Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Mark UX, Aug 4, 2015.
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Words are not pro-active steps. No country will damage their own economy, least of all us, I'm sad to say.
Europe is taking active steps toward fossil fuel independence.
China is taking active steps toward fossil fuel independence.
We have started fracking. Ever heard of the Halliburton loophole?
EVA[spacewalk] currently occurring.
They won't do what they think will damage their economy - and of course different parties disagree on what will damage or improve their economy. We can't rewind history and rerun it with different parameters to see what would have happened with different policies.
Mitch McConnell had this to say about the most recent round of EPA regulations:
"In just a few minutes, President Obama will deliver another blow to the economy and to the Middle-Class. He'll unveil regressive regulations that are set to harm struggling workers and families. They're projected to cost billions. They threaten to ship good Middle-Class jobs overseas. They'll likely make it harder to maintain reliable sources of energy to meet demand. They'll also likely result in higher energy bills for those who can least afford them, potentially raising electricity rates by double digits for the people I represent."
This is, of course, not the first time that we have "damaged our own economy" with new environmental regulations. Industry leaders predicted that CAFE requirements would destroy the US auto industry. They also predicted that CARB requirements would bankrupt auto manufacturers. And while both those laws certainly had a negative impact on the economy short term, it turns out that you can protect the environment without destroying the economy long term.
Both of those were implemented decades ago and countries DID make the required changes. Koto didn't demand much and fracking made it irrelevant, but the Montreal protocol was a spectacular success.
Counterproductive rhetoric, nothing nonsense and more Counterproductive rhetoric.
Europe's anti-fossil fuel and anti-nuclear efforts are largely smoke (Polish smoke) and mirrors. I'm talking about real changes, that have actually already happened(remember the ozone hole? No?). Add most of what the EPA has done (remember smog? No?) and car and electrical fuel efficiency standards and we've made big, forced strides.
No, that's the reality. I stipulated that we are capable of pro-active environmental friendly behavior.
IMO, that is counterproductive rhetoric.
I used to work for a paint manufacturer and we used CFC's in our spraycans.
btw, except for the cosmetic industry, the coatings industry employs more scientists than any other field.
When the causes of ozone depletion first became known, management refused to switch voluntarily, until one high level administrator (an avid mountain climber) went to Alaska and contracted skin cancer from short exposure to the UV rays. In 90 days the company switched over to airpressure cans. I call that post-active.
True, I am not saying we are not acting pro-actively now, but in reality it is a post-active effort and a half-hearted one at that.
The Halliburton loophole is still on the books, because if frackers were not exempt from regulation, they would never be allowed to use fracking in the first place. But that would hurt our precious economy.
I agree, do we need to be the only species on earth that are unable to live in harmony with nature, without destroying it?
Ooh, so cynical.
Not cynical, but critical thinking. Add up the facts and see where we are.
I (and scientific concensus) see us the brink of disaster on a global scale.
Is that cynical thinking, or truth?
Rabbits in Australia are destroying nature.
Zebra mussels are destroying nature.
Bark beetles are destroying nature.
Asian carp are destroying nature.
Starlings are destroying nature.
Human beings are far from unique in that respect. No species wants to "live in harmony with nature"; they want to dominate it, eat it all, have as many offspring as possible and then move on to virgin territory and do it all again. Indeed, it is what evolution drives them to do. Most species don't get a chance to do that, because other species that want to do the same thing eat THEM instead. Since fewer things eat us nowadays, we are better able to fulfill our evolutionary imperatives than most species (with the possible exception of the species listed above.)
I didn't have time earlier, so let me be more specific:
Europe's steps on that front are mixed. Yes, wind has been doing well, but other acts, such as Germany's phase-out of nuclear have shifted them back towards coal:
That's just a nothing stunt that will never amount to anything. I've seen articles like that about once a month for 30 years. They don't mean anything.
I'm not sure what conclusion you are drawing from that, but the reality is that in terms of global warming, fracking has been nothing short of an environmental miracle, displacing coal and being the most significant cause of US carbon emissions dropping to levels not seen since the 1990s.
Try this: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2012/may/28/truth-germany-nuclear-phase-out
And this: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18071#tabs_SpotPriceSlider-1
The reality is that over the past decade+, Germany is among the worst performers in Europe in carbon emission because while they've invested heavily in wind, they've also shut off nuclear plants, which works to increase their reliance on coal.
Fine, if you want to be strict about it, I'll have to use another term or just describe what I mean, because it is pretty much logically impossible to truly solve a problem before it manifests, because you can't even detect it until it starts to happen! But humans are far and away the species most able to:
1. Detect problems in the environment.
2. Determine the cause.
3. Act to implement a solution.
And with CFCs, we did, with spectacular success.
Again: that's backwards. Humans are in fact the only species that is able to take steps to live in harmony with nature without destroying it. Any "harmony" achieved by other species is purely accidental and happens despite them fighting as hard as they can to destory their environments.
This is, of course, even setting aside the implied naturalism fallacy that humans and human actions are, by definition, not natural. If a colony of yeast destroys its environment by choking itself to death on its own excrement, I suppose that's natural (and delicious!), but if we do it, it isn't?
Right: so, what is unique about humans is:
1. We're far and away the top of the food chain and thus we're winning that evolutionary battle. Largely because:
2. We're the only species with any significant ability to use technology to change our environment (whether by irrigating farmland or enclosing an airspace with walls).
Of course, the drive to procreate is causal to competition for resources. But man is the only animal which takes more individually than any other species which individually only take what they need to survive.
I don't see ants needing nuclear plants.
No, the point is that mankind IS choking itself to death, just like a colony of yeast.
Time will tell if we are indeed smarter than a colony of yeast.
Exactly. It has nothing to do with intent; indeed, of all the animals, we are one of the very few who will pass up an easy meal for a higher purpose, or delay something fun (like mating) for a higher purpose. While we are far from perfect, the world would be a much worse place if we didn't try at all to protect the environment we have - and for that, I am glad.
They take everything they can. Pray you never see what an army ant raid looks like.
Nor do I see Australian rabbits advocating birth control to prevent destroying the local environment, or beavers consulting with experts before building potentially environmentally devastating dams.
Yet usually we manage to not choke ourselves to death - unlike yeast. It's been over 50 years since Donora and the killer fogs of London, and almost 40 years since Los Angeles was so bad doctors were advising people to move. And all those places are, today, far better than they were.
Sure: humans are basically the only animal capable of more than just survival sustenance. The only ones capable of having a "standard of living" beyond sustenance. So what? Are you really trying to suggest that's a bad thing? Are you a luddite/troglodyte environmentalist? Do you literally want us to go back to living in caves (for an average of 30 years)?
I'm just not seeing it. Human lifespans have doubled over about the last hundred years. Humans are, in fact, living longer and healthier than ever. How does that equate to "choking itself to death"?
Nonsense. We've already quite adequately demonstrated that we are. That doesn't necessarily mean we can prevent our own destruction, but it does mean we can and are taking steps to do so that the yeast never could.
Or choose to procreate less. That one worries me. And I don't mean China's "one child policy", I mean the inverse relationship between development and procreation rate. Essentially, success is becoming an evolutionary disadvantage.
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