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This fisherman in Scandinavia has a sort of Unabomber philosophy:
He's giving the hyman race 30-100 years to live.
I know what you call guy who hates women. What do you call a guy who hates humanity?
So, is this the end of the world as we know it? Will capitalism fail as we saturate the earth with people?
He sounds like someone Thor would like. His statements about population growth sound like the Zero Population Growth society. They aren't that unusual.
I wouldn't go as far to call him a unabomber because I don't see him threatening bombing or violence. On the one hand, he sounds like just an anti-capitalist, environmentalist. However, he is an eco-facsist. He is against democracy and wants police increased. Very strange.
Eris, why do you assume that a totalitarian government is enviromentally better than a democratic one? Look at the empirical evidence; the democratic nations on our planet are less polluted than the totalitarian ones. Enviromentalism is almost always a popular movement so it's not surprising it's strongest in countries where people have some control over their government.
At first, I thought Eris was nuts for suggesting that totalitarian govs could provide better environments than democracies. However, when I consider the evidence, I'm not so sure.
Compare the communist Soviet Union (SU) and the USA. The SU is responsible for the dissapearance of the Aral Sea and other environmental problems. However, those are local problems. What is the greatest environmental problem in the world? Probably the shrinking of the ozone layer, right? Who is to blame for it? Probably the USA and western Europe, the bastions of democracy and capitalism, are responsible for most of the pollution that destroys the ozone. Also, these countries generate the most trash from all their consumerism. They are throw-away societies, only recently starting to recycle.
For the ozone problem, Brazil is to blame, also. They are detroying the rain forest, which are the lungs of the world. What type gov has Brazil had? I'm not sure. I think it is a democracy, but only since recently.
He's giving the hyman race 30-100 years to live.
All these posts and no one else thinks that the phrase "hyman race" is funny? I need a beer.
Hey, thanks, CheeseHead.
The rest of you - liberty or death, indeed. What gives you the right to choose for the rest of the denizens of the planet?
I'm not saying that totalitarian regimes ARE currently better than democracies at safeguarding the environment - most totalitarian regimes at the moment are run by people who couldn't care less about the environment, the future of the planet or anything besides hanging on to power.
That having been said, I think the ONLY way that humans are going to be able to make the necessary sacrifices to correct or even halt the environmental decline of the planet is if some entity puts a figurative or literal gun to their collective heads and says "Get rid of your damn car, cut your electricity use in half and never buy another can of hairspray again." Voluntary controls haven't accomplished anywhere close to what's necessary and they're not going to. Humans are too self-centered and greedy to willingly accept the necessary restrictions. This goes double for the inhabitants of that-country-which-shall-remain-nameless, the one that's REALLY big on personal freedoms...
Let me get this straight, Eris. You're saying that people will allow themselves to choke on their own effluent before they will democratically elect to restrict the flow?
I wish you and your countrymen well in your search for an enviromentally benevolent dictator!
Yup, PapaBear, that's exactly what I'm saying. Sure, some people downstream from the effluent will will be clamouring for restrictions on it, but whether or not those restrictions get put in place depends on everyone who gets to vote.
Consider: Town A is downstream from Town B. Both are represented at the environmental decision-making level (let's say State level), but Town B is bigger. Town B contains MegaFactory, which employs most of the town's inhabitants. MegaFactory adheres to the limited environmental restrictions currently in place, but some of its nasty effluents still end up in the river. These float down to Town A, creating three-eyed fish, algal blooms and assorted environmental nasties all over the place. Town A naturally protests. A bill is drafted that will enforce stiffer environmental guidelines, forcing MegaFactory to spend millions upgrading its facility. MegaFactory protests, saying it's already kinda borderline and they wouldn't comply with the new guidelines, they'd just shut down. Town B protests and votes against the bill. The rest of the district doesn't much care, so doesn't vote. Town A loses, and the river gets worse.
Democracy won't work for environmental legislation because environmental reforms ALWAYS have a financial cost, and people seem more willing to put up with unsightly blackened landscapes than reduced profits. Greed wins over aesthetics and altruism, almost every time. The pace at which environmental reforms can be implemented democratically is far too slow.
Would you vote in someone who promised to pass laws restricting your car use to one day per week, or limit the amount of water or electricity your household could use? Wouldn't that infringe on your freedom to bathe every day, drive to work or use your computer?
Oh, and with respect to the environmentally benevolent dictator - David Suzuki springs to mind. He's got the ego, the background and the political savvy to do it.
He's giving the human race 30-100 years to live, correcting myself.
The Board hiccup sure spit up some old topics.
When you read this Linkola guy in detail, he would allow technology about as much as the Amish. For healthcare, he wouldn't allow technology for sure, midwifes and folk medicine are ok by him.
In college, he would teach humanities and some fields to train bureaucrats. Each community would be rural, self supporting.
I think he'd have to do more than just not allowing people more than 2 kids - some culling would have to be involved to get everyone into rural communities.
It's good to be wary of technology, but I think going totally Luddite is the answer.
Another item you seem to be forgetting is as the industrial revolution, and it's by products like smog, smoke, pollution and such, have grown, so had the life expectancy. Each yeah people complain about the pollution caused by big business, but many of the things created and invented and sometimes causing pollution in the process has increased our life expectance by as much as 20 years since 1917.
To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.
Lemme get this staright... aerosol deodorant increased my life expectancy ? Traditional medicine (whether Amazon or Vermont forest peoples) and midwives are quackery ? On the other, no actual Luddites would be communicating here anyway.
Hey, I subscribe to "Live Free or Die" (New Hampshire motto, you know) but perhaps the middle ground isn't quite as binary as y'all have put it. Not Unbounded Greed vrs. Loinclothed Environmentalism, but
long vrs. short term profits (close off raw log exports from Oregon, say, would have guaranteed wood for the various small mills, artisans, etc...); and
localized vrs. spread -out costs (everytime Jones lies [and gets away with] a BS insurance claim, everybody else pays incrementally more. His profit, their "imperceptible" loss.
As in many problems, it all depends on definition of terms, and whether you consider it a closed system. Jones would think of his insurance scam as operating in an open-ended system; Eris, and the insurance company, wouldn't. Think of the pollution in a given production as you would heat loss in a thermodynamic system - waste - and consider the cost (long-term, opportunity, speed to market, etc...) and the cost-benefit comparison becomes a bit fairer.
"Proverbs for Paranoids, 2: The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immortality of the Master."
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow.
Is it not possible that democracy will enable the human race to self-destruct?
It is said that a democratic system ensures that the people get the government they deserve. I hate to point this out, but we don't exactly deserve pats on the back.
I don't agree with everything this fellow has to say, and I don't think that technology is the root of all evil. I do agree, however, with his basic premise that humans need to lack something, and that democracy will not be able to save the environment (and eventually us). Yes, totalitarian systems are repugnant, but given the choice between living in a totalitarian regime and being able to breathe the air or living free as a bird but with several environmentally related chronic illnesses and no greenery, I'll take the totalitarian regime, thanks.
I think it's possible that this "freedom" bit is overrated.
but given the choice between living in a totalitarian regime and being able to breathe the air or living free as a bird but with several environmentally related chronic illnesses and no greenery, I'll take the totalitarian regime, thanks.
Boy, that's quite an admission (and an invitation to aspiring tyrants)!
As for me (in the words of Pat Henry): Liberty or Death. You can keep everything in the middle!
Come Pinky! I have a plan to take over the world! Call Eris and tell him to get 50 pounds of lime Jello and the FAA's chicken cannon, and meet us in Albany, New York.
Democracy won't work for environmental legislation
Actually it has, to some degree. There is less total emissions now than 10 yeras ago from industry. But not from cars, there's been no new technology since unleaded gas other than added valves in engines.
The politicians only need to think 4 years ahead, that's the problem.
Democracy won't work for environmental legislation because
environmental reforms ALWAYS have a financial cost, and people
seem more willing to put up with unsightly blackened landscapes
than reduced profits. Greed wins over aesthetics and altruism,
almost every time. The pace at which environmental reforms can be
implemented democratically is far too slow.
Should we solely rely on majority rule to protect our environment? What about using the courts? If a corporation polluted a lake, river, or ground water that people down-stream used shouldn't they be allowed to take that corporation to court and sue for damages? Democracy is more than majority rule - it's also about individual rights.
Also shouldn't corporations be sued for "blackened landscapes"? It wasn't their's to blacken. If I was caught throwing garbage out onto the street, I may be ticketed for littering. The problem is financial not democratic. Corporations simply have more money to fight in court. Laws may not favor the rich, but our courts do - (OJ).
There is less total emissions now than 10 yeras ago from industry.
Actually, I don't think this is true. Last I heard, the rate of increase of greenhouse gas emissions (one could reasonably expect other emissions to be similar) was down, but the total amount was actually up. The last major environmental conference set sometime around 2004 to be the date at which emissions actually stop increasing, and start decreasing. In the early nineties, that date was supposed to be 1998.
The politicians only need to think 4 years ahead, that's the problem.
Exactly the problem. Is the solution to lengthen politicians' terms? They'd have to be lengthened quite a bit to make a real difference... and once you've passed the 15 year mark or so, what's the difference between that system and a benevolent dictatorship?
If a democratic system is to work at all for this, politicians need to be made accountable after their terms expire if things go wrong. For instance, if a watered-down piece of environmental legislation is passed, the minister responsible for it should be forced to issue a statement detailing exactly what improvements the legislation will bring. When and if these improvements don't happen, that minister (oh, sorry, senator, or whatever) should be held personally responsible. Jail time, fines, whatever - as long as it's scary enough to actually work.
Of course, with a system like that in place, every politician would head for the Cayman Islands once his or her term is finished, but...
I like Eris's idea, but want to add another point to think about. Once the legislation is passed, it's out of the Senator's hands. It then becomes the wonderful bureaucracy's job to implement what has been decided.
Personally, I think the key is not the congressmen, but the EPA bureaucrats. Some of them still care, but a lot are waiting until they get the federal pension. If we could make THEM accountable, it would go a long way.
"You don't get something for nothing. You can't have freedom for free."
-Neil Peart, RUSH, "Something for Nothing"
That's the wonderful thing about democracy. When it doesn't work, we have no one to blame but ourselves. I'm always amazed when people complain about politicians like they were some form of natural catastrophe that no one had any control over. As far as I know, everyone on this board is a citizen of a country with a democratically elected President, Prime Minister, Congress, and/or Parliament.
Eris: I was thinking strictly of industrial production, excluding power plants, which have of course steadily increased output. That's why the Kyoto agreements are so hard to attempt to reach.
Sunbear, I don't know where the stats actually are on this, but I think industrial pollutants are still rising... do you know of a web page that's tracking the Kyoto agreements?
Duh, I can use a search engine...
From the Text of the Kyoto Protocol, 1997, courtesy of CNN's website:
The Parties included in Annex I shall, individually or jointly, ensure that their aggregate
anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of the greenhouse gases listed in Annex A
do not exceed their assigned amounts, calculated pursuant to their quantified emission
limitation and reduction commitments inscribed in Annex B and in accordance with the
provisions of this Article, with a view to reducing their overall emissions of such gases
by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012.
This seems to indicate that since 1990, levels have actually risen, if it's going to take that long to get them below 1990 levels. Unfortunately CNN didn't see fit to publish a stats page, just this sad little commentary:
The 10-ton gorilla at the Kyoto summit, of course, is the United States, the world's largest energy consumer that alone produces nearly a quarter of the world's emissions of carbon dioxide.
U.S. President Bill Clinton has committed his country to reducing levels of greenhouse emissions in the United States to 1990 levels by 2012. But U.S. officials are emphasizing that this can be done largely through widespread adoption of more energy-efficient technologies -- and that major sacrifices by American consumers won't be necessary.
Domestic critics are skeptical that this so-called "win-win" strategy is feasible, and they are warning American consumers about job losses and significant increases in the price of gasoline and electricity. Before the Kyoto treaty is even drafted, a multi-million dollar advertising campaign has been launched on American television to build opposition to it.
Clinton has called on developing countries to agree to limits as well. Indeed, the U.S. Congress has to approve the agreement, and congressional leaders have made it clear that they may reject it if the developing world is exempt. And without U.S. participation, any treaty would be something of a paper tiger.
You will note that there is no mention of skeptics on the OTHER side of the "win-win" issue who think, and probably rightly so, that measures that do NOT cost jobs or make consumers pay (GASP!) more for conveniences will actually do any real good at all. Pansy-ass measures like this will delay disaster, not prevent it.
Moreover, you will notice mention of an ad campaign against the Protocol. Oh, there's a smart idea - the voice of the people, at work for you, making sure that you can drive your car for cheap, and who cares if you won't be able to breathe the air outside of it.
I don't know how this has panned out since 1997. If anyone has any info I'd appreciate it.
The CO2 emissions should be reduced as much as possible, but will people drive smaller cars?
On the other hand, the greater part of CO2 emissions are still natural, not man made.
The main problem with a dictator is, has
always been, and will always be corruption.
An elected head of government has to fight
for re-election or for the continued reign
of his party so he listens to the people.
Constitutional monarchs fear thier ministers,
the military, the church, the press... and
most of all, the impowered people. What does
a dictator fear? Nothing, if his army is
strong enough. If either Stalin, Mao, or
Hitler was in power now, I very much doubt
that they'd be actively doing a hell of a lot
to save the enviroment. The very argument made against democracies is that the people care about nothing but themselves. The problem with the argument is that no one has found a dictator that isn't a person. When the enviroment is harmed, it's usually the least affluent that are hurt the first and the most affluent that are hurt the least, while the rich are doing the most of the harming and the poor are doing the least. History teaches us that in a dictatorship, the dicatator is takes the place of the most affluent and the people take the place of the least. Nothing else changes.
Ick... I'm sorry 'bout the carriage returns. Please don't send the Thought Police after me.
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