ""To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his seminal essay, "Nature."7 Cities and human development were portrayed as threats to these transcendence-enabling idylls, even though the writers were mostly urban intellectuals. Nathaniel Hawthorne complained bitterly of hearing the railroad whistle from his country home despite depending on modern transport to arrive at his own private Eden"

    Laments the harsh effects on native populations:
    "Muir had sympathized with the oppression of the Winnebago Indians in his home state, but when it came time to empty Yosemite of all except the naturalists and tourists, Muir vigorously backed the expulsion of the Miwok.12 The Yosemite model spread to other national parks, including Yellowstone, where the forced evictions killed 300 Shoshone in one day.13"

    And criticizes the non-scientific, often emotional based underestimations of nature's resilience.
    "Around the Chernobyl nuclear facility, which melted down in 1986, wildlife is thriving, despite the high levels of radiation.29 In the Bikini Atoll, the site of multiple nuclear bomb tests, including the 1954 hydrogen bomb test that boiled the water in the area, the number of coral species has actually increased relative to before the explosions.30 More recently, the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was degraded and consumed by bacteria at a remarkably fast rate.31"

    I'll leave the rest for your reading, but in short it's an appeal to broadening the conservation movement and working with people's interest in mind.

    Breakthrough Journal: Peter Kareiva, Robert Lalasz, and Michelle Marvier : CONSERVATION IN THE ANTHROPOCENE


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    Very interesting, Lynx Fox. Thank you for posting.

    This ties in with what a lot of the more rational environmentalists have been saying for quite some time. Of course, the irrational greenie movement will vehemently disagree, and I predict Iceaura will object most strenuously.

    On the setting up of reserves with humans involved :
    One of my favourite places here in New Zealand is Tiritiri Matangi Island. This was set up as an open sanctuary. It was a bare island, covered with grass and farmed seasonally. Our Department of Conservation took it over, and called for volunteers to plant trees all over. (I was one such volunteer). they also trapped and poisoned alien predators (mainly rats) till they were all gone. Home - Tiritiri Matangi Project

    Once there was sufficient tree cover, they began trapping rare and endangered bird species and introducing them. All this time, the island has been kept open, so that the public can come and walk around it any time they like. And thousands do so each year. The rare and endangered species thrived and this island is now a source from which such species are trapped and transported to other such sanctuaries. Humans and rare birds live together very successfully.

    New Zealand now has a series of such open sanctuaries - some on islands, and some on the mainland behind predator proof fences. Without exception, they are all major conservation successes, with endangered species multiplying in number.

    I could say a lot more, but let's see what other people have to say, first.


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    Lynx Fox, I'm not impressed by the arguments made in the linked to article. Taken at face value the view of the authors seems to be that humans have and will do very little significant or permanent environmental damage, the efforts of conservation organisations are almost entirely misguided and conservationism via the stereotyped version they portray, is anti-human.

    The cherry picked examples of resilience of natural systems don't make abundant evidence of their fragility - the significance of which was downplayed or dismissed - go away. That we will still have forests when clear felled areas are left to recover ought not be used to gloss over how changed those landscapes will be and already are. Even when those areas are left to recover at all and don't represent permanent deforestation. Which issue is barely acknowledged. Even the profound alterations of our planet faces from unmitigated climate change gets spun into '...novel ecosystems catalyzed by human activities'. Sigh.

    The authors don't really do the complex issues and competing demands on our landscapes justice and, in my view have chosen to emphasise the downsides of conservation efforts whilst failing to show how these complex issues can be handled better. More than anything the impression I come away with is that the authors think if people would just stop trying to prevent environmental degradation everything would work out just fine. A vast and growing body of knowledge with the insight and foresight it gives gets misrepresented.

    Just as their examples of amazing environmental recovery and absence of harm are cherry picked so are the examples of conservation gone wrong. The real complexities of the clash of modern economics and existing cultures don't really get explored. Whilst the shortsighted, misguided do-gooder conservationists get the focus and the blame for policy mistakes the authors don't examine the casual and shortsighted exploiters of natural heritage that care as little or less for impacts on indigenous cultures and traditional ownership than extreme conservationism and who don't use and often fiercely resists imposition of best environmental practices. They offer no insights, just platitudes. Not impressed

    Sorry but the linked to article is an anti-environmentalist diatribe in the guise of thoughtful commentary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Sorry but the linked to article is an anti-environmentalist diatribe in the guise of thoughtful commentary.
    That's what I found the most interesting. This guy actually does know what he's talking about, both being a successful scientist and is a member of the US National Academy of Science.

    Peter Kareiva - Google Scholar

    And being the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy, which is one of the largest environmental groups in the US and abroad.

    Conservation Science at The Nature Conservancy-Peter Kareiva-PhD | The Nature Conservancy



    --
    I agree with him to a piont that the environmental movement often get painted a bad brush because it exagerates the problems. Near Denver, for example, Rocky Flats weapons plant, which was villified for its environmental damage, was already a joke when I was there during the early 80's because you could see it's amazing variety of wildlife from the highway--it is now a Nature Reserve. When I lived in the Pacific NorthWest in the 90s, people were going nuts over saving the spotted Owl and making it sound like they only lived in virgin forest, meanwhile the studies and surveys were already showing they did quite well in 2nd ans 3rd cut forest; something else was killing them off--it turned out to be competition with another owl species.

    He correct points out the Gulf spill-- claims of long term doom and gloom where unwarranted. Scientist already know the environment took less than two years for a a similar spill 20 years earlier to recover, as well as the huge natural seepage of oil from the gulf which far exceeds the spill. Idiots, like Jindle with their reef building and other non-scientific 3rd grade engineering probably did more damage to LA than the spill did. Most of the heart rendering vids of people trying to save the oil covered birds only resulted in longer suffering--almost all such birds die.

    There's plenty of scientifically-based concerns about environmental issues without having to resort to extremism or completely anti-people strategies which gets almost no one on their side. As a republican and life long environmentalist, I blame the anti-people tactics of the environmental movement as well as their completely uncompromising approach using the federal government to directly control individuals as one of the reasons they've lost the most natural supporters--republicans who more nature through hunting and fishing than anyone else.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; April 8th, 2012 at 12:07 PM.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Sorry but the linked to article is an anti-environmentalist diatribe in the guise of thoughtful commentary.
    That's because their are big differences between conservationist and environmentalist.

    Conservationist (for the most part) are all about using and consuming natures resources but, using and consuming those resources in a manner that will also allow future generations the ability to enjoy, consume and use the same resources and/or similar resources.

    A conservationist cant continue to hunt bear if someone came, or comes in, and killed/kills them all. They want to hunt bear and they want their children and children's children to be able to hunt bear as well, and thus the heart and backbone of conservation and the conservationist. The key is to utilize every aspect and good mother nature offers but, to do so at a rate, and in a manner, that is sustainable. If an oil spill happens or a nuke goes off, they are only concerning with asking or knowing if these places will recovery so they can go back to being (within a relatively decent time) places humans can utilize/harvest at a sustainable rate. Consumers and businesses do not like to run out of the products they need and use. It is as simple as that.

    Environmentalist tend to want mother natures goods to be left alone and protected. They tend to believe that just about any utilization or change done by mankind that effects, changes or interrupts any living or non living thing on the planet is bad.

    Environmentalist don't want natures store messed with while conservationist want to shop in natures store and keep her products flowing out the front door.
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    Lessee: Chernobyl proves that human civilization as currently organized is even worse for wildlife than high levels of radiation. Rocky Flats underlines the point. We have a New Zealand island that has been made into a refuge for wild animals only by going to great lengths to ban people and their commensals from living there, proving that we don't need to worry about the way we are going about things otherwise. And with the BP spill we see one more verification of the beautiful truth of Challenger logic - obviously we can assume safety from the fact that we partly lucked out when that unprepared for disaster thing the greenies were mewling about so ignorantly somehow actually happened to everyone's great surprise (partly, i.e the oil isn't all gone, the damage to the fishing and other economics hasn't been paid for or fixed, the rig workers are still dead, and last week we read in the papers about lots of sickly dolphins and so forth, but hey - it turned out to be not as bad right away as it could have been, so it was OK all along! Or something like that. )

    I'm not exactly following the argument in the thread, though, unless its apparent claim - that the corporate media's concentration on kooks it can associate with "environmentalism" is not good for real life conservation or proper husbandry of the landscape - is really the point of its being quoted here.

    It appears to be that environmentalists are whiny and prone to complain about stuff, whereas sensible people see that clean air and water, national parks and wildlife refuges for the remnants of the former world, well regulated agricultural and mining ventures, etc, have always created themselves without any whiny environmentalists, and will continue to do so.

    Just like with Chernobyl. That's the example, right? Resilience demonstrated, by removing the people and seeing the animals do better even while being radiation poisoned. Next we can try that approach on mountain top removal for coal mining, hydrofracking under the major aquifers, heavy metal mining next to the waterways of the Canadian Shield, and high rotation pulp lumber logging reseeded with GM popple.

    Nature will always recover, right? All you have to do is remove the people, plant some trees, and it bounces right back, sort of. So no worries.

    There's plenty of scientifically-based concerns about environmental issues without having to resort to extremism or completely anti-people strategies which gets almost no one on their side. As a republican and life long environmentalist, I blame the anti-people tactics of the environmental movement as well as their completely uncompromising approach using the federal government to directly control individuals as one of the reasons they've lost the most natural supporters--republicans who more nature through hunting and fishing than anyone else.
    I think the life long Republicans are responsible for their life's worth of Republican policies and their consequences.

    Granted the environmentalists have often used poorly considered and ineffective arguments, but after all they are in a difficult position - it's not easy to persuade Republican hunters and fishermen to quit doing stupid and evil things. In my State they want to kill the wolves, cormorants, pelicans, eagles, falcons, etc - to get more walleyes and deer, see? They want to machine log Voyageurs and the Boundary Waters on high rotation for aspen leaving a hundred yard "scenery" strip for canoe hippies to go "awwww" at. They want to mine nickel and gold in the northern lake drainages without government interference, chase foxes on snowmobiles for sport in the parks, use lead shot without restriction in waterfowl habitat, clear all dead trees and stop all forest fires for logging profit, and so forth and so on ad infinitum.

    And it's hard to talk them out of these notions because hippies are anti-people who want a nanny state, of course.
    Last edited by iceaura; April 8th, 2012 at 04:00 PM.
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    The way I see it, there are two kinds of environmentalists.

    1. Rational, or science-based environmentalist. Lynx Fox and I are examples.
    2. Irrational, or dogma-based environmentalists. Iceaura is a classic example.

    The latter group treats environmentalism as a kind of religion. That pseudo-religion has central beliefs, or dogmas, to which its members must adhere. The primary such dogma is the belief that anything to do with humanity is the equivalent of poison to the environment. If you do not adhere to this and preach it, you are committing a kind of blasphemy. This irrational system of beliefs carries all the hallmarks of fervent religion.

    When Iceaura takes my Tiritiri Matangi Island example, which proves that human input can create a wonderful new natural environment, and he re-interprets the facts to "prove" that removing humans makes the difference, he is showing his pseudo-religion. For his information, humans have not been removed from that island. To the contrary, more humans visit Tiritiri Matangi today than at any time in history, and there is a permanent human presence in the form of the rangers, and the volunteer workers accommodation. It is human input that has made the island such a wonderful example of conservation in action.

    Greenpeace is an example of an organisation which is irrational. For example : they have this belief that dioxins are a great scourge on the natural environment. Yet all the good scientific data shows that dioxins are generated and present in the environment in trivially tiny amounts.

    Of course, there are situations where human actions are, indeed, very bad for the environment. However, there are numerous examples where the opposite prevails. My favourite example is one that is written up in naturalist Tim Lowe's book - The New Nature - dated to just before the Sydney, Australia, 2000 Olympics. People looking for a site for an Olympic swimming pool found an abandoned, but highly polluted pond. Initially, they thought that draining the pond (which was quite toxic with man-made chemical pollution) would actually help the natural environment and provide them with a great Olympic venue. However, further examination showed that a rare and endangered frog had its home there. In fact, they found that this polluted pond was the largest population of this frog in the world. Why? Because the chemical pollutants were acting as a fungicide, protecting those frogs from fatal chytrid fungus disease.

    Rational environmentalism involves understanding and respecting everything that helps the environment, even when it is human made.
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    Lynx Fox - the examples used of prolific wildlife coming back in damaged areas seem mostly to be ones that are left largely unused after. Whilst pollution and contamination ought not be ignored - without efforts to reduce or prevent them the situation would be worse - given time and the cessation of ongoing pollution much of the impact diminishes. True enough. But when the sources of pollution are not stopped and it's not given time? The examples used are mostly localised ones; it's the wide scale clear felling of forests, swamp drainage or other big scale changes followed by agricultural or development practices which often are not sustainable - that allow little chance of recovery and make for more permanent impacts.

    I expect you are aware that immediately following clearing the soils still retain seeds and spores but after a couple of decades of persistent destruction of those 'weeds' by farmers that bank will be gone. Too often the productivity of such agriculture depended on soils made by those forests and it diminishes. Forest might return if the area is abandoned but it will be a pale shadow of what went before. I don't share the authors' view that a forest is a forest and that nothing significant is lost.

    Loss of habitat is a greater contributor to species loss than pollution and the authors are disingenuous by not addressing the ever growing human demands for land. Protected wilderness areas with usage prohibited or restricted usage can't be a model for all natural area conservation - and it isn't. But it has had it's successes. If only to give some time to look at how other uses can be introduced in ways that aren't destructive.
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    Ken

    You are also pushing a piece of irrational environmental dogma in claiming that habitat loss is the major source of extinctions. I have challenged people to give me examples (mostly, they cannot) of species driven extinct solely due to habitat loss. In almost every example I have been presented with, a short internet search indicates either over-hunting, or introduction of alien animals as the true source of extinction.

    Not that I am suggesting habitat loss is a good thing. It is very bad. Indeed, I spend a lot of my spare time planting native rain forest trees to restore lost habitat. However, on its own, it seems to cause few extinctions.
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    Tiritiri Matangi Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    - - For his information, humans have not been removed from that island.
    Not only were the people who had farmed and lived on that island removed, but their associated plants and animals - right down to their rats - were removed with them. Now only short term visitors and government agents are allowed.

    That was a human inhabited and farmed island for hundreds of years, until 1971. Now it is a wildlife refuge - a corner of New Zealand habitat, that did not bounce back on its own but has had to be painstakingly created and continuously defended. And such habitat is critical - without some carefully preserved habitat, we are probably looking at a few more extinctions of charismatic birds in the near future, no?
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I have challenged people to give me examples (mostly, they cannot) of species driven extinct solely due to habitat loss.
    No one is arguing that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken"
    Protected wilderness areas with usage prohibited or restricted usage can't be a model for all natural area conservation - and it isn't.
    Sure it is. Restricted usage is central and unavoidable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    That was a human inhabited and farmed island for hundreds of years, until 1971. Now it is a wildlife refuge - a corner of New Zealand habitat, that did not bounce back on its own but has had to be painstakingly created and continuously defended. And such habitat is critical - without some carefully preserved habitat, we are probably looking at a few more extinctions of charismatic birds in the near future, no?
    Absolutely. I agree.
    The point is that thousands of humans visiting the island is not causing a problem. In fact, the human activities on that island are making it a better place in terms of the natural ecology.

    I am arguing against the view that a human presence must be destructive. Not so. Humans can be a major cause of environmental preservation and improvement, and often are. My own home is a case in point. I have a house on the side of a hill, with 4 acres of land. I have planted that land in native rain forest trees, and I have set up traps for possums, stoats, and rats. I am killing off the alien predators. Wild bird numbers are increasing year by year. This would not happen without my own efforts. In other words, humans can be, and often are, a major force for making nature a better place.

    Irrational environmentalist philosophy is often directed to the view that humans are always destructive. That is just plain wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    ... the damage to the fishing and other economics hasn't been paid for or fixed....,
    Much of it irrational fear when it happened even given the science we already knew and much of it already on it's way to recovery...such as the Louisiana shrimp harvest last year which exceeded that before the spill. This is not a suggestion that spills are good in any way--but should take a pragmatic approach when weighing their value against the scientifically based risk--not assuming far worse than science shows. Yes some species will take a decade or more...such as mammal with longer generations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    .. the damage to the fishing and other economics hasn't been paid for or fixed...., Much of it irrational fear when it happened even given the science we already knew and much of it already on it's way to recovery.
    And the rest of it not so irrational in the first place and not yet on the way to recovery.

    Not fixed, and not paid for, yet - to repeat.

    So even by the Challenger Logic standard, we haven't been completely lucky yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    but should take a pragmatic approach when weighing their value against the scientifically based risk--not assuming far worse than science shows. Yes some species will take a decade or more...such as mammal with longer generations
    We should also of course not assume far better than the science supports as likely, or depend on good luck to further avoid the worst of consequences possible from our actions). The oil, for one thing, is not gone - it's out of the water layers as far as anyone we are allowed to talk to can find (some of the plumes got away from surveillance - apparently we are to assume our ignorance means they're harmless, wherever they are or aren't).

    And some of the serious damage may be more or less permanent - or even snowball. It's easily possible. That seems to be the case in Prince William Sound, say.

    Meanwhile, from a pragmatic point of view, we should note that once again the libertarian lefty greens were right about the honesty, integrity, preparedness, courage, good faith, capability, and willingness to do what's best, of a major oil drilling company and its governmental cronies. That science we are going to hitch our opinions to, say? Bought up by BP, signed to non-disclosure agreements, up and down the Gulf coast.
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    Oil is biodegradable. In warm, tropical waters, it is more rapidly degradable than in cold waters. It is predictable that the oil spilled in the gulf disaster is already breaking down. Any oil that sinks to the bottom will take longer, since it is colder. But it will all break down within a few years.

    Hydrocarbons, like oil, methane etc., can actually form the basis for very healthy marine ecosystems, where bacteria use the hydrocarbons as energy and carbon source, and higher animals form a food web based on consuming those bacteria.
    Cold seeps: marine ecosystems based on hydrocarbons

    All of which indicates that the oil spills, while bad, are a temporary disaster. Long term, nature recovers.
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    Skeptic, whether it's the primary cause of extinctions or not, habitat loss is a major contributing factor in extinctions and isn't a figment of environmentalists' imaginations. Sure there are multiple factors, including hunting. And the (relatively) recent rapid spread, via humans, of competing species previously not present is a major contributor to extinctions. As for habitat loss, even when species with limited range do survive in reduced habitat areas, the diminished and fragmented range and reduced numbers result in 'extinction debt' - where species are headed for extinction. Even the authors of "Species–area relationships always overestimate extinction rates from habitat loss" in Nature (paywalled but discussed here ), don't claim there is no relationship between habitat loss and extinction rates, just that it probably takes longer than previously thought for habitat loss to translate into extinctions. They still name habitat loss as "...the primary threat to conserving the Earth’s biodiversity..." .
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    We should also of course not assume far better than the science supports as likely, or depend on good luck to further avoid the worst of consequences possible from our actions). The oil, for one thing, is not gone - it's out of the water layers as far as anyone we are allowed to talk to can find
    The vast majority of the oil, most probably all of it was gone within the first year after the spill. The Gulf is uniquely capable of breaking down oil because it often has natural seeps of oil which by some estimates are greater than the BP disaster every year. Detection of natural oil slicks in the NW Gulf of Mexico using MODIS imagery Heck there are entire living communities of life living off those seeps. Inter Research*»*MEPS*»*v292*»*p51-60

    We knew those things before the disaster. BP was wrong, as were the government officials which rubber stamped their plan, so don't go there. On the other hand the evidence of actual damage is far less than irrational fear estimates early in the process. BP should pay for damages based on what actually happened.

    This is also a good branch into ANWR oil drilling--is it worth the symbolic fight? I say symbolic, because there too the science doesn't suggest drilling would be a devastating as many environmentalist might like us to believe. Yes I have mixed feelings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    This is also a good branch into ANWR oil drilling--is it worth the symbolic fight? I say symbolic, because there too the science doesn't suggest drilling would be a devastating as many environmentalist might like us to believe. Yes I have mixed feelings.
    The problem is, we always seem to have to wait until AFTER somebody screw up big time to to act to ensure proper precautions, and plans. In the Arctic, recovery will be a LOT slower, should a major spill occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    habitat loss is a major contributing factor in extinctions and isn't a figment of environmentalists' imaginations.
    Ken, I am happy to agree with that.
    My dispute is with those who try to claim, without supporting evidence, that habitat loss is the major cause of human generated extinctions. It is not.

    The major causes are over-hunting/fishing by men, and the introduction, by men, of alien animals - predators, competitors, and pathogens. I suspect the second factor is more important is today's world, though over hunting was the biggest factor in some of the mass extinctions of the past 45,000 years.

    However, habitat loss does not help, and is contributory.
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    Skeptic, a lot of people who study these problems still rate habitat loss as the single most crucial factor in ongoing species extinctions. Habitat - land - is finite and without restrictions on development through environmental regulations on land use practices - and the parks and reserves that the authors of the linked article criticise - that habitat loss won't stop. I'm not saying that has been all good practice - plenty of examples where it hasn't - but that insatiable appetite for land to develop hasn't diminished and conservationists/environmentalists have provided popular impetus to do something. Even where those who 'open up' new areas to economic uses have genuine concern for the impacts on biodiversity and try to do their best - far from all - that is rarely their highest priority and their economic imperatives will overide such concerns when the debts mount and revenues decline. Those who have sought to make use of remaining 'unused' land resources have not been at the forefront of developing best practice and tend to join forces to oppose any restrictions on how they conduct their business. Without the loud voices galvanising popular opinion, would the result be the better balance the authors urge? I suspect the situation for biodiversity would be worse. The more reasoned policies have to develop out of the to and fro that is politics. Hopefully well informed by science based knowledge.

    As for hunting in the past - hunting impacted large fauna directly but I suspect the greater impact of that was landscape changes that followed as a consequence. The interactions are not always straight forward; I recall a doco on the impacts of wolf numbers increasing in places in North America where they had been absent - due to hunting I suppose - for a long time. An interesting effect was that heavy grazing by herbivores near to watercourses was reduced and the landscape changes from that were notable. I seem to recall that a beneficiary of that was beavers as suitable trees, previously prevented by grazing, could regrow.

    The article was not balanced and offerred no real insights. The authors may well be right and only the biodiversity that can coexist with human land uses will survive, that trying to prevent the anthropocene extinction event is tilting at windmills but if the consequences of our actions are seen as so beyond our control that we fail to make the attempt then I think our future prospects will be diminished. The climate issue that deeply concerns me and that the article redefines and euphemises to sound so positive - catalysed ecosystems! - will accelerate that extinction event and undo much of the hard work of trying to keep a semblance of the ecological diversity that has survived so far but I wouldn't like those efforts to be abandoned. Just failing to try diminishes us in ways that the economic benefits can't compensate for.
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    Habitat loss is the final nail on the coffin for any species that once lived in that area that is now used for homes, businesses, concrete freeways, etc. Hunting them does reduce their numbers and can extinct them if we choose to wipe them all out in one season but wouldn't you think that humans might just want to leave enough of them so they can hunt them again in the future? I don't blame environmentalists that believe we should leave large areas prohibited from humans since even with our best efforts to co-habitate with them still screws it up and creates chaos.
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    Barbi, I sometimes think benign neglect is far from the worst that can happen to areas of high biodiversity. The default situation isn't land left neglected - the default is land exploited. It takes people pushing against the tide to even get a result as good as land left neglected.

    Edit - I think I'll withdraw and edit out some of what I just wrote here about Breakthrough ; the first articles I read were, like the one Lynx Fox linked to for discussion - strong on anti-environmentalist rhetoric and weak on substance IMO. There is some more thoughtful stuff when I looked further. I'm not entirely convinced that they have any great insights that others within conservation/environmentalism haven't already had . I still have some concern that this organisation provides arguments for opposing many of the proposed policies of others to deal with the big environmental issues but without galvanising the kind of support that their 'better' solutions require.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    "We should also of course not assume far better than the science supports as likely, or depend on good luck to further avoid the worst of consequences possible from our actions). The oil, for one thing, is not gone - it's out of the water layers as far as anyone we are allowed to talk to can find"

    The vast majority of the oil, most probably all of it was gone within the first year after the spill.
    There is still, now, significant BP oil residue in some marshes, washing up on some beaches, and therefore floating around here and there in remnants throughout the spill area and anywhere else the Gulf Stream might take it. Quick example from last month's National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...up-on-beaches/

    There is also residue from the solvents etc.

    On the other hand the evidence of actual damage is far less than irrational fear estimates early in the process. BP should pay for damages based on what actually happened
    There was nothing "irrational" about the fear of the obvious possibilities of that spill. We were lucky it didn't get into some of the currents it could have, with slightly different weather and season and blowout location - and as BP's efforts to suppress and confuse research have been successful (hiring so many researchers and thereby getting control of their efforts, hitting the oil with the solvents so quickly and thereby making it invisible at the price of the effects of the solvents themselves, etc) we're not really sure how lucky we were yet.

    Meawhile, BP hasn't paid for much of anything. BP executives were not even brought in for interrogation under oath. No one has been charged with any crime - we have, for example, several dead oil rig workers and false papers about safety devices and procedures filed under oath with the federal government.

    A semi driver with a false DOT log book and false paperwork on brake maintenance who killed a dock employee would be taken to jail in handcuffs. Government workers who signed off on such obviously fraudulent paperwork would be investigated for motive. Triple damages are routine awards in cases of such negligence and malfeasance. BP has yet to pay single damages.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    This is also a good branch into ANWR oil drilling--is it worth the symbolic fight? I say symbolic, because there too the science doesn't suggest drilling would be a devastating as many environmentalist might like us to believe
    Let's postpone it until the Exxon Valdez spill has been cleaned up and the damages actually paid, with interest, by Exxon. That looks like another fifty to a hundred years.
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    There is still, now, significant BP oil residue in some marshes, washing up on some beaches, and therefore floating around here and there in remnants throughout the spill area and anywhere else the Gulf Stream might take it. Quick example from last month's National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...up-on-beaches/
    And your support is tiny balls which in the same article says are often from natural oil seeps. Even if from the spill, it's a tiny fraction of the original which was my claim. Ever been to the gulf coast? Tar balls are everywhere at least from Western Florida to South East Texas (where I've been)--they've been there for millions of years.

    --
    Let's postpone it until the Exxon Valdez spill has been cleaned up and the damages actually paid, with interest, by Exxon. That looks like another fifty to a hundred years.
    Exxon is a completely different situation...it's colder, far more isolated in the sounds and bays than open ocean. much colder which slows down bacteria which might break down the oil, and as far as know has fewer natural seeps or even ecosystems that depend on oil like they do in the Gulf. Thats why we need science, not ignorant statements that don't recognize the significant differences in nature's ability to handle accidents or irrational hysterics that just assume the worse regardless of what science has to say.

    There was nothing "irrational" about the fear of the obvious possibilities of that spill.
    I'll just have to disagree. We already know about the remarkable ability for nature to clean up spills from an earlier even in the bay of Campeche during the 70s--the Gulf's natural ability to break down oil are well known. Now we have another example of natural remarkable ability to take care of these events in the Gulf with major parts of the ecosystem well recovered after only a couple years. Heck we should have a shrimp boat a couple years ago.

    Also man's attempts at clean ups are often worse than letting nature do its thing--Jindle's dredged islands were highly destructive, as were the beach sterilization and steaming operations in Alaska.

    --
    I'm not really worried about the BP culpability that much, other then it shouldn't be a witch hunt which charges them for undocumented damaged not based in science. They did screw up and didn't practice appropriate precautions...on the other hand this is new technology and has certain unavoidable risk. As a separate subject is we don't yet require companies to set up huge insurance and trust based on even what we know--if this had been a fly by night company, they would have just gone bankrupt as hundreds of mining companies did over the past hundred years leaving the public dime to mitigate the damage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And your support is tiny balls which in the same article says are often from natural oil seeps.
    The article specifies that they are all over the place, and definitely from the BP spill.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Even if from the spill,
    They are from the spill. Read the article.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    it's a tiny fraction of the original which was my claim
    The researcher quoted in the article has calculated, as a conservative estimate, that 60% of the oil spilled remains to be accounted for - these tar balls are some of it, the large mats of subsurface tar that have formed in many locations are some of it, the layer of oil now buried in swamps and marshes all over the Gulf shores are some of it, etc.

    Your claim was that "probably all" of the oil has been completely degraded. The researchers' claim, as retailed in that article (a twenty second Google hit, third from the top of the page, with dozens of others telling more or less that same story) is that probably 60% of it remains unaccounted for, and the stuff is making huge mats and numerous tar balls all over the place.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    "Let's postpone it until the Exxon Valdez spill has been cleaned up and the damages actually paid, with interest, by Exxon. That looks like another fifty to a hundred years."

    Exxon is a completely different situation...it's colder, far more isolated in the sounds and bays than open ocean. much colder which slows down bacteria which might break down the oil, and as far as know has fewer natural seeps or even ecosystems that depend on oil like they do in the Gulf.
    The comparison was with ANWR, your topic, the one you brought up.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Now we have another example of natural remarkable ability to take care of these events in the Gulf with major parts of the ecosystem well recovered after only a couple years
    And other major parts more or less permanently fouled. And yes, that is very good news - that only some major parts of the ecosystem are fouled long term. It could have been much worse - the Gulf Stream may have escaped relatively unscathed, by good luck, for one. Or maybe not - we don't really know yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    They did screw up and didn't practice appropriate precautions...on the other hand this is new technology and has certain unavoidable risk.
    Oh, they're avoidable. If we hadn't been lied to by the corporations involved, and let down by the government agencies involved, we might have avoided the whole scene altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    As a separate subject is we don't yet require companies to set up huge insurance and trust based on even what we know
    Of course not. That would destroy the industry - even a giant like BP can't afford to pay the actual costs of its many disasters. Insurance companies would be on the hook for them, and would have to charge accordingly.
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    And other major parts more or less permanently fouled.
    Unscientific, fear mongering speculation. One of the points the environmental scientitist is making.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    And other major parts more or less permanently fouled.

    Unscientific, fear mongering speculation. One of the points the environmental scientitist is making.
    On the contrary, the link posted and many other easily Googled sources supply us with verified, realisitic, observed and observable examples. The marshes now carrying a layer of oil soaked sediment just below the surface layer of organic and recently deposited downwash, the ones the link mentioned as posing a judgment question - is it worth the great damage of dredging to remove the isolated oil, which may do less damage is left in place? - are more or less permanently fouled, just as described. They are major components of the Gulf ecosystem. That is simple, ordinary physical description - unlike the wildass speculation we see in these kinds of posts, without the slightest evidence or sound reasoning:
    The vast majority of the oil, most probably all of it was gone within the first year after the spill.
    And the continual inability of industrial apologists to simply record and recognize simple, physical facts is one of the media features we can expect to see more of, as articles like the OP link continue to be misrepresented as cogent arguments against environmentalism itself, and in favor of the kinds of exploitation and corporate endeavor the environmentalists warn against.
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    That there is strong incentive to avoid and to urgently stop major pollution leaks and spills when they occur is itself down to the conservationists/environmentists. Nature is not so resilient when the contamination is ongoing and unceasing. The pressures on the environment aren't diminishing - they are ongoing and unceasing - and the barriers and restrictions this 'unreasoning' political force has put in place have not all been unreasonable.
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    I agree with Lynx that environmentalist attitudes to oil spills are frequently irrational. There is nothing new about oil in the environment. As Lynx says, it is millions of years old. There are many strains of bacteria that utilise that as an opportunity to gain energy by degrading the oil. We know that, under tropical conditions, bacterial degradation of oil occurs relatively quickly. Most is broken down in months rather than years.

    There have been numerous oil spills from ships over the past 50 years. Apart from the Exxon Valdez (in frigid water) the oil has all disappeared within a few years, with the rate dependent on water temperature. We have a case here in New Zealand right now, with a ship called The Rena, aground on a reef and spilling oil. It is now six months after the grounding, and oil is still spilling out, albeit in very small amounts after that time period. But, apart from the fresh oil, there is no sign of the spillage. All the older oil spillage has 'disappeared'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    This is also a good branch into ANWR oil drilling--is it worth the symbolic fight? I say symbolic, because there too the science doesn't suggest drilling would be a devastating as many environmentalist might like us to believe. Yes I have mixed feelings.
    The problem is, we always seem to have to wait until AFTER somebody screw up big time to to act to ensure proper precautions, and plans. In the Arctic, recovery will be a LOT slower, should a major spill occur.
    Yeah. I don't know how often I hear conservationists talk about how this or that serious tragedy won't happen "again" because we learned from our last experience. And what about the things we haven't experienced yet? Sometimes there isn't a second chance.

    The worst (possibly forseeable?) case that comes to mind for me is the deforestation of Haiti, which lead to lots and lots of top soil eroding and flowing out into the ocean. That's a lot of arable land we've lost forever.

    Deforestation in Haiti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...il/bourne-text


    The environmentalist approach seems to take a different approach, by just being insanely paranoid. Effectively they're trying to foresee every possible contingency before it happens, and don't mind being wrong if it means we erred on the side of caution. Environmentalist campaigns often seem like witch hunts, because they target everything that even looks suspicious, but when you think about it there really is no other way to avoid failures of foresight other than to predict everything.
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    there really is no other way to avoid failures of foresight other than to predict everything.
    You don't have to predict everything. You do have to acknowledge the risks associated with everything - and assign values to those things to work out whether the assessed risk is worth worrying about.

    I really don't worry a lot about losing my car or my house to fire, flood, vandalism, theft, storm damage - but my insurance policies cover all of those things. Because my house and my car are important assets so they're worth insuring regardless of how much I think they are in real danger.

    What about the park on the other side of my back fence? Or the view over it to the sea a few kilometres beyond? I can't "insure" it in the conventional way, but I am concerned that it remains in good condition. And the things that aren't within my immediate line of sight? Maybe on the other side of the world. That's where environmental concerns and personal, political and social values come in.
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    There is a form of insanity shared by extreme environmentalists (as opposed to rational, or science-based environmentalists). It is called "The Precautionary Principle". This principle bars doing anything that might carry even the slightest risk.

    It is like a parent refusing to allow his/her child to go to school for fear of being targeted by a pedophile. The world is full of risks, and we need to carry out reasonable and rational actions to minimise those risks. But total safety is impossible, and to try to achieve it is quite, quite loopy. Risks are a part of life. They are to be managed, not eliminated, because it is usually impossible to eliminate them without causing an even worse situation.
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    Trying to get the nutfringe corporatists to recognize even the most obvious of environmental hazards is a life-long, hard fought, and only occasionally successful battle.

    There is nothing less scientific, less rational, or more wingnut whackjob batshit crazy, than allowing the routine feeding of huge quantities of antibiotics in maintenance doses to livestock across every landscape and watershed of an entire continent - for example.

    Unless it would be the landscape release of crop plants genetically modified to systemically express broad spectrum insect poisons obtained from bacteria and engineered to be readily transferable across huge taxonomic categories.

    Or maybe building nukes on major earthquake faults and tsunami zones and floodplains, basing their estimations of safety on the fact that they had very little information or established theory and therefore no reliable indication of hazard level?

    They will actually argue, straightfaced, that without any solid information about the visible possibilities of their latest techno-wonder the proper assumption is that no hazard exists - that if no one has gathered the necessary info for proof either way, even if in fact the opportunity for such gathering has been refused, only an irrational paranoid could assert the existence of risk. That if no one knows what they're talking about in rigorous detail, we're safe.

    For some reason we allow these fools, these devotees of Ayn Rand and Asperger's sufferers and spiralers around technological moth lights, to pretend to reason and sanity; we take for granted that they are behaving in an acceptable manner for decent and civilized caretakers of the common welfare. We let them disparage their critics as "irrational", as lacking in sober competence and adult comprehension such as they possess. We hand them political power.

    Here's a typical quote:
    There have been numerous oil spills from ships over the past 50 years. Apart from the Exxon Valdez (in frigid water) the oil has all disappeared within a few years, with the rate dependent on water temperature. We have a case here in New Zealand right now, with a ship called The Rena, aground on a reef and spilling oil. It is now six months after the grounding, and oil is still spilling out, albeit in very small amounts after that time period. But, apart from the fresh oil, there is no sign of the spillage. All the older oil spillage has 'disappeared'.
    That is the kind of fantasy world that gets labeled "rational", with the environmentalists then the "irrational".
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    Iceaura

    You need not show us, yet again, that you belong to the irrational environmentalist group. I am sure we all know that already.

    Good, science based environmentalism involves making judgement calls based on good data. Some of the things you oppose are, indeed, to be opposed. Some are not. For example : I agree with you that uncontrolled use of antibiotics is not the way to go. That opposition is based on good science.

    However, when you say : "the landscape release of crop plants genetically modified to systemically express broad spectrum insect poisons obtained from bacteria and engineered to be readily transferable across huge taxonomic categories" as something to be opposed, you are on much shakier ground. I do not know if you are aware that your fellow irrationals (the ones who are fervent about 'organic' food), have been broadcast spraying that same bacterial toxin on crops for the last 30 odd years.

    The clip on oil degradation, which is quoted from my earlier post, is not a fantasy. It is a straightforward declaration of what has happened, and is true. I did not draw a conclusion, of course. I am not supporting the irresponsible discharge of oil into the sea. Just pointing out that it is biodegradable, and the harmful environmental effects are temporary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Good, science based environmentalism involves making judgement calls based on good data. Some of the things you oppose are, indeed, to be opposed. Some are not. For example : I agree with you that uncontrolled use of antibiotics is not the way to go. That opposition is based on good science.

    This is a fine example of where the two movements cross over poorly. The environmentalists are very strongly opposed to all forms of what they see as corporate corruption, or policies that are supported only because somebody is (very likely) being bribed. However, they're hard to take seriously because they also oppose a lot of ridiculous things.

    Conservationists are more likely to get taken seriously if they challenge this kind of corruption, but take caution when throwing their political weight at the corporate system. They're too afraid of being seen as anti-corporate nut jobs.

    However, this is obviously corrupt. If a human being, like myself, enters a doctor's office with a bacterial cold or something else not life threatening, and asks my doctor to prescribe me some antibiotics so I can make a quicker recovery and get back to work, it's like twisting their arm. The medical community is concerned that over-use of antibiotics will breed resistant bacteria, so they try whenever possible to avoid prescribing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Good, science based environmentalism involves making judgement calls based on good data. Some of the things you oppose are, indeed, to be opposed. Some are not. For example : I agree with you that uncontrolled use of antibiotics is not the way to go. That opposition is based on good science.

    This is a fine example of where the two movements cross over poorly. The environmentalists are very strongly opposed to all forms of what they see as corporate corruption, or policies that are supported only because somebody is (very likely) being bribed. However, they're hard to take seriously because they also oppose a lot of ridiculous things.

    Conservationists are more likely to get taken seriously if they challenge this kind of corruption, but take caution when throwing their political weight at the corporate system. They're too afraid of being seen as anti-corporate nut jobs.

    However, this is obviously corrupt. If a human being, like myself, enters a doctor's office with a bacterial cold or something else not life threatening, and asks my doctor to prescribe me some antibiotics so I can make a quicker recovery and get back to work, it's like twisting their arm. The medical community is concerned that over-use of antibiotics will breed resistant bacteria, so they try whenever possible to avoid prescribing it.
    That is not the case here in the U.S. when you go to a doctor, they give you antibiotics when they know its viral.
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    Kojax is correct in pointing out the left leaning nature of irrational environmentalism.

    I would like to emphasize, though, that there are two, not one, environmental movements. Science based environmentalism is a good thing. Dogma based environmentalism does more harm than good. There are people, like most of those who contribute to this forum, who respect science, and whose judgments on environmental matters are based on science. This is a very good thing.

    However, there are also those who have dogma based, or pseudo-religion based beliefs on environmentalism. These guys believe such things as "If it is natural, it is good. If it is man-made, it must be bad." So they spray liver destroying, non biodegradable, and earthworm destroying copper sulfate on crops to control mould, because copper sulfate is 'natural'. And they refuse to use organo-synthetic fungicides that are biodegradable, and harmless to humans and earthworms, because they are not 'natural'. That is dogma at work. Dogma based environmentalism is a very bad thing, and quite destructive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post

    That is not the case here in the U.S. when you go to a doctor, they give you antibiotics when they know its viral.
    Yeah. I'm pretty sure the logic is that, if you suppress the bacteria in a person's body, then their immune system is freed up to dedicate more of its resources to killing off the virus.

    And that's kind of my point. As a human being, I would love to be constantly popping antibiotic pills every day to keep my immune system strong so I don't get sick. Whenever I feel like going without adequate sleep for a week or two, my immune system always gives out and I catch something and have to stop. I could push myself a lot harder if that problem were removed from the equation.

    So you see why I would be irritated that cattle ranchers get to do to their cattle something that I'm not even allowed to do to my own body? Especially since the reason I can't do it (that being concern over the breeding of antibiotic resistant bacteria) applies equally to cattle anyway. It's not unknown for diseases to get passed on from cattle to human, so we're basically taking the same risk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post

    That is not the case here in the U.S. when you go to a doctor, they give you antibiotics when they know its viral.
    Really? I am not aware of that happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post

    That is not the case here in the U.S. when you go to a doctor, they give you antibiotics when they know its viral.
    Really? I am not aware of that happening.
    I have worked for physician's offices for over 20 years so yes they do it alot.
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    Doctors don't have unlimited time for simple consultations. Persuading patients that what they need is some paracetamol and a good lie down and there is no medication to cure a virus like the common cold actually takes quite a while. A lot of doctors just sigh and get out the prescription pad. The world would probably be a better place if there were an easily read leaflet that could be given to every single patient who walks through the door during cough-and-sniffle season.

    In the old days when they didn't have antibiotics, they used to hand out bottles of foul-smelling 'tonic' which people did or didn't take as they saw fit. At least you didn't get resistant bacteria that way.
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    However, when you say : "the landscape release of crop plants genetically modified to systemically express broad spectrum insect poisons obtained from bacteria and engineered to be readily transferable across huge taxonomic categories" as something to be opposed, you are on much shakier ground. I do not know if you are aware that your fellow irrationals (the ones who are fervent about 'organic' food), have been broadcast spraying that same bacterial toxin on crops for the last 30 odd years.
    - - -
    Yeah. I'm pretty sure the logic is that, if you suppress the bacteria in a person's body, then their immune system is freed up to dedicate more of its resources to killing off the virus.
    - - -
    - - - The environmentalists are very strongly opposed to all forms of what they see as corporate corruption, or policies that are supported only because somebody is (very likely) being bribed. However, they're hard to take seriously because they also oppose a lot of ridiculous things.
    As I noted:
    They will actually argue, straightfaced, that without any solid information about the visible possibilities of their latest techno-wonder the proper assumption is that no hazard exists - that if no one has gathered the necessary info for proof either way, even if in fact the opportunity for such gathering has been refused, only an irrational paranoid could assert the existence of risk. That if no one knows what they're talking about in rigorous detail, we're safe.
    So the question is more of a media or public relations one: how did such batshit corner the market on self- reference as "rational"?

    Seriously. There's nothing at all even remotely sensible about the corporatist line. It's not scientific, it's not rational, it's toys in the attic, fruit loops, nitwit, rubber room idiocy. It's not subtle. Its flagrant nonsense is not hidden. It's corporate apologists lining up two examples of a fundamental fuckup - if the cows were genetically engineered to express the antibiotics the comparison with the GM insecticide would be exact - and not even seeing the parallel.

    There is nothing in even the remotest kookfringe of the "environmentalist" movement any goofier than the stuff we get from the respected and soberly considered and self-styled "rational" representatives of corporate endeavor - and them we see in the circles of power and policy, with money and status.

    At least the environmentalist faction recognizes its fringe as fringe, eh? Fringe environmentalists know their status, often get defensive about things. The corporatists seem to think they are stable, soundly reasoning, prudent thinkers. How did that state of affairs come to be?


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    If the environmentalists have to get extreme on their issues then so be it, the money hungry corporate greed is the extreme opposite. Corporations control government by bribes and their lobbyist change laws to suit them. The sheep who are all of us will follow the ones with the most power and money since they make the laws. The environment in the end will change to something we may not find suitable for us but we will adapt or die.
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    I agree there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

    Here is a message for you. Both are wrong!

    Get a sense of balance. Try not to be an extremist environmentalist, and try not to be an extremist corporate.
    Good environmentalism is essential. That is : science based. Not dogma based.
    Good corporate responsibility is also essential.

    If you happen to represent one of the idiotic extremist views, you do not make yourself less idiotic by attacking the opposite extreme. You make yourself rational by adopting good science and good sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I agree there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

    Here is a message for you. Both are wrong!

    Get a sense of balance. Try not to be an extremist environmentalist, and try not to be an extremist corporate.
    Good environmentalism is essential. That is : science based. Not dogma based.
    Good corporate responsibility is also essential.

    If you happen to represent one of the idiotic extremist views, you do not make yourself less idiotic by attacking the opposite extreme. You make yourself rational by adopting good science and good sense.
    Since when have we had good corporate responsiblility that put the environment before profit?
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    Since when have we had good corporate responsiblility that put the environment before profit?
    Isn't that a false dichotomy to some extent. For one thing the extra cost of preventing or mitigating damage often saves the company money--BP, for example, is using better procedures and crew training to reduce the risk of another deep well accident. Also companies will often accept short term cuts to profit for long term gains through their reputation which often can raise long term profits. Often the limitation is the consumer in this regard, on a small fraction of consumers are willing to pay anything extra for various environmentally safe products and often the labeling itself is pseudo-scientific -- organic foods, for example, is often worse than other conventional methods with much higher crop waste, larger acreage and greater water pollution ect.
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    Corporates are very, very frequently involved in actions to "save the environment". Admittedly, mainly as a PR exercise, to raise their profile and increase sales. But so what? If they are doing the right thing for lousy motives, they are still doing the right thing.

    Small example : the giant corporate, Rio Tinto (mining company) is the main financial sponsor of the Kakapo conservation effort in my country. A unique flightless parrot, on the verge of extinction, will probably be saved due to the input of a mining giant. And we are happy to get the money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Since when have we had good corporate responsiblility that put the environment before profit? Isn't that a false dichotomy to some extent. For one thing the extra cost of preventing or mitigating damage often saves the company money--BP, for example, is using better procedures and crew training to reduce the risk of another deep well accident.
    BP is doing nothing it is not forced to do, by environmentalists. BP has a long history of such "accidents", and a well established track record of inadequate and cosmetic response. Until a BP executive is jailed, and the corporation damaged by serious restrictions on its behaviors, we are looking at another series of disasters down the road.

    The fact that responsible behavior by a given industry would save the corporations in it lots of money in the long run is irrelevant unless governmental pressure enforces the short term cost on the entire industry, removing the competitive advantages of cheating.

    Corporates are very, very frequently involved in actions to "save the environment". Admittedly, mainly as a PR exercise, to raise their profile and increase sales. But so what?
    So they are PR actions, usually of little benefit otherwise.

    Individual corporations are not usually capable of defying the economic pressures of their industry, even if their management wanted, personally, to behave better. Entire industries have to be governed, everyone diligently monitored and malefactors persecuted, to get corporations to behave themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    So they are PR actions, usually of little benefit otherwise.
    Wrong.

    I mentioned Kakapo conservation. This is a tricky business, since the animal is so low in fecundity, with stringent requirements before successful reproduction. Very, very difficult to save and very expensive. Guess what? Their numbers are rising, and the money from the corporate sponsor is vital. Without that, add another bird species to the extinct list. The hard work of many volunteers, plus money from sponsor = success.
    Home of the Kakapo Recovery Programme | Kakapo Recovery Programme

    I do not give a damn why corporates give money. If it is for PR, good luck to them! As long as the programs are successful, it is all good. And we know damn well that they can be successful only with financial backing.
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    I do not give a damn why corporates give money.
    Nor do you seem to care how much they give, or for what, in comparison with what they do the other 364 days of the year.

    If the people who oiled the Gulf of Mexico can buy us off by having some other corporation fund a few light charity operations like a desperation kakapo refuge on the other side of the planet, we are selling very cheap.

    Get a sense of balance. Try not to be an extremist environmentalist, and try not to be an extremist corporate.
    The extremist corporate views dominate the media, dominate Congress and state politics, occupy most houses of religion, get many billions in support from the rich. The public discourse is saturated with them.

    The extreme environmentalist views are so little heard anywhere that people here mistake my postings for them. Granted that is very ignorant, but the blindness is natural in the current American current.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Nor do you seem to care how much they give, or for what, in comparison with what they do the other 364 days of the year.
    Perhaps you might care to tell me where I said that.

    I am prepared to verbally attack extremism on all fronts. Corporate and environmental. Of course, extremist corporates are active in lobbying the American government. And of course that is wrong. Giving a small amount of money to a charity will not make it right in my eyes or anyone else's. However, when corporate funding permits vital conservation efforts to take place, there is no way that money will be refused, and it will be put to very good use.

    But no, I do not mistake your views for extremist environmentalists. I correctly identify them as such. The key to extremism in environmentalism is operating on dogma instead of science. That is shown when even good data fails to shake mistaken views.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    I am prepared to verbally attack extremism on all fronts.
    You are unable to recognize it on the corporate front. You parrot it, instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    But no, I do not mistake your views for extremist environmentalists. I correctly identify them as such
    You don't even know what they are. You can't, for example, paraphrase them accurately when attempting to argue against them. You parrot the corporate extremist characterization instead - "If it is natural, it is good. If it is man-made, it must be bad." (and then use copper sulphate as an example).

    Look at this list:
    He correct points out the Gulf spill-- claims of long term doom and gloom where unwarranted. Scientist already know the environment took less than two years for a a similar spill 20 years earlier to recover,
    - - - -
    For his information, humans have not been removed from that island {for the full irony of that one, read the OP quote about the anti-people advocacy of environmentalist John Muir, used as an example of extremism}
    - - - -
    For one thing the extra cost of preventing or mitigating damage often saves the company money--BP, for example, is using better procedures and crew training to reduce the risk of another deep well accident. Also companies will often accept short term cuts to profit for long term gains through their reputation which often can raise long term profits.
    - - - -
    Of course, there are situations where human actions are, indeed, very bad for the environment. However, there are numerous examples where the opposite prevails. My favourite example is - - - the pond (which was quite toxic with man-made chemical pollution) - - - - , they found that this polluted pond was the largest population of this frog in the world. Why? Because the chemical pollutants were acting as a fungicide - - -
    - - - -
    "That is not the case here in the U.S. when you go to a doctor, they give you antibiotics when they know its viral."

    Really? I am not aware of that happening.
    - - - -
    Corporates are very, very frequently involved in actions to "save the environment". - - -
    Small example : the giant corporate, Rio Tinto (mining company) is the main financial sponsor of the Kakapo conservation effort in my country.
    The disconnect from physical reality, the inhabited fantasy world that marks the extremist of all stripes, is the norm among the mainstream anti-environmentalists in the US. Its marks the characteristic and standard presentation of the major media, the entire "side" of the "both sides" Fox framing, the basic approach of respected punditry and conventional wisdom in the public discourse.
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    Iceaura

    You cannot even identify what I said from what others have said.

    Nor am I anti-environmentalist, despite what you might think. I am very much in favour of rational environmentalism, but opposed to irrational. A simple test to see which someone belongs to is to find out their attitude to genetic modification. Irrationals are opposed to all genetic modification. Rational and science based people look at each case individually, and judge it on its merits. Which are you? Tell me which of the many GM changes in assorted crops you approve of. Anyone who rejects them all has marked him/herself as a member of the irrationals.

    I have been a volunteer in several conservation programs, such as Tiritiri Matangi, and I have planted some thousands of rain forest trees on my own property. I have worked with marine reserves in New Zealand. I donate money to causes such as the several conservation zones within predator proof fences, which are becoming popular here in NZ.

    But I am anti-irrational-environmentalism. Good environmental action is responsible and based on good science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Since when have we had good corporate responsiblility that put the environment before profit?
    Isn't that a false dichotomy to some extent. For one thing the extra cost of preventing or mitigating damage often saves the company money--BP, for example, is using better procedures and crew training to reduce the risk of another deep well accident. Also companies will often accept short term cuts to profit for long term gains through their reputation which often can raise long term profits. Often the limitation is the consumer in this regard, on a small fraction of consumers are willing to pay anything extra for various environmentally safe products and often the labeling itself is pseudo-scientific -- organic foods, for example, is often worse than other conventional methods with much higher crop waste, larger acreage and greater water pollution ect.

    The problem is that creating externalities is incredibly profitable. Any expense someone else is paying will show up on the company ledger as though it had achieved the absolute extreme of efficiency (zero cost). But it's only zero from one perspective. From any number of other perspectives, the cost may be very high, indeed much higher than if the company had paid it on their own.

    If, for example, a company decides to dump waste chemicals in a public place like a river because that's cheaper that properly disposing of it (which they would say "more efficient") that will likely lower the land values for homeowners living in the area. On paper, it still looks like the company has achieved the absolute extreme of "efficiency", like I mentioned. However, the cost of cleanup will probably be higher than the cost of proper disposal would have been, so in total there's no way in hell it's more efficient for them to do that. It's just "efficient" for them.

    It only stops when either the public is aware of it enough to oppose it, or laws are in effect that take it deliberately into account. Like refusing to pay for BP's spill cleanup out of Federal Emergency funds. Naturally BP would love to have pushed that cost off onto someone else, but the public was so outraged that none of their pet senators dared try it. In all other situations, the one creating the externalities is able to undercut their competitors who don't (because of the price on the shelf not being the true price), quickly making themselves into the only alternative (and thereby making it seem impossible to do business any other way.)
    Last edited by kojax; May 1st, 2012 at 02:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    You cannot even identify what I said from what others have said.
    The corporatist line runs the same regardless of immediate source - its purveyors use the same phrases, repeat the same canards, change their vocabularies and approaches in synchrony topic by topic and year by year.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Irrationals are opposed to all genetic modification. Rational and science based people look at each case individually, and judge it on its merits. Which are you? Tell me which of the many GM changes in assorted crops you approve of.
    So you slide from "all genetic modification" to "GM changes in assorted crops" - just automatically, out of habit or something, despite the focus on "rationality", you can't help it. That's one of the problems with you guys: a built in lack of integrity that corrupts all discussion. The rest of us have to spend most of our time just trying to dig out of the bs, get things back on topic.

    I am in strong favor of all GM efforts that speed up and systematize ordinary breeding efforts - shortcutting the cross and backcross stuff, finessing the many barriers to cross fertilization, making maximum use of recessive, rare, or fragile code, etc.

    Also the GM efforts to add chemical and drug production capability to single celled organisms or suitable others under industrial control - engineering chemical factories, in essence.

    Also the research efforts, the knockout mice and so forth. Some of the more responsible attempts to boost nutritional or agricultural properties of familiar crops.

    Just off hand, partial list. Most of this I have mentioned, referred to, implied, etc, before, in posts you replied to. Supposedly, you read them. So what gives, with the latest personal attack? Stupidity? Trolling? Some kind of intellectual Tourette's?
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The corporatist line runs the same regardless of immediate source - its purveyors use the same phrases, repeat the same canards, change their vocabularies and approaches in synchrony topic by topic and year by year.
    Actually, I do not believe I have said anything at any stage to label myself corporatist. My attitude to business corporates is simple and balanced. We need free enterprise, which means businesses, including corporates. However, it is important that corporates are held to responsible behaviour, including environmental responsibility. This requires business laws, which need to be vigorously policed.

    On genetic modification, this is one of the key issues which clearly identifies irrational environmentalists. The non science individuals oppose GM across the board. If you support good GM, then I apologise for hinting otherwise. Would you please, to confirm this, tell me of exactly which GM crops you approve of.

    My personal views on environmentalism are that this ideal is needed, but it needs to be governed by good science. Simply opposing anything and everything that is "not natural" is unacceptable to me. A great deal of what we do, that is seen by irrational environmentalists as bad, is needed to support a reasonable standard of living, and human health and welfare. To simply oppose development willy nilly is not rational.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    If you support good GM, then I apologise for hinting otherwise.
    I do, as listed above - a large and varied and significant collection of GM technological advances.

    You did not "hint", you namecalled and accused.
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Would you please, to confirm this, tell me of exactly which GM crops you approve of.
    Already answered. To repeat:
    So you slide from "all genetic modification" to "GM changes in assorted crops" - just automatically, out of habit or something, despite the focus on "rationality", you can't help it. That's one of the problems with you guys: a built in lack of integrity that corrupts all discussion. The rest of us have to spend most of our time just trying to dig out of the bs, get things back on topic.
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    Iceaura

    You have not answered my question.
    Which GM crops do you approve of?

    Insect resistant cotton? Glyphosate resistant canola? Virus resistant papaya? Dozens more.

    Which ones?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    You have not answered my question.
    So? I answered the first couple, marginally relevant as they were. This one is just personal attack, without thread relevance.

    That continual tactic of you and your kind has a limit, and this is it here.

    Return to relevance and the thread topic, so that discussion can continue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Since when have we had good corporate responsiblility that put the environment before profit? Isn't that a false dichotomy to some extent. For one thing the extra cost of preventing or mitigating damage often saves the company money--BP, for example, is using better procedures and crew training to reduce the risk of another deep well accident.
    BP is doing nothing it is not forced to do, by environmentalists. BP has a long history of such "accidents", and a well established track record of inadequate and cosmetic response. Until a BP executive is jailed, and the corporation damaged by serious restrictions on its behaviors, we are looking at another series of disasters down the road.

    The fact that responsible behavior by a given industry would save the corporations in it lots of money in the long run is irrelevant unless governmental pressure enforces the short term cost on the entire industry, removing the competitive advantages of cheating.

    Corporates are very, very frequently involved in actions to "save the environment". Admittedly, mainly as a PR exercise, to raise their profile and increase sales. But so what?
    So they are PR actions, usually of little benefit otherwise.

    Individual corporations are not usually capable of defying the economic pressures of their industry, even if their management wanted, personally, to behave better. Entire industries have to be governed, everyone diligently monitored and malefactors persecuted, to get corporations to behave themselves.
    Corporations and people who have built their wealth without many restrictions/regulations are actually very supportive of more restrictions/regulations, and it is because of them that restrictions/regulations tend to get passed, and often, it is environmentalist who are the extreme puppets and soldiers of big business because they are easily manipulated and stirred up for a perceived "cause".

    It is very profitable for companies and people to eliminate as much of their competition as they can and there is no easier way to do that than by way of regulations and restrictions. Make no mistake about it, it is not environmentalist nor politicians who write regulations and restrictions, it is big companies and big fish within each sector/market that writes their own rules and regulations. They are the "experts"... Yet, you seem to believe that they are governed and ran by outside sources. That is just not how it works. BP runs BP and they, along with equally powerful companies in the industry, write the regulations and rules.. No one else.

    Environmentalist, etc. are nothing more than worker bees to be stirred up in order to help push new rules and regulations that further reduces and restricts small companies from competing with bigger companies, and when these rules and regulations are passed, the environmentalist naively thank their politicians while cussing companies. It is, "win (company), win (politician), ignorant (activist)."

    Accidents, and threats of accidents, lead to nothing more than more opportunity for big companies to corner markets and dwindled the perceived experts in their fields down even further.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalez
    Corporations and people who have built their wealth without many restrictions/regulations are actually very supportive of more restrictions/regulations,
    Not on themselves. They spend tens of millions of dollars to fight them, hire professional anti-regulation lobbyists, threaten to move or lay people off, bribe and threaten politicians, etc.
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    Regulation and deregulation alike are used as tools by megacorps. And yes, quite a many restrictions are targeted toward less politically affluent competitors to shut them down.

    The sad thing is that our own culture is the reason why it works. Too many Americans will look at the credentials of an "expert", and pay no attention whatsoever to where that expert is getting his/her paycheck. Yet we know that in a lot of these fields it's hard to get work. And... easy to lose work if your employer doesn't think you're doing a good job of being "objective" (about how wonderful their operation is).

    So we allow our legislators to rely on these corporations and their experts for advice because they've got so many on their payroll and it makes them sound like they're a reliable source of information.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Too many Americans will look at the credentials of an "expert", and pay no attention whatsoever to where that expert is getting his/her paycheck.
    Unfortunately, the experts are usually those who work in the field and actually know what they are talking about. Ignoring the advice of experts allows you to do stupid stuff like putting a forest of solar cells in a country which hardly gets any sun.
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    (nods) The same inherently broadbush wasteful spending which applied huge solar incentives people are exploiting around Seattle when an intelligent approach is only give tax dollars away where the sun shines and if there need to be a compromise, do something else for the folks in the Pacific NW (on west side of Cascades).
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; May 12th, 2012 at 02:54 AM.
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    Unfortunately, the experts are usually those who work in the field and actually know what they are talking about.
    So it's often said. But people who say that never seem to want to take the advice of long time community organizers on community organization, long time physicians on abortion, long time generals on the wisdom of launching wars.

    And on the other hand, relying on people who "work in the field" for one's expert advice will buy you lemons for used cars, dogs for stocks, cynical manipulations for politics, wastelands wherever mineral wealth might lie, degraded landscapes and cardboard "food" where was fertile farming, blasted fisheries and ruined forests and depleted aquifers and rivers that catch fire in the summertime.

    Meanwhile, there are a lot of fields that don't have experts, fields in which the level of expertise is too low to be useful, fields in which the experts cannot tell you how they do what they do (particularly dangerous, because when put on the spot they will instead give you conventional wisdom that they were taught years ago that they themselves do not follow), fields in which identifying expertise itself requires expertise you don't have.

    And supposing one has navigated all that: the relevance and reliability of the expertise itself remains an issue. The experts are little help with that.
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    Very cynical, Iceaura.

    Fortunately it is also wrong. Experts exist in a wide range of fields, and most are honest and non corrupt, and give excellent advice. There is an obvious minority who are pretenders, or dishonest. A sufficient number to fuel cynicism, but still a minority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Very cynical, Iceaura.

    Fortunately it is also wrong. Experts exist in a wide range of fields, and most are honest and non corrupt, and give excellent advice. There is an obvious minority who are pretenders, or dishonest. A sufficient number to fuel cynicism, but still a minority.
    Lack of objectivity doesn't necessarily mean the person outright lies. It could just be a matter of them seeing what they want to see. An expert working for say, Exxon Mobile, who has staked their whole career on Exxon Mobile and on the company being a good, honest and beneficial company. That expert is going to need a lot of convincing in order to see a flaw in how their company proceeds, and very little convincing to see greatness in it.

    It's like the classic case of a soccer mom who is refereeing her own kid's soccer game. She isn't going to make obviously bad calls, like ignoring if she see her kid walk up and punches another kid, but if there's a fight and it's unclear who started it....... she's not going to assume her kid did it.

    Also, if Exxon Mobile has 10 experts and only one of them agrees with their plan, that one will get all the press, and the other 9 will be asked not to comment to the press. Given that people on all levels of a company that large are required to sign non-disclosure agreements, they can gag all 10 of them if they need to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Very cynical, Iceaura.

    Fortunately it is also wrong. Experts exist in a wide range of fields, and most are honest and non corrupt, and give excellent advice. There is an obvious minority who are pretenders, or dishonest. A sufficient number to fuel cynicism, but still a minority.
    Lack of objectivity doesn't necessarily mean the person outright lies. It could just be a matter of them seeing what they want to see. An expert working for say, Exxon Mobile, who has staked their whole career on Exxon Mobile and on the company being a good, honest and beneficial company. That expert is going to need a lot of convincing in order to see a flaw in how their company proceeds, and very little convincing to see greatness in it.

    It's like the classic case of a soccer mom who is refereeing her own kid's soccer game. She isn't going to make obviously bad calls, like ignoring if she see her kid walk up and punches another kid, but if there's a fight and it's unclear who started it....... she's not going to assume her kid did it.

    Also, if Exxon Mobile has 10 experts and only one of them agrees with their plan, that one will get all the press, and the other 9 will be asked not to comment to the press. Given that people on all levels of a company that large are required to sign non-disclosure agreements, they can gag all 10 of them if they need to.
    These examples and many more apply to the majority of the whole Human population. Many people believe they are honest since most of their life they convince themselves that their actions or beliefs are justfied. If they do manage to see in themselves that their actions or beliefs were not based in being good and being honest with themselves, it becomes a PAINFUL process of accepting responsibility for one's actions. Most people will not want to go through that process and will cling to their false beliefs in order to avoid it.
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    Many people believe they are honest since most of their life they convince themselves that their actions or beliefs are justfied.
    And then there's the other kind of justification. We all believe that we're normal or 'right' in our thinking.

    So if we're dishonest, we sincerely believe that others who claim to behave or think differently are being just as dishonest as we are when we say similar 'conventional' things. If we are dishonest, we believe that stating that dishonesty is a bad thing is just mouthing platitudes.

    Even when it comes to overtly criminal behaviour, a lot of murderers, rapists and thieves think that their criminal impulses are the same as everyone else's. They're just the ones who are honest enough to act on them. They really, quite honestly, do not understand that others just don't have a desire or impulse to violence or rape or stealing things that don't belong to them.

    Getting back to the OP, some people who oppose the environmental movement sincerely believe that their view is much the same as everyone else's. Any person who espouses pro-environment views is probably lying or is gullible enough to believe others' lies or is 'in it for the money'. The idea that those ideas are honestly held and soundly based - to the extent of being just as imperfect or incomplete as any other set of ideas - is quite foreign and is therefore not to be trusted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Many people believe they are honest since most of their life they convince themselves that their actions or beliefs are justfied.
    And then there's the other kind of justification. We all believe that we're normal or 'right' in our thinking.

    So if we're dishonest, we sincerely believe that others who claim to behave or think differently are being just as dishonest as we are when we say similar 'conventional' things. If we are dishonest, we believe that stating that dishonesty is a bad thing is just mouthing platitudes.

    Even when it comes to overtly criminal behaviour, a lot of murderers, rapists and thieves think that their criminal impulses are the same as everyone else's. They're just the ones who are honest enough to act on them. They really, quite honestly, do not understand that others just don't have a desire or impulse to violence or rape or stealing things that don't belong to them.

    Getting back to the OP, some people who oppose the environmental movement sincerely believe that their view is much the same as everyone else's. Any person who espouses pro-environment views is probably lying or is gullible enough to believe others' lies or is 'in it for the money'. The idea that those ideas are honestly held and soundly based - to the extent of being just as imperfect or incomplete as any other set of ideas - is quite foreign and is therefore not to be trusted.
    The experts explain this by the "mirror effect" which represent your examples above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Many people believe they are honest since most of their life they convince themselves that their actions or beliefs are justfied.
    And then there's the other kind of justification. We all believe that we're normal or 'right' in our thinking.

    So if we're dishonest, we sincerely believe that others who claim to behave or think differently are being just as dishonest as we are when we say similar 'conventional' things. If we are dishonest, we believe that stating that dishonesty is a bad thing is just mouthing platitudes.

    Even when it comes to overtly criminal behaviour, a lot of murderers, rapists and thieves think that their criminal impulses are the same as everyone else's. They're just the ones who are honest enough to act on them. They really, quite honestly, do not understand that others just don't have a desire or impulse to violence or rape or stealing things that don't belong to them.

    Getting back to the OP, some people who oppose the environmental movement sincerely believe that their view is much the same as everyone else's. Any person who espouses pro-environment views is probably lying or is gullible enough to believe others' lies or is 'in it for the money'. The idea that those ideas are honestly held and soundly based - to the extent of being just as imperfect or incomplete as any other set of ideas - is quite foreign and is therefore not to be trusted.
    What you seem to be saying is that someone who opposes an idea that is labeled as "environmental" is like a common criminal who knows that what they are doing is wrong, but thinks everybody else is equally as bad. Right?
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Getting back to the OP, some people who oppose the environmental movement sincerely believe that their view is much the same as everyone else's. Any person who espouses pro-environment views is probably lying or is gullible enough to believe others' lies or is 'in it for the money'. The idea that those ideas are honestly held and soundly based - to the extent of being just as imperfect or incomplete as any other set of ideas - is quite foreign and is therefore not to be trusted.
    I oppose some things that are claimed to be for the environment. Such as idiots who are opposing nuclear power. Or opposing GM.

    However, the reason I oppose those things is that they are based on unscientific dogma, and are essentially irrational. I support rational and responsible environmental actions. For example : one of my personal projects right now is setting up a local Land Care Group. This is a small network of people in our local district who are dedicated to covering our local geography with traps and poison to eliminate possums, stoats and rats, thereby permitting our native birds to thrive. We have dogmatic and idiotic people opposing our actions on the grounds that "possums are lovely, and poison is evil."

    I will always oppose irrational environmentalism. It must be solidly based in good science.
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    Possums are lovely ??!!? In what universe?

    I s'pose they look cute in photos, bu- bu- but..... they're horrible. Especially when they take up residence in your roof. Even out in parkland they can scare the hell out of you when a big bull possum presumes you're invading his territory. Plenty of innocent fools have been badly injured by trying to pet one of these cute creatures. And they're not even native to New Zealand. I presume you're not talking about those cute and tiny ringtails - now, they are gorgeous! You're talking about the ones that were introduced to NZ for the fur trade in the same way as koalas were introduced to Kangaroo Island here. Not native and quite capable of destroying the whole habitat they've been dumped in and abandoned to their own devices once the fur trade faded away.

    My own feeling about such people is that they're seduced by children's books and TV documentaries into a vague feeling that 'nature' is 'lovely'. Nature may not be all filth and violence, but it's not a neat and tidy holiday camp either.

    As for stoats and rats. Good grief.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Adelady.

    I could not have said it better myself.
    I am a long time killer of possums. I set both poison and set Timms traps. I have killed and buried in excess of 300 possums, and plan to keep doing it.

    I have no idea how many stoats and rats I have killed. The technique with them is poison, and they die and rot where I cannot see them. I hope it is lots!
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    Killing possums. You'll be at it for the rest of your life I suspect.

    Here of course they're native. So if they set up home in your roof, you have to get the council animal control people in to trap them - and they have to be released in the same area! You think you've blocked every possible gap in your roof and removed every bit of foliage they might use for access onto the roof - and they come back! Apparently they can 'dislocate' their shoulder joints and slip, slide or slither through tiny holes much, much smaller than you imagine they can.

    I'm a bit dark on the little horrors. Scared the %$#@ out of me one night when I went to bed. I hadn't even turned the light on - and the wall hissed at me! And again! I'd moved and the vile, smelly invader in the roof was apparently hanging his head into the wall cavity so he could see shadows through the ventilator brick and scare off any intruders into his domain. He got fed up with that after a while and went back to charging around the ceiling with the rest of the herd of bison he had up there for company.

    Not my favourite cute furry creature.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Modern air rifles can be pumped up to enough hitting capacity to kill a raccoon, without alerting the neighbors.

    That's how some people I might have known once handled their grey squirrel problem - set out some bait on the porch railing, opened the living room window a crack in line with the bait, kept an air rifle handy while watching TV.
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    You know, the other problem you have to worry about when using corporately hired experts is the problem of "cherry picked intel". Their bosses can gag them at will.

    Think about the Iraq WMD debacle. All these little bits of intel that convinced the administration, and which the administration used to convince everyone else that Iraq had a WMD program running. The CIA analysts' incompetentce/competence may not have been the real issue here if the data was getting cherry picked, because probably not all the analysts even agreed. But those who may have disagreed were not at liberty to say so directly the public. So we public people would be hearing GW tell us what (some of) his experts had to say, and we were forced to believe him because we didn't have a CIA of our own to consult.

    Private corporations have the same power over their experts, because all of them are required to sign non-disclosure agreements. An expert might break the agreement in an extreme case of clear dishonesty, but it has to be extreme enough to count as "whistle blowing" or they'll be subject to litigation.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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