Friday thread: “Setting ourselves up for environmental failure”

Alex Steffen: Our economy operates by stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP. Towards a sustainable environmental future, and the problem with simple answers.

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  • JR

    Unfortunately I don’t believe there are any simple answers to our environmental problems. There is currently nothing that comes close to Oil.

  • thethoughtfulone

    Ask just about anyone what they think about the environment and they’ll mostly say that they care about it, for those in the public eye it has become pretty much a necessity. We know all the cliches, preserving the planet for our children, and their children. We all have to share this world and have a duty to protect it, etc, etc, and on it goes ad nauseum.

    Our actions however indicate otherwise, our actions in fact demonstrate that we don’t actually give a shit about the environment because preserving the planet would entail monumental changes to how we live life and we don’t even want to accept the most minor disruptions to get the ball rolling.

    Modern life as we know it is not sustainable long term on this planet and we are doing nothing to change it.

  • Rory Carr

    All very well and good O Thoughtful One but who is this “we” that you have been banging on about? I do hope that you are not including me in that bunch.

    “…our actions in fact demonstrate that we don’t actually give a shit …” you say. Well suppose I just happened to be included among the “we” who just does give a shit and who wanted to act in a way that would demonstrate that I did (and keep you happy of course, which would really be the main purpose of the exercise) then what would you have me do?

    Stop drilling for oil in Alaska? – Sorry mate, I don’t own shares in any oil companies nor do I work for them.

    Switch to solar power? -You gotta be kidding, right? I’m not a millionaire, mate They are the only ones who can afford the technology which is why government subsidy for it is so disgustingly high – they like to keep their rich mates warm and cosy. Besides it is the most cost/inefficient energy collection system we have (it makes wind farming seem super-efficient by comparison).

    Recycle? – Oh, yeah, well I do that, the council requires it and it does after all ensure fat profits for the French company that sweetened their way into obtaining the lucrative contract and seems to have inspired some of our local politicians to spend long vacations in France recovering from the strain of public office. Isn’t that nice? Dunno what it’s doing for the environment though. Not much I reckon.

    And there’s no point in asking me to go nuclear – how the hell could I afford to build a nuclear power station on my pension? I ask you !

    You, mate, if you don’t mind me saying so, need to address your remarks to the big guys – the major shareholders in the energy industry, the CEO’s, the politicians (especially the crooked ones), these are the only people who have any power, any control over these matters. The rest of us are just dupes to be treated as such and made to believe it is all our fault by carrying home that pond of sausages from Tesco in a little plastic bag. We are to wallow in the guilt and pay the increased prices that their profits from despoilage might increase; and increase our taxes that the tax on their profits might not be increased; and slash spending on our services, our hospitals and schools and care for the aged and dependent so that the taxes of those who are guilty of raping this planet can be reduced.

    No thank you, mate. A thousand tines no. I am not guilty and I am damned if I will swallow the propaganda that tries to make me so or be preached to by those who have sawllowed it.

    Deal with your own guilt trip, mate. Don’t, please, try dumping your shit on me.

    That is only you doing the work of real culprits for them.

  • Rory Carr

    P.s. You might like to start by taking things up with Barak Obama who promised to put some sinew into GW Bush’s notoriously weak and ineffective Clean Air Act but, as with almost everything else he promised he has jumped off the pot…

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Friday, September 2, 2011 — 11:16 AM EDT
    —–

    Obama Pulls Back Proposal to Tighten Clean Air Rules

    The Obama administration is abandoning its plan to immediately tighten air quality rules nationwide to cut reduce emissions of smog-causing chemicals after an intense lobbying campaign by industry, which said the new rule would cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs, officials said Friday.

    The Environmental Protection Agency, following the recommendation of its scientific advisers, had proposed lowering the so-called ozone standard from that set by the Bush administration to a new stricter standard that would have thrown hundreds of American counties out of compliance with the Clean Air Act. It would have required a major effort by state and local officials, as well as new emissions controls by industries and agriculture across the country.

    The more lenient Bush administration standard from 2006 will remain in place until a scheduled reconsideration of acceptable pollution limits in 2013, officials indicated Friday.

    Read More:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/science/earth/03air.html?emc=na

  • thethoughtfulone

    Nice rant Rory, but all it does is nicely illustrate the “not my fault mate” mentality which ensures we stay firmly on the road to planetary destruction which we are surely on at present.

    Guilt trip?, hardly. If I wanted to use the “I” or “me” approach then I could say that I’m the guy who started re-cycling his rubbish long before my local council even thought of it. I’m the guy who drives a 14yr old car because while it might look like crap, it does my job fine and one must remember that the most pollution a car will cause is during production. I’m the guy who is going to spend this winter planting 8,000 trees on a prime piece of agricultural land to establish a new woodland in the hope that I can show people around it in years to come and maybe, just maybe, change a few peoples attitudes (although I’m not counting on it). I could go on but hopefully you get the idea.

    Yet, regarding the destruction of the planet and as a member of the human race I still must use a collective “we” as that’s how it’s going to pan out.

  • Rory Carr

    I am delighted to learn that you have a hobby, Thoughtful One, even one that inculcates such a ridiculous sense of Little Jack Hornerism.

    But you keep planting those trees. I am an avid reader and we need all the wood pulp we can get hold off. Kindle is for wimps I say!

  • Rory Carr

    Apologies for the surplus second “f” at the end of the penultimate sentence.

    What a waste, what?

  • thethoughtfulone

    No idea what “Little Jack Hornerism” is or supposed to be, but judging by the tone of the rest of your diatribe I’ll assume that it’s some sort of insult.

    Anyway, you keep up the good work there mate and claim the innocence rule all you like but whatever environmental woes befall us in the future I think you’ll find that “we” are all in it together.

  • Rory Carr

    We are indeed all in it together and you are just as impotent as I am to change it by planting a few trees and self-righteously claiming that somehow your decision to drive a 14 year old car is for environmental reasons. The mayor of London certainly won’t agree as he calibrates his congestion charge scales.

    Didn’t nanny read you any nursery rhymes as a boy?

    Little Jack Horner
    Sat in a corner
    Eating his Christmas pie
    He put in his thumb
    And pulled out a plum
    Said: “What a good boy am I”

    And, indeed I am sure that you must be. I have it on the authority of no less a person than your self.

    I agree that these exchanges are becoming silly but I was hoping that you might actually address some of the points I raised in my first response to your appeal to the conscience of the world (that somehow failed to touch mine).

  • slappymcgroundout

    “Unfortunately I don’t believe there are any simple answers to our environmental problems. There is currently nothing that comes close to Oil.”

    There’s splitting the atom but some aren’t all that fond of that solution to our energy needs. His unreality came to the fore when he showed the wind turbine as the first energy source. Lastly, the word “futurist” kinda gave him a way.