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Old 02-08-2004, 03:58 PM   #16
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I do not care if we cause the global warming. We do not have the right the destroy nature anyway.
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Old 02-08-2004, 05:09 PM   #17
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Sometimes I wish people would save all the energy they use preaching about how much damage we are causing to the environment and use that energy to take a long hard look at their own lives and see how they, as one individual, can help improve the situation. We don't need to drive yacht sized vehicles, we don't need to dump toxic fertilizer on our lawns, we don't need to water our lawns twice a day even during the rain, we don't need to clear cut the local woodlands to build Truman-Show-esque neighborhoods when there are perfectly usable buildings already standing, we don't need water toys that cause all manner of noise, air, and water pollution...I could go on and on....
Now you've crossed the line to personal responsibility..... Why, you ask? It is always easier to point to the government or corporation than to one's own life.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:41 PM   #18
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Well that's cute. Personal responsibility is important, but we can only control our own lives, we cannot control - without government intervention - the actions of large organisations who by their very nature do things on a much larger scale.

What would you prefer? Every citizen goes green and the polluting industries get to continue polluting. Don't see it happening, as long as people need to buy their products to function in society.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:43 PM   #19
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Mind you, I would love to see SUVs off the roads. But banning them? Well now, that would be government intervention wouldn't it.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:44 PM   #20
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What would you prefer? Every citizen goes green and the polluting industries get to continue polluting. Don't see it happening, as long as people need to buy their products to function in society.
Industry follows what people want. Society is not a victim.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:48 PM   #21
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Ah yes. Look in fairness, I can see your argument, honestly I can. I understand what you are saying. But this just sounds like laizze faire for the sake of it.

The market does not always respond to what people 'want'. Sometimes the market tells people what they want.

OK you don't need an SUV, that's a matter of personal choice. But try opting out of fossil fuel use (no electricity, no petrol for the car) and see how far you get. On that level, either it will be driven by action of the government kind, or it will not happen.

I'd love to see people choose en masse to do things differently... but that falls into the category of 'wouldn't it be nice', in my view.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:49 PM   #22
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I don't think we need SUVs either, but you will not get very far if individuals change their ways while industries continue to pollute. Your lungs will get dirtier and dirtier, long after you sell your SUV.
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Old 02-08-2004, 09:53 PM   #23
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Better public transport would be nice, but as long as people need cars to function normally (get to your job, at the very least), expect the pollution to go on.

See, I'm sorry, but a bunch of people can't just go out and build a monorail or a bus system. Only a government can do that (or pay a business to do it, but if it paid for itself we'd have it already, right?).
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville
Well that's cute. Personal responsibility is important, but we can only control our own lives, we cannot control - without government intervention - the actions of large organisations who by their very nature do things on a much larger scale.

What would you prefer? Every citizen goes green and the polluting industries get to continue polluting. Don't see it happening, as long as people need to buy their products to function in society.
You've misinterpreted my point. I did not mean to say that it is MORE important to deal with pollution on an individual basis than try and change regulations and policies. All I meant was that I've heard people complain endlessly about how much we're destroying earth, and then I watch them drive off in an SUV to their summer home with five jet skis. We should practice what we preach.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:07 PM   #25
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Originally posted by Kieran McConville
Better public transport would be nice, but as long as people need cars to function normally (get to your job, at the very least), expect the pollution to go on.
Yeah, but people don't need three or four cars per family. And we don't need cars the size of small busses.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:29 PM   #26
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regardless of whether or not global warming is happening due to human behavior(and for the record I think that it is). We DO know that smog is unhealthy to breath, rivers are becoming polluted and unusuable, we're polluting the environment with all sorts of carcinogens, etc. For those reasons alone we should try to change what we're doing regardless of whether or not it is warming the earth.
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Old 02-08-2004, 11:54 PM   #27
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Wow, some interesting points have been made thus far, environmental issues are concerns that are very dear to my heart- having studied an environmental major at uni and writing many articles on local environmental issues for a local publication, I just love seeing threads like this.

One thing that I have learnt and for the Australians in the thread (they will know who I am talking about here) I would like to quote Mr Paul Kelly- "From little things, big things grow". Whilst that line is in relation to the plight of Aboriginal land rights in Australia, I also think that it is an excellent metaphor in relation to environmental issues. Education is the primary goal, as I see it when it comes to addressing concerns, whether they be about global warming, recycling or buying free range eggs etc, etc. By simply educating people, making them aware that maybe instead of buying a TDK brand of blank tape, because they have been quite substantial contributors in polluting numerous rivers in Germany and buying an alternative brand who have an ethical and environmental approach toward manufacturing, by informing people, to take one little step that is pro-active, well that can lead to much bigger steps and it can and does happen, however education is the driving force.

Another thing that I learnt, which has always stayed with me from when I was at uni, was that in order for the educators to educate the masses, one must become a policy maker. It is all very well to tie oneself to a tree or follow a uranium laden ship in a dinghy to make a point, however most of the time these stunts just dont work. Those who are actively concerned about such issues need to seek vlunteer jobs or careers in areas where environmental policies are being formed. Whilst being a member of a local council action group is not going to be a setting for making agendas to the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, however it is in keeping with the analogy of "from little things, big things grow".

I honestly believe that if those who are concerned (and I am not an idealist, I know that there a millions of people who simply dont give a shit) but for those who do give a shit, if they just actively did a few small things, such as ethical buying of products and services, recycled dilligently (and believe me, if you do this propperly where you compost all food scraps etc., the average family should only have one bag of rubbish a week) and thought about transport and the alternatives on offer more closely the world would be much better off, well the human race would be. The earth is a very stoic entity, it has survived many catastrophes and whilst global warming has happened in its geological history before, I whole heartedly believe that the human species is exacerbating the rate and really at the same time all that we are doing is fowling the nest in which we live.

It is very easy to become complacent about environmental issues, especially when you dont see them impacting your life inherently, however these issues are very real and I know that if you care that even one person doing something that is pro-active, that it is a positive step in the right direction
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:10 AM   #28
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All good points. Livluvandbootlegmusic, sorry for any confusion... haha... in fact I was replying to about three different people who were pursuing a similar strand of thought. You might have been one, but mainly it was U2bama and NBcrusader.

I heartily agree that baby steps are important. And four cars to a family is surely excessive.

Sometimes the 'chaining oneself to a tree' part is important, sometimes it's been that do-or-die (think the Franklin Dam case in Tasmania), but if that's the catalyst it takes before the serious policy room stuff will happen, then so be it.

So mostly, I agree.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:12 PM   #29
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Quote:
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By simply educating people, making them aware that maybe instead of buying a TDK brand of blank tape, because they have been quite substantial contributors in polluting numerous rivers in Germany and buying an alternative brand who have an ethical and environmental approach toward manufacturing, by informing people, to take one little step that is pro-active, well that can lead to much bigger steps and it can and does happen, however education is the driving force.
I agree. And I do want to know which companies have ethical environmental practices, so I can support them. Is there a website or book that lists them anywhere?

I do what I can for the environment. The family car is a model that gets 37mpg, we recycle and pick up litter when we're out. We also buy organic products when we can. Little things, yes, but if everybody did them, there would be a very visible difference.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:21 AM   #30
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The idea that nothing we humans do is going to affect the weather sounds a bit naive to me. We have more than enough nukes to destroy this planet more than once. We have killed numerous species and we have created new ones. We have changed, destroyed and created complete ecosystems. There isn't a place on this planet where the effects of human beings can't be noticed. Affecting the weather isn't realy such a big step, ever heard of a nuclear winter?

Global warming is a fact, we have known for quite some time that the composition of the atmosphere is responsible for the nice temperature we have now. We also know that we have been adding these greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial revolution (enhanced global warming).

The issue of cow farts is interesting but imo used too often as an excuse to do nothing. Let's not forget that we are responsible for the composition of cow farts because we're the ones who keep putting them on diets which make these animals produce, produce and produce some more. This is why cows continuously have diarrhoea producing extra methane. Ever noticed herbivorous animals in the wild? Nice dry and compact excrements they have, nothing like cowshit at all. That's why I think the issues of dinosaurfarts being responsible for green- and icehouses is too far fetched; they were herbivores in nature as well.

For now the effect of methane is probably negligible in this discussion anyway. While a methane molecule has a higher effect on trapping infrared light than say a CO2 molecule, it only stays in the atmosphere for about one decade before being oxidized into other forms. It takes centuries for CO2 to get from the atmosphere into the subsurface. Methane used to be a growing emission because of the production of rice which caused a lot of methane production but most of the land that can be used to grow rice is already under irrigation anyway and the future increase in methane emitting wetlands is negligible as well. The only role methane might play here is when the increase in sea temperature will melt frozen methane at the oceanfloor (methane clathrate). But for now, we really don't know if that's going to happen.

We already know that changes in the global carbon flux and the hereby effected sedimentationrates and tectonic changes are responsible for green- and icehouses. At this point there is a tectonic-scale tendency towards cooling but this occurs at such a slow rate that after about a 1000 years, the Earth's climate will have been cooled by an astonishing 0.0001 degrees C. This combined with orbitally driven climate changes will have an effect on the Earth's temperature far below the projected range of CO2 warming.

As for solutions, the buying of three cars instead of four is admirable but capitalism isn't going to sort this one out. We all know we make different choices when we're at the store than when we fill out a environmental issues questionaire (sp??). We all want the cars, the houses, the DVD players etc. Stop consuming would do the trick but I don't see that happening.

What we need is new techniques, new legislation and the politicians who have the balls to invest en enforce. Especially in the third wordl.So no cutting of subsidies for environmental friendly cars (Dutch government). Do not spend another sack of cash on any more research to see the effects of methane (NASA). Don't decrease environmental legislation on companies because the economy isn't growing that fast at this moment (most governments). And don't say you are going to spend money on environmental research (which other countries have already finished, you could just call them and ask for a copy) to make you look good in the elections (Bush).
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