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April 14, 2014


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"Humans have chosen to dramatically increase the level of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by burning "fossil fuels." Now it is up to us to choose a different path -- reducing our emissions of those gases in order to keep Earth livable."

-- If I understand the man-made global warming theory correctly, even if human greenhouse gas producing activity came to a screeching halt right now, it is too late. The change has been set in motion.

How do you get billions of people to stop consuming manufactured products, shut down vast economic systems, turn off the lights and go back to a pre-industrial era lifestyle? Even environmentally conscious people keep buying stuff to fill their houses with, use electricity, drive cars, etc., and there are just as many whose livelihood depends on this consumption. There are too many people living this way and they will not be stopped.

There are too many people living this way and they will not be stopped.

Perhaps, but if you're sober enough to realize you're surrounded by drunks, what do you do?

Perhaps, but if you're sober enough to realize you're surrounded by drunks, what do you do?

--Personally speaking, I am one of the drunks. Not quite shit-faced but a little tipsy. If sober, I would either surrender or get the hell out, but in this case there is nowhere to run.

Hey, they can try to save the world. I'll cooperate. If they give up their stuff, I'll give up my stuff. I don't see many people giving up their stuff though.

If they give up their stuff, I'll give up my stuff. I don't see many people giving up their stuff though.

How many do you have to see? Isn't one person who trades his car for a bicycle, gets off the grid, or grows his own food, enough?

Yes, an avalanche begins with a little snowball. But no, one person is not enough because people will not give up their modern conveniences en masse unless forced to. There will always be intrepid idealists and dreamers but there aren't enough of them to stem the tide. What we need are about 6 billion fewer consumers. How about a plague or eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano? I know, a giant asteroid!!

The problem is that production of bicycles produces greenhouse gases because it takes energy to make them and their components of steel, aluminum, plastic, paint, rubber, etc. And the energy, tools and raw materials to make the tools that make the bikes. And the energy, tools and raw materials to get the energy, tools and raw materials for the tools that make the bikes.

If you get off the grid, you will probably have solar panels which are very energy and resource intensive to produce. Even if you are fortunate enough to have a year-round creek to run a generator to charge your storage batteries, all that takes energy and raw materials to produce. Then the batteries and even the solar panels and generator eventually wear out and have to be replaced. Not to mention mining the copper for the wires.

All this stuff we have contributes to the problem. Look around you. Tables, chairs, printers, computers, fax machines, books, door knobs, paint, lamps, pens, car keys, furniture hardware, surge protectors, paper, cell phones, cell phone chargers, waste baskets, document shredders, rugs, radios, modems, file cabinets, windows, blinds, shelves, pictures, picture frames. Then we move into the kitchen and all hell breaks loose. I won't even mention all the stuff in the other rooms and in the garage.

Then what about your occupation? In my case I make knives. I have a shop with a forge, grinder, sander, buffer, anvil and a multitude of tools, supplies, accessories, steel, wood, brass, chemicals, leather, dye, respirator, gloves, exhaust fan. And then there are the knives themselves which one day will wear out or get lost and need to be replaced by someone who has all the crap I have.

..and on and on multiplied by billions of people. Some with a little less, some with a little more. How do you put an end to all this? Signals at intersections, roads, signs, buildings, houses, jewelry, mail boxes, clothes, drugs, escalators and elevators, benches, drills, vaccuums ad infinitum.

It's not going to stop. A Kyoto treaty? Ha!

It's not going to stop. A Kyoto treaty? Ha!

By this logic, we should regard all the warning as futile, if not amusing, because (as you see it) there's nothing to be done. As you see it, we can't help but degrade our environment until it can no longer support our species, not to mention others.

"I make knives", you say. Well, you've made your point and taken a stab at eviscerating all hope, but you're too much of a blunt instrument to be taken seriously.

Let me hone the conversation further then.

You cut to the quick when you wrote "we can't help but degrade our environment". Everybody wants a slice of the pie.

The environment was in trouble as soon as humans left the stone age. It is interesting that ancient indigenous people lived for many millennia with limited environmental impact. All they left were a few arrowheads and the like. It is almost as if they knew that once they became too clever it would be their undoing. I doubt modern humans are generally more fulfilled and satisfied with their lives (probably less so) than the ancient ones despite all the technological advances.

Tucson my good friend,

I'd very much like to speak with you by phone sometime fairly soon - whenever its convenient for you. I've got some tings that I like to talk to you about. I'm not sure that I have your current email address, so please just send a brief email to mine, and I will reply back with my home phone number. Better yet, send me your home phone number (or cell) too, and I will call you for free via the phone app on my wife's gmail. Tnanks.

[ Brian, please feel free to un-publish this comment after a few days time. Thanks. ]

As for me - I will not voluntarily reduce my carbon footprint - even if it means the end of human life on the planet.

Yes - I am THAT selfish.

The environment was in trouble as soon as humans left the stone age.

Yes, but unlike the stone age, our technology enables us to measure and ascertain the trouble we're in and where we're headed if we don't change course. You and others, tucson, insist that we can't change course, and I wonder why? What's your objection to adapting?

cc, Without the technology there would be no trouble to adapt to. I have no objection to adapting. I just don't see it happening on a worldwide scale until humanity is forced to by conditions more obviously dire than they are now. No doubt when that time comes some humans will adapt and survive like cockroaches always seem to do.

Actually, I do some environmental/sustainable types of things, but it is a personal ethical preference like not stealing when I easily could do so. Like, I could just let the dish water go down the drain, but I save it to water the plants instead of using tap water. Big hero. I know.

Hey tAo, I sent you an email to an address I have reached you with before.

Dear tAo and tucson feel free to contact me too tAo i miss you.
How is weightlifting?


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