The Environment



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Kagayaki

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I was going to do this on Earth Day, but in light of Chicago's plastic bag ban, I thought I would bring this up.

What are you doing to help the environment? I think they have good intentions, but people will still find ways around it. There's still pollution in the air and in the water. Pelicans scoop up trash in their beaks, and I read an article about a polar bear who died because there weren't enough solid ice caps to hunt seals on. And I read about an eagle that was shot in the beak, and needed a prosthetic.

Are the radical environmental changes as a result of man made pollution or the coming of a new ice age?

Which one of the endangered species you'd want to protect?
 

EnchantedDominion

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The environment is personally the most important topic in politics to me. I'm in the Green Party because of it. I have a rather simple view of pollution and climate change. When a new disease arises, we act on it immediately. We do not take a public vote on "Does this plague really exist? Was it caused by man? Should we act on it?" No. Our specialists start quarantining and researching medicines instantly. It's because we recognize disease as dangerous life-threat. The problem is that climate change is also, yet we have done virtually nothing to combat it on a national scale.

Pollution is bad news. It's ugly. It changes our weather. It intensifies our natural disasters and makes them more frequent. It causes extinction. It causes disease. I also believe it's one of the reasons that cancer is so prevalent. Throwing masses of toxins into the environment will do things like these, and I have no idea why people don't get that.

No, we have a bunch of public meetings held throughout the country against climate change, saying ridiculous things like, "Global Warming doesn't exist because it's cold in some places." These meetings are almost always run by CEOs. Surprise, surprise. Companies don't want to have to go through costly regulations, buy environment-friendly machinery, and decrease production. They want to do things the cheap (and dirty) way and make loads more money.

It's nice that people recycle and make an effort throughout their day to conserve energy and use more environmental-friendly products. However, those people are a vast minority. It also doesn't help that so many of the environmentally-friendly things are so costly because hardly anyone produces them. What we need is mass overhaul. I don't think this is up for "vote." Our scientists have proven that pollution is deadly so we should tackle it immediately, just like disease.

As for extinction, that's a really sad one. Most people have no idea tigers may die out in our lifetime. I spoke about this in one of my classes and it shocked the whole room.

"A century ago there were 100,000 tigers roaming the forests, swamps, and tundra of Asia. TODAY, there are as few as 3,200 left in the wild. Only 7% of historic tiger habitat still contains tigers. At this rate, wild tigers will be extinct in just a few decades." -Problem | Save Tigers Now (WWF)

This disturbs me a lot because tigers are my favorite animal. But there are many other species that go extinct all the time, and we'll see a lot more die before anyone does anything about it.
 

Pandymint

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I wish I could say I was doing more, but I can't. I do my part to recycle, and don't litter or waste items, but that's about it. Perhaps the worst thing I do is drive my car. Due to it having a rotary engine, it's not exactly economical in mileage or emissions. And due to issues, I got rid of my emissions controls for the sake of a better running car and better gas mileage. I know it's not exactly 'right' but like my one car is going to make that much of a difference.

As for climate change: It's going to happen regardless of what we do. If anything, we've accelerated it. It can't be the coming of an ice age, however, if the caps are melting. It's more like we're still coming out of one.



As for extinction, that's a really sad one. Most people have no idea tigers may die out in our lifetime. I spoke about this in one of my classes and it shocked the whole room.

"A century ago there were 100,000 tigers roaming the forests, swamps, and tundra of Asia. TODAY, there are as few as 3,200 left in the wild. Only 7% of historic tiger habitat still contains tigers. At this rate, wild tigers will be extinct in just a few decades." -Problem | Save Tigers Now (WWF)

This disturbs me a lot because tigers are my favorite animal. But there are many other species that go extinct all the time, and we'll see a lot more die before anyone does anything about it.
I knew it was bad, but I had no idea it was quite that bad. Just two days ago I was at the county fair and they had three tigers. Two of them white. They were in pretty small cages. Only big enough to take a few steps and then turn around. I mean, I love seeing them, they're beautiful animals, but that is not how they should be living.
 

BlackOsprey

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Environment's screwed. I can't really do much about it aside from recycling and turning off the lights. Most people older than me can't handle doing just that.

I used to think I could do something about it, but it's not easy when you're dealing with one seriously apathetic crowd. It's like moving a boulder to get em to do anything. And then you have those people who try too hard with the environmentalist stuff, which causes the apathetic people to become even more jaded about it.

So, I don't really see this ending much better than "civilization diddlys over environment, civilization dies out as a result, environment slowly rebuilds itself."
 

Stand

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I try to do a little. My town doesn't even have recycling centers....I think the environment is more or less screwed too. People never want to change in large scale until it is to late too.
 

Victor

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The reason we have to have meetings regarding climate policies is because it is a global issue and fixing it requires global and national policing of industrial policies, that effect the economy. We can't just go to China and say "hey, fix your factories because we said so" when they it would economically impact them. If 'we' (being any one entity) could somehow magically impose their will on others we could economically cripple countries in a heartbeat under the guise of environmentalism.

We tackle it the same way we do diseases. We research fixes, test them, propose them, try to get them funding, etc. We don't just make a dope vaccine and then force it upon every country on Earth. That's why there are vaccines and treatments that are approved in other countries that aren't approved 'here' (wherever that is to you).

We have many ways we can deal with climate change, some are effective and some are not so effective, some are probably detrimental. You can't just implement them all (for a variety of reasons) and hope they work with no fallout.

Not to mention that a large vocal group of environmentalists / the general public are misinformed themselves when it comes to topics such as nuclear energy, genetic engineering, etc.
 

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The earth itself goes through heating and cooling periods over hundreds of years, mankind's own pollution only speeds up the process and/or makes it worse. The "wild tigers" argument that EnchantedDominion makes has zero to do with climate change and everything to do with mankind - it has everything to do with poaching and illegal captivity of tigers in the wild; as well as people cutting down the forests/habitats of the animals themselves and developing them towards human interests (and its a really weird jump in reading that post)​. Climate Change itself is more two degrees removed from the Tigers themselves (you can argue climate change affects all animals and species, but its mankind that is the problem in the end, not climate change itself).
 

Kagayaki

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I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for not doing enough for the environment. As for me, I just separate glass, paper, cardboard, metal, and plastic from the rest of the trash. I try to buy organic fruit and vegetables, if I can afford it. I wear makeup made from natural ingredients, and I'm pretty sure that companies don't do animal testing anymore. Most of my clothes are from foreign countries, but sadly, I can't afford too many American made clothes. I still kill bugs because they spread disease. I'd hate to accidentally kill an animal with a plastic soda ring.

I don't support hunting for just game. If you kill an animal, you'd better eat it. And it's really creepy having a dead deer's head hanging on your wall. Chances are, if you belong to a hunter-gatherer tribe, you aren't reading this site. And you live in an area where food is more scarce, and so are clothes.

Some scientists predict that the new ice age will come in about 1,500 years. The people who are on earth now will all die before then, so they don't have to worry. XD; But the thing about predictions is that they're just thoughts. They probably predicted the end of the world will come in 2,000 years...2,000 years ago. But I believe that greenhouse gases are accelerating or ruining the natural climate changes.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that the companies that promote environmentalism are doing it out of the goodness of their own heart. Remember that Captain Planet show? And Happy Feet? They were riddled with stereotypes, and melodramatic writing. While there have been some melodramatic stories that were good, those two specifically, just overdid good vs. evil, with no one in between. Not to mention, environmentalism is the only kind of progressivism that big media promotes, organic and whole foods are a lot more expensive than most other kinds of food, and hybrid cars and electric cars are expensive and hard to find. It's like, only rich people are allowed to care about the environment.
 
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Tartarus

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The "wild tigers" argument that EnchantedDominion makes has zero to do with climate change and everything to do with mankind - it has everything to do with poaching and illegal captivity of tigers in the wild; as well as people cutting down the forests/habitats of the animals themselves and developing them towards human interests (and its a really weird jump in reading that post)​.
A basic Google search proves that statement wrong. Rising sea levels are affecting their basic habitat as much as polar bears. Yes, poaching is a bigger issue in regards to animal extinction, but climate change does have a serious impact--hardly zero.
 

Chuman

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A basic Google search proves that statement wrong. Rising sea levels are affecting their basic habitat as much as polar bears. Yes, poaching is a bigger issue in regards to animal extinction, but climate change does have a serious impact--hardly zero.
of course, basic google searches = research and study
 

Professor Ven

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A basic Google search proves that statement wrong. Rising sea levels are affecting their basic habitat as much as polar bears. Yes, poaching is a bigger issue in regards to animal extinction, but climate change does have a serious impact--hardly zero.

Rising sea levels are a result of mankind's pollution and depositing of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which speeds up the process of the earth overheating -> climate change occurring more rapidly. Rising sea levels don't affect polar bears, the loss of sea ice in the Arctic does from the rising and constant warm temperatures (also affects baby seal development as they are born on the ice). I'm assuming you're pulling facts on climate change and tigers from this article, but again, climate change is not the issue so much as mankind is. The earth goes through cycles of cooling and heating on its own (due to its elliptical orbit around the sun and its slow disconnection from the moon which will occur before we all die from the massive heatwave - either from the magnetic swapping of the poles or from the sun's growth into a red giant; assuming the human species lives that long on Earth).

Saying climate change has a serious impact makes for a poor argument semantically - it's better (imo) to apply these issues to mankind/humanity as a whole, instead of "climate change" (because saying "climate change" asserts blame on an abstract entity, and not on the actual culprit that is humanity itself). Humans are responsible for the loss of habitat and poaching; CO2 (and other chemicals) pollution in the air from human overpopulation of the earth by and reformation of the earth's natural landscape for human use/consumption causes the greenhouse effect - by which ice in the Arctic and/or the Antarctic falls off and melts/disperses itself into the oceans.

The development of the earth towards solely human interests is the primary cause of climate change; if climate change was averted through human means, there's still a possibility that the Bengal tigers in that article would still lose their habitat due to it being cut down for human development, via poaching for their fur/teeth, or loss of prey.


organic and whole foods are a lot more expensive than most other kinds of food, and hybrid cars and electric cars are expensive and hard to find. It's like, only rich people are allowed to care about the environment.

At this point with the power of the internet and Google-fu (along with air-conditioning/heating in most developed countries' homes), you can grow any basic vegetable or fruit in the comfort of your home (or as this guy did growing lettuce to an eventual crazy efficiency). It's just that most people don't have the time (or can allot aside the time; lack the living space to dedicate to that kind of venture [maybe?]) to spend growing things. (and you know, those almond farms in California)

Electric cars and hybrid cars are actually a reality (bingbong, Tesla Motors, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3 and i8, Chevy Volt, Toyota's EVs, Mitsubishi, Audi, Mercedes, Honda). Sure, the price tag may be high at the moment depending on the automaker (or you could just be picky with a car's appearance), but it will eventually drop down as charging stations become as commonplace as gas stations, and there is more innovation in regards to improvement in the battery life for electric car batteries, solar panel material and design, etc.

It's more about just being a savvy customer and doing your research before buying a car.
 
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Victor

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Why would you want organic food when you can get food that's been genetically modified to be more efficient?
 

Pandymint

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Electric cars and hybrid cars are actually a reality (bingbong, Tesla Motors, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3 and i8, Chevy Volt, Toyota's EVs, Mitsubishi, Audi, Mercedes, Honda). Sure, the price tag may be high at the moment depending on the automaker (or you could just be picky with a car's appearance), but it will eventually drop down as charging stations become as commonplace as gas stations, and there is more innovation in regards to improvement in the battery life for electric car batteries, solar panel material and design, etc.

It's more about just being a savvy customer and doing your research before buying a car.
The unfortunately reality is that full electrics aren't practical for the masses yet. If you live in a congested city, say London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, etc, then they can work great. These cities are also all for electric. But, if you live somewhere like I do where everything is a solid 10 miles away or so, with nowhere but home to charge, they fall flat quick. Until oil companies loosen their death grip on the automotive industry, I doubt we'll see fully practical electrics.


The problems with hybrids, like BMW's i8, is that the manufacturer is greatly exaggerating gas mileage. No one has been able to get the mileage BMW claims.


That's to say nothing about the fact that they could easily let cars get hundreds of miles on a gallon of gasoline but big oil says no. Or the fact that if people were smart enough to take care of their vehicles, then emission controls on cars needn't be so strict, which in turn would help free up gas mileage.


Then there's people like me who just don't like electric cars because they aren't any fun and tend to be very ugly.
 

Victor

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Pandymint

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In that same article, however:


they ended up achieving 261 mpg. That's a remarkable result, even if that number is only achievable in an ideal world where hypermiling is the norm.

The mileage is achievable, yes, but not to the average person.


Strangely enough, I've never heard of that model before. Something that major normally would get a ton of press coverage.
 

Professor Ven

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Why would you want organic food when you can get food that's been genetically modified to be more efficient?
In my earlier post I just pointed out people growing their own stuff at home, I pretty much agree with Bictor Crispy; organic foods literally cost more simply because of basic supply and demand (and GMOs are not harmful to human consumption), genetically engineered crops are going to be literally the sole way to feed humans in order to perform better in terms of agricultural growth rate/yield efficiency, disease/blight prevention without pesticides could be/or is possible, etc.


The unfortunately reality is that full electrics aren't practical for the masses yet. If you live in a congested city, say London, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, etc, then they can work great. These cities are also all for electric. But, if you live somewhere like I do where everything is a solid 10 miles away or so, with nowhere but home to charge, they fall flat quick. Until oil companies loosen their death grip on the automotive industry, I doubt we'll see fully practical electrics.


The problems with hybrids, like BMW's i8, is that the manufacturer is greatly exaggerating gas mileage. No one has been able to get the mileage BMW claims.


That's to say nothing about the fact that they could easily let cars get hundreds of miles on a gallon of gasoline but big oil says no. Or the fact that if people were smart enough to take care of their vehicles, then emission controls on cars needn't be so strict, which in turn would help free up gas mileage.


Then there's people like me who just don't like electric cars because they aren't any fun and tend to be very ugly.

Sure, the price tag may be high at the moment depending on the automaker (or you could just be picky with a car's appearance), but it will eventually drop down as charging stations become as commonplace as gas stations, and there is more innovation in regards to improvement in the battery life for electric car batteries, solar panel material and design, etc.

It's more about just being a savvy customer and doing your research before buying a car.
Then there's people like me who just don't like electric cars because they aren't any fun and tend to be very ugly.
That's your own personal issue.

That's to say nothing about the fact that they could easily let cars get hundreds of miles on a gallon of gasoline but big oil says no. Or the fact that if people were smart enough to take care of their vehicles, then emission controls on cars needn't be so strict, which in turn would help free up gas mileage.

[video=youtube;lsDoT2oVQUQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsDoT2oVQUQ[/video]

[video=youtube;FQ9zmJCBIaw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ9zmJCBIaw[/video]

You should watch these videos.​
 
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Victor

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Because it's impractical, limited, and expensive. There are better ways to improve the environment than to develop a car that is loud, featureless, and borderline unsafe. The money put into developing that could also have been put into developing a better and more efficient fully electric car, or a self driving car that drives more efficiently. Then combine those two technologies. Not that I know more than Volkswagen or saying they should've done that instead, it's just that the tech they developed there is not particularly useful on a global scale.
 

Tartarus

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of course, basic google searches = research and study
Yeah... I didn't equate a basic Google search to "research and study." Actually, I think I implied the exact opposite. Sorry you missed it. :/

Saying climate change has a serious impact makes for a poor argument semantically - it's better (imo) to apply these issues to mankind/humanity as a whole, instead of "climate change" (because saying "climate change" asserts blame on an abstract entity, and not on the actual culprit that is humanity itself). Humans are responsible for the loss of habitat and poaching; CO2 (and other chemicals) pollution in the air from human overpopulation of the earth by and reformation of the earth's natural landscape for human use/consumption causes the greenhouse effect - by which ice in the Arctic and/or the Antarctic falls off and melts/disperses itself into the oceans.
You're just arguing words, because most people mean this when they say "climate change"--because climate change is largely spurred on by humanity. It doesn't mean they're trying to say the earth is doing the problems and humanity's just an innocent bystander.
 
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